Saturday, February 26, 2011

PayPal Micropayments

I just heard about PayPal Micropayments for the first time, and I wanted to pass along the info. to anyone else who hasn't heard of it and who might benefit from it.

As you know, you are charged fees by PayPal every time you collect money from a customer. (This is in addition to Etsy and eBay listing and final value fees, etc.). Normally PayPal charges you 2.9% of the total amount of money you collect per transaction (including money you collect for shipping) + 30 cents per transaction. That can really add up if you do a lot of volume, and while it doesn't seem too outrageous, it can hurt if you sell a lot of low-dollar items (like I do)!

With Micropayment fees, you are charged 5% of the total amount of money you collect plus only 5 cents for every transaction. That's quite a bit of savings when you have a lot of transactions under $10.00...but not so great when you are selling more expensive items.

I took a look at my sales and found that 70% of my transactions this year have been under $10.00. After doing some math, I decided that Micropayments might be worth a try for me. I do have situations where people buy 7 or 8 listings of yarn from me at once, and in that case, the old PayPal fee schedule is best, but you have to choose one or the other. Besides, if someone buys $50.00 worth of stuff from me at once, I won't fret over the extra couple bucks (give or take) that I might lose on that transaction. I'll make up for it with all the 20-30 cent savings on my lower priced sales.

It's my understanding that once you switch over to the Micropayment fee schedule, that you are stuck with it for 6 months, so if you decide to try it, do the math and make sure you can live with it for that long!

Note: (added March 4th) - I signed up and PayPal informed that I could go back to the old fee schedule anytime, but I'd check to make sure if you decide to do this...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jewelry on eBay - Great Prices!

My main focus is selling yarn...but I also sell name brand jewelry.  It's a very small part of my business, but when I see deals, I take advantage of them and then pass my savings onto you!

I have some Simply Vera Wang and Chaps jewelry currently listed on eBay...

(Click on the captions beneath photos to be taken to auction listing page).

Chaps Brown Chunky 6 1/2" Bracelet

Chaps Gold Tone 6 1/4" Bracelet

Chaps 19" Red Pendant Necklace

Chaps Faux Turquoise 6 1/2" Bracelet

Simply Vera Wang 6 1/2" Bracelet/Earring Set

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Waking Up From My Golf Vacation and Getting Back to Work!

It's 9:00, I've managed to work out, eat breakfast, make the bed, give the cats their medications, list a few items and catch up with some networking...not great since I've been up since 5:00, but I'm making much better progress than I did yesterday.  Slowly getting back to reality...

I have some great new yarns in...I'm so excited when I get some variety into my stores...

The latest are these Grignasco Kimono Ribbon Yarns that are 45% New Wool, 25% Kid Mohair, 15% Tactel Nylon, 15% Dralon Acrylic and they're made in Italy.


Right now you'll find the best price for these items on eBay (if you feel like waiting through a 7-day auction) and I just started listing them at YarnPal on Zibbet...

Coming soon are even more yarns in the following styles...ribbon, ladder, lacy, worsted and sport.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Back in Town and Totally Not Motivated!

I was gone for several husband and I went down to Myrtle Beach to play a few rounds of golf...we had a great time, but I'm experiencing the post-vacation blahs right now and can't seem to get it together!  I did manage to list a few new yarns today, but not much else!  Oh, well, I hope tomorrow is better...I have lots of work to do!

Well, in the meantime, here's a little creature we met on one of the courses...there were quite a few of them sunning themselves by the water's edge!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

YarnPal on Zibbet

I opened YarnPal on Zibbet a few weeks ago and have had three sales so far!  I'm pleased, especially since there are NO FEES for a basic store!  The only fees I had to pay were the 2.9% + $0.30 that PayPal listing fees makes that PayPal fee much easier to swallow...

Here are a few yarns now available at YarnPal:

Karabella Fireworks:  a wildly fun novelty yarn!

Moda Dea Cartwheel:  100% Wool!

Bertagna Filati Cielo Ribbon Yarn:  GREAT for summer projects!

Royale Metallic Crochet Thread:  Size 10, black w/ gold metallic!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yarn, Yarn Everywhere!

I have a variety of yarns available today - styles include ribbon, eyelash, railroad track, fur, chenille, fleece, sport, crochet thread and more...

These yarns may be found in three different places:

To try for the best deals, visit my eBay page.
To find a variety of yarn and beads, visit me at AlisonDesigns.
For good deals on yarn, visit YarnPal.  (no fees for me on YarnPal, so I pass the savings onto you!)

To keep up with the latest, please "like" my Facebook Fan Page!  Leave your links on my wall so I can find you easily and I will fan you back!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Want To Follow You Back!

Hello to all followers on my blog!  If you have a blog yourself, and if I'm not following you already, please leave your links in the comment section of this post!  I'd like to check out your pages, too, but sometimes I can't get to them my just clicking on your icon (I'm not sure why - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!)  If you're not sure if I'm following you or not, leave your links anyway, just in case!  :)

Thank you for following my blog!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Selling Yarn, Selling Land...

