Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sales Down on All Three Major Online Venues Etsy Ebay Amazon

So its been one of the strangest Octobers for online sales that I have ever seen. Normally our sales start to soar from Labor Day weekend through April. September started off great; then started dropping. October came and started to pick up and then dropped. Strangest thing I have ever seen.

Its not just me as all of the forums are full of established sellers seeing the same thing I am. I have to say I have never seen "slow sales" threads on all of the major sites at the same time.

For Ebay the theory is that all the site crashes, hacks and glitches cost them customers. For Etsy the theory is that the home page change, shipping changes, search screw ups etc are causing the slow down. On Amazon the theory is all the recent site updates threw off sales. And yes Amazon has had many site glitches lately just like Ebay.

I posted a thread on the Amazon forums wondering if this slow down was due to the Ebola and ISIS scares. Many made fun of my post; but it is a real issue. Many sales reports are blaming the slow down on exactly what I posted; Ebola and ISIS.

Of course the Ebola crisis will benefit some sellers (those that sell safety equipment etc) but for most of us; scared consumers do not spend money. Many are scared we will be in a ground war soon fighting ISIS.

My hope is that the hysteria will end soon and sales will go back up. I am very thankful that I sell on all three. Its probably the only thing saving my business right now. Like most online sellers I have a huge inventory for the holidays. So I am sitting on a ton of inventory that is not moving as fast as anticipated.

Also thank goodness for Amazon. Even though sales have slowed a bit there the last 2 weeks they are still much higher than any other venue we sell on.

Wishing you all tons of holiday sales!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

My Crochet Edge CroEdge Skip Blades are All In Stock and Ready to Ship!

We now have all of my CroEdge skip blades in stock and ready to ship! I have added different listings so that we can cover whatever our customers need. For those that are not familiar; our blades make perfect crochet holes in fleece, flannel and other fabrics. You can make baby blankets in hours instead of days! No more using a hammer to make holes. Works great for making blankets, kitchen towel toppers, t-shirts etc.

I have listings for both the fleece and flannel skip blades, crochet edge blades with rotary cutters, sets of 2 fleece edging blades etc.

Hop on over to my website to order at kayscrochetpatterns.com

You can also get the free digital instructions on my website.

Thank you to all of our customers for the great feedback on our blades! It took me over a year to get them the way I wanted them (sharper to last longer) but at a reasonable price for our customers. We so appreciate your support! 






Do Not Sign Up for Ebay Webinterpret! Huge Mistake

I have been busy so forgot to post an update for Ebay Webinterpret. In my opinion Webinterpret is nothing but a huge scam. Its a long story but this many months later I am still dealing with the fall out from signing up for this program. In my opinion no one should ever sign up for this. I only had it for about 2.5 weeks and it wrecked havoc with everything. I will list the issues.

They don't tell you that your Ebay bill is going to be 10 times the normal bill for all those international listings. When I had Ebay helping me get out of this mess; they said those are not even the correct listing prices charged by Ebay. Most of my listings through Webinterpret were 1.50 and up PER LISTING.

You will start getting tons of Ebay messages because the international shipping cost won't show up. Instead it will say "ask seller for shipping costs" I emailed support numerous times and was told it was a bug and they couldn't fix it. 

Their "translated" listings are not translated correctly. My Ebay customer service rep knows several languages and he said the listings did not make sense and were not translated correctly. So I put a couple through Google Translator and he was right. Many of the listings were just gibberish.

They put the wrong pictures with the wrong listings. This cost me as I had to reship 4 orders that had the wrong picture with the wrong listing.

I was told (and so were many others) that the guy helping me set up Webinterpret was employed by Ebay. That was a lie. I was also told they are an approved Ebay partner. Another lie.

It took me 2 hours on the phone with Ebay customer service to get them off my account and try to delete all the listings. I am still finding their listings and deleting them. Somehow they keep popping back up which is making me crazy.

I am so sorry I ever heard of them. A tip Ebay gave me (which I never have read) is that if a company calls you and says they are with or employed by Ebay, ask them for the phone message number. Then go into your Ebay account and see if there is a message number stored. If there isn't; they are not with or affoliated with Ebay.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Kay's Flannel Crochet Edge Rotary Blade in Stock!

woohoo we finally have our crochet edge blade for Flannel in stock and ready to ship! This blade is great for thinner materials like flannel, t-shirts, handkerchiefs, etc. My flannel crochet edge blade makes the cuts a bit closer together than the fleece blade.To purchase my blades please see my website or Etsy store.

