Thursday, August 15, 2013

Revisiting Craftinest

Update June 2, 2014-  On 8/26/2013 I blogged about a great new website market place for handcrafted arts and crafts items.  The site was called Craftinest.
Unfortunately Craftinest is now no longer online.  No one knows what happened.  Though Craftinest did post on their facebook page that a fire had destroyed much of their sites equipment and they held out a promise to us that they would repair the damage and get the site back up and running . . . that promise is yet to materialize.   As I update this post is has been about 9 months since anyone has heard from Craftinest. Craftinest has not bothered to update their facebook page nor notify any of their many shop owners as to what is going on. All our emails are returned as undeliverable. We have pretty much given up hope that Craftinest will repair the fire damage and reestablish their website. 
Personally I believe that they grew too quickly and the inundation of so many artists and crafters overwhelmed them and their sites capacity to handle such an influx of shops and traffic.  The loss of Craftinest is sad as it held forth so much potential . . .  but sometimes things are simply not meant to be. 
Below is my old blog post of 8/15/2013 -
No doubt you've heard me mention Craftinest and may recall how I begged and pleaded for your votes.

In order to qualify for an online storefront on  Craftinest's  marketplace site each applicant has to go through a jurying process  that requires no less than 100 votes.  These votes had to come from public polls but applicants are encouraged to actively solicit votes from family, friends and their social media sites.    I am very  grateful that so many of you and my family and friends complied and in less than a week I was able to accumulate 154 positive votes.

Recently  I was asked  how had  I heard about Craftinest and the answer is that I saw one of their ads on a site called; "It's Better Handmade"  .  Their ad merely stated that  sellers are wanted. 
Out of curiosity I clicked on their ad and found myself interested in the prospect of getting in on the ground floor of a new site.  Also I liked that Craftinest would be a site strictly for handmade.  In the near future they will be opening  2 separate marketplaces 1 for supplies sellers and the other for shops  dealing in vintage items. 
True,  I was intimidated by their jury system.  Getting a 100 votes  seemed  like an awful lot.   I even contacted them via their email and expressed my concerns over a jury system done by the public rather than a designated panel of qualified artists and crafters.  Craftinest  sent me a courteous reply, explaining that even with a panel of peers there would be the problem of biased voting, what one person may consider gorgeous and wonderful, another might find hideous and useless, so there is really no way of getting around that.  They  explained that what they were really trying to achieve with the juryed entry was to weed out those who would not be committed to their business, those hobbyists who aren't interested in making a profitable business out of their  craft or those who would open a shop and then do nothing to build it up or promote it. 
Craftinest confidentially admitted that some crafters had applied and then did not bother to campaign  for  votes.   These applicants didn't  request votes from  family or friends, or send out emails, or  employ any other means of acquiring  votes, such as posting on facebook, or  twitter etc.  It was apparent that these individuals would probably not be very dedicated to their enterprise. 
Yes, I could see and understand their logic to this . . . but still 100 votes is an intimidating number.  Also there's the possibility that many in the public would not  realize they were voting on whether or not the applicant should or should not be allowed a shop webpage on the Craftinest marketplace. 
It would be all too easy for someone to misconstrue the voting and think; "Are the items this applicant makes something I would or would not buy?" This changes the whole aspect of the voting.  Many who would normally have voted to allow an artist or crafter to have a shop webpage would vote differently about whether they would  actually purchase what that artist makes, so votes of "Maybe",  "Not Likely" or even "Definitely Not" would be more prolific. 
I recall one applicant, in a previous voting session, that was into healing crystals, Chakra stones, and aroma therapy (oils and fragrances that either relax, invigorate or, inspire us etc.)  They had received  320 votes but unfortunately 91 voted "Not Likely" and 29 voted "Definitely Not!" with 69 voting "Maybe".  This leads me to believe that probably 120 people did not know what they were voting for.

The last I heard from Craftinest is that they were considering changes to their voting system. Hopefully whatever they decide upon will be less intimidating and will encourage more artists and crafters to submit  applications to the Craftinest marketplace.

Okay so now the confession - though I was intimated by the jury procedure, I do not regret having gone through it. I figure I had nothing to lose and there was a slight chance of gaining some very valuable online exposure for the things that I create to sell.  I think with the proper marketing Craftinest holds a lot of potential.

If any of you have visited Craftinest's markplace website, I would love to hear your opinions of the site.  What do you feel is its advantages, its disadvantages or what suggestions would you make that may improve the site? 



  1. I haven't checked them out yet. Have you made any sales yet through them?

  2. It looks interesting, I have to admit :)

    I do not think I am up for adding another website to my corral right now but I will follow with interest :)

    Hope you are doing well, cheers, T. :)

  3. I'm glad it's working out for you! :)

  4. I think they will have to ease up on their voting system - there are virtually no products to buy! A total of 16 jewellery items and nothing in most of the other categories?
    When I think of a "juried" craft site I think "just to get rid of obvious resellers" not whether I like or dislike the items being submitted.
    I'm certainly not going to effectively spam my friends, family and clients into voting me onto a selling site when it's obvious my stuff is handmade. Between photographing, listing, SEO and social media - do I have any time left for actually creating my art? And this selling platform wants me to jump through more hoops?

  5. I'm in the process as we speak, but am frustrated with the lack of a response to email. As of now I can't even log in and a password reset has gone unanswered as well. My thoughts were the same, get in on the ground floor and see what potential is there. Hopefully this is just a glitch but so far.... not so good.


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