Welcome to The Open Market!

Simple online local shopping that makes it easy to support the Western Slope.


Product listings built to feel like Amazon or Etsy, with offsite transactions that operate with the autonomy of Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace.

Quality Goods and Services from your favorite Western Colorado mom and pop shops, farmers, artists, trades-folk, makers, shakers, and more.

Learn more about The Open Market!

Ready to get started?


What is The Open Market?

The Open Market is a Western Slope, CO focused multi-vendor eCommerce platform, similar in style and organization to Amazon or Etsy, with the transactional flow of Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. The Open Market is designed to connect customers to goods and services from their local mom & pop shops, artists, farmers, and tradesfolk – all through the convenience of one simple site.

The short version: The Open Market is an interactive online small business bulletin board designed for local shopping in the Western Slope.


What do you need to do?

Quick note: For the time being, The Open Market Admin Team would happily set up and manage your entire account if you’re not feeling up to the task, and I’d be happy to walk you through any or every one of the steps involved, or simply just do it for you, completely free of charge. I very strongly believe in what The Open Market is capable of, and I’m fully aware that it may take a while for it to catch on. I would HAPPILY help my neighbors where I can.

Reach out to me directly at hello@theopenmarket.co or visit The Open Market support Center any time.

Shoppers – all you need to do is set up an account, and drop by to shop your neighborhood marketplace when you’re feeling up for it. Learn more at the Shopping Guide!

Sellers – you’ll need to set up an account as a Shopper and then register as a Seller. After that you’ll set up your listings and profile – which won’t require any additional maintenance or upkeep unless you’ve got changes you’d like to make. Learn more at the Sales Guide!


What do you get out of it?

Shoppers – The Open Market is as straight forward as shopping on Amazon or Craigslist. Imagine that sort of ease and convenience applied to local shopping! You’ll be supporting your favorite Western Slope Sellers, quickly finding hidden gems, browsing for your preferences, and directly supporting local small businesses, which very quickly strengthens our communities, and more. You can do all of this without walking out your front door, just as soon as you create an account.

Sellers – your account at The Open Market works as a Shopper account with extra functionality, so everything above applies. Additionally, as a Seller you get:

  • Competitive rates with a familiar online shopping style and workflow and a lot less maintenance and upkeep.
  • A shared customer pool with your neighboring Sellers. This means you’ll get immediate exposure to the rest of the registered Western Slope’s customer base.
  • Simple set-up, easy to use, and hassle free. As soon as you get it set up, you can essentially walk away and let your Shoppers come to you.
  • You own your autonomy in how you conduct your transactions. You can direct your Shoppers to your business website, physical store, an event, etc. and from here you’ll collect the payment method of your choice in exchange for your goods and services.
  • Participate in a project specifically designed to help your neighborhood prosper!

Learn more and sign up at the Seller Incentives page!


What does The Open Market cost?

Shoppers – absolutely nothing, ever. Shoppers always shop free here.

Sellers – Currently the whole thing is completely free, however we do intend on implementing a simple and reasonable member fee once we have some honest experience with site operations. No commission fees. No listing fees. Sellers, click here to learn more!


What do you have to lose?

  • Honestly, aside from a bit of a learning curve and some set up time, I have not been able to think of anything. I’m completely open to hearing and considering any suggestions, critiques, compliments, or concerns, and appreciative of anyone who’s taken the time to share their voices here.
  • There are no contractual obligations that keep Shoppers shopping, or for Sellers or their content on The Open Market. If you’d like to delete your account, we’ll make it simple and quick for you, just reach out to us and we’ll remove you and all of your content from the site, no problem!

Ready to get started?

Shopper Registration // Seller Registration // Support Center

Shop your Neighborhood Marketplace!

Layout

These buttons and links are on every single frontend page of The Open Market and they’re incredibly helpful for navigation.

A – Main Menu Button: quick and easy navigation around the site. It’s pretty much got everything you’ll need at your disposal.

B – Home Button: this button will take you right back to The Open Market’s home page.

C – Search Button: click here to search through The Open Market. Filter by product, categories, locations, Sellers, etc.

D – Wishlist Button: save and keep track of what you’d be interested in.

E – Login Button & Account Button: if you’re not logged in, you’ll be sent to the login page where you can either login or register. If you are logged in, this button will take you directly to your account page. Same button, two purposes.

F – Navigation Button: quickly and easily find your way through The Open Market with this floating button that’s ALWAYS in the bottom right hand of the screen. (Sellers: this is not available anywhere in the Seller Dashboard.)

G – Footer Links: links to just about everywhere within The Open Market.

H – Back to Top Button: once you’ve scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page, this will take you all the way back up to the top.

Here’s all The Open Market pages

About – learn more about The Open Market.

