Have a Green or Fair-Trade Product to Sell? Ebay Offers a World of Good

Does your business sell fair-trade or sustainable products? How about those made with organic materials or designed to help animals?

If so, you may be able to sell them on Ebay’s “World of Good” portal — a marketplace aimed at selling “good” goods.

About 400 sellers currently post their wares on the site, which features more than 30,000 products that are either fair trade, eco-friendly, animal friendly, or supporting a cause. Sellers are mostly for-profit organizations (70 to 80 percent) based in the U.S., though most goods sold — about 85 to 90 percent — are produced outside of the country. Some sellers are individual artisans, while others are larger organizations (Ten Thousand Villages, for example).

Sellers pay the usual Ebay listing fees and commissions, though nonprofits can get a break on costs.

To list on World of Good, sellers must first be verified by “trust providers” — that is, independent nonprofit organizations such as the World Fair Trade Organization.

World of Good was co-founded by Siddharth Sanghvi, 35, and fellow UC-Berkeley MBA grad Priya Haji in 2004. Initially, it used both retail and online channels to pair artisans with mainstream markets. Three years ago, World of Good partnered with eEbay, which last year bought World of Good’s brand. The service now operates entirely online.

“Our main objective is to empower artisans, especially in impoverished communities, to lift themselves out of poverty,” says Sanghvi.

Products are listed both on the World of Good page (with fixed prices) as well as on Ebay at large. The World of Good page listing lets the seller describe the product and how it was made, allowing consumers to feel more of a connection to what they are purchasing.

If you wish to sell on World of Good, you must first be a member of one of the site’s 40-plus trust providers (contact them directly for membership information).

Since forming, World of Good says it has helped connect more than 40,000 individual artisans in 70 different countries with U.S. consumers.

“We’re excited about the future,” says Sanghvi. “I feel as a trend — as a movement — that the interest in sustainability is increasing.”

About Lorna Collier

Lorna Collier is a business and technology writer who has contributed to the Chicago Tribune, CNN.com, Crain's Chicago Business, Smart Computing, and many other websites, newspapers and magazines.
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