I had been sitting on the previous blog post until I was about to burst, so I published it in a hurry. I am an ArtFire Maven and had advance knowledge of this announcement. The ArtFire Mavens are a group of sellers who get to play with all the new toys first. Before anything is rolled out to the site, we get to put it through its paces and find any bugs or kinks. We also brainstorm ideas with Admin. on what something should look like or how it should be worded. They are great at listening to and implenting our feedback.
Anyhow, I wanted to mention some more things about why I prefer ArtFire over Etsy.
1. The flat fee. There is no final value fee when something sells, except for whatever percentage the payment processor takes. I like the multiple payment options, too.
2. Admin. there is responsive to problems and bugs. They respond in the forums and one of them, Tony, has even started a thread called Photography Q&A that has grown to many pages. All to help the sellers.
3. Admin, is good about letting you know when and why if the site has to go down for some reason. I think there has been once in the last year that it went down unexpectedly and that was due to severe weather impacting the servers.
4. I like the seller categories. Besides the usual Handmade, Supplies and Vintage, there is a Design category. An example of what goes there is, say, I designed purses, but had 3 of my neighbors making them for me. Still handmade, but not by me, so they go in design.
5. The Collections are similar to etsy treasuries, but a lot different. They will be rotated on the FP of ArtFire, and, if somebody is in a Collection that has made the FP today, if they are in another Collection, it won't be eligble to be on the front page for X (as yet to be determined) number of days. It won't be the same people with the same stuff showing up time after time, day after day.
6. You can promote yourself in the Collections. It's ok. Some people have made Collections with just their work and that's allowed. Collections are a promotion tool. Google likes them. It is nice to create them with other studios' items. I've found some wonderful shops that way.
7. Pro studios have a gallery where you can show off custom work or work that has sold.
8. ArtFire gives Pro studios a blog that is indexed by google.
9. The flagging system at ArtFire actually works. If somebody is selling something and calling it vintage and it's not, four different studios can flag the item and the item will be removed until admin. checks it out. The sellers is not removed-only the item. If a seller feels items are flagged in error, they can appeal and explain to admin..
10. Last, in this post, but not least, by a long shot. I like the way the site looks. It's getting better every day. I'm not a chrome and glass, owl and cowl kind of person. I'm more English countryside and shabby chic. Barefeet or mocassins over stillettos any day.
If you haven't seen ArtFire yet, click the link at the top of the page. It's worth looking at and who knows, you might decide that for $5.95 a month, its a great deal.