Tuesday, June 12, 2018

MARKETING: One Way To Offer Free Shipping

Sold By Bonanza Seller





Are you offering any shop incentives to encourage visitors to buy? One incentive that many say is effective in increasing sales is free shipping.

Sold by Bonanza Shop
I have not embraced free shipping very much. One reason is that I think like those sellers who insist that buyers need to understand the cost of shipping. If they are always given free shipping they won't understand how shipping changes and increases effect us all.
Paper Nirvana Listing Sold
I do feel that free shipping is a great incentive to buy. I am always seeking free shipping when I shop online, or as low in cost as possible. As a handmades seller, one way that I accept and promote it is to offer free shipping for a purchase above a certain amount. In this way, I don't have to offer free shipping across the board. This is important to me as a crafter and artist who does not want to inflate the price of her handmades.
Incentives For Handmades Buyers
My paper-crafted products do not have high price points. Because of this, I can offer a low minimum total purchase for free shipping, like over $5.00. With a free shipping shop incentive, I don't roll the shipping cost into the price of each product listed like resellers and drop-shippers do. I simply eat the shipping cost on behalf of my customers.

I sold this sweet Birds & Flowers Magnet Set pictured above at my Paper Nirvana Bonanza Shop, where I offer this type of free shipping. So, my buyer scored that bargain today.

Are you offering any type of free shipping?

Are you interested in selling on Bonanza.com? Follow this link to sign up:
https://www.bonanza.com/sell_products_online?referral_id=25440237



NEWS: Project Wonderful To Shut Down

Project Wonderful, the unique, online advertising platform that is different from the Adsense-type tools, is shutting down August 1, 2018. Though I was a sporadic user, I'll miss the website. I wish it had been easier to find good publishers of handmades blogs. Instead, there was a plethora of comic/graphic novel publishers. James Dillehay removed his publisher's account for his CraftsU site because PW had become too cumbersome to use. Despite these things, the end of a useful website is always sad. I will the PW owners and staff much luck in their pursuits.

Here is the schedule for the shut down that they shared in an email:


  • June 11th, 2018: We announce our shutdown phase. No new accounts can be created, and no new publishers will be added to the network. Members are contacted to let them know to spend or withdraw their funds before August 1st.
  • July 11th: Ad serving is turned off, so our ads will no longer appear on anyone's websites, and any existing bids are suspended. No new bids can be placed on Project Wonderful - but of course people can still withdraw their funds.
  • August 1st: This is the deadline for anyone to do anything they want with their Project Wonderful accounts before they close!
  • August 6th: After a few days of grace for any stragglers, and after 12 years, 6 months, and 12 days of service, Project Wonderful's servers finally go offline.

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.

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