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Neglected Shops

iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« on: January 22, 2012, 12:16:00 pm »

Hello iCraft Sellers,

In a few days we are going to introduce new change affecting all stores, where sellers have not logged-in on iCraft in more than 6 months.
As you know, we are already displaying this message on some product pages.



However, people can still buy those products.
To protect our buyers, we are now going to remove "Add to Bag" and "Request Custom Order" buttons on those pages. The only option buyers will have is to Contact the seller to check for Availability of that product.

Other added "benefits" for neglected stores:
  • After 6 months of inactivity, we'll push those products to the bottom of search results.
  • None of those products will be featured on the site, our newsletter or in any other advertising.
  • After a year of inactivity, we'll place those products on hold.
  • After two years of inactivity, we'll delete those products from our system.

So make sure you check on your store, at least, once in 6 months.
Thank you!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 03:52:13 pm by iCraft Admin »
Fairy Cardmaker


Posts: 1023


« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 02:17:47 pm »

This sounds good.

What if I have logged in within the last six months but I haven't updated some products in a year.  Is it based only on seller login (meaning the age of my listing won't put it on hold)?
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 03:51:58 pm »

Exactly! As long as you login and check on your listings, even without making any changes, we assume all of them are still ok.
PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 05:18:39 pm »

Weeding out  inactive sellers is a good idea and long overdue.

Well I am full of opinions today so I will jump in and duck when I leave this page Smiley

Warning a buyer that a seller has not updated their shop in more than 6 months  is good for consumer protection but may shake their confidence on shopping this site if they see the message more than once. After 6 months of total inactivity the shop and the products should be totally deleted!

Sellers with the FREE accounts should be REQUIRED to sign in every month. Icraft could automate monthly reminders. These emails would not be an opt-in/out option on seller sign up.   Failure for a seller to respond with a sign in after 3 months, would then get 3 monthly emails, with a warning of getting their shop and products deleted, failing some kind of response. After 6 months, shop and products should be deleted from public view

Inactives make a bad impression for
a) new sellers considering opening a store
b) buyers considering spending money
c) Google bots and other search engines

... Assuming there has been logarithm balance between relevancy and recency,  couldn't new and updated items be given slightly higher weighting/ higher ranking right from the get-go.

Of course I haven't a clue what all the other considerations icraft admin has had to think about I'm just glad that they/you are taking an assertive position with "dead wood". I would like to see you crank up the heat,  sooner, and higher.

My point of mention is to not necessarily punish those who don't sign-in and update but to encourage/reward those that do.

Just my mouthy two cents worth... and now I am off to update Smiley             
Cheers Christine 
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 11:15:07 pm »

Hi Christine,

Wow, you are full of ideas.  Nice to see you back.   Grin
I'll try to explain our approach better.

1. We want to weed out "dead wood" gradually.
Sudden drop in the number of pages may negatively affect our rankings. With the redesign, we are already introducing a lot of changes in a short period of time, so we want to carefully monitor everything we do.

2. Agree about A & B. That message doesn't inspire confidence in either buyers or sellers. That's why we are starting to slowly implement mechanisms for dealing with inactive sellers. For now, we'll just push both neglected shops and old product listing right to the bottom of search results.

3. C - Search engines like fresh and frequently updated content and often rank it higher. So it's great that you keep updating your pages frequently.
However, they will still index and display in search results pages that have not been updated in a long time, as long as they find them relevant. Otherwise, a lot of "evergreen" content that doesn't require frequent updates, would never appear in search. So those old listings will still bring in some traffic. Hopefully, people will find some other products to purchase, after landing on those pages.
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 11:21:36 pm »

Oh, forgot to mention - we are already sending monthly reminders to those who didn't update their stores in more than 6 months.

And we are phasing out this year Free Subscription option completely.
Northern Girl Jewelry


Posts: 199


« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 08:44:57 am »

I think this is a good thing.

I know that I have frequently read in the Etsy forums that people that have signed up for free shops everywhere and forget that they have set up a shop somewhere.  So getting rid of those neglected shops will be good for everyone. 

