March 15, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Evaluated version: 1.1.0
Pros: Dead-simple interface and several filtering options
Cons: Facebook account required to sell, lack of privacy masking options
Buying and selling products? You probably want to head to eBay or Craigslist, but you may also want to consider a new free app for Android known as Mint Market. (Android 2.2 or higher required to use.)
Mint Market is a marketplace for buying and selling physical goods, similar to the massively popular Craigslist.org. The difference here is that Mint Market was built from the ground-up with mobile in mind. The app is designed to facilitate the entire shopping and selling process directly from the phone. Every item listed must be in near-mint condition, meaning brand new, like new, or rarely used. The company says it’s for items purchased in the past 60 days, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see someone sell a collectible or older item so long as it’s still in stellar condition.
Mint Market opens to the Item Feed, an all-inclusive look at the products listed by sellers. Buyers then have the option of filtering results according to category – Books, Cosmetics, Clothing, Electronics, and much more – and toggling between only New items or anything deemed to be ‘Mint.’ It then takes advantage of the mobile set-up by allowing users to only search for items “Nearby” based on phone location. Mint Market’s idea of what’s “Nearby” seems to be “Available in my country” because it lists plenty of items in New York City, which I happen to be 1,000 miles away from.
There’s also value in Mint Market for sellers, but you’ll have to sign-in with a Facebook account. Users can add a title and description, set price, take a photo, and enter contact info. When an interested party wishes to discuss buying the product, the app can then directly call, email, or message them. Unfortunately, Mint Market doesn’t provide any masking, so sellers have to trust that spammers, trolls, and creeps won’t use their contact info to annoy them.
Mint Market is a well-designed app and has lots of features. Aside from the aforementioned, the app can also mark items as favorites or search for specific products. In some ways, the direct contact system is better than Craigslist, but the requirement for Facebook linking and lack of privacy options is not. If that’s not a concern for you and you’d like to browse a new and focused mobile friendly marketplace, this is definitely an app worth considering. There’s also a Mint Market iPhone app, so the market may grow.