MSA Marketplace, Please -- Make My Life Easier!
Chacho Herman, The San Diego Museum of Art
Why do I need to learn yet another way to place orders online? The world is complicated enough as it is, right? It’s an insane time, so why can't I just go back to a simpler time - maybe a time where it just takes one simple click of a button to get the job done?
Nearly two years ago at a trade show in Las Vegas, MSA's Executive Director at the time and I met with a strong supporter of MSA about starting an MSA online marketplace. The seed was planted. This new market place would be structured for us, the MSA buyer, with products specific to our unique stores. Additionally, it would be tailored for our superb vendor members to easily connect with buyers throughout the country. Sounds good, right? Well, fast-forward to now -- and it is a reality.
I consider myself to be an online marketplace neophyte. I have visited a vast number of marketplace sites but find them boring, confusing, unhelpful, and just plain frustrating. If I find something I like on these sites, I usually wind-up phoning or emailing the vendor to get more info, or to place an order. Then the new MSA Marketplace was launched…
...and so there I went! After signing up for our association's new platform, I was taken into the site. Each vendor who has already signed up is listed alphabetically -- but what I quickly discovered was that, if I entered a key word like "photography" or "impressionism" -- a whole new world opened up. I was able to look through dozens of items relating to the key word I'd just entered – so easy! There were pictures, descriptions, and prices. And the search results weren't just from a single vendor, but multiple vendors. And it was fun (and did I mention, easy)! There were companies that had beautiful apparel, cute string dolls, unique tableware, and even options for creating custom products.
My museum had a photography exhibition opening soon and I wanted to add some things to fluff up my in-store offerings (and online offerings too – heck, it's COVID time) and found a wonderful photography-related coffee mug shaped like a camera lens at a great price, so I did what I'd not done on any other site ever: I clicked the "add to cart" button. Voila, my first order was placed with a vendor that I respect, and who I know does great work for MSA! I was able to include my purchase order number. I was able to leave him a note saying that this was for an exhibition that opened soon, to which he replied nearly immediately. What a joy, and how easy! Another joy from MSA's new site is that I did not have to enter a credit card, like I have to do with other online market places. Many orders can be invoiced at net 30 or whatever terms I have with any particular vendor. Another thing that I learned was that a percentage of each order I place through the MSA marketplace goes right back into supporting MSA and its programs. So, the more I – or you – purchase from our vendors, the better off MSA, our vendors, and we are.
Try out our new MSA Marketplace. It's enjoyable, intuitive, and interesting, and who knows, you may be an instant convert just like I was. It’s fun and easy-easy-easy - just one simple click of a button.
Chacho Herman is Associate Director of Earned Income at the San Diego Museum of Art, where he started his museum career. Chacho is responsible for all earned income arms of the museum, which includes two stores, the museum’s restaurant, and admissions. He has over 30 years of cultural commerce experience. Herman also currently serves as Treasurer of the MSA. His previous MSA board service included Secretary 2010-2011, and Member at Large 2005-2006. He has been on numerous MSA task forces and committees. Along with helping to ensure the financial stability of MSA he feels his role is to continue to build the MSA brand, increase membership, and expand learning opportunities. When not working, he can be found playing fetch on Coronado Beach with his dog, BB, planning trips around which museum he’ll visit, and exploring the deserts and beaches of Baja.