Beajoux


Posts: 78


« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 10:06:14 pm »

Hi,

I do have a free shop. I have had subscriptions in the past, but I've been holding off re-subscribing to see the changes that iCraft has been promising since last July. (See "new shop design" post here: http://icraftgifts.com/forum/1401/new-shop-design/.)

I do log in more than just every six months and I do update my listings, but not all the time. I love the fact that this is a Canadian enterprise and I really would like to keep a shop here, but I'm frustrated by the constant postings of "the new design will be ready any day now". The last post was that it would be ready by the end of last week.  I just went to the front page and there was "Tara and James" once again (who, by the way, also keeps only 5 listings). Maybe there wouldn't be so many abandoned shops if iCraft could please, please, at the very least, just change those banner pictures. Maybe it isn't the abandoned shops that drive buyers away, but the fact that half of those big banner pictures are showing listings that don't exist anymore.

Apologies if I sound nasty, it's not my intent. Yes, I agree iCraft shouldn't have to keep abandoned shops, but it also can't promote them (or non-existent listings) on the front page either. It seems to be a vicious circle.

Ainsley
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 01:22:57 am »

Hi Ainsley,

I totally understand your frustration.
It's hard for us to hold back on the fixes to the current site and the release of the new site, when so much has been done. We are still working on fixing various things on the new site. However, we could use your help with testing.
Read this post about testing the new site.

We are looking into updating banner on the current site too, since all the delays.  Embarrassed

 
Beajoux


Posts: 78


« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 11:32:55 am »

Sounds great, I appreciate the opportunity!

Ainsley
PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2012, 03:40:14 pm »

Looking forward to seeing all the new changes in the new site.

Having suggested weeding out dead wood (inactive sellers) it reminded me about cleaning up/ weeding out my shop.  I have started replacing some of the ugly ducks that I have had in my store. Hard to imagine ugly pillows!!! I think they were just badly photographed Smiley

Anyways... my point of mention here is that I  (and probably a few others) need to add new color and new items to my shop.

Wow can you imagine if we all increased the number of items in our shops by say 15 to 20%?

Hmmm... new challenge here?

Cheers
Christine
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 03:42:22 pm »

Btw, we updated 7 banners on the current site. No broken links for now...  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 03:54:31 pm by iCraft Admin »
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 03:54:13 pm »

Hi Christine,

Updating old listings is a good idea. To make sure google counts your page changes as substantial, consider revising a few page elements, and not just one.

For example, add a few relevant keywords in product titles, upload a new (hopefully better) product shot, add a section in your product description about how your product should be cared for or suggest for which occasion or for whom your product is intended. Giving people ideas why they should buy your product is always helpful.

If you know your buyers, make sure you highlight product qualities that appeal to them. For example, if your product is meant for a guy, explain why guys would just love it... simple design, earth tones, no flowers ... I am just making this up, but you get the point, right?  Smiley
PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 04:14:26 pm »

Fabulous suggestions!... I especially like hearing  what is good "bot-bait". Appreciate your insight!

Cheers
Christine
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2012, 11:21:51 pm »

Christine, forgot to comment on this point.

Anyways... my point of mention here is that I  (and probably a few others) need to add new color and new items to my shop.
Wow can you imagine if we all increased the number of items in our shops by say 15 to 20%?
Hmmm... new challenge here?

We think the problem with low number of products is in our Pricing model. What we were thinking (and feel free to comment on it) is to introduce a system which would allow unlimited postings, without free shops.

Option 1 would be to take 5% commission on sales, without listing/re-listing fees

Option 2 would be to introduce one subscription package, instead of three, of about $12/month for unlimited postings

Option 3 would be to offer both Option 1 and Option 2, both of which promote unlimited postings


We'd offer new sellers one month free, or something like that, to let them test-drive our system. For people who don't visit their stores, we already have a mechanism for putting their entire stores on hold.

We know for sure we are going to get rid of 5 free option. It's not helping us in increasing the number of products and limits sellers in getting enough traffic to their stores.

Any thoughts?
PetiteTuques


Posts: 164


« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2012, 07:46:00 am »

I like the commission option. Even though your rate at 12/month is lower than some other sites, I don't sell enough to make that fee. Maybe some people do?

