There are few people more enthusiastic about their possessions than collectors. From rare action figures and unopened comic books to fragile porcelain dolls—everyone has their thing. However despite this massive collector culture the presence of tools to serve this community is almost nonexistent. CollectorDASH, a startup made up of UGA and GT Tech alumni and founded by Bill Jones, targets this underserved market by providing an eCommerce platform for collectors to buy, sell, trade, showcase, and manage their wares.
According to Bill Jones, prior to CollectorDASH, these communities lacked a space that was specifically designed to fit their unique user base. “Niche, enthusiast markets each represent hundreds of millions of dollars annually,” Jones reveals. “Despite that, they are typically served by mega, generic marketplaces such as eBay or by a highly fragmented set of poorly maintained forum and dealer sites.”
CollectorDASH competes with these marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, but is the only solution thus far that is designed to serve a variety of market segments for any collector and any collectible.
The idea for CollectoDASH came to Jones when he became intrigued by the collectors and enthusiasts market after seeing a college friend sell an aluminum Coke can for $2,000. After learning more about the market Jones began to realize how fragmented it was for sellers and buyers and how unsatisfactory the user experience was. This prompted him to create an alternative, and in 2010 CollectorDASH was born.
Jones tells us that these days CollectorDASH has more than 50,000 users who are currently managing more than a million items using their platform. To date the Atlanta-based startup has raised $1 million, with most of it’s funding coming from angel investors like Atlanta Technology Angels and AIM. Also, they won the 2012 TAG Business Launch competition for the best startup in Georgia.
“Interestingly, we find that Atlanta and the South have the highest concentrations of collectors and enthusiast consumers, ranging from model trains to Coca-Cola, the world’s most beloved and collected brand,” says Jones.