The 1st Dibs Marketplace – What is 1stdibs?

1st dibs marketplace jewellery

**(Post Updated July 2022)**

If you are in the luxury goods industry and wanting to target USA customers you simply MUST checkout 1st Dibs!

1st Dibs describe themselves as ‘the WORLD’S leading online marketplace for the most beautiful things on earth‘. I do have to agree, you could spend a lifetime browsing this site and drooling over the diamonds and handbags alone.

BIT OF BACKGROUND

Rewind to 2001— Micheal Bruno was a real estate dealer who visited historic Paris Marché aux Puces whereby he stumbled upon some fine luxurious items for his own private collection of luxury goods. He wanted to showcase to the world his fabulous collection, so decided to craft a website… enter 1stdibs.com, which has become a premier online luxury marketplace.

COSTS

Monthly Subscription – £500 per month.

This is very good value as you can pay over £200 per month for a very small antiques marketplace subscription and due to the amount of traffic 1st Dibs for £500 its a very good value monthly fee.

What percentage does 1st dibs take? – 15%+3% trans fee

The commission fees are higher than the likes of eBay and other common marketplaces, however still okay. If you don’t have high mark ups on items it may be worth reviewing your prices before adding them to the marketplace so you can afford to take the commission hit. There is a reduction in fees if you sell items of a very high price tag, it seems to vary but last time i spoke it was over £20,000. My advice would be if you have an enquiry on a high price item, ring your account manager and quiz them on reduced commission rates for the sale, it can’t hurt… right?

Featured Items – £10 per item

You can pay to feature items on 1st Dibs. What does this mean? essentially you pay them £10 per item and they will push it a bot more for you. It may appear on a email marketing campaign and your account manager may push it to get exposure on the site. Its hard to know if this works well, from my experience the items you feature don’t sell, however you do see a slight increase in enquiries overall. I would say to try this but be careful and speak to your account manager about popular items or items that are on the 1st dibs editorial calendar (mentioned above).

Relist – £3 per item

A negative with all marketplaces is that they are so big your stock can quickly drop so low down a category page no one sees it. With 1st dibs you have a feature where by you can locate an item and click to relist. What this does is pops the item back to the top of the category (as if it were a new item). They charge you £3 for the pleasure but I would advise to incorporate this into your daily activity, the marketplace is huge and there seems little point in having your fabulous goods here if you don’t keep shimmying them back to the top of the category.

(The above is accurate as of Feb 2020)

1STDIBS WEBSITE INFO

  • 50% of its monthly traffic comes from search
  • 10% of website traffic is from social channels (get tagging and hash tagging your posts to catch this traffic)
  • 90,000 (approx) searches per month (USA ONLY) for brand terms – I mean that is immense!
  • Top category is ‘furniture’ followed by ‘art’ and then ‘fashion’

(The above data is accurate as of Feb 2020)

ADMIN AREA

I for one love the first dibs admin, it is very clear and simple to use. Many marketplaces get this part all wrong , however 1stdibs have this nailed. if you want an easy to use admin area where you can easily navigate your goods and enquiries then this is the place for you.

Don’t forget the app ! I become addicted to this monitoring messages with alerts to my phone and you can also set template replies to help make life easier for you when replying to enquiries while mobile. Currently the App isn’t available for android devices, however I have heard they are working on this so watch this space android users.

ANONYMITY OF DEALERS

As much as I adore this marketplace, one thing that was very frustrating was the fact they removed dealer names from the platform. So if you are a customer and you see an item you like you don’t know who the dealer is until you enquire and send them a message. Seems a bit weird to me!

UK E-Commerce Regulations state that if you sell goods on the internet you must have the buyers name and address on the page. Hopefully the USA will follow suit and enforce this for the 1st Dibs dealers to regain their recognition they deserve, after all the products are theirs and so many are rare and very hard to locate so to me it makes sense they should be allowed to have their name present on the page of THEIR goods.

So beware if you are on this platform the website users wont have a clue who you are until they are at the stage of enquiring, then and only then can you sign of your reply with your company name and address.

MAIN RULES

Price Match – This one is very crucial, you CANNOT advertise your items for sale on another website (yes- including your own) for a higher price. You will get caught and you will get serious warnings and eventually banned from the platform.

Contact InfoDon’t put your company name, email address or contact info into your descriptions. Image wise you also need to be careful if any logos are in the background. If you message links to vimeo or youtube videos you also need to be careful with video descriptions as you cant mention website links, or any information that could take the customer off 1stdibs.

Message Centre Monitoring Be careful what you say as they are watching. Don’t pass any contact information, don’t be seen to stear people away from the platform. 1st Dibs have a system which flags certain words and once those words are triggered your conversations will be closely monitored.

Policing of Dealers1st Dibs invest heavily in staff to ‘police’ all dealers and ensure they are behaving yourself. Now for dealers on the platform this can be very frustrating, however they do have a business to run. My advice is 100% play by the rules, or approach your account manager if you are unclear of any rules.

HOW TO SELL ON 1ST DIBS

Assuming that you have been approved to sell on the platform (the rules for this can change, however they seem to be allowing more dealers on to the platform as of today – 2022 ) there are many things you can do to get the most from this platform.

RELIST ITEMS

If you have items that are on the platform and haven’t seen much interest or activity for the past 3 months, I would consider relisting them. You can currently do this two ways. 1) select from the admin to repost them, this will cost you between £3-5 per item 2) relist them a FREE WAY (I cant give you to many of my secrets though)… sorry.

FEATURE ITEMS

1stdibs is a MASSIVE website and if you aren’t willing to pay to push your items, this probably isn’t the platform for you. They have thousands of sellers adding to categories each day, so unless you can add daily you will need to do this. In the admin you can select to ‘feature’ an item – this costs between £8 – £10 per item, depending on your account type.

When looking into which items you want to feature or relist, speak to your account manager for data on which items people are looking for and then push those. You will need to nudge your account manager for this information however i have always found them to be useful. Sadly, they simply have the added pressure of a lot of clients to look after, so cant give you all of their time. Other ways to help you decide is to check out the editorial calendar and see if any promotions on specific categories are happening and lastly, and importantly, look at the shop data in your admin to see which items are popular, etc.

RESEARCH COMPETITORS ON THE MARKETPLACE

I cant emphasise enough how important it is to always monitor your competition. Search your keywords on dibs and look at who is ranking above you, why are they ranking above? are they listing in different categories? are they optimising their listings better? are they adding videos? are they paying for ads? The list is endless.. make notes and run some tests on your own listings.

USE THE ACCOUNT MANAGERS

LOOK INTO PAID ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES

There is a dedicated team at 1stDibs that deal with advertising and there are many opportunities however you will be paying a fair fee per month for this privilege. Many dealers have successful paid promotion campaigns on the platform so this may be worth a conversation with the advertising team if nothing else.

EDITORIAL CALENDAR

SATURDAY SALE

1stDibs run a great ‘Saturday Sale’ every week, for your items to qualify they have to be new to the sale and also you must be able to reduce the price by minimum of 20%. Bare in mind you will be paying commission on top of this price reduction, so you will need to have good markup on your goods to enable them to be sales worthy.

The sale may be worth considering on items you have had in stock for a long time and also have a large profit margin.

AUCTIONS

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