Public Market - Product Stars
Best products of July 2018

Public Market

Commission-free eCommerce

Upvotes 634 PH Page >
Carlos J. Argüello
Decentralizing eCommerce for GOOD
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Hey @kjer, Can you tell us more about what you've built here and how you see it changing ecommerce?
KJ Erickson
Maker
@jacqvon Yes! the best place to learn about it is on yesterday's Medium announcement post: https://medium.com/public-market/liberating-ecommerce-public-market-the-new-commercial-commons-f71e176328f3
John Uke
Incredible!!!! World progress +=1
KJ Erickson
Maker
@john_uke Thanks for your support, John!
Alireza Behrooz
Hi! Can you tell more about the free shipping? The shipping companies who will ship the product will still need to be paid, right?
KJ Erickson
Maker
@behrooz_a Absolutely. There's a saying in eCommerce that "there's no such thing as free shipping". Of course someone pays! The question is really one of how you display the price -- we believe it's best for the consumer to see the full cost of the item including shipping rather than to either be surprised when it's tacked on, or have to do math in their head. In some ways, "Free Shipping" is really a euphemism for "Shipping Included" or more positively, "no surprise fees". Thanks for your question and that important point.
Vishal Nema
Is it a marketplace like Amazon or a ecommerce platform like Shopify??
KJ Erickson
Maker
@vishal_nema it’s actually somewhat like both. We’ll have our own marketplace like Amazon (will launch shortly at public.market), but we’re also building a protocol with public inventory, reputation, and product metadata that anyone can build their own marketplace or “storefront” on top of without having to build up two sided network effects. You can think of it like an open architecture for ecommerce, or a “Commercial Commons” if you will.
KJ Erickson
Maker
@vishal_nema this article helps to explain it better: https://medium.com/public-market/liberating-ecommerce-public-market-the-new-commercial-commons-f71e176328f3
Tuan Le
@kjer How about applying that same idea, but to Simbi itself to create a bunch of sub-unions of workers that function like small businesses?The tokenization is definitely a key economic factor to motivate people working together and contributing their best to make the small business successful (so that everyone in that small business could benefit)
Vishal Nema
@kjer This sounds really interesting!!
Kristofer™
This sounds really interesting, but wondering about 2 things: 1) How fraud is handled once a seller is reported as bad? 2) How is all shipping free in the US? is it required to be built into the cost of the product?
Robin Jones
Maker
@kristofertm 1) in the short run, our marketplace (which will be launching soon at https://public.market) will broker all fraud resolution. In the longer run, we will be standing up a public insurance marketplace to make this a competitive market as well. You can see a teaser about that in this post: https://medium.com/public-market/liberating-ecommerce-public-market-the-new-commercial-commons-f71e176328f3 2) Like other marketplaces, "free" shipping is often either built into the price of the item or subsidized by the seller. We expect that competition between vendors will lead toward more subsidy, less built-in over time. And we've got some strategic partnerships in the works to help give our sellers inexpensive shipping options. Follow us on Telegram (https://t.me/publicmrkt) or Twitter @PublicMrkt to stay up to date on our progress!
KJ Erickson
Maker
@kristofertm Great questions! Our white paper will cover this more in-depth, but I'll give the high-level here: 1) The actual dispute resolution process works the same as it does on private marketplaces -- support claims are initially routed to the seller, where they are almost always resolved. In the cases where they are not, they get escalated to the dispute resolution provider. This is where the difference comes in: instead of there only being one dispute resolution provider, we've created competition at this layer of the marketplace stack. Dispute providers can compete on cost and service to ensure that there is economic efficiency in the dispute services. Importantly in our system, sellers bear the cost of their own bad behaviors. Each seller receives a reputation score, and the better their score is, the less they have to pay for dispute resolution (think of it like fraud insurance). A good seller can get those costs down to near negligible, whereas a 'bad' seller may ultimately become 'uninsurable'. 2) See below for my answer to Alireza about how "free shipping works.
Robin Jones
Maker
@kristofertm Looks like KJ and I are both answering at the same time! Giving you a lot to read! :)
Mario Arabov
Finally!
KJ Erickson
Maker
@mario_arabov So glad to have your support!
Dan Dan
Sounds promising, but not enough details to make an informed decision. Quick, someone make a "Is this hype?" poll.
