Shopping on Craigslist is awesome, but sometimes it can be a pain to find the high-quality goods you're looking for. The hidden gems tend to be buried between listings for worn-down junk, and in many cases, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. To solve this problem, the new Mint Market app promises a more targeted experience.
Much like Craigslist, Mint Market (download: Android | iPhone) covers everything from clothing and furniture to auto parts and event tickets. The difference, however, is that sellers on Mint Market only list items in new or like-new condition. What's more, they can mark their items with a "Mint Condition" stamp to indicate that they are no more than 60-days-old.
The first thing that struck me about Mint Market was its interface. While it may not be the most easy-to-use thing in the world, it's certainly visually attractive. The Home screen features a long, vertical stream of listings, with each item displaying a large photo, name, and price. This layout makes it easy to scroll through items quickly without straining your eyes. By contrast, the same cannot be said about Craigslist or any of its third-party apps, which are, for the most part, text-based. To make things easier, with Mint Market, you can sort through the list by Price, New, and Nearby, or you can choose to display only items marked "Mint Condition." And of course, you can search based on keyword and other parameters.
The best feature on Mint Market has to be Item Feed, which essentially lets you save searches for easy reference later. For instance, if you search for computer accessories that cost between $20 and $30 in Los Angeles, you can save the parameters using Item Feed, so you don't have to go through the process all over again. And if you like, you can even activate an alarm to notify you whenever new items that fit your search pop up. There's also a Favorite button for saving specific items.
Of course, the other half of Mint Market deals with selling your goods. To post a product, just take a photo with your phone, add a title, description, price, and any other relevant information. It's really simple. The app also lets you keep track of all the items you're selling.
While Mint Market is certainly a welcome addition to the growing number of goods and services marketplace apps, it is obvious that it is still young. It has a few usability issues, and the community still has a lot of growing to do. That said, I can definitely see this blossoming into a useful resource for buyers and sellers sometime in the future.