Thursday, September 23, 2010

Artfire $5.95 Deal

If you haven't heard yet, listen up! Outside of winning a contest, this may well be the news of the century for your handmade shop! What am I talking about?? The newest Artfire Deal. You get a Pro shop for $5.95 a month. Yes, only $5.95 a month. Artfire has no listing fees. No final value fees and commission. And their free shops have no limit on the amount of items you can list.

So, with all that, why bother paying? There are MANY reasons. First, speaking from experience, the perks and tools I get from my Pro shop make everything so much easier. I have a Basic account, and for free, they are incredibly good values. But the differences are incredibly noticeable! I feel almost blind in my Basic shop because I'm looking for tools that I don't have!

The biggest help is that all my items are automatically submitted to Google Base, which reaches 20 million shoppers a month. It also goes to The Find, which reaches 15 million shoppers a month. I don't have to do anything, AF does all the work. This is huge, about 40% of my traffic comes through search engines, and my sales also come most often from people searching for something online. AF makes it easy to bring in customers by doing what all customers do when they want to buy a certain something--they search for it!

We also get a Facebook Kiosk, where people can shop without leaving FB. You have to admit, that is pretty cool. You can also tweet and post to FB really easily with one click. You also get rapid cart--you can place the piece of code practically anywhere, and people can buy right from that app--if you put it on your blog, they don't have to leave the blog at all. We get automatic currency converter and AF brings in global traffic. There's the market hub, where you have all your links in one easy-to-find place on every item page. Links to your own blog, your own site, etsy, blogspot, twitter, facebook, indiepublic, even flickr.

You also get your own personal blog right on your shop! Admittedly, I don't use mine enough, but a lot of sellers say they really bring in traffic. You get a fusion studio, you customize colors, banners, the shop page. You can post widgets on your page, think facebook badges, links to twitter, etc.

You get something called a Global Editor, and this is likely the most useful tool we have access to as Pro Members. It lets you edit everything in your shop at once. When you have over 300 items, like I do, that is a life saver. If you sell supplies or more than 300, your sanity demands a Global Editor. Going through that many listings one by one by one is going to suck the sanity right out of your brain, not to mention could take days! You can edit almost anything--you can knock prices up or down a certain percentage, up or down a dollar amount, or replace the price. You can add a shipping profile, or manually add a new shipping price or you can replace the shipping with something new. You can move items to new categories. You can switch items to different shop categories. I find this one extremely useful, as I create seasonal items, this makes it so convenient to make special categories for Christmas Decorations, Halloween, etc. I can reset the color. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but customers can search for items with certain colors, so don't underestimate the colors' powers. You can do the same for holiday settings (again, people can search for seasonal items by season/holiday), age group, and gender. You can replace tags or add them. This is helpful because AF comes up with all sorts of ways to help us sell. Last year, they created a whole section just for Stocking Stuffers and your items only went in if you had the correct tag. Can you imagine adding one tag to every item, item by item, by item...?? You have better things to do with all that time!

You add to and replace info in the promo box. A promo box is where you list prices, promotions, percentages off the product, things like that, and the promo box 'shields' these terms that would otherwise prevent your item from getting to google base. For some reason none of us have figured out, google base seems to change and update words it doesn't allow, and not all make sense. It doesn't allow 'free' for example, so if you said something like, this item is eligible for free shipping, google will deny you--unless it goes in the promo box. You can add, subtract, or replace item quantities. And you can edit Promo Labels. Promo Labels are another great tool that only Pro members have. You can add labels to your product if there is a coupon for it, if you offer free shipping for that item, if it's on sale, if you get a free gift with purchase, and if you're running a buy one, get one sale. And customers can search for items with those specific labels, so they are not just for show (though I do think they look sort of nifty).

Remember, you can do ALL that, and that's only ONE tool! Are you starting to understand why you NEED to take advantage of this deal?! And if you currently have a full Etsy store, you're probably thinking, I don't have the time or patience to start over in another shop, I don't want to have to add all these listings all over again in a new shop! But Artfire has solved that problem, too! Yes, there is a tool just for you, allowing you to import your items directly from your Etsy shop. You get to make coupons and gift certificates. You can rearrange all the items in your shop. You also get to participate in guilds, get artifacts, and a place for a bio so customers can really get to know you.

If that's not enough, the AF team LISTENS. They listen, they care, they teach. If they could wave a magic wand and make all of our shops sell out, trust me, they would be on that task in a hot minute! Because they can't do that, they come as close as possible, by giving us the tools, info, and advice needed to sell our items. Is it slower than Etsy? You know, I can't answer that. A lot of people say, yes, it is. But not for me. I have 68 orders from AF and only 11 or 12 from Etsy. It depends on a lot of things, mostly how willing you are to work to make your business successful.

Take control of your business while saving money by signing up right now, because a shop with ALL those tools and no other fees will only cost you $5.95 a month. FOREVER. The price will never go up. There will never be fees. There will never be commissions. On top of that, if for some reason you need to cancel your Pro membership, there are no contracts, so you can easily downgrade at any time with no hassle and certainly no fees. You can sign up as many shops as you want, too. On Oct 1, the price goes up. So the sooner the better! On Oct 1, everyone who signed up gets their Pro membership perks at a low, low price. If you need more info, click away. What have you got to lose? Besides all those fees, of course!

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