Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All About ArtFire That We Love

I will try to sum up what's going on in ArtFire (AF) and how we could improve our online shops together. Others who have other tips also are welcomed to add.
So we are now pretty acknowledged about We're aware of the general idea that it's an online marketplace, a selling venue for handmade, craft supplies, and vintage sellers. But what are the advantages of becoming a (paying) member and how could we generate more sales for our online handmade/craft supply/vintage stores?

1. No Additional Fee besides the Low Monthly Fee. It's like having your own website with all of the support staffs for practically nothing. And what does low monthly fee mean? It means you can sell your products for lower price (or more profit), gained more customers without having to pay high bills. 

2. Google Analytics. Make sure you guys who signed up with AF activating this feature. Find it under MY ARTFIRE > MY STATS. There you will find a link to sign up to Google Analytics. Follow the instructions carefully and when you got the code asked, submit it in AF. What would we get from GA? We'd get the complete stats about how many people visited our AF stores, how long did they stay there, which site brought more traffics, etc. I think it would be useful after it's running for a few months. We could consider which sites are better for our ads placement or which forums are worth to keep up with, which ones to leave.

3. Google Base. Now AF automatically fed our products submitted in AF to Google Base. The best part is that we need to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! They do it for us. List and watch our products appear on Google Product Search. Back in Etsy, We needed to do it manually with the help of LetsEts to create the .xml file. After that we need to upload the XML file to GB. I tried this and possibly because of my slow connection all attempts were failed. 5 hours of loading ended up with a failure notice. it sucked! So I'm really happy that AF provided this for us :D To make sure your ArtFire listings are submitted to Google Base, activate it in My Gbase Feed.

4. Google Alerts. The staffs recommended us to use this. By using Google Alerts, we'll get e-mail notifications about who searched for our names/store names in web, who featured us in their blogs, etc. Read more about it here for more info. It's a pretty cool feature.

5. Search by Relevancy and Randomized Category Browsing. Search function in ArtFire is based on relevancy of search terms. So months old listings can be very well appear at the first page of search if they were the most relevant to the search keywords. You don't need to keep re listing items in order to get seen by buyers. Browsing through Categories will bring random results. Maximize your Search Engine Optimization, views and sales will come. Check this independent blog to see where AF ranked in between all of those handmade selling venues. It's in the top 20 already! Scrap that, it's in the TOP 10 now! Updated information in September 2, 2009.

6. One page listing. Everyone who has a shop in Etsy would know that there are 5 steps to accomplish spread in 5 pages to list a product. It's not bad, only it's becoming pretty annoying when you want to edit something. In AF they offered one page listing which is very easy to use and pretty organized too. I like that. Gotta love their bulk uploader too. Editing a product would bring you to the same page. The downside is that there's no delete button, yet, for images and you can't swap the order of the images as easy as in Etsy. If you want to change a picture, you have to overwrite that particular image by uploading another picture in that particular slot.

7. 10 pictures per listing (PRO). This feature is only for Verified Members. This is very generous of them. I can't even fill all of the slots given each time but it's certainly better than just 4 images allowed for Basic Accounts. This would come in handy when you have one complicated item that you need a lot of detail shots for the customers to see. As of October 2009, all Basic Accounts get unlimited listings (up to 4 pictures/listing), no limitations, no fees, no kidding.

8. Unlimited place for tags. Tags are important. Other than item's title, tags are the most important feature that would bring buyers to you. They're what make an item shows up in search. So start tagging your pictures accordingly and as detailed as possible.
What needs to be in your tags. Think as you are the buyer. How would you search for an item if you need them? Read more detailed tips on writing titles, descriptions, and tags here.

9. Forum. Their built in forum is a great place full of information. The information could come from anybody, either the AF President, Staffs, experienced sellers, newbies. Most of the times questions would be answered pretty quick! A great place to learn about the business too from blog posts and forum posts. People love to share there. So make sure you'll be a part of the community. Some sellers would also offer discounts or other special promotion for other AF members. Almost everything i know now i learned from their forum. (PRO) Pro members items are now loaded randomly on the forum's side bar! Talk about free advertising!

-----LATEST UPDATES ON FEB 27,2009------
10. No Account Checkout! Fairly New feature that was launched on Feb 2009. Basically now you don't even need an account in ArtFire to buy from ArtFire sellers! Isn't it convenience? No more usernames and passwords to remember. In two days since this feature was launched it was reported that the sales already increased by 45%. Now that's awesome! Buyers will enjoy this feature as much as the sellers.

