Now that we've made it through the spring and summer, getting our websites up to date, working on our techniques and design skills, looking through our options for what, where, and how to sell, I want to revisit the topic of sales sites. Ultimately, I think it's most people's dream still to have their own website, but that isn't always the best answer for everyone. Sometimes it's better to keep your website as a "gallery" or "portfolio" and conduct your sales elsewhere. And if you're just getting started in sales, it makes a lot of sense to test the waters and learn through an established sales site before going to the expense, time, and trouble of setting up your own website.
If you do decide that using a pre-made sales site is best for you, how do you pick the winner? We discussed it back in the spring, in Sites for Selling, but I'd like to give you some additional data to think about. Almost everyone that I hear from who uses a sales site says that it is best to pick one and do it well rather than to spread out to several. You'll have to decide for yourself if you can handle more than one shop, but here are some comparisons to help you and some new sites on the scene.
I think most of us know about Etsy, eBay, JustBeads, Zibbet, and Artfire as places to look for discounted jewelry supplies and loose beads as well as to sell, but it seems that today there are a couple more. I have not used these sites, so I cannot vouch for them, but if you've used either of them, please let me know!
AuctionBeads seems to be a typical auction site, with both bidding and a "buy it now" feature.
AtOncer calls itself a "Craft making supplies marketplace". There is an auction section and also a fixed price area.
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