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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Calculating Shipping on: January 23, 2015 01:02:23 PM
Chris,

Thanks for the tip about the USPS.  However we want to offer a tracking number that actually tracks something, unlike the USPS.  UPS gives a tracking number without having to ask specifically for it and without having to pay extra.  I know they charge more.  We have UPS pick up at our store everyday.  That means I do not have to go anywhere or wait on the USPS to pick up from me.

None of the shippers will guarantee packages won't get knocked around so that factor is out of the picture.  We do have our own packing boxes already that we can also use for transport to/from shows.  The coasters fit perfectly in them.  We have boxes that accommodate anywhere from 1-4 sets of coasters.  We got them from Uline and good sturdy boxes.

From what I understand, the USPS has an additional fee for tracking.  Also I understand that is actuality it does not track as well as the UPS tracking.
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Calculating Shipping on: January 22, 2015 12:05:59 PM
I am new to etsy and trying to figure shipping when using UPS.  I do custom travertine coasters.  Each set (4) weighs about 2.5 lbs.  To send one can cost upwards of $11.00-$15.00.

I sent three sets today for a total of about $14.00.  Yes, all three sets were in one box and the total was about $14.00.  How can I set up shipping in an accurate way on Etsy?  I really want to do this Etsy shop right.  I don't want to rip off customers when it comes to shipping.

I am not sure this is the place to ask this question.  If not, please direct me.

Thanks!
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: What are your best selling Items? on: January 01, 2015 10:15:03 AM
My coasters are my best seller and I think it still has the highest profit margin.

My trivets are about to have a higher cost.  I am going to have to grout the last order I got.  The grout itself will add a little cost but the time factor as more than that.  The trivets are $2.98+tax.  The bag of grout will be about $10+tax ... not sure how many of the 8x8's I can grout with one bag.  None of that includes my time, just actual product cost.

I am anxious to see how 2015 goes with crude oil prices going down like a lead balloon.  It really affects jobs down here.
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: I have a costs-profit related business question on: December 30, 2014 05:54:04 AM
Chris ... ^^^^ = like
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Price Increase on: December 29, 2014 06:38:16 PM
Jennifer,

I am not sure if you were asking me about my season or not.  But here goes anyway .... Wink

I went from $20 to $24 per set of coasters.  It does not seem to have hindered sales one bit.  It does give me a bit of leeway if I want to do an occasional discount, more leeway than I have felt in the past.

What is funny is this, well maybe strange.  I was at a locally owned upscale store in my town.  (I do not have any product in this store.)  I had never visited it so one day dd and I went in to look around.  Their hours of operation are very limited so that is part of what hindered us going there.

While there I noticed some stone coasters for sale in sets of four.  The appeared to be painted a solid color on top, with a contrasting color around the edges ... a very plain decorative effect.  Almost boring.  No, it IS boring.  Out of curiosity I turned over a set to check the price and to see if the "artist" was mentioned.  They were priced at $40/set of!   Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked  I almost FAINTED!   Shocked Shocked Shocked  Did I say I almost fainted?  I broached the subject of whether the owner had any locally produced items for sale in her store, careful not to single out the coasters.  The employee mentioned one or two and then said the coasters were done by a friend of the owner.

What I wanted to say is that the owner is getting ripped off.  Based on keystone she is paying $20 per set.  I would sell her mine at $13-14 per set and she'd still be making a profit at keystone on them.  They would be prettier, at least have some thought put into the design.

I may go there one day and just talk to the owner with a few samples.  She may not like what I do but some of her customers might.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Do you charge your friends for commissioned gifts for others? on: December 02, 2014 07:53:00 PM
I want to add that I have given gifts from time to time of the crafts I make.  However, the only people I "gift" are my personal friends and it is for a special occasion or as a thank you for something they have done.  Not just because they asked for it.  Not that I wouldn't but it hasn't happened yet.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Do you charge your friends for commissioned gifts for others? on: December 02, 2014 07:50:38 PM
If you ARE doing this as a business then you need to look in to pricing structures.  If someone asks you to make it for one of their friends, relatives, co-workers or whatever you need to charge for it, and a fair price to cover materials, research, time, etc.
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Open House on: November 17, 2014 04:39:52 PM
Chris,

Yes, I am doing one on Saturday of Black Friday weekend.  Our store is having its Christmas party on Dec. 6 at our home and I don't want to attempt a show on the same day.  I may do another one on Dec. 13.  Will see how much stock I have left.

Many coaster sets will be 25% off and the rest will be 50% off.
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: We're doing a Holiday themed craft box! on: November 14, 2014 06:46:33 PM
I don't get it .... are you looking for backers (investors) or are you selling kits?  How much is a medium kit and how much for a large?  How do I know the contents match whatever you are charging?  There are no pics of completed projects or of the kits before assembly.  I may be dense but I just don't get how this whole thing works.  Huh
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Do you think my Bottles will sell? on: October 29, 2014 03:32:39 PM
Interesting ... never saw bottles decorated like that.  Will they sell?  I think given the right market anything will sell.  Have you tried craft shows with success?  There are shows around here in Louisiana where more traditional arts/crafts sell well.  However there are some venues where something not so traditional (like your products) might do well.  But then, you never know ... yours might do well in a more tradtional show.  Having never seen something like that it's hard to tell.
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