Des Moines based Goodsmiths, the “Market Place for Makers” is now open for business. The co-founders James Eliason and Levi Roscol opened up for a soft launch on Wednesday April 4th. They characterized it as a soft launch because at opening they were only using local payment provider Dwolla. They’ve since added Paypal as a payment option.
While on the surface you may immediately think Etsy clone, Eliason and Roscol insist that Goodsmith’s is no Etsy clone.
Eliason and Roscol are differentiating Goodsmiths from Etsy in three key areas. The first is community. The co-founders told SiliconPrairie that when they started doing market research they found that a lot of users of competing sites like Etsy and Artfire weren’t pleased with their community offerings or lack there of. To win in the community area both founders have concentrated on building the communities and launched them at the same time as the rest of the site. They’ve also recruited bloggers to keep the content fresh within the communities.
More after the break
The next area is pricing. Goodsmiths isn’t charging a fee per listing but rather a small percentage at the end of the sale that gets charged to the vendor.
The final area is group purchasing. When you think of group purchasing though don’t think of a Living Social or Groupon model but more of a Kickstarter model where vendors can take large group orders instead of fulfilling onesie twosies if they so choose.
Goodsmiths launched with a staff of four and plans on ramping up their employee roster rather quickly. They are also moving to an area in West Des Moines that is more art centric.
This is actually the second iteration of the business for Eliason and Roscol their first was called craft.ly. Although they’ve only been officially launched a couple of weeks they already have over 600 shops with over $250,000 worth of inventory posted to the site. They also made it easy for Etsy merchants to come over to Goodsmith either as a replacement or a secondary home by incorporating a tool that made transferring their products over a cinch.
check out Goodsmiths here.