Saturday, May 26, 2018

NEWS: Defunct Handmades Venue

The handmades listing site, MadeItMyself.com, seems to have been closed down. Visiting the site produces this msg,

Server Error in '/' Application.
The resource cannot be found.
Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.
Requested URL: /default.aspx

Friday, May 25, 2018

BUSINESS: GDPR & No Shipping To EU Countries

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a new law protecting and giving individuals living in EU (European Union) countries more control over how their info is being used. For handmades sellers, those selling overseas must provide privacy policies about what data they are collecting, where they are storing it and how they are using it. More detailed contact info for the seller must be made available to EU buyers. This includes info that some sellers have chosen not to share.

I prevent as much personal info about myself as possible from being shared online. I'm sure everything about me is already out in cyberspace somewhere, but I try not to add it again or add more. As a seller, I want a minimum of communication avenues through my shops. For privacy, I try not to share my shop location, other than the country and the state if I must. I mainly want to do business via site messaging, occasionally email and never via phone. I don't want my phone# on display to ANYONE who has an address in an EU country or anywhere else. So, I especially don't want to add my phone# to any privacy policy, as required by some selling venues.

There's also the issue of keeping databases on my computer for email marketing and purchase followups. It is important in case the selling site has issues, goes down, etc. While we can make a blanket statement in our privacy policies about where we keep the info, what we keep and for what purpose, there's more to it.

I haven't developed any email marketing campaigns or sent any newsletters. I don't have a large file of customer info, but I had hoped to one day create a newsletter to send out using a fully-fleshed-out record of customer transactions. Now I have to rethink the future of that for me, or anything that would require keeping a customer database. I even read where someone said that a GDRP-like policy may become effective in the US. So, the potential ramifications that could complicate the lives of handmades sales in the US is great.

There's the issue of how long we keep the customer info, and that length of time is staggered as sales come in. We're supposed to be able to legally keep the info on our local computers, or where ever, for seven years. After that we're supposed to remove it AND send the party a letter stating that we've removed it. It's additional monitoring and follow-through.

I feel a little stressed currently, working through other issues. For now, I've added statements to my shops intros that I will not be shipping to EU countries. I have never embraced overseas shipping anyway. By continuing as I have, at least for now, I have eliminated the need to comply.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

BUSINESS: Discover Freelancers Union

I joined FreelancersUnion because my entire creative life is centered around being a freelance worker and independent crafter and artist. They invite a wide variety of people, who work for themselves, with this statement, Membership is open to independent workers – freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, temps, part-timers, contingent employees and the self-employed.

I'm excited to be a member because it offers so much, including listing in the members directory, newsletters, networking, advocacy, discounts, insurance, and more. It affordable, because membership is free. They invite donations to help supplement the grants and other funding received from foundations.

I look forward to learning and growing through FreelancersUnion. Read their FAQs here.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

BUSINESS: What Does SS18 Stand For?

Mexican pepper design papier mache napkin rings.

SS18 and AW18 are often used in the fashion and decor industry to indicate seasonal designs. SS18 refers to spring-summer and the year, 2018. AW18 refers to autumn-winter.

Good Vibes Crochet Necklaces

Remember, if you use industry jargon or industry-specific lingo in your product listings, you may lose some customers. Shoppers sometimes do not have time to seek out the meanings of terms. Sending sellers an email requesting info that should have been included in the listing is time-consuming and delays the purchase. They may even consider that some terms could refer to something undesirable. Many who are not in the know may move on, preferring to shop for merchandise whose meanings they understand.

I saw the SS18 notation in 2 Etsy listings today. I'm one of those few who takes time to seek out the meanings of odd terms, because I'm a writer, avid reader, and because I'm insatiably curious. If I was just an average shopper I would not care, but wouldn't want to order something that could be wrong for me either. I'd move on. It's fun to use industry language. It makes us feel professional. If we include them, we should add a notation of the meanings of unusual names and terms.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

GREETINGS: Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day From The Creative Seller



HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

from

The Creative Seller

to those who have children

and to those who have mothered others!

Friday, May 4, 2018

NEWS: Craigslist Now Charging Nationally

Craigslist is now charging $5 per listing for Services and Gigs, and the listing lasts 30 days. I had been listing transcription services there and had to let my posts lapse for a while. Went to re-post and found out today that the charge has been in effect since mid-March. I don't know whether the charges extend to the Community section or not. No obvious money to be made there, so probably not. 

I read a complaint from several people in another site's online forum that the Personals had been removed. One disappointed person said he had enjoyed this section for some time and had found a wife there.

I did not renew my listings today. While $5 does not seem like much to some, I have to rethink the value of posting services there, especially with so-so results and stiff competition. Many others feel that this new fee is too steep. I have to agree, especially for posts that last only 30 days.

The best thing about the new requirement is that it will weed out the spammers, scammers and robots. I wouldn't call it a ghost town and I didn't hear crickets, but the difference was obvious. In some categories I could read all of the postings on 1 page instead of 4.

***

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

NEWS: Amazon's Most Entrepreneurial States

Ina Steiner at eCommerceBytes said that Amazon published a list of 10 states that are tops in entrepreneurial activity: Utah, California, New York, Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, Florida, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Oregon. Not sure what the exact criteria was, but some are a surprise. Dayton Daily News said Amazon snubbed Ohio.

I see that Business Wire said the Amazon list was based on small to medium-sized businesses that use Amazon's platform to grow. Since very few handmades sellers use Amazon to sell, the list does not reflect the numbers of these creatives. I'd like to get access to some real handmades figures. I need to see what Timothy Adam at Handmadeology has to share about handmade crafters statistics.

Handmades sellers get lost in the push of start-ups and small businesses that the media usually covers. We still fall under the cottage industry category (not a bad thing) because we don't generate high-volume sales nor employ permanent workers.

As I visit social media platforms, forums and creative groups online, I see the most general activity from crafters and artists living in the mid-western and northeastern states, except for Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I see less activity from the south and the southwest. The states on the list that surprised me the most were Utah, Washington and Delaware. I think that California and New York made the list because of state size and the number of people per square mile.

I'd like to see more handmades activity in the forums and groups from creatives in New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and even Georgia. Rarely see any activity from the Dakotas, Wyoming, Arkansas and Nebraska. I think a lot of crafters are busy with a strong online presence in Massachusetts, Florida and Michigan. I see that Florida and Massachusetts made Ina's list.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...