So you’ve determined that part of your motivation for purchasing handmade goods is to promote the handmade movement as a whole, and encourage others to do the same. How do you decide if your chosen venue is a serious proponent of handmade, or has turned more of its attention to the bottom line?
Where a particular venue directs your attention once you’ve landed there is important because it says a lot about a site’s devotion to the promotion of handmade goods. So one way to determine how significant promoting handmade as a movement is to your venue is by evaluating your shopping experience… where does the venue choose to direct your attention once you’re within their site? Here are some highlights to get you started.
Some venues make every effort to keep shoppers on site once they’re there and do not allow members to post active links within their shops that go elsewhere. This insures that shoppers will be exposed to their content only, which is generally limited to goods handmade by the artist selling them, vintage, and crafting supplies. This can be good or bad for your shopping experience depending on your point of view, but it does tend to at least expose shoppers to mostly handmade goods.
Some venues allow some links out but have requirements in place that keeps your shopping experience on target. Others allow members to have just about any link or widget in their shop, with or without limitations on what is allowed.
A few venues have taken the extra step of including ads within members’ shops, usually those shops that are not paying a fee to the venue. This is generally considered an acceptable practice. But it can call a venue’s commitment to handmade goods into question when someone who has searched for a particular product (on google, for instance) finds themselves in a handmade shop and is then presented with a list of active links for that same product that are manufactured, not handmade. For any venue that has a mission statement of promoting handmade goods and artists, this looks a lot like ad dollars taking precedence over promoting handmade.
So how do you feel about choosing a handmade venue for your purchases based on their commitment to handmade? Does it matter to you, or do you just want great handmade goods no matter where they come from? Feel free to comment below.