I just hope that the new site will attract more buyers so we can all start making money Wink
Ahkriti


Posts: 76


« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2012, 12:37:43 pm »

Would prefer a 5% commission on sales with unlimited listings - I wouldn't mind that. The $12 per  month is a bit high for me at the moment.

I'm really looking forward to the new site!
Fairy Cardmaker


Posts: 1023


« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2012, 11:56:22 pm »

My question: 5% commission unlimited plan is still a "free" plan. It encourages fee avoidance.  List for free, get an inquiry, make arrangements off site to close the deal.  How will you address fee avoidance?

I like my small plan because 1) it's affordable and 2) hitting me in the pocket book keeps me coming here to try and get sales for my fees.  I certainly cannot afford $12/month when I am making $50/year.

I suggest the following three plans:
Commission-only (5%) with limited listings (however many make 2 nice rows in your shop: 8?)  The listing limit is too low for those committed to selling regularly.  It will attract those who can "try for free but pay for success".  The low item limit should also curb iCraft's exposure to fee avoidance (but not eliminate it).

Small Business Plan: $5 per month; 60 listings.  (Banks have small business fee plans, why not iCraft?)

Full-Time Business Plan: $12 per month; unlimited listings.  (The point at which this option becomes more economical than the $5 plan is at 144 listings.  So, if you are listing between 60 and 144 items, too bad for you, it'll cost you more than it needs to.  You would actually be better off with 2 shops of 60 listings (but who wants that?!)  If you can make it over the critical mass of 144 listings, you are laughing!)

What I'm saying is, there's still a nearly free option; there's a small seller option and for those who want to go all the way, they are encourage to jump their listings from 60 to 144 in a hurry (since every day under the 144 is costing you more).

In short, it's the "not committed"; "committed"; "seriously committed" plans.

It's late and I am thinking on the fly.  Feel free to poke holes in my logic. Smiley
Northern Girl Jewelry


Posts: 199


« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2012, 10:53:33 am »

I think that your pricing model is probably contributing to the low number of items in shops.  That, and compared to some other sites that some of us sell on, sales numbers are probably lower here than there.  However, the low numbers of items in shops here contributes to lower sales, so it's a bit of a viscious circle.

I actually have more items listed here than in my etsy shop because here I don't pay a listing fee.  But my sales are lower here than on etsy, because there is less traffic here.  But I still get sales here, many of which don't get completed here because they are with local buyers and there is no commission here.  I sold 2 items that way last week.  

I like being on icraft because my items seem to get picked well by Canadians using search engines.  I get sales here I wouldn't get on Etsy.  But I wouldn't be able to keep a shop here at $12/month.  It just wouldn't make economic sense for me.

If you went with the 5% commission model, that would make economic sense for me.  But, I have some local buyers that find me here and that don't complete the transaction here.  Some of those buyers I could get to complete the transaction here, but some of the buyers that I have had aren't completely decided on what they want, we meet in person, I have a selection of items with me so that they can see in person and choose, and we do the transaction in person.  I've has some transaction that start off by looking like they will be about a $30-40 sale turn into $100 sale that way.  I don't want to lose those sales, and I don't want to be a in position of fee avoidance either.  Because the site deserves a cut, as the buyer wouldn't have found me without icraft.  I live in Ottawa, so my local market is significant.  And icraft catches Canadian traffic.  Ottawa is one of my most popular keywords in GA.  

So I don't know what pricing plan would work for both the seller and the site.


« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 10:56:24 am by Northern Girl Jewelry »
Northern Girl Jewelry


Posts: 199


« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2012, 11:05:31 am »

I don't like Fairy Cardmaker's suggestion of 5% commission on limited number of items in shop (like 8 items) because I think it still encourages neglected shops.  People park their 8 items on icraft, walk away, and they aren't paying anything anyways. 

Actually, even if you allow unlimited listings with a 5% commission, I think you will still have the neglected shop syndrome.  People will be willing to park lots of items here at no cost and not do anything unless someone makes a purchase.  It was happening in the past on Artfire with the free shops.  People there had unlimited free listings and many (not all, but many) of those shops had inattentive shop owners.

