Monthly Archives: February 2013

  • 12

Return Shipping Label to Customer Through PayPal

Do you have a customer who wants to return an item and you need to pay for the return shipping?  

Tonight my partner in all things eBay really helped me out when I had a customer who needed to return an item.  I am not part of the return process at eBay by choice (since I sell patterns I do not want a lot of returns due to copyright).  It was nearly impossible to figure out how to send the customer a label to return the item to me.  I asked for help on Facebook and Scott came right through.  

If you need to send a return label by PDF form and email to a customer you can log into PayPal and go to this page

Pre Paid Return Label to customer by email 

Change the mailing address for SHIP FROM:  the buyers address for the main reason that this will change the cost of shipping if they are in another zone and you are shipping priority.  

in the SHIP TO: Column on the right fill in your address Preview Changes

Calculate what you know the weight to be since you mailed this to the customer. You can find the amount in eBay shipping or your third party.  Mine was with Stamps.com

You will put in weight, etc 

Hit Continue 

You will see the cost you are being charged.  Press the Pay and Continue button. 

You will then see the button to print label.   Hit Print and there will be a PDF button.  If you are on a Mac it is really easy as it says to mail a PDF to email recipient

If you are on a PC, it is a bit different but make sure you use the PDF. I think it is a link.   

 


  • 21

Types of Needlework – How to Recognize

Eli asked me to make a post about the different types of needlework so when you are out thrifting you can recognize what to buy and what keywords to use when listing to sell on the different platforms. I have done better on eBay with selling needlework kits of every type because of the international buyers.

I will also cover in another post the best types of needlework kits or patterns to buy.

First I will cover what is used with what looks like a sewing needle. This leaves out Crochet, Knitting and other forms using other needles.  I will cover those in another post.

1 Counted Cross Stitch – Counted Cross stitch today is known mostly as cross stitch.  Cross stitch is done on a fabric with squares.  The pattern is on a piece of paper and you count the squares from the pattern to the fabric. (sounds hard but it is really easy).  Kits come with different counts of fabric.  Aida is from 10 to 18 count (squares per lineal inch)  Hardanger is 22 count.  Linen is used in cross stitch and most of the time is stitched over two threads (example 28 count linen stitched over two threads would make the stitch count 14). I love the look of Linen over aida because you don’t see the squares.  NOTE: Make sure you read our next blog about buying completed finished needlework and what to look for.  

2. Stamped Cross Stitch – Stamped is cross stitch that is traced onto fabric, usually a cotton poly blend nowadays.  There are squares you that you cross over with the floss.  These squares are normally mixed in with lines to embroidery.  You can do fancy stitches or straight stitches.

3. Embroidery – Embroidery is stitched on fabric that has had the design traced onto it.  You can do a number of fancy stitches. This is what you see on dish towels. My grandmother had towels for every day of the week.  I always checked to see if she changed them daily….. and SHE DID.  Embroidery is stitched with six stand floss. You separate the threads into one or two strands depending on the look you want.

4. Crewel Embroidery  or Crewelwork –, is a decorative form of surface embroidery that uses wool yarn (acrylic is used sometimes) and a variety of different fancy stitches that follows a design on the fabric.  Crewel is usually stitched on a linen or canvas so that the wool does not pucker.  Make sure if you have kits that have part of the canvas silkscreened that you point this out.  (Photo 3 is silkscreened partially)

5. Hardanger – this has been called Hardanger embroidery but it is a counted form since you are still working in the blocks of the fabric.  Traditionally is it worked on white cloth with white thread but today I see it in all colors. It is worked on even blocks counting and using drawn thread techniques.  If you see any finished … just grab and send to me.. I collect it.   You will see this in doiles, tablecloths, runners etc.  It is really elaborate and if you find patterns they usually are good sellers but not big money.  The art is still so limited on who has the patience to do it.

6. Needlepoint – Needlepoint is stitched on a mesh canvas that is painted on the canvas.  You will be doing a half cross. There is also counted needlepoint where you would have an empty canvas and use patterns on paper to count similar to cross stitch.   You will see Mesh 12 or Mesh 14. This is how many squares are in a lineal inch.  (Needlepoint is my least favorite of any of the needle arts.) It is usually done with yarn.  Many new designers are using smaller mesh like 18 (squares per inch) and using floss for a different look.  I like the smoother look as it is not as bulky.

