Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Choosing an Online Marketplace.

     What is an online marketplace?  A online marketplace is a web store that is hosted through a 3rd party provider such as Etsy, Artfire, Made It Myself, and so on.  These providers offer handcrafters the ability to sell their crafts easily through their store software for a fee and canceling the need to create a web page to sell your handmade goods.  This also applies to selling supplies and vintage items as well.  I have a long personal experience with Etsy, Artfire, and Made It Myself and will be listing their pros and cons as well as links and my personal choice. 

Made It Myself  :

Fees:  Free to list.
Can become featured for additional $.49


Can make items up for negotiation which could lead to more sales.
Makes coupons.
Chat for members to exchange ideas.
Custom work listing ability.

Takes a 3% commission on sold items.
Maximum picture size 800pix
Buyers have to register.
Picture upload max: 4 Images
Takes 7 steps to complete 1 listing.


Fees: Basic account FREE
Pro account just $9.95

Does not take commision
Buyers do not have to register to buy!
Google market hub
Easy publish to facebook and twitter.
Facebook App
Works with google analytics
Easy and quick to list items all fields on one page.

Can add a widget to your web page called rapid cart that will pull items from your store with a buy now option.
Etsy Importer for people who are switching.
Custom coupons
Global Editor (having a sale edit all listed items at once or pick all items in one category to edit, this is awesome saves so much time!)
Guilds where you can connect with fellow artists and earn badges.
Can upload up to 10 pictures
Pic max pixels is 2000
Sales Data Exporter
Complete Shop Customization

Hard to find info on the basic account option
Does not advertise in bridal, home, and housekeeping magazines.
The best features are only available to pro members.


Fees:$.20 per listing. Plus a 3.5% Commision
$7 for Showcase/Featured listing

Easy Click Tags
Facebook App 
Works with google analytics
Advertises in magazines frequently. (good housekeeping, better homes and gardens, brides, ect)
Pay your bill as you go instead of monthly fees.
Can bid on custom work.
Can do coupon codes.
Has small store app you can add to your webpage or blog.

5 Pic limit
Takes 5 steps to list.
Buyers must register to buy.

Fees lets do the math. I have 60 items listed right now ranging from $5-$25 average price $10.

Made It Myself: 60 Items Costs: $0 cash to list and costs  $.03 cents for every $10 item sold.
Is cheapest money wise but lacks features and it takes 15 minutes to list one item. (if you have slower internet it will take you longer)
Artfire: 60 Items Cost nothing for basic account, or $.16 per item for a pro account at $9.95 a month
Etsy: 60 Items Cost: $12 to list at $.20 each  plus another $.03 cents per $10 Item in commission and takes roughly 10 minutes to list with a fast internet connection.

Now you see why Artfire is my personal favorite.
   So there are some of the basic features and I am sure I missed a few but this gives you an idea of what these are like.  There are many other marketplaces available as well but these are the 3 major ones that most people at least in the USA use. 
    Why does it matter if people have to register to buy? You probably noticed that registering to buy is my major con to both Made It Myself and Etsy.  This is because customers loose interest fast and going through a long registration process will cause most to decide what they were going to buy is not worth the time.  It is a basic marketing principal and has been proved time and time again that people are more like to purchase things they can get at the moment.

My favorite market place is Artfire. I was with Etsy for 2 yrs no sales, Made It Myself for a cpl months couldn't take how long it took to list items, and finally Artfire which I have been with for almost a year and have made numerous sales.

I love just about everything on artfire from its amazing customization to the low monthly payments.  If you would like to try a artfire pro account and receive a month free please click here.



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