Archive for handmade selling site – Page 2

Where to sell handmade: Site profile for Coriandr

In a previous post, I provided a list of venues for artists, artisans and artisan crafters.

This week I’m profiling another of those sites. I asked Mathew, from Coriandr, to tell us a bit more about the venue.

What is the site name and where can artisan sellers find you?
The site is called Coriandr. You can find us in a few places:
http://www.coriandr.com
http://blog.coriandr.com
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38703352126
Also, I’ve recently become a twitterer so feel free to say hi! http://twitter.com/matw

Tell us a little about your site’s history. What are its origins?
What seems like a long, long time ago, I was trying to find a place to sell a range of vinyl toys I had started designing. I couldn’t find anywhere to sell them except eBay, and the idea of trying to sell something creative and handmade amongst all those second-hand electrical goods left me completely cold!
Originally, Coriandr was going to be a marketplace solely for vinyl toys, but the more time I spent developing it the more sense it made to open it up to anything handmade. It took roughly a year to build the site and get everything ready, and has been entirely self-funded to date. It’s probably the biggest thing I’ve done, so I’m incredibly excited and a little terrified all at once!

Tell us about the site’s staff.
At the moment Coriandr is just me (Mathew). I used to be a character artist for computer games so I love illustration, vinyl toys, paper art and sculpture; anything that has some character to it and a sense of fun. I’d love to say I spend most of my time drawing or coming up with paper monsters (http://www.coriandr.com/free_stuff) for Coriandr, but I actually spend most of my time programming these days. Not that I don’t enjoy that side of things too, but I have to admit that I’m more than a little sad my HB pencil is starting to get dusty!

What is your plan for the site? What are your goals?
From the start the plan has been to give crafters an easy-to-use, accessible way to sell their handmade creations to rest of the world, and build a great community in the process. I love creating and admiring other people creativity, so I can’t imagine that plan ever changing.

As for goals; the handmade movement has been enjoying a rebirth over the last few years, which is fantastic, but I think that handmade marketplaces such as Coriandr are still further from the forefront of most shopper’s minds than they deserve to be. I talk to so many people who haven’t heard of any of the handmade marketplaces, but can’t stop raving about how great buying handmade is once they see them! That’s why Coriandr’s main goal this year is to convert everyone to buying handmade and most importantly, convert people who aren’t already connected to the crafting scene.

Also, towards the middle of this year we will be launching a more community-focused craft project which will be entirely separate from Coriandr. It’s main focus will be sharing information and ideas, and basically inspiring each other, but there are some significant (and fun) additions that should make it a really great site to use!

Who is your target seller audience?
Anyone who likes what we’re doing, can make something beautiful, owns a camera, and can access the internet! There is definitely a female bias in the crafting world, but I didn’t want to build a “seller profile” then aim Coriandr at that profile in the traditional marketing sense. I think the most important thing to do is to build a good service and a develop a strong relationship with a community; the sellers you end up with as a result are your target audience!

Who is your target buyer audience?How will you drive buyers to your venue?
Everyone! It sounds a little cheesy I know, but I really think that everyone can find something in a site like Coriandr. I’m a big believer in inbound marketing; attracting buyers (and sellers) by blogging, getting involved in the larger crafting community, and utilising the ever-popular social media sites (Digg, Technorati, etc). Doing things this way means that momentum builds more slowly compared to traditional advertising / marketing methods, but it builds a stronger community and most importantly is much more productive in the long-run.

Is this an international, domestic US, Far East or European focused site?
Coriandr is an international site, but English language only. There are plans to open things up across different languages, but that’s more of a long term aim due to the tremendous customer support issues that would create.

