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

My Blog
Other peoples blogs

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. 

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...