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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #957: More Ebay Selling

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 561 days ago 1864 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 956: Riding the Storm Out Part 957 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 958: Website Updates »

Well, the winter storm has passed and we fared well. We did get a good deal of snow, but we were spared much of the destructive winds that many others experienced. We were fortunate that we never lost power, which was our main concern as losing electricity means to water, heat or phone. Unlike most people, we don’t have cell phones as we have little use for one. Last year, when Keith accidentally washed and dried his phone, we never saw a need to replace it. Perhaps one day we will get a ‘pay-as-you-go’ phone, for the one to two times per year when we need one, we just don’t feel that it is worth the extra cost.

I spent the weekend working on the painting pattern packet for the mask ornaments, and I really think it is ready to go. We should be doing a site update later on today, as all I have to do is finish the newsletter for that. Hopefully, I will be able to get that out today, and then start on the next projects.

Keith spent a great deal of the weekend working on our Ebay products again. Working on that site made us appreciate the software that we have for our site. The Ebay software has a mind of its own it seems, and it really became quite frustrating to work with and have it function properly.

Our main obstacle was calculating the shipping charges. Since Ebay frowns on selling PDF products, we find it necessary to sell ‘hard copies’ of our patterns, which means that there need to be shipping charges involved. However, if a customer were to buy more than one pattern from us, we felt it was unfair and just not right to charge them the base cost of shipping on each. But programming that into the Ebay site was no small task. It fought every step of the way.

We had a couple of orders too yesterday that were from customers that bought more than one pattern. Since the patterns certainly fit into one envelope, it would naturally be foolish and wasteful for us to package them separately and charge twice for shipping. We had one customer even order three patterns and he was charged shipping three times.

Naturally, we sent him Paypal refunds for the duplicate shipping costs, but we were still charged fees on the totals of those transactions and they were not considered in the refunds. It was not a good thing.

But when we checked our settings on Ebay, for some reason, the shipping rules we set wouldn’t stick. It kept going back to the default settings which charged shipping on each individual transaction. It was quite frustrating.

Finally, after several hours of fiddling with it, it decided to work. Keith still does not know what changed or why it began working, but it does seem like it is working properly now and everything is set. We are able to have only one shipping fee if customers wait to pay their Paypal invoice until all of their items are ordered. Then they will receive the discount for shipping multiple patterns. Otherwise, each transaction is treated individually and shipping is charged on each.

I am not fond of this way of doing things, and neither is Keith, but we are getting sales from there and hopefully it will bring in some new customers that will visit our site and buy from us directly in the future. We wonder though because we are concerned that we are not putting forth a great first impression when all this goes awry.

It’s all a learning process I suppose.

Our experiences on Ebay so far have been positive, but not without obstacles. Finding new ways of selling your products takes a bit of time and energy, no matter what you are selling. There is no easy way around trying new venues, which involve learning new setups and new programs and investing a great deal of time into it. Sometimes you come out good, and other times you just figure you are better off not using that resource. It is all a trial error process.

I get lots of emails from customers asking how to market their products. I suppose my best answer to them would be that they need to take the time to try different places, as we are doing, and then they can judge which places pay off the best. Not every venue is going to have the same results for everyone. The only way you will be able to tell is to give it a try. You may have a pleasant surprise.

Have a great Monday! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



12 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4115 posts in 1487 days


#1 posted 561 days ago

Sheila E Bay is easy, I get Shirley to do it and so far no problems :)
Well the sun is shining good buddies on the net plenty of customers
life don’t get much better, I also get asked this question from newbies I just say

Find something that is difficult to make and gives a good return (Is there a need)
Practice until you get the perfect finish and done in a reasonable time now you can
see if it would be a profitable product. Sometimes it is the boring or monotonousness
work that puts the bread on the table.
Whats more Stick with it, it may take months or years. dont chase new ideas from what
everyone else is selling.
Some folk listen others dont. I can only wish them luck with their venture both ways

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1617 days


#2 posted 561 days ago

I have decent luck with ebay, but everything I sell is physical and has a distinct shipping cost (that does not change no matter how many items are sent)... I bet it would be a pain in the butt otherwise.

My main obstacle with them is programming in variations. I sell a lot of things with colour choices. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.. nothing I do ever changes!

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7580 posts in 1551 days


#3 posted 561 days ago

Hi, Jamie and Lis:

I like your philosophy, Jamie. Your guidelines make sense and are basic to selling or not selling something. You are right in that we don’t always get to do the “fun” projects to keep the income steady. Sometimes it is the monotonous work that is the bread and butter. We actually do like doing our production work of wood pieces and find ways to make it fun. We put on some good music and kind of ‘race’ each other to see who can cut the fastest. It is all good!

