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Tue Jan 4 2022 10:15:20

Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation

By: Ina Steiner

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Online marketplace Artfire closed, blaming regulation and complexity in operating a marketplace. A reader who contacted us this morning said the closure came as a surprise, although the marketplace had published a notice in December that it would be closing at the end of the year.

A message on the Artfire website this week states in part, "ArtFire was launched in 2008 and was operated by the original owners and team until December of 2021. Changes in regulations and the increasing complexity of operating an online marketplace made the continued operation more challenging in the final years and the members of the founding team moved on to new projects."

Artfire was similar to Etsy, though much smaller - it allowed the sale of handmade and vintage goods, fine art, digital arts and craft supplies.

Abby Glassenberg of Craft Industry Alliance wrote about the closure on December 10th. She reported that one of the sellers she spoke to, like our reader, was upset that Artfire had not notified its sellers. Glassenberg provides additional context on marketplaces catering to the handmade niche.

One of the commentors on the Craft Industry Alliance post likewise said she hadn't been notified and asked in her January 1st comment if there was a way she could access her historical data and download her listings from Artfire.

For a lookback on Artfire, check out this EcommerceBytes Update article from 2014 and its profile in the 2012 EcommerceBytes Sellers Choice Awards feature.

Let us know if you've been impacted and if you figure out a way to download information from the site. And here's a peek at Artfire's introductory video for sellers from 2016:




Comments (6) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation   Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 4 15:59:51 2022

“”…. members of the founding team moved on to new projects."”

“..increasing complexity..”?  Digital and fine art?  

NFTs. The new horseless carriage.  Or is that horseless bandwagon?

Perminate Link for Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation   Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jan 4 21:09:42 2022

Artfire was dead.
Couldn't hold a candle to eCrater.

Perminate Link for Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation   Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation

by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 5 15:29:22 2022

Artfire was infested with resellers and drama queens.

Perminate Link for Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation   Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 00:43:01 2022

Artfire had a lot of scam sellers and refused to do anything about it. I bought a window air conditioner from a seller, and then after over a week didn't provide tracking. I complained to the seller and artfire and the seller didnt respond and artfire just said thery were a venue. I opened a case with paypal, the seller provided a fake tracking number that got delivered in my town like they day before, and paypal closed the case against me. I complained to artfire again, and they refused to do anything about it. I filed a claim with UPS, and the claims page showed where the package was delivered - about 4 miles away. I contacted the fraud department at paypal, and forwarded them the ups document, and got my money refunded. I inquired about the fake tracking number, they were aware of them, but wouldnt tell me how they were obtained. I live in a town of about 20k, so finding a valid number for a recently delivered package cant be easy. The other recepient and i ha a mutual friend on fb, i messaged them, but thery never replied.

Perminate Link for Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation   Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jan 6 18:36:13 2022

"Changes in regulations and the increasing complexity of operating an online marketplace..."

I would be interested in knowing what those regulations are. eCrater was also launched in 2008, and they aren't having any problems. I went back to the 2012 Sellers Choice Awards blog entry that Ina linked above, and it was really interesting reading all the praise, as well as complaints, from sellers. It's a shame for all those sellers who have been selling there for over a decade, not only because of the short notice, but now they have to start over on a new venue or their own web site.  

Perminate Link for Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation   Online Marketplace Artfire Closes Blaming Regulation

by: BurglePork This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 10 15:41:18 2022

Bobman, why in the world was someone selling an *air conditioner* on Artfire?? That's as big a red flag as the fact that it turned out to be a scam.



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