Bezar, the bizarre bazaar imagined by Fab.com cofounder Bradford Shellhammer, is today introducing a more traditional marketplace for design brands to sell their wares called Storefronts.
Bezar launched in March 2015 with a very clear system. Four designers from four separate categories (art, accessories, house, and jewelry) would be featured each day on the front page of Bezar, with prices ranging between $50 and $100 (and sometimes far exceeding that). Just like a real-life bazaar, the products only had a shelf life of 24 hours to three days.
“Launching a marketplace has been the plan all along,” said Shellhammer. “After systematically speaking with designers, it became clear that there is a wide range of designers who are too big to be considered hobbyists and too small to manufacture their products for thousands of stores. Plus, they are afraid of being ripped off by big chains.”
To solve this, the company has launched storefronts, where highly curated (by Shellhammer) design brands will have their own page on Bezar to feature their line.
With Storefronts, brands set their own pricing and Bezar takes a relatively high percentage of sales, in exchange for the digital retail space, customer service, along with shipping and part of the fulfillment process (all handled by Bezar).
This differs from Bezar’s pop-up shops (otherwise known as flash sales), where Bezar buys up inventory at wholesale and sells it at a markup.
This all seems pretty cut and dry, but Bezar’s business model gets truly interesting when it comes to art. Whether in a pop-up shop or in a storefront, Bezar licenses art and handles all printing, framing, shipping, fulfillment, etc. for this product category, paying out royalties to the artist for each sold piece.
Shellhammer says about 30 percent of revenue comes from the art category.
“We’re very strict with gross margins,” said Shellhammer. “When you blend monthly sales together, from each product category, we’ve never fallen below 50 percent gross margins, sometimes getting north of 60 percent on good months.”
Since launch, Bezar has worked with about 750 design brands on pop-up shops, with 100 of them launching today with their own storefronts.
“I hand-picked and invited each of them,” said Shellhammer. “We decided based on a number of factors, including what sold the best, which products I love the most, and who was easiest to work with.”
The products launching today on Storefronts are mostly brand new lines, and Shellhammer explains that it gives the shopper with intent a reason to like Bezar.
“If you’re like me, and you love beautiful objects and you’ll buy something shiny if it’s danged before your eyes, Bezar pop-up shops are perfect for you,” said Shellhammer. “But we also want to capture the user who is shopping with intent, for something specific.”
Shellhammer expects the number of storefronts to rapidly increase, but the design wunderkind says that he’s sticking to the pop-up shop model as the heart and soul of Bezar.
You can check out Bezar’s new storefronts here.