11. Rapid Cart (PRO). This revolutionary addition to follow No Account Checkout feature. Now sellers can have a little bit of their store in their blogs or personal websites or any social networking sites that allow html/javascript codes. Buyers don't even need to visit their ArtFire Studios to be able to purchase. Just click the Buy button on this Rapid Cart box and you're done! 28 seconds checkout process. Easy peasy. FOR SELLERS: find this Rapid Cart application in your MY ARTFIRE > PROMOTE.

------LATEST UPDATES ON MAY 13, 2009------
12. Social Media Badges. On the left hand panel of every listing page, you will see these Twitter, Vote Handmade, Kaboodle, and several others. What are they? They will help you spreading the word about your listings in one click. Pretty cool, huh? Now promoting is getting easier.

13. Fully Customized Studio (PRO). This feature is now LIVE! Check out my fully customized studio :D Go to your MY ARTFIRE to get started.

14. Get the Chance to be a Free Rider. Sell for absolutely Free for you and a friend. Learn how in here. (This Promo has ended)

15. No listing/relisting game. You don't need to keep re listing/renew your items to get seen. Every time you start a new search, items displayed on the first page would be the most relevant items to your search keywords NOT based on the recently listed.

16. Market Hubs. In Market Hubs You can link to all other sites you may have. Like to your Facebook Fan Page, Youtube, Etsy, personal website, blog, etc.

17. Multiple item quantities (PRO). Another great feature from ArtFire! When you list in quantities (say 5), if you had an item sold, once marked as paid, the rest will get automatically re-listed and go back up to the front page. Really convenient and a time saver! Read The Benefits of Listing in Multiple Quantities | Read Sales higher w/ Quantity item listings!

------LATEST UPDATES ON AUGUST 26, 2009------
18. ArtFire Kiosk (PRO). Now this is a ground breaking Facebook application that you SHOULD install on your personal and fan pages! It works like Rapid Cart so now you have a fully running ArtFire store in your Facebook! How awesome is that?! It's like having yet another store with only one control panel. LOVE IT! Learn more about ArtFire Kiosk here.

------LATEST UPDATES ON AUGUST 28, 2009------
19. Coupon Code (PRO). OH YEAH! Need I say more? ;) Learn how to make and install coupon code here.

20. Multiple Payment Options. ArtFire has integrated four different payment options; Paypal, RME, Google Checkout, and the last addition was Amazon Payments. Now sellers and buyers have more options than ever and these are all integrated in ArtFire System. Sellers don't have to send separate invoice if their customers select one among these four. ArtFire handles everything for you :)

------LATEST UPDATES ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2009------
21. Global Product Editor (PRO). A great help especially near the holiday season. Now you can batch edit shipping, tags, titles, etc. Very helpful! Find it here.

22. Etsy Importer (PRO). Want to try out ArtFire but reluctant because you have a million listings in Etsy? With this Etsy Importer tool, you will be able to move your listings in seconds. Test it here. IMPORTANT: Google dislikes duplicate content and if left the same as the item on etsy, will probably penalize the listing, which will send it to the bottom of SERPS. The best plan is to try and target different keywords for each listing. As of 12/20/10, Artfire has launched The New Etsy Item Importer that utilizes the .CSV file of your Etsy inventory.  The new importer also adds a staging area where you can select, categorize, and edit each listing that you'd like to import.

------LATEST UPDATES ON OCTOBER 24, 2009------
23. Amazon Wish List. Amazon Wish List button is integrated in every ArtFire listing. Anyone can wish-list anything from any store in ArtFire and share their wish lists to friends and family. No more unwanted gifts received! :)

24. ArtFire Blog (PRO). Google loves blog. Blogs are often ranking higher than personal websites. So why not bring your Blog closer to your shop? Or better yet, inside your shop? That's what ArtFire did.

------LATEST UPDATE ON MARCH 27, 2010------
25. Merchandizer (PRO). Reorganize your shop the way you like it! Very easy to use! Awesome new tool was launched on 03/26/2010. For Firefox users, this tool only compatible with version 3.6 and newer. Download Firefox 3.6.