Here is an adorable flannel baby receiving blanket I am working on. I used crochet thread on this one instead of yarn to see how it would look. It gives it a pretty lacier look than yarn so I am really happy with it!


Free Crochet Pattern for Halloween Towel Toppers!

I just made these cute Halloween towels last night while I was watching tv. Super fun and easy to make using our CroEdge blade for fleece. And they are good for using up leftover bits of yarn. To purchase your own crochet edge blade see my website here

Towel prep/Foundation Row
Be sure to choose towels that have the same design on the top and bottom. Use a rotary cutter to cut the towel evenly in half. Use our CroEdge Blade for fleece to make the crochet holes about  ½” from the edge of the towel. This will make a nice hem.
With the front of the towel facing you; slip stitch into the first hole on the right and then chain 1. Crochet into the next hole and chain 1 all the way across. Ch 3 and turn

Row 1 – DC in each stitch across. Ch 3 and turn

Row 2 – DC2tog in each stitch across. Ch 3 and turn

Row 3 – Repeat row 2

Row 4 - Repeat Row 2 (if you have an extra on the end just make 1 DC in the extra stitch)

Row 5 – DC evenly spaced across the row (total of 7 DC counting chain 3) Ch 3 turn

Row 6 – DC in each DC across. Ch 3 turn
Row 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 - Repeat Row 6.

Row 12 – 1 DC in next 2 DC, ch 1, skip 1 DC and 1 DC in next 2 DC (button hole made). Ch 3 turn

Row 13 – 1 DC in next 2 DC,  1 DC in ch 1 space, 1 DC in each of next 3 DC.

Fasten off yarn weave in ends and  sew on button.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bernat Blanket Holiday Yarn Colors Now In Stock!! Pine Bough, Cranberry, Christmas Swirl

Yeah! The new Bernat Blanket Holiday colors are here in stock and ready to ship! And I have to say they are just beautiful! They are 150 gram skeins or 5.3 oz. These are a limited color yarn so please order enough for your projects as I hate it when people can't get enough to finish an project. I hope these will be available all fall but we all know many times Bernat special colors sell out early. I have every color they made in the Holiday colors plus I added a bunch of new colors in the regular Bernat Blanket yarn. All of these are available on my Etsy store and will be on my Ebay store later today.

Get them while you can!

Bernat Christmas Swirl\Bernat Caramel


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yahoo Associated Content Closing

I knew it was coming and its finally here. Yahoo Associated Content is closing to freelance content writers. If you have been a writer there be sure to get your content off by July 31 2014. As you guys can see I have posted some of mine here on my blog. I tried to copy and delete as many of mine as I could. Honestly its something I should have done long ago but at least this forced me to do it.

But I guess if you got an upfront payment you cannot delete the article. Which kinda makes sense but still pisses me off. I wonder what will happen with those articles? And I wonder how big of a hit Yahoo search will take when all those links are no longer viable? I feel really bad for the writers that depended on Yahoo AC for their living wages. I could see when Demand Studios got rid of so many of their writers that Yahoo AC wouldn't last much longer.

Maybe it has to do with the Alibaba deal? Who knows.

Another free lance writing era comes to an end.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Interesting Facts About the Famous Clydesdale Horse

Interesting Facts About the Famous Clydesdale Horse

The History and Use of the Clydesdale Horse by Kay Baxter


The famous Clydesdale horse is rich in history. Clydesdales are a breed of heavy draft horse. This gentle giant was first bred in Scotland from the Flemish Horse in the early 1800s. In the late 1900s they were exported from Scotland to the United States and other countries by Scottish Canadians. According to the official registry site for Clydesdales, www.clydeusa.com, the name came from the area they originated in which was Lanarkshare (previously Clydesdale) district of Scotland. Known for their strength they were mainly used for agriculture, coalfields, and pulling wagons on the streets of Glasglow . Later they would be replaced by tractors but their popularity continued to rise. They are the ultimate parade horse as evidenced by the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and make excellent carriage horses. They are still used in agriculture today where tractors are unavailable or unwanted. Most people do not realize that this large horse is often ridden under saddle and makes a great sport mount for dressage and hunter.

