Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pro and Cons

Whenever you have a big decision to make it's a good idea to look at the Pro's vs the Con's. Right now, my big decision is what I'm going to do with my Artfire account. Will I keep my pro account? Or will I go basic?

The reason I'm even asking this question is that I haven't made very many sales on Artfire. It's been great when I have a commission from a friend, but other than that, there have been very few sales. Here are my thoughts...

Pros: (for staying Pro)
- No additional costs for listing or check out fees
- I'm locked in at a certain monthly fee. That won't change as long as I'm pro.
- I can issue gift certs and coupons
- I have studio categories
- My work is in more than one on-line venue
- Teams (I'll write more about that later)
- No extraneous advertising

Cons: (for staying Pro)
- A monthly fee that I'm often not earning enough to cover (from this site at least) IE - the site isn't really paying for itself as of right now.

Pros: (for going Basic)
- I'll still have no additional costs for listing or check out fees
- No monthly fee to worry about paying
- I'll still have my work in more than one online venue

Cons: (for going Basic)
- If I ever want to go Pro again I'll have to pay more per month
- No gift certs or coupons available
- No studio categories
- No teams (negligible)
- Advertising in my shop that I didn't place there.

Can you see why I'm having a hard time deciding what I want to do? There are some pretty important factors on each Pros list and each Cons list! My biggest concern is the monthly fee. Since I've signed up there have been some months I've more than covered the monthly fee with my sales, but there have been many more where the monthly fee is coming out of my sales from other locations.

However - I'm headed into the busy season with a full summer of Saturday Markets (I'm signed up for 12 weeks), so I can probably afford to keep paying the fee for awhile to give me more time to work on the shop.

I'm also concerned about losing the studio categories if I go basic. I know as a shopper I like being able to click on a category to narrow my search and I'd hate to take that away from my shop. I also don't know how I feel about them placing advertising in my shop if it's a basic account. If you have a basic Artfire account I'd love to know how that part of it is working out for you!

Teams...I listed it on the pros and cons but it's not a very big factor. I really don't like the way Artfire has the communication set up for teams and there's only one team I'd really miss....and I think I'd manage to still be a part of them any way if I wanted to :P

Right now I'm leaning towards staying Pro - but if sales don't pick up in that store soon (by the end of summer maybe?) I'll go Basic.



Merily said...

I'd say give it time- stay pro for a bit longer, especially since you'll be making extra money soon. :)

mermaiden said...

I went to basic because my sales were terrible. I wasn't making more sales because I had category navigation! Views are super incredibly low on AF too. I keep a shop there just for search results.

BeadedTail said...

I don't have a shop on Artfire so I can't offer any advice but I do know that I never even noticed the category thing you're talking about. Also, I don't know what the fees are but if you went basic and weren't paying fees, would the savings cover the additional fee for the months you do want to be pro?

storybeader said...

I used to have an Artfire account, but only sold one small item... it just didn't seem cost effective. So I quit a few months back. Didn't realize how much I really spent on fees, till I did my taxes! A lot of renewing on Etsy to equal one month's fees!

Bead Flora and Jewels said...

I was pretty fed up with it.. I signed up for a 1 year subscription so I can't just quit. So I decided to list supplies on there ... sold boat loads of stuff to one customer, made back my fees for the year and then some... so I'm happy now that I'm not totally losing on fees there, but it's been quiet since.

Anonymous said...

I went to Basic last month coz no sale in AF.. but I realize the same thing as Deb that the adding item fees in Etsy is equal or more than AF monthly fee.. anyway, if you sell the same thing in AF and Etsy, I think it's difficult to promote both.. this is only my opinion.. and I just got my first AF order which is not for gift certificate I made.. so I think the best way for you is wait longer to see the results.. :D

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I have a basic account that I am considering closing. I haven't had a single sale. I would never go pro due to the monthly fee.
It's nice that it's free...but if it's not getting me anywhere...why bother?

I'll be interested to see what you decide.

TiLT said...

I am in the exact same place as you...only with fewer sales. I'm in the $7/mo & just made a pro/con list eerily similar to yours :P I had one big sales a while back that I told myself was good enough to cover until, well, about now...but so hard to throw away the inexpensive fee.