It’s been one year since I quit my job to work for myself! I’m so excited that I’ve had a very successful year even with a difficult economy and slow sales as challenges I faced.
If you want to work for yourself, do it today! All it takes is extreme drive, motivation and a will to succeed. You’re going to have nights where you work until 3am and weeks without a day off, but I’ll tell you that it’s worth all the struggle for the feeling of being your own boss. I’m still figuring out the kinks of having a small business, by no means do I know it all. But, if you start now you can do anything you want to do.
When I started my business I thought it would be what I’d do full-time. I worked on it for 6 years while working a full-time job and going to school. Those 6 years paid off giving me skills that have helped me come this far. If you put in a little effort to your dream everyday, you’ll be surprised how quickly the dream will arrive.
Another important thing to always consider is keeping faith about your goals. Don’t ever doubt yourself or think you can’t do it. Always imagine yourself as already successful, having everything you could ever want. Those things will quickly follow if you put forth the action of being thankful for them ahead of time.
I hope that everyone in our country is able to do as I have for the last year. Working for myself has allowed me to find myself again, to be happier and healthier. It’s strengthened my relationships with my fiancé, family and friends. And most of all….it’s given me confidence that I really can do anything I set my mind to.
Hello to all my awesome readers! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. It’s been too long since I’ve written.
Don’t worry though, it’s all good news. I just got engaged!!! We’ve been really busy enjoying all that comes with planning a wedding and telling everyone the big news. It’s such a fun feeling and I hope to write more about wedding resale sooner than later as I learn.
Yesterday of course was Valentine’s Day, a day of love and happiness. We celebrated with the classic cheesiness – wine, steak, chocolate and roses. It was fantastic!
It also got me thinking about how fun it is to work on promotion by using holidays. I think holidays are a great way for all of us resellers to get excited about our market. It’s a great way to re-energize your work and find new ways to think about marketing. I like to get in the spirit for every holiday. Now that V-Day is over I’m excited that we move into St. Patrick’s Day fun.
To prepare for these holidays, one easy and simple thing you can do is to change templates in your shops. On Etsy, make a special banner and profile photo that shows off your shop while adding a bit of holiday jazz. Change your featured items to all green. This type of promotion shows buyers that you are active in your shop, constantly changing things to keep them excited. A new theme also makes buyers take a new interest in your shop since things look different. On Ebay, change the colors of your storefront or buy a cheap $5 template to use for listings. You’ll be amazed to see how it generates buying! Plus, you get to do something different and think about your shop in a new way.
I’m doing many of these things for St. Patrick’s day. My shops are getting a huge green overhaul! Check out both my shops (links posted in my early posts) to get a feel of what we are doing to get in the spirit. Once St. Patrick’s day ends I’ll be moving everything around to be Easter themed and so on.
Another great thing to do is to promote the holiday traffic on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. People like me love getting excited about holidays. It’s the little things that really get people to notice your shop. Post a YouTube video, cute picture or a treasury that is holiday themed such as these examples. By associating yourself with certain holidays you can profit from people’s love of them.
I’ll be looking for inventory for the year pretty soon – if you have tons of designer clothing in excellent condition but don’t have the time to deal with it – write to me! I’d love to set up a wholesale purchase of anything you’re looking to shed. This is especially for those that sell other products and don’t specialize in clothing, make some extra cash with those items you’re too busy to sell.
I love buying wardrobe cleanouts, purses, jewelry and anything girly or pretty. Brand new makeup is also something I’d love to purchase. If you’re in Houston I’ll come to you – it’s that easy!
Prices usually range from $1-3 an item depending on what you have. I love buying lots of 20-100 items.
Feel free to message me at my Etsy/Facebook/Ebay or whatever page you prefer. Our links are below:
This offer will be open all year so if you see it anytime in 2012 I should be buying.
Happy New Year all!
It’s a well-known fact that photos are a key piece when selling an item online. Photos can sometimes make or break your sale. If your goods can be photographed with good lighting and interesting angles you’ll have a better chance of selling your item at a high price than if the photos are out of focus or poorly angled.
Below are some tips that will help you when taking photographs of items you put in your online stores.
- Use Natural Lighting – Natural lighting is the absolute best way to show all details of an item. I find that early morning and late afternoon are the best times to get bright lighting for your items. Many times you can place them next to a window that gets a lot of sun to take advantage of natural lighting. It also helps you add interesting shadows to your products. The second best thing to natural lighting is Halogen which has a bright glow that doesn’t glare too much.
- Take a million pictures of your item – Ok, maybe not that many! You want to have a good choice of photos to choose from when listing your item. Sometimes they look better on the camera than they do on the display so don’t cut any pictures from your camera memory as you take them. Wait until you can check them all and pick from the best. With sites like Etsy you only get 5 photos to upload for each listing so taking a ton of pictures really increases the chances of getting those excellent shots.
- Use Photo editing software to make your products more interesting – Photos online tend to be all the same. Dull colors are a common theme among products on both Ebay and Etsy. By using a photo editing software and adding effects to your pictures, you can increase the chances that people will zero in on your photos out of the million others out there. I love using Picnik.com which offers a ton of free functions and lots more if you want to pay for the premium version. Some of my favorite effects are lomo, increase brightness, cross process and adding seasonal banners. I have found sales really increase when doing this and all I have to do is add a note stating “first photo was edited and colors may not match actual item.”
- Use a plain and simple background with nothing but the item in it – People want to see what they are buying and a plain background is usually your best bet for increasing sales volume. It keeps photos uncluttered and keeps confusion down about what’s included in the sale. A light box is surprisingly cheap when purchased from eBay. They work great for photographing small items. Using a light-colored wall and a mannequin is best when photographing clothes.