Clydesdales average 16-20 hands in height, and 1600-2400 lbs. Depending on their work load these horses can eat 25-50 pounds of hay per day a long with 2-10 pounds of grain. They are especially known for the large size of their hooves that enabled them to easily work the soft farm fields in Scotland where they originated.

Clydesdales are usually colored bay or black but you will occassionally see sorrell. They are well known for having white blazes and 4 white legs. This is caused by the Sabino gene and the early Clydesdale breeders were some of the first horsemen to capitolize on the white spotting pattern. Oftentimes you will see Clydesdales with white spotting on the body. While this is not as desirable this again is due to the Sabino gene and breeding Sabino horses to Sabino horses. They are also famous for the "feathers" on their hocks. This long silky hair accenuates the movement of the horse and makes a beautiful picture.

Clydesdales are not only known for their size and strength but for their amazing gentle temperment. This is why they are referred to by many as "gentle giants". They are a very intelligent breed of horse that is very willing and wants to please their owner.
The typical life span of a Clydesdale is pretty much the same as any horse. Given good care and nutrition many live into their 20's and occassionaly 30's.

Clydedales require much the same basic care as any other horse breed. Special care to nutrition though should be given due to their large size. Especially young Clydesdales often grow at a fast rate so feed must be adjusted to account for their growth or they can become too thin rather quickly. Another consideration is obtaining a farrier that has the skills to trim and shoe a very large hoof. Clydesdales hooves average the same span as a large dinner plate. In comparison a light horse hoof is about half that size.

Health concerns of Cyldedales are pretty much the same as any horse breed. Major concerns would be laminitis and colic. One specific concern can be scratches on the heels due to the feathering. It is important to keep that area clean and dry to avoid scratches.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Famous Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage and Meatballs Recipe

Kay's Famous Spaghetti Sauce & Meatballs

Delicious Authentic Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs and Italian Sausage


Years ago I started with my mom's spaghetti sauce recipe that she learned from an Italian neighbor. Then over the years I tweaked this as I met more cooks and tasted more Italian sauces. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does! While it is a little bit labor intensive, it is worth all the work when your friends and family beg you to make it. Last year I canned this by making 2 double batches in 2 different pots. They came out wonderfully! This sauce also makes a great pizza sauce.

Ingredients:
1 lb Hot Italian sausage
1 lb Ground chuck
2 Large cans tomato sauce
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium yellow onion minced
3 tbsp. Oregano
2 tbsp. Basil
2 large bunches of fresh garlic
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Anise seed
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Italian bread crumbs
1 Cup Romano/Asiago shredded cheese divided

Make the Sauce:
Add olive oil to a large pot. Heat the oil to medium high heat. Add diced onion and saute until onions start to brown and translucent. Turn the burner down to low/medium and add 4 cloves fresh minced garlic. saute 2 - 3 more minutes. Add tomato sauce to the pot and stir. Next, add in sugar, basil, oregano, anise seed, salt, pepper and 1/2 C shredded cheese and stir completely. Bring the sauce to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes and then turn the heat down to simmer. Cover with a lid.

Meatballs:
Place the ground chuck in a large bowl. Add one egg 1/2 C shredded cheese, 1/2 C bread crumbs, 3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix completely. Round into medium sized meat balls. Spray a broiler pan with Pam cooking spray. Place meatballs on the pan and broil approximately 5 minutes. Turn each meatball over and broil an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cover.

Italian Sausage:
Remove the skin from the Italian sausage to cut fat and calories. Cut each piece into 4 - 5 bite size pieces. Arrange on the broiler pan and broil 5 minutes. Turn each piece over and broil an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until brown. Add to the spaghetti sauce. Cover with lid.

Putting it all Together:
Simmer the sauce on low heat with the meatballs and sausage at least 2 hours with 4 hours being preferable. The longer it cooks the better it tastes! Be sure to keep the pot of sauce and meatballs covered while simmering or you will lose sauce.