Lis – our problem has been exactly what you are saying. We are both pretty ‘computer literate’ and find it fascinating how things on Ebay don’t work right. Some of the help threads we were reading were dated from 2008 where people had the same problems as we did. You would think in five years with all the money they make they would fix it. There is a level of lack of concern for the vendors that we don’t like. So many “rules” to protect the customers and few to protect the sellers. We read some of the things that other sellers went through with bad customers and it really made us disgusted. I think BOTH sides need protection, as sellers are taken advantage of also.

In any case, hearing from you that you had some of the same issues somehow makes me feel better and less stupid. If it were “just me” I would begin to wonder! Thanks for sharing! ;)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4115 posts in 1487 days


#4 posted 561 days ago

Sheila I also put in that I give group discounts and also to request a total if there are
multiple purchases. As I’ve not always got the combined postage template working as
it does always work with new listings. I’ve over 5k of sales and eBay still is unfair on the
seller as long as my problems are less than 1% I dont worry to much.
Rather than offer discount Sheila in your case a buy 4 get a 5th free is a good sales boost.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

768 posts in 704 days


#5 posted 561 days ago

Good morning Sheila. I’m glad to hear you have ridden out the storm. From what we have seen on the news, it was quite a blizzard.

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7580 posts in 1551 days


#6 posted 561 days ago

Hi, Anna!

Yes! We got off quite unscathed. Lots of others around it had a rough time of it though. Not fun for them. Today it is warmer and it seems that everything is melting. I am sure the drifts will be around a long time though. Power all weekend without interruption – that was a great gift! But we were prepared for the worst and very happy that we didn’t have to resort to using our emergency supplies. Thank you for checking in. :)

I hope you have a good week ahead. I am working on the site update today and then on to new projects – Always exciting! :D Have a great day!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1746 days


#7 posted 561 days ago

I have only bought on E-bay and usualy as a buyer you can make an invoice to the seller
to get the freightcost before paying for multible items so you only have to pay once

I cat understand why you can´t sell your patterns as PDF
that should be easy enoff if you get the buyers E-mail adress
and send directly to that

thank you for thinking on Silke the other day :-)
it is a great little book …. liked the story of the little teasing monster of a cat … :-))

take care
Dennis

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7580 posts in 1551 days


#8 posted 560 days ago

Hi, Dennis:
We can sell PDF stuff, but there are just different rules that apply that are time consuming and difficult. Ebay discourages direct selling. They don’t even want you to promote your own site at all in your listings. We have to be very careful. We hope that customers will buy one or two patterns there from us and then like us and find our site on their own, as we do list our web address on every pattern. Hopefully that will be the advantage we have marketing there.

I am glad that Silke enjoyed the book. So many cute pictures there. What patience those photographers must have had! I hope she is feeling better soon! :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2638 posts in 2343 days


#9 posted 560 days ago

Sheila,

Incredible! We aren’t the only ones in this world without cell phones! We can’t get a signal in our house, and we feel as you do that it’s just not a justifiable cost for the few times we would ever use them.

It’s quite unfortunate that the seller is not treated the same as the buyer. It’s very much like the landlord/tenant dilemma. Too many people think that if you are a business owner (landlord), you are wealthy and take advantage of the customer (tenant) which we both know isn’t necessarily true. Wouldn’t it be great if this world were fair?

Keep doing what is right . . . since no good deed goes unpunished! ;-)

Glad you’re safe after that storm.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7580 posts in 1551 days


#10 posted 559 days ago

Yes L/W – we are “crazy”! I have no desire whatsoever to have a cell phone. Maybe I am getting old. But I am ‘on call’ nearly 24/7 being here because when I get a message and see it on my computer, it doesn’t matter what day or time it is, I am inclined to answer it. When I get out for a bit, I really don’t need calls following me. I suppose that is my escape. :)

Thank you for the kind thoughts! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Jim Barry's profile

Jim Barry

25 posts in 2144 days


#11 posted 559 days ago

Hi Sheila,

Its been some time since I’ve sold on ebay but the delay in your settings not working, then working, most likely has to do with their site updates time frame. As a seller, when you make changes to your store policies, etc, the changes do not occur immediately. There’s typically a delay in the update, like 15 minutes or so. Amazon does that too.

-- Woodwork Safely, Jim Barry, Nova Scotia, CANADA http://www.WoodchuckCanuck.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7580 posts in 1551 days


#12 posted 559 days ago

Well that is a really good thing to know Jim. It was very frustrating when we changed the items and went back into the settings for it and saw that our changes didn’t “take”. We were wondering what we were doing wrong. It is quite complex how they have things set up but I suppose that is because there are so many people selling so many different things there. Thanks for letting me know that what we experienced was normal. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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