Yes, social shopping is all the rage. Mulu takes that trend a few steps further, inviting shoppers to a community where they can not only browse each others’ recommendations, but ask specific questions, give to a charitable cause (more on that last point, later), or even make a little income for themselves. We’re fans. The site does a really effective job of raising the value of “liking” something online.
Mulu, which is named for the Chinese word for catalog or directory, is pretty clever. For every online purchase facilitated through the site — which happens when members purchase one another’s recommendations — Mulu makes a commission of around 3 to 15% of the total sale. They evenly split that revenue with the member who originally posted the item. You, the member, can keep your share or donate it to one of 50 vetted charities, which range from children’s organizations to humanitarian and environmental non-profits.
If all Mulu did was make money for itself and its members off of the community’s recommended items, the site would basically be Pinterest with a profit. Instead, it encourages interaction and fosters a sense of camaraderie by featuring an ever-changing question and answer page, where one can solicit advice on anything from what to wear to Coachella to when to buy a new Apple laptop. The profit system holds up — if someone buys the item you advise, you or your designated charity make a little money.
Mulu also has star power, with pages of picks from actresses like Busy Philipps and Kerry Washington, the designer Michael Kors, and even the writer Jonathan Franzen. Knowing that, would you sign up to filter your online shopping through the site? With celebrity endorsements, a charitable angle, and the ability to provide members with a little pocket money, we’re game — Mulu offers one of the most progressive, positive spins on online shopping we’ve seen yet.