Tips:
Anise seed is a good secret tip to add sausage flavor to any sauce. Try to make all the meatballs the same size so they all cook evenly. Most stores now sell the shredded Romano/Asiago cheese but you can substitute parmesean cheese. It's important to add sugar to any kind of tomato based sauce to cut the acidity. Be careful when you saute the garlic not to let it burn as garlic burns very quickly.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Newest Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern The 3 Dimensional Baby Blanket!!

I had so much fun making this 3 dimensional crochet baby blanket. Yes its a yarn eater but the results are so worth it. People go crazy when they see and feel this blanket in person. To order this crochet pattern use this link or see my Etsy shop

Its really hard to get a good picture of the 3 dimensional texture. Included with the written crochet pattern is a video of tips. This pattern uses 4 skeins of Bernat Baby Sport which I will have for sale soon.

Bernat Blanket Christmas Colors on the Way! Pine Bough Christmas Cookie etc

I have had a lot of people emailing me about finding the new Bernat blanket colors like Pine Bough, Cranberry, Christmas Cookie etc.


I just put in a huge order (as they are finally available) and should have them getting here in the next 2 weeks. I cannot wait!! Please order the colors you need as soon as they get here because I suspect some will sell out quickly. I know many of you are waiting for these colors to finish projects when they pre sold these at Joanns. To make it easy they will first be listed on my Etsy store.

I also reordered the colors they ran out of like Mallord Wood that was so popular. Once the order gets here I will have every color that the new Bernat Blanket Yarn is sold in! As a yarn addict that makes me very happy.

I also have big skeins of the baby colors coming in as you all know I prefer big skeins to little. And in honor of my newest baby blanket crochet pattern I am also bringing in Bernat Baby Sport yarn. I will make another post for the new pattern.

And I have another big afghan pattern coming out made with the new Bernat Blanket colors. But like many of you I am waiting for this order to come in so I can finish it. It is HUGE as my daughter in law requested a huge blanket.

And I am finally finished with the baby waffle blanket made with Bernat Blanket yarn and am writing up the pattern now.


Copycat Recipe Texas Roadhouse Rice

Copy cat recipe for Texas Roadhouse Rice

Ingredients:
2 Cups uncooked white rice
1 stick butter or margarine
1 Medium yellow onion finely diced
1/2 Cup fresh parsley finely diced
4 Cups chicken stock
1/2 Cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp cayenne red pepper
2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
Saute the butter, rice, onion and parsley in a large pot on medium high heat for 5-8 minutes or until rice is brown and onions are translucent.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.

Tips:
Do not take your eyes off the rice while sauteing, as the rice can easily burn. Be sure to stir the rice frequently during the sauteing and cooking.
The cayenne pepper can be adjusted up or down according to your own taste.
Remove the pot of rice from the heat as soon as most of the liquid is absorbed to avoid over cooking the rice.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Trying Free Trial of Ebay International Sales Program Webinterpret

So Ebay called me a few days ago and practically begged me to try their new sales tool for International sales called Webinterpret. I already sell a good amount internationally on Ebay but they said this would increase my international sales by 25-30 percent.

He explained that they take your top 100 listings and list them on the top 5 international sites such as Ebay Germany, UK, France etc. They translate your listings to that countries language and money. They also said a real human tweaks your listings to make sure they have the top keywords. And if a customer asks a question they translate it for you and email it to you.

So I said whats the catch? Well I get 30 days free to try it and after that its an additional 5 percent fee. Wow. Thats a lot when you add it to the normal Ebay/Paypal fee. But he did say I can change the prices for just those 5 sites to add the 5 percent. I feel a bit guilty about that.

I decided to give it a go and see what happens. I spent an hour on the phone with them setting up my accounts to do this. Then this morning I got an email asking me to review the top 100 listings they picked. Yikes not good at all. I don't know how they think this list is my top 100. Not even close. Some of the items they picked have never sold international while some of my top sellers are not on the list. Strange.

I guess I will have to call in and talk to support about this top 100 list. Oh yeah I am supposed to get top level tech support for signing up. Should be interesting.

