Business Beginnings Part 1 of 3
If you are wanting to sell online, there are a number of sites which take away the hassle and the cost of starting up your own website. The best known is Etsy. Earlier this year, I compared Etsy with their main rival, ArtFire which just celebrated their first anniversary.

ArtFire's set monthly fee with no commissions struck a chord with many artisans. You can sell as much as you like currently for $12 a month with a pro account. You can also have a free shop but there is a limit of 12 active listings and you won't have access to a number of features. [Update :Artfire is now offering unlimited listings for free shops until at least the end of the year and probably longer. But note these stores do not have the tools the pro shops do].

I've recently come across another selling site which may suit tighter budgets better. It's called FunkyFinds.US (click on The Shops). It is US based but like the other handmade selling sites, international sellers are welcome. This site is like ArtFire in that there is no commission charge.

What IS different is the monthly charge. You have a choice of 4 types of shops whose monthly charge varies from $1.99 a month for a Power Shop to$7.99 a month for a Top Shop. Unlike ArtFire Pro shops there is however a cap on a varying number of products and categories in exchange for lower monthly fees. No matter which type you go for, they all have the same available features but these are not as extensive compared to the other two sites.

Also attractive are the discounts for advance payment. For example if you purchase 3 months of a Power Shop, you get the fourth free. The more months you buy, the greater the discounts. But you could also pay as you go.

Which site is best? Well, each of the three selling sites mentioned here have their strengths and weaknesses. It all depends on which suits your needs best. Etsy is very well known so the traffic there is terrific but so is the competition. Art Fire is now the number 2 selling site and will suit highly creative artisans who love to churn out tons of stuff. FunkyFinds though has a very attractive pricing policy if shops cost is most important to you - a consideration for all businesses and especially new ones.

Remember, no matter which you choose, you still have to work at promoting your store!

For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips

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