Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Etsy LOVE! Fit For Royalty.

With the Royal wedding in a couple of days, I thought I would spotlight a few Etsy finds that fit the British theme. Are you going to watch the wedding? I'm heading to a friend's house at 6am to enjoy the events as well as English scones.

Royal British Party Invitation - Royal Wedding Watching, Tea Party, and More
Crown 2 - Vintage Book Page Art Print
ReGaL SeT of 9 RoYaL Queen Princess CRoWNs printable art original designs DIGITAL CoLLaGe SHeeT U-PRINT download vintage images handmade greeting cards party garland banner bunting fabric image transfer altered art paper craft supplies
Royal Wedding Cookies Order by Monday April 25th 5pm to ensure delivery by Wedding date - Gluten Free
Turkish Delight
Spectacular Swarovski Crystal Flower Veil with Ostrich Plumes
Fairytale Princess Teacup Ring - your choice of pumpkin, flowers or butterfly
Cranberry Orange SCONES - 6 (SIX) Large Snowmen
Fascinator- Vintage pearls and feather in Chocolate
Tea Cup Bracelet- Antique Bone China Queen Anne Ridgeway Pottery England

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Part 3 The Heartsy Deal - Helpful Hints

Taking part in a Heartsy promotion and receiving a huge amount of Etsy orders for Jacaranda Designs in the space of a few days is an event you have to be ready to handle efficiently. I've summarized some helpful hints that I feel may help you get prepared.

1. Have as much stock on hand before the promotion as you can. It's going to save a lot of time if you don't have to make your products as the orders come in.

2. Stock up on packaging and mailing supplies. Depending on how you package your product, you will want to stock up on items such as bubble envelopes, boxes, ribbon, tissue, business cards.

3. Create a spreadsheet ahead of time. On my spreadsheet I had the following columns:
a. Coupon Number
b. Customer Name
c. Amount of Etsy Order
d. Invoiced
e. Paid Invoice
f. Purchase Date
g. Shipping Cost
h. Shipping Status
i. Date Shipped
j. On Back Order
k. Etsy Fees
l. Paypal Fees
m. Remaining Shop Credit

I know it's a lot of columns but it certainly made it easier for me to track all the data.
As soon as Jacaranda Designs Heartsy coupons started selling, I started updating my spreadsheet and continued to do so through the entire week.

4. Make sure your expected shipping times are very clear on your Shop announcement.  I committed to shipping out all orders within three days of payment.

5. Day One - spreadsheet and responses. On Day 1, I did not even try to start shipping orders. I spend my entire time updating my spreadsheet as orders came in, renewing items that had sold and responding to customer inquiries (you may have a lot of these)

6. Day Two - Invoicing and Shipping. On Day 2, I started by invoicing all those customers who had spent more than the coupon value. Once I had sent off the invoices, I started to package up all those orders that had been paid in full (i.e. customer had spent less than the coupon value). On the evening of Day 2, I sent out emails to all the customers whose orders had been shipped that day.

7. Day Three, Four and Five. As invoices were paid, I packaged up those orders. Many individuals did not use their coupons on the first day so the remainder of the week was spent also dealing with a few orders coming in.

Anyway, that was how I got through a very busy time for Jacaranda Designs. My hope is that this information will help you if you decide to embark on a Heartsy promotion. You may not approach it the same way as I have but whatever you do, stay organized!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Part 2 :The Heartsy Deal - The Math

I know a lot of people dread working with numbers but if you are going to consider offering a promotion on Heartsy you really have to spend some time doing the math to ensure that you come out ahead of the game and don't end up losing money.

Realize that the discounts offered on Heartsy are fairly substantial - Jacaranda Designs was 62%. I offered a $19 coupon for $50 worth of goods.

Some of your buyers will purchase products that total more than the coupon value. However, many will purchase goods totaling less than the coupon value. During my promotion, I would say approximately 50% of my customers purchased more than the $50 coupon value.

When figuring out your financials ahead of time, assume that buyers will NOT purchase more than the coupon value. This is the worst case scenario.

Following are the points you have to consider:

1. Wholesale discounts.
The discounts on Heartsy are generally a little more than wholesale discounts. The first thing to figure out is whether you are generally able to afford to give wholesale discounts on your Etsy merchandise. I price Jacaranda Designs jewelry so that I am able to offer wholesale prices to customers buying in bulk. I think my prices are fair and reflect the cost of the materials and time taken to produce them.

If your products are priced at a level where you cannot generally afford to offer customers wholesale discounts, then you may find that you will lose money on a Heartsy promotion and it may not be worthwhile for you.
If you are able to offer wholesale discounts, then read on...

2. Etsy Fees
Etsy fees are 3% of the selling price of a product. NOTE: Etsy take a percentage of the price the item is listed for and sold for in your shop. They do not know that a buyer has purchased the item using a coupon worth much less. If you sell a $50 item, your Etsy fees will be 3% of $50 ($1.50), not 3% of the cost of the $19 coupon.

3. Paypal Fees
You will be paying Paypal fees on the money transferred from Heartsy to your account. When you send out the invoices to customers who have purchased over the coupon value, and they pay you, Paypal will take a portion of those payments too. I rounded out that expense to 3% of payments received. This is 3% of the $19 value plus 3% of any dollar amount spent above $50.

4. Shipping
If a buyer purchases a coupon that entitles them to say $50 worth of goods from your shop, the coupon can include the shipping so effectively you're giving a discount on the shipping in addition to the cost of the item(s).
 For example, a customer with a $19 coupon worth $50 could purchase a $40 necklace plus shipping of $3.50. The total of $43.50 falls within the $50 value so the customer is not paying extra for the shipping. You now need to pay the shipping out of the $19.

