I've been hanging on to my Artfire shop for much too long because of the $5.95 a month lifetime price. Figured that a little over $60 a year was worth it to keep the shop and some day I might have time to add more goodies and tend to the search optimizations. When I joined Artfire, it seemed like such a friendly, happy place to be, where everyone helped everyone else and the only complaining was on the forum thread devoted to Etsy news. This past year I haven't had time for much of anything, so I hadn't paid any attention to the Artfire forum until news of changes began to filter onto other forums and blogs.
After a solid of week of trying to catch up with the book-length threads on the Artfire forum and listening to e-friends tell me how they had been blocked from comment and asked to leave, I decided it just wasn't the place for me, no matter how good the price is. The atmosphere is poison, the once-helpful and approachable management has become scathing and dictatorial and the forum is awash with novels of back-biting, anger and frustration. All of this is just my opinion, of course. I don't know what happened to the fresh and optimistic company I joined but t'aint there no more.
So when I have time to think about it, I might give in and join Etsy but right now, my jewellery has no home but the convenience store.