Archive for the 'The Shop' Category

Etsy Advice: photograph your mailing envelopes.

I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2011, so roughly 7.5 years. And in that time, I’ve developed some habits to make shipping out orders as smooth as possible.

In the very beginning, someone complained about my packaging style, which was to wrap a ribbon around the order and tuck the receipt under the ribbon. Now, I wrap orders in tissue paper, still tie a ribbon around it, and tuck a thank you note under the ribbon. I don’t include the receipt at all, knowing that people can print it themselves if they need it.

I used to write out all the envelopes for orders, and then wrap all the orders and place them on top of the corresponding envelopes, and then close everything up. Then one time, I mixed up two orders and sent a bird bag to Australia instead of to New York. Now, I package each order individually and completely seal them up before starting the next.

And I used to just package up orders and send them off. Until two summers ago when a package got stuck in an undeliverable mail loop for 4 days. Yes, that’s a thing. Every morning, it would go to the local post office, get sent out for delivery, get marked as undeliverable, go back to the regional post office where it was resorted, and sent back to the local post office the next morning. And you could see this mess happening in the tracking info. The buyer was eventually able to collect the package in person, which was wonderful. But mid-week, I contacted Etsy to ask advice on this bizarre situation. And Esty Support said, “Oh, just send us a picture of the package!” And I was like, “You mean when it eventually gets returned to sender?” And Etsy Support was like “LOL no like the picture you took before you mailed it.” I think it’s clear that I didn’t take a picture before I mailed it.

So now, after I wrap an order in tissue paper, and individually package it into a bubble mailer, I take a picture of it. I hold it up against my computer screen so the picture shows the envelope’s address and the mailing information provided by the buyer, and also shows the time/date on the computer. I email the picture to myself, highest quality possible, and move it to a special folder just for Etsy Shipping Labels. Since I started this photographing process, I haven’t needed it. But if I ever do? I’ll have a photograph with a time stamp, in an email with a time stamp.

Not every shop is the same, and not every order is the same, and not every brain is the same, so find whatever way works best for you to prep and mail out orders. But definitely take a picture of your packages before you send them off.

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Find me at EcHo!

Located on Elm Street in Wareham, EcHo recently opened in the Tremont Nail Old Company Store building! It’s run by Beth, who has just the front room open right now and is currently renovating the second room. She’s breathing new life into a building that’s been closed for a couple of years, and served as “The Old Company Store,” selling candy and crafts for decades. Beth has an incredible vision for the space, and for using the closed Elm Street bridge as a community space.

Enter: The Tragic Whale. MY STUFF IS HERE! That’s right, you can now buy Tragic Whale bags in an actual store. Holy wow! Just look at this cute little display! (Display was 100% Beth, I was already gone when she found a place for everything).

This is a HUGE deal for me. This past year has brought a tremendous amount of growth for me and my little business and this was the logical next step, but for a while I didn’t know how I would actually get here. I am so proud, and so honored that Beth has included me in her store.

Click HERE for more information about EcHo.

Click HERE and HERE for more information on the Tremont Nail Company.

Year End Clearance Event

Oh shoot, it’s a sale!

I’m calling this the “First Ever Year End Clearance Event,” but in actuality I have no idea if I’ve done this before. I certainly haven’t offered 70% off of anything ever, so that part is confirmed new. Anyway, please enjoy 70% off select items (bags, sweater pins, magnets) now through December 31st.

Here’s a not-great group picture of some of the things on sale:

$2.55 for sweater pins? $4.65 for a small makeup bag? $3 for a zipper pouch?! What is this?!

It’s the Year End Clearance Event, that’s what.

Find everything here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale/items?section_id=1

 

UN Week Promotion

This year, I’ve been trying to see what sales drive the most traffic to my Etsy shop. I’ve held a sale almost every week and have been comparing the difference between free shipping, percent off, and minimum item count sales. October 24th was United Nations Day, so I ran a UN Week sale for the week of October 21-27.

I did a fixed percent off of 10%. But The United Nations is about working together, so I decided I should give back with this promotion as well. A donation would be good, but can you just give money to the UN? Yes, you can! (find their full collection of agencies here)

I offered 10% off, so I chose to donate 10% of all sales that week. I made mention of it in the “Sale Description” so people would know where their money would be going. I had a Farmers Market that week, so I knew I would be able to donate more than just a few dollars. And then the market was canceled due to weather.

And I only made one online sale.

So my donation amount was 85 cents.

I had already picked out the UNHCR- The UN Refugee Agency to donate to, and I donated $8.50.

I liked this promotion even though it didn’t yield a huge donation. It feels good to give back and to help people. In the future, I will definitely:

1) make it a month-long promotion
2) advertise what I’m doing in my shop announcement
3) advertise on social media, and in person at whatever I am
4) share which specific agency I have picked out

 

New in the Shop: Magnet Sets

I recently added magnet sets to the shop! I’ve been making wooden button magnets for a few years but I usually give them as gifts or keep them for personal use.

I used E6000 glue (the best glue) to secure 10mm neodymium magnets to the backs of wooden buttons. The magnets have a rounded edges so they are not supposed to scratch away surfaces or leave residue behind.

They come lightly taped to card stock and sleeved in a little zip-lock bag.

They can hold at least 4 sheets of paper and a greeting card. I use my own sets to hang takeout menus and invitations!

I haven’t decided if I’ll bring them to fairs and markets with me yet, so for now they can only be found online.

Find them in the housewares section! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?section_id=16516425

New in the Shop: XL Makeup / Project Bags

When I first introduced makeup bags to my shop, I made the bag patterns for 5 sizes: XS to XL. My original idea was to sell them as a nesting set (bet you didn’t know these were nesting bags!) but it seemed easier to categorize them by size and the Extra Large never made it to the shop. Until now!

I’m making them EXCLUSIVELY in my own fabric designs! I know this will limit the variety of them at first, but eventually the section will grow as my design library increases.

They can hold a full can of dry shampoo and a standing bottle of contact solution. They comfortably fit a skein of yarn with supplies. With that much room, there’s so much you can use them for!

Find them in the XL Makeup / Project Bag section here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?section_id=24823650

Ladies’ Night Gift Bag Promotion

A few weeks ago, I was a vendor at Leominster’s Ladies’ Night Out event. It was pretty neat- they close down a street next to Monument Square and everyone sets up in the street! They put together gift bags for the first 200 ladies to arrive, and vendors were encouraged to donate something for the bags. But I’m not in a position to donate 200 bags! What could I do?

(First time EVER remembering to take a picture of an event, not just my table area).

My friend at City Hall had the solution. She suggested taking 200 business cards and giving them all some sort of sticker. One has an extra-special sticker, and the person that presents the extra-special sticker wins a prize! “Just an idea on how a small business could get in the gift bag game without breaking the bank. This isn’t the Oscars where everyone gets Beats By Dre in their gift bags.” – a wise Melissa.

(Not pictured: the SMOOTHIE booth next door!)

So that’s what I did! I drew up a couple of whales, printed them on some Avery address labels, and stuck them to the back of 200 business cards. It cost about $6 for the entire project, and the winner got to pick any two bags from my table.

(Can you spot the winning whale?)

Obviously not everyone checked their bags to see what was inside, not everyone came to see if they were a winner, and not everyone will scope out my Etsy shop at a later date.  But it definitely drove people to my table and I’ve had a few local orders since the event. So, success!

 

 

 


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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