Thursday, January 07, 2010
Out with the old and in with the new... Selling Handmade Items Online - A Revamped ArtFire Shop and a word about Etsy and 1000Markets too!
Let's talk shop for a moment, shall we? After re-evaluating my online sales this year and my selling venues, I decided to do some house cleaning.
First of all, I decided to expand my Etsy fiber shop by adding kits and supplies and open a brand new Etsy shop for my rubber stamp designs because Etsy has always been a very good selling venue for me, and I am happy selling there. I will be honest and say that I've had my ups and downs on Etsy and how I feel about the site itself. That being said, it has always been a constant selling venue for me. And, I know that my business would not be nearly as prosperous as it is today without my presence there. So... Viva La Etsy! As long as you'll have me, I am there to stay.
I wanted to expand my horizons last year so I opened up a 1000Markets shop. I was very flattered to have been juried into the site which I consider to represent more high-end handmade items. Sadly my shop there did not do very well; therefore, I put it on vacation mode yesterday to re-evaluate what to do with it next. On that note, I received an email from support at 1000Markets today stating that "Your shop on 1000 Markets has been returned to provisional (pre-approved) status." In other words, they shut my shop down without notice. While I understand the need to keep their shops "well-stocked" and looking good, my shop would have been just that if I had been actually selling anything there, but unfortunately I sold one item there - just one item in the last few months! That didn't warrant me spending a whole lot of time with my shop there. Don't get me wrong though! I love the layout and features of 1000Markets - very upscale and clean in its details, but it does me no good if I can not sell anything on their venue. That is a shop that I will have to let go for now and rethink. I want to like 1000Markets and prosper there... I really, really do! I just cannot afford to waste time on a venue that is not furthering my business no matter how wonderfully pretty the site itself is or how nice the people are there. Both of which I appreciate about it.
Moving on... Today I finished opening up a brand new shop on ArtFire to house both my fiber items and rubber stamps. Although I love both of my Etsy shops, I wanted a selling venue where I could easily combine the two ideas of fiber and stamps. What I love about ArtFire is all the magnificent, and I do mean truly magnificent, features and tools that it offers to its verified members. (Yes, my usual frugal self coughed up the 12 bucks to upgrade my membership, but it seems well worth it.) The importer tool, to import your Etsy item listings, and the global editor, to bulk edit your items, are super easy to use and save so much time! I am very impressed with those account features. I just hope that my new shop there results in sells, lots and lots of items sold! I had a shop there previously, just the basic membership, for my felted items that didn't do so well, but it was rather neglected with few items listed. I'm hoping my full, new shop will be more prosperous. Please take a peak at it and browse when you have the chance.
So basically, Etsy and ArtFire are where I am choosing to spend my time so far this year after trying to sell on several other online venues including 1000Markets. I know that plans change, but for now, that is what I have in mind for 2010.
What are your online selling plans for this year? Do you sell on multiple sites or maybe just your own website (which I haven't gotten up the courage to try yet)? Please leave a comment and let me know...