Well, it seems the proverbial shit has hit the fan in the Artfire Forums. It all started Sat evening when AF decided to make the forums moderated (not a bad idea but a bit of warning would have been nice). For some God-forsaken, flipped out reason they decided that scapegoating a couple of long term verified AF sellers would do the trick of getting everyone's attention. Sort of like yelling fire in a movie theater or bomb at an airport these days. Yeah, you got everyone's attention but is this the type of attention you really wanted? Be careful what you wish for; I know there's the saying that any PR is good PR but really... I think that only applies to rock stars, hollywood hip and the insanely rich.
If you're running a start up company that "caters" to the handmade community driven 'all for one and one for all' mentality, I'm thinking that screwing said customers over is probably not a great idea. Because we all might like to make things by hand and love being green and one with nature; yadayada but did I mention that I have a spiffy new laptop with all the bells and whistles including wireless broadband, and a blackberry and numerous ways in which to stay in touch with the virtual world. And the rest of the online sellers do, too. Crazy, huh? Reputations take months and years to build but only days, sometimes hours to destroy. Being handmade is only part of the 'lifestyle'. The bigger part, at least for me, is the knowledge that I'm dealing with a human being with the same concerns, worries, hopes as me. Knowing that I'm hopefully creating more good karma by treating my customers and future customers with respect and consideration. Not some corporate backstabber ready to treat me like dirt and tell me I should be grateful.
I thought, and I know many of you thought that Artfire was that venue but I'm having serious concerns now. And since I'm the Queen of Murphy's Law (did I mention that before) this fiasco happened the day after I decided to let my Etsy shop run out. Wouldn't you know it.
So for now I'm going to sit tight, research other venues and bulk up my Etsy again...sigh and see what happens in the near future. They might...MIGHT...be able to pull their asses out of the fire yet but I suspect it'll be a helluva feat and wouldn't that be entertaining.