Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Views and Opinions of Selling Online

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! Glad to have you here, see you again, or see you for your first time. All are always Welcome to LilacsNDreams.

Today I am going to touch on a subject that many of us deal with as sellers online.  Gonna do a little comparison here, and remember this is in my opinion. There is no right, or wrong. You are welcome to comment, or share with us here too. When searching, or doing a listing with any of the venues I sell with I try to put things into perspective as if I were the buyer.

I believe that Selling Online is hard work. It is very time consuming, and much harder to do than selling in person in my opinion. I feel it to be harder because the buyer is not able to touch what is being sold. Therefore we have to work more with our descriptions to help the buyer feel the product, and also make the search engines happy with words we use, and that things are acceptable to be found with searches. Along with this are pictures so that the prospective buyer can also better see with our descriptions what is being offered. As some of us know, pictures can also be time consuming with lighting, finding the right angles, showing more than one picture to help with our descriptions, and etc.

Another issue is that there is no two way conversation between the seller, and the buyer so that the seller can see the buyer's eyes. Seeing someone's eyes helps to get a feel about the upcoming purchase. This helps so that you can better assist with addressing things right on the spot. Conversation is always helpful, and I myself feel like sometimes I get too winded when describing things in my listings. I do it because I am trying to get the buyer to see what I see, feel what I can feel, and hopefully answer questions so that time is not wasted between us with contacting each other through emails, and that purchases can be made sooner too.

Time is spent with shipping costs, finding the best one to offer for the item being sold, and the best way to ship from past experiences too. Unless the items I offer can be put to something smaller like an envelope, I generally send items USPS Priority Mail with insurance included. Reason for that is generally the shipping rates are a bit better, customers get their items within 2-3 days, and the insurance is always included for a more secure delivery. That comes from past dealings with the postal service. Since I have been shipping that way, how I mark the boxes, and so on I have not had any issues to complain of...just the cost like many other things. If a customer contacts me, and wishes to have it sent another way, I will work with them to do so as requested. Sometimes though they have found that the way I offer has been a little more cost efficient for them than what was anticipated. All the same, I work with my customers that best possible way that I can.

Another thing as a seller to keep in mind is the venues we choose to sell with. Some of the venues do not cater to the same type of buyers, and sellers. I have found that sometimes what can work for one seller does not always work for another seller. There are many venues out there to choose from, some have higher fees to sell with than others, some of them advertise for their members, some of them work well with their members by having an operational site with support that can always be contacted too. It all depends what works for you, and where you find to feel comfortable with. It is important for you to pick the right selling venue for You. 

Some have their own websites. That is more cost to some with lower sales revenues due to hosting fees, domain fees, shopping carts, and then with your own website you also have to work harder to get yourself seen within search engines for the prospective buyer to find you, and your products too. For me I have my blogs, my website, all having domains directed to them, and find this to be a smaller cost for me. With my blogs, and websites I am found, I offer links for the venues I sell at, instead of the shopping carts I use the Artfire Rapid Cart, Ecrater Widget, and the RSS Feeds for the sites including Addoway. If any questions I can be contacted with no problem as I do read my emails through out the day. And, if a seller would like to purchase directly from me I am more than welcome to invoice them through paypal. 

So, what do you think? How has it been for you selling online, and have you found what can work for you? If so, please share with us here. Thoughts, comments, and opinions are always welcome at LilacsNDreams. I only ask everyone to be civil, and remember that we all have our own opinions to things with not everything having a right, or wrong answer.

Thanks so much for visiting with LilacsNDreams today! I enjoy the visits, the comments, the sharing, and hope to see you again. Take care till the next time Everyone.  Remember to visit with my stores, the links are on the side bar, and they are clickable for you too. I have my website listed there as well. Thank You!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day to All, Remember Those Near and Far and Gone

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! 

This will be short, and very simple for all of you today. It's a holiday, special day to remember, and a special day to be thankful for those who made it this way for us. So, today I am taking a break from things, lounging, grilling out, and just having some family time. I hope that all of you are able to be some where, able to share with someone, and have something you can do for this special day to all of us. 

