Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shophandmade-a review

So, I've been trying out the new site for handmade, shophandmade. It's sponsored by the online sites addictedtorubberstamps, addictedtoscrapbooking, and addictedtocrafts, and if you allow them to put a little ad on the bottom of your listings, the listing fees are free or reduced, the normal listing fee is 25c. When I first started with this site, I chose the 25c listing fees, but never got a bill from them and never paid them anything. Now, I'm going with the free listings. You can also choose what percentage you want to pay them if your listing sells, anywhere from 0 to 100% of your purchase price. I have had a few things sell there but, again, have never gotten a bill for the sales percentage fee, either.

The site is confusing to list and shop on, instead of clicking on a category or listing page, it's a rolling scroll, where if you roll your mouse over something the page changes without having to click on anything. I had stopped listing during January because the category pages seemed to be stuck on listings from the first few days of the month, with nothing ever changing.

The front page of the site needs some work, instead of a nice cohesive page with 'the best of the best' you get a jumbled up mess of less than stellar photos of less than stellar crafts. New buyers coming to the site to check things out might think they have stepped into a virtual church bazaar, if you know what I mean. The site does emphasize the paper crafts, with tons of categories for handmade cards and such. But the sellers really need some lessons in picture taking, most of the pictures are washed out and very ebayish looking. The site also 'remembers' you and if you are logged in it will show your own listings featured on the front page, so you think you're being seen by buyers, but in reality only by yourself.

They did fix the category pages so that your new listings once again appear under the 'newly listed' page so that part of it is looking a little more encouraging.

The sales that I've gotten there seem to come from google searches, not buyers already shopping on the site. I'm going to give them a few more months to see if sales increase at all, since so far, I haven't paid them any money.

There is no forum or interaction with other sellers like most handmade sites offer, so if you are having any issues or problems, the only way to find answers is to email the site directly. They do respond quickly, but didn't seem to understand my question about why the pages seemed to be stuck for almost a month (which again, seems to have been fixed.)

So, if you are looking for another site to try out that's not as crowded as etsy, this one offers unlimited free listings, but so far not a lot of buyers. If you do buy something, trying to pay for it is another issue. I always like to try a site's checkout system so that if my buyers have a problem with it, at least I know how it works. When you buy something, there is no page for paying for it, you have to go to your purchases and then click on what you bought to get to a page where you can go to paypal and pay. It took me quite a while to figure this out, I even emailed the seller to have her send me an invoice before I finally found where I could pay for my purchase. I've had to do the same with one of my buyers, send her an invoice because the checkout is just too confusing.

And, now, I wonder if shophandmade has someone who reads anything written about them (probably), so if you are reading this, shophandmade, I hope you can take some constructive criticism. Jury the front page and put some better looking pictures on the 'featured items' and get your checkout system fixed to where buyers can actually figure out how to pay for their purchases. Right now, I've got instructions in every listing as to how to find the 'pay' page, which I shouldn't have to do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your stuff! Thanks for this informative review. I've been there since the beginning (5 months) and I'm becoming quite disenchanted. I had no idea Checkout was that confusing. Thanks for that, too.

Another criticism is that there's no method for contacting the seller. That's a crucial omission! I've got my email address shown in every listing, but without HTML it's not clickable, of course. I asked about that way back in October, and was told it was a "high priority." That was 5 months ago...

My one disagreement with your review is about the product photos. I think they're just fine, and I'm getting tired of the trend at etsy to favor angled/artsy photos over the quality of the product.

Anyway, I'm thinking of jumping ship...