What is My Community Made?
My Community Made is a free-to-use e-Commerce platform similar to Etsy that ditches the predatory listing and transaction fees. Our site allows small business owners to control every aspect of their store including how they'll accept online payments as well as specific controls for how they'll handle shipping and returns.
Current industry landscape
Currently, Etsy is the largest small business e-commerce platform with 4.36 million active sellers driving $1.72 billion in revenue reported in the year 2020. Etsy gained popularity due to it's focus on selling 'homemade' products from small business owners who typically work part-time from home. However, recently Etsy's users have been sharing frustrations on the Etsy Support Twitter. Using a social listening tool called Awario, there have been about 1.3k requests over the last month looking for alternatives to Etsy. Many of these requests list the same recurring issues.
- An increase in non-homemade products from sites like Alibaba being listed as homemade craft products
- High levels of saturation and competition
- Confusing shipping issues, long shipping times
- Money being withheld by vendors, stores being shutdown without reason or communication from Etsy
- Ridiculous fee structure ($0.20 listing fee every 4 months, 5% transaction fee, 3% + $0.25 Payment Processing Fee with all fees being based on the price after tax and shipping)
There is a lot of demand for a small business friendly e-commerce platform with a fair monetization structure.
Creating the company
The company started in November of 2021 as an additional service listed under Fisher Tech Solutions LLC. Fisher Tech Solutions is a small web design business in a rural location. Many possible customers in the area cannot afford the custom e-commerce solution and were using Etsy instead. Fisher Tech Solutions heard how much they were paying in fees and developed My Community Made as a solution that could help these customers avoid paying high fees on their sales.
The company solution
My Community Made's solution does a few things differently from existing e-commerce platforms. First, it only offers vendor accounts for US based businesses, and only offer shipping within the US. This cuts a lot of regulatory costs, reduces fraud and decreases product saturation.
Next, it has built an ecommerce system that keeps the company removed from the customer>vendor relationship. All purchases and interactions occur between the customer and the vendor, giving the vendor more control over how they present their products and services.
Then the company decided to make geo-location search the primary method for how customers find products. Many Etsy sellers produce similar items (wax candles, custom printed items, woodworking) and Fisher Tech Solution's believe proximity may be a deciding factor in which products a customer would like to purchase. They verify their sellers addresses, and advertise their products locally, additionally they add local-seo support for each store to ensure they rank higher in their local area. My Community Made wants all of its sellers to have a decent chance of making sales in their area and product category and believe that number of sales is a poor product sorting factor.
There are some rules on the site, for example, they do not allow any franchises, MLM's or sexually explicit material on the site. The team of humans track complaints and ensure business owners are in good standing with their customers. Within the last two months My Community Made has grown to 115 users with 290 products actively listed on the site.
Check it out: https://mycommunitymade.com/
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