So if you actually want to eliminate neglected shops, I think you would need to have a model of small listing fee and small commission, like the current Etsy model.  Or you would need to have a listing fee like you do right now for the different shop plans.

Have you considered simply eliminating the 5 free items option and keep the current 3 tier pricing model and seeing what happens?  Or at least trying that for a while once the new site design rolls out?  If the new design is more SEO friendly, that would help to build traffic, and more traffic and sales could attract more buyers.  Also, with all the crap that has been happening over on Artfire in the past few months, there has been a pretty substantial exodus of sellers from that place.  Many sellers are looking for a new alternative selling platform, and perhaps the new icraft site would be attractive to them.

 
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2012, 12:50:10 pm »

wow, a lot of good ideas here. Thanks guys!  Kiss

I think any venue that deals with commissions, will have to deal with fee avoidance as well.
It's part of a business, I guess. Here is post on eBay about "Avoiding eBay fees".
My thought on this is that it has to be beneficial to both sellers and buyers to deal online, instead of taking business offline.

To sellers it would be getting positive feedback on their store and the number of sales listed, being promoted as a top seller or as the one with the most positive feedback, with a lot of popular products etc.

To buyers it could be getting protection online, as all sales are recorded. They can return items and get a full refund, if they spot a defect later, additional discounts for their next online purchase etc. Those are the things we are thinking about when we are discussing changes to our pricing model.

Sorry, Northern Girl Jewelry, can you please fill me in on what's happening with Artfire? We've been pre-occupied with our own site for a while that haven't been following much what's happening outside. Thanks!

Northern Girl Jewelry


Posts: 199


« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2012, 03:11:49 pm »

There has been a lot going on at Artfire.  Back in August, they eliminated all the free shops, so they went from about 80,000 shops to 15,000 shops pretty much overnight.  They also added a commercial section for resellers.  So basically, anything can now be sold on AF, not just handmade, supplies and vintage. 

Since then, traffic to the site has gone down dramatically, and many sellers, even those that were selling well have seen their sales numbers go down.  In addition to that, the site has been having a lot of technical glitches of all sorts (photos disappearing from listings, text in listings being changed, extremely slow loading times, problems with Google Merchant, an internal search that doesn't work properly and more) and the Admin there has denied any possibility that the problems are with the site itself and has blamed the sellers, their browsers, their computers, etc. 

In addition to this, just before Christmas, AF admin announced in a private forum section that they were introducing a new AF Assurance plan where AF itself would provide a guarantee to buyers that if there was a problem with a transaction AF would issue a refund.  This assurance plan would come with an extra $1 per month fee tacked on to the current monthly fees.  This concept did not go well with sellers.  Sellers were upset that their own policies would not be respected, that the selling venue was going to interfere with how they do business, especially as buyers currently have protection through Paypal and their credit card companies and many sellers have generous return policies.  Also sellers were upset because many signed up in the fall of 2010 under a Guaranteed for Life fee of $5.95/month that AF assured would never go up as long as the sellers kept that account active.  It wasn't about the $1 extra, it was really about the bad treatment that sellers felt they were getting.  AF finally decided that those that had the locked in fees would have the option to opt out of the assurance plan, but those shops would be penalized in the search results and would have a statement of some sort appearing in their shops about not being a part of the AF assurance plan. 

This assurance plan on top of the problems the site has been having and the big changes of direction of the site has led to many sellers closing their shops there. 
     
Fairy Cardmaker


Posts: 1023


« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2012, 09:57:42 pm »

I hear your points, Northern Girl Jewellery, about the neglected shops and the custom and local pick up orders.  I'm not a fan of the commission model either, however, I do have an ear to those people who want to "test drive" the site.  A zero or very low cost model reduces the barriers to entry.

I still think my original pricing model is the better idea (originally posted in another thread).  A listing fee for small shops or flat fee for fuller shops:
Quote
Currently, listings that are over your subscription package are $0.20 each.  I'd say take away the free option and leave this as a "pay as you go" option: $0.20 per listing per month.  Once a shop reaches 25 items, they will pay $5.00 which is the price of the 50-listing store.

