Huge Relief

Last month I had a sale on Etsy. I was so excited and i packaged up my bag, put a free fabric bow on it and skipped on down to the post office to deliver it. I then waited to hear back from my buyer when she received it.

And I waited, and waited, then two weeks later I heard from her asking where her bag was! I was panicked I sent her a note saying that maybe it was just held up at customs and I nervously waited to hear from her again. Then after a full MONTH she finally received her bag. I was so glad because just the day before I had been planning to bring another bag up on my camping trip to NY and ship it to her. That would have meant I would have LOST a lot of money on that sale.

As scary as this episode was I realized that from now on I HAVE to include tracking numbers on all the orders I ship out because that way at least I can guarantee the buyer that it has been shipped and where it currently is.

I hope I never have a scare like this again because I just about died of a heart attack at the age of 20 (I don’t think my parent’s would have appreciated this with all the money they’ve put into my education)

Jacqueline

Networking

People always tell me that networking is important, that it grows your business and encourages potential customers. All this is true, however it’s nice when you find someone through networking that can actually help you improve your product. This past week I was at my grandparents and I met a very nice older lady named Carol. It turns our Carol LOVES to do machine embroidery. Now this doesn’t really seem like something to get excited over, except that I’ve been wanting to get tags for my bags for awhile now to help expand brand awareness when I sell through other shops.

Now since Carol loves embroidery she agreed to do some tags for me. And not only that, since she likes doing this she isn’t even going to charge me for anything but materials! This is very exciting to me because the whole reason that I don’t have tags is that when you order them through professional companies they make you buy 1000 tags as your first order! I’m not going to use that many tags this summer so it just seems silly to have that many.

So thanks Carol for doing this huge favor for me and I once again learned that networking helps.

Jacqueline

Selling on Consignment

sparkle denim hobo purseI’ve been selling my bags actively for two months now, and so far my most successful way of doing this is through consignment with a local shop. I’ve been trying the internet, but it takes a lot of effort to keep everything at the top of lists, to update it etc. I’ve also tried tables at local markets and events and they’ve all been a huge waste of time and money.

So far I’ve been getting my most consistent sales from consignment. I go in once a week to check out how they are selling and every time I’ve gone in they’ve sold one. I think it has something to do with the established nature of retail stores. Even local boutiques seem to project a more reliable and trustworthy image than my little booths. I think people take my product more seriously in a shop than they did when it was me doing the selling.

I also think that Markets here in town weren’t the right market for my product. People who went to the local market weren’t really looking to buy something (I know that sounds crazy but it’s true, people would tell me they hadn’t brought any money!)

So in conclusion I think that the best way to establish yourself as a brand is to sell through someone else first.

Jacqueline

Canadian Shipping and why it sucks

Since part of my retail business is internet based through Etsy.com I have recently become aware of the giant rip off that is Canada Post. When I have purchased things online from a US supplier I paid very little for shipping (under 5$) and I even had something shipped from singapore for less than it costs me to ship something even inside Canada.

The problem is that for me to ship one of my bags in an envelope with NO TRACKING NUMBER it costs $7. Now this isn’t much more than what it costs to ship from the US, the REALLY BIG PROBLEM is shipping in Canada. What if I told you that to ship in the country that I live in it is going to cost me $14! that’s almost as much as it costs to buy one of my bags. So Canadian consumers are essentially paying DOUBLE just because it costs so much for me to ship.

The other problem is the slot of doom. That tiny little slot, where if your package doesn’t fit you get to pay twice as much to ship it. Mine all fit through the slot thank god but if it didn’t I’d be taking a serious haircut on profits to ship things or I’d have to make my customers pay more. Is that fair I ask you? I don’t think so.

I just don’t understand why it is such a difference in price between 2 countries that are right beside each other and why it costs more to ship in our own country.

I think we need to band together and tell Canada Post that enough is enough! We want better shipping rates. And while they are at it those awesome flat rate shipping boxes that they have in the States would be nice too.

Jacqueline

My Phone Fear Cont’d

So earlier I discussed my fear of calling others on the phone. Since that post I have done some highly detailed (okay not really that detailed) research and have determined that I am not alone in my weird fear. All the people I talked to about it that were my age seemed to, at least partially share my odd uneasiness about calling others on the phone.

Now this tells me something. Perhaps it’s an odd side effect of our generation. Think about it, we use technology to communicate every day. We e-mail, text, facebook and instant message each other almost constantly every day. However, when it comes time to call each other to make plans we say oh I’ll do it later or I’ll e-mail them instead. Perhaps we are hiding behind technology to shield us from the possibility of rejection. When we are told no by someone over e-mail it doesn’t seem to sting as much because it is less personal. We don’t hear that person’s rude tone of voice so their cold brush off doesn’t seem as bad. When we talk to people through the internet we are bolder, we say things we would never say on the phone or in person because it is less real for us.

We are using this as a way to avoid rejection and confrontation. My sister’s friend was dumped via text message recently. In my opinion that’s just cold, the person who did that really lacked balls and compassion. But am I really any better than that sleazy guy. I’ve broken plans with friends over text message and facebook. All because I lacked the confidence to stand up to their disappointment over the phone.

Well, I have now decided that the phone no longer has the power to make me nervous. From now on I will call up people without hesitation. To make sure I fulfill this I have taken a job doing one of the things I fear most. TELEMARKETING. Gasp, shock, horror! I know what you are saying to yourself. How could I become one of the most hated people in the world just to get over my fear? Well it’s not just for fear control, I also need more money for my tuition and my father just happens to work in telecom (I know right my father sells phone services yet I’m afraid of them, how pathetic). So he’s paying me commission for every business phone line that I contract for Bell Canada.

So now I have been calling up random strangers for four days. I’ve had several people hang up on me, several people tell me that they don’t trust me or the company I represent and the first day before I made every call a sheen of sweat covered my forehead. My hands shook. My voice quavered. But now I think I have finally gotten over my fear. (and I’ve made some money too)

Jacqueline