Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey: You Are In Control, Not The Venue

You know as online sellers we tend to get caught up in the venues on which we sell our handmade goods. It seems to have escalated lately to a gang-like mentality. I'm speaking specifically about Etsy vs. Art Fire. You have your die-hard "Etsians" and your die-hard "Art Firers." I currently sell on both venues like many artisans do, and I have no allegiance to either venue. I see each one as merely an outlet in which to sell my soaps. I could run down a list of pros and cons for each one, but for me personally, it all boils down to my bottom line: Which one is going to bring my business the most exposure and be the most cost-effective? The answer? BOTH!

Right now, no one can compete with Etsy as far as venue recognition. Etsy brings in tens of thousands new visitors to its site monthly which is great for me, but the fees associated with that exposure are not very cost-effective! Between listing, re-listing, and renewing items, my bill averages anywhere from $25-$35 per month depending on my sales activity.

Now Art Fire is still relatively new. The traffic to the site right now is nowhere near that of Etsy's, but the features and benefits leave Etsy in the dust-specifically the new coupon code system-no more adjusting prices or doing PayPal refunds. Also, you pay one fixed fee for unlimited listings.

So where am I going with all this? I will continue to sell on both venues, but I'm re-evaluating how I choose to market my online shops. Right now, that means scaling back on Etsy. The fees are simply killing me! I'm going to start marketing my Art Fire shop a little heavier to see if I get as many visits and/or sales as my Etsy shop. Remember, you're in control of your success, not Etsy and not Art Fire!


Theresa said...

What an excellent post! I don't think it could have been said better. It is hard not to get caught up in the "What have you done for me lately" attitude but you hit the nail on the head with you last sentence. We often forget that WE are the ones who can make or break ourselves.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Very good points - I haven't pursued ArtFire like I should have and maybe it is time to re-evaluate. Thank you!!

Pattie said...

I have been seriously seeing this everywhere and I am happy that you brought this out in the open b/c I was going to say something about it on my blog, but you said it much better than I could.

And this is one of the main reasons that I don't have my shop on a site like that b/c you no longer hold your brand, it's somewhat upsetting.

(Plus as much as I love Etsy, the Etsyians are brutal)

Patrice @ The Soap Seduction said...

Glad I could spark some "healthy" discussion. My blog is the safest place to vent because you'll get ripped to shreds whether it's Etsy or Art Fire!

Atenea said...

Yo no vendo mis jabones. Los hago para regalarlos y porque me gusta hacerlos y probarlos. Besos.

Yummy Suds said...

Thanks for this info! That's about my bill a month from Etsy! I'm not on artfire, but you are right, it's about exposure.

Thanks Ms. Patrice!! XOXO

Burnt Mill Candles and Soap said...

the fees is the thing that kept me from listing on etsy in the first place. I could sell for free off my main website I figured. But in hind sight I was dumb to wait so long because I was missing out on new customers. I guess you have to think about the fees as advertising fees really.

Etsy is finding me a higher number of potential customers that I might have otherwised missed out on if I was just on my own website.

I had been just doing the 10 items for free on artfire and had a few sales but not much traffic over there. They are running a promotion right now where I can list everything I have for free during the holidays. I uploaded all my items and I got 1 sale and still not many views.

So maybe the etsy fees are really worth it if I can sell more without really have to put a ton of work into promoting off the site like I would have to do with artfire.

what to do right!?!?!