Our aim is to grow an online marketplace for the sale of new and used instruments where majority profits are invested in local music projects, charities and independent venue support. Along with supporting communities and venues, the site aims to support independent retailers by offering a nationwide audience and reduced fees against current market leaders.
We have a prototype running, but need to hire an experienced development team to create a product via way of API that integrates independent stores and their eCommerce shops - ie Magento, Drupal, etc. We currently have two live stores and many others who require an API interface but are on-board with the idea.
We have a unique pricing structure in place, which reduces the costs against the likes of eBay and Amazon and offers retailers a marketable, virtual store that incurs no subscription costs.
Given our love for music, and the constant loss of independent music institutions that support the growth of musicians, we're reinvesting majority profits.
We will create a virtual money pot that will be emptied quarterly and donated to any of the following: independent venues struggling to pay for repairs/upkeep, community musical projects aimed at the development of children, the purchase of instruments in bulk (from a Backline retailer) to be donated to a community cause. We're open to suggestions, too.
Our donation pot collects monies in two ways. Individuals selling their instruments can either opt for the development of Backline.uk.com or to donate their transaction fee to the community pot.
We will work with individual business and will donate the following percentages to community support upon achievement of the following:
- £0 - £500: 10%
- £501 - £1500: 15%
- £1501 - £4000: 20%
- £4001 - £5000: 30%
- £5000+ 45%
Several independent retailers (those we used to shop at as teenagers) have closed to larger, faceless online retailers. If we can give them a nationwide audience at little cost, we run the chance of keeping them in business. This also means that their knoweldge is still being used, full shop details are displayed and it's easy to communicate.
Our childhood venue: The Square, Harlow, the place the nurtured our musical talent, a place that offered us our very first stage ad our very first gigs, a place that nurtured my friends and launched them in to a five year touring campaign, lost its funding and its premises and is now struggling to source new premises due to funds. We aim to be able to support these places.
Cuts to arts in communities and schools, or less priviliged councils that can't sustain community projects that support the development of children in music, we can support this, too.
We can support just about anything if we get to where we need to be and are currently sourcing our first project, which has to be within a budget of several hundred pounds. We are very open to hearing any suggestions you may have and we will of course keep you updated with who we shortlist.
Let's give independent music the chance it deserves.
Visit the site in its current state: www.backline.uk.com
NB: The musical instrument market is worth more than £50m annually. If we could even secure 5% of this, we could reinvest millions in independent music ventures.