Monday, December 14, 2015

Waxing Papers: Quick, Easy, Fun!




Thanks to DesignMatters TV for sharing this craft technique. It can be done on any type of paper that is porous, even copied images. Supplies are simple to assemble too. Make up a supply to use in future projects. Just don't store them in a very warm place, or they may melt some and stick together. Of course, savvy crafters would quickly find a way to incorporate the fused clump into a project, but I wouldn't want you to lose a prized image to the accident.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

It Will Produce When You Make A Move

What is it that you've been dragging your feet about? What's keeping you from making that move towards the thing that will boost your projects, your ventures or your business? Why are you not moving forward with your creative ideas? What is it going to take in order for you to take yourself and your ideas seriously? Why is it not registering to you that YOU determine your own success?

You know what you need to do. You've known for some time, but this and that has gotten in the way. You've allowed some big things and some little things to get in the way, because of...?  It has been said that we have everything inside of us that we need to realize our goals and dreams. Do you believe that? Then start seriously mining your mother lode of resources and riches.

You know what to do, and if you don't quite know what to do, it will come to you when you take your ideas and visions seriously.  Acknowledge and respect your creativity and your intelligence, and it will embrace you, and it will deliver! Always remind yourself that if you don't do something, if you don't push yourself to make a move towards that creativity inside, you'll never do anything about it. It will produce only when you make a move.

Image Credit: Free Pixabay.com Images
Quote: (c)SH Writing

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Habuse: New Handmade Selling Venue Needs Improvement


Habuse is a new handmades venue with an address at Habuse.com, Sascha Prötsch, MBA, Mayrmuehlweg 3, A-5303, Thalgau, Austria, eMail: sale(at)habuse.com. While the site lists itself as a handmades venue, it also has shopping categories such as electronics and accessories. Vintage can also be sold there. The site is pretty vacant, and I assume it is fairly new. In fact, in the About Us section it is stated that the idea for the site developed in August of this year.

There seems to be only a handful of sellers present, if that many. It looks more like 2 sellers. I do like the New Arrivals tab at the top, which the visitor can click and then see categories of new arrivals to explore. I could not find enough info on listing, and the fees are shown as 3% fvf in one place, and then in the TOU pages under fees as 3.5% and 4% + 0.50 for payment processing. The payment processing fee is on top of the Paypal fee, it seems. I know that Dwanda also charges an additional payment processing fee, and maybe Etsy.

The site seems a little cluttered for my taste, and clunky as far as navigating. I saw no shop banners for the couple that I visited, so don't know if banners or avatars are allowed. You are given 14 days to cancel your account, and I don't know what happens after that if you want to cancel or delete. There are some spelling/grammar errors in much of the website communication. This caused me to wonder what would be my experience if I had any issues for which I would need support. Would communication to resolve issues take an excessive amount of time to get an understanding?

I've decided not to open a membership there at this time. I wish the owners success with their venture. Over time the site may improve. We handmade sellers are always seeking new opportunities to list, because it is much needed. Competition is growing every day.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday Blah, Cyber Monday Celebrates


It shouldn't be a surprise that only about 50 percent of people surveyed will be physically shopping this Black Friday. According to NBCNews.com, that figure is down 2 percent. In contrast, 60 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers will take a bite out of physical shopping figures this year, a rise of 5 percent over last year.

This is, of course, good news for online handmades sellers. The more shoppers, the merrier! Happy Thanksgiving!
 

 

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Shop Filled With Stolen Digitals Taken Down At Bonanza


Digital owned by Kika Esteves

The Giftgenie shop at Bonanza was taken down, as of this morning, by admin or closed by the owner, who was stealing the work of graphic designers. Some of the work stolen and listed included digital papers and images by Kika Esteves, Maishop and Pop Stock Images. All of the images in this blog post are stolen files images which I've taken from the Kaleidoguide shop overview at Bonanza: http://bit.ly/1NS57uu. The Giftgenie shop is gone, but the Kaleidoguide review remains. I am glad so that I can show you some of what was stolen.
Digital owned by Maishop (the digital that I bought from Giftgenie)
There were oodles and oodles more graphics, digitals and clipart files at this shop, in fact, over 3,000 product listings! I believe most were probably stolen, because many had brand names and logos on the banners. I bought the ribbon banners file, which had no brand. I now know that they belong to Maishop, because I just saw them at her Meylah shop.

Digital owned by Pop Stock Images
I had mentioned via email to the shop owner, when I was browsing, that "I see you are selling Kika Esteves papers." She/he replied, "Yes, with permission of course." This was a bold-faced lie of which I was unaware, but something about the shop kept nagging at me. Something was not right. I really thought that the store was some type of graphic clearing house. I did not ask, but the owner did not explain to me how she/he was being allowed to sell the work of others. I kept wondering how, and thinking that maybe I could do this for more exposure. Interestingly, there had been a problem with the shop that frustrated my ordering. When I complained to the seller, she said that she had someone listing products for her. Apparently she had someone scraping the Net to steal digitals and list them in this shop. The listings were incomplete or flawed in some way, and the seller had to go behind the person and correct the issues.
Digital owned by Kika Esteves

I recognized Maishop and Kika papers from Meylah, where I have a shop. I'd never seen Pop Stock Images, but since the logo was so distinctive, I decided to Google it. When I was able to make time, I contacted each designer, telling them my story. I explained how it had been bothering me, and asked if they had given permission for this person to sell their graphics.

