Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Business Matters - Marketplaces - Smashing Darling

So far, I have given my impression on the following artisan marketplaces : Zibbet; Etsy; Not on the High Street; Nest; Dawanda; and Boundless Gallery.

Today it's Smashing Darling!

Now, I like SD! It a fun site. It is an independent fashion marketplace where you can sell clothing, jewelry, accessories, vintage.....with items designed for men, women and children.

The fee structure for sellers is that it costs nothing to set up a store or as many stores as you like and there is no listing charge - ever. (Listing is really easy and fast too!). So you only pay when you sell something - and then they charge an 18% commission charge. Yes, that's higher than other artisan marketplaces - but then SD is different from those places too.

Payment doesn't come through directly to you - so paypal is not used. Instead, SD accepts the payment and then takes their commission percentage and deposits the rest directly in your bank within 2 weeks of the sale.

The thing I like best about Smashing Darling is the management. It just feels like they are real people and people who take an interest. It was started by Julie Rorrer and Trish Ginter -- fashion designers. I have had a store there a few years and to be honest, I really don't sell much on the store - but I stay there because I like it. I think the store isn't really a good fit for my products. My jewelry isn't "fashion" jewelry per se - it's a bit too whimsy for that - so why do I bother? Well, for one, it doesn't cost anything to stay and two, I like being a part of it. I see Trish and Julie on their blogs, reading my blog, on facebook etc - it just feels inclusive and that they are interested. This morning I just got an email from Julie informing me that I had listed a pair of earrings for sale as "men's earrings" and obviously they aren't - so she let me know so I could change it. It's those little things - personalized - that they do so well.

There are over 300 stores there and they get a good number of viewers/potential buyers. A couple of years they submitted two of my necklaces to Elle magazine to use in an advertisment! How cool is that - and where else do you get that opportunity?

I recently introduced a friend to SD - Lora Hart - as I felt her jewelry might work there. Maybe Lora will comment on her experience so far. Here is her store:

They have a blog and newsletter and just today, my two latest items are listed on the side bar of the blog.
So while I don't think it's the best match for my style of jewelry - I stay and enjoy it. Do go take a look. You'll like it too. It's different from the other marketplaces - refreshingly different. Keep it up Trish and Julie.


trishdarling said...

Thank you Ruth for the great shout out! Much appreciated!

~ Lora Hart Jewels ~ said...

Hi Ruthie,

Trish has been wonderful. I've had a few problems with my stats and signing up for the newsletter and I get a personal e-mail back with every question or concern. That type of support is just wonderful and makes me feel really good about being a part of the site.

Unfortunately, I haven't made a single sale yet. Even though my website links to it and I took an ad out on The Paris Apartment.

But I have to be patient. I've only been a seller on SD for a little over a month. It'll happen. How could it not with such a committed venue/!

Ruth said...

Thanks Lora. Hope you get some sales on SD soon.