Sunday, September 25, 2016

NEWS: Artfire No Longer Offering A Free Shop...Again?

Have had an Artfire account for years, but never used. Seems that they have been on and off over the years re: offering a free shop. A few months ago went to the site to open a shop, and saw that a free shop was available and 25 products could be listed. I named my shop, and then when I visited some weeks later to begin listing, I could not find the free shop link anywhere.

I messaged them at their Facebook page, and here is part of the conversation,

"Hello AF: Having problems opening my shop because the last step keeps taking me to a page to select 1 of 3 paid subscriptions only. Also, I wrote my bio in all 2 spaces, added pics, etc., and saved but was sent to a 404 error page, so all of my content was lost. Thanks."

"Hello, can you let us know what issue you are having on the plan selection page?
A bio won't save until a plan is selected."

"Signing up for the "free" 25 product limit plan. Do you still offer that?"

"We currently offer a Per Item plan which is $0.23 per listing and includes a 9% commission fee for sales made. This plan has no monthly subscription fee and does not have an item limit."

"Ok. Thanks a lot!"

In not answering my question, they told me what I needed to know. Once again, they have rescinded the free shop offer. I realize that site owners regularly launch upgrades and make changes, but I wish Artfire would have been more stable over the years with this and other issues.  Their subscription fees are high now, and listing fees add up quickly for any who are not high-volume sellers. Many veteran sellers have become disillusioned with the site, which sounds like the situation at that well-known mega-site.

The owner has always maintained that he started Artfire to help struggling sellers, because he saw his mom struggle to become successful as a handmades seller. I doubt his mom, when she started out, could have afforded the fees that he's charging today. So what happened to his compassion for the cottage industry?

I wonder how true this statement from the site still is,

"My inspiration behind ArtFire came as I watched how my customers, independent jewelry makers, were being treated by eBay....I noticed what seemed to be a "tax" on creativity with insertion/final value fees. I thought there should be a better option...."

Well, I know that his stance on rejecting the use of insertion/final value fees has changed. I'm not saying Artfire is a place that should be avoided. I'm just saying that while I may still open a trial shop at that mega-site, I have given up on Artfire. 
The Creative Seller

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