7. Petit (Petite) Point – Petit Point and Needlepoint are very similar in that they use canvas to stitch on and the same format but they are very different.   Petit point is just that…. you make tiny tiny stitches and usually stitch on single threads of Penelope Canvas or fine needlepoint canvas or Congress cloth which is 24 squares per inch.  Many people use Petit point to describe very fine cross stitch but since you are not crossing the full cross the term is used incorrectly.

petitpoint

8. Plastic Canvas – Plastic canvas is basically needlepoint done on plastic mesh.  You will see this used to make 3-d type items such as doll houses, magnets, photo frames etc. You cut out the designs after you have stitched and either attach to the edges to sew them together or finish off and cut the plastic so it i is not seen.

9. Smocking – I am covering smocking here because there are a lot of kits out there to make pillows with smocking. It is basically pleating and can be seen in the tops of dresses and on bonnets. There are two different types, English and Modern.

10. Brazilian  Embroidery – This is the one art I cannot tackle well. It is stunning and gorgeous but I don’t have the patience.  It is mostly flowers done in silk or Rayon Threads.


NO COUNT CROSS STITCH is the design silk screened on aida or linen with openings to do stitching to embellish the design.  This is different from Stamped Cross stitch where on stamped you have the design on the plain fabric in little blue squares and you stitch those squares.

No Count Cross Stitch Kit example

No Count Cross Stitch Kit example

 

No count example

No count example

 

 

There are other forms of needlework that include drawn thread, schwalm, blackwork etc but the above types are what you are going to see the most of in kits when you are shopping.


  • 0

Why I left GoDaddy?

As many of you know I was down for about five days last week as I transitioned from one company to another to host my blogs and my websites.  I left GoDaddy and moved to Hostgator at the recommendation of Scott Henshaw.  I already had issues with GoDaddy about how hard it was to work in the C-Panel & FTP.

The main reason I switched 18 URL’s that I own was because of the horrible television and internet ads that GoDaddy felt was necessary to get customers.  I was watching the Super Bowl with my 11 year old son when the commercial came on with the Model kissing the geek for 18 full seconds as they sucked each other’s faces off.  My son was disgusted and turned to me and said, “Mom, why do you have Godaddy?”  Right then and there as a mother, I started the process to start transferring all domains from GoDaddy and free myself of belonging to a company that I felt was promoting porn.

So I am back up and Running with the awesome customer support @hostgator and I could not be more pleased.  I had the best best best service in the transition even though it took longer than expected.  Houston who did this websites transfer apologized and said that hostgator had been swamped.  GOOD FOR HOSTGATOR.  I know why you were swamped because other people felt the same way about goDaddy.   Thank you.

So off to start talking about all things from selling online, to selling and listing on eBay and what to look for when you thrift.

I will be doing a few posts this week to catch up before I head to San Jose, California for meetings with eBay and PayPal.

If you are considering a company for your URL or Hosting. I do recommend Hostgator.

Here is a link to their site. 

 


  • 22

FOMO Coffee Mug Shipping USPS In Flat Rate Padded Envelope

FOMO SHIPPING Coffee Mugs 101 – As many of you know eBay has encouraged sellers to offer free shipping. Well…. if you sell Coffee mugs or cups and they are over 13 ounces it can get quite costly to go from coast to coast.  A package can cost up to $12.79 to mail to New York from Utah.  

I came up with a way to ship for $5.35 Priority if you are an eBay eTRS (Top Rated Seller) and $5.70 for non eTrs. I ran it by my friend Jason Smith of Thrifting with the Boys and asked what he thought… He said… “my Favorite FOMO is a genius”. Now understand FOMO means former Mormon and it is Jason’s favorite term for me … so he started naming the coffee packaging this term.. The name stuck but we felt we needed a new definition to not offend anyone. Jason and his wife Staci came up with “Freely Overcoming Mug Obstacles” (FOMO) … it works and it is a hit. We will include videos on how we use this method.  We would love to hear your reaction on this method of shipping.   Send all your friends to www.fomoshipping.com to learn how we do this. 

