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Topic: How's Your etsy Shop Doing?  (Read 416753 times)
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misslilamae
« Reply #3830 on: April 23, 2006 10:28:18 AM »

Do you guys purchase your shipping boxes in bulk?  Where do you purchases your packing supplies from?

I realize there are shipping calculators on USPS, etc., but they go by size, weight & destination, don't they?  So, how do you calculate the shipping costs before hand, unless you have everything already boxed up?  Do you just estimate?

I am horrendously organized since I started working from home a month ago, so before I can open a shop, I need to know all of this stuff & have it precisely laid out or I will go cross-eyed Wink  Sorry for so many questions.

I searched "shipping" and "boxes" on this and the mother board, but couldn't find any good, juicy threads regarding shipping/packing.  But, if you know of some threads & would rather direct me there, that would be great Smiley  If not, any help you could give would be most appreciated.

*hugs to my Etsy gurus*

I was going to respond to this via IM, but then I thought that you're probably not the only one with these questions.  So here goes!

eBay, baby!  I bought bubble envelopes and tissue paper in bulk on eBay for a fraction of what it would have cost me retail. As for boxes, I have a bunch that I hoarded from my retail-working days and I simply recycle those. When they run out, I suppose I'll scour eBay again for another fantastic deal.  A lesson I learned early on is to ALWAYS buy in bulk.  Even without a tax#, this can seriously reduce your costs.

I'll use the bubble mailers as an example, since those are what I primarily use.  I ship USPS First Class (by far the most economical for low-weight packages) and include "complimentary" Delivery Confirmation, so my customers can track their orders themselves. On average, my customers pay $3 S&H (it's more for delicate or boxed items, but nevermind that for now).

How did I arrive at this number?  Well, bubble mailers are anywhere from $.60 to $.90 to ship and DC is another $.50, so I round up to $1.50 for base shipping right there.  The other $1.50 covers the costs of the envelopes ($.30/each), the tissue paper ($.10/sheet), business cards ($.05/each), and my time packaging and actually shipping the package.

In the beginning, I did use the USPS calculator to help me determine my shipping costs, but I totally guesstimated everything.  I just took an average size package and weighed it in my hand ("Hmm, I know it's not a whole pound, and I know it's probably way less than half a pound...  let's try four ounces.") and "calculated" it going to a few different destinations (Alaska, California, Georgia, etc). From there I just averaged what I thought was a fair price, though time and actual experience was what honed my "formula."

I'm not really obsessively organized (I wish I was!!!) but I make it a point to determine the actual cost of everything I use.  I could keep a pretty spreadsheet with all the info, but instead I just scrawl it on the boxes I keep these things in.   Grin

Sorry for the long post there -- I hope you found it helpful!
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sweets4ever
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« Reply #3831 on: April 23, 2006 11:10:51 AM »

Misslilamae, you are the best!  Thank you so much for sharing so much information.  Wow, all of this is so helpful!

I am an avid fan of good deals on Ebay, so that's great to know info.  And I think I will mostly be a bubble mailer girl as well, so I am glad you happened to use that as an example Cheesy

I'm copying and pasting all of this over to my Etsy shop notes!  (see, that's where I am crazy, lol)
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misslilamae
« Reply #3832 on: April 23, 2006 11:34:25 AM »

Misslilamae, you are the best!  Thank you so much for sharing so much information.  Wow, all of this is so helpful!

No problem!  That's what we're here for, right?  All you guys help me out so much, I figure it's the least I can do!

Besides, I've had to do this before for customers that actually thought my S&H was too high!  Roll Eyes  I think it takes becoming a seller to realize that those extra cents aren't just lining my pocket -- there's other costs to consider than just the product and shipping.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006 11:36:33 AM by misslilamae » THIS ROCKS   Logged

sillysausage
« Reply #3833 on: April 23, 2006 11:38:48 AM »

i just got 10 jiffy bags on ebay for 6p and have been using tissue paper and ribbons from my mum's hoard. i sent one of my bags in a swap before i actually started selling so thats how i figgured out how much it coat and it was good practice aswell Cheesy I've just sent a yoga mat bag out for a swap because I was thinking of selling them on etsy too
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misslilamae
« Reply #3834 on: April 23, 2006 12:18:37 PM »

Okay, I'm really hoping that some of you read this, because I would really  appreciate some advice here.  Remember when I was talking about that wholesale inquiry a few pages back?  I convo'd the woman back with price and order info, as well letting her know that I would need payment in full before shipping the order, due to bad experiences in the past.

