Learning the hard way….

Well, sometimes in life you think you are doing things right and then you find out, nope, you are not , and you learn the hard way !! That is what happened to me today , and I really did not see it coming !!

I am still learning to price my things on etsy and that is not such an issue. I have tried pricing based on the average for my type of item and then I have tried to underprice. The underpricing did not work and cheapened the perception of my items. I have put my prices back to where they should be and that is just fine, and not the issue at all !!

What happened to me today was a big shipping error. I pretty much know what things will cost to ship in the US and what they used to cost to ship overseas, but obviously I am unaware of over seas shipping now !!  I sent one of my big beaded charm bracelets to Australia , how exciting is that !!! ?? I am always so pleased and flattered when someone orders one of my pieces and Idid not even mind that I had not raised the prices on the bracelets to where they used to be and should be, but I waaaaay underpriced the shipping , wow. I charged three bucks, it is just under that here in the states to ship it and when I sent a package to France several years ago, the price was no more than here, so I was completely shocked when it is six and change, WOW !!
I do not begrudge my customer at all, I am still flattered and thrilled with the order but I got on my etsy account and changed the postage on all 97 things for overseas !!

That was bad enough, but I had a second order that also went out today, a pretty piece of  needlepoint in a frame that I packed very well for safe shipping accoss the country, and it was here in the states  , but I still underpriced, so each was around  three bucks , one more, one a bit less more than I had charged for the shipping !! So, basicly I lost six bucks on about 33 dollars worth of merchandise before all my fees are taken out.

So, my advice for anyone getting started is to research the shipping on items like yours. NOT just for the country you live in, but for international if you choose to ship internationally. I do because I want a wide customer base. I get a huge kick out of international orders. I still enjoy seeing what city I am sending a package to,  and enjoy seeing my creations travel all over the country and even the world now. So, I am not upset at all, I am still thrilled with the orders, but I made sure to fix it for the next overseas order.

So, never under price your items, I saw bracelets almost exactly like mine, same amount of bead work,  just some specific charms for each one to have a theme that made them stand out from mine. I had them at 35 took them down to 25 and then 28 and then finally put them back at 35 for the set with earrings. The other seller with a comprable bracelet, charges 40 to 62 each. She has sold 340 items, I have sold around ten of my bracelets. So, You have to respect your products and charge what they are really worth. If you offer quality, and then respect your work with a price that shows the amount of work and quailty you put into them, your customers will respond. My bracelets are equal to 17 or 18 pairs of earrings, so even at 35 to 50 they are a lot of bead work for the money. The same amount of beadwork as earrings, priced at an average 12 dollars would be  over 200 dollars in inventory. So, respect and honor your work and creativity, do not undersell. Make sure you do not  oversell either, be respectful both ways.

this is not the bracelet I sold, it is another one I have for sale, I had already downloaded that picture on Etsy from my old computer and those pictures on not on my newer computer, but the one I sold was just as full, in pinks and purples and had jsut as many beads and charms, just differant ones. A lot of work for the money I was charging. So, I will put more thought into what I make and the time and materials involved to come up with a price fair to me, yet still fair to my customers. I always work hard to make quality items, I will not sell something I do not feel is done right. That is important too,  not rushing and putting your best into everything you do. The customer will notice. they will appreciate it. That is the entire reason for our working so hard.  Happy customers that love what they buy.

jewerly 1299

So, learn from my errors. Luckily they are very small. Just a few bucks and that is fine with me. I wanted to share this with you so you can avoid this mistake.  If the purchases had been smaller ones, I could have ended up not making anything, so it could have been much worse than it was, but for someone starting out, that could be a loss they cannot afford, so that is why I am posting this !!

So, do your homework on pricing both your creations and your shipping.  Always put your customer first and ship quickly. Pack well and even if you lose money doing it, make sure the package will get to your customer in one piece. I would rather lose money than risk damaging the order. If you plan right, you should not have to worry about that, you should be covered !! Price out that postage. You can always take an item you plan to list , take all the pictures, pack it up and take it to the post office and ask them to give you prices for the furthest places from you in your own country and then some international rates. They will do it for you, but do not make a habit of bringing a lot of items in, pick a few in differant sizes and do it when you have legitamate business with the post office, say, mailing another order. That way you are not taking thier time for nothing, but it can teach you a lot about pricing. Comparing what others charge as well can help. None of this will guarantee no mistakes, but it can help make it less likely. It should not have happened to me, I have been mailing packages for many years. But it did  happen anyway !!

This is the picture I mailed out , just in case you are curious !! No glass. Vintage frame that was plastic, but still packed as if it were wood and glass. You have to assume it will get bumped in transit and protect accordingly !! Bubble wrap and plastic grocery bags are your best packing supplies !!

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Thanks for stopping by !! I hope my small mistakes will help you to not make  mistakes like that. Let me be clear that I am still very grateful for those orders and I am not upset at all. If I did it again, I would be mad at myself. But NEVER at a customer. I am so grateful for every sale, and never take even one for granted !! Even losing a few bucks , I am thrilled beyond measure to send these items to thier new home !!

Stephie

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