Ponderings: What's Wrong With ArtFire Subscriptions?


Sometimes I think that the man who started Artfire has lost his mind, but I don't have anything against John A. Jacobs. I just continue to be confused. A long time ago I was impressed by his story of how his mother's struggles as a handmades or jewelry seller inspired him. He decided to launch a venue that would support and make it easy for other cottage industry sellers to succeed. He specifically attacked the challenges that hand-makers had of paying the fees that many selling venues charge.

He said he recognized a growing dissatisfaction with his customers selling their products on the Internet. Some sites charge too much and are too restrictive, he said, and are unresponsive to their customers, sellers and buyers.

I know that goals and purposes change, but...

Over the years I've checked on Artfire and what I have consistently found went from good to worse. You probably have read my similar rants about AF as I discovered each unfavorable change or feature. I've never sold at AF, but I did join in the earlier years when free shops were offered. That has been no more for a long time. The always free shops went from always free to a trial period. That went kaput!

I ran by AF today and couldn't believe my eyes! Maybe it's just me, some type of twisted prejudice maybe? You tell me. I run by from time-to-time just because there are so few handmades-dedicated selling venues that exist anymore and because AF was one of the originals. They have outlived all the many others that have shockingly fallen by the wayside.

Unbelievably, a standard shop with a cap of 250 listings, is $4.95 a month. Not bad, right? But there's a fee of $0.23 per listing. Palatable? The listings are only active for 2 months before you have to pay again. If you are still with the Artfire creator's thinking up to now, think about this. There is an FVF of 12.75%. Like I said, you tell me. Is it me, or is there something wrong with this picture?

Well, ArtFire is still functioning, you say. Yes. Most smart businesspersons don't continue to invest time and money in non-lucrative ventures. I don't know what the turnover in shops is but some sellers are still finding the site useful. Af, however, is not the same as it used to be with regards to happy socializing and devoted promotion of the site by sellers.  Af was fondly talked about on all the crafting forums and social platforms. Listings even used to appear in Google Shopping. I stopped hearing about AF a long time ago. As far as the cost to invest in a shop? It's worse than Etsy and not nearly as much traffic and probably very little promotion, if any. Still, I wish all of the sellers there much success and satisfaction!

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