I'll be blunt, Artfire hasn't been good for me. I'm verified but have yet to have a sale, whereas I sell everyday through etsy and my website combined. However I'm sticking with them, as they keep impressing me with some really neat features rolling out over the last few months.
Some of these features are only available to verified artfire sellers. You can join for 7 a month.
Here's the low down:
1. Rapid Cart. This is an intriguing idea that is realted to the piece we published yesterday about how to sell your items directly from your blog using paypal. Turns out that if you have an artfire shop you can do the same thing using RapidCart. Here is an example from my personal artfire shop:
Like Etsy Mini, you can customize the size and number of items that are included. Unlike etsy mini, you can also choose which specific items show up and in what order. Nice. I also played with the code a bit to move the "Rapid Cart" logo to the bottom. I don't think I'll be implementing this code on my blog, but I can see how this could be slightly more useful than the artfire "shop window" or "etsy mini."
2. Ipromote Studio. View their FAQ here. I'm not signed up for this, nor am I a believer in large online advertising campaigns for small craft businesses. However, partnerships like this are interesting, and show that Artfire is actively thinking about opportunities for sellers to promote their shops.
3. My Market Hub. Now THIS I wish etsy had. A simple graphic interface in your shop that allows users to visit your website, blog, your etsy shop and more. Handy. Plus you get stats of how many visitors have clicked through to each site. Etsy is all about twitter, how I long for a simple twitter button in my etsy shop, or integration of my tweets. Maybe someday. . .
4. The 11-step quick start guide. Friendly and helpful, these tips can apply to any site you are selling on. Download it here, and visit their social media resources section for more helpful tip.
5. Easy to find and view video guides and help guides. So reading a boring PDF isn't your thing. The left sidebar of the "My artfire" section contains every support link you could need, including links to videos and tutorials of common artfire features. A format like this on etsy would send me over the moon, no more spending 10 minutes searching the storque for articles about how to take nice pictures, or find the bannerator link.
We'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on artfire and etsy, which aspects you like of each, and how sales compare. Let us know your thoughts!