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Inquisitive Chipmunks Want to Know!!!

Inquisitive Chipmonks Want to Know.

I wouldn't let him down if I were you.

Have you had a chance to check out my most recent recommendation yet?  I’m referring to Auctionopia.com – which I describe in pretty great detail in my previous post.  They’re rocking my socks!  The more I’ve used it, the more I am loving it!  They’re now working on an option where we can actually have our own storefronts – which can be customized to our own style!!  Unlike eBay with it’s stupid “profile image” and choice of different shades of ugly pastels or etsy with its customizable banner and NOTHING ELSE.  Wow, how personal…  I am totally loving this site and I’ve spoken with reps and they’ve got nothing but great things coming for us!  Yay!!  I highly suggest you give it a whirl!!  And, please, tell etsy I said “go fuck yourselves” for me, will you?  Thanks!!

I’d like to hear your thoughts!  And the inquisitive chipmunk isn’t exactly “asking.”

You can vote as many times as you like so if you REALLY love it… feel free to show it!!  ;)

And, while you’re at it.. why don’t you visit this site and get yourself together, you uncivilized bastard!!!

mustaches

It's For Your Own Good.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in etsy alternatives

 

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AT LAST! A Prescription to CURE the etsy Epidemic!

they may not be wearing baseball uniforms, but they'll be buying your stuff!! And best of all... YOU get to keep your profits!

I have been doing research on online marketplaces where I can sell my handmade jewelry and couture lingerie since etsy decided to sick it’s “Integrity Team” on me for no apparent reason – leaving me and my beautiful items homeless.  I considered Amazon Marketplace.  In fact, it was suggested to me by a good friend.

I looked into it.  I signed up.  Guess what?  You need to get their permission to sell ANY jewelry, clothing, accessories, etc…   I applied for permission.  They said I would have a response within 72 hours. You have to provide them with 500 photos and ALL of them must have NO background.  Meaning you have to find a way to cut the backgrounds (some which I painstakingly INTENDED) of every angle of EVERY SINGLE ITEM that you intend to sell.  I ended up hiring someone – PAYING them to cut my items out for me because it was just too overwhelming.  And after all of that?  Guess what.  FOUR WEEKS LATER they wrote to me saying they could not approve my items because SOME contained models.  How are you supposed to show how a ring fits or how a corset looks without having a model???  People don’t want to just guess!  Then I looked into their fees… First of all, in order to even SELL on Amazon Marketplace you have to PAY THEM a $40 fee.  Which I had to pay before I could even APPLY to be denied.  Plus they take an ENORMOUS amount of your final sale value – a larger amount than any other marketplace I have ever encountered.

I could go on and on.  But, I’ll spare you.  It’s all bad.

Long story short?  AVOID AMAZON MARKETPLACE.

I considered eBay for a moment.  And I even posted a few items… remembering you are charged even if your items don’t sell.  You have to pay them just for the privilege of having your items appear in searches where you will be BOMBARDED by suspicious accusations and questions from “potential buyers” who are “kicking the tires” and generally wasting your time because #1 – they won’t be buying your item. #2 – if they DO buy it, they will end up finding something to complain about.  That is just how eBay’s community of miserable buyers is – there’s no explanation for it. and #3 – They will want to pay NO MORE than 35 cents for a 14k gold diamond ring.  Otherwise they’re not having it.  No thank you, eBay.

SO… I stumbled across this up-and-coming site that has me very hopeful!!  In a sea of miserable options I have found one that is the opposite of all of those terrible theives and dishonest, corrupt companies out there (ehem, etsy…)  It is called Auctionopia.com.  It is SUPER awesome!  I will list the reasons below:

  • They do NOT charge a monthly fee
  • They do not charge you to list an item
  • They do not take ANYTHING from your final value sale
  • They have an integrated instant messaging system so that you can communicate on-on-one with your customers!  So, those super-paranoid ones can be reassured a lot more easily.  So that instead of it taking 3 months to ease their paranoia, it takes 3 minutes!
  • They give you the option to have a set price, or set it up as an auction! And it does not cost anything regardless of your choice!!
  • They are on the side of the seller UNLIKE eBay, etsy, Amazon Marketplace, etc…
  • They are fully integrated with PayPal
  • The site is extremely user-friendly
  • They have this really cool “fast auction” option where you can basically haggle with online prospective buyers over a short period of time – which encourages them to try to WIN (it’s only human!) which means they will bid higher and higher based on the pressure of competition.  Win for us, the seller!!
  • You can discover quickly, through the INSTANT messaging system if someone will be a problem buyer or not.
  • They allow html and have a simple WYSIWYG panel that you can work with to personalize each listing to the maximum!
  • Their customer service is AWESOME, personal and super-responsive!
  • IT IS COMPLETELY FREE!!!
  • They’re up-and-coming quickly and, as far as I can see… will be HUGE in no time because they are everything we have all been looking for!

