Saturday, August 20, 2011

Welcome to LilacsNDreams Blog Website

Hello everyone, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams Blog! Sorry, I guess this was my week to slack off just a bit. I do have a topic I am going to share, but will probably do it this next week. Got some pictures, and some blogs/sites I would like to add with the topic too. Also, don't forget the tabs at the top for other pages with this blog too. I try to share things a little different with each one:)

For our area, most of the schools have started. Kids seem to be doing good, and enjoying themselves. For me it was quite different this year not rushing around getting school supplies, looking for any school lists, registering kids for school, having a meet the teacher night, and so on. Both our kids our grown up now...last one graduated last year, and our daughter is a bit older, and is married with a 6 year old too. Oh, yeah, Grandma I am too....she decided she had to start young I guess:)

Hope everyone had a great week, was enjoyable, able to get some last minute plans in, final vacations, but hang on as we have Labor Day coming to us soon too!:) Thanks for visiting, and stopping by to check on things here. Ya'll take care, and see you again soon. Have a sweet Weekend!:)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Online Sales Summertime Slow or None

Online Sales Summertime Sales Slow or None
Welcome to LilacsNDreams, and glad to have you visiting!:) For those who do sales whether online, or in a brick and mortar store have noticed sales being slow, or for some they have not really had any sales to speak of. When this happens, many of us will question ourselves about what are we doing wrong, do I need to change something, is there more I could do, and so on.

In all reality sales during the summer generally are slower for many. Depends on what you are selling, supply and demand, etc. Many people, and families during the summer spend time vacationing, traveling, spending more time with family and friends, and their focus is not with buying too much of anything. Sure, they will buy when they are traveling, visiting out of town, and vacationing for different little things. The majority of their time is not spending all their time online buying, but maybe emailing, researching with travel plans, some take the summer to prepare for winter months themselves, and things like that. 

Me? Selling vintage has usually been slow for me during the summer time which I have adjusted to. I have adapted with the sales being very slow, or if any at all. This summer plans worked out for me being slower during this time. I have taken the opportunity to work more with my blog, spend some time with my website, researching some things I wanted to do with a few changes I wanted to make, and taking the time to repurpose different items. I have also been able to go through some of my inventory, review what has been selling and not selling, and making decisions of trying to keep selling what has not sold, or to let it go. 

With some of the pieces I have tried to sell with more than one venue, and they have not sold. I do not desire to donate them, or give them away. So, some of them are being repurposed also. Not all of them, but some pieces. I have also been able to experiment a little bit with like the glue I choose to use, and if it will work for me. I have been working on painting just a few things, not all I had planned on, but some of them. Do I spray paint, or do I brush it? I have also been able to take a little time to go thrifting for different pieces knowing more of what will sell for me, and also as I walk around seeing if I reimagine any of the pieces in other ways. It has been an enjoyable summer doing a little bit here, and a little bit there.  Learning, reading, and making them notes too!:)

Upon checking with some of my other pages in the tabs above you will see a little bit of what I have been doing. What I have found thrifting, what I have repurposed, before and after pictures, and just some chit chat too:) If you will view the Thrift Store Junkies page, and Second Time Treasures page you will be able to see a little bit of what I have been doing. Also, if you see my Artfire Store you will see more of the vintage there, a few pieces of repurposed, and the other inventory I have been working with I will soon be adding to that store. 

So, if you are getting the summer time blues with your sales, are worried about having slow sales, or no sales, don't be too worried. Summer time is generally slower for many as they look back through things, and discover that is generally a slower time that has been dealt with. Now.....the season will soon change with vacations over with, traveling becoming minimal, and with school starting. School for the little ones, those in middle schools, high schools, and college too. Things calm a little after that, and people will be spending more time with the computers, and doing some of their favorite online shopping again too.

Hang in there everyone, things will soon get better!:) Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams, and hope you enjoyed your visit as always. Take care, and see you again!:)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

LilacsNDreams Artfire Market Places and Completed Sales

Hello, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! I hope everyone is having a super weekend, and that is continues for you!:)

WooHoo! I am happy to say that I have made 2 sales now! One was through Addoway, and due to a glitch with Payapl we had some issues to over come. I ended up invoicing the customer through paypal myself, and she has been very happy with my co-operation, and staying on top of things. This made me feel really good. That sale happened on Thursday the 4th for an Amethyst Scalloped Ruffled Fluted Glass Bowl. Then, this morning I received notice from my Google Checkout  with Ecrater about my A&W Bear that has been purchased. Unfortunately, it is the weekend, postal service, and I will not be able to ship this treasure till Monday. I may be extremely tired past few days, but it has been very comforting having a couple of sales too. 

ARTFIRE has an official group with LinkedIn now....WooHoo! I myself had started a really small group there for Artfire as I could not find anything that was being maintained, or a place for memebers to go too. I am so very happy to see this Official Group by Artfire now using the Official Artfire Logo too:)

Just stopping by to share some of my excitement with all of you. Visit my stores, and don't forget about my other blog pages tabbed at the top too. Happy to see you everywhere with me. Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams today. Wishing everyone a sweet weekend, have fun, and be safe!:)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Preparing For Shipping and Finalizing the Sale

Preparing For Shipping and Finalizing the Sale.

