PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Artfire: an alternative to Etsy?

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell HandmadeIf you buy or sell handmade goods, you may have already heard of Artfire.com, a new online marketplace. Artfire is similar to Etsy in many ways, but also has some interesting differences, especially in their fee structure. I’ve been investigating for a while, so I thought it might be useful if I summarised some of the things I’ve discovered, in case you’re also wondering if you should try selling your wares on Artfire…
This post is a review based on my own opinions – I’m not affiliated with Artfire in any way other than as a user!

Google Running a few test searches on Google to try to find some of my crochet patterns, I found that my Artfire page comes up much higher in the rankings than my Etsy page. This gives you an immediate advantage over your Etsy-selling competition if buyers are googling for a certain type of item.

No Account Checkout Unlike Etsy, your customers don’t have to have an Artfire account in order to buy, so if you link from your blog to your Artfire, that’s a good way to get sales from non-Etsians who may be unwilling to create an Etsy account.

No Fees! You can sign up for free and list up to 10 items at any one time with absolutely no strings, no listing fees, and no commission fee when you sell an item (vs 20c listing fee and 3.5% commission on Etsy). This would be a great way to get your feet wet with Artfire – you have nothing to lose.

Did I mention it’s free to sell?! So important I think it deserves a second mention: NO listing fees! NO selling fees! That’s an amazing deal.

Monthly Fee Upgrade The free account limits you to selling 10 items at any one time. To sell as many items as you want, there is a flat fee of $20 per month. But for the first 5000 sellers the fee is only $7 per month – and that’s guaranteed never to increase.

Those 5000 places are going pretty fast – I’ve been thinking about it for the past few weeks, and in that time the number of $7 memberships left has gone down from 2600 to 1400… I decided I wanted to get in at the $7 level while I still have the chance. If I don’t like it, I can go back to the free 10-item membership, and I haven’t lost anything. But I’m prepared to pay for a few months at least and give it a chance to succeed.

As I’m currently paying over $30 in Etsy fees each month, knowing that I could sell a thousand patterns and would still only be paying $7/month in Artfire fees makes this deal very tempting! Just listing my 44 items would cost me $8.80 at Etsy, so I’ll already be saving money by the time I’ve finished setting up all my listings.

PlanetJune store on Artfire.com
My Artfire storefront

Artfire is still small and new, but it’s growing fast, and I really think it has the potential to be big. I’ve only had 1 sale so far, but it all went very smoothly. If you are thinking of expanding your sales venues, I suggest you consider Artfire among your options. At least sign up for a free account – you can upgrade to the $7 monthly account later if you don’t feel like committing today (but remember that those memberships are going fast, so don’t leave it too long!)

Please list me (planetjune) as the referrer if you do decide to sign up. Here’s my direct link: Register on ArtFire.com.

I’ll report back in the coming months with how sales in my Artfire shop compare with sales in my Etsy shop and, of course, my main PlanetJune shop. I’m thinking of writing some more posts about things I’ve found out about while running my business, so please let me know if you’d like to hear more on my perspective of running a craft business…

15 Comments »

  1. betz said

    Great review! I was just looking at my etsy fees while I was doing my taxes and was thinking about Art Fire and Big Cartel. I’d love it if you could answer a few questions for me. Do you know if you can place an AF widget on your blog to link to an AF shop? Can you search AF by users? BC doesn’t seem like you can. My biggest question (and maybe you can’t tell yet with just one sale) is how does the reporting work? Again, thinking about tracking sales and tax time! Thanks so much for your insight.
    Betz

    • June said

      Good questions, Betz! I’ll do my best to answer them:

      1. Yes, AF have just added a new feature called Rapid Cart (only for verified i.e. $7 members) that lets customers buy directly from the widget on your website – they never have to visit AF and don’t need an AF account to buy.

      2. Yep, click Search and there is a box to do a Member Search.

      3. I can’t see any way to download sales reports – yet – but AF is still developing new features and I’m sure this is one that would be much-requested and easy to implement. In fact, I will request it right now – I would like to see that too!

