Jul 23 2007

Flog your stuff with Flogd

Published by at 9:01 pm under Australian Startups,Australian Websites


I got an email a few weeks back from Phillip Kingston, who together with Edward Thomson, have launched a self funded, beta service called Flogd. Both are 4th year students at the University of Melbourne. Phil writes

We are both interested in elegant, minimalist solutions to complex problems. Flogd is a great solution for less-tech savvy artists/crafters/bands/etc or for those who don’t want to spend money upfront on credit card processing.

Edward was browsing on MySpace when he asked himself a simple question – why can’t people sell here? He brought this to me and 6 months later – today – we have flogd.

The basic idea behind flogd is that you can very easily integrate your own shop on your blog, myspace or facebook profile (yes, there’s a Facebook app). I imagine there would certainly be a large market of niche blogs out there who would have relevant products to flog.

Image you had a passion for fishing, and decided to blog about it. How great would it be to have your own little shop, on your site, that would enable you to sell the latest in fishing lures?

Your shop can cater for up to 500 different products, with more available on request. Transactions are securely encrypted and credit card payments can be accepted.

Anyone who’s had to integrate e-commerce on a website would appreciate the “hoops” you’re made to jump through to get an e-commerce account through a bank. They generally ask for trading history, product overview, terms and conditions, first born child as collateral, business plan, refund policy, what you had for breakfast last Tuesday, profit and loss, assets and liabilities… you get the idea. All pretty prohibitive for a small retailer, and the costs are pretty steep too.

So I thought I’d have a look at the flogd product. I signed up for an account and had a shop ready inside half an hour (with interruptions).

One thing to note: during the sign-up process, I was asked for my paypal email address, which is fine that’s how I would get paid. I was then asked for a password, and as this followed my paypal email address, I thought they were asking for my paypal password – which obviously made me pause. They weren’t of course, just allowing me to nominate a password for flogd.

The “drag and drop” layout was pretty intuitive – I didn’t have to watch the instructional video, and I decided to create my own rather than use the template. It’s all customisable, so you could even create a shop to fit on your sidebar. You can even add a YouTube video.

The help documentation is pretty good, though a little light on the actual integration into your website or blog (which I’ve mentioned to Phillip). You need to turn off the virtual editor for WordPress powered blogs (via users and profile), so perhaps there might be the possibility for a plugin down the track.

The website could use a bit of SEO work, but the functionality is fine – nothing appeared broken.

The Costs

Nothing to set up your shop, that’s all free. Transaction fees for sales under US $25, are what is charged by the transaction provider (PayPal – so a $20 USD sale would cost you 88 cents). Transactions over $25 are charged at a flat rate of 3% + transaction fees (so a sale of $100 USD would cost $6.20).

While you might not have the exposure of an eBay store, the fees compare favourably. An eBay store would cost a minimum of $14.95 per month, standard insertion fees (up to 50c), and final value fees (so a $100 sale would cost over $9.00 + monthly fee).


RightCart seems to be a primary competitor. They charge a 1% flat fee commission on a sale and 2.9% + .30 USD transaction fee (a $20 sale would cost $1.08 and a $100 sale $4.20). On the plus side, you can sell other vendor’s goods (who will take a commission of between 1-19% of the sale price), but the cart is not able to be customised at this point – it is 160 x 600, and it uses an iframe – so on MySpace it sits in a separate frame.

Cartfly is another competitor, but I really didn’t delve too deeply because it appears I need to sign up to find out more about the product. Their blog contains one post from over 3 months ago. They claim their fee is 3%, but I’m unsure if there are transaction fees on top. From what I understand, the transactions are not processed in the same window, as with flogd.

nimbit and snocap are similar services for musicians.

My (basic) sample shop is below.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Flog your stuff with Flogd”

  1. Phillip Kingstonon 24 Jul 2007 at 12:34 am

    Hi Meg,

    Thanks for the write up. You raised a good point about the SEO – this is something which I will sort out before our public beta launch. I will also make it clearer that the password is indeed NOT your PayPal password but your desired Flogd password. Again, thanks for spotting this.


  2. cartflyeron 24 Jul 2007 at 5:18 am

    for clarification cartfly has no set up fees , no listing fees or anything like that. We just charge a flat 3% if a sale is made. I wrote an email over a week ago to the guys at flogd introducing myself and wishing them luck but I never heard a response back….do you know if their email is working???? We soft launched a couple months ago and our official launch is near the end of this week. There is no animosity in my wishing them well, i think the more competition that pops up the better it is for e-commerce in general. Off topic, I am going to vacation in Australia for a while, any recommendation of things i have to do or see??????

    Bob Schober

    Founder of Cartly

  3. Megon 24 Jul 2007 at 10:34 am

    @ Phillip – you’re most welcome, all the best with the launch.

    @ Bob – Maybe the email got lost in a spam filter? One thing you can’t assume is that emails get through. I’ve had no problem communicating with Phillip. All the best with your product too.

    Regarding your trip to Australia it depends where you’re headed. You could spend a year, and still not see all the best bits :)

  4. Minty Blogon 25 Jul 2007 at 5:55 am

    Really Nice Service Philip but i am afraid i don’t have PayPal to try it out but i will surely blog about it thanx for posting Meg

  5. Phillip Kingstonon 25 Jul 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Hi all,

    Bob: Thanks for your comments. I never received an email at Flogd. I did get one to my Zitaki account – I think you wanted to feature us on the Cartfly homepage – sorry I didn’t get back to you it’s just been pretty hectic. And yes, I agree the Internet needs numbers to boost the image of e-commerce and general security awareness. As such, best of luck with your launch.

    Minty: You don’t need PayPal to try it out – the money will wait at your account. It’s just more expensive without a Business account. Re: blog write up, that’d be great – we’ve got some large new features in the works – feel free to contact me if you need any information. contact@flogd.com

    Meg: Thanks again for the great write up – it was good to have someone really go through our product and represent it fully and objectively. Your blog is awesome.

  6. Megon 25 Jul 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Hi Phillip

    You’re welcome, again. Thanks for your feedback on my write up :)

  7. goldcoasteron 26 Jul 2007 at 10:59 am

    I must say that online buying doesn’t really interest me, everytime I am after something like a camera, dvd etc. I have never found the price cheap enough to bother with.
    Eg, I can go to say Teds Camera House and get 10% or more off a camera, if I have problems I can take it back easy. Online, with postage the price, at best, is usually about that.

    My comment is more to do with the logo – it is not very good with the lines through it. It looks more like Flegd or Fledg. I think the lines should go or be a different shade or colour.


  8. Megon 26 Jul 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Goldcoaster, I agree with large ticket items it does give you a lot of peace of mind being able to return to the physical location with a problem.

    I remember purchasing some gift hampers online one Christmas years ago. When the products arrived I noticed the expiry date on one was the end of December. Suffice to say I wasn’t impressed. To return the hamper was a huge deal. They had reasonably local retail outlets geared up to handle returns, but it really negated the benefit of shopping online.

    I think that there’s a real market though. I imagine a lot of craft, scrapbooking, etsy type sites could find this appealing, as well as costume jewellery, fashion accessories and the like.