Product Design 4 : Buy and sell antiques

Clarifying the situation

Antiques could be any piece of art or collectible object people would want. As of today these are majorly sold offline via auction or on sites like e-bay. The product would be a marketplace with two sides.

The current customers often belong to elite segments who’d want to collect items and show it to public or decorate their houses.

The goal of the product can be to increase the awareness and accessibility of antiques. As of today people know little about antiques and interest levels are limited to a premium set of people with an exclusivity around it

Let’s now try to get to the set of customer segments, looking at their key pain points and building solutions for them. We’d also come up with metrics to measure success

User Personas

Stakeholders here would be sellers and buyers and there would be network effects created here. Here let’s focus on the buyers who can then create demand which would attract sellers to our marketplace.

The user segment can be broken down by their motivation , tech savvy or not and age group.

Elite buyer — They’re aware of art already and wants to expand their collectio ns. They have huge spending capacity and are fairly good with technology and may often fall in the age groups of above 30

Curious buyer — They’re young and always have an eye for interesting items. They look at antiques with awe but felt its not for them. They’re usually very tech savvy and have decent spending capacity where they spend on shopping or buying gifts

Laggard — They do not spend much on such items and are not much into art. They are not so tech savvy as well.

Pain Points

Elite buyers are currently using offline means getting them onboard might be easier. However, this may not align with our goal of making antiques accessible to the larger crowd. So, let’s pick the curious buyer .

  • The ease of purchase is low for antiques as of today
  • People do not know much about these to get excited
  • People may not wish to spend a fortune on them, and want to be assured of the quality
  • They might have friend circles and would like to show it to their friends or gift them.


  • Know your antique — A detailed historical overview on each of the art work, to help buyers understand the worthiness of the art work they’d purchase. They could be redirected to detailed links aggregated for deeper understanding
  • Referral — People would be given invite only referrals and get discounts on antiques if the referred person makes a purchase
  • Filter & Insights — These could filter antiques based on their prices and also show insights like how it compares to other normal items people may buy.
  • Live auction — Buying could become a fun event with friends by simulating an auction scenario. There would be bidder and he/she could invite friends over for the auction of art works
  • Gift a friend — We could ask questions around likes and dislikes of friends and send surprise antique gifts to a friend
  • VR museum (moonshot)— People could go with friends on an invite only basis on a museum tour wherein they could interact with friends and art work and buy if interested.

Know your antique is a solution we should start of with as its impact is maximum with regard to our goal of acquiring users. Referral and fileter & insights can further drive customer acquisition. Gift a friend would be the next in terms of cost of building vs the impact it can have. Once a community of users are built, live auction would be a great engaging activity


  • # of monthly active users ( North star metric )
  • # of purchases
  • # of successful referrals



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