The Etsy-Style Marketplace for Green Goods

by Stephanie Taylor Christensen on June 28, 2011

Selling products in the green space isn’t unusual in today’s market, but finding a free and reputable place that offers them to a targeted customer base can be. Enter Ecobold, an Etsy-style virtual marketplace dedicated to safe, non-toxic green products.

The site was co-founded by Steffany Boldrini (pictured), an environmentally-dedicated young entrepreneur dubbed the “Rachael Ray of Green Living” by The Huffington Post. She founded Ecobold to provide green sellers a free venue to sell their goods, and to give environmentally-concerned customers an accessible and trusted resource where they can buy them. Each product on the site is fully vetted by Ecobold staffers to ensure it meets health and environmental safety requirements as defined by the site; daily video reviews present the latest green innovations to customers.

We caught up with the power girl to learn about her plans for Ecobold, and how small businesses in the green space can benefit from this new virtual marketplace.

ISBB: What types of goods or categories have done well on Ecobold?

Boldrini: Our Beauty category has done really well. Women are finally learning that their skin care products aren’t really regulated and can contain many chemicals that can cause cancer, such as lead and parabens. Other best-sellers are wool dryer balls, salt deodorant, and organic health bars.

Who shops on Ecobold?

Mostly professional women/moms.

Can small businesses using Ecobold sell through other channels, and are there any stipulations around price incentives or shipping offers?

We don’t want to restrict anything. We’re here to help them get the word out and want to see each and every one of them sell their products at national grocery and drug stores. Because our commission fee is so low, most of them are able to offer a discount or free shipping on their products.

What marketing tips can you offer sellers of sustainable goods, both on Ecobold and elsewhere?

At Ecobold, once they upload their products, we send an email explaining how they could be highlighted on the front page for a full day. This gives them exposure to several channels and to our email subscribers. Outside of Ecobold, I’d certainly recommend partnering up with someone who has a big following, be it a large corporation or a celebrity.

What trends do you foresee in terms of consumer demand or interest in the sustainable and green market?

The great news about this market is that once consumers start purchasing these products, they won’t go back to old purchasing habits. Even though the price point might be a little higher, they know it’s worth paying a couple of dollars more. The most exciting part is that not all [green] products are more expensive!

What is your long-term vision for Ecobold?

We’re working on getting the word out in front of new people and increasing our subscribers. Our goal is for every product in the world to be manufactured in a safe and non-toxic manner, not harming our body or our planet. Until then we won’t stop.

Any interesting Ecobold success stories to share?

One that I just heard the other day is from the salt deodorant seller. She had never sold it anywhere else, and was even thinking of discontinuing it. The day we highlighted it on the front page, she had sales coming in all day.