Everyone who loves handmade has heard of ETSY, and many artists sell on their everyday, but with the increasing amount of sellers on the handmade site artists are looking to branch to other venues, one of these particular ones is Artfire. Today I took the plunge and finally opened my shop on Artfire, NaturalAmberDesigns. I have no intentions in replacing my ETSY shop NaturalAmber but I am looking to not keep all my eggs in one basket. The Google SEO is having some issues on ETSY, there are increasing amount of sellers on a daily basis, and the jewelry section is just tremendous. Being in such a saturated category makes me feel like a needle in the haystack, but I will never leave ETSY. Within my short observation of Artfire, this is what I have concluded between the two:
* Artfire is quick to setup, and has a wonderful virtual studio for your shop. There is definitely nothing wrong with the shop that ETSY provides but I do love being able to have 10 pictures, custom background colors, endless amount of tags, and not onlya description space but a space on what inspired me to make the piece.
* Right now ETSY gets more views, but the jury is really still out on that. For being a new handmade site, just beginning in October 2008 you really can’t expect the same amount of traffic. The site is wonderful though and I can imagine it booming in the near future.
* Artfire automatically puts your items in Google Base. No more Letsets tool (except for you ETSY shop).
* There are so many promotional tools on Artfire to market your items, you can list them in Kaboodle, Tweet about them on Twitter, and so much more. They have over 30 widgets to choose from!
* ETSY forums look pretty and are more cleaner looking, but Artfire’s seem more friendly and admin more responsive in helping sort out issues.
Those are the main difference I see right now, but as I said this is just my first day. I will post more in the months to come about my experience with Artfire. Unlike 1000markets and Shophandmade, I think this place is really going to grow! The jury is still out on Artfire, but as I said I think I see promising results in the horizon for Artfire sellers.