So, if someone wants to do a trial, they might want to list 10 items.  Another person might try 5.  Another might try 8 (to make two even rows).  Those people will pay something less than the minimum package of 50 listings.  They can continue on like that forever.  If, instead, they find things take off and want to list more stuff, then maybe they will upgrade.

This system works beautifully for custom shops.  Those shops may not need more than 5 listings to show a "portfolio" of their work.  Currently, there could be a huge volume of custom work driven through iCraft that iCraft gets nothing for.  At 5 listings, fees would be $1.00 month.  Peanuts to a custom artist, IMO.  Even $2.00 a month for 10 listings for a custom artist is peanuts, yet more than zero for iCraft (monthly).

Now, it would be costly for a shop that needs 100 items of variety of finished goods to continue operating that way, but $6.00 to list 10 items for 3 months to test the waters?  A worthwhile investment in my mind.

I vote for a pay-as-you-go system for small sellers.

There is no free option in this model, but there is a very economical option.  And, for the orders not completed on-site, iCraft at least gets $0.20 for any person not on a flat fee plan.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 12:17:10 am by iCraft Admin »
Northern Girl Jewelry


Posts: 199


« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2012, 08:27:36 am »

Fairy Cardmaker, this last option you present seems like a good one.  Smiley

I'm glad I'm not the one having to make the decisions. 
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2012, 12:29:45 am »

Thank you for a nice summary on Artfire, Northern Girl Jewelry! Interesting turn of events, to say the least.

Great points about pricing both of you! Yes, it will be a difficult decision this time. A lot to consider.  Roll Eyes
Beajoux


Posts: 78


« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2012, 09:51:08 pm »

Reading this has made me realize that I'm not doing myself or iCraft any favours by "parking" my 5 free listings.  Cry

I would not be able to afford $12/month, but I do like Fairy Cardmaker's suggestions about "pay-as-you-go" and the "small business plan" as I would definitely be considered a small seller.

Not sure, though, if it would be a big hassle for iCraft to collect only $1 or $2 every month from those shops with minimal listings. Huh

Ainsley
PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2012, 10:56:28 am »

A balanced "User Pay" system seems to be the best of both worlds out there and probably the most widely employed.

A seller doesn't mind paying a "success fee" when they have sold something. 5% is too high. 2 to 2.5% is less noticeable.

Paying a listing fee once for a listing period of 3-6 months (not monthly) is reasonable too. Its a small investment for a seller and generates a cash flow for icraft while sales start to build. Putting a cap on the listing fees to be paid at 100 or 150 is great for a seller but not good for icraft. Conceivably sellers could load their store with products that don't sell thereby burdening icraft system resources without any incremental income for them. Not sure this would be the case for a long while yet as we sellers are a long way from listing enough products to overfill icraft's technological capacity.... further, I don't think there are many sellers that have more than 100 listings or are able to expand their product line to that many.

Getting more new listings on icraft will be key in building the site and generating sales for sellers.  More product generates more views, which attracts buyers and generates more sales, which generates more  prospective sellers who will list more new product... and the the growth cycle begins to expand exponentially.

Maybe in the beginning of rolling out the new site their could be a listing incentive for adding new listings to new and existing sellers like .... X free listing fees if you list X times (multiplied by) 5 during such and such promo week.  I have never sold on Ebay but I think they have, from time to time, "free" listing periods to attract more new listings and new sellers.

Etsy treasuries is a brilliant cross marketing tool. It gets sellers looking at other sellers and generates sales amongst each other and also, Etsy keeps their finger on the pulse of what is of current interest to its viewers. A lot of their front page promotion is curated by members and is in theory, representative of what's "hot" in the online market.... valuable information for ADMIN and other sellers too.  Again it perpetuates more views and involvement from our existing membership.  By the way... the new product emails that icraft are sending out right now are EXCELLENT and hopefully generating more traffic and sales.

By having a balanced sales fee and listing fee, icraft is more insulated from widely  fluctuating revenues in slow markets or seasonal cycles.