If you will, take a moment to remember someone, something, a special time, a significant date, and so on. Don't forget to think of, and thank those men and women who have fought for to allow us to have in our country the freedoms we now have. Bless those who fought for us, those who have passed, and God be with those who are still fighting for us. 

Thanks for stopping by today everyone, and Have a Very Happy Memorial Day!! Enjoy, and be safe!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shabby and Chic Life Style, Decor, What it Means

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! 

Today I am going to cover a style that some of us know, love, and admire. Shabby and Chic, or as many know it simply as Shabby Chic. First of all, I would like to clarify that using some of the words of this nature can have legal issues with it too. I have seen some people get letters, notices, complain of being notified, and have had their sale listings removed because of using such words too. To clarify just a little bit of this I went to the official site for Rachel Ashwell http://www.shabbychic.com to see if I could read a little bit of their terms, and what it said. It showed there that the terms "shabby chic" "simply chic" and "Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture" are not to be used. I know, common words, see it all the time, and why can we not use them? Rachel Ashwell has them trademarked and/or registerd trademarks of SCB. So, they aren't just copy righted, but she went through legalities to have them trademarked too. 

When I see the term of shabby chic I think of like a story book princess dream, and being feminine too. I also think of white, chippy, and worn looking. The term comes from the 80s. Shabby Chic is a form of interior design where furniture, and the furnishings are either chosen for their age, for signs of wear and tear, or new items that are distressed to get the appearance of antique. At the same time it has a soft, and feminine feel that makes it different from regular vintage decor. 

The items are often heavily painted through the years with many layers showing through for that time-worn era. The style is intimidated with painting using a glaze, or by painting and rubbing, or sanding away the top coat to show the wood, or some of the base coating. 

Fabrics tend to be cottens, and linens. The linen is the popular one, and inspired by old French linens. Whites, worn, or bleached out pastels are favorite colors. The fabric will often be stained with tea to give a look of old fabric. Such as some papers are also stained to add with the decor of pictures, and table arrays through out the home. Using bleached, and faded terms will often be applied to the style.

Todays Shabby Chic style is vintage, and antique furniture. 

Popular decor items are pillows made of a vintage bark cloth fabric, using vintage linens, chenille bedspreads, vintage chandeliers, picture frames, wired baskets, and of course anything with roses on it. A soft, and a relaxed feminine romantic way to decorate with and that looks comfortable, and inviting. Sometimes also called, or referred to as Cottage Style. 

I also found that Shabby Chic is a general term which can be used to refer to a person who is stylish rather than fashionable.

Shabby Chic isn't simply elegant, or a decorating style . . . . It's an Attitude!

Some of this content noted is from the official Rachel Ashwell site at the beginning in regards to the terms, and use of the words. The rest of it mostly came from http://www.en-wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabby_Chic

I want to thank everyone for visiting with LilacsNDreams today. You are always Welcome to comment, leave a message, and share with everyone a thought or discussion for topics that are done here. 

Thanks again everyone, and look forward to your next visit with LilacsNDreams!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Artfire Buy and Sell Vintage Handmade Supplies

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! Out of all the venues I have sold with so far I am very much enjoying Artfire, and all it has to offer. I signed up with Artfire a very long time ago, and actually forgot about the place. I slowly would sign in, look at things, read things, and one day I got more serious about it. Was also helpful that a special was being done for becoming a pro member with them. I am usually tight with money, and watch everything I do, research it, is it worth it, and so on. I became a pro member at Artfire, and would not have it any other way. 

Okay, now back to a thought I was having earlier about Artfire, and the monthly fee there. 1 monthly fee of $10 a month, no final value fee, no listing fee, no relisting fees, no fees for pictures added ~ you can add up to 10 pictures to show everything you need to, have a choice of more than 1 payment service you may offer on site, 1 page listing...how sweet is that! Free customer support that does respond to you, the community, and also a phone support you can call that is a live person...no robotic phone service. 

