ArtFire Gives You New Freedom When Selling Online
Unlike other sites, ArtFire has no link-out restrictions. You get a Market Hub on your store's product pages, which is a strip of links to your self-hosted website and blog or your BloggerTM, FlickrR, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, MySpaceTM, YouTube and IndiePublic pages. Other features include the Rapid Cart and Shop Window product links, similar to the AmazonR product preview boxes. You can easily create these boxes for your products and generate the HTML code. You will also appreciate that ArtFire has several help guides covering many topics from how to use the site's features to applying social networking to increasing your sales.
In addition to the extra freedom for your ArtFire store, one of the most important differences is that there are no fees for running a store on ArtFire. For example, Etsy takes 20 cents for each item listed and a 3.5% sales fee. Before I found ArtFire, that was the best fee structure for my needs. However, ArtFire does not charge any fees for listing an item, does not take a percentage of the sales and there are no initial setup fees. All you need to do is open a free account and start building your studio.
The second difference that you will like is the ArtFire "footprint". The Etsy header is about 130 pixels high at the top of your store and makes no effort to blend in with your store's design. The ZazzleR footprint is about 95 pixels high. However, for both the Basic and Verified accounts, the ArtFire footprint is only a small 40 pixels high strip and the color of the strip matches your chosen color scheme and doesn't interfere with the design of your store. Also, there are no advertisements placed on your store if you have a Verified Member account. Finally, you are allowed to include your own Flash, text, and HTML widgets in your store. One widget that is supplied for you is the ArtFire Tag Cloud which is automatically generated from the tags your apply to your products.
In the next article, we will take a look at the ArtFire store setup and discuss the options you have for customizing your store.
ArtFire screenshots used by permission of Art Fire inc.
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