Bottom line... icraft needs steady/balanced revenues to keep the " store doors open". As sellers, our job is to "fill the shelves". Finding an equitable, yet enticing business plan for sellers is tricky and I appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinion Smiley  I am ALWAYS full of opinion (not always sound).  I have lots of experience... I know exactly WHAT NOT TO DO!

LOL... All I know is that I need to sell A LOT OF PILLOWS as it gives me reason to BUY MORE FABRIC! Smiley

cheers
Christine
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2012, 11:36:27 pm »

Thanks for your ideas, Christine! It's great to see different perspectives.

5% commission was meant to be introduced without any listing fees. Do you think it's still too high?
 
We'll always have a lot less items than those sites that accept vintage and supplies.
For that reason, we thought we need to implement a system that doesn't limit sellers in the number of items they post every month.
Right now we have 3 times more items on hold than live.
Nobody wins from that. We have to store and backup those listing every months. Sellers have a lot less traffic to their pages, as most of their products are on hold and not visible to buyers.

We thought listing fees would do the same - force sellers to hold some products. What do you think?

PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2012, 12:59:28 am »

Minimal listing fees such as the 20 cents that Etsy charges is negligible and more palatable than a monthly fee of 12$ or even 5$. Psychologically  20 cents will not likely cause a seller to hold back listing items.

5% commission will cause some prospective sellers to turn away as I did when I did my research a few years ago.  I forget which site charged 5%, maybe 1000 Markets? (which has since folded or been absorbed by another site). Also at 5% there is a higher probability of more frequent fee avoidance. I think there will be serious seller sensitivity / resistance beyond 3%

Philosophically, I think a balance of both is good for both but then i don't know what kind of numbers you are working with.

You need to bring your experts in to do a pro forma modeling a few different plans that other successful sites are using... and with emphasis on their revenue streams.  Would a 5% commission on all the sales in the last 12 months on icraft have been a  viable income stream for icraft in light of the new site development as well as the regular service delivery?

Wow... I am so grateful my little brain just has to wrap around pillows Smiley

Cheers
Christine

The pro forma models the anticipated results of the transaction, with particular emphasis on the projected cash flows, net revenues
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2012, 06:21:55 am »

Hi Christine,

You certainly make a good case for a mixed model of listing fees and commission on sales.
I am still surprised that 5% commission without listing fees could be considered too high. I've seen numbers as high as 15% on other sites.
We've been analyzing pricing model for the past 6 months and still didn't make a decision on which way we'll go. So this discussion is definitely very helpful. Thanks a lot for your input!
Fairy Cardmaker


Posts: 1023


« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2012, 05:08:03 pm »

I could handle 5% with no listing fees.  3% is more psychologically pleasing.

The only thing about  percentgages is that it makes it more costly for those who sell expensive items.  Theoretically, those who sell more expensive items also have the margin to absorb that percentage.  But that's theory.  Psychologically, you will discourage those with high dollar items from selling on iCraft if you use a flat percentage.

Could you put an upper limit?  The lesser of 5% commission or $X cap for the month, being some amount iCraft would be happy with monthly?  Maybe your $12 suggestion before?  (That would mean, anyone who sells over $240 in a month would be billed $12.)

I do like the percentage model with no listing fees because it is a successful efforts model.  It encourages BOTH iCraft and sellers to get things selling!
Fairy Cardmaker


Posts: 1023


« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2012, 05:32:40 pm »

By the way, a large part of my shop is on hold because
a) You told me not to delete stuff even if I will no longer sell it.
b) I don't sell enough to afford increasing my package.
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2012, 07:02:46 pm »

By the way, a large part of my shop is on hold because
a) You told me not to delete stuff even if I will no longer sell it.

Hmmm... I guess I need to clarify this one.

"On Hold" is pretty much the same, as Deleted.
If page is not publicly available for a long time and can't be accessed by a person following a link or a bookmark, or can't be accessed by search engines, it has no value to both.

What I was suggesting to do is to reuse old Live listings (as they may have accumulated links and are already noticed by search engines) for similar products. So if you sold one Birthday Card and need to post a new Birthday Card, reuse the old listing. However, this will not work in every case. Your old listing might have comments on it that refer to the old product or your old product might have been featured in a blog somewhere, so you might want to leave old listing as is and create a new one instead.

