Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Etsy Business Topics - Building Your Feedback

Feedback is one of the most important factors for success in any line of work. When you are selling online, feedback means credibility, it can mean your customer service rating, the quality of your work, your attention to detail and your promptness in response and shipping.

Good feedback means that your previous customers are happy with their purchase from you. A large amount of positive feedback obviously means that you have many happy customers.

Low feedback can mean a number of things. It can mean that you have low sales, or that you have customers who don't feel strongly enough about their transaction or purchase from you to leave positive feedback.
Or, maybe customers just forget to leave feedback, which is more often the case. Lucky for us, there is a quick way to remedy the situation!

A few months ago I began having what I call Feedback drawings. Every month I take all of the feedback I received from the 1st to the last day of the month and assign a number to each individual feedback left. I then choose a number at
random, the number picked corresponds to a person who left the winning feedback. I send that customer a message saying that they won the drawing, announce it in my Etsy shop, send out the prize, and that's it!

OK, so how is that really BUILDING feedback? Well, I left out one small detail... When a customer buys something from me, I enclose a small card with their shipment that states the following:

" -
Enter my monthly give-away… Just leave feedback!

Thank You!"

Since I began holding feedback drawings, I have seen my feedback number increase daily!

Everyone loves the idea of getting free stuff! Customers who have just purchased items from you have an opportunity to get a freebie and all they need to do is leave some feedback?

You will be surprised at how much these cards serve as a reminders to busy customers also!
These cards can also replace your regular business cards, just add your shop address to the top of the card, this ensures that your customers visit your shop next time too!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Etsy Business Topics - Intro

After taking some time, I have come up with a list of topics that I want to cover in my weekly blog posts. It's a growing list, as I will add to it as I think of more ideas, or as others email me suggestions.

Here is the list of
ETSY Business Topics

- Pictures that are worth 1,000 words or clicks

- Improving your shop: 3 key points to get people shopping

- Item descriptions

- What not to spend money on

- Build your own resources

- To Twitter or not?

- Myspace and facebook

- Google base

- Google analytics

- Should I make my own website shop?

- Turning a one-time buyer into a repeat customer

- Craft sales – in person promotion and sales

- Pricing

- Building Feedback

I think this is a good start. The topics will not be in order, since there are some I want to cover right away, and others that I need more time to continue researching.

Again, I am in no way affiliated with Etsy or Ebay, other than being a seller on both venues. I am blogging about my experiences alone, and do not claim to be some sales or Etsy guru.

What I am is a person who took her hobby of beading and jewelry-making and turned it into a growing small business. It was not overnight, it took and still takes lots of work (more and more every day)! I have an undergrad degree in business administration, and I am working toward an MBA degree, specializing in Entrepreneurship.

I am open to comments and suggestions, I welcome ideas for this blog, this space is really for sharing ideas to help small business grow.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Etsy Lessons - to share

Starting next week, I plan to write a series of posts that address topics which may be of interest to anyone running an online shop, especially (but not limited to) Etsy. Such topics will be marketing, Etsy shop set up, customer service, newsletters, when is the best time to run a sale, pooling resources, building momentum in your shop, etc.

I plan to have a least one post regarding online sales / business every week during the months of May - August. By the end of the Summer, I hope to have at least 15 - 20 posts that Etsy sellers
will find helpful and hopefully use as a resource. I am using my own valuable experience as an Etsy seller since 2005, with 100% positive feedback, and over 1,200 sales. My small hobby business has grown over the past few years into a non-hobby, part-time small business, which has been a wonderful learning experience!

Some measurable goals I have for this group of postings are:

- gain 15 new followers
- have a least 1 comment on each post
- have one Etsy shop critique on my blog

At the mid point of this, probably end of June, I plan to revisit these goals. I am excited bout this project which I have been meaning to do for some time now. I think this Summer will be the perfect time to begin it!

Making Lemon Cake

I am making lemon cake for mother's day. I am making it from scratch and wanted to try it out before I serve it to my family.

It was delicious!

Friday, May 8, 2009

.99999 cent store

Inspired by the .99 cent chef, I headed out to my local .99 cent store in search of the wonderful items he had used in his cooking. I was pleasantly surprised by the great variety of both fresh produce - fresh I said, not ripe or over ripe and the cold-foods selections.