I will do follow up posts when I see how this goes. If anyone else is using this would love to hear your comments!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Crochet Edge Blades Now in Stock and Ready to ship! Makes Perfect Crochet Holes in Fleece

Woohoo! They are finally here. My very own crochet edge blade for making perfect crochet holes in fleece. Works with almost any 45 mm rotary cutter. I used to sell the Skip Stitch blades but they just got too expensive and hard to get. So I had my own made. Free digital instructions sent to your email once you order. I have these on my Etsy store, Ebay shop or my own website at kayscrochetpattern.com



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waffle Scarf Crochet Pattern made with Bernat Blanket Yarn!

I love love love making this scarf, especially now that Bernat is making the new Bernat Blanket Soft and Cozy. This crochet scarf pattern is stress free and works up fast. 1 large skein of blanket yarn makes one scarf. I am also almost done with a pattern to make a baby blanket using this stitch and Bernat Baby Blanket yarn. I think the Bamboo buttons add a lot but two of these pics don't show the buttons. This pattern can be bought as an instant download on my Etsy shop

 Made in Vanilla


 Made in Plum Chutney








More New Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn and Blanket Soft and Cozy Yarn Colors!!

Just got in some large skeins of Bernat Baby Blanket yarn in Baby Teal, Teal Dove and Lilac. These colors are just beautiful!! The Lilac is the complementary color for Lilac Dove


I have also had a lot of customers asking about the Bernat Blanket Soft and Cozy Holiday colors. I cannot order these until July and then I will have them in stock in Aug. Just the way Bernat does it. I think the "holiday colors" are great for everyday not just holidays! If you like these colors I suggest ordering what you need when they get here as I am not sure how long they will be available since they are calling them holiday colors. This includes Sugar Cookie, Cranberry, Pine Bough (hunter green) Carmel etc. Keep in mind you can always email me colors you need and I can be sure and get them on the order




Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Bernat Blanket Soft and Cozy is in Stock!

I got the new Bernat Blanket Soft and Cozy and the new Bernat Baby Blanket colors in stock! They are just stunning. I especially like the Soft and Cozy Mallord Wood

Top selling new colors in the Bernat Baby Blanket yarn is oddly lemon lime green which really surprised me.

These are for sale on my website, Ebay store and Etsy store!

Finally Did It! Fulfilled by Amazon and How I Did It

I have neglected my blog again. But I had some special projects I have been working on that took all my focus. The first is finally figuring out how to ship to Amazon to do FBA aka Fulfilled by Amazon. The learning curve is big but I finally figured it out and shipped our first lot of parachute cord mini jigs to the Amazon warehouses. I still have a ton to learn but I am getting there!



Amazon had been begging for us to do FBA on several of our min jigs and kits so I started with just the mini jig. I clicked the "change to fulfilled by Amazon" and followed the steps. First you have to tell them how many you are shipping. Our shipment was 75. In hindsight that wasn't nearly enough but hey its my first time.

Once you put that figure in Amazon calculates which warehouses they want them in and how many to send to each warehouse. Then you print your packing slips for each box.

Then you get to the sticker page. Amazon even tells you what label stickers to buy. I went with the Avery 30 up labels. Worked perfectly. Put the stickers on each of your items and pack in boxes. Then you pay for and download the UPS labels. Bonus is you get Amazons UPS rate.

Then you drop your stuff off at UPS and wait for Amazon to receive them in. I will say ours went pretty fast. From the time we shipped until they received them in and started selling was about 7 days.

Previously our sales had really slowed down in May but doing FBA really got us a bunch of new sales. Now I am wishing I had done it sooner. Its really not bad once you follow all the steps and ship your first batch. I am getting ready today to ship another 130 to them. My 75 units started selling May 21st and today the 75 are almost gone. I love love love not having to ship these and just letting Amazon handle it. This has really freed up a lot of my time to concentrate on other things.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn in My Ebay Store Lots of 3 Skeins

Just occurred to me that I never post my Ebay store specials. This one is for the Bernat Baby Blanket yarn lovers! Lots of 3 skeins for one price

My Ebay Store Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn Listings

Right now I have Little Cosmos, Baby Rose and Vanilla. I will be adding Sand and Little Sand Castle later tonight or in the morning. Just got the Sand Castle back in stock as Bernat had run out.

Happy Sunday and Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ebay Spring Seller Update 2014 What Do You All Think?

