Friday, June 26, 2009

Creative Fork in the Road

The sign should really have 3 prongs on it for this post. Now I'm not talking about a creative block, that would be when you just can't come up with anything. The ideas just don't flow. When I refer to a creative fork in the road I simply mean, I have too many ideas. My mind just can't stop thinking about different jewelry designs. Sure, that could be a good thing but here is why there should be 3 prongs on my fork - do I work on a chainmaille design? or something with wire? or maybe do some bead weaving? OK, so I could do a little bit of all three at once but my anxiety would take over and I'd have to finish one project before I could move onto the next one. I really want to get back over the the Gem and Mineral Society's shop too. If I did that then I could work on some wire wrapping. I have been working on one beadweaving project but it has had me ripping my hair out so I keep having to put it down and then get back to it later. I'll post pics of that one once I get to a good point to show it off. So, do you ever get like this, too many ideas, not enough time or supplies? Or just can't decide which project should come first?

On the other hand, I could be negative and say "Well, the economy stinks, no one is buying much jewelry so why bother with anything". Nah, I just can't do it.....the compulsion to create just overcomes me. Sadly, you could say I'm like the heroin addict looking for their next fix. I NEED to BEAD or make chainmaille. Considering my analogy, I guess there could be worse things to be addicted to.

Now, since I'm on the subject of bad economy and slow sales, what are other Etsy sellers opinion of the site right now? I know they finally caved in on the whole SEO debaucle but I still am starting to feel like it just isn't really a great place to waste my money on, listing and re-listing. I know there are many people who have gone over to ArtFire and I really like the way they look and how attentive they are to sellers but I really can't afford to spend $12 a month to list all my jewelry with no guarantee of any return. I suppose if I was working, then I might consider it. I've been told they have a free account which has a limit on how many items you can list but I can't seem to find any information on how much the fees would be if I did sell something. I even asked Artfire John over on Twitter and he just referred me to their unlimited $12 a month plan. I don't think it is too much to ask to be able to try it out. Obviously if I were happy and selling then I would upgrade to the other account. I did see someone had on their blog the PayPal widget which looked pretty cool. It certainly would cut out the middleman and no more fees other than PayPal's. Any opinions on all these sites and where to sell?


  1. For what it's worth, I have a free Artfire account - when you sell something, you don't pay any fees, in my experience. You either pay your $12 for unlimited listing, etc, or you use the free account, which is limited to 12 listings and some other restrictions in terms of Artfire-wide interaction (teams and things, I think - someone else may know more), but in neither case do you pay Artfire a commission on your sales (as you do with Etsy or most other online retaillers).

    I have only had one sale on Artfire - but I never advertise my Artfire site; the customer found me through Google. I'm considering advertising it more, and trying to make more of a go of it these days, given the no-commission side of things!

  2. hmmm perhaps free art fire account would not be a bad idea, extra advertising and if you start to sell there then can use some of the money to pay for the monthly fee....sounds like they are a heck of a lot cheaper than etsy or the bay, but traffic wise who can really tell?

    We are still doing ok business on etsy with our beads but I am constantly re-listing, and will have to gulp and eat that bill when it comes arg. ♥ Jenelle

  3. I am sort of moving away from etsy- I only keep some items there because I enjoy the teams etc over there and I have a few people that I only interact with on etsy.

    I totally understand your fork in the road analogy, I make both jewelry and fiber art items and feel like I can't begin to execute all of my ideas.

    ONe thing I have been doing while sales are down a bit is experimenting with new designs and learning new techniques- stretching myself artistically without having to worry too much if my work ends up with an item to sell right away.

  4. Thank you Nicole, that is all I wanted to know and helps me make the decision on whether to open a shop on Artfire.

    Maggie, I have decided to take the time to work on a new (for me) chainmaille weave. I've been meaning to try it for ages and so will take the time to learn it. I have a bead weaving project that I am still deciding how to finish too.

  5. Yes my Etsy shop is really slow these days. I usually re-list a few times a week, but have cut back on that lately due to the fact that I don't think it is helping at all. Probably a combination of the economy plus summer is usually a slow time for sales anyway.I sell more to friends and acquaintances right now than I do online, and Etsy is more of a secondary business, and a convenient way for people to purchase from me if they chose to buy online. I am hoping that in September, my Etsy shop will pick up again! Still have not jumped over to Artfire yet...not sure if it will be a better venue or just the same as Etsy.

  6. I hear ya- I am an obsessive knitter and paper goods maker and artist and, and, and...just can't stop. Too many things to make and do!

    On etsy, I just finally launched a new artfire shop literally 3 days ago. I have the $12 / mo. account because I'm planning to list my more sellable items with smaller price points there. What I do know about the free account is that you can list up to 12 items at a time and they sell without any fee. The free account is actually free. But then you can only have 12 things up. Plus you have very limited benefits in terms of on site promotion and other stuff.

  7. I'm glad I stumbled on this tonight. It's been pretty slow on Etsy for me too. This weekend, I had jewelry spotlights Fri & Sat, then a main one Sunday...nearly 2000 views, no sales, skunked!! I've listed, but sort of ignored my Artfire shop. Shame on me. I've sold several pieces there now (I guess my blog helps send folks there? Plus the SEO through google?) and have more than made back the monthly fees I've spent since Jan of this year. I think the fact that they rotate ALL items through the search listings (NO RELISTING!) and other factors might make that web site a better value all around for artists. I'm straddling both shops for now, but leaning towards putting more stock into and emphasis on Artfire. I'm glad I could read this overview!! Thanks to all!

  8. I love Artfire, not many sales so far...I know it is slow everywhere.
    The only thing that I don't like about the free accounts are when you upgrade you cannot give a referral. I signed up when it was still in beta and used an etsy team member as my referral.

    There are a few bugs still as they keep growing...but, they do answer emails, don't mute and allow widgets and larger banners in your studio. I think it is a just matter of time until the buyers will love it as much as the sellers. I added the rapid cart to my blog and it is another way for buyers to buy without registering for an account.

    They are running a great special right now...sign up 12 friends and one will get a free ride. I will pick one of my 12 referrals for the free ride (great odds 1/12 of winning too). :)

  9. So, now my question would be....does the Rapid Cart help with sales??

  10. I have an Etsy account and a free Artfire account. I figure if I start selling on Artfire then I'll sales yet, Etsy is still getting the most views so it is good for me to be there as well. Just my humble opinion though :)