Unless you’re in the market for hard-to-find jewelry, fashion, art, and home goods, you might not know about 1stDibs. Sure, you’ve used the term before, but it wasn’t in the same context.
We’re sure you know someone who’s always out hunting for the perfect bargain at flea markets and estate sales. Hoarder or reseller? With 1stDibs, it’s easy to tell the difference.
More than just personal shoppers, 1stDibs combs the world to find perfect pieces. But who’s promising that we aren’t just getting reproductions? We’ll dive into the story and history of 1stDibs and find out.
What Is 1stDibs?
If you’ve spent time browsing flea market stalls, you know how hard it can be to find that perfect item. Founded in 2000, 1stDibs connects designers, boutique sellers, and a growing customer base together.
The idea may seem familiar to you. Buying vintage and modern items online isn’t a new thing. We’ve had access to eBay for decades, but 1stDibs provides something else. It’s more than just quality.
The gorgeous items 1stDibs finds are unique, sourced from trusted sellers, and shipped directly to you through a seamless online platform. They also have a group of specialists that work with customers to ensure satisfaction and answer questions.
Once you find something you like, the digital platform makes purchasing easy. You can buy directly, get involved in an auction, or even negotiate a price with a vetted seller. With over one-million pieces to choose from, you’re sure to find the item of your dreams.
What Is the History Behind 1stDibs?
CEO David Rosenblatt came to 1stDibs from his own company DoubleClick. After selling his platform to Google in 2009, he turned his attention to 1stDibs.
Rosenblatt’s top executives come from a similar business, law, and marketing pedigree. With his team, Rosenblatt began building 1stDibs into a boutique for those with specific and expensive tastes.
Let’s face it; other online platforms focus on cheap and fast. But 1stDibs flips the script and focuses on quality and communication.
You won’t get the runaround from 1stDibs sellers, either. Items are curated weekly, and sellers communicate with you throughout the process. And this serves the company well.
In 2021, 1stDibs went public and raised over $117 million in its initial offering. But Rosenblatt felt the heat of the public eye, and what was a passion project became a public one. After years of focusing on bringing the intimacy of the flea market to consumers, the company shifted focus.
With a growth plan in looking every direction, Rosenblatt and his team are leveraging their platform to grow again. The more sellers they bring to their system, the more consumers come to find the pieces.
And that’s precisely what 1stDibs wants. To become the go-to place for folks unable to travel the world to find authentic pieces on their own.
How Do You Use 1stDibs?
Using the platform is as simple as creating a profile and browsing its offerings. Log in through one of your existing social media accounts or Google, and the world is at your fingertips.
More than just a shopping platform, 1stDibs offers a personal touch. Account specialists will help you find a unique piece and guide you through the purchasing process.
Certain sellers will negotiate prices, too. That’s something you won’t find everywhere.
And if you find yourself trapped in buyer’s remorse, they have a 24-hour cancellation policy, no questions asked. So if you bought a Mid-century chair from Milan without checking the color of the floor, you could cancel, no sweat.
Auctions are the final portion of the 1stDibs platform. Registering for an account just requires adding a credit card or other payment method.
After you find the piece you want, enter a bid higher than the current bid, and the race is on! Their platform automatically bids for you up to your max price, and you’ll get communication about the auction as it goes.
Unlike other auction houses, 1stDibs doesn’t add a Buyer’s Premium, so you’re just charged for your max bid plus fees and taxes.
And the best part? You aren’t responsible for figuring out how to get your item. 1stDibs works with sellers to ensure prompt and secure delivery.
What Are the Benefits?
Whether you’re an interior designer or a design nerd, 1stDibs has a vast collection of goods available to you. A significant benefit is the relationship the platform builds with sellers because it lets you rest easy and trust the process.
After years of buying things online, having a point of contact that isn’t just bob_44 from Akron gives most people peace of mind.
Besides that, you have the best variety of antiques and art objects around. 1stDibs has over $11 billion in stock from over 4,200 sellers listed on their site. It can be challenging to locate the exact item in their vast collection, but they have experts available to help if you need it.
And you’ll find something on 1stDibs you won’t find at a flea market, NFTs. These digital art objects are the hottest new way for regular folks to own work by major artists.
Are Customers Generally Happy With 1stDibs?
Customer reviews for 1stDibs are a mixed bag. But browsing the site Trustpilot, it seems like everything is on the up and up with 1stDibs. They have many five-star ratings from customers that share positive experiences.
Quick transactions, excellent customer service, and high-quality items are the norm. Customer service reps respond to nearly every inquiry quickly.
However, the Better Business Bureau gives 1stDibs an “F” rating based on customer feedback. All of the reviews here are negative and give the sense that 1stDibs is sheisty and dishonest.
We feel that folks with a positive experience aren’t always going to share it online. But you better believe you’ll hear about the negative ones.
Can People Be Successful on 1stDibs?
If this sounds great and you’re ready to move your business online, hold up a minute. Only vetted sellers can list items on 1stDibs, not regular individual sellers.
Being a vetted seller already comes with a level of success, so yes, they’re successful. But if you’re trying to move your jewelry-making business from Etsy to 1stDibs, your experience will be something different.
Just like customer reviews, seller reviews run the gamut. And again, negative experiences are much more likely to appear than positive ones.
Enjoy the Treasure Hunt
After going public in 2021, 1stDibs is at the top of the luxury market in its niche. If you purchase from a seller on the site, you have their powerful platform at your back. Communication is key. Talk to your seller and customer service folks early and often.
If you take the time to ensure you’re getting what you ordered, you’ll likely enjoy the experience. And experience is a plus. The more information you come in with, the more likely 1stDibs will help you.
Have you used 1stDibs? Let us know about it in the comments below.
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