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Posts Tagged ‘#forsale’

This is where I come to rant. I need to get this out of my system and don’t want to burden my husband with it any further. I’ve mentioned before that I sell vintage on Etsy. It’s been slow going since I’m not able to devote much time to listing items or promotion. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed Etsy and the people I’ve dealt with. My fave customers are the ones who see an item, buy it, I ship it out and never hear from them again! 😉 It’s always nice to hear from someone who loves something you’ve sold them. But from past experiences, I almost cringe when there’s a lot of “conversation” prior to or after selling. My hubby and I started selling on eBay back in March 1997! Hubby gets us started on these things and then I have to tow the line. We have sold tens of thousands of new collectible items on ebay up until 3 years ago when we closed our ebay store. The fees and how they treat their sellers gave us no other choice. During all those sales, we’ve run into some “doozies” where customers are concerned. I’m not going to go into those in this post but if people do want to hear it, I will sit down and write about them in the future.
To separate paragraphs, I'm putting pictures of things I'm selling on Etsy. Vintage Head Vase

To separate paragraphs, I’m putting pictures of things I have for sale on Etsy. This is a gorgeous vintage head vase.

I don’t like dwelling on unpleasant things but sometimes it’s good to get them off your chest. On Etsy, we have our selling preferences set to sell ONLY to the USA. This is due to some awful experiences we’ve had in the past. Where we under calculated postage and ended up losing money. One time someone from Canada used a fraudulent Paypal account and we had no recourse. Also the post office is even rougher going to other countries and no matter how well wrapped things were when they left us, they either were lost or didn’t make it in one piece. Ok, so you are up to speed on our reasons. We’ve still been getting all kinds of people asking if we will make an exception to ship to them in another country. Some are rude about it, some are nice. All are disappointed when I refuse to budge. A few days ago, someone sent a message through Etsy asking if we would let them buy a big eyed girl bank (from the 1960’s) and ship to Canada. They were especially polite and almost desperate. She tells me she is a famous artist who sells her work in galleries all over the world. She wants to use this bank as a muse and do a painting of it. I do what I always do when I feel torn–nothing. I was thinking it over and trying to decide how to let her down easy. Then she writes again and pleads her case some more. She’s almost begging and I’m not completely heartless so my resolve slips a little. We haven’t shipped anything to Canada for over 10 years. I don’t even know how to do it.
Flower power ice bucket.

Flower power ice bucket.

So I messaged her back and said if she gave me her mailing address, I could look it up and see if I can do the shipping from our Stamps.com account. Also I would give her a quote for shipping. So she sends it to me and I have to box up the item and can’t use a Priority Box. I go through 2 separate boxes since the first is not big enough to suit me. Others I know would mail it with it touching the sides but I won’t. I always triple bubblewrap everything fragile because I’d worry myself sick if I didn’t. The bank weighs over a lb. and it is $11.88 first class and $28.88 Priority.  So I quote her $12.50 first class and $29.50 Priority. This isn’t even adding fees in or anything. She says she’ll take first class.
Bowl of fake eggs from Italy.

Bowl of fake eggs from Italy.

This is where I come to rant. I need to get this out of my system and don’t want to burden my husband with it any further. I’ve mentioned before that I sell vintage on Etsy. It’s been slow going since I’m not able to devote much time to listing items or promotion. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed Etsy and the people I’ve dealt with. My fave customers are the ones who see an item, buy it, I ship it out and never hear from them again! 😉 It’s always nice to hear from someone who loves something you’ve sold them. But from past experiences, I almost cringe when there’s a lot of “conversation” prior to or after selling. My hubby and I started selling on eBay back in March 1997! Hubby gets us started on these things and then I have to tow the line. We have sold tens of thousands of new collectible items on ebay up until 3 years ago when we closed our ebay store. The fees and how they treat their sellers gave us no other choice. During all those sales, we’ve run into some “doozies” where customers are concerned. I’m not going to go into those in this post but if people do want to hear it, I will sit down and write about them in the future.
Child's 3 piece dish set: bowl, cup and plate.

Child’s 3 piece dish set: bowl, cup and plate.

