Sunday, August 22, 2010


There has been some talk in the forums recently about including a "freebie" in with the purchase a buyer has made. I thought I'd include my 2 cents!

I think free gifts are tricky. I've received several with things I've ordered, both on Etsy and through other sites, and here's what I know as a buyer: There's always a nice little "aw...!" moment when I find a free gift, but then I think, what am I going to do with this? Often the gift is not related to my order at all, but something in the same selling genre, and while it is neat, it doesn't serve much purpose. This is especially true in my genre of Jewelry. Unless the gift is for a repeat buyer you know, or surprise matching earrings for a necklace ordered, you don't really know the buyer's style. Perhaps he/she is buying a gift and so the item is not indicative of what he/she would ever actually wear.

Also keep in mind never to send food or something overly scented (i.e. something that makes everything in the package smell like that) as a gift. In today's world, there are so many allergies that it's not worth the risk. Even if someone ordered food from you, that doesn't mean he/she can eat everything in your shop.

The best free gift I've received was when I ordered one item in several different colors/patterns/etc. and my gift was an additional item of what I had ordered but in a color/pattern that I hadn't.

My closing thought? If you want to give a free gift, that's great, but make it directly related to what the person actually ordered, or it may end up in the trash or Goodwill bin.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quick Note!

Hi! I just thought I'd share a quick "yay" moment! I'm featured in a blog this morning by Girl in Gear Studio! You can read the article HERE. While you're there, check out some of her other features; Girl in Gear has completely redone her website and has a great mix of Etsy shop owner features in addition to her own beautiful work.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Earring Display at a Market

I think I've mentioned that I've done a Saturday Market locally. It's a small affair, but then, I don't have a huge inventory! I wanted to make a lot of simple earrings to take, but I didn't want to invest in fancy earring holders, yet. Some of the earrings are on Etsy, but some aren't photographing well and may never make it online.

To display the earrings at Market, I decided to make my own display case. I went to a big name sporting goods store and bought a box meant to hold fishing tackle. Then I bought some pretty felt, cut to size, glued in, and BOOM! A display case I can close! The earrings will stay in their individual boxes, and if a pair is purchased, I have mini-plastic jewelry zip bags. I tape the price of the earrings into the lid, so when it's open people can easily see how much everything is without having to ask; it also saves me the time of tagging each pair!

I got the idea from a mini-tackle box jewelry travel case I've had for years. Once the felting square bug hit me, though, there was no turning back! I also made some jewelry travel cases similar to what I already owned and put them in my Etsy shop. Now you know!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Give your buyer a reason

You can put lots of different kinds of information in your Item Description. The first sentence or two should of course be descriptive, as in color, size, components, etc. After all that, however, is an important paragraph many people neglect.


That's right. Sometimes people buy things with no obvious purpose for absolutely no reason, but unless you are in that kind of specialized market (gag gifts for instance?) don't risk not telling potential buyers all the awesome things to do with your product. When I list something like wine glass charms, such as the one to the left in one of my Eclectic Wine Charm sets, I spell it out. This seems obvious, but a reaction I get frequently is, "Oh, how cute, but I don't drink wine."

So, I spell out the uses. "These look great on coffee mugs if you're having friends over for a brunch or tea!" or "Even if you're only having water or sparkling cider, these charms will make it a party!" and "Kids love choosing a charm that will be 'theirs'! In the bustle of changing places at the dinner table, don't lose your glass!"

Now think about what you sell. Do you make little dodads out of clay? Turn them into charms and encourage people to go beyond necklaces to make cell phone fobs or cute zipper pulls. Use the Comments to post what you make, and I'll try to come up with an alternative use!

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Venture: Metal Stamping

I've been thinking for a while that metal stamping would be a really fun way to expand my skills, so for my birthday, my parents gave me a Stamping on Metal Starter Kit, from Beaducation. To the left is a picture of the letters and numbers that come included.

I started out with the plain disk on the left, punched a hole using the metal hole puncher included, taped where I wanted my bottom edge to be, and, well, here's the final result:

I think it's not bad for a first try! I'm sure my second attempt will have the spacing a little bit better, and perhaps the "heart" will be facing the right direction. :) Don't worry, Mom, I'll perfect it before I start making Christmas presents, because you know everyone will be getting dogtags! lol. Just kidding. Probably.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Make your own pendant!

In my last post, I mentioned that I found some smooth sea worn stones when I went to the Pacific coast in Oregon. Well, I went to my local craft store to find some bails to glue to the back to make pendants, and I thought I'd share what I found!

To the right, you can see a piece of light green sea glass that my sister found (I'm so jealous!). I bought a traditional bail and glued it to the back using Bead Fix, which is a wonder-worker. (Side bar, I use Bead Fix in the place of Super Glue for
almost everything.)

This bail worked great. It glued on with no mess and has a large enough hole that a regular sized chain will comfortably fit through. However, the bail came in a package of one, and was more then I want to spend if I want, say ten or twenty bails.

Here's a solution I found:

They are technically called "dot dangles", but they looked enough like bails that I thought I would give them a try, since one package of 22 equaled about two of the official bail, though the dots are smaller. Here is the result on the left. The holes are a bit smaller, but I fixed that by adding jump rings, and you can't really tell.

Although the swirl pattern is prettier, I decided to use that as the adhesive side because I thought the glue would do better against it. I was pleased to see how strong it was.

Below you can see how the official bail on the glass and the dot dangle on the rock look from the front. About the same, I think!

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