Fomo Shipping Saves You money shipping Coffee Mugs cross country

FOMO Shipping saves you money shipping coffee mugs cross country.

1. Flat rate Padded Priority Envelopes that are free from the post office website. (you cannot get at the counter)  You have to order from the USPS website or the 1.800.610.8734.  You will need to set up a free account.  You can call and order 200 envelopes a day.  

2. If you use online shipping, such as eBay, PayPal, Stamps.com or the USPS website, this will be between $5.05 and $5.15 depending on the site you use.

3. You will need 1. the envelope 2. Bubble Wrap 3. Cardboard to wrap the handle and mug after wrapping in Bubble wrap.   (I cut a lot of pieces from boxes and lay them in a pile for just this purpose)  http://cindysorley.com/fomo-shipping/

4. Watch to see how we pack mugs below.  

1.  David Rayor Of COST shipping Fomo  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4lD6LoAWrE

2.  Jason Smith of Thrifting with the Boys shipping FOMO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4PHQ0s_U14

I received a package in the mail from a customer so I wanted to show you how she mailed a FOMO mug.. view here


  • 0

Open An eBay Store or Not?

Should I open an eBay store? is one of the questions I get asked most often by eBay sellers.  

eBay has a great area on the platform set up to help you better understand the whole process. The best part is this handy dandy calculator with fees for all subscriptions of all store levels and those sellers without a store swill help you decide if it is time to open your store.  

Check out this great calculator here.  

ebaystore

Remember if you decide to open a store make sure you chose a store name that is easy for others to remember and is easy to market

See if the URL is available @hostgator (www.hostgator.com). You can then give your url to people you run into and have the URL directed right to your eBay store. 

The best thing you can do if you decide to open an eBay store is to set up categories of the items you are going to have in your store.  You can add more categories later.  Think of the items you have and make categories or sub categories.  Think of going in a store where it is well organized and easy to find the items you are looking for.  You will want the same set up for your customers shopping with you.   NOTE: at this time if you are listing with eBay mobile @ebaymobile, store categories are not an option to add in a listing so you will have to edit it on your computer but it is easy to do in bulk editing.   

We will talk about this more in depth in the next few weeks.  


  • 0

USPS Parcel Select & Standard

So with all the questions of the January 27, 2013 change to Parcel Select and eBay not printing Parcel Select Labels until late March, I get asked about it all the time

My friend Eric Nash at Stamps.com answered many questions on this blog a few days ago. 

The Difference between Parcel Select and Parcel Standard   <———  The article is great.. 

Can I buy Parcel Select at the Post Office?
NO — Parcel Select  can only be purchased online via a PC Postage vendor (such as Stamps.com) or from an authorized USPS business partner.

Can I buy Standard Post (formerly known as Parcel Post) online using Stamps.com?
NO — Standard Post postage can only be purchased at the Post Office.

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 1.25.49 AM

 


  • 0

No USPS Saturday Delivery? Packages YES

Today the United States Post Office (USPS) announced that starting in August 2013 that there will be no Saturday delivery of mail to homes and businesses.  Don’t get scared if you are an online buyer or seller.  There is great news for all of you.  There will be Saturday delivery of all packages, first class, parcel and priority.  

So if you sell online, the news is really not a change if you send packages. If you ship a package and it is supposed to arrive on Saturday… it will.   There will be no delivery of first class letters, junk mail etc.  

Post offices that are open now will continue to be open and you can send any type of mail on Saturday.  Will there be Pick Up for Priority on Saturdays at your home or business?  That is to be determined.  However, if you have packages ready to go and you see a carrier or your carrier delivers to you, they should take the packages for you.   You can still go to your local post office and drop off all mail.  

