Have you ever started a new hobby, and struggled to find the gear you need online? If you’re like most people, after reading hundreds of product descriptions and reviews, you still have no clue what you should get.
Enter: Curated.com, the platform for getting personalized recommendations from experts across hobbies like golf, fishing, skiing and snowboarding.
What Is It?
Curated.com is an online shopping experience with a human touch. They are a collaborative online shopping service intended to assist shoppers making expensive purchases. Curated matches customers with experts for items that have some degree of complexity and are usually expensive. This allows shoppers to get access to unbiased product recommendations and good deals, personalized for the customer by real experts.
The company was founded in 2017 but announced its official launch in late 2019 with $27.5 million in total funding. The primary office location is in the San Francisco Bay area, but experts live across the country.
“At Curated, our goal is to help people pursue their passions and interests to the fullest by helping them buy the right product or experience. We want to get rid of the uncertainty that often surrounds complex or big-ticket online purchases,” said Eduardo Vivas, co-founder and CEO of Curated. “There’s an incredible number of experts around the country — like golf and ski pros — who live their passions every day and have the desire to share their knowledge...”
Not only does the customer win by shopping through Curated, but so do the Curated experts, who get to monetize their passion and expertise. There are experts in categories across the board, from winter sports to bikes, from golf to wine. All of these experts are extremely knowledgeable and excited to help the shopper discover the perfect personalized product.
How Does Curated Work?
When first visiting the site, Curated customers are asked a few basic questions about their specific needs – about history and experience in the activity as well as preferences and intended use. They are then connected with a Curated expert, who will discuss the details of what they are looking for.
While the conversation begins on the Curated platform, it can continue on whatever medium you are both comfortable with – text, email or even phone, if it’s easier to describe your needs verbally than to write them out.
Once the expert has a good understanding of what you are looking for, they will provide a few personalized recommendations including detailed explanations of why each product is a fit for them. The customer can purchase directly from Curated once they’ve found the right product together.
If you’ve ever tried to buy one of these items on your own online, you know how helpful an expert could be. They can answer questions and assess your specific needs, and send unbiased recommendations that are perfect for you. They can also help you shop smarter, and find good deals you might miss otherwise, on your own. Over 1 million customers have been connected with experts to date.
Cost and Price Plans
Curated is a free service. You only pay for a purchase or booking. If you enjoyed your experience, a tip is recommended, as 100% of the tip will go to your expert. Experts are paid per conversation, and a percentage of your total purchase, in addition to that tip. The tip inspires them to make sure they are making the very best recommendation for that customer, not simply suggesting the most expensive option.
In addition, Curated guarantees they will get you the best deal around, so there’s no more buyer’s remorse. Curated will price match, and there is free shipping on any purchase over $50.
The Curated team wants you to love your purchase, so that the connection customers build with their expert can keep helping them when they need advice in the future. For that reason, a customer may return most new, unused items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. There are some exceptions to that, particularly for golf items which have a 14 day return policy.
Because you’ve been connected with an expert all along, the overall customer service is extremely personalized for an optimal shopping experience.
Online Customer Reviews/Complaints
Both customers and experts alike seem to be satisfied with their Curated experience. In order to understand the customer service, it’s helpful to research how satisfied the experts are with their employment experience.
Curated.com has 19 job reviews on Glassdoor, with an average of 3.4 / 5 stars, and over 60% would recommend it as a place to work. Most experts appreciate the ability to monetize their expertise and passion, and the flexibility of working with Curated, since the work is technically freelance and commission based.
Because Curated has happy experts, they also have happy customers. You have the ability as a customer to read employee reviews, so you can actually see how many previous customers your expert has assisted, and reviews of their expertise. That allows you to understand your expert, and get to know them better as a person.
Overall, Curated.com experts have an incredible 4.95 / 5 star review across over 25,000 reviews site-wide, and so many customers have found the perfect product through the Curated experience.
Is It Worth It?
The question you might be wondering - is Curated.com legit? The answer is a resounding yes. Curated has amazing reviews on their own site, but also across other independent sites. While still a relatively small scale operation, many happy customers have been connected with experts across multiple domains of sport and hobbies, and gotten the perfect personalized recommendation.
The Curated experience is a great way to shop for new or old hobbies, and ensure you’ve got the best tech and gear just for you.