Artfire announced this week that any basic seller who wishes to continue selling, needs to start the 30 day free trial by August 15. As of then, basic accounts with free, unlimited listings are going away. There will be buyer-only accounts and Pro Accounts as there always have been.There will be less listings as some Basic shops leave but even still the Pro shops still supply over half the listing.
Why, you ask, would Artfire do such a thing? They have changed the show structure before, those who were on Artfire in 2009 will remember the outcry over allowing basic shops free unlimited listing. Why would anyone want to upgrade then many sellers asked when they can sell as much as they want for free. Artfire made it worthwhile to upgrade with their many tools, improved customer service, and better exposure for pro sellers.
So why take away what they have been offering for free for almost 2 years. Money seems to be at least part of it. Think of it, as a Pro Seller, you are paying for server space for others to sell for free. Artfire wants to continue expanding and bills need to be paid.
Tony has often stated that the pro stores make at least 80% of the sales when they are about 20% of the sellers. The old 80/20 rule. The stats might not be perfectly accurate, I don't think they are far off. I don't think there is causation here. Not every pro store will be successful, nor is every Basic shop a small abandoned storefront.
I can agree that most people who are serious about selling on Artfire, do decide to upgrade. At less than 10/month presently, it is a great deal. Especially if you decide to keep a full shop of the at least 100 items that Artfire recommends.
In short, some will be unhappy with this move, especially basic sellers. Honestly though, they been given a gift, now it's a busy venue, it's time to pay.