Friday, February 19, 2010

United we stand, divided we sound stupid.


There's a brouhaha in the Artfire forums at the moment. Go search on TOP SELLERS and you'll find it. Someone pulled statistics on the vendors with the most sales. It turns out that suppliers were among the top sellers. I didn't take a close look at who these suppliers were or what they sell. Maybe some of them sell commercial supplies only. Maybe some sell both handmade and commercial supplies. I don't know.

But some of the handmade sellers wanted to see a list of handmade crafters--without the suppliers on the list. And then I guess they wanted to exclude vintage sellers, too. So even though I have a lot of sales, including handmade, but mostly handmade supplies that are not commercially available elsewhere, I was rejected for consideration of being on this list. I tried to let it go. I tried to find excuses for being ostracized. I kept quiet until tonight, when I saw that a fabric seller was puzzled as to why she continues to be excluded from the top seller list, too. When I read her post, my reaction was, "Okay, so it's NOT just me." This is a kind of slap in the face to suppliers, isn't it?

I am somewhat bi-partisan in this matter. I sell handwovens, other handmade, handmade supplies, vintage supplies, antiquarian books, handmade journals made out of antiquarian recycled books, vintage and so on. I have not exhausted all the possibilities, since a list of what I sell is long and varied and I sell on five web sites. I fit a lot of categories.

But why do I need to be categorized? Why would any Artfire vendor--whether handmade crafter, supplier, media seller or vintage seller--believe it is in the best interests of Artfire to draw divisive lines among us? Suppliers need handmade crafters to stay in business. Handmade crafters need supplies. And don't even start with me about vintage. I'm sick to death of hearing how handmade crafters on some sites had the gall to tell vintage sellers that they didn't belong on their site. The pettiness of this mindset makes me sick.

I have a reputation via Facebook, http://www.twitter.com/LifeExpedition and other sites for my track record of writing, blogging, tweeting, networking with, trading among and supporting sellers in all groups. That's what I thought Artfire, Etsy, Zibbet, 1000 Markets and like-minded sites were all about.

dj runnels
Life's an Expedition
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