Here is a statement that just got issued by the staff of Makers Market:
After a seven month beta test period, we’re sad to report that we’ve reached a decision to cease operation of Makers Market and Boing Boing Bazaar. Although the concept of a marketplace for indie makers invited by the staffs of MAKE and Boing Boing received strong praise from sellers and customers alike, in the final analysis, it is not generating the kind of sales for our sellers that we expected, nor generating the revenue we need to “keep the lights on.” Working in close collaboration with Boing Boing, we attracted over 150 wonderful makers with creations so magical, we frequently found ourselves pulling out our own wallets to buy gifts, and we successfully drove nearly 3/4 million visits to Makers Market and Boing Boing Bazaar through online promotion and editorial posts, resulting in 4 million page views. However, our model was predicated on a highly cooperative premise: that a marketplace of indie makers actively engaged in their respective communities would quickly begin to draw its own critical mass. In spite of our best efforts, this dynamic simply hasn’t evolved. Too many sellers have confided in us that they are heavily committed to other projects or too pre-occupied promoting their own sites or preexisting stores to effectively tend to their Makers Market/Boing Boing Bazaar storefront. Which means that on any given day, the only product(s) that sell well are those that Boing Boing and MAKE have blogged that day. This doesn’t bode well for the remaining sellers and is a less than exciting editorial concept for us.
October 8th will be the last day to sell products on Makers Market and Boing Boing Bazaar. Thereafter, we will keep the market open through November 9th to facilitate communications between sellers and their customers. We will publish a full-width graphical announcement on all marketplace pages explaining that the marketplace is closed, but that orders already placed are being fulfilled, and that customers can continue to access their account and order details and can communicate with sellers through November 9th. On November 10th, we will replace the marketplace with a static page with a message from MAKE and pertinent contact info.
Effective immediately, we will waive any new fees other than commissions for those sellers who wish to continue selling through October 8th. For sellers who continue to sell though Oct 8th, standard sales commissions will continue to apply.
We sincerely appreciate your investment of time and energy into Makers Market and Boing Boing Bazaar. We want you to know that we have spent countless weeks evaluating the underlying circumstances, talking with sellers, and analyzing various options. In the final analysis, we are unable to sustain the marketplace without many times the traffic we are generating. We welcome your comments and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org