Ok, but here is the real thought I was having earlier. They have the rapid cart you can use, and add that widget to any site that will accept it...mine is on the side bar on my main blog here, and also on my store blog too. I have shown it with a couple of other blogs I have, and on my websites too. Then, there is facebook where you can offer the kiosk there. Using this rapid cart, and the kiosk people can buy from you directly. No need to sign up with artfire, no registration, buy directly from the widgets that they offer for us to use.  Just click on the item, and it takes you further to do your shopping, and checkout.

So, lets see now....I have the rapid cart listed at about 4 of my blogs, I have the rapid cart on 2 of my websites, and I am using the kiosk on my facebook page. All together that is at least 7 different places a person can click, and buy from me directly...not including my Artfire store you can shop at too. Ok, at least 7 other places outside of Artfire to purchase directly from me, and I pay 1 low monthly fee for all of that! WOW! It doesn't get any better than that, right?

So, when you get a chance, check out my LilacsNDreams Artfire Store, click on my LilacsNDreams Artfire Store link I just left for you, and you can get a special too. Get your 3rd month free with Artfire when you sign up with my referrel. If you are like me, you will see how you will definitely get your moneys worth with the monthly fee for all you can do with it. It is an experience worth mentioning, and signing up for too. 

Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams tonight, and sharing with me this great selling experience with Artfire. Take a look, and definitely give it a try...you won't be disappointed.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Internet Copyright Laws and What to Know

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams where vintage, collectibles, gently used, home decor, repurposed, and upcycled are passions of mine.

I am finally getting to my blog to share with you lovely visitors some more of things that I find, read, want to share, experience, have learned, and so on. This time I want to cover Copy Right Laws for the internet. This is something that is often discussed, mentioned, and that many people have issues with. I considered myself to be fortunate, and never noticed any problems. Then, one day with research on google, with my name of LilacsNDreams, and there is was. Some of my blog posts had been copied to someone on word press, and they were showing them. At first it was nice that someone wanted to share some of my writings, and then it hit me how I felt violated. I tried to contact the person with this, to talk with them, and to further pursue this issue. Everything I tried to do with their contact I hit dead ends with it. So, I then went into a little research on the internet for this kind of issue with Copy Right Laws, what they are, what you need to do, are you covered, and is it something you have to pay for?

A correct form of copyright notice is "Copyright or ©, Date, by Author/Owner". Everything from April 1, 1989 is copyrighted by owner/author whether it has a notice, or not. All internet users must assume work is copyrighted, unless other wise specified by the author. "I grant this to the public domain" Anybody can copy, take, or use without giving credit to the owner IF this has been announced. A user can also contact the author, and be granted permission of use too. Copyright Law is Civil Law. I got this information from: http://www.pit.edu/~skvarka/education/copyright/

Everywhere you go to read on this it pretty much is saying the same thing. So, I apologize ahead of time for repeating myself with this to you. But, some things just need to be announced again, read again, or said maybe in different ways with different references too. 

Copyright protects original works of authorship including literacy, dramatic, musical, and artistic works such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright Does NOT protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation. Although it may protect the way these things are expressed. 

Names are NOT protected by copyright law. Some names may be protected under trademark law. Does Not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases they may be protected as trademarks. http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq-protect.html

Copyright protects creative expression that has been reduced to a tangible form such as a book, piece of recorded music, computer program, screenplay, painting, photograph, or motion picture. 

Trademark protects brand names, literally marking items in trade. Idea behind the trademark is to protect the consumer by giving them some confidence that items branded with a certain mark are authentic, and come from where they purpote to come from. 

Patent protects innovation. While you can't copyright an idea, you can patent one. www.benedict.com

Copyrighted works on the net include news stories, software, novels, screenplays, graphics, pictures, usenet messages, and even email. In fact, the frightening reality is that Almost Everything on the Net is protected by copyright law. 

It use to be in order to be afforded any copyright protection, one needed to put the world on notice by attaching a copyright notice to the work. While this is no longer the case, it is still customary to attach a copyright notice on copyrighted works in order to be eligible for certain types of damages. 

