Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Behind the scenes...

For those of you who like my products, I thought you might be interested in some info on what goes on behind the scenes…?

In my naivety I thought all you had to do to sell stuff online is to make the item. Turns out, that’s the easy part… 

First off, you need to come up with a design, or at least an idea, of what to make, otherwise you sit there twiddling your fingers and waiting for inspiration to strike and more often than not, it doesn’t.  

Then you have to source the components. I spend a huge amount of time researching interesting beads, charms, and findings. You then have to order them, which can take weeks sometimes if they come from abroad, and often results in a cascade of wee packets tumbling through our letterbox – a phenomenon my husband refers to as ‘the avalanche’ and I jump up and down and pretend its Christmas!

Of course, nowadays I make or otherwise alter some of the parts I use, and this means less visits from the postman but that there are often hanging lines or trays of drying, painted, washed, glued, or otherwise setting, bits and pieces lying all around the house. We can’t eat off of trays in our home, as they’re all full of beads, chains and other jewellery-related paraphernalia…

Once you have your project in mind, and your components, you can begin the making process. When you have made your piece of jewellery, and worked out the selling price, there is still more to come. 

For sale online, every item needs to be photographed in suitable light, and in a pleasing way. Luckily for me, I can usually persuade my husband to do that, so at least that is one less job to fit in. 

Once I have my pictures, I can do an Etsy listing. Here I try to describe the piece as accurately as possible, with measurements, materials, and so forth, and try to mention anything else I think a potential buyer might be interested in. I also have to include tags so that my item can actually be found. 

Then, while I’m waiting for the piece of jewellery to sell, I wrap it carefully in plastic bags, or tubs for more fragile pieces, and store in large plastic boxes where I can easily find them.

Once sold, it has to be posted. Packaging tends to depend on what the item  is, how fragile it is and where it needs to go to, but usually involves pretty tissue paper, an organza bag, a business card and a wee handwritten thank you note. Everything is then popped into its postal attire, with lots of sellotape,  and I then take it down to one of the local post offices for despatch.

Afterwards I scurry home and notify the buyer that they can expect delivery shortly. (hopefully!) 

Of course, at some point I need to pay my fees for each item I list, each item I sell, and anything that goes through Paypal. Then there is the paperwork, the taxman, the advertising…

Time for a cup of coffee and start planning the next project I think…

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