Options for buying and selling luxury jewelry and watches online have exploded in the last five years—neatly ushering the twin crazes for vintage jewelry and high-end watches into the digital age.
While all online buying-and-selling platforms claim to authenticate each and every rose-cut diamond and Rolex they retail, mistakes in authenticating branded goods, and representing the condition of pre-owned products accurately online, have on occasion been an issue.
Thus, buying and selling luxury goods online that outprice economy cars can still be an unnerving prospect for many consumers—not to mention small retailers and vintage jewelry collectors.
Markette Six, a recently launched online platform for listing, buying, and selling both new and pre-owned jewelry and watches cofounded by two former Apple Inc. executives, is striving to differentiate itself among its competitors by guaranteeing the authenticity of every product it lists, dispensing with listing fees for its sellers, and offering retailers global exposure.
The site, which looks wonderfully clean and user friendly but is currently light on inventory, was designed to be a showcase for new and pre-owned fine jewelry, watches, and gemstones.
The company’s husband-and-wife cofounders, Heather and Justin Knapp, spent years working on the marketing side at Apple: Heather is a former designer and global product marketing manager for iTunes’ retail, and Justin was the global retail marketing manager for iTunes.
We caught up with the Knapps to hear more about the new platform.
JCK: What’s the concept behind Markette Six?
Heather: We saw an opportunity for a curated global marketplace that aggregates some of the best new jewelry and watches from up-and-coming designers as well as antique one-of-a-kind treasures that may have been handed down for generations. Ensuring security, authenticity, fair pricing and mutual trust for both purchasers and sellers is at the heart of the marketplace.
When was the company founded, and how did that go down?
Justin: We started on the ideation and development of Markette Six in February of 2017, shortly after leaving a career in marketing and product development at Apple Inc. Inspired by our love of travel and discovering unique one-of-a-kind pieces all over the world, we set out to build a global curated marketplace for jewelers, retailers, and individuals to share discoveries from around the globe.
How does it work for shoppers, jewelers, and retailers?
Heather: Whether buying or selling, we’ve kept the process very simple. We’ve focused on a clean design aesthetic so shoppers can easily navigate or discover a piece that is reflective of their own personal style or the perfect gift.
We’re building a focus on enhancing consumer discovery, both with a well-designed website and our alignment with a best-in-class marketing and social agency to assist in bringing these stories to life and help us strategically invest in marketing to support the designers and brands.
We offer two ways to sell, consignment or self-list. With consigning, we handle all of the details, including professional photography, marketing, and logistics. Self-listing allows the retailers, jewelry, and watch designers to create and manage their listings while maintaining possession of the item until it is sold.
What makes your platform different from the other selling/buying platforms out there?
Justin: There are no listing or subscription fees—no hidden costs. Designers and jewelers can earn up to an industry competitive 85 percent, and Markette Six only takes a commission once the item has sold. Our focus is to highlight beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces and their stories. By building partnerships directly with the best jewelry and watch designers and jewelers, we will be able to provide our customers with a full breath of styles, from all eras and price points.
Each product page provides jewelry designers ample space to share their brand story, the inspiration behind each piece, or the history of the jewelry itself. Authenticity matters. We value design integrity, originality, and creativity. Our process enables sellers to derive more value from their beloved treasures, while buyers feel confident, safe, and secure knowing that each transaction is fair and authenticated by our team of experts.
Every item sold on Markette Six will be authenticated through our independent graduate gemologist and master gemologist appraiser. The platform can serve as a primary or secondary storefront for online sales by jewelers and designers, making it an ideal platform to introduce products to new audiences.
In addition, Markette Six will be operating in 20 countries, so sellers can expand customer reach instantly upon listing. The website allows for segmentation across countries, giving sellers the ability to easily select target international markets. Inventory management and costs are not a concern, as Markette Six will not hold product when sellers are self-listing. Made-to-order lead times are also allowed.
Top: Markette Six founders Justin and Heather Knapp (via: @markettesix)
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