Friday, 1 May 2009

Artfire, Coriandr, Dawanda, Etsy, Folksy, Misi

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?

3 comments:

kate said...

thats a real bummer about not being able to open an Etsy shop - I don't have a credit card but I'm pretty sure I used my debit card (visa)? I much prefer Etsy to Folksy but will be interesting to hear what you have to say about Coriandr and Misi as I'm considering both of those.

Julia Guthrie said...

This is really interesting to hear another sellers opinion of these places.
I am with Etsy & found it to be really good. I made a lot sales while I was active in the forums but it's hard work to keep yourself noticed there!

I signed up with Folksy last yr & have had a paltry 2 sales from other folksy sellers. I think they've had ample time to tidy up the design & navigation of the site & to do more promotion, but they just don't seem interested in the sellers to be honest!
Yes, I've watched the lists of complaints grow over the months in the forum & seen almost no responses from admin. I decided not to re-list any of my work when it runs out & have stopped promoting it.
Folksy is quite honestly PANTS!:)

I'll be interested to see what you have to say about Misi as I've been there for a couple of months now & had a fantastic response!
Minor niggles with the site, but the site owner is in the forum regularly & generally gets things replied to & sorted within a few days, which compared to Folksy was a dream come true!:)
I'm really happy with Misi, more so than Etsy as it gives me the opportunity to sell in UK currency!:)

Lauren said...

i'm sure i set my esty shop up with my debit card as i didn't get a credit card until recently. It'd be a shame to miss out international sales just because of that, have you tried using a debit card? or would a someone close let you use their credit card just for this purpose? Etsy has alot to offer and is a great resource, i hope that folksy will get there too one day but it might take a while.

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