Thursday, May 19, 2011

Artfire- a Different Sort of Artist Marketplace

So a few months ago I started listing some items over at Artfire. I had seen it come up in search engine matches for items I had looked for in the past and was curious to see what type of response I would see compared to Etsy. I can tell you that Artfire is optimized for the Bing search engine. They also say that they push items into Google. I like a few of their tools related to this becuase it alerts you to terms that Google Product search won't allow. I think I tried "free gift wrapping" in one my descriptions and it alerted me that I wasn't allowed to use the word "free". There a bevy of other words it help you avoid as well.
I definitely get a lot more response from my Etsy site. Just running analytics tools from Google shows me a greater amount of pure traffic. I think they must have come first or have more of a presence in the minds of folks becuase Artfire has an "Etsy Importer" tool so that your shop can match your Etsy offerings. It's also obvious that a lot of Etsy store owners also have an Artfire storefront. My question for the day is- well- is it worth it? Artfire does not charge listing fees. This can add up to quite the sum over the month with Etsy as it's the only way to keep your items up in the category pages. I target about a dollar a day to my relisting fees. It generates more shop traffic and has generated sales. Artfire doesn't seem to have a way to relist items but says that if you log in and "check-in" to you site as well as have a "premium membership" then they guarantee that a randomizer will auto-populate your shop items in the category pages. Artfire also has some neat stats that run on your items showing what links from external searches (mostly Bing) have resulted in traffic on which listings. Trying to look at it through the Google-Scope is more difficult becuase it references your shop items by a number. You have to visit the link yourself to figure out what you are looking at stats for. (Just a nit.) I have gotten some custom requests from both Etsy and Artfire. The Etsy requests are run through thier internal "convo" system which maintains privacy of your e-mail address. The Artfire system allows people that are not logged in to send you requests. It then send the person's e-mail address and their note to you. I have never had anyone get back to me from Artfire. On Etsy it's about 50% but I'm also getting more requests.
Both marketplaces have a feature that allow people to generate a favorite grouping of objects they like from various shops. Etsy has "treasuries" and Artfire calls them "Collections". Artifre has some neat gizmos that allow you to embed a Collection into your website. On Etsy- you have to go to CraftCult or some other service to generate them for you. Jury is still out on whether a premium membership is worth it. I tagged the date my free 30 days started and I'll check the analyticator to see if the membership resulted in an increase in traffic. If I don't see any sales come through- I'll have to pull the plug on paying the $10 a month. We shall see. In the meantime- check out Artfire's embedded collections gizmo featuring my pirate bunting. Cute gizmo but the emphasis seems to be on themselves instead of on the products-- just one more nit. Hmmm. Anyone with artfire vs. Etsy opinions??
My current likes:
1. Analytics tools
2. Search Engine referral source links/Search terms
3. Gizmos to embed Collections
4. No listing fees
5. Real e-mails sent for custom requests

Anyway- check them out if you are interested!


1 comment:

  1. I really like the word alerts when creating a description on artfire too! I've noticed so many of my own listings along with many AF users popping up in bing, google, yahoo and aol searches. :]

    Great post!!

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