I don’t like dwelling on unpleasant things but sometimes it’s good to get them off your chest. On Etsy, we have our selling preferences set to sell ONLY to the USA. This is due to some awful experiences we’ve had in the past. Where we under calculated postage and ended up losing money. One time someone from Canada used a fraudulent Paypal account and we had no recourse. Also the post office is even rougher going to other countries and no matter how well wrapped things were when they left us, they either were lost or didn’t make it in one piece. Ok, so you are up to speed on our reasons. We’ve still been getting all kinds of people asking if we will make an exception to ship to them in another country. Some are rude about it, some are nice. All are disappointed when I refuse to budge. A few days ago, someone sent a message through Etsy asking if we would let them buy a big eyed girl bank (from the 1960’s) and ship to Canada. They were especially polite and almost desperate. She tells me she is a famous artist who sells her work in galleries all over the world. She wants to use this bank as a muse and do a painting of it. I have a soft spot for artists and it sounds cool.  I do what I always do when I feel torn–nothing. I was thinking it over and trying to decide how to let her down easy. Then she writes again and pleads her case some more. She’s almost begging and I’m not completely heartless so my resolve slips. We haven’t shipped anything to Canada for over 10 years. I don’t even know how to do it.
The item in question. Big eyed bank.

The item in question. Big eyed bank.

So I messaged her back and said if she gave me her mailing address, I could look it up and see if I can do the shipping from our Stamps.com account. Also I would give her a quote for shipping. So she sends it to me and I have to box up the item and can’t use a Priority Box. I go through 2 separate boxes since the first is not big enough to suit me. Others I know would mail it with it touching the sides but I won’t. I always triple bubblewrap everything fragile because I’d worry myself sick if I didn’t. The bank weighs over a lb. and it is $11.88 first class and $28.88 Priority.  So I quote her $12.50 first class and $29.50 Priority. This isn’t even adding fees in or anything. She says she’ll take first class.
Nautical barware utensils.

Nautical barware utensils.

I go into the Etsy site and add to the title “Reseved For Her Name” and changed the shipping to Canada with the amount. I wanted to just add Canada to the existing USA option but it just kept loading and wouldn’t work. After spending way too much time on this, I message her back and tell her it should be available for her to purchase. Then she comes back and says she was checking out and sees we don’t take Paypal. Well, we’ve NEVER had our Etsy linked to our Paypal. Etsy uses Direct Checkout and collects the money, takes their fee and deposits our sales into our bank account once a week. You couldn’t ask for anything better. Etsy accepts any type of credit card there is so you’d think this woman could just do that. Instead she is bugging me to use Paypal.
Bongos from the Bahamas.

Bongos from the Bahamas.

I spent my entire Saturday night going back and forth from my iphone to laptop (in the other room) trying to fascilitate this transaction. I was on the verge of a meltdown that night and felt so stupid for not being able to figure it out. Greg did a lot of manual labor that day. He went to get the lumber to start building the pergola and was so exhausted, he was in no shape for me to bother him with this. He knew I was working on it but was just too drained to care. When I get beyond frustrated, I start crying and I was on the brink of it that night. Finally, I had to message this person and tell her I couldn’t figure it out. Yesterday I went back in and was able to find the area on Etsy to accept Paypal payments. Of course, then I told her and she still couldn’t do it because the actual Paypal (in Greg’s name) has foreign buyers blocked. I managed to go into Paypal and figure out how to change it but then I saw that the fees are even higher for foreign transactions than USA. Plus there’s no Seller Protection from Etsy if you take Paypal. I don’t know if Paypal would back us up either. I don’t forsee a problem with this buyer but I also can’t see turning our lives upside down for one tiny sale. I messaged this woman back again and told her that she had 2 choices if she wanted the item: she could pay with a credit card on Etsy or have a friend in the USA buy it, we’d ship it to them and they could forward it to her. The sad thing is I’m bending over backwards and yet she still wants it HER WAY. I’d say that’s the American way but she’s Canadian…whoops.
Buick Wildcat air filter cover.

Buick Wildcat air filter cover.