4 elements needed: Term copyright or the copyright symbol ~ Year of Copyright ~ Name of copyright holder ~ And the phrase "All Rights Reserved"

The symbol is required in many foreign countries in order for copyright protection to attach. However, in the United States the term "copyright" may now be used in lieu of the copyright symbol. Unless noted which the first part of this discussion was, the rest of this came from here that I found in research from google. http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq-protect.html

Also, keep in mind that the copyright is not necessarily the author, or creator of the work. There are companies to consider, the employees who work for them, and so on. 

So, when we show pictures of others we need to give them the credit for it...which has also happened to me with a reputable social media that was corrected when I made them aware of it. I don't mind my things being shown with other places, and feel privileged it would be considered. But, please, ask me first, and also upon using anything here make sure you give the proper credit needed for everything. If I got it from some where, and noted it, make sure you also note it too. If it is something that came from me, please acknowledge that too. 

Well, everyone, sorry it was a bit longer today, and I know there are repeats there too. Sorry, but I just took the content from what I was finding, and noting to put here for all to read. 

Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams today. Hope you enjoyed your visit, and know you are welcome to visit here anytime. If you have something to share with us here, please do. Comments are always welcome from everyone. All I ask is that it is kept civil, no arguing, and remember others do have their own opinions with some things too. Thanks again everyone. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Welcome to LilacsNDreams Blog of Vintage, Collectibles, Repurposed, Upcycled Treasures

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams everyone! This is going to be a bit short with no specific topic. I will come back with something better a little later. But, wanted to test through this with blogger as they had been dealing with Maintenance since Wednesday on blogger, and they appeared to have had some issues of getting things back to where they were. So, was not able to sign in, and could only read the blogs. Due to this issue I wanted to drop a quick note about this if everyone was wondering where I was, and if I was posting another topic. I have a couple in mind, and am researching a bit into them before I get started:)

I did put 4 items into Ebay for sale. You are welcome to visit there, and of course the name as always is LilacsNDreams there too. Just trying to move a little bit of inventory is all. 

Hope everyone is getting along ok with the changes that Google had laid out for everyone with the UPI. I have 1 item not working at Artfire, so I just stopped the Google Shopping Feed to it, and at Addoway I had a few not working. But, as of last night they are fixed with Addoway, and I checked again today. They are still working. So, I should be able to work on more listings now. Little bit at a time with this big Google Change. 

Hope everyone is getting through ok with my blog now, and for everyone else dealing with blogger too. Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams today everyone. Have a super Weekend!:)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vintage Inspired Handbags Totes of Feedsack Burlap Sacks Material

Hello Everyone, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams!
Nice to see you all here, and thanks so much for stopping by. It's that time of year with spring, and actually finally feeling it here. When it gets like that I am soooo ready to get outside and do some painting of things, working with some craft things, do diggins, thrift stores, yard sales, and oh soooo many FUN things to do!:) How about you?

I have been roaming the internet seeing some things others are doing, getting ideas of my own, making notes, and you know what I mean, right? I love handbags, purses that are vintage, collectibles, and some that are also handmade too. Better yet, vintage handmade is really neat to view too! The vintage along with the updated I have been finding used with some really creative ideas, and loving it. I have seen handbags, or totes also made of feedsack, burlap, and some have been really creative with making them from the feedbags of birds, dogs, and cats too. With some of this also I also seen denim used, and some fabulous quilt chenille scraps being used too. Amazing pieces! Some take a while to reconstruct, and some are not that long at all. 

I seen one seller who was using some Grain Sacks made into totes. I am upset I cannot find her name in my notes as she does a wonderful job, and I would love to give her credit for what I seen too. Some of the sacks are less than perfect, few small stains maybe, small minor flaws with the fabric, but are so yummy big. They can hold loads of great things from the flea markets, thrift stores, shopping for animals, and etc. Just everything. And, not only can you make these wonderful handbags, and totes I have been seeing all over the internet, but the materials can also be used for pillows, covers for chairs, etc. Some of the handbags, and totes use such wonderful materials for lining, and giving it a bit more character too.