KJ Erickson
Maker
@tostartafire agreed! We haven’t released enough information yet. Stay tuned for updates and the release of our product and white paper by signing up at publicmarket.io. It’s really something that needs to be experienced in person, and we can’t wait to release the product itself. We’re approaching this very differently than most blockchain companies by making sure we deliver a fully-functional product at the highest consumer standards, rather than asking people to rely on marketing language or hype. I think you’ll be impressed by what we deliver.
Davis Baer
Commision free, free shipping... @kjer How do you plan on monetizing?
KJ Erickson
Maker
@daviswbaer it’s an entirely different business model based around a token. The protocol itself lives within a nonprofit foundation, and gets supported by the token itself. These new business models are pretty revolutionary, actually!
Davis Baer
@kjer Sounds interesting :)
Fred Simmons
“eCommerce Is Broken” -- I hate this copy. Love everything else and the idea.
KJ Erickson
Maker
@fsimmons1 thanks Fred! Appreciate your feedback on the copy. We explain in this article what we mean by "eCommerce is broken", but it's hard to encapsulate these concepts in simple phrases. Always open to suggestions for how we could do it better.
Cody Fitzpatrick
Surely the company will attempt to make money somehow, which brings to question the necessity of blockchain. You could more easily create an e-commerce platform similar to the pre-existing options, with fees only slightly greater than the cost of running the platform if you're truly out for sellers' best interests. Will users be required to buy your virtual currency in order to pay a (more likely than not) monthly fee?
Robin Jones
Maker
@codyfitzpatrick No, there are no monthly fees for sellers. No commissions. No listing fees. As KJ said in an above answer, it’s an entirely different business model based around a token. The protocol itself lives within a nonprofit foundation, and gets supported by the token itself. Stay tuned for updates and the release of our product and white paper by signing up at publicmarket.io or joining our Telegram community https://t.me/publicmrkt
KJ Erickson
Maker
@codyfitzpatrick Good insights. To answer your question, no -- our tokens function as rewards points, and we don't have plans to use them to charge a monthly fee. We're building the business model around the token itself. Exactly how it works is somewhat in depth for this response, so I encourage you to sign up for our white paper when it's released (publicmarket.io). In the meantime, Chris Dixon has a nice post investigating how these new network models can work: https://medium.com/@cdixon/crypto-tokens-a-breakthrough-in-open-network-design-e600975be2ef
Cody Fitzpatrick
Thank you both (@wubledoo & @kjer) for the informative responses. I look forward to reading the whitepaper when it's released. I'll brush up on Chris Dixon's post in the meantime. Wishing you all the best with this venture!
Robin Jones
Maker
@codyfitzpatrick Looks like KJ and I are both answering at the same time! Giving you a lot to read! :)
Robin Jones
Maker
@kjer @codyfitzpatrick Thank you! We look forward to knocking your socks off!
Dainis Kanopa
@kjer Could you specify what exactly did you build already? Not just a future vision, but what is a current product! I hope it is not just a well written a "whitepaper"...
KJ Erickson
Maker
@dainiskanopa of course! We're really far along on the commission-free eCommerce marketplace product that we'll be launching soon at public.market. We'll have millions of inventory items from hundreds of professionals merchants. Importantly, Public Market allows buyers to earn previously unheard of levels of rewards tokens on purchases you'd otherwise be making on private marketplaces, all because we don't charge commissions.
Vance Lucas
Visiting this website, I am left confused as to what this actually is and why it's on PH. This looks like a platform for other developers to use for e-commerce? Or is it going to offer a way to sell directly on public market? Everything is free, which sounds good, but actually makes me wary that it will have success or stick around long term. I see blockchain, which while it might be able to be applied well in this domain (remains to be seen), I am super skeptical due to all the rampant fraud and scammy ICOs in the space.
KJ Erickson
Maker
@vlucas Fair -- i appreciate your skepticism and think it's really important, in the blockchain space particularly. I'm actually surprised to be on Product Hunt myself! We got hunted because we announced what we've been working on on Medium yesterday, it's worth a read. But we haven't launched our marketplace product yet, and that's when we really should be on here. As to your question, we are both building a platform for developers to use to create eCommerce marketplaces (without having to get their own inventory, reputation data, or product metadata) AND we are building our own flagship eCommerce marketplace on top of that platform. Our flagship marketplace will be at public.market and host millions of products from hundreds of professional sellers. Sellers want to use it because it gives that additional sales at potentially better margins, as well as reduces their long-term reliance on private marketplaces that charge higher and higher fees and ultimately compete with them. Buyers will want to use us because eliminating commissions and replacing them with rewards tokens makes their products significantly cheaper. But don't just believe what I'm saying -- wait for our product to be released! Hopefully we'll be hunted again at that time and you can prove it for yourself.