The long awaited Ebay Spring Seller Update 2014 is finally out. Judging from the Ebay for Business Facebook page sellers are not real happy with it. But in general no one likes change so that is a bit of a given.

The plus is that dings on shipping charges and communication will no longer count against us. In my opinion shipping charges should have never counted as the buyer always knows the shipping price before they commit to buy. The biggest offenders of this are international buyers. So that is a good thing.

Now for the bad. All open cases will now count against sellers. So someone asked on the Facebook page "what about customers that open cases on accident or open one to ask a question?" The answer was now the seller will have to escalate the case to get it closed in the sellers favor so that it doesn't count against them. Ugh another time suck for sellers. All cancelled cases will also count against us unless the buyer asked to cancel.

They are now going to call it the sellers "defect rate". Sounds awful similar to Amazon doesn't it? To keep your Top Rated Seller status your defect rate has to be 2 percent or less. To sell on Ebay at all it has to be 5 percent or less. Which is honestly fairly generous and better than Amazons 1 percent.

And in keeping with trying to compete with Amazon all Top rated sellers must now let buyers return anything bought from Nov 1st to Dec 31st until Jan 31st. AKA Holiday returns. Thats not a big deal for me as I get very few returns. But people on Ebay are pretty mad about it. Especially clothing sellers. I already changed my listings to 30 day return as I know this is where Ebay is headed.

I kinda get why Ebay did this. They have to be able to compete with Amazon and they know this is the way to do it. At least Detailed Seller Ratings or DSR's will not be a huge deal now. And now 1 mad customer cannot make you lose your Top Rated Seller status.

I think once the initial shock wears off Ebay sellers will calm down and not be so mad about it. As humans we just don't like change

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn Colors Coming April 1st!

I wrote about this in a post a couple days ago but I think it got buried. You all know how much I love crocheting with Bernat Baby Blanket yarn, so I am super excited about the new colors they are coming out with! I have an order in for these new colors to ship to me as soon as they are available April 1st.

New Baby Colors

Baby Denim

Baby Girl Dove (also coming in boy colors)

Baby Lilac Dove

Baby Teal

And finally due to popular demand they are finally making this in home decor colors and calling it Bernat Soft and Cozy Blanket yarn. This also has purples, tans etc



Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Best Marketing Websites for Etsy & Ebay Craft Sales

There is a lot of talk about online marketing and usually people jump to Facebook or Twitter first.

I am going to list my best sites to market on in order of effectiveness

Pinterest
My Blog
Other peoples blogs
Facebook
Twitter

No doubt about it Pinterest drives more traffic than any other marketing I do. And I love that it is so easy. Not at all time consuming. Just Pin it and forget it. Love. Keep in mind pictures are everything on Pinterest. Great pictures get great results.

Even though this blog does not get a lot of comments it drives a lot of traffic. If you have read my old posts on using SEO in your blog this is why it drives so much traffic. And see that little Etsy mini on the right? Invaluable.

I have been lucky enough to have many people write about products I sell on their blogs. These are huge sources of sales and traffic.One wonderful woman in Sweden wrote about my light up crochet hooks about 8 months ago and I am still getting hits/sales from that post. Another time someone wrote about them on Buzzfeed and I am still getting sales from that.

Facebook used to be my top source of marketing until the dreaded changes. Now you have to pay to get your posts seen. I have tried paying and did not get any good results. I have 1400 followers on my Facebook page yet only about 200 see my posts. But one thing that is good is that people can now use Facebook to search. So I do get some hits from people searching Facebook and seeing my Etsy links to products.

I have found lately I get better results posting on my personal FB page. But I do it very sparingly. And unlike most people I have 2800 "friends" 

Twitter. Ughh. I will be honest and say I don't like Twitter. To me Twitter is a huge time suck with little benefit but I do know others that say it drives traffic. My issue with Twitter is all the people constantly spam each other. I hate to say it but Crochet people are huge offenders. Some of the ones I have followed Twitter an ad every couple hours all day long. Yuck.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Etsy Selling Violations and Three Strikes Your Out

You know how I am always saying on here not to only sell on Etsy as you never know when they will decide to just boot you off. Well apparently my shop is now very close to being suspended. But hey all those faux handmade shops selling cell phone cases and faux handmade jewelry are doing great!!