Which brings me to the core of this rant.  I am the type of person who never wants to bother anyone. I don’t put anyone out ever if I can help it. I don’t ask for substitutions in a restaurant. I don’t ask for anything but extra water. I never send my food back. I was brought up to “make do” and accept my lot in life and be grateful for what I do have. Not to expect anyone to cater to me or treat me differently or better than others. I was never taught that I deserved special treatment. On the contrary, to not be a bother or pest. To never ask for extra or more. To be polite and thankful for being treated decently, not even good. It’s kind of hard to explain but it’s a mindset that I think is from generations past. I hate lumping youngsters into this category but so many feel entitled to everything. I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating.
Fortune telling Cup Of Knowledge.

Fortune telling Cup Of Knowledge.

To put it into perspective, the item I’m selling is $19.99 plus shipping. I’m not going to MAKE $20 on this since I didn’t get the item for free. I make nothing on shipping and Etsy fees have to come out of there too. I set his price myself, I’m not being ripped off but I priced it for an “easy transaction”. Not one that I’d have to spend HOURS going back and forth conversing about how to help this woman out. Plus looking online at Etsy trying to switch preferences. It is much the same reason we don’t ship EXPRESS mail. It costs like $30 for a small package but it’s so people can get something overnight. They can’t wait until the post office delivers in their usual sometimes slow fashion. At first we would go along with this for people but WE gain nothing. We don’t charge extra. All the postage goes to the post office. It is more work for us that the person didn’t think ahead of time of what they’d want or when they’d need it. I would never ship something that way for myself. It’s annoying that people think they should take priority over others’ lives.
Milk glass hands.

Milk glass hands.

You’re probably thinking, what is she complaining about if she gets a sale out of it? Well, $20 isn’t going to change my life or matter one way or the other in the scheme of things. I know this item will sell when it gets closer to Christmas. She’s not doing me a favor by buying it.
Fat Is Beautiful sign. I have a similar one hanging in my bathroom!

Fat Is Beautiful sign. I have a similar one hanging in my bathroom!

So a day has passed and I hadn’t heard back until t his morning. Now the woman is going to try to use a credit card and asked me to leave it set to sell to Canada for a few more hours to give her time to figure it out. I graciously told her I’d give her 2 more days. I just want it to be done with, one way or the other.. The one thing I did learn is to stick to my guns. No matter how much pressure others put on me, I need to do what is right FOR ME. They may get mean and nasty if I don’t give in to their wishes but it’s either them or me unhappy and I’d rather it was them. Inject emoticon of a smiley face with a halo above. That’s where the saying “No good deed goes unpunished comes from”…
High fashion cat figurine.

High fashion cat figurine.

If you see anything you like in my pictures and live in the USA (wink,wink), check out my etsy shop under Dejavujunkie. 

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I am ready to drop from exhaustion over the past 10 days. I took the plunge and started an Instagram shop on Valentine’s Day. I’d been thinking about it since I found the vintage community with tens of thousands of people on there a few months back. After watching and trying to learn how it’s done, the time finally came to stop agonizing over it and JUST DO IT. There are two ways to open a store on there. Start promoting it for MONTHS, telling everyone you’ll open when you have x amount of followers (usually at least 150), running contests, etc. The other way is to just announce it and start listing things. Which is what I did. I’m not saying one is better than the other, it’s just personal preference. I’m proud to say that within the first week I’d gained 150 followers and now after 10 days, I’m at 167. I can see how this is going to take time to build up a business. I’ve had 14 sales and one of them a repeat customer! 🙂 Sadly, I can see how people are all gung-ho when they start and get discouraged and quit fairly soon. I’m going to stick with it as long as I can.