What differentiates this venue from other online selling venues?Why should artisan sellers consider utilizing this site as a resource instead of other, older sites or their own sites?
For buyers we’ve got an secure, quick checkout process, and what is probably the most flexible item search of any handmade marketplace. Most marketplaces only let you browse categories or search for keywords within a chosen category. With Coriandr you can search price bands, shipping destinations, seller locations, keywords and payment methods at the same time, all whilst moving back and forth across categories. For sellers we’ve got drag-n-drop shop management features, Paypal bill payment and a one page listing process. One seller (http://alibalijewellery.coriandr.com) managed to list 32 items in one sitting!Because buying handmade is all about a personal touch and the connection between the buyer and the creator, I would always encourage sellers to run their own site (such as a blog) in tandem with a service like Coriandr. Even those sellers who have their own ecommerce site can use Coriandr because we have a bigger presence than an individual shop, and every time we promote ourselves, we are promoting our sellers (or should that be the other way around!)

How have your structured your seller pricing?
We’ve kept Coriandr away from complicated fee structures found on other marketplaces. It simply costs 20p for each quantity of one listed, and a 2.5% commission when a sale is made.

Thanks Mathew!

Stay tuned over the next weeks as I will be profiling more artisan handmade selling  venues with interviews from the site owners. You can find this site’s traffic rank according to Alexa here


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Where to sell handmade: Artfire profile

In a previous post, I provided a list of venues for artists, artisans and artisan crafters.

This week I’m profiling another of those sites. Artfire is relatively new to the online handmade selling venue catalog, but their growth has been phenomenal over the last few months. (See the graph from Quantcast below).

Alexa ranks them at 87,085 overall, but take note of the more recent traffic ranking numbers from the last week or so below.

I asked John Jacobs, the President of Artfire, to tell us a bit more about the venue.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

What is the site name and where can artisan sellers find you?
ArtFire can be found at http://www.ArtFire.com

We maintain a social media presence and can be found on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and Myspace. We are also developing features to help our members manage their social footprint using these sites as well.

Tell us a little about your site’s history. What are its origins?
Our parent companies have an e-commerce background and we have been in the trenches and abused by huge online market places and venues for years as sellers and business owners. The ArtFire site was born out of a need to offer a better alternative for sellers of handmade to represent themselves in a fair and equitable manner. Many of us over the years have been challenged with the ever changing environment of the Internet frontier and have very little time after performing our core business functions, to build a web site, market and advertise our wares, and keep up with the changing social media landscape.

Up until this point sites like EBay were able to prey on small businesses and artisans and charge incredible fees for their venue and traffic. In fact some calculations put the actual server and bandwidth cost of a listing on eBay as low as just .02 cents and falling! So after years of abuse, and repression, we decided that we would not take it anymore. So we built a better community with a focus on supporting its members and a spirit of service. We think that the future of the internet is aggregation of micro segments and we want to help support this movement while nourishing a unique market segment that is close to our hearts, and that often lacks adequate respect; the artist community.

Tell us about the site’s staff.
I don’t code, and can barely even spell PHP ;o) , but I do know a couple guys that can! Here are the people we owe our success to: The Team:  Kyle, Matt, and Aaron are some of the best programmers I have ever met. That is important, but you know what’s really impressive? Their attitude, drive, and dogged commitment to making the community better! These guys never stop, they never sleep, and they are always innovating and adapting!

I am not sure how we were lucky enough to find such a talented team, and this really rings true in the case of our lead site designer Jen. I am certain we would not be where we are today without her insight and holistic understanding of not just aesthetic design, but function and User Interface.

Those of you that track us on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/ArtFire have met Sara, one of our super fast, multi-tasking, gen-Y cyber editors who is an all around riot to have on our team, and Twitters circles around me! In fact she is ranked in the top 250 “Tweeters” on the internet! She also reminds us to have fun and laugh at ourselves, which is refreshing after a long 14 hour day!

And then, there’s Tony Ford. When Tony and I were in our Master’s Degree program together we always challenged each other to perform better and eventually found that when we tackled projects together we reached even further and could not be beaten. Tony Ford is perhaps one of the brightest marketing guru’s that the Internet has ever seen. During the development of ArtFire, we brought in consultants, SEO, SEM, development, and marketing companies. You know, we fired every one of them, and do everything our selves now. Tony is always right there on the front lines, not just pushing the proverbial ArtFire cart, but pulling it, and the rest us, up the hill along with it!

