The easy knitting patterns of which I am so fond are so quick to work up that I now have quite a stock of finished items. Despite being an eBay seller and starting several blogs, I have never tried to sell any of my handmade items online . . . yet. Today I discovered an offer even I may not be able to refuse.
I read an article on the Lion Brand Notebook site about a woman selling handknit scarves at a sports card show. And, in fact, I plan to sell some scarves at my church’s craft sale next month. But this article goes on to say that Lion Brand has partnered with ArtFire to offer an easy way to set up your own online shop. Plus it gives links to three podcasts with more tips on selling your handmade items.
Intrigued by this thought, I followed the link to the Lion Brand article about ArtFire. This article says you can “start for free or get a ‘pro’ account for only $12 a month.” As it turns out, at the moment the deal is even better.
I clicked on the link in this second article to get to a Lion Brand page on the ArtFire site. This page says the rate is $15.95 a month . . . very confusing! But I went ahead and clicked the “Get Your Studio” button just to see if I could find out more. So, I came to a sign up page. Guess what!? They show the current Artfire Pro Account rate as just $9.95 per month with a no-rate-increase-ever guarantee.
OK, but I was interested in the free account, just to try it out. The way to make that happen is to click the Basic option where it asks for Account Type. As soon as you do that, the Billing Info section goes away. Ta-da! You can now just get a free account.
And one other thing, ArtFire wants you to enter a Studio Name. They tell you it cannot be changed. So think long and hard about this one. Here are some naming considerations to think about:
–It’s nice to have the name say something about the product. Ravelry and Google are cute names, but don’t think you can accomplish what they have. You need a name that helps people find you. (This is called Search Engine Optimization–SEO for short.)
–If you plan to start a consortium (you and your cousins want to sell together) then name accordingly. If you just call it Brown’s Handmade Scarves, what happens when your other cousin, Greta Black, wants to join you?
–Similarly, if you call it Cousin’s Handmade Scarves, what happens when you want to sell an afghan?
The best advice I can give is to look at some of the other shops before you decide what to do. This goes for what to sell, how to describe it, how to take your digital photos, etc.
Are you already selling online? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below. Include your website in the appropriate box so other readers can see your stuff.