Along with the Grain Sacks are Feed Sacks, Burlaps, Seed, Flour, Sugar, Salt, and Coffee Sacks being used too. You can also purchase image transfers that relate to the times that everyone likes. Purchasing the transfers you can then use them to make your bags, totes, and handbags too. Depending on the sack used pretty much determines the size of the bag made too. The handles can be made from the same materials, other materials, sometimes a rope with a cloth wrap, and so on. 
The Dog Cat Food bags that get made would be great for when your lovelies have to be kenneled, stay with a friend/relative, and so on. It becomes their traveling bag, or their shopping bag too. 

Along with the totes, and bags I have also seen sunglasses/eyeglass cases made, checkbook covers, table mats, table runners, table cloths, napkins, hang tags, and just soooo many things to mention. Using these materials makes it inexpensive, and a durable material being used. 

In the pioneer days some of the families' only source of cloth for children's clothes was empty cotton feed sacks. From these were made little girl dresses and blouses, men's work shirts, women's aprons, pillow cases, dish towels, and so on.  Today I enjoy seeing some of the tea towels made with this material, and adorning the kitchens.

Using these kind of materials is good for the environment which many are working with. Others like it for their Home Decor with the rustic look to upholster furniture, wall hangings, other things mentioned too. 

The pictures below came from a few different places on the internet while in a google product search of feedsack, burlap handbags totes. I am disappointed as I cannot find the notes I made with the names for the few that the pictures belong too. Please note, these are NOT items by me, made by me, and so on. They came from websites of others, their blogs, or some of the market places such as Artfire, and Etsy. I apologize for not being able to find the names for them, but also wanted to note I cannot take the credit for these items made by others.

I hope what I have shared with you today helps them creative juices for some of you, but also to note that some things vintage, and old can still be preserved, but in other ways that are usuable for the times of today too. If you are like me, and never throw anything away, and feel you will find a use for it some day. Well, here is 1 amongst many many ideas to be used. 

Thanks for visiting LilacsNDreams today. Hope to see you visit with me again, and remember....You are always welcome to leave a comment, and share things with all of us here too. Take care Everyone, and enjoy the day!:)

Friday, May 6, 2011

My First Collection of The Past Introduced to the Present in Green Created by Me

The Past Introduced to the Present in Green

I did it! I created my 1st Artfire Collection! So much fun doing it, easier than I thought, and it was so fun looking at things that others had to offer with their treasures at Artfire. Click the link above this to see the collection I have done. I would appreciate the visit, and any comments are always welcome too!:)

Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams today everyone! Make sure you visit my stores I have noted to the right in the side bar. Just click the links, and they will take you to them. Enjoy your browsing, and have a great evening everyone!:)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unique Product Identifiers UPI for Google Shopping Starts Today

Hello everyone, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! Vintage, collectibles, glassware, repurposed, ucpycled, and recycled are a few of my passions. 

Today is the BIG day with Google, and the changes they are laying out for ALL of us who sell online. We might sell with a market place, sell with our own websites, and as Online Sellers we all have to abide by some of the same rules. GOOGLE is our big dog search engine that really holds a lot of things for us. We all do what we can to follow their rules, but they are forever changing, and it is hard to keep up with all the changes they do. But, as of today they are hitting us all with a Very Big step that they are implementing to all of us. Either follow the rules, or you will not show with Google Shopping. This can effect you alone, or if there are too many incidents it can also effect the whole site market place that you sell with too. 

I have been reading different forums with different venues that are discussing it. I mostly like reading from Artfire because the support there is involved with responses, explanations, and trying to get everyone to understand and work together. 

As of today (May 3) for Google Shopping Google is requesting Unique Product Identifiers to be added to specific listings. If your items do not have these identifiers they are requesting they will not be submitted to Google Shopping. 

Unique Product Identifiers are product codes, or other values that may be associated with an individual product, or a listing. These identifiers are like a UPC code, MPN manufacturer part number, ISBN or that of a Japanese or Eurpeon article number JAN, EAN. 

