Posted by: DeepDotWeb
November 4, 2013
Was posted today on Themarketplace Reddit – As i said before, this is the one i find most intriguing, so we will keep following to see where its headed
original post was here: http://www.reddit.com/r/themarketplace/comments/1pr382/reviewwalkthrough_of_the_marketplace_by_a_beta/
I embedded the images in post for easier reading.
Hey everyone! I was kindly granted beta access to the Marketplace to test it out, see how well it worked and generally report back to the community. I will try to remain as unbiased as possible (its hard though, as I really did like it), and you guys should all form your own opinion of it when it launches, but hopefully I can give you an idea of what the Marketplace can provide us.
As you probably know the Marketplace is hosted on the i2p network, which took a bit more time to get configured and running than TOR. Setting up and operating through this network is definitely more challenging and time-consuming than TOR and will certainly stop some people from using it. However i’m not sure this is a bad thing, as the people who are likely to get weeded out are the technologically-incompetent and the lazy. People that would probably make mistakes or take shortcuts, endangering themselves and (hopefully not) others. Not to mention I wouldn’t want to buy from a vendor who was incapable of setting up i2p. Anyway, to the guide.
Placing an order
Placing an order was pretty simple and painless really. In the beta there is a function to add bitcoins so I can’t cover adding coins to your account from a wallet but it looked pretty straight forward.
Opening up the site we see the homepage, which is quite simplistic and aesthetic. It isn’t overly cluttered but seems to have all the necessary functions.
By clicking on ‘Drugs’ (or any other sub-section) we can see all the listings. The only one this point in time is the one created by the admins as we can see. All necessary information is contained within the listing box including description and a link to the vendor profile (not seen on this particular listing, but I later made one where you can).
Clicking on the picture gives us more information, and this is where a seller would put a detailed description of the product as well as any related information. Down the bottom is a section where reviews of the product are listed (I have not had a chance to test this out yet). I also like how the ratings are broken down into the four main sections (Stealth/Quality/Communication/Overall).
By selecting a shipping method and pressing ‘Add To Cart’ I am taken to my cart. Here the quantity and shipping method can again be changed. What I didn’t like about this was how the shipping total and unit total were presented differently (shipping taking the priority spot and total down the bottom left). IMO it would be better to just calculate them both in one spot and present the overall total.
By pressing ‘Checkout’ we are taken to a second page that presents pretty much the same thing but quantity and shipping can not be changed. This step seems kind of unnecessary in my opinion. Again the total could be misleading, but the team is working hard to fix any bugs and im sure this will be covered before launch.
After checking out the order is marked as placed and awaits vendor confirmation. It is convenient having easy access to message the vendor at this point. That is pretty much it for placing an order. Pretty simple, could do with a tiny bit of revision but there are no real problems and I find it easier to use than some of the current alternative markets.
Creating a listing as a vendor
The other main thing, this is mostly for the would-be vendors out there. I do not have experience doing this on other sites so I can not compare, but the layout is simple and easy to follow, but still provides all necessary options.
When you become a vendor, a new tab “Shop management” appears which allows you to monitor and control all your orders. The orders are split into all the different stages, and from here orders can be accepted and marked as shipped.
The home page of shop management also lets you see if you currently have any disputes going. I very much like this feature and think it is a great way of organising it.
I decided to create a product listing at this point. The options are presented with name, price, category and description (as well as more shown in the next picture). No bugs at all here, flows very smoothly.
This is the bottom half of the listing creation. You can add up to 5 photos here, which can be scrolled through when someone is looking at your listing. You can also add other shipping options down the bottom (you could have 5 or 6 different methods if you wanted), but I had not played with that at the moment.
Here the listing is shown in its subsection (also shows up in any parent sections). Please note the reason no picture is displayed on my listing is because there was a problem with my browser, had nothing to do with the actual coding. Any other beta testers can look at this now and will see a picture there for the listing. Also if you hover your mouse over the description below the picture it changes and provides a link to my profile. Thought that was neat.
This shows the actual listing. Obviously edit product and take offline are there because I made the listing. A cool feature is that vendors can update the quantity available by going to a listing and simply entering it on the page.
This shows that you can scroll through the pictures for the listing (the pictures uploaded on the creation page). Animation flows smoothly.
Performance I found that this site was suprisingly fast, moreso than any other main site you will find on your Router Console, and could easily handle multiple tabs open at the same time, which other sites simply couldn’t. The site also had quite a few pages dedicated to information about it, its security features and i2p, which is very useful if you are new to this sort of thing, are looking to be reassured or just want to learn more.
Anyway this is my review of the Marketplace, I hope you all enjoyed it and please feel free to reply to this or message me if you have any questions at all. Also than kyou to TMPSchultz for giving me an opportunity to give the site a test run.