Hi All. I've been on Etsy for 3 1/2 years. By my low standards it's
been a modest success, and for sure it's business I wouldn't have
gotten before. I finally decided to also join Artfire, which uses a
different business model and is a smaller space. Artfire has a
utility that allows you to port over your Etsy site- still a lot of
work, but way less than starting from scratch.
So now I've been up and running on Artfire for about 3 months, with
over 250 items for sale. My grand total so far: zero sales and two
inquiries, both of which were scams. That's it. Perhaps I haven't
optimized everything possible, but this is just plain pathetic-
especially in light of my Etsy experience.
So, to those of you on Artfire, and especially those on both sites:
How are you doing? Artfire is only $13 per month; but, if they get
no traffic, why keep shoveling it into a dry hole?
I have not tried artfire but have tried two other sites as well as
etsy. The two other sites were both juried. Absolutely nothing from
either of them.
Etsy is so easy to use I just feel is worth it. It's just very large
and stuffed with a lot junk. But I really just consider it a tool
linked to my own website. Its my shopping cart.... I have two shops
on etsy... One for jewelry supplies like headpins I make myself and
one for finished jewelry. They both do ok and it grows weekly now
that it's show season here.
A good example is I had an art show Sunday. A woman came by with her
husband and he commented on that she did not need any more jewelry.
She took a card as I was describing the necklace she was looking at.
She made the $500 purchase online the next day. Nice...full circle.
I do believe that an online store is going to become a necessity in
business if it isn't all ready. Etsy is simple. I don't expect
anything out of them other than providing software upgrades. Some
people get really upset over Etsy allowing big business on their
site. They are just going for the profit. I just consider it an easy
web tool for me to easily control without being a web designer.
Good luck online to all! :) joy kruse
Allan, I had a studio on Artfire for over a year. I have no
experience selling on Etsy. My analogy for the difference between
them is that Etsy is like a mall where you go in the front door and
search for the item you wish to purchase. You know the name of the
mall but don't really care about the stores inside until you've
developed a liking for one or more. Artfire shops are like small
businesses on various streets strewn about the city. As with a brick
& mortar storefront, they have to advertise themselves to become
found by the world. Artfire gives artisans the tools to drive
business to them, but the artisans must do the work to get the word
out by using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. etc.
Customers who buy from Artfire artisans don't generally go to Artfire
looking for a shop to buy an item. They Google (or otherwise search)
for an item and the artisan's work, if marketed well using good SEO,
will come up high in the search. I'm sure there are many Etsy
artisans whose client base comes from the same generic search, but
the fact is more people know Etsy's name so will start at etsy.com.
I personally like Artfire's business model (including their pricing
and the lack of a per sale commission) and I prefer their
willingness to communicate with the artisans in a generally
diplomatic manner. I closed my studio when I got busy with other
things in life that didn't leave me enough time to either make
jewelry or to market it as I needed to. But I learned a great deal
about SEO and marketing, and I enjoyed my experience using Artfire as
a sales platform and would go back in a heartbeat if time allowed. I
was moderately successful so long as I used the tools provided to me,
spent the time marketing, and continuously showed my work/talked
about my studio. If you aren't using the forums on Artfire, you might
want to start spending time there as you're missing a lot. There is
much about using social media & SEO, you can get advice
from other vendors, and learn from those who are really successful.
Also, a lot of cross marketing goes on between artisans. They get to
know you, like your work, and will feature it in treasuries which you
can then share to Facebook & Twitter.
Dear Allen, thank you for this posting, I read the later posting on
Artfire, and was going to google it after done with my email, and
before going to Etsy. I am new to Etsy, and in 6 weeks I have spent
$20, and for my money I have had over 1,000 people checking out my
things. I love the stats. I have two buyers lining up a sale, and
have had a few thousand peeks at individual items. I check my
statistics daily and can tell that the main interest is in my
ceramics. I have 27 people who are following them. I have gotten
more activity for my $20 than I ever had on ebay in a total of two
years. And if Artfire charges $13 a month and you have no activity,
there is no reason for me to even check them out. Yes it is a pain to
join circles and have favorites, but the upside is that i am finding
out how other people are doing. Now I see that most people do not
have much in sales before the first year. So I will donate a year of
my time to this venture before I consider pulling the plug. I also
realize that tweeting, facebook and pinit are all exposure
necessary. It is work, and that is the upside. I know that when I
post one or two items a day, my views stay up. If I do not (I just
had 3 days off and expect no activity ) the reality is that for me,
Etsy is custom made. It gets my things out into the world, and it is
becoming more and more popular. So far my experience has been really
good. I have gotten great mentoring, made some trades, and building
a friendship foundation. Thank you for your comment on Artfire, it
will save me hours of work. Blessings pat