Lately I’ve been doing through a situation where I ask myself, “Self, is it better to have an Etsy shop, pay for each item to renew on top of a transaction fee AND a fee to Paypal in order to keep my shop and my side business alive?” You know, I actually DO respond to myself. Since forging new friendships on Ravelry and through my newest Rav group Craft Cafe DFW, I’ve found out about Big Cartel and ArtFire.
Both of these mediums are for independent sellers and they charge a flat rate per month. Sellers can choose different levels of payment (gold, silver, platinum, etc.) for better perks. I like the fact that I know, ahead of time, what my expenditure will be for my shop on a specific website.
Some questions that have arised in the creation of my online shops at BigCartel and ArtFire are, “How to items renew or get bumped up to the beginning of the search for a customer? In other words, how visible are my listings?” On Etsy, I can pay $0.20 and renew an item. Within seconds I see that same item on the front page of that category. How is that handled on those websites?
I’m also wondering about the exposure of each of these websites. Over the last several years, Etsy has become a household name to many people I talk to. I’ve heard more comments like, “I bought everything off of Etsy this year for Christmas” and “I love shopping on Etsy. You can find everything there.” So, will BigCartel and ArtFire grow to the same popularity?
If you’re an online indie seller and you have questions or have answers, please comment below. I’d love to open this discussion up to those who are interested in some way. We can all help each other make the best decision for ourselves as business owners.
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