I got my first violation last month for selling KnitKnow yarn bags. The Etsy email implied that these bags are actually a purse. These bags are made specifically to hold yarn (keep it clean keep it from rolling) while you crochet and knit. The inventor has these made in the USA and ya all know I am always trying to find things made in the USA.

I replied to the Etsy email by showing them several pictures of the bags being used to crochet and knit and described how the bag has a loop and hole inside to keep the yarn straight. Not a purse. The replied and said they were standing by their decision and if I relisted them my shop would be suspended. Great. Whatever I took all of them off my shop and went on my merry way.

A few weeks later I get an email that says SECOND VIOLATION. So I guess its true that you only get 3 and you are out otherwise why would it say second violation? Then it said something like "should you receive another violation your shop may be suspended" This one was for selling knitting needle organizers. I (and all of my competitors) have been selling knitting needle organizers for years. But now they are not considered a craft supply.

I replied to this email and asked them to please just look at my entire shop and tell me now what not to sell so that I don't get a 3rd violation. Wouldn't it make more sense to just tell me all at once rather than keep sending me notices every couple weeks? The reply was that it can be hard to know what is a craft supply and what isn't with a link to the guidelines. Epic Fail.

Obviously a competitor is flagging my items. I don't think these violations just came out of the blue. I have always tried to stay within the Etsy guidelines and be a good community member. But it doesn't seem to matter. Ironically I got another Etsy email last week stating that because they hold my shop in such high regard they put me on the Etsy Sellers survey team. Now how does that make any sense?

People say Ebay is so cut throat but I can tell you I have never had any issues like this selling on Ebay or Amazon. I have always said (even before my warnings) that Etsy should stop having Etsy members flag other members. It just creates bad feelings and makes it too easy for competitors to go after you. 



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Red Heart Reflective Yarn In Stock and Ready to Ship!

Yeah I know I am making a bunch of posts all in one day. This is what happens when you get locked out of your own blog.

I now have all colors of Red Heart Reflective yarn in stock! But its going fast. Someone messaged me on Etsy and asked me how I could have it in stock when the Red Heart shop shows they are out. Well I knew it would be popular so I bought a huge amount!! And yes I am an authorized retailer for Red Heart :)

 Scarf made with Red Heart Reflective yarn. Fun!

Selling Crafts on Amazon 2014 Update

I have to say one of the best decisions I made in 2013 was to start selling on Amazon! Yesterday I was reading in the Etsy forums once again that handmade crafts don't sell on Ebay or especially Amazon. Let me say again that this is false.

We are now selling more of our handmade parachute cord mini jigs on Amazon than any other venue. We are selling so many we are having a hard time keeping up. We also got a conference call from Amazon practically begging us to offer them as FBA or fufilled by Amazon so that it can go in Amazon prime. We worked out the numbers and it would be in our best interest to do this, but so far we can't get far enough ahead to ship them to Amazon. Its a good problem to have!



I also sell many of my same crochet and knitting supplies on Amazon and they are doing very well. I do hate though that I have to mark things up to sell on Amazon (their fees are higher) It does make a huge difference in sales on Amazon depending on if you get the buy box. I always know when I have the buy box as sales triple. But the formula for winning the buy box is mysterious. Its a blend of who has the product, who is a Featured Merchant etc.

Still trying to figure out how to sell internationally on Amazon but for now we are only selling in the US.

New Crochet Pattern Waffle Stitch Scarf Made with Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn

Once again I got locked out of my own blog. Ugh.

My newest crochet pattern is my Waffle Scarf pattern made with Bernat Baby blanket yarn in Vanilla. This is so fun to make and even more fun to wear. For those of you that sell what you make this is a great selling scarf! I just don't have time to make them to sell but have people begging me to make them.




This crochet pattern works up very quickly! And you can make it in any color. Speaking of colors, Bernat is finally making the blanket yarn in home decor colors!! And they have some new baby colors coming! Woohoo! I will have these in stock as soon as they come out the first week of March 2014



Kay's Crochet Mystery Boxes/Bags Update

We have been getting a lot of questions on our Mystery boxes so here you go! First some have asked why we are now shipping in bags. USPS...