Posts Tagged ‘Etsy’

So, this time of year seems to be a bit quieter with shops – but I’ve been lucky enough to have been kept busy with some interesting custom orders πŸ™‚

Here are some pics of some of them – a nice variety, I think!

PicMonkey Collage

Have a great day πŸ™‚ xxx


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Hi all.. Can you believe it’s October already?! This year is flying by faster than the Man of Steel & his sonic booms! Anyhow…

webpage 1

I’ve just been updating the custom orders page on my website, and wanted to share a few words.. After a really good conversation with my husband yesterday, I realised I am charging far too little for custom pieces.. I so want to be able to accommodate everyone, but the truth is, custom work takes 2-3 times as long as any other work – from designing (with options!), meeting clients, working out costs & quotes, and actually manufacturing – often trying something I’ve never done before! Anyhow, I’ve realised that I need to actually start charging for my time, or else it’s just not worth it for me to do :/

So – if you check out my website’s custom orders page, you can see a new pricing guide, with some minimum costs.. As you can see, I’m keeping custom name necklaces as low as possible, as these don’t take me long to provide a few font options – but for necklaces and rings, well, those have definitely gone up! I hope this doesn’t put too many people off – you will be getting absolutely awesome custom pieces if you order, but they will cost a little more..

Name Necklace Gerri

Click here to see some new pics of custom orders recently made up, as well as new pricing guides: http://www.starbrightgirl.com/custom%20orders.htm

Have a fantastic day everyone πŸ™‚ Megs xxx

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So, it’s been a very topsy turvy few weeks for me – which started with my first ever Etsy return.. I have to admit, I was pretty devastated to begin with – but as the whole situation worked itself through, I decided to take it as a learning tool..

Basically, some of the items I offer on my Etsy shops, are blackened. To do this, I use a Liver of Sulphur solution, on a heated hotplate (standard for all jewellers), into which the item is dipped.Β However, in this case, the blackening didn’t take properly, and wore off within a day. The customer requested a refund, as they wanted a blackened piece.

Supernatural Pendant

I did try and offer a few alternatives, which to their credit, they did try, but unfortunately none worked, so I accepted that I would need to refund.

Luckily, Paypal is very sorted these days, so I asked for them to post me the item back, and Paypal would only refund once a tracking number had been entered! Quite impressed with that πŸ™‚

In the meantime, I went back to the studio, and did multiple tests with the blackening solution – and determined that the solution was too old, and I needed to start fresh. I also did lots of research online, and found that adding ammonia to the solution helps the blackening – which I did. Lo and behold, I finally had perfectly blackened pieces! So, whilst not being a pleasant experience, I did learn something, and will definitely take added care when blackening in future (and will always test that the blackening holds well!) (I have also made adjustments on my Etsy shop for customers to note that it is a surface solution, and will eventually wear off – so they know it’s not permanent!)

Yes, it smells as bad as it looks!

Sulphur Powder – Yes, it smells as bad as it looks!

So, that was one aspect of the last few weeks – there was also a death in the family (my hubby’s grandfather, who will be greatly missed), a friend wrote off his car, another ended up in hospital, and my tendinitis in my wrists has flared up quite badly, so it’s been physio visits, and cortisone injections (with side effects!) for me..

But – there’s also been a lot of good – my business is going well, and I had a wonderful day at the I Heart Market last week. One of my best friends was out from the UK, so I got to spend lots of time with her, which was lovely – and another set of friends had their first baby – who we get to meet tomorrow.. πŸ™‚

So, it really is about taking the bad with the good – learning from the bad, and just appreciating & enjoying the good..

This has been a deep post from me today (as deep as I go!) – so I’m going to sign off, say Happy Thursday – and enjoy the long weekend everyone in South Africa! Megs xxx

PS – One more note, for the geeky Supernatural fans (who’ll be the only ones to get this) – ironic isn’t it, that SULPHUR is used to blacken the pendant!! πŸ˜›


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Hi again – and welcome to the new week – hope it’s going to be a great one! ;)Today I thought I’d write a little bit about custom orders..

I really enjoy doing custom orders for people – even though they stress me out, to be honest! Trying to match up with a vision in someone’s head is not always easy! But, I like to tackle them.. Plus, I have one fallback – I NEVER start making things up until people are 100% sure about the design!

