In this continuing series, we bring you a review of alternative selling venues, website hosting services, shopping carts, and basically anything else that you can use to sell your lovely handcrafted goods. Next up –Silkfair.
We had been asked several times to include a review of this site, but we were hesitant because it is more of an eBay alternative as they allow all items, and the front page of the site looks like a yard sale. But it is a free alternative to setting up your own shop, so we’ve spent time with the site to provide you an analysis.
Tagline: Makes buying & selling fun and easy
Company information: It's an LLC.
At Silkfair we aim to be the premier e-commerce site for users to buy and sell their goods online. We are always looking to innovate and provide more great features and tools to our users.
Storefront: Choose what order listings occur in (most recent, oldest), viewers can choose gallery or list, choose whether you want featured items or not. Your own banner and avatar. There is quite a bit of external Silkfair graphics, but you start to tune it out.
Cost: 3% final value fee, no cost to list but you choose how long the listing will be up (120 days default)
Features: Silkfair considers itself to still be in beta and are taking suggestions for category expansions. There is a shop window like widget to show off your shop on your blog or website, a single page listing process, up to 4 photos and/or 2 videos per listing (currently free), no listing or setup cost, set your currency in each listing, shipping and pricing profiles, tax profiles in each listing, many options to choose from to categorize an item and have it found, one page dropdown custom shop category sorting for all items, bulk editing and presets for all listings – it takes a little time to learn what everything is and then it’s simple to just use the options you need on the listing page (depending on what you sell). Upload your items to Google Base via a link on the account page.
Payment: Fully integrated with Paypal and Google Checkout, has a check box for RME and other cash options so your buyers can use whatever you feel comfortable with.
Community: Feedback and favorite system; forums; member blogs
Customer service: A number of email addresses for different queries, twitter and facebook contact, mailing address all available from their contact page. Does anyone have any experience with Silkfair CS that they can share?
Items that can be sold: Anything except those that are illegally prohibited, including copyrighted items as your own. Mature items are allowed, though there’s a checkbox when listing to allow buyers to sort them out if they wish.
General impressions: There’s a learning curve for listing and setting up shop, but it’s a nice alternative to moving back to eBay. It’s not a handmade environment, though those listings are favored on the front page sidebar. If you only want to pay when you’ve sold something, then Silkfair is an option. You’ll have your own address (username.silkfair.com) to promote, but buyers may easily escape to other parts of the site, though not as easily as they would on Etsy.
Find out more in the FAQs