I hope these tips help you increase your sales volume! If you have any other tips please feel free to share them in the comments so others can learn from them. Below is an example of a photo that I’ve edited with Picnik. Don’t you love the Christmas lights?!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Image via Wikipedia
The holidays are a great time to really shine with customer service. Online selling is a demanding job so you want to stay on your toes when interacting with customers. Here are some things that will really make you shine and keep customers coming back.
- Gift wrap items in tissue paper and add a ribbon. This really makes a package sparkle. It helps a customer see that you cared enough about their item to take special time wrapping it. Tissue paper is available fairly cheaply if you go to the 99 cent stores or places like that. Also, if they were going to give the item as a gift you already saved them a step by wrapping it.
- Send a free extra for large purchases or those over $50. People love to get something for free. By including something extra you’ll show the customers that you really appreciate them. They will remember your shop and definitely be back to buy more.
- Ship the same or next business day payment clears. People hate to wait for their purchases. By shipping the same or next business day you can cut down the shipping time and make sure customers get their items in the time frame they think is reasonable. That frame is smaller than it was a year ago!
- Always be friendly. I can’t stress this point enough. You will deal with mean or unfair buyers, I promise this. But, by not falling into their emotional trap you can stay calm and take care of business. They will be much more responsive to you and if anything goes wrong, much more willing to work out problems.
I hope these tips help your profits this holiday season. I try to practice them in all seasons. The holidays are a good time to focus on building up these incentives for your customers. Feel free to share any tips you may have in the comments below.
We’ve heard a lot this year about recessions, people struggling to make ends meet and large corporations taking advantage of consumers. We all want to do something about this, to help one another recover from this difficult economy we are living in.
I think the best way to help one another is to do our holiday shopping on sites like Ebay and Etsy. We know that supporting large corporations is not helping the economy to recover. They put the money into the hands of their investors who likely will not put it back into the economy very quickly. The rich do not get rich by spending their money and if they do spend, they are more likely to support large businesses. The middle and lower classes however are those who need help the most. They are the bulk of sellers on sites like Ebay and Etsy.
Etsy is a fantastic resource for finding vintage and handmade goods. Vintage goods are usually of a higher quality than goods purchased today. They are also more unique and more appreciated by recipients. Handmade items usually have the same high quality that vintage items do. Everything I have purchased on Etsy has been of exceptional quality. I am always impressed by people’s ability to make something more lasting than a large company can (though why would the large company want you to have something that lasts). What else is fun about Etsy is that many items are customizable to your recipient. You can add monograms, messages and so much more to make it special for that person. Another fantastic thing about Etsy sellers is that many of them make their products with little to no impact on the environment. They are conscious and Eco-friendly. We cannot say this about large factories producing in bulk.
Ebay is a wonderful resource for finding items that are cheap, discontinued or even large lots of items that are able to be split among many people. You would be amazed to find that items can generally be purchased for less the price on Ebay than you would find at the store they are usually sold in. Ebayers are held to a high standard by Ebay. We are not allowed to take advantage of buyers and there are great protections in place for your purchases. Usually shipping is less than at a large company’s online store and many times it’s free. It is easier to shop because you can shop on your time eliminating lines you might have stood in and the extra gas you would have spent going out. Another wonderful thing about Ebay sellers is that many give their profits to charitable organizations so you can make a large impact just by shopping with them.
This holiday season I hope you join me in supporting each other. pledge to support local and independent sellers, artisans, designers and crafters. I believe that this is one step we can all take to improve our situation.
Please share you comments and ideas so we can better understand how this helps our nation in a big way.
Image via CrunchBase
It’s incredible to me how many people still don’t know anything about Etsy. I tell them I sell online with Ebay and Etsy. They are so familiar with Ebay but have no clue what Etsy is. So, here’s some enlightenment for those that need it:
- Etsy is a marketplace where sellers are only allowed to sell in three categories. They are vintage, handmade and supplies. To qualify for vintage items need to be over 20 years old, meaning they must have been made in 1990 or before. Handmade items are required to be handmade by you.
- Etsy is a huge online store full of really amazing sellers. The best part about Etsy is the uniqueness factor. There are things here that you won’t find anywhere else, some you’ll be amazed to find even exist. Sellers pride themselves on top quality pictures which are part of why Etsy shines so brightly.
- Another feature besides buying and selling on Etsy are the treasuries! Treasuries are made by any Etsy user. They are a collection of items generally with some type of theme. Sellers cannot feature themselves in a treasury so it’s a great tool for helping other sellers find more exposure. It also works well for showing people how skilled you are in creating a collection of eye-catching pieces.
- The best part of Etsy I have found are the teams. Teams are very active on Etsy, working together to help each other be successful. This is where Etsy really feels like a community. Sellers are there to help each other critique and improve their shops so the entire marketplace can benefit from sellers that offer amazing value. Teams also help you promote your own items, treasuries or ideas for the marketplace.
I’ve been on Etsy for about 9 months now. They are cheaper than Ebay making their site a good resource for people selling handmade goods, vintage items or craft supplies. Sales are a little slower but prices generally tend to be higher since the perceived value of the site is higher for buyers. 20 cents to list any item at any price sure encourages me to wait for those sales though! The fees are incredibly low too compared to what Ebay now takes.
Let’s all move our vintage, handmade and supplies over to Etsy. This marketplace needs to grow and I’d love to see more buyers/sellers like you participating in it. Send me your questions if you want to know more about Etsy or just go check out http://www.etsy.com!
If you’d like to check out my store front it’s Hippie Chick Finds located here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JsssikaRabbit?ref=si_shop