I’m pretty lucky in that I do all my designs on the computer (vector files) – so I’m able to create a jpeg, and email to customers to check.. This is also useful when I have to make sure of, for example, a ring size – when the customer is on the other side of the world! I send a 100% scaled image, they can print it out, cut it out, and wrap it around their finger to check! I did this recently for a ring headed to Germany – and thankfully, it apparently fits perfectly! (Plus, I love the fact that most Germans I have met are really accurate – and these customers were great and gave me perfect diameters!) πŸ˜‰
Here’s a pic of the design, and the finished ring πŸ™‚

Cthulhu RingIt’s also really helpful for designing – I get some interesting requests, where a customer will ask, for example, if I can combine a variety of images to form 1 design – see the example below:

BuffyAngelPendantIt was highly useful to be able to send a rough design first, to make sure I was on the right track, before spending ages fine-tuning it all!

So basically – I really do love doing custom work, and I’m always happy to be able to work with people all over the world, to create something they’re going to love! πŸ˜‰ I’ll leave you with a few more examples of work I’ve done this year.. Have a great week!! πŸ™‚ Megan xx

Comp Design Collage

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So – by now you should have your Etsy shop set up, and hopefully have a banner posted at the top of your page, too? Now, it’s time to start selling your goods!

If you click on “List your first item” – it will take you through all the steps:

Etsy shop setup 2I’m not going to go into much detail here – Etsy really do make it easy to follow – just make sure you fill in everything as accurately as possible. One thing I do recommend, though, is including as much information in your “Description” as possible – sizes, materials etc – and make it a bit interesting! If you have a personal anecdote, add it here – I think it creates a connection to the buyer πŸ™‚ Also, another thing to remember, is that most Etsy buyers are in the USA, so it may be worthwhile including inches as well as centimeters to your measurements! (I don’t always do this, as my jewellery pieces are generally quite small, but would definitely recommend it for bigger items!)

Under “Tags” – this is where you need to put keywords, to help customers find your item.. Include materials, colours, shapes, patterns, sizes, styles – whatever you think might help – think about what customers might type in when searching for something similar!

Ok – now, price.. As I mentioned previously, I always sell in dollars – so it may be useful to bookmark a currency conversion page, so you can get a good idea of what to charge. I would recommend padding the price very fractionally, just in case the exchange rate drops – you don’t want to lose out badly, but you also don’t want to be changing your prices every 2 weeks, I think customers wouldn’t like that!

Under shipping time – if you’re only selling items you’ve already made up, this is easy, you can ship almost immediately. I often have to make items up, so I usually make my shipping time 2-3 days, just to give myself some leeway. Make sure you select “Dispatches from” – make sure your country is selected – otherwise people will often just assume you’re close, and will expect their items in a few days! (Shipping from South Africa to most places worldwide, using airmail, usually takes about 2 weeks on average)

Ok, now – shipping charges..

I’m quite lucky as all my shipping is done using a small padded envelope (I always pack into a small box inside, for safety from battering!), and my parcels are always under 100g. I send using registered airmail from the local South African Post Office – this currently costs R55.40, and I charge $7.50 for postage and handling – most people seem content to pay this.

However, if you’re dealing with different sized items, I would suggest you visit your post office, and ask them to give you a Postal Rates booklet, so you can work each item out accurately. (I would also suggest investing in a decent digital scale, to get your weight charges right!) But I always send Registered Mail – this gives you a tracking number (the new numbers can be tracked using international website, such as usps.com), and also allows you to be able to claim if something does go missing.. (I’ve had about 4 parcels go missing in about 500 – it does sometimes happen..)

Also – if you’re sending higher value items, I’d perhaps look at sending EMS (Expedited Mail Services) via the SA Post Office – it’s much more expensive, but is a courier system, so much quicker & safer..

Ok, then – only 1 last thing to cover now, and that is PHOTOS

Photos are possibly the most important thing in your etsy shop – as they show customers what to expect, and can either draw in customers – or make them abandon your page quickly!