------LATEST UPDATE ON JULY 2, 2010------
26. The launch of The ArtFire 45 Day Success Guide for Sellers 'nuff said. :)

27. Certified Handmade Artifact. All ArtFire sellers whose studios only sell handmade products can apply to be certified handmade. Give your buyers a confidence boost to shop with you. Certified Handmade Artifact Application.

28. Jo-ann VIP Cards for Every ArtFire Members. To claim your Jo-Ann VIP card please visit this page

------LATEST UPDATE ON AUGUST 6, 2010------
29. ArtFire Collection. The new ArtFire collection engine is live for the general ArtFire community. With the new collection engine you can curate your own assortment of items found on Artfire to create cohesive and visually stunning assemblages of products for sale on ArtFire. Other than offering a great new way to browse items on ArtFire, the new collection engine will eventually power the front page of ArtFire. Create a new collection!

------LATEST UPDATE ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2010------
30. ArtFire Guide for Etsy Sellers. ArtFire rolls differently than Etsy. Since the majority of sellers also have had Etsy accounts, ArtFire tries to help your transition. Read ArtFire Guide for Etsy Sellers here.

------LATEST UPDATE ON OCTOBER, 2010------
31. Check-In on ArtFire. ArtFire Check-Ins gives you an easy way to show the world you are attending to your ArtFire studio.  With just one click of the "Check-In' button located in your My ArtFire dashboard, you'll be letting everyone who browses your studio know you have Checked-in today. A great tool to spot on abandoned studios.

32. Manage Billing Page. Exclusive feature for those who signed up to $5.95/month and $9.95/month deal. If you're curious about how to use the new billing page you can checkout their new Help Guide that breaks down the elements of the My Billing Page in more detail.  You can find your "My Billing Info" page under your "My Account" section of your My ArtFire.

33. If You're from Etsy... Check this If You're from Etsy... help guide to help you start your business in ArtFire.

34. Shop Local on ArtFire! Now you can shop based on location. Support your local sellers :)

35. ProPay Integrated. ArtFire has made a deal with ProPay to have an onsite credit card processor. You can sign up for a better yearly fee for Propay in ArtFire to Integrate Pro Pay in 2011. And if you have an existing Propay account, you can contact them to upgrade your account to ArtFire seller's special rate. Limited to US and Canada residents for now.

------LATEST UPDATE ON JULY, 2011------
36. New Checkout System. Modernized and streamlined! Try it early. This new checkout system eliminates Non-Payment Buyers as no order will be submitted until it's paid.

To summarize:

Why ArtFire? 

  • is 256 bit encrypted
  • duplicates your listings on 70,000 serves in 60 countries
  • does currency conversion
  • does google base submission
  • does coupon codes ($ off, % off, free gift, free ship) limited by time and uses
  • handles gift certificates
  • has a blog attached with auto SEO , categories, and widgets
  • allows for full customization of your layout, colors, fonts and pics without you knowing how to code and does auto-SEO with widgets
  • automatically optimizes your items for google and other search engines
  • has global editing toolshas category and shop rearrange with buttons and arrows
  • has built in auto-shortening social media tools
  • auto-integrates with Google Analytic, Amazon payments, paypal,and google checkout (you don't need to code - just plug in an address)
  • has its own server side stats package

Why Go PRO? 
Tony, AF's CFO, shared this information in the forum.
So far this month (March 2010):

1) 15% of our sellers are Pro sellers.

2)  Pro sellers made 87% of the sales (in $$ not quantity).

The Pro account is not a magic bullet.  Simply converting to Pro won't turn on the sales.


If you are willing to do the work, the pro tools do benefit sellers. The pro account tools and exposure assist a motivated business person in effectively driving the growth of their artisan business.

In case you feel ArtFire's membership does not bring anything to your table, downgrade has been made easy. Downgrade here. ArtFire doesn't bind you with a long term contract. You can upgrade and downgrade anytime. Just be advised, when you downgrade your account, you will lose all of the Pro accounts perks and the membership fee you're locked in. The membership fee may be higher in the future.

That's all i can think of for now. I'll add some more later if I could find any :D

Last updated: Dec 20, 2010.


  1. I love artfire!! It has fixed all the quirks found on other sites. Great post!


  2. Wonderful articles! For someone who has just started online, finding your blog is a blessing. Thank you!!! And it makes me so happy to see I've picked the right place to start. I'm loving ArtFire! :)

    With love and thanks,

  3. You're welcome! I'm trying to record all the updates here. It's great to see how ArtFire has grown a lot since last year!