Saturday, July 16, 2011

Biz Buzz - No More Artfire Basic

Well there it is, Artfire is no longer offering free sites. Imagine my disappointment. I'm going to close my shops and move to another site. I won't even shop there. Burn in Hell Artfire.

That was an exaggeration of some of the comments to the news (well maybe not too exaggerated) on this Artfire Forum

Can you imagine the nerve of upgrading the site AND asking you to pay to be there? I just can't believe they have the balls to do something like that!!! I mean a lot of basic sellers who don't promote their shops will just have to leave because they aren't getting any sales at all.

I have made a visual tribute to some of the shops that were most offended.

Yes those are the actual items and photographs of their work. I wonder why they are disappointed in sales.

Needless to say that was all Sarcasm. I wish Artfire the best of luck with their revisions as I am keeping my Artfire Pro stores open. I have had pretty good sales, even though I don't do as much promoting as I could and I am really looking forward to the new look and improvements. And as for the kids moving on........


Cthings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cthings said...

Sorry you are leaving Artfire. I saw your post on twitter and thought I would read your blog. The thread is becoming a novel, but I am learning alot. Good Luck to you and will see you around twitter!

Cthings said...

Goovey me you are staying Hurray! I just need to wake up more to read. Anyway thanks for the good article!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating you included us (the Stork Club Ashtray) as being among the most offended, when in fact, we're not at all. In our limited time on AF, I have consistently advocated that AF drop the free option, BUT also make a non-subscription no-frills option available to retain listings (which equals google bait for AF) and still be able to bring in new sellers on the vintage side (ie, no barrier to entry). So potentially having a final fee option which gets none of the "tools" or perks that Pro gets. This is important for a number of reasons, one of which being that most everyone seems to agree that the number of listings in vintage is seriously lacking.

We had already decided to slowly leave weeks ago due to the fact that vintage is not branded by Artfire (it's not even mentioned on their Facebook), the vague references to changes coming have been very vague, and I'm not convinced that they will be making changes that are needed to draw both buyers and sellers. Tied to that is the fact that my confidence is low in their understanding of vintage (presumably, the typical buyer would be deciding between a new made in China vase vs a vintage McCoy vase for an end table - while that can occasionally be the case, it is not typical, but from a post from admin, it appears that is the assumption they're operating under).

Paying the subscription is not financially feasible for us, as the cost per item sold based on experience to-date would be far too high a percentage. And having checked, as a Basic, we've made more sales than a number of "Pro" vintage "studios" who deal in similar items, so it doesn't look like going Pro really would push those numbers up on AF - at least with the types of stuff we sell.

To us, AF just doesn't seem to be the place for general vintage stuff. Over the last month, we've pretty much been there to delete items that have sold elsewhere (and by elsewhere, I don't mean etsy - I only mention that since for some reason it's often assumed etsy is what is being referenced when talking about a different place).

So offended? Far from it. I think it's a bad idea to be subscription only (with no other paying option) at least for the vintage side of the site, but not at all offended. I don't know what was posted that made you think that... but it couldn't be further from the truth.

akaCINDERS said...

Glad you were't offended although you do seem to be offended that Artfire isn't supporting vintage, although I know a lot of vintage sellers that DO sell on Artfire.

I really do not understand why so many people are upset with a subscription price, when to me I am paying 1/10th of what I was at Etsy or far less than I do on eBay.

I guess my point here was better product and photography makes better sales.

Anonymous said...

"Glad you were't offended although you do seem to be offended that Artfire isn't supporting vintage, although I know a lot of vintage sellers that DO sell on Artfire."

Not offended so much, as annoyed. And disappointed. Why doesn't their Facebook mention vintage at all? (that's rhetorical). I think it would be cool if they were interested in making AF a destination spot for vintage. That doesn't seem to be "in the cards" however.

"I really do not understand why so many people are upset with a subscription price, when to me I am paying 1/10th of what I was at Etsy or far less than I do on eBay."

Because for some, the cost is too high to be justified. If we had paid the subscription fee all along, our per item cost would have been right around $7.00. Depending on the sales amount of the items, that ranges from 15% to 100% of the sales price. That's higher than eBay. Maybe some are cool with that, but many others won't be.

And yeah - while our camera might suck, items that have been photographed with it sell on eBay, so... and just in number of items sold, it looks like in 6 months we've sold almost as many items as you have (assuming you're aka... over there) since 2009. However, that's not enough to justify the subscription cost.

Since you publicly included us as being "offended" by the elimination of Basic accounts on your blog (in an attempt to mock), where exactly did you get that info? Since we've sort of said it would be wise for AF to eliminate them since we've been there?

akaCINDERS said...

"One that is free to list (and with an option for a monthly sub, but not a requirement) but with a final fee is addoway. I have no idea what the status of handmade is over there, but I know the vintage offerings from sellers are already fairly robust there. And while there are no forums and discussion is via Facebook (which is a little weird), there seems to be a lot less um, hostility, involved in discussions there. And people coming in with thoughts, ideas, suggestions don't seem to be viewed as "complaining." In fact, it seems to be directly welcomed.

Even though we considered ourselves gone from Artfire well previous to this announcement (for reasons unrelated to this announcement), I think it's wise that Basic Accounts are being eliminated. I think it is equally unfortunate for the health of the site that there was no AF revenue-generating option added that might have kept some users here (and continued to bring other new users here) without an up-front cost creating a barrier to entry (or continued existence). I do know that our cost per item for sales would have been over $6.00 had we paid to be pro since first starting here in January, and that's simply too high on our end (especially since some items sold for $6.99). So had we not already decided to move away from Artfire, this would have been the push, without another pay-in option."

Not Offended? Maybe, but definitely not happy with Artfire's business model. For someone who doesn't like complaining you are pretty good at it.

And yes it was pretty snarky of me to make that collection. But maybe if you took better pictures, you could get more that $6 an item. akaCinders is not my only Artfire site and many of my sales through Artfire are direct. I also have made more than 2000 sales on eBay, so I kind of have a bit of experience. Artfire does not have the traffic that eBay or even Etsy does right now, but that doesn't mean that it's not a worthy investment. And please, don't try to say you aren't upset with Artfire. You've said it over and over and over in your comments.

akaCINDERS said...

As an additional comment I might add that I had a really lousy f'ing week and I'm a bit bitchy and it really f'ing pisses me off that in this economy, really hard working talented people (including vintage sellers who know what they're doing and work hard at it)are having a hard time making a go at this thing, and people who throw up crap with lousy pictures and never promote, work at their SEO, or even take a minute to check in their shops f'ing bitch that they're not getting to list their crap for free anymore. Shut your f'ing traps and move on to some other lousy site that lets you list for free and just let your stupid stuff sit there and not sell too. And don't annoy me because I'm in a crappy mood.

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