It's all like-new on Mint Market | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

It's all like-new on Mint Market

Mint Market is a mobile marketplace for pre-owned goods in mint or near-mint condition.

Mint Market is a mobile marketplace for preowned goods in mint or near-mint condition. Much like Craigslist, it covers everything from clothing to furniture to auto parts to event tickets, but what makes it uniquely useful, is that it focuses only on new or like-new products.

The first thing that struck me about Mint Market was its interface. While it may not be the most user-friendly 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, meaning those that are fewer than 60 days old.

While browsing is a breeze, conducting a search on Mint Market is not quite as straightforward. For one, there's no search button or box on the Home screen. You have to go into the menu, then hit Search, which takes you to another screen where you can then type in your keyword. It's a bit too much, if you ask me. On the other hand, the search does offer a few nice filters including Location, Category, Price, or Network. Filtering by network lets you search only your Facebook friends, which might be useful if you'd rather not do business with complete strangers.

To me, the best feature on Mint Market is 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 dollars in Los Angeles, you can save the parameters to your 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.

One thing I would recommend for Mint Market (in addition to fixing the buried Search function) is an omnipresent Home button. When tapping between menus, it is often difficult to get back to home base, which is annoying, to say the least.

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.

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