I've been sitting here the past hour trying to figure out what Luvocracy is after receiving an email from them saying that "one of their members wanted to have the Riley tote in dots" and "would I have any available or would I know a vendor who would have one". After sifting through their terms and conditions, faqs, and website, this is what I found. They just launched recently so you have to request an invite, so I haven't been able to view all the features of the site.
This is what I found out:
-Luvocracy is like pinterest, except you can buy the things through the website directly. Essentially, it's a personal shopping service. You have your own page on their site, have boards, and recommend things for people to buy. You can also follow people, etc.
-Right now it is unclear to me how much Luvocracy charges for their services by ordering through their site, but their faq implies there is a fee/shipping charge/ tax which is undisclosed prior to entering your CC information, or maybe you see it if you have an account.
-When you have your own board on the site, you make a 2% commission if someone buys something as a result of your pin. Even if it's a repin I think you still get a commission. If you are a super-star pinner and a big name blogger you can make as much as 10%. These commissions can either be used as a shopping discount on the site, or your can get a check once a month.
-Like pinterest, svpply, etc. - Luvocracy takes a bookmarklet and harvests information from the actual shop's website. (Though the buyer is never informed what that shop is). This includes the description, cost, etc. To my knowledge, it doesn't harvest information about items being sold out, from another season, or stock inventory.
-Sell your work.
-Charge a fee which they make money from. **Correction on this point, please see below**
-Use your images, text, etc and not link back to your website (though they tell the brand).
-Provide a commission to the blogger who pinned your item.
-Sell an item that doesn't exist anymore.
-But, you, the vendor, get a sale, so hey, it's okay, right?
I'm SO grateful every time someone blogs/pins/posts/talks/etc about anything I make, I really couldn't do it without you guys. I am thankful for that everyday because I've been lucky to make this my living. But, the whole thing about a blogger making money off of my work really turns me off. I think eCommerce has gone too far. I'm aware that things like making blog posts and finding new exciting things to post isn't always a straightforward task, and it does take time (I've been working on some holiday gift guides, and all the photoshopping takes a while!) But I wouldn't expect to make a profit off that. I know this isn't the first website like this, but this is the first one I've seen that works this way with the commissions that go to a pinner. Of course there's also the question of how can someone else be purchasing my products through a site that isn't mine, that's definitely baffling to say the least. Maybe I'm just a big stick in the mud and not savvy to all these new platforms. What do you guys think?
I wanted to add an additional note to this post because I felt there were a few questions posed that needed clarification. I had someone at Luvocracy reach out to me since I posted this and talked with them about some of these concerns. We had a really good conversation and there are two things I want to mention:
**Luvocracy does not charge a fee. They only charge for shipping and any applicable taxes. They understand that this is a bit confusing from their site and will be working on the copy in the next few weeks. They don't have any plans to charge fees in the future either. They have a lot of financial backing and right now all the commissions are being paid from that.
Luvocracy will not make/manufacture items that are not available for purchase. They will try to search for different vendors who may carry it, but if they can't get it, they will not make it themselves.