I have to come clean and tell you before I go on, that I have always had a bad feeling about buying groceries at any discount store. I always felt that maybe they were not the same quality or inferior in some way because they were so cheap. That and also, when i was a child, I went to the .99 cent store and bought a candy - a chocolate. When i opened the wrapper, I was sad and sickened to see that the candy was spoiled. Perhaps it is that memory that has kept me from shopping there for so long.

So, I have to thank Mr. .99 cent chef for reintroducing me!

So, when i left there, my shopping cart was filled! Here is an abbreivated list of what i picked up there:

- Wheat bread: this was a great buy since I paid $2.89 a week ago for a similar whole-wheat bread!
- Arizona Iced Tea: made in USA, does not expire until 2011.
- Dole fresh strawberries - looked and smelled delicious, I picked up two baskets.
- Dole Salad bag
- Kraft Jet puff marshmallows
- Diet Coke 4 cans for .99 cents
- Spices: lemon garlic rub and ground bbq spice rub - Sam bought similar rubs for over $6 each at BBQ galore!
- Post trail mix granola cereal with cranberries - this was $4.79 at Albertsons!
- Organic Sugar: I stopped myself (OK, Sam did) from buying yesterday at Trader Joe's for $3.99 - I am glad I didn't buy it!!

I also picked up great things like paper plates, gift bags for mother's day gifts, plastic storage bags and such...

Overall, I am very happy! I think I will start going there more now, even though they raised their prices a little. LOL

There was all of this fuss about them raising their prices a few months ago. Turns out they went from .99 cents to .999999 cents per item, effectively making each item $1.00, but they can still get away with the .99 cent store name.

Not bad. Everyone needs to make more money, right? Just like everyone needs to save money, especially now.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I think it is very interesting to see what other people do to save a dollar or two. Today I came across a couple of blogs that I thought were interesting that focus on saving money at the checkout counter.

Check these out: The Frugal Vegcafe and the 99 Cent Chef.

Worth a read.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions About My Pendants

Here are some frequently asked questions that I get almost daily. I thought putting them together on a F.A.Q. might help anyone who is interested. Happy reading and thanks!

Q. Are your pendants waterproof?
A. Yes, all of the pendants I make are waterproof. The photos / art / designs are covered with a professional grade resin / varnish and will protect the image and keep it intact with no displacement.
Q. How do you come up with the designs?
A. I make pendants from artwork or images that I like. If I would wear it, then I make it. Sometimes a customer will give me ideas if I am working with them to create a custom design, but for the most part, I pick out the designs I like.

Q. Is it difficult to make resin pendants?
A. Not at all. It is a fairly easy process. There are so many tutorials and out there, and I also have one that is quite popular.

Q. Can you make a pendant from an image I give you?
A. Yes. Right now I make pendants in both circle and square shapes, as long as you email me the picture, I can create a pendant. The turn around time is 1 week.

Q. Are your pendants like a scrabble tile pendant?
A. The pendants I make are different than the scrabble tile pendants. First off, my pendants are larger in size (see below), scrabble tile pendants are made from tiles, my pendants are made using metal bezels.

On the left is a scrabble tile pendant, in the center is a round pendant and on the right, a square pendant both made by me.

The scrabble tile pendant has the image set on top of the tile, with the resin or varnish coated over it. On my pendants, the image is set at the bottom of the bezel, with the resin encasing it, protecting the photo for years!

Q. Where are you located and do you have a shop that I can drive to?
A. I live in San Diego, CA, USA. I do not have a shop, I sell only online. I do have a list of stores that carry my jewelry that you can visit. That list is here.

Q. Do you offer classes to learn to make resin pendants?
A. Not at this time. I will be offering some basic jewelry making classes during the Summer. Due of the nature of resin, it is difficult to find a location that is well ventilated enough to hold a certain amount of students plus the fumes / odor from the resin.

Q. Which is your favorite design?
A. I like all of my designs, however I am very excited about my new Black Swan pendant. It is new for Summer!

Thank you for taking time to read my FAQ. I will be adding more Q's as I remember them.