22 December 2008

Light my fire

I've been told that one of the first rules of online sales is not to put all of your proverbial eggs is one proverbial basket. You should spread the love, so to speak.

I've been on Etsy for nearly two years now, and while I love Etsy (and will probably never leave), the site is growing faster than the developers and administrators are able (or willing) to keep up with. Some very basic functionality - multiple image upload and better search capability are two that come to mind - is completely missing, and there is a U.S.-centric focus that, even for someone in the U.S., is somewhat appalling. As a seller with over 1/3 of my business coming from overseas, I have a strong interest in making the "international site" truly international.

And so I've been searching for other avenues since I started on Etsy. PinkPurpleOrange. Dwanda. Mintd. All have great features, but they all seem to have one or more of the major Etsy pitfalls as well. Ebay Stores are out of my price range, and I don't want to reduce my work to bids and auctions. Having my own site is economical, but a programming nightmare for someone who is spread so thin. It seemed like Etsy was my only option.

Enter Artfire. The site is only in beta, the interface is still a little clunky, but it already has a zillion more features, one-step listing that takes less than 5 minutes a listing (you mean, I don't have to block out an hour of my time to list 2 items?), flat-rate billing, seller stats (what? I want to know where my traffic comes from?), and polite customer service. I couldn't resist - I had to sign up. The customer service and flat-rate billing alone are reasons to branch out. I've heard others say that Etsy had great customer service back in the day, but I've used site archives. It looks like RevolvingDork was a jerk from day one. And Artfire has someone on the site, blogging, or tweeting all day long, helping out others. Artfire actually advertises its site (wow - advertising to bring in traffic - what a concept). I feel like I have nothing to lose.

And so, you can find me on Etsy and Artfire now. Only time will tell how things will play out, but at least I have my eggs in different baskets now. If you'd like to "diversify" too, register on ArtFire.com here.

1 comment:

ShinyAdornments said...

ArtFire ROCKS!

Their admin are responsive, their business/site development model is unique and the seller functionality, including statistics, is pretty phenomenal.

And, according to the latest traffic metrics from Alexa, they are garnering more and more visitors each day. Pretty sweet for a brand new site.

You can check out the latest handmade venue selling site traffic statistics and see how Artfire is moving up in the rankings on my blog at
"Where to sell handmade online?"

ShinyAdornments on Artfire