The Joys of Etsy vs. Artfire (Part I: Fees)

For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is a web site designed for crafters and collectors of vintage material to open a shop and sell their goods.  I would say that Etsy and another site called Artfire are your two major players in this market.  They both offer distinctly different seller experiences.

Etsy’s pay structure (and rules of conduct) are much more variable that Artfire.  On Etsy, you are not charged to open a shop.  If you are content to open a shop and never spend any money, you are perfectly welcome to leave your shop blank and not pay a dime.  Etsy starts to make its money when you start listing items for sale in your shop.  The site charges you $0.20 per item listed.  This includes if you list the quantity greater than 1.  In other words, if you list a wiget and have 3 listed in your quantity, you pay $0.60. While that doesn’t sound like much on the surface, consider that your listing only lasts 4 months, then it is removed and you must pay another $0.20 to list for another 4 months.  This can start to add up quickly.  That is especially true if you have trouble finding your market or your pricing is too high.  Items in your shop won’t sell, thereby simply causing your costs to rise and your revenue to remain 0.

In addition to the $0.20 listing free that Etsy charges, they also take 3.5% of the item’s sale price as well.  If you sell a $100 ring, you end up getting $96.50.  Again, not a sum that will break the bank by any means, but, it is something that needs to be considered when evaluating the site to host your shop.

Artfire on the other hand charges shops a flat fee of $12.95 per month.  You may have as many items in your shop as you would like and all the money that you make from a sale is yours to keep.

So, you can see that $12.95 is the break even point.  If you average $12.95 or more on Etsy in fees and charges, it is more beneficial to have your shop on Artfire.  Sort of.

Part II: Traffic later in the week

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 10:18 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m afraid of the commitment of a monthly fee, whether I have anything listed or not, whether something sells or not. Sometimes I don’t make the sales of that monthly fee, as small as it may be, and it would suck having to pay it. Maybe when I get “bigger and better” I will open up an Artfire shop. We shall see.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on the two venues!

  2. I completely agree. I wrote this article in a two part format. At the end I kind of summarize and come to a similar conclusion as you did. The second posting goes into more detail on exactly how people find your shop on both, which can be even more important than the money when it comes to sales.

    Thanks for reading!


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