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I Forge Iron

Internet commerce

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Dear All,

This is a followup to a thread that was active about 6 months ago about selling iron work on the internet.  I have read those postings on that thread and I know that Rockstar is of the opinion that selling on social media is an abomination.  He may well be correct but the dynamic has changed since the January, 2020 posts.  Now, face to face sales are difficult and events like craft fairs, farmers' markets, gun shows, reenactment events, and others of that ilk are on hiatus and we very well may not see anything like that or similar commercial opportunities until next year.

So, I am wondering who has or has had experience with selling items on the internet, either from your own web site or online stores like ebay or etsy.  A number of the store front sites, e.g. etsy, charge a listing fee and a small percentage of each sale.  That is their business model and how they make money which is fine.  It is similar to places which charge a small percentage of a sale to process credit/debit cards.

For those of you who have set up your own web sites, has it been successful?  Are the sales enough to justify the effort?

Finally, for those who do sell on the internet do you charge and remit sales tax, either for your jurisdiction or for the buyers jurisdiction?

If I go this route I know I will miss the social interaction of live sales but I've been building up my inventory and it does not look like I will have much opportunity to move it.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."  

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Facebook is pretty easy to use, but they have automated systems looking for items they consider dangerous. Etsy has odd pay schedules that I have yet to figure out, but is a pretty decent low cost way to go, but the traffic is not the best. I tried ebay for a bit but had a lot of trouble with thier policies. They put 30-90 day holds on several big orders that I just could not afford to ship. After that I cut ties with ebay. Best of luck, I have a fairly reliable $500 or so in monthly sales online, which is not close to making up for the venues that have been suspended/ lost, but it is something.

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