Robin Jones
Maker
@vlucas We can certainly understand the skepticism-- there's a lot of hype around blockchain these days and only a few companies to date have really delivered on the promise. We are indeed building a protocol/platform that includes public inventory, reputation, and product metadata so that anyone can build their own marketplace or “storefront” on top without needing to build up two sided network effects. You can think of it like an open architecture for ecommerce, or a “Commercial Commons” if you will. We are *also* very soon be launching our own marketplace, similar to Amazon or Walmart.com (at https://public.market). You can think of our storefront as "Customer Zero" for the protocol, allowing us to "run water through the pipes" and ensure that we are perfecting it for those that adopt it to power their own storefronts.
Robin Jones
Maker
@vlucas Looks like KJ and I are both answering at the same time! Giving you a lot to read! :)
Gianni D'Alerta
How does this differ to OpenBazaar as an example?
Robin Jones
Maker
@giannidalerta Good question -- it's a fundamentally different approach. Open Bazaar optimizes for privacy and full decentralization. Public Market is optimizing for mass market adoption -- it's designed to both fit seamlessly into professional marketplace merchants' workflows (hence the large number of SKUs we will have at launch, approximately how many Jet had) and to feel like a normal eCommerce product to a consumer. Buyers don't need to download a software client, and they can check out with their credit card, they get their goods quickly and conveniently, etc. In other words, we are not requiring consumers to change their behavior in order to participate. In addition, because the protocol is commission free, buyers can make up the difference of what would have been paid in commissions in the form of Patron tokens. Another key difference is that our protocol can be built on top of by any marketplace application, not just our own storefront. We're aggregating the key datasets that private marketplaces keep proprietary (inventory, reputation, catalog metadata), and making those Public and shared resources.
Gianni D'Alerta
@wubledoo so based on this, why do you need a blockchain? what are you guys tokenizing and why?
Robin Jones
Maker
@giannidalerta There are multiple ways in which we do/will use the blockchain. The buyer rewards system itself is tokenized. We also will leverage the blockchain for the Public Reputation element of our protocol. Stay tuned to our Medium channel, as our CTO will be publishing more detail on our current progress and roadmap in the next 2 weeks' time. https://medium.com/public-market
Kevin Moore
This sounds lit AF!
KJ Erickson
Maker
@kevrmoore we like to think so ;)
Raul Gasteazoro
Best idea I've heard in ages... combining commerce, open markets and free trade, with the power of crypto
KJ Erickson
Maker
@raul_gasteazoro glad you think so! thanks so much for your support.
Nick Alexander
This is the most compelling real world use case I've heard of for the blockchain
Robin Jones
Maker
@nick_alexander Thanks! We think so too!
Igor Akulov
@kjer, how long ago did you start working on this, if it's not a secret? The teaser is intriguing, but the role of the token in the business model and the economy behind it is very unclear. I look forward to seeing your white paper. Meanwhile, you have an unnecessary extra comma in the Buyer Rewards paragraph under Architecture & Protocol section of the page.
KJ Erickson
Maker
@igoruphere we started on it a year ago. We can’t wait to release the white paper! Have to wait for legal approval on that. Stay tuned, and thanks for the heads up about the comma!
adam webber
Congrats on the launch. Very cool idea. Just some 2 cent feedback... I'm not a "designer" but my intuitive feeling of the website is a bit dark and formidable. When i think of "commerce" i think of trust and transparency... the heavy dark tones of your website come across as a bit back-alley business.
KJ Erickson
Maker
@adamwebber thanks Adam! I agree that the .io site is not the right look for an eCommerce platform. Our actually eCommerce site looks very different - same basic brand color palette (black/white/blue) but white background. The publicmarket.io site is more of a brochure to explain what we’re building - I hear you though! I want to change out that top image to something more upbeat.
Shamsuddin Syed
Interesting idea, and good luck! Commissions go down, but might transaction costs go up without the monopoly running logistics so efficiently?
KJ Erickson
Maker
@shamsuddinsyed hi there! Good question. We’re going after third party merchants who already use their own independent fulfillment providers, many of whom are actually *cheaper* than Amazon believe it or not. So shipping costs should stay the same because the seller is using the same logistics provider they otherwise use.
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