Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Etsy IPO and Things That Constantly Amuse Me About Etsy

Woohoo the Etsy IPO is done and over. What a relief. I personally think it will bring about a lot of needed changes. I think we will get better seller tools and real customer service. I also think they will raise fees. Eventually.

I got such a laugh over one Etsy forum poster being picked to be front and center at the IPO. Shes a major forum poster and an Etsy favorite. The ironic thing is she was one of the most vocal last year saying that Etsy was NOT going public. She hinted that the rest of us were just dumb Etsy sellers that don't know what is really going on. And once they did finally announce it; she wasn't too enthusiastic about it. Just one of those Etsy things that makes me shake my head.

I wonder what does it take to be an Etsy favorite? I have been labeled by some as an Etsy critic. And I guess I am. As I said on the Etsy forum; Etsy is not a tiny grassroots website anymore. As sellers and buyers we should all expect and get more. Like real customer service. Buyer protection. Better seller tools. I for one am tired of the excuses. I have read for years that some of the major most "vocal" forum posters are paid by Etsy. I never believed it. Well until now. I think there might be something to it.

I was very vocal about my dismay that Etsy did not have a shipping calculator. So when they asked me to be in the test; I jumped in with both feet. Which is not always in a sellers best interest. So although I am an Etsy critic I do try to also do my part to make it better.

If all we ever post is how great Etsy is and ignore the needed changes; where does that get any of us?

I will say though being an Etsy critic will not get you a free trip to New York. Or get you posted as a Featured Seller on the Home page. Or all the other bonuses the preferred Etsy shops get.

I am going to New York next month and I think I am going to try to go to the Etsy office. But I have to make an appointment and be approved. Wonder if they will approve an Etsy critic?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Getting Pinterest Followers: Beware of Black Hat SEO for Pinterest Instagram Etc

Yesterday on the Etsy forums there was a post with a link on how to get more followers to your Pinterest page.

I skimmed though the post really quickly but didn't click the link. I could tell from some of the comments that the advice might not be good. So I went back and clicked it. I had to giggle as the person giving the advice was "Lazy Ass Stoner" One glance and I could tell hes one of those spam marketing guys.

So I watched the video. Much of what he says is just common sense. If you want people to follow you; you have to follow them. If you want people to pin your items, you need to pin some of theirs. This isn't rocket science. The same thing is true for Facebook and Instagram.

Now to the bad part of his advice. He recommends following 300 people per day. This is bad. His video says you can do 300 without getting in trouble for spamming on Pinterest. Always a bad sign. Many posters said they were cut off by Pinterest at 200. What does that tell you? This guys advice is a mild form of Black Hat SEO. I have said a hundred times don't use black hat seo. Its never good for long term. Organic followers are always better than manipulated followers. This is why Pinterest has the rules they have. It would never be worth it to me to risk losing my Pinterest account to spam a bunch of people. Because at the end of the day its spam.

I found it interesting that one Etsy posted said you cannot be kicked off Pinterest. But you can. They do have rules about spam. Here is a link to Pinterest rules I get so much traffic and sales from Pinterest no way would I risk my account taking advice from Lazy Ass Stoner. And as I pointed out on Etsy; he is new to Pinterest. He only had 500 followers himself. Is that really who you want to take advice from? Where he is really making his money is getting people to click on his videos on Youtube.

Beware of who you take advice from!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bernat Blanket Yarn Discontinued Holiday Colors Cranberry, Caramel and More

Bernat has officially discontinued all of the Bernat Blanket Holiday yarn colors like Cranberry, Christmas Swirl, Toffee Etc. If you need either of these colors they are available on my website and Etsy shop.

I do have quite a bit of Bernat Blanket yarn in Cranberry left but its is going fast. I also have Caramel left.

I do think when the new colors come out in May that Cranberry is coming back in large skeins. But I can't promise that.

Also I get a lot of questions about new Bernat Blanket yarn colors that show up at Joann Fabric store and then disappear. Joann's is a test store for Bernat yarns. They test all new colors at Joann's Fabric store. Then you will see them disappear until (usually) fall. That is when they decide which ones sold well and will be brought back as the new fall colors.

Chicks and Bunnies is one of the new colors showing up at Joann's and its beautiful. I really wish we could have access to these colors. I have begged Bernat to make us the online test store but so far no luck.

In closing, my best advice is to buy enough to complete your project when you see these new colors at Joann's. Because they may or may not be back again. I get a lot of emails from frustrated customers looking for the new colors because they can't finish a project. Its always better to have a little too much yarn than not enough. 

Kay's Crochet Hook Key Chain Ornament DIY Craft Kits

First a huge thank you to Repeat After Me Craft Blog for showcasing our crochet hook key chain ornaments on her blog. These have been a huge it. These are available now on my Amazon, Ebay, Etsy and my website.

We have made it easier now to buy as we have put them into a DIY craft kit to make your own Crochet Hook Ornaments. You can now purchase the ornament and the key chain together. We have single sets, sets of 3 and sets of 6.

I also have them available with a star ornament which I think is super cute!

These do not come with the little balls of yarn :) Add your own touches by putting in stitch markers, tapestry needles etc. These make a great gift for crochet groups.

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...