This post is a follow-up to my last one on the ArtFire Group Deal. I did opt in and I became a Pro Member as of October 1, 2010. I now have my shop up and going and fairly well stocked with just under 50 items.
I continue to operate my Etsy shop and will likely continue to sell in both venues. I have to say, however, the ArtFire platform is very user-friendly and has some features I really like that Etsy does not offer. For example, I can create "coupons" for customers to use to receive discounts. I can also mark individual or multiple items for "sale" with price markdowns. I can even create gift certificates. I can also show a link to my Etsy shop in my ArtFire shop - not permitted on Etsy. I can also show 10 pictures of an item versus 5 on Etsy. And my overhead is less selling on ArtFire's site as well!
Still, Etsy is not a bad place at all. It certainly contains a thriving community of talented and interesting artists. It is also very well known and has a large following of customers. The selling platform is simple to use and easy to upload items for sale. Visibility is Etsy's strength, however since it is still the best known site for handmade items.
Still, ArtFire is coming on strong and with all its perks and low fees, it's market presence is steadily growing. So for now, I will continue on with both shops. It might be that I eventually settle on one or the other. Or I might find that I want to divide my inventory of designs and sell one type on Etsy and the other on ArtFire.
Please check out both my sites - feedback and comments are welcome!