In the past several weeks, Etsy has:
- Changed their privacy settings without notifying their members
- Made your full name and shopping history public knowledge unless you opt-out (again, with no notification)
- Created a "gift-finder", a facebook app that has a history of connecting to members' facebook accounts after they explicitly denied permission.
If you have an Etsy account, I hope you've checked your settings and made sure that it is what you want it to be. If your name is googled, do you want your Etsy purchases to be revealed as well?
This has turned a lot of people off of this handcrafting marketplace. I don't really blame them, to be honest. Although Etsy is extremely popular and has many, many customers (in fact, many of my sales came from people searching on Etsy for mineral makeup, rather than from outside sources), I feel like a wave of people are "waking up" so-to-speak and leaving the Etsy community in droves.
I took the opportunity to look into Art Fire, a selling community I had previously left unconsidered. It turns out that Artfire has several advantages over Etsy for both the seller and the buyer.
I'm going to write a post that goes into detail about the pros and cons of Artfire vs. Etsy, but in the meantime, what you should know is that I am hoping to use Artfire exclusively if I can generate enough sales/ traffic there. When you visit my domain (http://www.bokehface.com) you are taken directly there, and the fantastic news is that you don't need an Artfire account to shop there!
You can also shop the Artfire store directly from my facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/bokehface). It's listed in the leftside menu under "Art Fire Kiosk".
Should you choose to use Etsy instead, my shop will be there at least until my listings expire (sometime in June).
Please let me know what you think! Are you more compelled to buy something from Etsy than from somewhere else? Will you follow your favorite sellers to Artfire if they leave Etsy? Let me know in the comments!