She replied rather promptly (nice) with the address of the e-store she represents (nice) and added that payment up front wouldn't be a problem (nice!)...  BUT I visited her online shop and it is a bit, um, incomplete.  Dead links ALL OVER the place, and for some pretty important things like customer service and ordering info.  For the few products she does have listed (and here I am assuming that most of these are created by other indie designers, not herself), there is zero information on who made the item. No banner, no website link, not even a name.

In the "About" page, she does say to "Be on the lookout for their UPCOMING LAUNCH!" so I suppose the storefront isn't completed yet and I can understand how hard it can be to gather stock for a brand-new store, but the things I pointed out above seem like red flags to me.  Should I simply ask her about this in the convo and see how she replies, or should I just gracefully back away?

Also, is anyone else having Etsy issues?  The site is down for me again -- how am I supposed to make sales if no-one can access my shop?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006 12:24:35 PM by misslilamae » THIS ROCKS   Logged

sweets4ever
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« Reply #3835 on: April 23, 2006 01:55:31 PM »

Yeah, seems kind of either shadey, or not very well put together.  Because I have Anne Frank syndrome, I would like to think the latter.  Wink

If she is willing to pay up front, that would secure the payment for you.  But, if you would want her to credit the crafts to you, then you are going to need to specify that in some sort of terms to her.  And make sure those terms are secured and agreed upon by both parties.  Smiley
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Sockdiva
« Reply #3836 on: April 23, 2006 01:58:28 PM »

Synne and kitty  Grin - Yes, I'm working on a pattern now! I'll have to figure out how to add a pic of it with the yar. Oh, if we just had a little more flexability with Etsy! I have 1 German angora, Bodhi. He's a litter trained classroom bunny most of the year, hopping around, being petted, flopping on the tiles, being fed from the school garden! I get almost a pound of wool from him a year, so he's all I need. I  had another, Blackberry, who died of old age this year. He was  a very good bunny.

GraceOblivious - One of the new features of Etsy coming with the 25 cent fee, is a blog! That should be fun. It'll really add to the community feeling, as well as for information, like you're talking about! Should be fun to see what comes of it. I hope they let us put images in the blog too, and see pieces in progress, or ideas!

Misslilla and Palchemy buddy - Hmmm. That's hard. It could just be a site in progress done by a student or friend, and so is left in the incomplete state. I did like that they would pay you beforehand, and in most sales, after we send it off, who knows that happens to it. If it were me, I would think 'Yay! I sold a bunch!' and not be too concerned at how the recipients business fares. If it goes, great! If not, she'll have a bunch of great gifts for the next few holidays.  Grin But go with your gut. It's YOUR business, and you can do exactly what you please! (don't you love being the absolute Boss?)

Anyway, my few cents...

Sock
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http://sockdiva.etsy.com
Omiyage, unique yarns, fibers, and jewelry

http://deedolce.blogspot.com/
misslilamae
« Reply #3837 on: April 23, 2006 02:17:39 PM »

Another ...odd... thing is that on the links page, there is a blurb saying "My super cool cousin's band.
SUM41 Go.... check them out." next to a sizable banner.

Weird.

But then, if it's payment up front, I suppose it doesn't matter how weird it is.   Wink  And hey, if it's true, it could potentially be major exposure!  Grin
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kristiehaynes
« Reply #3838 on: April 23, 2006 02:43:42 PM »

Well, thanks to lusterbunny I am now scrambling to put together a contribution to The Sampler http://www.homeofthesampler.com  Smiley  Thanks for bringing up that site in the etsy forums...what a great way to market yourself!  Is anyone else planning on contributing the the Summer sampler?
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jeweledmonkey
« Reply #3839 on: April 23, 2006 04:05:44 PM »

So... my sale last week didn't add up to much but I posted some beads today and got two sales! I guess since most of the Etsy members are DIYs it makes sense that supplies would go fast. I will post more tonight. Smiley
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