When I first considered joining ArtFire I was a little concerned, because I’m not American, I’m Australian. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Americans or America. I work as an Administrator on an American based forum, with lots of American members. I love my American friends. My concerns were somewhat different, and had more to do with finding my way through the myriad of obstacles that are compounded by my location in the world.
My first concern was the language difference. Yes, we both speak English, but let’s face it, not the same English. When I list an item, whose spelling do I use? Do I write colour or color? Do I use anodized or anodised? How about jewelry and jewellery? It might not seem like much, but it gives cause for pause, and makes one careful not to use too many Australian specific sayings.
Then there is the wrapping of one’s head around pricing in a foreign currency. Pricing is hard enough for many handmade artisans. Adding the challenge of converting prices to another currency so that you get the price you need and want, even if the currency exchange improves, is treading a fine line. You want to price fair, without undermining yourself. Mind you, this is probably a concern for all and not just for me as an Australian in an ostensibly American market.
Almost certainly the biggest area of adjustment is the difference in time zones. When I’m asleep, America is doing business. When I am awake and rearing to go, America is asleep. The overlap is only a few hours really. Luckily for me, after spending a year as an Administrator on an American based forum I am used to keep strange hours in order to communicate with my American based boss, but I’m sure for other non-North Americans it can be something of an issue.
There are challenges and concerns for all sellers on ArtFire, not just for those outside of North America. Not one of those concerns stopped me from joining ArtFire in the end. ArtFire provides a fabulous platform for handmade Artisans to get their work into the market, and I have not regretted one minute of my time on ArtFire. All hurdles can be overcome or detoured around, especially with support from staff and other artisans. I am happy and proud to be an Australian on ArtFire.