  • Affiliate Program not quite ready yet!
  • Blog newsletters, emails, social media posts, rants, raves, ideas, etc.
  • FAQ Q&A for Shoppers, Sellers, and the yet-to-be-registered.
  • Policies Terms of Services, Privacy Policy, etc.
  • Settings accessibility and email subscription settings.
  • Advocacy – gain access to early bird specials and get your voice heard.
  • Site Guide a handy resource for surfing The Open Market. Note: the site guide isn’t fully set up quite yet, but it will become a priority as soon as The Open Market gains some consistent traction.
  • Support Center The Open Market is all about helping our neighbors, so please don’t hesitate to contact us directly with any questions, comments, or concerns.

•  •  •

Login or Register access to The Open Market!

•  •  •

Shop support your local neighborhood marketplace!

  • Seller List see who’s selling on The Open Market.
  • Shopping Guide not quite fully set up yet.
  • Wishlist save and keep track of what you’d be interested in.

•  •  •

Seller Incentives learn about the benefits and the ease of listing your products at The Open Market.

Note: the site guide isn’t fully set up quite yet, but it will become a priority as soon as The Open Market gains some consistent traction.

Here’s your list of sections for the entire Open Market Site Guide featuring the General Guide, the Shopping Guide, and the Sales Guide.

The General Site Guide

The Shopping Guide

The Sales Guide

  • The Open Market’s Sales Tools:
    • Navigation Button: quickly and easily navigate The Open Market.
    • Seller Registration: get started with The Open Market.
    • Account: manage your Open Market account.
    • Seller Dashboard: manage your Seller account.
    • Seller Profile / Store Details: adjust your frontend profile, etc.
    • Products: add, edit, manage your Open Market listings.
      • Product Types
      • Manage Your Products
      • Product Creation Page
        • Description: name, description, images, categories, tags, etc.
        • Open Market Pay: The Open Market’s premier off-site payment portal.
        • Location Data: optimize your search results.
        • Seller’s Terms: choose your own product terms.
        • Product Data: price, specifications, attributes, etc.
        • Duplication, import/export, assistance
        • Publishing, Deleting
  • The Sales Process
    • How Transactions work

The Open Market is fully functional, but there are a couple sections that are admittedly lacking, or just outright incomplete and/or incredibly sloppy (in my opinion! See if you can find them). I have every intention of tidying things up in due time. But my main focus is getting the ball rolling.

For the time being, The Open Market Admin Team would happily set up and manage your entire account if you’re not feeling up to the task, and I’d be happy to walk you through any or every one of the steps involved. I very strongly believe in what The Open Market is capable of, and I’m fully aware that it may take a while for it to catch on. I would HAPPILY help my neighbors where I can. Just reach out directly to hello@theopenmarket.co or visit The Open Market support Center any time.

Your patience is massively appreciated!


About The Open Market

The Open Market has been designed to make local shopping and selling as simple as possible for our neighborhood’s Sellers and Shoppers. This means you’ll be able to support your community just as conveniently as using Etsy, Amazon, Craigslist, or FB Marketplace and our fees are highly competitive in the eCommerce realm.

•  •  •

What’s this cost?

Shoppers – absolutely nothing, ever. Shoppers always shop free here.

Sellers– Currently the whole thing is completely free; however, we do intend on implementing a simple and reasonable member fee once we have some honest experience with site operations. No commission fees. No listing fees. Sellers, click here to learn more!

•  •  •

Joining The Open Market means you’ll be shopping local, which means:

Open Market and shopping locally go hand-in-hand, and in using this site, you’ll be given the opportunity to do so with ease.

Even if Open Market is not for you, we strongly encourage you to consider the list above and share these ideas with your neighbors. Most households are never too far away from a locally ran business, a farmers’ market, arts & crafts fairs, etc. The value in the goods, services, and the community in these places is infinitely abundant and second to none.

We stand firmly on the idea that regardless of any ideology, classifications, or demographics a community can be strengthened and unified through a healthy, self-sufficient, sovereign, and interdependent local marketplace as it taps into, and enlivens, its own sources of local abundance.

We all benefit from a thriving local economy, regardless of what the rest of the world looks like. The community we live in sets an important baseline for our experience in the world; utilizing and adding to the abundance of your community expands the abundance in your own life.

The best thing is that abundance can be planted, nurtured, and infinitely giving in the most seemingly desolate areas. The potential for thriving is present in gradients; to be sure – these endeavors can be a huge task that can seem to require a daunting provision of funds (I am not at all an irrational optimist.) But, the problems thin themselves out with a unified and concentrated effort when a community, or even single person, can apply their ingenuity and resourcefulness to a mindset of abundance. Again, it bears repeating that I am in no way an irrational optimist, but I do know that putting my attention and awareness on the glass being half full can have resounding and lasting effects.