Now, the categories they mention are Media which would use the UPC, EAN, or JAN. Books ISBN 10 or 13. Exceptions would be for the books published before 1970. Apparel, Custom Made Goods will need NO identifiers required at the moment. All Other they want you to show at least 2 of the following identifiers which is -UPC, EAN, or JAN -Brand -MPN. 

WOW! This is really a big deal right now, and it is making a lot of sellers go back through everything, and editing their listings, and making us aware of new listings for what we must do. IF you yourself cannot find the UPIs you can request an exemption from Google. Even they make mistakes if they deny this to you as I have seen with 1 seller of a vintage item. Sadly, if the UPI is available by any other retailer, then you must also include the UPI as well with no exemption. 

Categories NOT currently requiring a UPI: Apparel (including asseccories like jewelry) collectibles, vintage, antiques, one-of-a-kind OOAK, and custom made goods. Below I have copied a small chart being passed around for others to see, and I did get this one from the forums at Artfire too.

I would also like to make note that at the same time these issues are strongly being informed by Google to PLEASE watch your duplicate content also. Google does not permit this. I know, I know, we are all seeing it all the time, everyone seems to be getting by with it, but read auctionbytes with an article recently of how they have shut off iOffer do to rules not being followed. At the end of this particular article is was also noted:  

Additionally, Google has a rigid policy against duplicate listings. "There is a strict "one item, one owner" policy," the terms state. "As the owner, you may only submit one listing per item, no matter if you own multiple websites."

With these changes taken place, and with the tax changes they will also enforce by June 1st, I would strongly to try very hard to follow them...till they change things again. But, also, to help many of you as sellers with your listings too. 

I strongly would like to emphasize too...since I seen it on 1 of my listings out of 97....I had a vintage item not accepted to Google Shopping.......REMEMBER, Google Shopping is not the only search engine. There is still more of google that is used for searching. You also have search engines from Bing, Yahoo, MSN, The Find, and actually there are a lot of them out there. Google is the biggest one yes, but Google Shopping is not the biggest of the Google search engines either. Many people will go to Google, and type in their keywords they are searching. After viewing those pages they might then click on Shopping. But, the Shopping tab is not the first thing considered.

I have seen from Google Analytics that it is not always Google Shopping that shows me, but rather it is from a normal Google Search, The Find, Bing, AOL, and etc. This informs me that my items are still being seen with other searches. The most I can do myself is keep focusing on my keywords, titles, my SEO, tags, and etc. Let Google 'clean house' Should have been done a long time ago, but it is happening now. We can either deal with it, and do the best that we can, or like some have been doing...move on, and give up. Sorry, I am too stubborn for the latter part of what some have done:)

I wish all of you the best of luck with all of these changes. Gonna be tough at first, but things will soon calm with us learning our own ways of dealing with this, reading from others about what they are doing that works, and as I always seem to do...Learn as I go:) Thanks for visiting LilacsNDreams today. Take care, and I wish the best of luck to everyone!:)

CategoryIdentifiers required for each product
Media (i.e., Music, Movies, Video games)UPC, EAN, or JAN
BooksISBN (Either ISBN-10 or ISBN-13. Exceptions apply for books published before 1970.)
Apparel, custom made goodsNo identifiers are required at the moment

Custom made: Custom made items include one-of-a-kind items include items which are custom made, vintage goods, collectibles etc. Custom made items can be in every product category.
All otherAt least two of the following three identifiers:
  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • Brand
  • MPN

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lovely Lilacs Collection From Artfire Featuring LilacsNDreams

Handmade Gifts

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! I wanted to stop by quickly, and share this collection of "Lovely Lilacs" that was curated by FishPrincessDesigns at Artfire. I was featured with this adorable collection. 1 of my repurposed items is showing in the upper left corner with the lilac colored plate, and glass pedestal stand. This repurposed treasure along with other treasures can be seen in my LilacsNDreams Artfire Store. Make sure you visit there along with viewing this collection shown more, and with other great sellers & artisans at Artfire. 

Thanks for visiting with me today, and know you can drop in anytime to view, browse, ask questions, and leave comments too. Great hearing from everyone, and having everyone share with us all here too. Have a super Sunday everyone!
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