Your ArtFire Store - Open An Account
I decided to open a store on ArtFire so that I could watch and report how things go on this new site. So far, I've liked what I've seen. The best way to tell you about my experience with ArtFire is to take you through the steps of creating an account and setting up a store. Because ArtFire is still in beta, there are changes taking place quite often. For example, since I've opened an account, the My ArtFire Control Panel has been updated and several new features added. As things continue to change, I will update the series.
As with most online marketplaces, you will need to create an account. The three most important decisions to make at this stage is what you will call your online store, how you will process any sells and whether you will open a free or Verified account ($12 a month). I would suggest opening a free account. You can always upgrade to a Verified account later. I could give you a long list of the features available for each but it would be more helpful to point out the differences as we go along.
The online form for opening an account is the same for both buyers and sellers. You will need to provide a user name, password and email address. Your user name will become your studio name (name of your store). If you have other online stores such as Etsy and Zazzle, you might want to use the same store name for each of them.
Deciding on a name for your store is very much like choosing a name for your website. Your store name will become part of the URL for your store, such as store.artfire.com. Also, like a website URL, you are only allowed letters, numbers and hyphens (no spaces). Although you are allowed to have capital letters in your user name, they will be converted to lower case. Therefore, if someone already has the user name "MyStore", you will not be able open a store with the user name "mystore".
You have the option to open your account as a buyer or as a seller and buyer. If you choose the latter, you will be given a few more questions to answer. The first question is the type of payments you wish to accept and your choices are Paypal, Google Checkout, Revolution Money Exchange, Check and Money Order. You can use the Other option to specify another type of payment processor such as your own merchant account. Depending on which options you choose, you will need to supply your email or ID associated with each processor. Last, your will give them your name and snail mail address and choose which type of seller account you want.
That's it. All you need to do now is wait for the confirmation email and use the link in the message to activate your account.
The creators of ArtFire hope to offer features that will allow members to create a store and website all-in-one. Although you have a lot of control over the look and feel of your store and can customized it to match your own brand, at this point, your site will look more like a store than a website. It has five main pages which are the main storefront, bio page, policies page, gallery and karma pages (ratings). You also have an individual page for each product in your store. All five main pages have the same layout with the store banner and right and left columns. The only change per page is the center content. On the product pages the store category links (right column) is replaced with payment information.
Free vs Verified Account-
When comparing the basic pages for an ArtFire store at this stage, you will noticed a few differences between the two accounts.
- For the free account, you can only have 12 products or less. Also your category listings are displayed randomly. In the Verified account, you have unlimited product listings and up to 99 categories, which are displayed as links in the right column of your store.
- For the free account, third party ads are displayed in the right column and at the bottom of the page. This includes links to other ArtFire stores that carry the same products. For the Verified account, you will not have any third party ads in your store.
ArtFire screenshots used by permission of Art Fire inc.
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