Saturday, 2 May 2009

Artfire, Coriandr, Dawanda, Etsy, Folksy, Misi

Last week I spoke about my experiences of Etsy and Folksy and not wanting to bombard you all at once I thought I'd leave the others for another day. Out of Artfire, Coriandr, Dawanda and Misi I have only signed up to Artfire and Misi, however, I have spent some time perusing all of the sites.

I signed up to Artfire with the intention of setting up a 'studio' (I like that they call Artist's spots that!) solely for my paintings and photographic prints and, as yet, my 'studio' is very undeveloped with one lonely painting in it. I've signed up for a basic account and am impressed with the options offered:

"Our Basic account is absolutely free and allows an unlimited number of listings per month with a cap of 10 items in your Studio at a time and all members receive a complete stats package including both Google Analytics and real-time server side stats to maximize your promotion and spend your time where it makes sales. Verified members can list unlimited items with never a listing or final value fee, just like on your own website, but with less hassle, and at a lower price. Full access to a whole host of management features, promotional tools, and enhanced functionality. Plus increased site exposure use of all new features for just US $12.00 per month. "

Neither accounts charge commission on sales so the basic account really is free which might sway this site for people starting out with a small budget. Having noticed a few people selling their work on their own blog through Artfire, I think this is a great feature and would sway me to signing up for a Verified Account. I fully intend to make use of my account over the next few months and will let you know how I get on.

Artfire, like Folksy, is still in its beta phase, and has recently had a front page overhaul. I think the front page is very busy with a huge amount of information, however, information for sellers and buyers is presented directly to you right from the start. The search feature offers comprehensive options and whilst I did come across a few anomalies, this was probably due to sellers tagging their items incorrectly.

Next up is Misi. I have to admit I was put off signing up initially due to the overwhelming girliness of the design. However, the design and navigation is clear and, as R diplomatically pointed out, my jewellery is for women so of course I should sign up! I have spent some time looking around the site since signing up and actually really enjoyed the Style Guides so much so that I even went to read the site's blog: features sellers and has excellent advice for sellers even as far as the basics on being self employed. Very impressed! I like the ease of the shop management and the fact that Misi offers Google stats (as do Etsy and Artfire) and SEO tools.

My next venture is clearly signposted now! I will be listing original paintings on Artfire and my new range of jewellery on Misi whilst keeping my silver and beadwork on Folksy.

As for Coriandr and Dawanda, I have not signed up to them simply because I do not think I can manage any more online shops at the moment. They both appear user friendly, although I prefer Coriandr's clean, tidy appearance as Dawanda seems a bit cluttered at first glance. I do love the Coriandr Seedlings idea which allows you to 'plant' a wee shop in your blog, great! Dawanda is targeted at the European market and is available in various languages and could provide you and your work wider exposure in an established European market.

The chart above gives the basics for each site, but remember these are subject to change, especially with those sites still in beta so be sure to check them out fully before signing up to sell. There are clear pros and cons for each and I hope you find a site which works for you. Those of you who are set up and selling, I'd love to hear your opinions on where you sell.



Nic said...

Great review of the sites, Laura. I don't have enough stuff listed on my Coriandr site to make a detailed comment and I haven't sold anything on there yet so can't comment too much but if you ignore the pinkness of Misi, I really think it is great and would love to see it becoming the UK version of Etsy.
I thought Folksy was going to do that, hence starting with them, but they seem too caught up in trying to make the site 'something' and I'm not too sure what that is, making excuses for why it takes them so long to achieve anything and generally ignoring their sellers.
Misi also has a misi mini thingy like the seedling on Coriandr although mine does take a while to load in my blog, it could be because I have a rather large tile?

Laura Johnson said...

Thanks Nic, I've had a look at the Misi Mini on your blog and it looks really good, it loaded straight away on my visit. Hope you get your punto back soon ; )

Silver Moss Jewellery said...

Fantastic couple of blogs posts, thanks so much for sharing your experiences. I've a shop on Folksy only so far although have looked at both Misi and Coriandr. Misi may be my next post of call. Etsy looks just too big! And I had no idea about the credit card thing.

I seem to be doing okay on Folksy although I do find the lack of promotions within the site frustrating - Mother's Day just seemed to pass them by.

Btw, what does the Alexa rating mean on that cool little comparison table?

Thanks again for a great feature!

Laura Johnson said...

Alexa ranks sites according to how many visits they get from people who use their toolbar. The smaller the number the higher up the rankings - here Etsy is the clear leader. The number one spot would be the most visited site at that moment. Tis quite interesting, you can put your own url in and see where you are!

Laura Johnson said...

Update Alert! Now that I'm doing something with my Artfire account it appears that their Rapid Cart feature (see is only available for verified account holders, however the shop window promotional tools are available on the free account.

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