Sunday, June 6, 2010

~ Stats from My First Month on Artfire ~

It's been a month since I paid my $14 to Artfire for a Pro account. No, I am not abandoning Etsy. But for selling low priced items like supplies, just the listing fee is daunting for Etsy. For example, I like to sell these lover dolphin brass bells as a package of 2 because they are cute that way. Listing fee for Etsy is $0.2 which is about 10% of my selling price. I try to make my packages bigger so all my items are at least $3.

Even so, I have tons of supplies to list. Right now, I have 221 items in my shop. 221 x 0.2 = $44. That's about $44 in listing fees!!! Granted, it's not like I list 220 items a month, but still. This kind of math makes Etsy look pretty bad as a venue for selling supplies. But I think, that's the only major disadvantage for Etsy. Yeah, Artfire has global editor and coupon creator and all that. But, I just like how my Etsy shop look and feel. This just doesn't look good to me.

Anyway, let's see some stats. It's pretty much expected that I would sell more on Etsy since it's a more established shop. However, I closed my Etsy shop for 2 weeks this month when I was on vacation. I left my Artfire shop open. The dollar amount sold on Etsy is about 3x what I sold on Artfire. My Etsy fees was only twice as much as my Artfire monthly fee. I definitely get more traffic on Etsy, about 5x Artfire traffic.

Here's my Google Analytics for Artfire

Google Analytics for Etsy. Note that my Etsy shop was closed during the last 2 weeks of May. During the 2 weeks that it was closed, it was still getting more traffic than my Artfire shop which was not closed.

On a side note, in my Artfire shop, there are 79 (27%) visits resulting from Artfire directly. In my Etsy shop, there were 384 (25%) direct visits. And yes, that's with 2 weeks being closed. So, it looks like there are just less people finding my shop on Artfire. Notice that I didn't say there are less people shopping on Artfire in general because this is just my stats. I can't make a general statement like that with the limited set of data I have. But, if you want to know which community is more active, you can just check the forums. On Etsy, you can always find posts that are less than 1 minute old. On Artfire, that's rare. Maybe Etsians are just more talkative.

In conclusion, I am definitely not making as much money on Artfire. And the monthly fee is not justified at this point. It's still early though. I am going to try it for a couple more months. It is more work to split the tweeting between Artfire and Etsy and having to list items on both sites and keep the inventory in sync. Sometimes, I think the amount I sell doesn't justify the time I spend running the shops. I love running the shops though. But, perhaps a price increase is in order?


Amy Nicole/RubyMtnBeads said...

It's a tough call for me too whether to keep my af shops or not. Right now they just don't have the traffic that etsy does. My biggest complaint is the visual aesthetics of artfire as well. They could really use a facelift!

Joyce said...

But they already had a facelift! It was worse before.

Tony Ford said...

It is always nice to see a statistical view on shop performance. Welcome to our community, we are glad to have you. ArtFire works quite differently than etsy. SEO and outside buyer focus take 3 months minimum with 100+ items (not duplicated on another site because of the google penalty)to fully mature.

I'll make you a deal. Run the store for 3 months, read and use our SEO guides. Give the store equal promotional time and if you don't have lower fees as a % to sales dollars on AF than E, I will personally refund all 3 months of the Pro fee. Be sure to count relisting and sales fees in there when you run the numbers.

Oh - and the item pages are changing today - a little facelift, more of a quick tuck really. :)




Joyce said...

Hello Tony!

Thank you for reading this post and your offer. I must say that if it takes 3 months minimum for SEO and outside buyer focus to fully mature, that's $45 of monthly fees that I spend waiting for SEO to catch up with my shop. While I appreciate your offer, I think this offer or a special low monthly fee for the 1st 3 months for a pro account will probably help more. This way, it will draw more sellers to start a shop on Artfire because most people don't want to risk that $45 when they are selling comfortably on Etsy or other venues. I believe more sellers means more great products offered by the Artfire community which should drive more buyers to Artfire.

Regarding the look and feel of the site, I am just very picky. I do design and implement web applications as my day job. :)

Tony Ford said...

Pro account pricing helps provide differentiation for our public pages. The price point is designed to ensure that we have artisan entrepreneurs represented on our most public pages. Making the barrier to entry (price)too low for those pages can reduce the overall pricing value for the boutique experience shoppers are looking for. We assume that those who are interested and able to invest in their business will also do things like take better quality pictures and write more value driven descriptions.

BTW - we do offer a 3 month $36 dollar pro level, so the risk is somewhat lower for those who want to try the full 90 days. Remember, Google takes time to index and then pages gain authority as they are linked too, so the 3 months is not our doing, but the markets if you want outside shoppers.



Joyce said...


I have never heard of or seen the 3 months for $36 offer. I just looked around in "My Artfire" and I don't see it either. Is it a secret promotion?

Tony Ford said...

It is on the sign-up page. If you email service at they can take care of the switch for you. Let them know I sent you.



The Beading Gem said...

It probably takes more than 3 months to get sufficient sales enough to justify even the special 3 month promotional rate. So patience is warranted.

I do like AF`s basic seller option but it obviously lacks the one key feature - categories. Still some artisans may not mind that especially if they do not wish to pay any fees until they are established.

I`d have to agree, the AF look is too busy for many people. A clean look is usually preferable as it is `neutral` - suits many types of products.

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