Established in 2009 and based out of San Francisco, CA, Storenvy is an online social marketplace where independent merchants can sell their unique, creative goods to consumers through their very own storefront. As a storeowner, Storenvy provides you with an opportunity to become an independent merchant in as little as five minutes, and to reach thousands of shoppers. This can be accomplished in two ways:

  1. Personal Storefront – This acts as your very owner corner of Storenvy, where you can customize to distinguish yourself from your competition. Your unique URL would be www.MyStoreName.storenvy.com (or a customer URL, as we’ll discuss later), and is where customers can purchase directly from you.
  2. Marketplace – The Storenvy Marketplace acts as a curator for all products on the site. For example: Imagine that you sell handmade scarves. A shopper types in “handmade scarves” into Storenvy’s search field, which returns your products, as well as those of your competition. The shopper would then have the ability to purchase through Storenvy, or click on your site’s link, and purchase directly through you.

According to TechCrunch, Storenvy’s goal is to become the Amazon for independent storeowners. Currently, the site claims that more than 40,000 items are added each week from over 50,000 stores, and that 50% of sales come directly from the marketplace storefronts (versus directly through custom the storefront). Despite the large amount of traffic on the site though, Storenvy currently has a D rating with the Better Business Bureau.

How Storenvy Works

When shopping Storenvy’s site, you can browse through thousands of products in Marketplace categories such as Clothing, Health & Beauty, Tech Gadgets, Accessories, Books, Jewelry, and much more. If you find a product you like, Storenvy gives you the ability to “Envy” the item, which is essentially adding it to your Favorites list. After this occurs, you will then be able see all the other shoppers who have added it to their Favorites as well. As a product accumulates more and more “Envys,” it will eventually appear on the Popular page, which further increases its ability to gain more “Envys.” This helps promote the product, and to increase its sales.

If you decide to set up a storefront, it will be completely free, and you can be up and running in as little as five minutes. However, you will be required to have a Business or Premier PayPal account, as this is the only payment processor Storenvy uses, for both store owners and shoppers alike. As such, all sales are subject to standard PayPal fees, which are currently set at $0.30 + 2.9% per transaction. Also, storeowners will be fully responsible for processing their own refunds via PayPal, including associated shipping charges.

After signing up, you will receive your own custom store located at www.YourStoreName.storenvy.com, or you can use your own domain name for an additional $4.99 per month. Some of Storenvy’s custom features include:

  • Control all of your product’s attributes, including pricing, images, descriptions, etc., with an unlimited product capacity.
  • Customize and “brand” your store to differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Order tracking – view and manage all incoming orders.
  • Create/offer discounts.
  • View your store’s stats using Storenvy’s built-in analytics.
  • Mobile device and tablet-friendly site.
  • Fans can shop directly from your Facebook page.
  • And much more…

Does Storenvy Make Money From Your Sales?

According to Storenvy’s website, they do not currently charge any fees for use of their service, with the exception of the $4.99 monthly fee for a custom domain name (e.g. without the .storenvy extension on your URL). However, the company claims that as of early 2014, they will begin taking a set percentage from all sales that occur through their Marketplace. In addition, Storenvy states that they will also be implementing a Marketplace Revenue Share early next year, which will act as an incentive to drive even more sales to your storefront.

Pros:

  • Shoppers can browse through thousands of products curated by independent merchants.
  • Feature-filled Custom and Marketplace stores, all of which are free of charge.
  • Easy setup.
  • Unlimited products.
  • Storenvy has the potential to be utilized as a marketing tool for your Marketplace store.

Cons:

  • 15 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, and an overall D rating.
  • Different refund policies that shoppers are required to constantly check on, depending on the vendor they purchase from.
  • While Storenvy claims they have a zero-tolerance policy toward scams/dishonest merchants, there is a window of opportunity between when the scams appear on the site, and the time they are shut down. During this time, Storenvy has no control over these types of transactions.