Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yay! Natural Kids Team Rocks!

Wow, one of my etsy team members got featured in a wonderful video! It is so sweet! Kind of funny when you talk to people all the time but you don't know what they look like. But you sort of make up an image in your head of what you think they look like. Then you see them in a video! Yay, Woodmouse! Or Amber. I think that's how I imagined you. Or pretty close at least!

So glad you got to be featured and mentioned our group of friends on etsy. What a lovely Nikolaus present. My boot is full this morning. =)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Ebb and Flow...

This is sort of a follow-up post to yesterday. Today I am shipping out my last big order for the season. At least I think so. I have not received any more orders over the last few days. But one just never knows. That's online selling for you. Sometimes nothing happens for days. And then boom: you get 33 transactions in a day. At least that is my record. What is your's if you have an online store?

I remember the days back when I was a student working at a gallery in Berlin. Every Christmas my boss would moan and complain: "This is terrible. The worst Christmas ever. Nobody is going to come!" And then they would all congregate outside the store. A huge herd of people would enter the store all at once. And we'd be sweating taking artwork off the walls, beautiful jewelry out of the glass displays, wrapping wrapping wrapping - until there seemed nothing left at all. Counting the money at night I felt more like a bank clerk...
I remember one Christmas, the big hit item was a life-sized chocolate high-heeled shoe. It ran about $100 dollars and came in three different colors or flavors: strawberry, white, or dark chocolate. I could not believe that people would actually buy such a thing. But guess what: We nearly sold out!
So in retail, off and on-line alike there is another rule: Keep a cool head! Everybody needs Christmas presents. If you have great items they will come and buy eventually.

It is snowing in Colorado. Great now I have to fend my way to the Post Office through a blizzard to mail my last package. But I am glad. We really need every morsel of precipitation after the drought..

Enjoy the pictures of my little army of Wee Dolls. The little felted gnome (who was not part of the order) helped me to do the last inspections before they left my studio. No doubt they will make some little kids very happy.
I am exhausted and feel a bout of carpal tunnel syndrome come on. But wasn't it totally worth it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Staying organized!

During Christmas most online sellers experience a higher volume of sales. But even if you don't have many sales yet - (don't be sad they will come in time!) - it is crucial to stay organized when you run an online business. More people will come back if they are happy with your service. I get a lot of repeat customers who come back because they loved the good service they received the first time around!

So today I want to give a little pep talk on how to keep all your ducks in a row. Nothing makes a customer more happy than receiving their order in a speedy fashion. Of course, you want to make sure that while sending things fast you don't send the wrong item to the wrong person.

My first big piece of advice is:

1.Write yourself a note for every order that comes in!
I have a pad of sticky notes on my desk next to the computer. For each order I get I make a note as I receive it. On that note I write the following information:
the name of the buyer - his or her etsy ID,
the item(s) they ordered,
the date of purchase.
the shipping address they give on etsy
I stick these notes on the window behind my sewing machine. Since I work on a "first-come-first-serve basis" I arrange the orders by date they were received on. As I work on the orders and ship the items I take the sticky notes off the window and rearrange them! It really works well!
If it is a bigger custom order I use a big sheet of paper to write every detail down!

2.When I get ready to wrap and ship items I have noticed that it is important to attach the name to each item you wrap up! Nothing more annoying than having a nicely wrapped gift sitting on your table and not knowing who it needs to go to. Or even worse having it all boxed up and taped without the address on the box...That's a real time waster! I like to wrap doll clothes in tissue paper, use organic ruffia for ribbon, and tie a "thank you" note and Moo card with ribbon to it. If the note is personalized - has the name of the buyer - it gives it a nice personal touch while at the same time helping you to identify the wrapped item =).

3. Getting it ready for shipping: Next I take my sticky note with the address, stick it on my outer packaging, cross reference the etsy address with the one given on paypal. Voila! If it all matches I can ship the item out. If not, rats! Now I have to convo the buyer and confirm what address it needs to go to.

4. I take all big orders, doll orders , and international shipments to the Post Office in person. Smaller envelopes I usually hand over to my trusty mail carrier when she delivers my mail.
I think this system of mine works really well. But please feel free to comment and add some tips to my list!

Dear Etsyans, have a busy busy week with lots of sales!
Dear Shoppers hope you have only happy Shopping experiences!

Love, ulla