Saturday, January 17, 2009

Online Venue #9 -- Artfire

Artfire is a relatively new site for selling handmade stuff. It's still in Beta, in fact. But so far it seems like the people running it really want to make it a success. The listing form is only one page, and your item appears on the front page for a little while as "newly listed", which is pretty cool. I check yesterday, and the ring I added stayed on the front page for just under half an hour before it was pushed off by more recently listed items. Not bad. Of course, I realize that as more artisans discover and join Artfire, the listings will increase in frequency and the time on the front page may fall to mere minutes (or seconds...?).

I've had my shop on Artfire for about 2 months now. Haven't sold anything yet, but I also haven't paid as much attention to it as I could have. There was a period of nearly a month when I didn't list anything new. It's hard to be found if you're not really "there"! I've vowed to myself to try to list at least one new item there every day. And I'd like to purchase an item or two, to start building my "karma" points (feedback). But to be honest, I haven't taken much time to try to figure out how to buy things. Every online selling site has it's own format for searching and purchasing, some easier than others. I'm sure Artfire wants its members and their items to be found! I understand that they plan a marketing push to make the general public aware of their existence, but it's likely that that won't be happening until they do a full launch of the site.

For now, I'm happy to be in on the ground floor of a venue that appears to be willing to give their merchants what they need to sell successfully. The fact that I am in on the ground floor also gives me the benefit of paying only $7 per month for life. Can't beat that price with a stick! This offer is apparently for the first 5000 artisans who sign up, and there are still (as of today) around 3000 spots still available. Artfire will inevitably grow and change, but this is one venue I plan to be with for a long time. I figure the more places people can "discover" my jewelry, the better it is for me!


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