I wanted to create a store front to sell my Felt Flower Rings. I just assumed that I'd go back to Etsy. Etsy is a great option for a storefront, but I wasn't too thrilled about using it. Etsy has changed a lot since it first began and now it feels like you have to play a certain game to be seen. I just have a hard time buying into that. All I want is a small store to show what I create and to hopefully make some money. I think every crafty blogger dreams about being able to live off of their work art work.
I opted for the free account. One big factor for me picking Meylah was that they don't charge any fees for anything. There is no posting fee, nor do they take a percentage of your sales. There is, of course, the standard PayPal transaction fee, but that's pretty much a given anywhere.
Setting up my shop was very easy and user friendly. It took me about 30 minutes to get set up to have items in my store. They walk you through the whole process. Visually, I really like how my store looks which is a very important selling point to me.
Great perks of a Meylah store:
- Facebook and Twitter. You can set your store to automatically post to 4 social media networks every time you add an item to your shop making marketing a breeze.
- Ability to embed other sites into a sidebar. I currently have a sidebar for this blog, but I'll definitely add more.
- No re-posting fee which means I can keep items in my shop indefinitely for free. This is great for having multiples of an item.
- Request an item. If you have sold out off an item, shoppers can easily inquire to see if you can create more.
- Vacation mode. Over the holidays and during craft fair season, sometimes there is no time to keep inventory in your store.
- Automatic shipping fees. They calculate it for you. I love that! You put in the dimensions and the weight and the postage fee will be calculated for the buyer. Having accurate shipping is one less thing to worry about.
- Flat shipping fees. You can set your own postage fees if you'd like.
- You can add your own banner or logo to the top of your store.
- The seller's profile is at the bottom of all of their pages.
I think the concept that sold me the most on Meylah was the ability to post tutorials and blog posts. Many tutorials are free, but you can also sell tutorials or patterns as well. I am not the traditional girl consumer. Yes, I really don't like to go shoe shopping. I rarely shop online, heck, I barely shop at all. So sites such as Etsy that are geared more towards the shopper don't hold my attention. The sites I like to visit are ones where I can find tutorials. So this feels like a good fit for me. I can't wait to see what their byte sized learning has to offer. I'd love to post some of my own soon too. Tutorials are a great way to market towards folks like me. It just seems like a win-win.
Like I said above, I opted for a free account. You can upgrade to the premium account for $19.95 a month. At this time, I feel all of my needs are covered. I really like that all of the basic operation services are included in the free account.
Premium Account Benefits
- 1000mb of storage vs 100mb of the free account. With 3 items for sale, I still have 89mb of storage left. I have plenty of room to add more inventory and to post tutorials.
- Ablilty to sell digital products.
- Ability to sell tutorials. The tutorials I have to share can't really be sold. So only being able to post free tutorials is perfectly fine for me, for now.
- Added to the Meylah Marketplace. This means under the free account, my felt flower rings do not show up in their marketplace at all. Although my store can be found via a specific google search. Hopefully over time my store will climb higher in search engines.
My ultimate goal is to drive shoppers from my blog to my store. But let's face it, it's also great to find buyers who stumble across your wares while window shopping. I think not being listed in the marketplace would be the one thing that pushes me towards a premium account sooner than later. I'm open to that, but for now I'm pleased that I can have all of the benefits of solid online storefront for free.
I'm excited for this new chapter. Setting up an online store was one goal I'd set for 2011. I'm happy to have found Meylah and I hope it really does fulfill all of my selling needs. I'll update you on how things work out.