I have a fairly simple setup – I use a plain coloured background (I use grey, as it works well with silver items), and have set up a very basic “reflector box” using 2 pieces of white cardboard I have sticky taped together – very simple, but effective! (It helps to cut reflections – which are a nightmare when photographing jewellery!)

photo taking

I have a small Panasonic digital camera, which I always ensure is set to macro for jewellery (the little flower icon!) – I’m not going to go into teaching you how to take a photo – read your manual or ask a friend! – but I will stress one thing I learnt when I studied video technology years back – the most important thing to do (ALWAYS) is to set your white balance! If your photos are ending up yellow or blue, it’s because of this – auto white balance sucks! Make sure your camera is on manual, then go into your settings.. I just focus on the white reflector boards, and set it on them πŸ™‚

Then, just one more hint – always try and take photos in natural light – by a window for example, but never in direct sunlight – it creates harsh shadows! A cloudy day is best, or else early in the morning, or late in the afternoon πŸ˜‰

Ok, this post is becoming very long now! I’ll go into some photo editing in the next one.. We’re lucky enough to have Photoshop at home (yay for Creative Cloud!), but I’ll just run through some basic setups for your listing photos next time πŸ™‚

Have a fantastic weekend! xx


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Ok, South Africans (and others!), hope all is going well.. If you’ve got your Paypal account all set up, great – if not, please see my previous post! πŸ™‚

So – here are the basics on how to sell on Etsy:

Etsy 1

  • Go to http://www.etsy.com/sell?ref=so_sell and click on “Open an Etsy shop”
  • It will then ask you to sign in – if you are already an Etsy member, do so – otherwise you will have to click on the “register” tab
  • Fill out the info as required. Now’s the time to note – if you open a 2nd shop, you will need a different email address for this!
  • Once you’ve done all this, check your email, as they’ll send you a verification link you’ll have to click on before continuing..
  • Your shop settings should come up – I keep all my listings in dollars – I find this much simpler. Etsy doesn’t offer a Rand value (we’re not a big enough market!) – and as I previously said, most customers seem to be in the US (and Canada) so this seems best..
  • Next up – your shop name – fill it in πŸ™‚

Wow – I’m doing this as I type (I’m setting up a shop to sell some of my vintage Sanrio collection) – and they have made it so nice and simple! So I’ll just list a couple of things you might not know:

Etsy shop setup

  • For your shop banner – they are very specific – the image must be 760×100 pixels in size, no bigger than 2MB, and I’d recommend a JPEG. If you have a photo-editing programme like Photoshop, you can do this there.. Otherwise, ask a knowledgeable friend to help, or else you can always browse Etsy – there are lots of graphic artists who will design a banner etc for you, at a charge πŸ™‚
  • You can also now add a profile picture and shop announcement. You can also add shop sections (useful for jewellery – you can separate earrings from necklaces etc, which makes browsing easier for the customer)
  • I would also suggest adding SHOP POLICIES now.. These will basically state your policies towards shipping & returns etc.. I know it seems a bit scaly, but what I did was look at a whole lot of other established sellers of similar items on Etsy – you can learn a lot from their policies, and then refine for yourself πŸ˜‰

Here’s a look at a quick banner I made up – kept it really simple, as this is really just a temporary shop for me!

SBV Banner

Ok, now it’s almost time to add your items for sale! Etsy recommends listing at least 8 items to start, but I personally aim to have 30-40 listed at a time, so your shop listings at least go onto a 2nd page πŸ™‚

I’m going to list photography tips & item set up in my next post (hopefully tomorrow) – but in the meantime, here a few more things you might need to know:

  • You are charged 20 cents (US$) for every item you list, and when you sell it, Etsy takes a 3.5% commission on your sale. They’ll send you a bill every month, which will need to paid by a certain date. You can pay with your credit card, or with Paypal.
  • When you’re setting up your shop – you will see a “Get Paid” tab at the top – click on this for payment options. I would suggest just clicking on Paypal (you’ll just have to enter your Paypal login email address), and letting all customers pay that way. I have “Other” set up on my shops, in case a local customer wants to do an EFT – but I’ve had soooo many customers click this hoping to pay with a credit card, then I have to send a Paypal payment request etc etc – it’s quite a schlep! So, just Paypal payment is my advice!
  • 1 more thing before the shop is setup – click on the “Billing” tab at the top. You will have to enter your credit card details here, and they will validate your card. This is for billing purposes, although, as I have said, you can pay with Paypal funds. But you have to do this to verify yourself as a seller..

Ok, so that’s a whole lot to do for now. I hope this helps with the setup of your shop – and will post more about Photography tips, postage info etc soon πŸ™‚ Have a great rest of your weekend!! Megan xx

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