It’s Wednesday, December 13, 2017 and 58°F in Austin, Texas

Social and Community Based Shopping Websites Are Increasingly Popular

One of the hottest areas in online e-commerce these days are websites that allow like minded individuals to buy and sell goods to others with their same interests. The operators of these shopping websites usually collect a small fee from sellers for every purchase made on the website, and they may also charge sellers a fee to setup a store or list an item.

The actual transactions are made between buyers and individual sellers on the site. The website operator is not directly involved in the transactions, they just provide the a shopping destination and social community to encourage sales. Sellers accept payment through their own PayPal accounts.

Etsy has successfully carved a niche in the handmade and craft community. Etsy has created a destination shopping site for people looking for unique, handmade items not available at mass merchant retailers. Etsy users can sell their home made items to the large audience of buyers attracted to the Etsy community.

This new model is a shift away from Ebay which has long operated as a facilitator of sales between willing buyers and sellers. Ebay has largely always been perceived as an "auction" site that lacked any real defined community -- or perhaps their community is defined as people who enjoy the game aspect of participating in auctions. While many items have "Buy it Now" buttons, some users may still be uncomfortable with Ebay's overall auction feel. They would prefer to make a purchase in a community of similar users.

We've built numerous community based shopping sites, and we feel it is expanding area of e-commerce on the internet.