That was satisfyingly alphabetical for a moment there! Having signed up to Etsy, then Folksy, Artfire and now Misi with half an eye on Coriandr and Dawanda, this post is a simple overview of what I've found so far, the pros and cons, what has suited me and what hasn't.
Today Etsy and Folksy.
When I first started looking around for an online platform to sell my Art work and jewellery Etsy was the first site I found and very impressed I was too! The site is easy to navigate, well presented and has a wealth of varied and interesting articles available for your perusal. The 'starting up your own business' style articles were particularly helpful for me at the time. Listing costs $0.20 for four months and the site charges a 3.5% commission on sale fee. I immediately signed up full of enthusiasm and ideas only to be stopped dead in my tracks when I found I couldn't sell my work. Why? No great intrigue for you I'm afraid, it's simply that I do not have, nor do I want, a credit card which Etsy require you to have to prove your identity. I'm yet to find a way around this and whilst Etsy now do accept fee payment through paypal there is still the need for a credit card. So Etsy has been a no go for me which is dissappointing. I do keep an eye on the site as the treasuries are great and articles interesting, however, over the last few months it frequently refuses to load for me. Having googled the problem, this seems to happen to many people and there is a wealth of techie help, works, then doesn't work, works, then doesn't work. Would put me off as a buyer.
Next, I discovered Folksy and contacted them to check whether I needed a credit card before signing up and was relieved to hear that I could set up shop without one, hoorah! As I live in the UK, a UK based site was mighty appealing and the 20p listing fee and 5% commission (no commission during the beta test period) is reasonable. It was fairly straightforward, if a little time consuming, to set up shop on Folksy and I was impressed / excited enough to set up two, one for my jewellery and one for my Art work. The site is still in beta, however, I am generally pleased with it:
selling in sterling is much easier for me
international sales are now go
the fees are reasonable
good community vibe
There are several niggling issues which I hope will be changed:
the site navigation could be more intuitive with a few design tweaks and links that work
categories within shops are needed
the purple site category lists could do with being separated in some way as they appear to be the categories in a shop and yet navigate customers away from your shop
more promotion from Folksy themselves
more communication between Folksy and sellers
The first items I listed will expire soon and I am going to re-list them. Folksy has brought me several sales, however, only one customer has actually gone through the process of paying through Folksy. Folksy is the place I've directed my domain name to (www.lauracameron.co.uk) and this is what appears on my packaging and promotional materials. I know many sellers work hard at promoting their Folksy shops and the Folksy site as a whole and am hopeful traffic will increase and visitors will enjoy and become customers!
Next up I'll be looking at Artfire, Misi, Coriandr and Dawanda would be interested to hear your opinions on all five these sites, what suits you? What do you like? What makes you throw things across the room in frustration? If you had to choose just one site, which would it be?