Well, you have done everything up to this point, and have done a listing for your products you wish to sell. Do not be discouraged after this if it takes a while to get a sale, maybe you will have a sale right away, and sometimes you will make more than one sale too. It varies for everyone, and consistency is not something that comes with selling online. 

Ok, you made a sale, and with most market places an invoice has been sent to the customer. Everyone does everything differently, and again you will have to find the way that works for you, and feels comfortable for you too. Once a sale is made I send a personal note to the customer thanking them for their purchase, and asking them if there is any change to the mailing address to please notify me of it as well so that I may note it. 

Once payment is made you will then have to prepare the item for shipping, or sometimes you can have most of the process done while waiting for payment too. Make sure you have supplies on hand for the method of shipping you have chosen. Boxes, mailing tape, bubble wrap for delicate items, peanuts, or whatever supplies you choose to use for your shipping. You want to do the best you can wrapping the item to ship as once it leaves your presence you will have no control of how it is handled from then until the customer receives the item they have purchased. 

Another step to follow through with after receiving your payment is to prepare the shipping label, and also I recommend enclosing an invoice with each order you process. I myself enclose an invoice with the item for verification for the customer, and I make a copy of the invoice for my records as well. You will also want to consider enclosing a business card, maybe a thank you note, and some sellers include some small gift along with every purchase of maybe a pen, a magnet, or whatever is used to represent you, and your name. No rules for any of this, and it is your decision of what you will, and will not do. 

Ok, you have securely wrapped the item, properly boxed it for shipment, and it has been delivered to the post office, or a pick up was done of the item for delivery. After this processing is completed it is always curteous for you to then notify the customer by thanking them again for their purchase, and that their shipment has been made. This will better help them to watch for the item, and kind of when to expect delivery according to the shipping service used.

Keep in mind, you do not have to do all of these extra steps, and there are plenty of sellers that have their own ways, do just a few things, or really do nothing at all except to package and ship. It all relies on the customer service that you wish to extend to the customers, and how you will be remembered for your services too. 

I know there is much more that could have been covered, and it could have become very lengthy too. Yeah, more winded than I have been:) Most of what has all been covered with these topics for selling is the basics of doing things for Online Selling. I hope this has helped you with things you do, for those new to online selling, and maybe a bit of a reminder for some as well too. I wish you all well, and best of luck to you with all you do. Take care, have fun, and enjoy your new venture!:)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Listing Formats Basics for Market Places

Listing Formats Basics for Different Market Places

Welcome to LilacsNDreams everyone!:) Tonight I will be covering the listing formats, the basics of them for the different market places. Every market place provides you with a form for you to complete, and is the page you will see when shopping. Keep in the mind that the sequence of how the pages are done will be different with each place, but they all have different sections to complete. Don't be frustrated with them as they do the same thing, just different orders of things done, and the categories can vary too. 

You will want to choose the category you will be listing with. Make sure you check for any site rules about listing in certain categories, and if you are allowed to list with more than one category too. You will want to research a bit to see the categories used by others selling similar items with the site you are listing with. Most of the sites do have a specific category, and then sub-categories with them. 

Writing a Title as was mentioned before will now be used. Check with the site you are using for how many characters are allowed in the titles. It is generally from about 55 up to 70 characters. Avoid the adjectives such as Beautiful, Adorable, Pretty, New with your titles as they will not count, or help. They do not make you stand out more in searches, and only take away from characters you are allowed to use. Make sure to use keywords that will be used for searching for your items with the search engines. 

Next will come the pictures you will be posting which we covered last week with the bit on photography. Each site is different on the amount of pictures they will allow. Some will allow up to 10 for free, or is included with your site fees. Other places maybe only allow 1-4, and any more you will have to pay a small fee for anything above that. Also, will you be able to use the pictures from your computer, or does the site have you upload them from an online hosting site. By now, you will know some of these things as you are doing your listings to better assist you.

Now you will work on your descriptions with your listings. Make sure to give as much information as possible here. It is ok to use your title here again in the first sentence which is better for search engines, and placements. Give information of the product, color, size, condition, vintage, collectible, handmade, supplies, and etc. Mention some of the purposes of having this item, why they should purchase it, and make this appealing to the customer. Remember, you are trying to sell your product to them who cannot see it in person, feel it, touch it, smell it, and etc. 

Mention your payment types accepted, your shipping procedures and what they can expect, and your return policies also. If you charge any kind of handling fees it would be best to mention this too. Let them know that if they have any questions to please contact you with them. You are willing to help them the best that you can to make this an enjoyable, smooth, and pleasant transaction. 

As you can see it is all kind of coming together now from this little bit of a series that has been offered to you each week. There is just another 1-2 topics to cover, and you are on your way to listing your products, and enjoying your sales that will soon come to you also. Remember, it can be frustrating at first. Especially if this is all new to you. Some people will make a sale right away, and then have to wait again for another one. I have seen another business who has been doing ok for themselves mention that it took them up to 9 months before they made their first sale. It varies, and no 2 incidents will ever be alike. All we can do is learn from others, apply some of what others have done, but most of all find the way that works best for ourselves to accomplish our goals. 

Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams, and I hope this information has been helpful to you. Either you can follow what has been suggested, or at least apply some of it to fit in with your own way of doing things. I wish you all well, and Good Luck to you all!:) Happy Selling, and enjoy everyone!:)

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