September 19, 2009

Zibbet - a review

I joined Zibbet a few months back after it was reviewed on EmptyEasel. And the site has come a long way since then, improving in a lot of respects. For those who do not know Zibbet, they are a young selling venue for Art and handmade, based in Australia.

This review is based on my experience with the site and with interacting with the team there. For sellers who are thinking about starting an online shop, or are looking to expand along with their other shops, Zibbet is a great place to check out and here's why. One of the most appealing things about the site is its clutter free layout. Everything is real simple, the look and feel of the shops, the listing process, etc. The listing process is very simple and straightforward, and is done in only 2 steps.

They offer two types of accounts - a free and a premium account. Their free or BASIC account is just what it says – entirely free. You can list upto 25 items, and keep all the money from the sales. There is no listing fees, no commission on final sales, just nothing at all. If your items keep selling, the shop can be replenished within the limit of 25 and so on. So you could potentially have a new selling venue with no costs whatsoever. And the best part is, the free listings page is ad-free, so it does not look cheap. This is an important plus in my opinion, because, I have seen sites which offer some stuff for free, but spoil the whole look by flooding it with ads. The site looks anything but professional in such a case, whereas Zibbet differs in that aspect. The basic account looks as neat as the premium, just without some features.

They also have a premium account, which obviously is more feature rich. This is currently being offered at just $7 a month, and I assume it will go up to $15 later. For this amount, they have a lot of very nice features –

Nithya Swaminathan on Zibbet

  1. A big banner for your shop, where you have the option of reusing your etsy banner too.
  2. Color coordinated shops – customizing the layout and colors.
  3. Adding widgets to your shop – this is a great feature that allows you to add your twitter feed, facebook page and just about anything that can be added as HTML code. I even have my blog feeds into my zibbet page. For established sellers at Etsy, you can add your Etsy mini itself as a widget so the shops get promoted together.
  4. Copying listings. Knowing firsthand how similar my listings are, I can vouch this is a great time saver. In my case, all my listings are Acrylics on Canvas. Even the main colors of a lot of my paintings are similar, as I work in series. In such cases, it makes a lot of sense to copy the listing and then change only the title and bit of the description.
  5. Adding videos to your page.
  6. Many more features to come, as these guys are constantly on an improvement mode. I have probably missed out some of the features, and I strongly recommend you check out the complete list of features here at the Zibbet blog.

Apart from the features per se, my most important reasons for considering zibbet are:

  1. A great admin team. Jonathan and his team are super responsive to feedback and make their best efforts to resolve any issues faced by sellers. They are available everywhere, on twitter, on their own blog or just an email away. When they had initially put together a sneak peek of the changes to come, they had planned to offer only 15 listings for the basic account. However, since a lot of sellers suggested it was too less, they made it 25. So this is an admin team that really listens to its customers and tries its best to implement any good feedback.
  2. Small size of the site, yet. The site is still quite small, I guess not even thousand sellers and only a few hundred premium sellers. So there is a chance of being found easier than say in an ocean like Etsy. I think they have the potential to grow well, and it is only wise to take advantage by jumping in early.

For painters who are not too prolific, the basic account is a great way to get started. I’d strongly recommend you check it out. And if you find it worth it, an upgrade to a premium account can be done later too.

Just to give an idea about the comparative costs involved - Taking myself as an example, I intend to complete 300 paintings in the next one year and say I have 100 of them at a point to list. At Etsy, I would be spending $20 listing them all, for 4 months and then spend the same money again relisting and so on. And when an item sells I will also have to shell out 3.5% of the sales fees. Whereas in Zibbet, I spend $28 over a course of 4 months, and even if all the items sell, I do not spend ANYTHING MORE on a sales commission. I think it is fantastic for artists like daily painters who plan to have a big number of items in their stores. Having a lot of items for sale makes it easier for a buyer to really spend some time on your shop, look at your style of art etc. And I think cost should not be a restricting factor to having more number of listings than you would like.

And well, if you intend to sign up at Zibbet, I request you to use my referral link and sign yourself up. They have a very nice referral program going on, where you get $1 off from your monthly fees if you refer a premium seller. For life. And which means if 7 people sign up because of you, you get to enjoy the premium account, completely free. Forever! So go ahead, sign up and refer your friends too.

If you sign up using my referral link, as a premium seller, I will send you a small painting. So the chance to own an original piece of art is yet another reason why I think you should definitely consider Zibbet :-) You do not have to sign up as a premium seller right away, you can upgrade later. I will get the benefit even if you upgrade later, and I will definitely send across your little painting to you. Hurry up, there are only some premium accounts left at the reduced price!

Zibbet is also offering a FREE TRIAL of the premium account now, for a period of 7 days. And then based on the trial, if you like what the site has to offer, you can go ahead and sign up after your trial. I think it is just worth trying out and I am sure you will not regret it. Go ahead and sign up right away!


September 16, 2009

Different Strokes - Return of the muse!

I have not painted for a while, a long while actually. Been more than a month since I did anything worthwhile. Too many things have come in the way and have kept me occupied. And somehow I have not managed to focus on my art. The husband says I should seek solace in art and do it all the more when I am stressed. Though I do agree he has a valid point, more often than not I need to be at peace to be able to focus well. I need to be in a clear mind to pick up a brush and make the first stroke, and then it flows.

But then came along this utterly compelling reference from Karin, and I just could not let it go. Different Strokes has turned a year old, and this reference is to celebrate the success of the blog. I would like to thank Karin for all the time and effort she puts in to this blog, for the challenges she comes up with. It is a phenomenal effort, and has helped so many artists in very many ways. I have met up with so many different artists through this blog and its been so much fun taking part in it. I have been somewhat regular with my entries and hope to be so. While Karin celebrates the birthday of DSFDF, I thought I would celebrate the return of my muse, finally, after a long absence. Hope it doesn't run away again!

Return of the muse
Acrylics on Board, 5 * 7 inches
Copyright Nithya Swaminathan

Don't forget to check out the hundreds of utterly delicious cupcake paintings. They are simply lip smacking.

In the meanwhile, I finally got a chance to meet up with a group of local artists here, and I even attended a meeting of the group, entirely in Deutsch! How cool is that! My language skills are certainly improving and it was a lot of fun. Regular programming will shortly resume at the other blog as well!

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