The effects of the coronavirus send continual ripples through our world. In cities big and small, those who work in food, farming and retail have become the most affected. For the past two months, I’ve been writing articles for small business and retail store owners on how to navigate everything from creatively selling merchandise to local customers to how to navigate PPP loan applications. As I talk to people all over the country, the one thing that I found is that they are all highly creative.
From making masks to creating hand sanitizer, the one thing maker folk have in common is using a little ingenuity to pivot and find ways to create new revenue sources quickly.
Many of the products being made carry amazing quality. It’s why I set out to research marketplaces beyond Amazon Handmade and Etsy where markers could expand their wholesale distribution and possibly new income sources during the pandemic (and beyond). Here are the seven I loved most:
Tundra is a wholesale platform for both retail and wholesale. Store owners can purchase from 150,000+ items that are shipped for free from a variety of wholesale suppliers and brands. It offers shipping, payment terms, and great solutions for retailers to try and test brands that are sold on the platform in their store. For wholesale, you can set low minimums and upload their merchandise to be seen by retailers shopping the platform (currently they aren’t taking commissions on orders you receive). Sellers can also advertise products or their brands as a whole. Tundra doesn’t accept Amazon or third-party sellers.
Faire is an online, B2B marketplace designed for brands and retailers interested in eco-conscious products and goods made in the U.S. that are not sold on Amazon and support a variety of social causes. For retailers, the platform offers net 60 payment terms and free shipping on orders from brands and makers. Makers have to apply for inclusion on Faire and if you’re accepted, the platform allows you to control order minimums, open new accounts, and manage retail relationships. The platform takes a percentage of your sales.
RangeMe is a product discovery platform used by verified, vetted retail buyers from large retail businesses in the U.S. and Canada to source new products for their retail stores. Suppliers can create free product profiles. RangeMe matches wholesalers and suppliers with retail buyers looking for new products categories they specify that they purchase from. RangeMe is 100% free to sign-up and doesn’t collect any fees or a percentage of orders placed. It does have premium services.
The Grommet is a great Etsy alternative for retailers looking to source original, handmade designs. The site is unique because their end goal is that within five years, 10% of all products flowing through U.S. retail are originating from independent small-scale makers, thus creating vibrant jobs and innovative products in every corner of our country. Currently, the platform focuses on direct-to-consumer sales and brands that want to be a part of the marketplace must apply. Founder Jules Pieri has written “How We Make Stuff Now,” a book that helps makers understand how to create products that consumers want to purchase today.
Similar to Faire and Tundra, Hello Abound focuses on connecting independent makers with small to medium sized retailers. Both brands and retailers have to apply to be a part of the platform. Like Faire, the platform is the ordering and relationship management platform.
EarthEasy is a family-owned and operated online green home market for all things sustainable living, including gardening, zero waste kitchen products, and other sustainable products. They also plant a tree for every order with Trees for the Future Foundation, and have next level home gardening and homesteading resource blog.
EarthHero is an awesome online marketplace that partners with small makers from around the globe to curate earth-friendly products in all categories. You can buy and sell on the site.