I have to say… I am THRILLED to have found them!  I love nothing more than taking business away from etsy and I invite all of you to follow me onto Auctionopia.com where we can be FREE from fees, etsy’s BULLSHIT, eBay’s horrid community of buyers and complete lack of seller protection, and unreasonable rules and regulations.

The more of us who set up on there, the more people will come.  You know what they say… “If you build it, they will come…”  But, in this case it’s not nearly as creepy :)  Feel free to write if you have any questions or comments!

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in etsy alternatives

 

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A New Year, a Deeper Level of Hatred for etsy

I am pleased to introduce you to etsy’s latest advertisement from their new “truth in advertising” campaign:

Etsy, eat our shit and like it.

Truth in Advertising

I kid, of course. Etsy would never be a part of anything that involves honesty!!!

First, before I get started, I would like to recommend that those of you who have had issues with etsy contact the Better Business Bureau of New York and file a complaint.  It’s not like etsy will care, but it is best to have these complaints recorded!!  Please take a few minutes to file, as they record these complaints for our fellow consumers to review!  Save others from the hell we’ve had to endure…

So, I have been reading up on some of the latest etsy-alternatives and learning tons from various sources, but mostly from this awesome blog.

I’ve been working on setting up shop on ArtFire.
So far, I am happy.  I’ll share some pros and cons based on my experience so far.

  • They have a beautiful studio interface which is reasonably customizeable.
  • They have amazing Customer Service.
  • They encourage a positive atmosphere and aren’t reliant on favoring suck-ups
  • Their integration with Google Product Search and Amazon Wish List is amazing!
  • They allow as many tags as you wish
  • Titles are far less limited, allowing more detail – allowing for better search engine visibility
  • Descriptions, promotional text and inventory are much more simple and
  • Integration with Google Analytics rocks my world.  You can see where everyone is coming from!  What is working and what is not, and they allow you to view this in full detail.
  • The studio set-up is much more intimate and customizable than etsy’s generic bullshit
  • Payments are integrated with PayPal, Google Wallet, Amazon Checkout, as well as an optional paid credit card merchant account – should you choose.
  • They have easy-to-use, simple widgets which allow for simple promotion and integration with your own URL or your blogs with a quick checkout process which makes purchasing simpler for buyers.
  • I’ve barely gotten to know them and I am falling in love… I will add more as I get to know them better
  • I have had a few questions and got a super-fast response from a very personable customer service representative… something you would NEVER find on etsy.
  • You can post an unlimited amount of items
  • They have an area for your gallery of past items so you can showcase those that you’ve sold, and are proud of, but are no longer available.  I love this :)
  • They assist with SEO
  • Promotion options rock!

So, there are some negatives, although none of them are comparable to the cons you’ll experience with regretsy

  • Adding products is a bit tedious.
  • They don’t have any way to export your items to an excel spreadsheet or another marketplace.
  • They don’t receive nearly enough traffic… but, some word-of-mouth advertising can change that!
  • I’ve been on there one month and I have only made 2 sales.  That is significantly lower than the sales I was making when I was on the shit-hole, however, I have experienced far fewer customer issues!
  • The graphics on the main page seem a bit amateur (which may only annoy me as a designer).

Overall, my experience has been awesome (other than the tedious listing process).  The cost for my shop is $11.99/month, but they have other alternatives.

I have also dabbled in the marketplace known as Supadupa.me
My experience with them was short-lived, as it is rather expensive and low-traffic, but I will describe below.

  • The interface is AWESOME.  I absolutely love it!!!
  • Adding new products and variants is super simple
  • You have many different themes, which are all customizable, to choose from
  • They allow complete html customization
  • They have different price tiers to choose from
  • Their customer service was fast, responsive and polite.

Of course, my experience was short-lived due to a few reasons

  • There was absolutely NO traffic.  I received no views, no sales… nothing.
  • Promotion options were confusing
  • html customization was confusing (and I am a web designer)
  • The fees were quite a bit high, even on the lower end of the scale

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but that is only my personal opinion.

**Update: Since I wrote this blog, I was contacted by the awesome folks at supadupa.me who gave me some great tips on marketing my shop.  They were sincerely concerned for the success of my boutique and that gives them major bonus points in my book.  Thanks, guys!


I have begun to sample ecrater and storeenvy.  Both of which offer free boutiques to users!

So far I have enjoyed working on StoreEnvy, but it’s a bit soon to make any educated remarks (stay tuned!!)
eCrater also seems like a nice place to live, but I am just in the beginning stages of my review (more to come soon!!)  They’re both simple to use.  The interface is less tedious than ArtFire, ad eCrater seems to get a lot more traffic.  I am looking forward to getting a bit more established so I can report!

I am aware of Big Crater, Silk Fair and Shopify, all of which are not free and I have yet to sample.  Please share your thoughts and experiences with any of these online marketplaces if you have used them, as I would love to hear which you think is the best!!  And if I missed any.  I need to find a new comfy home for my boutique!

Thanks all!  I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in etsy alternatives

 

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