Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Selling on Etsy: A Frustrating Lesson

It was one of those days....

Last Friday I photographed a terrific vintage glass cloche and gray marble cheese server for my Etsy shop:
I filled out most of the necessary listing forms: title, description, tags, etc., but ran out of time to finish it completely, since we were heading out to a football game in Vermont and I had to pack and otherwise get ready to leave.

So yesterday, back home again, I thought: time to get that cloche and cheese server online.
As is my practice for every listing I do, in addition to filling out the information about the piece I also package it so it's ready to ship out immediately once a buyer hits "purchase." I'm able to do this because, fortunately, there's a shed in back of our house where I store all my boxes on rows of metal and wood shelving.

So I carefully put bubble wrap and brown paper around the glass cloche and the marble tray, and tucked in my card along with a little handwritten note. Taking the two pieces, I put them carefully inside one of the recyclable boxes I keep in the garage, stuffing all the sides and edges with recycled cardboard, brown paper, and plastic grocery bags. On went the tape and voila: all was secure and ready to go. I weighed and measured the box and put those numbers into my listing. It was ready to publish.
But before I hit the "publish" button I thought: let me just read through everything to make sure there are no spelling errors or other mistakes.  And then I saw it: on Friday I'd left a blank space in the description text where the cloche and marble base measurements were to be slugged in.

Urrrrggghhh! For awhile I fought it, trying to think of some way I could estimate those measurements, but in the end there was nothing to do but rip off all the tape, remove the scrunched up plastic bags, cardboard, brown paper, and bubble wrap, get a tape measure and write down the height, width, and base diameter of both pieces.
Then I rewrapped everything, labeled the box and took it to the shed, entered the information in the proper place, and hit the "publish" button. Talk about time consuming. To console myself, I tried thinking about how I'd sold several great items over the weekend:


But I learned a lesson: Never leave a nearly but not quite finished listing on a Friday without writing a huge sign beforehand: MAKE SURE YOU MEASURE THIS ITEM BEFORE PACKING & LISTING!

Now, if I can just remember to do this....

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Hurricane, A Broken Mug, and Etsy

Last week most of the world was watching as one of the largest hurricanes on record, Irma, headed straight for the Caribbean islands and Florida.
Since we have friends in the USVI, Puerto Rico, and throughout Florida, including my brother in Tampa, our concern, focus, and prayers for all in Irma's wake was intensely personal.

Fortunately, all our loved ones were safe, with only minimal damage, but the devastation throughout this region was massive, to say the least.

Just after the worst of it had passed, I heard a "cha-CHING" from my iPhone, signaling a sale in my Etsy shop. I looked to see what had been sold:
It was a vintage ceramic Telavera mug, made by a pottery in Mexico. Then I checked to see where the mug was going to be delivered: Florida!

As I always do, I contacted the buyer to thank him for his purchase, adding "The people of your whole state have been in our thoughts and prayers--I'm glad you have power.! I haven't heard back yet from my brother in Tampa or friends in Naples. Enjoy your mug--and the storm being over!"

He wrote back right away, saying "I hope your brother and friends have made it through Irma and you'll be in touch with them soon. Thank you for your warm wishes, While (our city) took Irma very hard, we were unscathed. Except for one thing...I did break my wife's favorite coffee mug in a moment of cabin fever chaos, hence this purchase."

After I'd heard from my brother, I wrote back: "Thankfully my brother and friends made it through Irma unscathed and the only real problem for them now is no power. I sympathize with you about needing to replace your wife's favorite coffee cup after having broken it!.... It reminds me of the time I sold an unusual glass bottle with a wavy top to a man whose wife was grieving over a bottle just like it that she had loved and that had been broken in a move. He was delighted to find one in my shop that he could surprise her with. Both of you: very thoughtful husbands! I hope she is very happy with her new mug."

After a few days had passed he wrote back again: "The mug is beautiful. She loves it. I'm glad to hear your brother and friends made it through the storm with minimal adversity. Many of us were so fortunate in how little impact we suffered. I suppose that really all of us who lived through the event were fortunate....Thanks again."

Exchanges like, this because of a sale (and especially under these unusual circumstances), make life as an Etsy seller extra rewarding.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fantastic Finds at the Yankee Barn Sale, Dublin, NH

Recently we attended, for the umpteenth time, the amazing annual Yankee Barn Sale, New Hampshire's flea market extravaganza in Dublin.
Now in its 36th year, the sale features new, used, antique and vintage items from over 80 local residents and employees of Yankee Publishing, Inc. (publishers of  the renowned Yankee Magazine, founded in 1935). It's definitely the primary Do-Not-Miss treasure hunt on our calendar.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fabulous Finds & A New Friend at the St. James Fair, Woodstock VT

My daughter, who lives in Woodstock, Vermont, said I absolutely had to come. The St. James Fair there, now in its 92nd year, was something not to miss.

We live about an hour and a half away in New Hampshire, so it's not a long drive. And since it was a great excuse to spend the weekend with the family, we drove over Friday night for dinner.

But on Saturday morning, at 9 a.m., my daughter and I were there, scouting out what we wanted to make a mad dash for once the ribbons encircling the tents were cut precisely at 10 a.m.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017