♦Selling and Networking Online
Etsy is a pretty big deal. Most, if not all, artists I've met sell on Etsy. Some people love it and some are not so impressed. But, I've never met anyone who refuses to sell on Etsy. Prior to hearing about Etsy, I sold on eBay. This was a HUGE savings to me. Their fees are significantly cheaper than eBay fees. Listing is only $.20 per item listed and their final value fee is minimal. It took me a while but I finally gave up my eBay store and strictly sold on Etsy (and my own website). The money I didn't end up giving away to eBay, I put into many more listings on Etsy. Within days, I was getting more questions from prospective buyers, more orders and "meeting" so many other great artists with other marketing and sales ideas. Within the first few weeks, I had someone contact me to interview and feature me on their blog with a contest. I was so excited!
Now, I have quite a few things against eBay besides their fees policies....mostly because they have their feedback system setup for the buyers to trash the reputation of sellers....but that's a different post. LOL But, bottom line, eBay will always be bigger than Etsy overall (not in the handmade community) so, I've promised myself to open up shop for Christmas season to give them a fair chance to change my mind. No promises though.
I don't know how I first heard about Artfire but, I'm glad I did. Artfire is the same as Etsy as far as what you can sell (handmade, handmaking supplies and vintage) but it's setup completely different. You can have a free account. With the basic membership, you are limited on certain things but, it's still doable. I opted for the premium account. The premium membership, you pay one low fee. List as much as you want, sell as much as you can and never pay more than your contract amount. They do have a programs where you can lower your monthly account payment by signing up others for premium accounts and they will occasionally have promotions going on where Premium account holders have invites to send out to others for a lower price, etc....this is how I signed up for $12/mo instead of the $15.95.
Since I joined Artfire and listed over 100 items in the first few weeks with their really easy listing page, I have had more visitors to my shop, facebook page and twitter. I've had questions from buyers on a consistent basis and I've gotten 5 orders so far....I've already paid for my monthly payment.