Saturday, July 16, 2011

ArtFire Retires Basic Accounts

If you go over to the ArtFire forums expect to hear a lot of this.

Warning, I’m about to rant, rave, and vent my feelings about the recent knowledge about the Artfire basic accounts being closed.  I don’t care about my account being closed really, but I do care about the horribly snarky people over there who talk like their poo doesn’t smell.  You have been warned.  Devil


Ok, so many of you who sell items tend to sell on Etsy.  I was planning to open a shop on Etsy, but I also had a shop on Artfire that I planned to try again and see if it worked and got the traffic I was hoping for.  Only I got an email the other day letting me know that my shop will be turned into a buyer account after August 15th because it’s a basic account.  Well poo.

Now I’m not really upset about this because I had planned to open shop on Etsy and market the hell out of my shop.  But I hopped on over to the Artfire forums to just voice my thoughts and read the extremely long thread about it.  First of all, if you are not a Pro member of Artfire be prepared to be attacked for being “cheap” basically. Basic accounts in their eyes are what brought the site down and those of us with a basic account need to stop being cheap and riding on their coattails and wanting a free ride.  A lot of sellers didn’t see it as a free ride.  They wanted to make money to put towards their membership, but they just weren’t making the sales and couldn’t afford membership.  I totally get that, I couldn’t understand why the pro account people couldn’t.  They say whatever they want in that forum and a lot of it gets downright rude.  I feel as adults we can get our point across without the holier than thou attitude, but you will get that in gobs over there.  But I read the post and they made some good points about why getting rid of the basic accounts were good.

Now if you’ve read posts by me before you will know that I felt Etsy was like FaceBook and Artfire was like MySpace.  Everyone uses Etsy and a few people still use Artfire.  I still feel that way.  I like things to be uniform and some of those Artfire shops are just tacky looking with pictures of people’s dogs in their bios and whatnot.  That’s what a blog is for if you really must share 20 pictures of Fluffy from different angles.  And this was a lot like MySpace in my eyes with the tacky glaring layouts.  But I digress.  Back on topic, so yes I felt the place kind of looked like a Flea Market with empty shops and shops that didn’t look like they’d been tended to in months or longer.  But from what I’ve learned the shop owners were still there, they just didn’t check in much because they weren’t making sales.  But of course if you say that you got punished with the slash of the tongue there.  Why do people feel they need to be so rude to be heard?

Now I made a comment when I had finished all the posts, by that time I felt I had earned it.  But I don’t feel like going back to check on the thread.  I learned all I needed to learn about the retiring of the accounts, even though Artfire said the basics were there to stay, but whatever.  The company is taking a risk they need to take to further themselves and I wish them luck.  Who knows, maybe this will bring the traffic it needs and I might be tempted to go back and try it out.  Until then I think I will look elsewhere.  I still have my Etsy shop ready to go and I also signed up for a free account on Zibbet to see how things work out there. Yes it has less traffic than Artfire, should I call Zibbet the Friendster of the handmade world, but I feel no matter where you are you have to promote your ass off to get seen in this big world of selling.  Many people are trying to do the same thing you are and you just have to compete and learn how to get your customers to your shop.  So a site with less traffic doesn’t worry me right now.

But what really gets me is Artfire’s Tony and his claims on how Artfire is doing better than Etsy did when it was at the same age Artfire was starting out.  He said:

If comparing apples to apples ( Year 1 and Year 2 Etsy to Year 1 and Year 2 ArtFire) our sellers made more sales. That is to say comparing the two and ignoring the fact that Etsy launched in a boom and we launched in a recession, ArtFire sales were higher for the same point in development.

Umm, he seems to forget that when Etsy started there was nothing like it out there, and so of course it was going to be slow going because they were a new concept.  Sure we had Ebay, but this was a venue just for handmade and it was going to take a while to catch on.  Once Artfire had come along there had already been some Etsy-like sites out there and so it wasn’t such a weird thing to buy from sites like this so naturally people bought from the site a lot quicker.  Also he’s trying to say that Etsy should have done better because it launched during an economical boom where Artfire launched during a recession.  Ummm, most of the people who went to Artfire were from Etsy and they were either people who didn’t do well on Etsy or who were shunned from Etsy for one reason or another so Artfire said “Come and join us, we’ll never censor you and you can say what you like whenever you like.” And that’s how it’s been going there ever since.  So yes, you get some big Etsy sellers there to bring their following and naturally you will get more sales.  This puffery bull crap is what annoys me about Artfire and their little minions who dutifully follow with glass doe eyes.  Promote your business, but don’t get confused on the facts people.

And well, I guess I just needed a rant.  I don’t like the way people act over there, which is why I don’t go there to shop really.  Window shopping is ok, but giving my money over to someone there is another thing.  I just feel if these people could so easily not care about the feelings of their fellow artisans then why would they care about their customers.  Customers can see these boards and seeing the way they talk sometimes puts me off of there work.  I wonder how someone with such a venomous bite can create something so beautiful.  Then I choose not to care anymore and return to Etsy.  And it’s so funny, these people are saying the Artfire system works for them but then you look at their shops and from 2008 until now some of them have maybe 100 sales and that’s it.  I’ve seen shops that opened on Etsy this year or last who have several hundred to several thousand sales.  So where do they really have room to talk and boast?  But that’s just my thoughts.

Of course my response over there was as sugary sweet so as to keep the peace, but I know they found fault in what I said and ranked what I said low because I had not used my new account on the forums yet and well like I said if you don’t have a pro account you don’t matter.  Oh and yeah they have a ranking system on their forum so you can rank a person low and a lot of people in this post who were just visiting the forum and expressing there upset over their shop being closed got ranked low because it went against the majority.  Meh, whatever.  You know, 10 dollars is not a bad investment to make in your business and I totally get that and started thinking maybe I should just pay it and try it out, but I could only stand so much of “If you aren’t making sales it’s not Artfire’s fault it’s yours!  Use the tools given to you and make it work!”, before I would want to jump ship anyway.  So I’ll leave that to the snarky people for now and just stick to Etsy where the snark is still there but so is the traffic.  Winking smile  That’s all for now guys.  Talk to you later.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.  Smile

Loves ya,

1 comment:

  1. Did you know that Artfire is a similar handmade venue, to Groove Press. For the past two years, AF had offered their sellers a free, basic account.

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