Here’s some glass-half-full stories that could have initially been written off as an almost-empty glass:

The health of a community shines through to that of the individual, and it’s true regardless of:

  • politics
  • gender
  • sexual orientation
  • skin color
  • socio-economic class
  • religion
  • region
  • lineage
  • family history
  • housing status
  • relationship status
  • the job market
  • the housing market
  • the stock market
  • the international market
  • war
  • peace
  • summer
  • winter
  • rain
  • shine
  • and on, and on, ad nauseum

It can take tears, sweat equity, years of patience, and of course, lots of money or even revolutions or wars – but The Open Market is absolutely grounded in the idea that with focused effort, abundance can be planted, nurtured, and shared.

We have an opportunity to focus our intention within our community and to mindfully grow with its abundance and strengthen ourselves through community as self-sufficient, sovereign, and interdependent neighbors. With this community health there is an opportunity for all of its parts to share a sense of belonging and purpose, improving the health, wealth and happiness of each.

TheOpenMarket.CO is apolitical, but it should be known that we are strongly biased towards keeping our local, and global, communities and all of our neighbors whole, abundant, thriving, happy, healthy, grounded, wise, and wealthy.

Simply put:

The Open Market presents communities an opportunity for local shopping by providing an online venue of Seller’s listings. We provide Sellers a place to list their products, with a variance of options for how they’d like to proceed with future transactions.

Since our inception, The Open Market has been built with simplicity in mind and has pulled inspiration from sites like Craigslist, Amazon, Ebay, Yelp, and Etsy for functionality. So, navigation around The Open Market should feel familiar if you’ve spent time shopping online. But, if not, we’ve got specific documentation for Shoppers, and Sellers, to help you along the journey.

The Open Market should feel like a walk in your local park if you’ve spent any amount of time with online shopping. Just imagine a lazy stroll through a summer morning farmers’ market. That’s The Open Market. Your neighborhood marketplace.

The workflow:

The Open Market offers a quick and efficient process for shoppers and sellers alike.

Sellers create a product, whether it’s a tangible Good (like a T-shirt, vegetable seeds, paintings, doughnuts, etc.), or a non-tangible Good (like an e-book, coupon, ticket, etc.). Here they can choose their own transaction methods (pickup, shipped, in-store, event meetup, personal website redirect, etc.), as well as service locations, times, preferences, etc. The product creation process is flexible and capable of being as information dense or as simple as the Seller sees fit. See the Sales Guide for more.

Once the product is created, Shoppers can browse the Open Market shop where they can filter by categories, locations, prices, etc. Or they can search out specific products or Sellers within our directory. Once they’ve decided on their purchase, they simply follow the Open Market Pay prompts on the product their interested in, which puts them in direct contact with the Seller, or redirects the Shoppers to a new venue. Visit the Shopping Guide for more!

How the website itself works:

Built to be a regionally focused multi-vendor eCommerce platform and online agora, The Open Market connects Shoppers to goods and services from their local stores, artists, farmers, and trades-folk – all through the convenience of one simple site.

Theopenmarket.co is happily:

  • built with WordPress.org, along with 43% of all websites online.
  • built on the eCommerce market framework of Woocommerce, which is used by 25% of the top 1 million eCommerce stores. Woocommerce is a long-time trusted industry leader in eCommerce and is essentially the computing power behind all of The Open Market inventory framework, etc. See a list of reputable companies who use Woocommerce.
  • secured, regularly scanned, and backed by Jetpack, who protect Open Market and 5+ million other websites from malware, spam, malicious and suspicious activity, and bulk attacks. This assures that your data and banking information is safe.
  • hosted by Siteground, who host 2,000,000 plus websites with 4.99/5 satisfaction rating.
  • customized for style and multi-vendor functionality by a wide spread of custom CSS, PHP, Jquery, Javascript, and HTML code and several impressive plugins with aide from several forums, customer service personnel, hired help, and the notorious ChatGPT.
  • The theme and layout are customized versions of a Madras Themes option.

Reach out if you’ve got any questions!

 


Hello neighbor,

The seed of The Open Market was planted during 2020 lockdowns, and I began building the site in the summer of 2021. But, I never imagined I’d have the doors open by the end of 2023. I’m incredibly excited about the trajectory of The Open Market, and I am not at all naive of the work ahead. The growth up to this point has been a slow organic bloom and I intend to keep that pace moving forward.

My goal is to build an ecosystem here. A community for those in the Western Slope who resonate with the ideas of focusing on our community’s abundance instead of throwing our resources (time, money, energy, attention, etc) at things that are out of our control and they realistically don’t even serve us.

I appreciate you for taking the time to peruse The Open Market. It’s genuinely rewarding for me to build something that has so much potential to help my neighbors, and their neighbors, and so on. I look forward to joining in and building on the abundance of our neighborhood marketplace .

Jon Hutson, at The Open Market

jon@theopenmarket.co

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