[Cyborg] Fwd: Makers Market Update

Rachel McConnell rachel at instructables.com
Sun Sep 13 20:08:44 UTC 2009

This looks interesting... I don't know any more about it than in this
email but sounds quite useful for the North Paw at least!


>From: "Dan Woods" <dan at oreilly.com>
>To: "makermedia" <makermedia at oreilly.com>
>Date: September 12, 2009 07:23:35 PM PDT
>Subject: Makers Market Update

Greeting Maker Media Comrades,
I wanted to give you an update on where we're at with Makers Market:
At risk of stating the obvious, development of the Makers Market
platform has taken a few months longer than originally estimated by
our development partner - SuperCorp.  Some of this was the result of
underestimating the complexity of the original project.  Some of it
was the result of both SuperCorp and us not feeling good about certain
functionality when we actually put it through it's paces, and and we
opted to get it right before launch.  Then, as our concept and vision
for the site evolved we introduced new functionality as enhancements
to the original spec.  The great news, however, is that we expect to
take delivery of the fully operational site and begin acceptance
testing this week.
If everything goes as planned, we're looking at a launch schedule that
includes the following major milestones over the next two months,
culminating with a market launch just in time for the holidays.
Monday, 14 September Fully Operational Platform Delivered For Testing
Tuesday, 29 September Maker Media Initial Beta Seller introduction
Sunday, Oct 4 September Soft Launch/Beta Testing Begins
Monday, 16 November Market Launch

This translates to an enormously busy 3 months for as all of this now
falls into our biggest quarter of the year by far.  But... deep
breath. We know what we need to do. We've taken on Big Hairy Ass Goals
like this before. And in the end, it's all about building an even
richer and more compelling Maker Media offering.
Over the next few months, you can expect to see more regular Makers
Market updates from me as we progress through the launch.  For now, I
have a request - and consider this an open ended request - if you know
of Makers who might like to sell there creations in Makers Market,
please let me know about them and/or invite them to visit
http://makersmarket.com to register as an interested seller. And this
includes YOU.  I'll waive the startup and annual fee for anyone on the
Maker Media team who would like to open a store front in Makers
Market.  Just ping me an let me know.
I thought you might be interested to see the FAQs below that we've
been distributing to prospective Makers Market participants.  But feel
free to cut & paste them when discussing Makers Market with
prospective sellers.
Thanks Everyone,


Makers Market FAQs For Prospective Sellers

What is Makers Market?
Makers Market is a curated online marketplace, where selected indie
makers and small suppliers like you have the opportunity to sell your
products and services to an aggregated DIY audience using a hosted
e-commerce platform.  In other words – you put the hard work into
making your product, and we make it easier for you to sell it. We
offer an online "shop" where you can list merchandise, have your own
store blog, FAQs, links to videos, pics, and events/groups you're
involved with, and generally interact with your customers and the
public in the context of a marketplace. We provide the platform,
transaction processing, back-end reporting, community development, and
Makers Market merchandising support

Why should I participate?
Well, if you are producing at low volume, it probably makes more sense
for you to sell directly to customers rather than to retail outlets.
Depending on your costs, you'll have trouble selling to retailers (who
require a sufficient profit to cover the risk of buying, warehousing,
and distributing stock).  As with a farmer's market, Makers Market
provides a low-cost, community-based way for makers to bring their
products to market.

But I'm already selling direct to customers.
Great!  You can keep doing that and still participate in Makers
Market.  This is a wonderful opportunity to develop an audience and
engage the community around your creations and your work; to try out
new product ideas in low quantities; and to market services to the
Makers Market community. If you already have a store, you've figured
out some of the logistics you'll need: sellers are responsible for
stocking, shipping, and supporting their own products and services.

How is this different from Etsy or eBay?
All three provide a level of commerce capability to small independent
sellers, but the comparison really ends there.  Unlike eBay, Makers
Market sellers are also the makers; the products are all designed by
and often produced by the seller.  Unlike Etsy, Makers Market is a
curated marketplace where the editors and staff of MAKE and Boing
Boing seek out and invite colorful makers and fascinating creations
that we think will appeal to our audience.

Finally, Makers Market does not charge sellers for listing their
products, which is a significant savings when you consider that Etsy
and eBay require you to list each unit of inventory separately. On
Makers Market, you only pay a commission on what you sell.

What does it cost?
There is a $250 fee to set up a Makers Market storefront, an annual
$250 market membership fee, and an 8.5% commission on sales (not on
products posted, just on sales).  However, for makers who open a
Makers Market storefront during our initial beta period, we will waive
the startup fee.

How do makers get paid when an item sells?
Proceeds from the transaction are deposited directly into the seller's
PayPal account as transactions are completed.

Who warehouses the products and ships the orders?
Each seller is responsible for maintaining their own inventory,
updating inventory status, and for fulfilling their own merchandise.
Makers who find the process of fulfillment to be beyond their
capabilities or current bandwidth may want to look into the
possibility of selling their product(s) through the Maker Shed
instead.  Contact Dan Woods (dan at oreilly.com) for more information.

What kind of customer support is provided?
Makers Market provides a self-service center for sellers and also
provides email and phone customer service to help sellers with using
the Makers Market seller features, including setting up their store,
uploading and managing products, accessing seller reports and
transaction information, etc.

Sellers are responsible for providing their own customer service for
inquiries and disputes involving fulfillment, delivery or non-delivery
of merchandise, damaged merchandise, returns, etc.

How will customers be drawn to Makers Market?
Maker Media will utilize a combination of editorial and promotional
resources to drive audience from their respective publications,
websites, events, and TV programs to the Makers Market. This includes
Make: Magazine, Makezine.com, Craftzine.com, Maker Faire, Make:
Weekend Projects video podcasts, and the Make: television website.

When will Makers Market launch?
Beta Sellers will begin setting up their stores beginning in late
September with limited launch and beta testing in October and market
launch in mid November.

That all sounds good to me – how do I sign up?
Please fill out the form here:
to get started.

Since Makers Market is a curated marketplace, the editors and staff of
MAKE will review form submissions and invite makers and creations that
we think will appeal to our audience. Furthermore, every product or
service offered for sale in the Maker Shed must be approved before
being offered for sale.  Final decisions with regards to sellers and
products are made by the Makers Market GM.

While our criteria are admittedly subjective, we're looking for
products that inspire hands-on experimentation and learning; primarily
those involving an element of science or technology.  We also would
like to see tools (even used tools), toys, materials, books, and art
that inspire an appreciation for resourcefulness and sustainability.

One of the most important criterion for approving a maker for
inclusion within Makers Market is your capacity and commitment to
community development.  We're looking for makers who will help to
recruit community to the market and who will use the Makers Market
blogging and social engagement tools to share ideas, engage customers,
and entertain guests.

Dan Woods
Associate Publisher, Maker Media Division
General Manager, Makers Retail
dan at oreilly.com
Make: Magazine - http://makezine.com
Maker Shed - http://makershed.com
Maker Faire - http://makerfaire.com

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