Shop Introduction

Shop Introduction

I try to pick out new items in the morning and then photograph them between 11 am and 1 pm when the lighting is best. After lunch, I measure and write up a brief description on paper. I’ve been listing every night after supper. Sometimes supper is late like 8 pm  because I’ve been busy wrapping a package or doing paperwork. We watch the Winter Olympics while I’m writing up the descriptions on my iphone. I have done the entire shop from my iphone. Since my 8 yr. old computer does not work that well, I thought it was preferable. So far it’s taking me too long to list each thing. I know I put a lot more description than is needed but I want people to know exactly what they’re getting so there’s no problems later. The first night I put on all stuffed animals or plush (new with tags) and they haven’t sold. The next night I put all shot glasses and those didn’t go either. It could be that not enough people saw them. The 3rd night I started putting on a random assortment of things to appeal to a wider range of people. That seemed to be working so I’ve stuck with that. The things I think people would go nuts over, no one cares about. My favorite listings are a Hawaiian hula skirt from 1969, a ceramic lady with scarf flower frog, Nestle Quik rabbit cup, tin banks, a handpainted tin mirror from Mexico, Corn Flakes tshirt and hat, an Afro-Italian silent butler, a plasic wicker purse and a plastic thermoset leaf and vine necklace. None of these sold. Go figure.
Ceramic Personal Mail Holder

Ceramic Personal Mail Holder

The most successful sellers on Instagram seem to be the ones who not only give good customer service but are very social with customers. I’ve been shipping out immediately but haven’t had as much time as I’d like to socialize. Having the 2 accounts, I don’t get time to get over to my original account. I was afraid that was going to happen. There’s also a learning curve with shipping. When we sold on ebay in the past, we shipped everything Priority Mail and the buyer paid the postage. Now I try to include the shipping in the price. I know when I see something I want on there, when it says “plus shipping”, it turns me off. I always assume it’s a lot. In truth, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. When something is under 13 ounces, it can go first class and that’s usually under $3.50 depending on the weight. When I charge $10 shipped, I am paying the $3.50 shipping out of my own pocket, plus whatever the item cost me plus Paypal fee. It’s just the cost of doing business. I understand that and accept it. If it goes over 13 ounces, then it either goes Parcel Post or Priority Mail. Sometimes it’s only 20 cents difference to send it Priority. Other times it’s the same. So already I’ve sent 3 things Priority because they were heavier than I thought. I also have to look into some of the “bags” to ship in. Some sellers just bubblewrap things good and put them in a bag. I never would have thought of that!
Hedwig Owl Mug from Harry Potter

Hedwig Owl Mug from Harry Potter

I have some postcards and pictures I want to list but am unsure how to charge for shipping or mail them. I don’t know if they need to be in something heavier than an envelope like cardboard? I’ve been doing the best that I can to try to gain a good reputation. I can see how if a person got a bad one, it would end their Instagram selling just through word of moouth alone. It’s hard to know what to price things at. There are people selling things $2 plus shipping and I don’t want to do that. God bless them if they can afford to do that. They must be getting their stuff a lot cheaper than I am. I try to sell things that have some worth. At the end of the day, I want something for my trouble. When I price something and it doesn’t sell immediately, I think it has more to do with the right person not seeing it yet.
Lenox Elephant Hinged Box

Lenox Elephant Hinged Box

When buying, I usually know right away when I see something if I want it. If I don’t, I walk around and think about it. If I’m still thinking about it after awhile, then I definitely want it. If I don’t, then I pass. The way the successful sellers do it, when they have a sale, they list things and people are snatching them up the second they go on. Basically, the first person that sees it, gets it and everyone else afterwards just looks at it longingly. I hope someday my stuff starts selling that way! 😉
Creepy Doll Head

Creepy Doll Head

As for only selling in the USA, it’s mostly due to the cost of postage. It cost like $87 to mail a hankie to Australia. Nobody wants to pay that kind of shipping nor do I want them to. Worse still, I don’t trust myself to calculate International rates correctly and would probably end up eating most of the shipping by accident.
Smokey The Bear Salt & Pepper

Smokey The Bear Salt & Pepper

I hope everybody who reads my blog checks out my Instagram shop! Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can start one just to look. You wouldn’t have to post any pictures unless you wanted to. All pictures in this post are of sold items.  It gives you an idea of some of what I sell. It looks like a lot of ceramic items and it is but also a huge variety of other items. It’s hard to believe it’s stressing me out already. It’s seriously cutting into my blogging time. 😉 I’ll have to figure out a better way to do it so I can still do everything else I need to and nothing suffers.
Lefton Madonna & Child Jesus dated 1957

Lefton Madonna & Child Jesus dated 1957

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