Artisan Marketplace Our Village Promotes Itself as No-Fee Alternative to Etsy
Our Village announced this week it offers worldwide online sellers an alternative marketplace with “no listing fees/no commissions deducted from sales” when compared to Etsy.
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Recently, Etsy changed its fee structure from a 3.5 percent commission per sale to 5 percent per sale, which irked some sellers. Our Village believes it can entice some of those Etsy sellers to join their marketplace.
READ MORE: Etsy Raising Transaction Fees from 3.5% to 5% Starting July 16
The Our Village online marketplace is promoting itself as an alternative for sellers who would prefer to keep 100 percent of their sales. However, the marketplace does charge a $5 store fee per month, which includes unlimited product listings on the site.
Our Village was formed by two sisters to serve the need for artisans, crafters, makers, and family-owned small shops to have an online resource that allows them to keep all money from their sales.
Shoppers on Our Village can select many product categories from which to view the unique items for sale from sellers all around the world.
The company says its shoppers include art & craft lovers, novel gift-givers, impulse buyers, pajama surfers, and others who value buying unique gifts for family, friends, or themselves.
“Our Village provides an additional benefit for makers and shoppers: we have a strong commitment to non-profit organizations that make a difference. We are in a David versus Goliath position, in that Our Village is an option now for Etsy shop owners who are tired of paying listing fees and commissions on every sale.” said Our Village Co-founder, Sara Miller Cross.
Low Entry of Barrier to Build an Online Business
New sellers who sign up with Our Village receive the first 30 days for free to build their shop.
The company believes that most internet sellers have regular full-time jobs, supplementing their monthly income for their families by selling some products online.
Working from home is an increasing desire for many people and Our Village wants to be the most economical, internet marketplace for sellers.
Marketplace With a Cause
Based on the old African proverb “It takes a village,” Our Village wants to grow the marketplace to build a company with a charitable side.
As the worldwide Our Village marketplace grows, the company plans to support non-profit organizations across America providing support to battered or homeless women and their families.
“The mission behind Our Village is to provide support to organizations that are dedicated to making the world a better place. Twenty percent of our gross revenues are donated to nonprofit organizations that provide support to battered or homeless women and their families throughout the country. We believe that is the duty of businesses to give back to their communities and Our Village will exceed all expectations as we grow,” said Rachel Miller, Co-founder of the majority woman-owned company.
For the first recipient of their assistance, Our Village chose an organization from its hometown, Chattanooga Room in the Inn.
Its purpose is to empower homeless women and children to become self-sufficient by offering a temporary home while providing programs and services necessary to meet their goals.
Who Should Consider Our Village?
Niche-based and new marketplaces will always struggle in the beginning to gain traction as they need to build a community of buyers and sellers.
For sellers needing cross-platform inventory control, multi-channel shipping integrations, or other more advanced features, Our Village may still be too much in its infancy.
But for smaller sellers, the cost to join the Our Village marketplace at a flat five bucks per month to list unlimited products online may be worth it.
Especially sellers that participate in off-line sales activities such as swap shops or meetups may find Our Village tempting as a low-cost alternative to building an online presence without having to operate their own website.
Transactions on Our Village are managed through PayPal and sellers will need a PayPal account. To learn more about Our Village, visit their website.
Connect with us: Head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Sellers and interact with other small business owners.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.
OK, so there is virtually no content, which makes me think that this is REALLY new.
As it is really new and buyers could easily be put off by the empty shelves, maybe they need to waive the $5 fee for a few months to encourage sellers top come on board. I know I would wonder if forking out a base monthly fee when I could have 25 products for months on Etsy (albeit commissions but hey, Etsy is so big now its like Google in its own way so sales can be thin)
As with any new marketplace it is always a challenge, and a game of chicken and egg. You need the inventory to attract the customers, but you need the customers to attract the sellers and their inventory.
I would agree that an incentive would probably help expand out their inventory but time will tell.