What is your plan for the site? What are your goals?
Our mission is to support artists and their businesses. We approach this goal in a little different manner however as compared to other sites. We don’t worry about what venue an artist sells their item on, we offer tools to increase success in general and even on sites that some may see as our competitor. Take for example the new Market Hub feature (see image below) that displays an artist’s full social footprint for a potential buyer to explore. This tool allows a buyer to fully understand, discover, sample the depth and efforts an artist employs to sell their wares.

Who is your target seller audience?
ArtFire supports handmade artists. We also have additional categories to list supplies, vintage, and media items. Our site is designed with small business in mind and aims to reduce the time spent by designers in establishing and growing their business on line.

Who is your target buyer audience? How will you drive buyers to your venue?
There are many affinity groups that purchase handmade, from the environmentally conscious to those who desire unique quality items crafted with meaning. We run an extensive traditional and online media and viral marketing campaign that adapts to successes in near real time; changes to suit the shifting market almost constantly; and employs emerging techniques and strategies that maximize reach. You will see us in national publications and hear us on small town radio stations around the US. But our marketing extends beyond traditional and even new media to viral, community driven promotion of the handmade ethic. We understand that a market place must bring buyers and invest substantial resources in growing a robust buyer base. We want to bring not just bulk traffic to the site, but qualified individuals that appreciate the values that make handmade items so unique.

Is this an international, domestic US, Far East or European focused site?
Our market is global, though most members are creating from the US. We always keep an eye out for better ways in which we can support international transactions, buyers, and members. We built the site with a currency converter on every page and offer extended support for non-US based members. As we grow we will remember that the US may have borders but artists and great art do not.

What differentiates this venue from other online selling venues?Why should artisan sellers consider utilizing this site as a resource instead of other, older sites or their own sites?
We coined a concept we call Community Directed Development (CDD) which puts the community in the driver’s seat of site direction and features. This requires us to move very quickly, put our leaders on the front line of service, and this allows us to adapt to the needs of our members in real time. For example on Christmas eve we decided to roll out Google Analytics and within 120 minutes of sitting down to discuss rolling out of GA, we were up and fully functional, site wide. This feature and many others are absolutely free to the community, including instant and automatic submission to Google Shopping (Google Base).

We encourage and offer tools to increase your social footprint, teach members to promote their business and their personal brand, and challenge sellers to manage as many channels as they comfortably or effectively can. You never know which channel will bring in the most buyers and we believe that members should embrace an ArtFire AND ETSY approach to selling handmade items, not an ArtFire OR ETSY position.

How have you structured your seller pricing?
After many years of paying insertion fees and final valuation fees, we chose a simple straight forward plan that puts the member (seller) first. List 10 items at a time, when several sell, put more up in their place, absolutely free. If you would like access to enhanced features, and want to list UNLIMITED ITEMS, it will only cost you $20.00 a month! We are currently offering the next several thousand members a $7.00/month upgraded “Verified” account, which will never increase in price, ever. (Note from the editor:  Right now, as a reward to join and help work out all the bugs in the beta version of the site, you pay $7 a month. That’s it. No additional listing fees, no final value fees, no sales commissions. Ever. And it’s $7 per month. As long as you own your shop. And, if you refer 10 individuals to the site that open Verified accounts, your shop fees will be waived FOREVER. Very cool! More information here )

What else should we know?
We roll out new features constantly, adapt quickly, interact in our own forums, and I can be contacted directly on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ArtFireJohn

Thank you John!

Author’s note: I posted when I opened my Artfire shop here. If this sounds like a venue you might want to utilize to sell your handmade items, click here to join.

Stay tuned over the next weeks as I will be profiling more artisan handmade selling  venues with interviews from the site owners. You can find this site’s traffic rank according to Compete.com  here


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Handmade crafters selling venue profile: HandmadeFuZion

In a previous post, I provided a list of venues for artists, artistans and artisan crafters. This week I’m profiling another of those sites on my blog.

I asked Janice & Danielle, Proprietors of HandmadeFuZion to tell us a bit more about the venue.