      Hope that helps!

  2. Thanks for the insight into another alternative to Etsy, I’m heading over right now to check it out.

  3. Glad to have been following your blog to get such a good info, thanks. I have been thinking of selling my works e-way since months ago but need to find which is the most effective online marketplace. Yeah, will go there and register an account now!

  4. Mandi said

    You talked me into it… ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks great.

  5. becky said

    So I decided to join because I had been contemplating selling on etsy but the fees scared me and since the 7 dollars were runing away I figured I may as well start this and go from there. Hmm thank you sooo much.

  6. Lindsey said

    Thanks so much for the review. I joined earlier this week and I’ve already made 2 sales! Pretty exciting for me.

    The thing I really like about artfire is the community. Have you explored the forums at all? Everyone is just sooo friendly.

    Again, thanks for the tip

  7. SiSi said

    Hi June, thanks for sharing. I just signed up with you as my referrer:) I really like the free postings and no commission! TY:)

  8. val said

    thanks for the tip!

  9. Dori said

    Thanks for sharing this information! I just signed up with you as the person who referred me. Sounds very good to me. I was very hesitant about signing up for Etsy and kept stalling. This must have been the reason!
    Thanks again.

  10. Renate said

    Dora put me on to you – I too have been stalling about esty so will certainly have a look – thanks for the info

    • June said

      I just checked and, as of right now, there are only 400 $7 accounts remaining. I don’t think they will last for long – if anyone is still undecided about getting in at the $7 level, think quickly, or you may miss out!

      My experience to date is still good: I’m not making as many sales yet as with Etsy, but I’m getting lots of item views via google, so those are people who would probably never have found out about me if I didn’t have the ArtFire account. And that’s without promoting my ArtFire account in any way (as my own PlanetJune shop is my main store). If you currently link to your Etsy store from your blog, twitter, etc, moving over to Artfire would save you all those Etsy fees, which could save you a lot of money as your business grows.

      Again, I’d really appreciate it if you list me (planetjune) as the referrer if you do decide to sign up. Thank you!

  11. LauraAnne said

    Thank you for taking the time to do this review. A friend told me to check into it and I figured it was another way to get my jewelry out there. I too just joined Etsy- but I have never seen my work on the time machine or get hand picked, you seem to get lost there. IS that the same with Artfire? and didn’t understand what you meant about linking over and saving fees? am new to this link thing and don’ t know how to do it. thanks again for your time and I will see about sigining up. Now what happens when you do a referral or you say someone referred you….is there a special gift bonus or reward for bringing people in? have great day, LauraAnne of LauraAnneDesigns.com Unique one of a Kind Jewelry

    • June said

      LauraAnne, ArtFire is still smaller than Etsy, so you have a better chance of your work not getting totally swamped by everyone else’s! ArtFire don’t charge a per item listing fee, or a fee every time you sell an item (Etsy does both) – there’s just the one monthly fee that won’t increase whether you sell 1 item or 1000.

      I don’t know if their referral program is still operational – their prices and referral schemes have changed in the year since I wrote this post. ArtFire has grown a lot over the past year! You could always sign up for the free Basic membership and see if you like it – there are no commitments or fees unless you upgrade to a Verified account.

      Full disclosure: I’m still having much more success with Etsy than ArtFire, although I do nothing at all to promote either site, and my ArtFire sales have been increasing! The vast majority of my sales come directly through my own website ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. LauraAnne Designs said

    Hi -thanks for your reply, I just happened to click on your name in my favorites to see if a reply came back -been busy getting ready for a jewelry show. I just signed up and have to do the web page- ugh. Ihope they are helpfuk with the tools in getting you set up. I hired a web master for my web site LauraAnneDesigns .com And we worked together. thanks again for getting back to me and Idid get a code so I got the $12 a mn package. take care, LauraAnne

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    June Gilbank

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