Digital owned by Maishop
Though I had wondered, I was stunned when each designer said no permission was given. I had learned years ago that this type of theft was happening regularly. I've seen websites established to post theft alerts. I've also seen creatives image theft complaint posts in various venue forums. I was still shocked and dismayed that I'd run across an actual thief. I sent the three designers links to some of their products at this shop, after which they contacted the shop owner and Bonanza.

I am glad to know that this thief seller and the thieving shop are gone. We know that they are throughout the Internet. Like resellers of cheap, knockoff merchandise, who keep popping up at handmade venues, they migrate, rename themselves and offend repeatedly. We won't stop exposing them though. We won't be forced off of the Web because of security concerns, but we'll continue to enjoy the eCommerce that we work so hard to develop.

You can use Copyscape to help protect your online content. The site shares this about their service: "Copyscape provides a free plagiarism checker for finding copies of your web pages online, as well as two more powerful professional solutions for preventing content theft and content fraud." I have been planning to use it to regularly check my own content, but haven't worked the habit into my schedule yet. It is an important part of online selling.

Protected by Copyscape

Protected by Copyscape

Protected by Copyscape

Protected by Copyscape

Protected by Copyscape


Please visit the shops of these designers whose work was saved from being pilfered one more time:

Kika Esteves Digital CutiesMeyla    Etsy

Maishop Digital ArtMeyla    Etsy


Pop Stock ImagesWebsite    Etsy

Also visit my shops EmbellishMartMeyla   Bonanza





Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Making Sales Happen: More Crucial Than Ever



Sales seem to be down at all listing venues.

I just left MadeItMyself's community, where there is a continually-growing thread asking does anyone ever sell anything on here? While it's a valid question for a listing venue with rare sales, an aged interface and little if any marketing presence, I've been hearing this gripe for at least a year now at other venues that usually do better. Except for the ebb and flow of sales around holidays and events, will sales ever pick up again to the levels that were enjoyed years ago?

I for one am not sure that this is likely.

 One reason is that the surge of makers entering the marketplace increases monthly, as more strive to supplement their income by plying their wares. As I have observed this trend over the past few years, it has somewhat alarmed me, but not enough to deter me from ecommerce, or any other type of commerce. I am a designer, maker and seller, for the long haul. It's who I am, not what I do, so there's no jumping ship for me when it comes to marketing my handmades, graphics, artwork, retro/vintage, supplies and creative services. Instead, there is only the motivation to make things happen, or sales that is.

Except for Etsy and eBay, and maybe a couple more venues, the seller has to work hard to drive customers to the listing site.

Many sellers don't want to do this, or don't know how. Sellers who have experience at the top 2-3 sites with automatic traffic don't want to work to generate sales at other venues. But even Etsy, with its massive traffic, is not a success for many people. More so now, the competition is crushing, where it was just overwhelming before.  Without a unique product and attention to marketing and promotion, It's easy to get lost among the sea of other sellers.

It doesn't matter if what I share next is true or not, because I am going to make a universal point.

I read that it is required (or at one time was) for sellers to participate in the selling teams at Etsy. While this is certainly a useful and desirable method of marketing, it is useless for those who need to adopt other promotion methods. If committing to a selling team does not resonate with a member, sales will still suffer. I am not picking on Etsy, but referring to any site where the crafter may be required to participate in promotion that may be successful for some, but that is not compatible for all. Time and effort is wasted and the sales are still not generated for those who are struggling at a site that may be top notch for successful listing.


It's becoming more obvious as the months wear on that no matter where we list, to realize sales we will have to find our own ways to make things happen. 

While some creatives can list on highly successful venues, sit back and do nothing except create and order pull, that is not the reality for the majority of online handmades sellers. In addition to creating products, we have to find ways to and become adept at creating sales, not wait for them and gripe.

________________________________ 
Image from Pixabay Free Images.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

MANAGEMENT: What's Keeping You From Being Rich?

Forget being rich. These 20 fears, shared by MSN Personal Finance, can keep you from simply reaching your potential. Start reaching it and you just may wake up one day in a higher income bracket. 20 Fears That Are Keeping You From Being Rich.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

CRAFTING: How To Use A Digital/Digi Stamp

I was looking around at Meylah this morning, after listing my latest product, and I ran across a digital stamp listing. I had always wondered if there is a significant difference between digi stamps and clip art, because this product looked like a black and white, downloadable clip art file. Deciding to educate myself once and for all, I found in my searches that there is one main difference between the two.

Digital stamp files are usually designed for stampers and others who embellish images for use in creative projects. They are generally unfinished, black and white line drawings, sketches or stamped images made into downloadable files. Clip art is often finished images that need no further embellishment in order to be printed and used.  

If you've ever wondered, below is a tutorial on how to access and use a digi stamp.


Resources:

http://www.cardmakingandpapercraft.com/articles-how/cardmakers-guide-digi-stamps
http://rubberstamping.about.com/od/digitalstamps/a/DigiStampsClipArt.htm