This is good news for carriers locally where I live as the full timers will not have to rotate and work different schedules. They will work Monday – Friday and the lighter Saturday delivery will be done by the sub route carriers.   So….. no complaints anyone… if you send packages there is no change to you… it could have been much much worse.   

usps


  • 4

Simple Credit Card Processing – PayPal Here

PayPal Here?  Do you ever wish you could take a credit card for some reason? You have a buyer on Craig’s list and they only have a credit card?  You sell jewelry at a craft show occasionally? You did some work for a friend and he says he will pay you later because he doesn’t have cash?  I can fix all those issues for you!!!!

You ask “How”?  It is called Simple Credit Card Processing with A PayPal Here device for your Smart Phone or IPad. 

You will need the following:

1 A PayPal account (to open any PayPal account they will do a credit check). Believe me if you are a seller you want credit checks done on all PayPal account holders to prevent fraud. 

2 An IPhone (3GS or Higher), IPad, IPad Mini or an Android with 2.33 or higher. 

3. A PayPal Here device.   You can order one from PayPal but will have to wait for it to arrive or you can go to your local AT&T or Staples Store and pay $15.00 and you will get the money refunded back to you.      Find a Staples or AT&T Store near you to pick up PayPal Here 

Now the details… 

The PayPal Here is great for small businesses, mom and pop shops, hair dressers, barbers, you name it, anyone that takes a credit cards occasionally, those with low average sales (merchant services charge a transaction fee in addition to a percentage), crafters, food market vendors, bike and car shows, the list is endless.  

One PayPal Here user told me that reason she likes it is because  it is “For easy, on the go, convenient transactions for your not so traditional business.”

So the nitty gritty and costs. 

There is no start up, monthly or annual fee. 

If you swipe a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) the fee is a straight 2.70%.  There is no transaction fee that most payment merchants charge for each swipe. 

If you have to scan a card of key the card into your smart device, the fee will be 3.5o% and 15 cents for each transaction. 

The PayPal Here is encrypted for better fraud protection.

PayPal Here is available in US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia.  Great news that the UK will have the PayPal Here service soon. 

Marvelous customer support whether you prefer speaking to someone live on the phone, email or even community support from users on different platforms such as twitter, facebook and other sites. 

Your money is immediately available in your PayPal account.  If you have a business account you can get a PayPal Debit card and use it to withdraw money from an ATM or to use it to buy at stores and other businesses.  (if you run your card as a credit card (it still really is a debit card) then you get 1% back every quarter.  If you don’t have the debit card you can transfer money from PayPal to your bank and it will take about three working days to reach your account. 

The name PayPal gives people a feeling of trust in the marketplace.  (Note: the buyer uses any credit card, they do not have to have a PayPal account to Pay). I get asked that question a lot. 

The device locks in place so that it does not swing around when you are trying to swipe a card. 

You can invoice customers from the Here. 

THE BEST reason in my opinion is they accept checks with NO FEES.  YES YES YES.  I get a number of checks in my business but by the time I have a chance to get the bank it could be a month or longer.  I just scan the check (front and back), upload to PayPal, put it aside for a few days until it clears then destroy the checks.

So what is holding you back from ordering a PayPal Here?  Are you thinking your will never use it?  You will be upset when you don’t have one. So order one  right here  You can thank me later…. 

 

Watch this Video to see How Simple PayPal Here is to use

paypalhere It’s cute huh? and it fits right in your pocket.  

Now go make some money and call all those people that owe you money and get paid …. 

 

 

 


  • 0

Internet Sales Tax for 50 States?

Internet Sales Tax  for all 50 States?  Are you like me and don’t want to fill out 50 tax forms every month and keep records for the sales tax you have gathered from sales in every state?  

Do you have a physical store or building in those 50 states?   You should not have to pay sales tax to those states you do not have a physical presence in.

Amazon has caved to this ridiculous law and I am closing my 3000 items and moving them to eBay.  

eBay has been a fighter in not allowing sales tax be collected for online businesses that do not have a physical presence in a state.  

Help me in the fight,  if you agree,  by writing your congressmen and senators.  eBay makes it easy for you by just filling out the form.  They will get the form mailed, faxed or emailed.

Visit eBay Main Street here 

ebaymainstreet

 

 



  • 8

Why I sell on eBay!

