As a result of your post I spent a couple of hours poking around the
site. There is indeed a lot of nice stuff. But I’m wondering about
the economics of a site like this versus one like Etsy.
Artful Home presents a smaller group of artists of a much higher
overall quality. Etsy presents a much bigger and lower quality pool
Artful Home charges $300 a year, plus 50% of the retail price. Etsy
charges 20 cents to list, and 3.5% of the sale price. For that $300,
one could do a lot of Etsy relisting- apparently a key to success.
Artful Home’s commission structure would seem to encourage higher
retail prices, so that the artist’s 50% is enough to make it all
worthwhile… Etsy allows for a potentially much better deal for
customers, since items can be offered at, let’s say, 25% off of
"normal retail", and still result it a significantly larger take for
Artful Home claims to do a bunch of marketing. I’ve never seen any,
but that doesn’t mean much. But I have no way of knowing what their
promotion actually is or whether it works. Same with Etsy. Never
seen anything from them either, and I have no idea whether they do
much at all to drive traffic to the site.
Artful Home seems to have a good system of modifying and narrowing a
search. Their pool may be smaller, but it can still be daunting.
Etsy encourages the use of many tag words to allow for a pretty
narrow search there as well. I have no idea how people actually
search these sites, but modestly sophisticated seekers should be
able to find your work on either site.
Do these sites appeal to mutually exclusive groups of potential
customers? Would someone aware of Artful Home be aware of Etsy as
well? Or vice versa? Would the potential of finding lower-priced but
still-great stuff on Etsy make it a better bet for a better take for
the artist on the deal? I could easily see, for example, offering
lower-priced items on Etsy, and higher-priced ones on Artful Home.
But I think higher priced items have potential on Etsy too
Is being part of a better, smaller pool of competitors better than
being part of a huge pool with more overall competition, but perhaps
with not as much competition at the higher end. Selling online makes
it hard to duplicate the “sizzle” that can be created in a store or
gallery, as you hold that great new piece in your hand, the sizzle
that might justify a higher price. I don’t know what Artful Home’s
sizzle is going to be (MY pictures?), but they’re essentially just
another retail account, and I’m not at all clear what their 50%
share would be doing to help me, versus my 3.5% at Etsy. Hmmm…??