You can delete listings that you never plan to use again and that have been on hold for a while.

Another thing to know.
When products are sold on iCraft, we save a copy of that listing in our database for Audit / Purchase History purposes and in order to display product links on the Feedback page. So even if you delete that product from your store, people will still be able to see it when they read a feedback from your buyer on the Feedback page. Also, buyer will be able to see that product listing through their Order details page.
Only products that were not sold and deleted by you, we'll be gone from our system permanently without a trace.
Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 03:28:36 am by iCraft Admin »
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2012, 07:15:50 pm »

Could you put an upper limit?  The lesser of 5% commission or $X cap for the month, being some amount iCraft would be happy with monthly?  Maybe your $12 suggestion before?  (That would mean, anyone who sells over $240 in a month would be billed $12.)

So it looks like one pricing option might not fit all. On other hand, too many choices & rules might overwhelm people.
Right now we ourselves get overwhelmed with all the choices - should we go with commission on sales with or without listing fees and/or flat rate packages etc. Which models is the most win/win?... I'll be happy when we finally make a decision on this one.  Roll Eyes
Northern Girl Jewelry


Posts: 199


« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2012, 03:51:24 pm »

I agree with the comment that too many choices will overwhelm people.  Lots of studies show that too many choices lead people to not choosing anything. 

Although you might be surprised that 5% commission without listing fees seems high, you should remember that the biggest player in the handmade seller's market is Etsy, which charges 3.5% commission.  Yes, they charge a $0.20 listing fee, but most sellers see that as a small price to try to sell something.  So handmade sellers will always compare to how much it will cost them to sell on Etsy.  And Etsy has more traffic, so will be seen as more bang for their buck than any other selling site.  Also, as we take Paypal, sellers pay those commission fees too. 

I would be surprised if a commission-only fee structure would actually be a financially viable for the site. 

Honestly, I think you should really look at the Etsy model for fees.  I do believe that the fee structure is part of the reason Etsy became so successful.  It's not the only thing of course, but I think it contributed.  Time after time I have seen sellers voice the opinion that a commission model is better for them than a monthly fee.  Sellers are aware that in a commission model, the site has motivation in seeing items actually get sold, and not just having x number of sellers taking part in the monthly plan. 

As for those of us selling higher priced items feeling the bite of the commission, if we take the selling fees into account when determining our pricing then it's not a bigger hit in reality (but could seem so psychologically I suppose).
Delightful Suds


Posts: 84


« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2012, 07:08:03 pm »

Wow, lots to read. I'm not sure if I'm too late to comment, but one of the reasons why I left Etsy was the fact that they charge listing fees, which I really did not like. So really hoping here that you won't go that route    Undecided
Fairy Cardmaker


Posts: 1023


« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2012, 09:53:05 pm »

Well... I suppose a commission on sales with no other fees is similar to a consignment shop.  Makes sense.  iCraft is the store front and we are the shelf fillers.
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2012, 12:36:56 am »

As I understand, Etsy's listing fees are a problem only because they encourage sellers to keep re-listing to appear at the top of searches and then charge them over and over for that. When we talk about listing fees, we refer to one-time listing fees, regardless of how often you update those listings.

Just so you know, we are keeping our current pricing model for now. We'll keep contemplating changes and doing more analyses, but right now we are not quite ready to make the move.

GalleriaLinda


Posts: 439


« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2012, 12:23:31 pm »

I, for one, hate the Etsy model, but let me explain that. It has grown from something good into a mess.

Really, 20 cents per listing is reasonable and a 3.5 commission is reasonable. When Etsy first launched, it was a breath of fresh air. An artist could list any number of items they wanted for little money and when it sold, a little commission was due. Sweet!

Now, it is a broken system, in my opinion.There was no forethought or planning for dramatic growth to support this system.

What drove me to abandon/delete my Etsy shops is the corporate guidance to relist multiple times a day at 20 cents each to be seen, therefore increasing my "selling fees" per item. It can get out of hand quickly per item.

