Yep my plus account expired in January so i just renewed all the listing before it finished so when they run out at the end of April i'll not be renewing any unless like you say a miracle happens. If Folksy offer their free listing as they do every now & then i'll pop some bits on but all my new stuff is going on Etsy.
You sound incredible busy with all the photography work, sounds very exciting and all that background work that clients never see does take so much time to set up. Like you i can't justified spending all that time for little return on Folksy we need to make a living & pay the bills. I need to focus my time, energy & investment on where i earn my pennies. I have my private design work, 3 local stockist, local sales & Etsy as well as wanting to set up licensing work with an agent this year so i need to focus on those areas as they earn my pennies and help me grow my business.
There is alot of competition and the market can be saturated in all areas of hand made goods but just trying to get your work seen by people is incredible tough let alone seen by the right customer for your product and for them to understand the shear amount of time & work that goes into making a piece or developing a product. I think also as there has been a big revival in handmade crafts so many people are trying their hand at it & some crafters are pricing others out of the market by not charging what it actually cost to make the product.
Folksy unfortunately does not seem to have the right type of customer for me & i don't get passing trade where as Etsy i do. Since opening Etsy part way through November i'm having Sales nearly every week, lots of views, fav's & messages. I like the Etsy set up with updates, the stats are much more informative, there alot of usefully info i gain from them to be able to tailor my descriptions, tags, etc to find my customer or rather for them to find me and also find where they are coming from too e.g Etsy searches, apps, social media ,etc. The search engine works very well for me over there & people are migrating much more from my social media platforms to there then they ever did too Folksy. I think as Etsy is more well know than Folksy & for me as a fulltime professional business it works better for me. It's still early days with Etsy for me but so far it's looking more promising.
So for me the first half of this year is focusing on the local stockist as we are developing lots & my new brand stockist is selling so wants me to develop more for them so doing that in tandem with developing the Etsy shop, and second half of the year focus will be on art licensing & agent work.
I'll be keeping an eye on what everyone is still doing over here and supporting other crafters too. Karen not sure if Etsy changed since you were selling on there before but maybe think about reopening your Etsy shop later in the year when you have a bit more time, it might give you more feedback with all the stats info to help your customer find you too??? The quality of your work & photography is fabulous!!!
Talking of work my frames have just been delivered so i really must crack on mounting & framing.