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!