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.



Canadian Shipping and why it sucks

Since part of my retail business is internet based through 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.


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)


My first sales

White Ikea Print Hobo Purse

It finally happened! Today I found out about my first two sales to non family/friends. I woke up this morning (at the shameful hour of  11:00am) and checked my e-mail to find out that while I was peacefully slumbering in my comfortably bed my Etsy site had been hard at work making me my first internet sale! I am very excited about this because I’ve been sitting around thinking that all my time on etsy was just a waste and that perhaps all this listing and re-listing as well as promoting myself on the forums wasn’t getting me anywhere and that maybe I should just let it be for a while. Well clearly all that work I put into it has indeed payed off! I am now not just a national manufacturer/retailer I have now made a sale to someone who, without the internet would never have had any access at all to my product.

After I found out about this I felt very energized and so since my mother was already going out to Fabric Land to get oil for her serger (to help me with my bags) I decided to go and check on how my consignment efforts were going at the local store I’ve picked to stock my bags (the Benevolent Stranger on Hunter St.) and yesterday they made a sale for one of my bags too!

Tomorrow I have a table booked at a local music festival so I think that the mojo’s finally on a roll and that tomorrow’s going to be just as great as today was. I have optimism and that’s what’s going to make sure that this all works out (plus I’m adding pockets to my bags)


I stepped out of my comfort zone BEST RESULT EVER

Now I know that this is crazy, we live in an age where we use technology to communicate all the time and the phone has been around since long before I was born. However even though I know it is irrational I have an odd uneasyness about calling people on the phone. I would much rather send them an e-mail or facebook them. Talking to people in person is no problem for me and oddly when someone calls me I have no problem answering the phone. But making a phonecall now that puts a cold sheen of sweat on my forehe

So on Wednsday I decided that this whole fear was totally stupid and I shouldn’t let it impact my business by making me incabable of getting my bags into a store on consignment. So I called up a bunch of stores and one said they would take consignment. As a result of this yesterday I marched into the store in question (no problem with this though possibly because I had an overabundance of caffine in my system from the medium IcedCap I’d had that morning) and I pulled out all my bags and said you know you want these awsome bags. And you know what SHE DID! she took TEN! I haven’t been able to sell one out at the market and here an actual store owner thought that my bags were good enough to try and sell ten in her store!

So conclusion stepping outside your comfort zone can sometimes lead to really greate things that you really hoped for but didn’t count on at all! From now on I’m not going to let my wierd phone fear control me . I now control the phone.

My attitude shift

When I first decided to start my business I had a vision of what it would be. I saw myself sitting at my booths in various markets while lines of people jostled to be the ones to buy my fabulous bags, my sites getting more orders than I could handle and my product flying off the shelves of the various retailers I chose to carry my bags. In short my vision was of more money coming in than I knew what to do with.

Reality check. It has now been a month and a half since I started actively working on my business and I’ve had eight sales (and all of those were to friends and family) for the last three weeks i’ve been in somewhat of a slump. I’ve been saying I’m working but really I’m just putting arround doing things thaat aren’t really nessisary. Now yesterday I went to my business training meeting (because I’m in a government program for students) and I decided that the time has come to stop dinking around. It’s time to get off my ass and get something done.

So today I went crazy on the Etsy forums promoting my shop. I also called some local businesses about doing consignment in their stores and tomorrow I’m going downtown to find some more people to take my bags. I’m also booking a table at the Lakeshore Music Festival to start selling my bags. Also on the 29th I get to be seen by a bunch of local media and this week I’m sending out a wack of press releases. This is going to work out I know it. My positive attitude has returned and I belive It’s going to result in sales!


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