Consumers looking to buy stylish products free of guilt about harming the environment or the workers who made them have a new place to shop.
eBay has added a retail component to an online community jointly operated with WorldofGood Inc. The eco-friendly shopping siteknown as WorldofGood.com by eBayfeatures products that are certified by third-party organizations like TransFair USA and Co-Op America to meet a core set of ethical and environmental standards.
Products on the site will be offered for a fixed price, and each listing will include a "Goodprint" labelmuch like a food nutrition labelthat details the positive social or environmental impact a purchase would make.
Items listed on the sitesuch as fair-trade coffee and clothing made from organic materialswill also available on eBay, according to the company.
eBay first discussed its plans for the retail site in May, saying it hoped to tap into the rapidly growing social and environmental awareness of consumers.
The Natural Marketing Institute estimates that, in the U.S. alone, the market for green and ethically produced goods will reach $420 billion in 2010.
"We created the WorldofGood.com marketplace to enable shoppers to purchase socially responsible products with confidence," says Robert Chatwani, general manager of WorldofGood.com by eBay. "Regardless of the social causes most important to consumers, they can easily shop for items according to a variety of different attributes, allowing them to customize their shopping impact."
Merchants hoping to sell on the site must undergo a screening process, and have their products verified to meet the site's criteria. Sellers' fees and store subscriptions are similar to those on eBay. However, the site is offering a free-listings promotion through Sept. 30.
Other Entries by this Author
Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.