5 Lessons from Winning Marketplaces

by Index Ventures

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In this post: Danny Rimer, 1stdibs

Today, 1stDibs officially became a public company. Our partner Danny Rimer reflects on their journey, sharing five lessons from the most successful marketplace.

The pleasures of stumbling across a scuffed-up Ercol armchair, a Bauhaus-inspired reading lamp or an intricate piece of glazed porcelain redolent of another era: 1stDibs strives to recapture the electric atmosphere of a high-quality vintage furniture flea market. With its emphasis on aesthetics, curation and design, it shows how even what appear to be ‘niche’ spaces can be gateways to the creation of a large global market.

How? Our partner Danny Rimer shares lessons from the most successful marketplaces. 

(1) Focus on unique supply

Curate and source items nobody else. This is your unfair advantage. Take 1stDibs as an example, with $10.9bn worth of seller stock value. 

(2) Think global

Niche is no longer a niche when you’re talking to a global audience. That was true with Etsy, and is true with 1stDibs. Buyers and sellers come from 100+ countries.

(3) Build trust

Marketplaces must spend time building trust between buyers and sellers. 1stDibs’ in-house experts vet each of the 4,200+ sellers. 

(4) Be authentic

Make sellers and buyers feel this is the place for them, one that aligns with their values and shares their passion. With specialized audiences, authenticity is key.

(5) Grow the market

If you succeed, you’ll not only connect people who’d otherwise never be able to transact – you’ll expand the market by inviting more people in to share the passion. Just as 1stDibs did, enriching lives with extraordinary design.

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1stDibs CEO David Rosenblatt

Congrats 1stdibs.com, CEO David Rosenblatt and team on today's IPO!

Note: This is a slightly edited version of @dannyrimer's original post on Twitter.

Published — June 10, 2021