5. Heartsy Fees
There currently are NONE - YAY!

So taking into account the above costs here is an example:
Amount paid per coupon: $19
Etsy fees per coupon: $1.50
Paypal fees per coupon: $0.57
Shipping per coupon: $3.50
Left over per coupon: $13.43

From the $13.43 deduct the cost of making your product. This will obviously vary for everyone.

This is a very basic approach but it will give you an idea of what to expect.

I hope it helps you out. Next week I will be writing about efficiency processing your Heartsy orders and staying on top of everyone.

To read Part 1 of my Heartsy experience, click here.

Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If You Missed Out On The Jacaranda Designs Heartsy Promotion

I've had many requests from customers since my Heartsy promotion ran, asking if they are still able to buy coupons. Sadly, all coupons sold out within the 24 hours.

Don't despair though!

Until the end of the Easter weekend, I'm giving you the opportunity to save 25% off everything at Jacaranda Designs (This does not apply to shipping charges and cannot be combined with any other promotion).

In order to qualify for the 25% discount, please enter the coupon code "HEARTSY" when you check out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Part 1 :The Heartsy Deal - Jacaranda Design's Positive Experience

During early March I was lazily browsing through the Etsy forums on a  Sunday afternoon when I stumbled upon a posting about a relatively new site called Heartsy. I read that Heartsy offers special deals on selected Etsy shops, a little like Groupon. It sounded like an interesting promotional opportunity so I decided to investigate further. It turned out that in order for a shop to be considered for a promotion on Heartsy, the shop owner was required to add a few photos of their products and submit their "deal" for consideration/voting by the customer community.

A few minutes later I had submitted my Jacaranda Designs deal and moved on to other things. A couple of weeks later I had an email from Heartsy informing me that Jacaranda Designs had received sufficient votes to qualify. Heartsy administration were very responsive to my emails and questions, always getting back to me promptly. Together, we finalized the details of the promotion and a few weeks later, Monday April 13th, Jacaranda Designs was featured on Heartsy.

On the day of the promotion, I woke at 5am and around 7am began a wonderful, crazy busy day (to top it all my son was home sick from school for the day!).  In fact the entire week flew by as I prepared invoices, packaged orders and responded to inquiries.

I'm a pretty organized person (with a background in project management) so I thought I would be able to handle the load very efficiently. Although I did manage to package heaps of orders and mail them out within the three business days I had promised, I see now that I could have been even more efficient with my time.

All in all it was an enormously successful promotion. I know there has been a lot of discussion on Etsy forums regarding whether sellers should sell their handmade crafts at such a considerable discount and this is my opinion. I wasn't approaching this as a quick way to make lots of sales and profit. This was another form of advertising and marketing. I usually pay for advertising of Jacaranda Designs and I figured Heartsy was a way to advertise that would not cost me money. 

Anyway, I thought I would talk about my experience on my blog and hopefully help other sellers prepare for the big day or at least make a decision whether they want to participate as a Heartsy seller.

Part 2 (later this week) will discuss the math you have to do ahead of time. Yes, I know, many people hate math but in this case, you will have to do some number crunching to make sure you end up making, not losing money.

Stay tuned....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Lovely Quiet Sunday

After a chaotic week (yes, I was featured on Heartsy!), it's now time for a quiet day, thank goodness. I have a few orders to process, a couple of chores around the house but for the most part, it's a day of relaxation before another busy week begins. Hope your Sunday is relaxing too!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Winner of the Heirloom Tomato Seeds from The Bear Foot Shaman

Thank you everyone for entering the recent giveaway for the heirloom tomato seeds. We had a wonderful response and the lucky winner is DARCY!

Current Giveaway!

I know many of you were hoping to win this lovely seed package from The Bear Foot Shaman. Don't despair...head along to the shop where there are still many varieties in stock ready for your summer vegetable garden.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Etsy LOVE!

My weekly faves from Etsy. Every week I am astonished by the amount of creative talent on Etsy. Grab a coffee or tea, sit down, relax and browse through these wonderful finds from Etsy artists.

spring armchairs
Isa Lollies - the art of chocolate lollipops (12 in tin)
Retro Plants - set of four art cards
Personalized coin purse/mini pouch - initial and blue bird
Dreamy Red Flowers . Fine Art Photograph 8x10 Print . Home Decor . Surreal Art
Caribbean Cruise - Amazonite Ring - Custom Sized
Make My Wishes Come True - Clipboard
Vintage Silverware Garden Marker - Mint Basil Rosemary Thyme Set
Julie's Fudge - KEY LIME PIE w/Graham Cracker Crust - 12 Pieces (Over 1 Pound)
Love of Nature Yoga Mat Bag
Green Sun Bowl - made out of folded tea bags wraps

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baking The Ice Hockey Team Cake

This weekend was the end of season hockey party. The boys had such a fun time. It was a pot luck dinner and I offered to make the hockey cake. When the boys were younger I used to make their birthday cakes every year, each time with a different theme. However the last couple of years I've been making their favorite desserts instead.

Needless to say I was a little out of practice. I scoured the shops for mini hockey players to put on the cake but they were nowhere to be found! So I ended up stealing the nets off our rod hockey game (they've since been washed again and re-installed on the game!) and decorating the cake with the name of our childrens' team - the Hound Dogs.

It worked out well but the cake was huge so I hope the boys like it because they are going to be finding a slice in their lunch boxes every day this week most likely.