So much going on right now...I've taken over trying to sell some land that we've had on the market for almost 4 years.  We REALLY want to sell this land.  We worked with some great Realtors over the last few years, but since I'm working from home now, we decided that there's no reason why I can't work on selling the land myself for a while and see what happens.

It's pretty overwhelming with all the options out there for advertising (all options that cost money!)...but as of right now, we have a website, have placed an ad in the local paper/Internet site, and are on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. My neighbor owns a website that links military people up who are buying and selling their homes, and he's going to allow me to advertise on his site for free, which is great...we have a few military bases nearby that our land listing will be exposed to...who knows, maybe there's some retiring officer ready to settle onto some acreage out in the country. I'm also searching for a good way to get onto the local MLS...there are several sites that offer the service for a fairly reasonable fee - I just need to decide which one is best.

So, all of this in addition to my yarn business is keeping me very busy! If we can sell this land, I can finally get my new patio and my husband can have a nice shed built!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cats Getting in on the Action

Being near my yarn is a big no-no for my two kitties!  I buy my yarn and the skeins immediately go into sealed plastic bags, removed only for photos.  However, when one crawls into my little light box, I can't run them off  'cause they're so darn cute (I do not photograph yarn in my lightbox...just things like vases, occasionally necklaces).

This is Roxanne...she's 14 years old now (turning 15 soon).  She was my first cat as an adult.  I got her from the SPCA in 1996 when she was 8 weeks old.  She loves to eat, bother me, and eat some more.  She runs my life, but I love her with all my heart...she's got one kidney, has been attacked by a raccoon, and has entertained me endlessly for so many years can I say "no" if she wants to curl up in my light box?  I'll just give it to her and get a new one!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Really Need to Stop Being So Sensitive

I was asked today why someone should buy from me when they can find one of the yarns I sell at a better price somewhere else.  Well, the obvious answer is that nobody is forcing anyone to buy anything and they are free to go buy the yarn from that other person.  It's really a no-brainer...  (of course I didn't say any of that to them)

But this is bugging me, and I don't know why.  Well, I know why - I'm too sensitive and it wasn't a bad question, just one that made me doubt my little yarn business.  I'm competitive with a lot of my prices.  And then there are some items that are good deals only if someone buys multiple items from me and gets my discounted shipping rates.  Often I have to purchase yarns in large quantities in order to get a decent price, and then I can sell them in smaller quantities to people who don't want a whole bag.  Not everybody wants to buy $200.00 worth of yarn at at time.  Not everybody needs 10 skeins of yarn for every project.  I like to offer variety, and it's especially beneficial for those who make multiple purchases from me. Often they can save overall when discounted shipping rates are factored in, even on those items in which my prices aren't quite as competitive.  Plus, from me, you can buy a combination of yarns that I pulled from 4 or 5 different sources.  If someone were to go to each of these sources and buy one skein here, three skeins there, etc. etc., they wouldn't receive deals on shipping rates or would pay a higher price on some of those yarns since they're not buying in quantity.

It would never occur to me to question a seller who has an item in a price range I'm not comfortable with.  If I feel like I can get a better deal somewhere else, I'll go shop somewhere else.  Or sometimes, even at a slightly higher price, I'll stick with a seller I trust.

I didn't want to be rude to this person, so I answered and told them that if they were to purchase multiple items from me, that they might save a little on that particular yarn, which is the truth, depending on the combination of yarns they purchase.

I can't let this kind of thing get to me.  I'm not dishonest with my yarn-selling business.  I don't inflate my prices to ridiculous levels, in my opinion.  I don't claim to always have the lowest prices, but I do my best to keep my prices down.

You can't be sensitive when you're running a business.  There are always going to be people who are dissatisfied no matter what you do.  Of course, often you can also learn from a customer's dissatisfaction.  For instance, one skein of yarn I sold someone was apparently tangled up during the spinning process at the factory.  I've used a lot of yarn myself in my life, and for me, this isn't that uncommon - I can't tell you how many skeins of knotted up yarn, even from well-known manufacturers, I've spent hours untangling .  But I realized when I learned this from the customer that not everybody has run into a tangled skein, and so now I'm adding  a yarn tip to my listings suggesting that it's a good idea to unravel the skein and roll the yarn into a ball prior to starting a project, just in case.  I felt bad that the person who bought that skein blamed me for the problem, but at the same time, it allowed me to come up with a way to warn people that this may happen once in a while...

I don't expect the world to buy from me.  I don't feel bad that the person who asked me that question today is going to shop elsewhere - of course I would like everyone's business, but everyone has particular wants and needs and I don't have the time or the money to please everyone.  Nobody does...that's why there's  not one huge megastore on the planet that everyone buys everything from!  (well, there's one that's close, lol)

My selection appeals to some and not everybody.  If I had several million dollars, I'd open a warehouse, purchase a few delivery trucks, hire a staff and buy huge varieties and quantities direct from yarn manufacturers and sell away!  But I'm just a chick that likes to crochet, wants to make a little pocket change, loves buying yarns, uses some of them, sells most of them and has a great time doing it!

I can't let the naysayers get me down...I have a lot of happy customers and I value each and every one of them, even if they're mad at me for their yarn being tangled.  :)