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1st dibs have announced by way of an e-mail circular to dealers, that they are to increase their prices from July 1st. A new online transaction commission system will be introduced and the commission will vary by category.

For online furniture and jewelry sales, there will be a 10% commission applied to the first ten thousand dollars of a sale; the commission will decrease to 7% on the portion of the sale between $10,001 to $50,000, and will further decrease to 4% on the portion of the sale over $50,000. In addition, there will be a 3% payment-processing fee to cover the credit card charges on the total amount of the transaction.

Michael Bruno, CEO of 1st Dibs said ''Since the days of the Silk Road, the most beautiful things on earth have traveled the globe to be showcased in a new home that could be halfway around the planet from where it was found. Many people have told me they see 1stdibs as the contemporary Silk Road, and I like to agree with them.

Over the last ten years, we have worked together to turn 1stdibs into the world's largest and most influential marketplace for luxury goods offered by the world's leading dealers. 1stdibs has showcased your inventory to many of the world's wealthiest buyers and has generated billions of dollars in sales for our dealers through e-mails, phone calls, visits to your stores and online purchases. Our traffic has continued to grow every year, but this year we are extremely encouraged by the substantial growth in visits and registrations that are attributable to our redesigned web site.

We spent most of the first ten years going city-by-city building out the American market. I am sure you have noticed we have recently begun developing the European market; this is a crucial step in creating a global network of the world's leading sellers, which in turns attracts the world's most affluent buyers.

We all want our businesses to grow, and I am very excited to let you know that we are in the process of aligning our goals with yours. By tying our future growth to yours, we can spend our time and resources increasing your sales while maintaining the exclusivity of the 1stdibs dealer network.

We will accomplish that alignment by introducing a commission for online sales that we generate for you effective July 1. This tiered commission starts at 10% but decreases to 4% - details are included at the bottom of this letter and are also on
By aligning our revenue to the online sales we generate for you, we will be able to significantly increase the amount we spend on marketing. We currently spend millions of dollars a year on advertising and marketing including regular spots in: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times,Architectural Digest and now Vanity Fair plus many smaller regional publications and sponsorship of the world's leading art and design fairs. Due to the new online transaction program we anticipate quadrupling our marketing budget to extend our reach globally over the next two years.

Buyers on 1stdibs have always had the choice to email, call or visit your store in person to purchase and will continue to be able to do so and sales through these channels will not be subject to the above commission.

Since the site redesign, we have seen online purchases skyrocket with thousands and thousands of offers processed from buyers around the world. Most of these buyers are offering full price or nearly full price and are almost always not in the same location as the dealer. Our data shows that these online buyers are consumers, not interior designers or architects, and they want the security and convenience of shopping through 1stdibs vs. what they perceive to be the old fashioned, less secure way, of e-mails and phone calls with dealers they have never met.

We are committed to helping you optimize your online presence for these buyers and to give you the tools to manage these online transactions. Today, all of the offers made online are processed internally by 1stdibs representatives. Starting in the fall, offers made online will be delivered directly to you in your 1stdibs admin so that you can do the sales job that we know is best handled by our knowledgeable dealers. We will also provide you with new tools to give you more control over your online business including: the ability to display shipping prices, set whether an item's price is negotiable and even when to collect sales tax.

1stdibs will be very involved in the online transaction process including: generating new buyers for you, protecting you from buyer fraud, providing a transaction support team to monitor transactions and ensure they go smoothly, offering assistance with white glove shipping and responding to post-purchase buyer inquiries.

Our vision remains to build the world's largest luxury marketplace where all the world's wealthy consumers can shop with confidence and ease from wherever they are. We believe these exciting changes will propel us all one-step closer to realizing this goal.
I am excited that we are all on this journey together and hope you will reach out to your 1stdibs account manager with any questions or feel free to contact me directly.''

Editors note: At this stage we are unclear as to whether the new transaction commission applies solely to the USA, or whether it is being rolled out Internationally.

About the Author

Elliot Lee

Elliot Lee

Elliot Lee founded his antique business in 1994. Having bought his first Antique piece at the tender age of eleven, it has since then been his passion for Antiques, Fine Art, and aesthetically beautif...