New online marketplace to feature wares from veterans, military spouses

March 24, 2017 | by sdavidson

The American Legion

March 23, 2017

Ashburn, VA

A new website will serve as a “one-stop shop” for those seeking to buy goods and services from veterans and military spouses.

The Veteran Market is an e-commerce platform where verified veterans, military spouses and businesses can sell their products online. Co-founders Mike Phipps and Scott Davidson said the site grew from the notion that there was not a centralized, verified marketplace for veterans and military spouses to sell their wares.

“The idea developed that we would create a market online, tailored to the general public, where they can go buy from verified veterans and military spouses online,” said Phipps, managing director of The Millennium Group Int’l and a founding member of The American Legion Business Task Force.

While sites such as Etsy give military spouses an online forum to sell their wares, the founders of The Veteran Market say their site will provide a centralized online location for selling products while ensuring that sellers don’t need to understand technology to set up their own business sites. The Veteran Market can be used by all types of businesses, ranging from home-based entrepreneurs to established businesses.

Sellers can also use the website to cultivate partnerships with other veteran-owned businesses. For example, Ranger Up currently stocks several products that are outsourced to other veteran-owned small businesses such as Liquid Metal Signs. The Veteran Market will establish a forum for business owners like these to collaborate.

Once sellers have created their space on the Veteran Market, they also can connect their social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) to promote themselves.

While the site is already open to seller registration, it is scheduled to open to the public on April 1.

The simple registration process not only helps the sellers establish an online presence, but also verifies their veteran or military spouse status through a process they have dubbed “Vetrified.”

By leveraging open source information from organizations such as The American Legion, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Dun and Bradstreet, The Veteran Market can “vetrify” sellers while minimizing the burden of sending personal identifiable information to prove military service. The process takes less than 24 hours and no personal information is kept.

“It’s a really short process to get vetrified. It’s one page, you can immediately start uploading the product information that you sell,” Phipps said.

The enrollment process will also include a link to allow qualified individuals to join The American Legion if they’re not already members, they said.

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