I sat down to write this blog post about ArtFire, an emerging marketplace, this morning thinking it would be a good way to pass some time between then and my lunch break.
It didn’t take me long, however, to recognize that ArtFire is a pretty special marketplace and one that I should have given more attention to prior to now. Learning more about ArtFire has been on my to-do list for a while, so I am pleased to have finally dedicated some time to exploring it.
After a quick surf around their website, user forum and from reading some press they have received recently, I’m now convinced that ArtFire is a marketplace that we should all keep an eye on.
I’m intrigued by ArtFire for a couple of reasons:
- ArtFire was voted by sellers as the winner of the 2011 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings above eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and more. It caught my attention at the time because I hadn’t heard a lot about it or ever used the site to buy or sell items: I was impressed by the fact that a marketplace which was fairly new could take such a title.
- They take a unique approach to their relationship with sellers: In their words, rather than “selling traffic to sellers” like more conventional marketplaces, ArtFire instead takes your listings, after you post them on their site, and puts them in front of tens of millions of buyers via Google Merchant, social media aggregators, search engines and ArtFire’s partners.
- The owners come across as hugely passionate about what they do and are dedicated to ensuring ArtFire remains for the people (both buyers and sellers) through their Community Directed Development.
Anyway! Enough about what I like about them, you’re probably wondering, how much money can you make by selling on ArtFire.com?
Let’s take a quick look at some important info you need to decide whether ArtFire is for you:
What you can sell on ArtFire
ArtFire specializes in products that are handmade, vintage, craft suppliers, some kind of fine art, or media or design-related. There is no denying that there is a likeness to Etsy.com here – a marketplace that specializes in handmade and crafted or vintage goods. This seems to eliminate a lot of sellers who sell more conventional items like DVDs or clothing but if you take a close look at the more faster growing marketplaces like Bonanza, Addoway, and RubyLane, you will see that there is a huge buyer market looking for these items. It’s clear that e-Commerce is heading in a crafty direction.
How much it costs to sell items on ArtFire
It is free to list and sell items on ArtFire: You don’t pay listing fees or any kind of final value or success fees. ArtFire makes money by offering Pro level accounts that gives you greater options for customization, promotional tools, more exposure and faster service. The Pro level account costs US$9.95 per month. There is no obligation to stay longer than one month and you can cancel at any time. You can also get a 30 day free trial of ArtFire here: https://www.artfire.com/ext/register/account
ArtFire did previously offer a basic seller account which was 100% free but did not include the extras that the Pro level account does such as greater customization options and added exposure. However, ArtFire recognized that sellers could not determine whether it was worth them upgrading to a paid Pro account without them being able to try it out first and seeing the benefits. Hence why ArtFire now offers you a full Pro level account for a free 30 day trial.
Will you make money selling on ArtFire?
In the same marketplace ratings that resulted in ArtFire being announced the winner, ArtFire was announced as the 2nd most profitable marketplace by sellers, second only to Webstore.com. This is a very strong sign that there is plenty of potential to make sales when you sell on ArtFire.
Based on what ArtFire sellers are talking about on the forum, getting sales requires more than just slapping some listings up and sitting back and waiting for the sales to roll in. Instead, ArtFire sellers engage buyers will social media by creating Facebook Pages or by blogging about their products (and product-related topics). They are also open to learning about search engine optimization (SEO) and willing to spend time making sure that their listings get found.
In other words, there is money and sales to be made on ArtFire.com, but expect to work for them!
Customer support for ArtFire sellers
ArtFire support has been praised as having the best available customer service across all marketplaces. They boast phone support for Pro members and a 24 hour return on email enquiries, even for free trial members. ArtFire also has a wide range of on-site help resources which allow you to get answers to frequently asked questions without you having to take the time to make a call or send an email.
Overall, ArtFire does an admirable job of communicating with their sellers and consistently asks their opinion on the direction of ArtFire which keeps the seller’s interests at heart and the ArtFire owners true to their founding principles.
From the horses’ mouth: The benefits of selling on ArtFire:
The following is an extract of an interview with ArtFire’s Chief Operations Officer
“ArtFire is a place where you can share the process with other like-minded people and let us (ArtFire) do the heavy technical lifting. We have built highly customizable studios, speed and SEO optimized pages, checkout-enabled widgets and promotional tools, coupon codes, batch editing tools and business management tools. We push product out to the shopping world for you, automate the SEO as much as possible, duplicate your images on 70,000 severs in 60 countries and auto-convert the shopper's view to their home currency. We educate, support and encourage you. Perhaps most importantly, we work to create a vital, sustainable and supportive community.
Our goal is to help you sell, even if it means you make sales on another marketplace. That is something that the eBay model could never do.”
Have you sold on ArtFire before? Are you intrigued to hear more about them and how they are different from many other marketplaces out there? Share your thoughts below.