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I am looking at creating a store along the lines of Etsy, where we sell items on behalf of other people who will have their store hosted on the site. I have found a few extensions that may provide this functionality but all I have found have either had no demo, a demo that breaks in places, not many reviews or downloads, or are just not seemingly that reliable. I don't want to part with any money for extensions that may not fit the bill, so does anyone have any recommendations?

The extension needs:

  • To provide different store fronts for each seller
  • The ability for the user to login and add/remove/change products in their own store
  • The ability for the site admin to add/remove/change products in ANY store
  • The ability to have a profile page for each user
  • To stop the seller from changing the design of their store, or provide an option to disable this functionality
  • To produce invoices from the seller to the buyer.
  • Be able to remove commission for a payment before sending to the seller, and send an invoice to the seller for that commission

There will probably be other issues as well but if I can find something that produces most of this I can make the other required changes. So has anyone had experience with this type of store? Where would be the best place to look for info? What are the best extensions of this type that you know of?

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about finding a software platform and the person asking thinks this is some Magento extension. You see this kind of questions on freelancing websites and so on... Anyway, in my opinion, doesn't belong here. – FlorinelChis Jul 5 '13 at 12:56
  • I'm asking if anyone knows of a Magento extension that is worthwhile. I have found at least one extension magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/marketplace-9800.html that may fit the bill but I am looking for some other input. There are obviously extensions out there, so is entirely on topic. – anothershrubery Jul 15 '13 at 20:43
  • Whenever this question is asked, it runs into having multiple managers for sensitive backend operations and quickly goes from being a Magento Community question to being a Magento Enterprise level required suggestion, which is needed to enable usability in this environment. – Fiasco Labs Jul 15 '13 at 21:09
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    @FiascoLabs I disagree. See Unirgy uMarketplace. – philwinkle Jul 15 '13 at 22:02
  • Looks nice, will start recommending people look into it when they ask. – Fiasco Labs Jul 15 '13 at 22:55
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TL;DR Let's remember - Magento wasn't built for this. But is it possible? Sure.

The type of functionality that you describe is called a Marketplace and there are a couple of plugin providers who have offerings at differing levels of integration.

While this is entirely possible within the realm of Magento without you having to offer admin access up to scores of untrusted individuals it seems that (at the time of this writing) there is no freely-available means of configuring Magento to allow multiple vendors to sell inventory of a single, canonical, product. This will require you to purchase a 3rd-party offering and all of the potential upsides and downsides that come with it.

To that end if you're not comfortable with such a proposal I would recommend that you look hard at eBay and Amazon's marketplace offerings. There are SaaS providers, too, that span across all sorts of technologies.

You're still here? Good.

If you're still interested in using Magento for this type of functionality, I do have a couple of suggestions for you.

I have no personal experience implementing either of these options but have done extensive discovery and have talked with both of the developers and teams from Unirgy and Merchantry.

Unirgy uMarketplace:

http://www.unirgy.com/products/umarketplace/magento-multi-vendor-marketplace

Pros:

  • Fixed pricing. No sales team and quotes and haggling.
  • Magento Plugin, vendors register plugins to your site and are listed in Magento Catalog
  • Top-notch developer and extremely helpful support
  • Features are spot-on with your requirements and even go so far as to offer CSV upload to merchants
  • Provides merchant portal, shipping label generation, sales reports
  • Great upsell features like allowing multi-condition products (new/used) to be sold one-off
  • Admin features to merge product offerings and moderate product posts prior to going live

Cons:

  • Some classes have IonCube encoding

Some may bawk and say it's expensive; I say it's cheap for the functionality, IMHO, and if you run this type of Marketplace site and require these types of features I would hope you have the revenue to justify this type of investment.

Merchantry

http://www.merchantry.com/

Pros:

  • SaaS solution used by major players (think Amazon)
  • Built for scale. Hundreds of thousands, millions of products
  • Massive API

Cons:

  • No fixed pricing. Sales team and estimates and haggling and lawyers (oh my)
  • VC funded (series B May 2013)
  • Excellent response Phil, exactly what I was looking for. Had just came across uMarketplace before seeing your response and it looks promising. Don't want to drop that cash on something without trying or without good reviews, but you seem to have done a bit of research into it, props to you. I have requested a demo of it, as you say the price definitely seems worth it hopefully the demo proves insightful. Thanks. – anothershrubery Jul 15 '13 at 22:16
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    If you contact Unirgy they're likely to oblige with a live demo. – philwinkle Jul 15 '13 at 22:34
  • +1 Great answer - I think uMarketplace is a fantastic suite, I want to add another Pro and another Con though. Pro - Unirgy are really good about taking new features ideas and incorporating into future releases. Con - effectively zero documentation for what is a massive module. – McNab Aug 14 '13 at 8:46

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