What is the site name and where can artisan sellers find you?
Handmade FuZion can be found at http://handmadefuzion.com
http://handmadefusion.com/network
http://handmadefuzion.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/handmadefuzion

http://shophf.com

Tell us a little about your site’s history. What are its origins?
Handmade FuZion was created and developed by women who just happen to be blessed by being sisters. We have no intention of being like any other online venue, nor do we wish to compete with any of them. We believe that there is an abundance of talent as well as those seeking the workmanship and personal connection you get when buying from a handmade specialist. With years of knowledge, experience and selling our items online, at craft shows and at B&M shops, we have come to understand the needs of the artisan and also what we like to see as consumers.

We started research and development in 2005 and then we launched the beta version wwcrafters.com. There was much to learn and many modifications were needed to step up to the selling venue level we are at now with Handmade FuZion. We launched the site September 15, 2008. We combined the Social Networking aspects of Handmade FuZion because we realized that many artisans love to showcase, promote and express their talents to family, friends and peers. There are thousands of blogs, photo sites and other social networks out there, but Handmade FuZion’s Network is unique because it is a network designed specifically for the opportunity to be a part of an artist centered network!

Tell us about the site’s staff.
Janice-Proprietor
Danielle-Proprietor
Debra-Attorney
Jose-Selling Venue Developer & Programmer
Phillip-Network Programmer
Bert-Graphic Designer and 5 volunteer jury teams.

What is your plan for the site? What are your goals?
We plan to keep the site juried and never allow resellers of mass produced items in. Our goals are to keep our site respectful to the handmade community, to continue to grow and expand and to provide our artisans with the best tools that will enhance their online experience for their overall success. Advertising is at the top of our priority list and will be more aggressively advertising now that the bugs have been worked out.

Who is your target seller audience?
Anyone who creates an item with their own two hands, has good photos and excellent customer service is welcome to submit an application.

Who is your target buyer audience? How will you drive buyers to your venue?
Buyers are anyone who appreciates a handmade item. There’s a special feeling that comes from knowing what you purchased came from the caring hands of another thoughtful and talented individual. We are finding more and more people are choosing to purchase a handmade item for themselves and as gifts for others. Our artisans are so creative that you will find accessories to woodworking pieces and everything in between. We have been advertising on Project Wonderful, Google, Yahoo, Zines, Newspapers and on Jan 9th our first talk radio commercial will air.

Is this an international, domestic US, Far East or European focused site?
We wish to reach out to people worldwide. This is why we have currency converters right on site to aid them in their listings and sales. Talent has no boundaries and neither does Handmade FuZion.

What differentiates this venue from other online selling venues? Why should artisan sellers consider utilizing this site as a resource instead of other, older sites or their own sites?
First of all, we are a juried site. This helps keep resellers out and also keeps a cap on how many vendors are accepted for each category. This makes listing more gratifying and selling a much more pleasant experience because there are not thousands of one particular type of item. We have several features for our sellers such as a Newsletter, Vouchers, Discount Mode, Vacation Mode and a Network with which they can provide their buyers a special touch. We also submit every listing to Google Base, have RSS feeds and have a “Handmade-to-Go”, seller stats and an exclusive artisan interview page we will be rolling out early 2009. Our listing fees are very affordable and we choose to always keep it this way as we are artisans ourselves and know that the cost of doing business can sometimes take a big bite out of one’s profit.

Buyers coming into to the site can enjoy a simple and clean interface. They can also enjoy marking items and stores as favorites to make shopping easier. We have a keyword notification feature that allows a buyer to put in specific keywords of items they are searching for and when that item is listed they are notified via email immediately!

What else should we know?
We will continue to expand and find cutting-edge features, tools and networks to bring to our venue. Just a few mentions of handmadefuzion.
http://glasstastreasures.blogspot.com/2008/11/whats-so-great-about-handmade-fuzion.html
http://www.killerstartups.com/Site-Reviews/handmadefusion-com-shop-for-handmade-items

Stay tuned over the next weeks as I will be profiling more artisan handmade selling  venues with interviews from the site owners. You can find this site’s traffic rank according to Alexa here


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