I have read that some sellers spend $300 a month in relisting fees that they just view as advertising.

I don't like that their marketing message is that you only pay 20 cents per listing when you will need to spend much more than that to get it seen on the Etsy site - and pay for it. (or just let it sit unseen). It is what it is and Etsy should be presenting whole picture in their marketing, but they don't.

I think Etsy ends up being very expensive because of that. If you want your items to have a chance to sell, you really have to go with the consistent relisting of existing listings that have not expired and repay over and over.

Their super sellers can make a bundle but I wonder what their relisting expenses are that allow them to make that bundle. It is all relative.

Also, a 4-month listing timeline to me, is unnecessary.

For iCraft - a listing/commission fee would allow people to be more in control of their budget by allowing them to list any number of items at any time, rather than buying a shop space for x number of listings up front.

Lots to ponder!
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2012, 11:59:45 pm »

Thanks for your feedback, Linda!  Yes, lots to ponder  Cheesy
4-month listing was probably introduced so people wouldn't have to relist every month, yet it forced sellers to come back to check on their stores, at least, once every 4-months.
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2012, 11:36:24 pm »

Recently, we've been leaning more towards this idea of introducing an alternative "Commission-based" system, while still keeping our existing subscription-based payment model.

There are pros and cons with both systems. Some people are against commission on sale, while others, especially those that don't have many sales yet, are against monthly payments.

We are certainly not going to go the Etsy way and charge people for re-listing items to increase our profits. But we were thinking maybe by offering options - either fixed monthly payment or commission on sale - sellers would get a chance to pick the best option for their business, and everyone would be happy?  Roll Eyes  Any thoughts on this?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 11:44:11 pm by iCraft Admin »
BostonBeanies


Posts: 6


« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2012, 02:42:46 pm »

I realize I am entering this late in the game.  And I am one of the neglected shops (just took care of that)

However, I joined iCraft several years ago to gain Canadian exposure, love my friends up North, but often the five listings was cumbersome to manage, or didn't fully represent what I had to offer. 
But now I am selling patterns, so issues of shipping and the like are pretty much gone and would love to sell them here. 

I would gladly pay a small commission (3-5 % not too large, my patterns are not that expensive anyway) for at least 8 listings, I would like to have at least two full rows of listings.  I would like to see how my patterns sell before I commit to a monthly fee.

I already paid to join, now I should really make the most use of the investment.

And it would be sublime if people could download patterns from here, just thought I would throw that out there.  My Etsy customers can't do that, and this would give iCraft a big edge.
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2012, 05:15:23 pm »

Hi BostonBeanies,

Glad to know you've updated your store and thank you for your feedback!  Grin

We actually had a discussion before about downloadable patterns. See this post.
MaelinDesigns


Posts: 5


« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2012, 08:23:47 pm »

I'm perfectly fine with a 5% commission per sold item with no monthly or listing fees, provided I can have more than 5 items in my shop.  I think up to 25 items is fair.

I just can't do a per item listing or monthly fee right now, and I'd hate to not be able to have a sales account here.  Artfire went that route and sent all their free accounts packing and I was very disappointed with that.

Commissions are a good idea.  It isn't fair for the site owner to not get something for hosting the site, truth be told.

Do let us know how iCraft will deal with the new accounts.  I'd really like to stay on.



Debbie
MaelinDesigns
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2012, 10:34:40 pm »

Thanks for your feedback, MaelinDesigns!  Grin
We will have unlimited postings with the "Commission on Sales" option.
The idea is to allow people to post as many items as they want, so that will increase their chances of making sales on our site.
 
 
MaelinDesigns


Posts: 5


« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2012, 06:43:41 pm »

I like that idea very much.  Grin

When will that account option become available?

I'm looking forward to the commission account with unlimited products.  I can't wait to sign up.

Debbie
MaelinDesigns
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1443


« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2012, 10:49:27 pm »

Great! We are aiming for Dec 1st, but may deliver it a bit later. It's a big update affecting many pages and will require a lot of testing too.
So stay tuned! We'll be posting more updates on forum shortly.
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