I feel so loved!

When I first started selling on Etsy last October I was constantly checking to see who “hearted me”. It was such a thrill to watch that number go up, and I spent a lot of time looking at the profiles and shops of the people who hearted me (something I had time for back then because I had so few sales!)

I just realized today that for the past few months I’ve forgotten all about hearts, so I took a peek this afternoon… and 2,001 people heart me!

So I sent a message to the 2,000th person who hearted me, letting her know that I’d like to send her a free gift. And then I realized that what I’d like to do for my 1,000th sale is just play it by ear. There will definitely be some sort of refund/free shipping/free gift or some combination of those things, but I’m just going to wait to see what the order is and figure it out then.

But I will take trammie81’s suggestion and offer FREE SHIPPING (free in the US, discounted for international orders) to my blog readers between now and my 1,000th item sold (I’m currently 18 items away!) Just mention this offer when you place your order, and I’ll send you a refund through PayPal for the shipping charges. And thank you again for the comments & emails – I really appreciate it!

UPDATE: I’ve reached 1,000 sales and the free shipping offer has ended. But please let me know how you found my shop, and I’ll include a free gift with your order!

what should I give away?

I noticed recently that my Etsy sales are approaching 1000, and I’ve been thinking that I should come up with some kind of fun prize for the person who purchases the 1000th item. I’m guessing it’s about 2-3 weeks away, and I’ll post again when it’s getting closer. Any ideas?

shop update

I’ve had several items lingering on my to-do list for the past few weeks, and I’m so happy to say that I’ve finally caught up on a couple of them. I’ve really needed to take some new product photographs, so while the kids spent the day at my mom’s house yesterday I created over 50 new sample note cards, invitations, birth announcements, and return address labels (it’s amazing what I can accomplish when the house is quiet!) Then today I photographed them and updated about half of my Etsy listings with new pictures.
Not all of the pictures turned out as well as I would have liked, but these are a few of my favorites.
I also updated my Etsy shop so that I have separate listings for several different types of invitations, and I created sets with invitations, thank you notes, and return address labels – I love when people order those things together!

kiss and make up

Whew! The buyer who left the negative feedback has accepted my offer to send replacement note cards and used the “kiss and make up” feature on Etsy to change her feedback. I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to have my “100% positive feedback” back! Thanks so much for all of the kind comments and emails – I really appreciate it!

the downside

I’ve been trying {really hard!} to keep this blog positive, encouraging, uplifting. I’ve written a lot about all of the creative and talented women I’ve met online, the growing success I’ve had selling on Etsy since November, and how wonderful it’s been to find work that’s a creative outlet and truly fulfilling.

But to be honest, I’ve also had several bad experiences that have left me so disappointed, and today I just need to vent.

I’ve had spam posted on my blog with a link to a hard-core porn video (hence the word verification and comment approval). I’ve had people blatantly copy my designs (and my item descriptions along with them!) I’ve had some ridiculously bad experiences with USPS employees (too many to count!)

Then a couple of weeks ago someone posted Neutral feedback in my Etsy shop with a comment saying that she hadn’t received her order yet. I had shipped it the same day the order came in and sent an email with the tracking number, which she acknowledged. I never heard anything else until I read the Neutral feedback. I checked the tracking number and saw that it had been delivered two days after the order was placed. But instead of contacting the USPS or contacting me, she just left Neutral feedback with a negative comment saying that it had never arrived.

Now why would someone do this? Why wouldn’t she contact me asking where the order was? I would have gladly tried to track it down and/or sent a replacement at no charge. It made no sense to me and was very frustrating. My initial reaction was, I can’t wait to get my own storefront website up and running so that I’m not subjected to comments like this that I can’t remove from my shop.

And then today someone left Negative feedback, again without contacting me first to let me know they were disappointed with the product. Not to mention that her comment was that the product didn’t seem professional… “Etsy: your place to buy and sell all things HANDMADE“. Arghhhh!

Anytime someone tells me something was damaged in shipping or wasn’t quite what they expected I ship a replacement at no cost that same day. I would have gladly refunded the purchase or sent a new product if given the opportunity. I’m not in this to make a quick buck or to try to deceive anyone. I’m trying to provide beautiful unique products that will bring people joy, and sell them at an affordable price. And this is the thanks I get?

Again, my initial reaction was, that’s it, I’m shutting down my Etsy shop, and I’m done selling until my new storefront website is up. But maybe I just need to develop thicker skin and just keep moving ahead. I just can’t help but wonder WHY someone would leave negative feedback instead of contacting me to express their concern. I can see leaving negative feedback if a seller won’t work with you to resolve a problem, but I was never even given a chance.

Okay, I need to go work on something else and get my mind off this for a while… I hope to return with a more upbeat post next time!

75% off sale

I’ve been doing lots of house cleaning over at my Etsy shop, adding some new products (and lots of new pictures) and deleting others. I’m sure this will be an ongoing process, but the latest development is that I’ve decided to mostly do personalized or custom stationery products and party favor tags (in addition to my prints). It seems like most people who are shopping at Etsy want to be able to customize everything, which works out fine since I generally only print something when I receive an order for it.

I only have four of my listed products currently “in stock” (already printed and packaged), so I’ve marked them down 75% (one set of notecards and 3 sets of gift tags).

UPDATE: All four of those items have sold.

Also, I have several 8×8 prints that aren’t listed in my shop… please send me an email if you’re interested in any of the following, $3/print or $15 framed (maple or walnut) plus shipping ($2 print only, $5.50 framed).

I’m trying to keep the number of my listings down and better organized, so if you’d like one of these, I’ll create a reserved listing for you an email you the link.

James 1:17 (Every good gift…)
– soft pink/cream background
– pale green/cream background
– quilt-style border (pink, green, and cream) (2)
– nighttime sky (2 bunnies sitting in grass)

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-8)
– soft pink/cream background
– pale green/cream background

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
– pink scalloped border (2)
– blue scalloped border
– pale green/cream background

Pounce

Have you tried the new Pounce feature in Etsy? To get to it you go to the Buy tab and then click on Pounce, or just click here. I came across it a couple of weeks ago, and it’s so much fun! You can choose to either view “undiscovered” items from new Etsy sellers who haven’t sold anything yet or “just sold” items (I’d highly recommend the latter!)

It’s surprisingly fun and a little addictive (just ask my friend Jill!) I was thinking about posting about it today and then I figured I’d check to see if I was in there since I just sold a print this morning… and I was! Very cool!

kindness of strangers

When I first joined Etsy I was hesitant to post in the forums, but I went ahead and posted for the first time on November 19th asking for advice for my shop. The response was overwhelmingly positive (and a much needed ego boost!) Since then I’ve gotten more and more comfortable posting in various forums on Etsy, and I really enjoy it. I’m continually amazed at what a kind, supportive community it is, how quickly everyone responds to questions and how eager everyone is to help.

Yesterday I posted in a forum where everyone was critiquing each other’s shops (my favorite topic!), and I received an incredibly uplifting comment from a fellow Etsian. She said, “…your stuff looks like something out of a designer baby catalog (like Pottery Barn Kids) and somehow including your style in your shop might help link you to buyers. i love it–classic colors and simple elegant pictures/graphics.” It was such a thrill to hear someone compare my designs to Pottery Barn Kids – exactly the look I was going for!