The FREERIDE is back at Artfire. Sign up 12 friends and you AND a friend of your choosing get a free account for life.
Since I already have my free ride, I am trying to help my friends. Sign up under one of my friends links and as soon as they verify that you joined under them I will add your name to my list of friends to help.
Ok I will give a rundown on some of the artfire things that in my personal opinion make things great for the seller:
Every item listed is automatically entered in googlebase search. Customizable shop studios One page listing process Relevant searching on site One monthly fee no matter how much you sell Promotional sales with just one quick click 10 photos per listing Customers do not need an account to buy Links to all of your other selling sites in your studio Everyone's items are on the front page Rapid Cart no account purchase which you can put on any of your sites Search results are random unless you choose to sort by price or listing date Management takes time and listens to you Management actively advertises the site and helps provide promoting tips No need to re-list items Areas like forums, etc will improve as the site grows A free no fee Basic shop so you could sell and never pay fees internal stats as well as google analytics And many many more things.
Ok things you may not like about ArtFire: Is in BETA at this time Is about 6 months old Still gaining the customer market Things change and improve Everyone gets on the front page Search is not based on when you listed unless the customer wants it that way No way to re-list items to make sure you are at the top of the list Search is by default random Management is active and accessible You have to promote yourself just like any business You will have to miss one night out to dinner to cover the monthly fee
Ok this is only my personal opinion and does not mean diddly.
If your going to make and sell art/handmade you have to promote yourself. If your going into business you have to be organized to an extent and make sure you promote and get your name and art/items known. If you limit yourself to only promoting one way then that way is the only way customers will find you.
So those who have tried artfire and gave up.. I have to ask... did you honestly really promote your artfire shop? did you really do what was needed to get seen? Please don't answer.. but honestly ask yourself, you are the only one who needs the real answer.
I have done everything I can to promote both my shops here and on artfire. I do not re-list on etsy. I have been on the frontpage on etsy. And I have to say over all I get more views from artfire. I get a lot of google search hits. On average since I joined artfire my artfire shop has had more then triple the amount of traffic that I get in etsy. My artfire shop gets about half of the traffic from outside sources. My etsy shop gets about 15% from outside. This means I either have to sit in a chatroom 24/7 or on the forums and generate traffic to my etsy shop.... I have a day job I have to work and I'd like a life besides sitting on the computer trying to get traffic to from chat or forums.
Again this is my personal view and opinion so please disregard if you don't like what I say. The I know Nothing Seller named Rainwolf
There I was waiting to find out who the "unsub" was so I could blog and twitter and help promote them.... Time comes around and click on the link and my jaw drops! Naw.. I must have clicked wrong... I go back and click again... Naw.. It can't be!.. I go to the AFSneakers ning and ask if I am seeing what I'm seeing?! and Then I get floored.. I was the ambushed "unsub"!!
I am amazed at all the wonderful people who have purchased, promoted and commented on my work! I want to thank each and every one of you! I will be creating and packing all items ordered tomorrow and hope to have them all at the Post Office by Thursday.
I am always willing to make special custom orders so if you see something you would like to have but it is in the wrong size please let me know! If I have a photo on my flickr account that you would like again Please tell me! I post many things on flickr and if I do not get any comments or replies to the photo I tend not to list it in the shop.
As I'm not the best writer on the net I thought this post explained AFSneakers best!
Who exactly are the "Artfire Sneakers"? They are a group of Artfire Artisans that wanted to purchase from and promote Artfire sellers that had yet to receive many sales, but still remained positive. So, they decided to get a group together to try and bring sales and exposure to different sellers each week. Every Tuesday at 8pm CST the "Un-sub" is announced on the Artfire Sneaker's website and then everyone who is able to purchase an item from the "unsub" can do so at that time. But, if purchasing is not an option, promotion is greatly appreciated and encouraged! With all of the social outlets available, promotion will likely lead to sales and broader exposure for the "unsub".
The bottom line is...the "Sneakers" hope that their efforts will help encourage sellers that may be discouraged with a lack of sales. What a great community!
Here's a couple of interesting tidbits too! The great thing about the "Sneakers" and Artfire is that you are not required to be a member of either in order to participate and/or purchase every week. It's a perfect match really.
How is the "unsub" chosen, you ask? Well...they assign everyone in Artfire a number, put them in a hat, and....just kidding!
Actually, each week a different member of the council is selected as the designated sneaker (they are chosen in order of when they joined the council - at this time they are not taking new council members). When searching for an un-sub the designated sneaker will be looking for:
* A Verified Artfire member that has been on Artfire for more than 2 months * A studio with 2 or more pages of products/items * A fully set-up and functional studio (banner, avatar, bio, etc. - it needs to look like they plan on sticking around for a while) * A decent price range, preferably with a few items under the $10.00 range. (Occasionally a studio with higher priced products will be selected to make if fair for all un-subs, but studios with wide price ranges are needed in order for everyone to participate) * A studio with 3 or less sales * A studio that is not of the same genre as the 3 prior "unsubs" (in other words, a jewelry shop can't be picked 2 weeks in a row) * and...a Verifed Artfire member that has been publicly optimistic about Artfire and their fellow Artisans.
There's one caveat though and it's most appropriate... Artisans cannot volunteer to be "ambushed"
And, that's it. That's all there is to it! An absolutely awesome community effort to help each other out. You would think there would be alot of competition amongst the Artisans, especially among the Artisans that specialize in the same genre, but there isn't. Everyone pulls together and helps each other out and it's truly a pleasure to belong to not only the Artfire Sneakers, but to Artfire itself. "