Sunday, February 26, 2012

Artfire Revamps Buyer Accounts

This week Artfire revamped its buyers' accounts, renaming them Patron accounts, think Patron of the Arts. As a seller you may be think what does this mean to me. Artfire doesn't require my customers to have an account to buy anyway, is this going to change.

Nope, no account buying isn't going away but Artfire is making it easier to set up a Buyer Patron account.It can be set up using, sign in through Facebook, during check out or the usual way of setting up an account. You can set up an account with a single click or check button.

Why is Artfire doing this now, they seem to be doing well without requiring an account?  Repeat customers and making Artfire a destination site for buyer. However Artfire isn't stopping at making it easier to sign up, they are offering real benefits to those who do, by giving sellers the tools to offer various discounts to Patrons.

Sellers can optionally choice to offer a discount to Patrons, meaning if you offer a discount, they will see a the regular and the reduced price. Someone who is not logged in won't see this but when they check out, there is a check box to join Artfire for future discounts. That buyer won't get a discount this time but they will next time if they buy from a seller who offers a Patron discount.

Why would anyone want to offer a discount just because a buyer has a Patron account? Think of those loyalty cards you probably have on your key ring. I bet you actually do tend to favor the stores that actually do get you a discount. It doesn't have to be a big discount, just enough to entice. It could be similar to a repeat customer discount.

I hear the skepticism in many. You're think why should I bother? Well you don't have to but the more people who regularly come to Artfire and stay connected, the more people who will have a chance to find your shop. Making Artfire a destination site goes both ways. Artfire can make it easier to have people sign up but the sellers need to give them the reason to buy and to stay. Artfire is giving sellers tools, they have to use them.

Stay tuned for the next post, there is still more!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Instant Success!

Dragon Eye Brooch by FantasyClay
 Bad news- it doesn't exist and just because you open a store, people won't necessarily come and buy.

If you are like many people who selling their handmade on line, including myself, you may have started selling without really knowing what you were getting into.

It's one thing to make things, it's another to make things that will sell. I started making little figures in polymer clay. Eventually friends started to say I should sell them. It sounded so easy, Etsy was still pretty unknown, but listing a few items and getting paid for it seemed like a breeze. Then I needed pictures - I didn't even have a digital camera when I started. I was using a scanner to take pictures.

We all started somewhere, my beginning was really a mess but I can admit that now because I have spent the last six years trying to figure out what I could be doing better.  I have given up on the idea of getting everything right because as soon as you think you have it down, conditions change. Venues, Google, trends, SEO, picture taking, pricing, promoting, and of course there is always the next best web site to use. How do you keep up with it all?

I'll be honest I've often learned stuff not because I planned to or wanted to but because it got thrown in my face. The real trick is to stay open to learning new stuff, adapting to new sites, listening to customers, other sellers. What sells? What sells in your store, what doesn't?

Does any of this have a point? I guess not. I