Tonight I received a message from Crystal asking if I liked selling on eBay and being an eBay business owner.  This gave me a great chance to tell my story why I sell on eBay. 

My story in the needlework business started after I married my Marine Corps pilot husband. I was always doing counted cross stitch and the wives of the other officers would ask where I bought my supplies. I was getting them from my favorite store in Mississippi, where I had gone to college.  I decided to start ordering for the wives and Stitchery X-Press started in 1982.  Over the years we had a shop outside of Denver, Colorado and a store here in Layton, Utah.   We also had a mail order business before the internet was huge and I worked as a needlework buyer for a large chain of stores in New Jersey.  

In early 2001 I found out I was pregnant right before my 40th birthday. We had a 14 year old son Steven.  I had the needlework store and figured I could bring the baby to work with me daily.  It worked until he became a rambunctious toddler and ran for the door anytime a customer came in the store. 

We were notified our rent was going up. We had a lot of problems with shop lifting and bounced checks we couldn’t recover the money from.  I decided that I would try eBay since I was buying on the site.  Well…. Well… Well… I was selling more after 30 days on eBay than I had done the prior month in my store.  I talked to my husband about closing the store and moving the business home.  I have never looked back.  

My world of sales opened up.  I was selling all over the world instantly (if you do not sell internationally you are really missing some great opportunities).  I had amazing return customers and I wanted our customer service to be awesome so we would get those customers back.  We are approaching 25,000 feedback and I could not have done it without loving what I do.  I love cross stitch so it was only fitting to sell the inventory from my shop.  The customers wanted current patterns in addition to the out of print classics I had in stock.  I contacted my favorite wholesales and told them what I was doing. I let them know I was not marking down the prices. I was selling at full retail so that I did not compete against brick and mortar stores. I had some wholesalers and designers that were wonderful about it and other designers that had the attitude of “I don’t want my stuff sold on eBay, that is a garage sale”. Let’s just say. I don’t need those designers and I refuse to carry their designs.  

You have to sell a lot of patterns to make money after the eBay fees, the PayPal fees, etc and so I started adding threads, fabrics and other items.  

I also started searching for old kits that my customers were requesting.  Since most were out of print, I would resort to eBay, garage sales and thrift stores.  I found some but along the way I also found other items I knew I could flip and make money on.  I was worried about selling the items in my specialty needlework store and wondering what my customers would think when I added coffee cups, shirts, ornaments, rubber stamps, home school books, aviation collectibles, etc.  I realized that with store categories, it didn’t matter. My customers could go to the categories they wanted and shop.  

I branched out two years ago when I was given 1200 books from a church I had taught a selling class to stay at home moms.  The books fit Amazon but not so much eBay. I did the Amazon platform for two years and after much frustration, astronomical fees, Amazon being my biggest competitor and the policy that customers can return an item at anytime made me decide to leave Amazon. I am closing my merchant fulfilled account this month.  

Why eBay works for me!  

1 It is easy to list and to sell.  I use mobile to list all items and I can correspond with customers and answer emails from my phone.

2. Sellers complain about the fees.  Have you ever had a brick and mortar, utilities, employees etc?  The “rent” I pay eBay is a lot less than I would pay in those fees to a landlord. Plus, I am selling globally, not just to my local customers. 

3. I can have my own hours.   I get up in the morning and check all emails for questions and sales.  My post office closes at 5:30 everyday. My husband drops everything off. We have a policy that if you buy by 4 PM that day it will go out if we are in the shoppe. I can arrange my schedule around how many packages I have to ship to know how my day will go. 

4. We have turned this into a family based business with my husband helping when I travel (I speak at conferences a few times a year about selling and buying) and he has the shipping part down pretty good.  Thanks Stamp.com for that.  

5. I love the community of eBay and PayPal. I love meeting sellers, buyers, and employees at eBay on Locations and when I speak.  I love having friends on Facebook who are sellers and buyers and understand that aspect of my life. I feel like I am part of eBay and PayPal.  

Devin Wenig, Cindy Sorley, John Donohoe.

Devin Wenig, Cindy Sorley, John Donohoe.


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