Monday, December 12, 2011

Etsy, I am dissapoint

So far I have only had good things to say about Etsy, until now. This is the first problem I've ever had with the site.

A couple nights ago a customer sent me several frantic convos, she was trying to buy something and it wouldn't let her check out. She said when she tried to pick Canada as her country to ship to, it "went blank" and "did nothing" She asked if I shipped to Canada, and I replied "Of course I ship to Canada, I'm a proud Canadian seller!" I offer shipping to USA, Canada, and "Everywhere else" on every item on my store. I double checked to make sure the shipping options were right on my listing, and they were. So I told my customer we would figure it out. First thing I did was send an email to Etsy Support explaining the problem. And then after talking with my customer we decided she would pay me directly through paypal, because she wanted the item for a Christmas gift and wanted to have it express shipped, I couldn't wait for Etsy to get back to me, she wanted to pay me right away so I could ship it immediately. After she paid the paypal invoice I deactivated the listing because it was a one of a kind item and I didn't want anyone else to buy it and have to give them a refund because it was already sold.

So I solved the problem, my customer was happy and I made a good sale. That should have been the end of it.

24 hours after all this, Etsy Support finally gets back to me. Basically they said, "I'm sorry you had a problem, but since you deactivated the listing I can't do anything to help you. It was probably your fault for not offering shipping to Canada." Then they said they removed two items from my store because they didn't meet the criteria needed to sell on Etsy, they were coupons to upgrade to express shipping. Many stores do this during the holidays and it's an easy way for people to buy items and upgrade to express shipping without having to send you a convo and wait for you to reply to arrange a shipping upgrade. They did refund me for the listing fees though, so I was only annoyed at this point. In an effort to figure out why this person couldn't check out in the first place, I replied explaining I deactivated the listing because she already paid me through Paypal and I didn't want another person to buy the same item.

Another 24 hours before I get another response. This time all they tell me is that it was a serious offence to have her pay through paypal, and that it was called "Fee Avoidence" and that if I do it again they'll shut down my store.


So in summary, this is what Etsy did:

-Took 24 hours to answer me
-Did nothing to solve my problem
-Take down my listings
-Threaten to close my store

Now, I'm not saying that Etsy is wrong. It's perfectly acceptable for them to have rules against "avoiding fees" and selling coupons that aren't tangible items. And I honestly weren't aware of those rules until I broke them in this situation. But itself is buggy, every day when I'm on it I'll try to navigate and my browser will say " couldn't load because blah blah it's retarded" And this doesn't happen with any other website I visit so I know it's not my browser, computer, or internet provider. Many times when I write a convo or a listing and click the Send/Submit button, it will take forever to load and then give me an error message, causing me to have to go back and losing all my work (I now copy a convo before I send it). Etsy used to have a problem where people would check out but the seller would never get a payment, this not only happened to me at least 5, maybe 10 times, I've talked to other sellers and it happened to them all the time too. And I get orders every day from US, Canada, and plenty of other countries, so the probability that the original problem was with my listing is very slim. So I'm assuming this person couldn't check out because Etsy was derping out.

With that in mind, this is why I'm so upset: My customer can't check out because YOUR site isn't working, and when I have them pay through pay pal you threaten to close my store? Well if people can't check out you're not going to get your fees anyways! And if my customers can't check out I'm going to take my store somewhere else anyways!! ARRRRRGH!!!!

Right now it's taking every ounce of my self control not to email them with an angry email, or a sarcastic "Thanks a bunch! Taking down my listings and threatening to close my store really helped!!" Because I'm afraid if I reply again something worse will happen to me. Maybe they'll say my angry email was "abusive" and then actually shut down my store. I'm trying to let it go, because my customer is happy and the package is already on it's way. I already solved the problem myself before Etsy even got back to me the first time. Though if I encounter more problems like this, I really will take my store somewhere else, to it's own URL, and not sell through Etsy at all. The main reason I haven't done this already is because 90% of my site traffic is through Etsy. If I only sold on my own "" I would be an isolated island in the sea of the internet, so at the point it hasn't been worth moving to my own URL, but if Etsy keeps on being buggy and then non helpful it might be.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tagging Items on Etsy

Here's a quick tip for tagging items on Etsy. I realized that you may only have 13 slots, but each slot can be filled with 2 or 3 words (20 characters max) and each word will act like a separate tag. So instead of writing "Cute" "Cupcake" and "Pink" in three separate tags, write "Cute Pink Cupcake" as one phrase in one tag. This essentially TRIPLES the amount of space you get for tagging, and this is really important because the tags are what determines the search results when people search on Etsy, where you will get the highest amount of traffic from.

Also, when you list an item the category phrases you choose also act like tags. So if you pick "Jewelry" "Necklace" and "Polymer Clay" as your categories, all of those will act as tags. You can double check this after you finished your listing, at the bottom the tags will have "Jewelry" "Necklace" and "Polymer Clay" as the first three tags. So when you're typing in the tag phrases, don't use any of the words that were already used in the category, since they're already there it will be a waste of tagging space better used for different words to maximize your search results.

I hate when people complain their shop isn't doing well, then you look at their tags and they haven't even used all 13! Remember to fill out all of those tags even if you have to stretch your brain to think of new words, it's well worth the time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday Sale 30% Off my entire store

Cyber Monday sale tomorrow only! Use the code "CYBERMONDAY" at the check out to get 30% off your entire order (does not include shipping). Sale starts tonight at midnight and will end tomorrow night at midnight.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Little Pony Triple Treat Necklace

Available for sale at Sugarcube Corner. A Sugar Cube Corner original, you won't find another like it any where else! (I dare you, go ahead and search!) There are many other My Little Pony necklaces on Etsy with smaller ponies, but none with a full sized G3 pony! I love the new Friendship is Magic series, but truly my heart lies with the G3 line of ponies that I grew up with in the 90's, so when I found a backpack full of G3 ponies at Good Will I didn't hesitate to buy it. The ponies have been sitting on my shelf for a while, and I figured I should really try and do something with them. So I threw caution to the wind, I said "I don't care if it's 'too big', I'm making a necklace!" And the result was something completely ridiculous yet absolutely fabulous! I loved giving this pony a new life in a new purpose. Are you daring enough to wear it??

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vista Print Review

If you're and Etsy seller like me, or you're thinking of becoming one, you'll need business cards. And you may have been tempted by ads for "free" business cards from Vista Print. I've ordered from them before, and I've also ordered from their competitor "" So I wanted to share my experience with their company.

"Are they really free?" Not really, you have to pay for shipping. For me, living in Canada, this was about $8 for 250 cards. It's probably cheaper to USA. They will also charge you sales tax, and if you order other "free" items, like address labels, they will add a couple dollars to the shipping. And you can't buy more than one set of 250 free cards in one order. But that's still a good deal, 250 cards for free with $8 shipping is about $0.03 per card.

"Is it a scam?" No. They don't mention the shipping costs until the very last page of the checkout, but they don't steal money from you. I've heard one story about a person that bought from Vista Print, and then months later were getting mysterious charges to their bank accounts. According to them, it was some kind of service they got signed up for without them knowing and Vista Print was charging them automatically. This never happened to me, though I paid with paypal and not a credit card or bank card. There are some services they offer like "Free business email" that will be only free for a month, and then $5 a month after that. So as long as you read the fine line you should be okay.

"Don't they put their advertisements on your cards?" Yes. On the back they will put "Business cards are free at" in very small type. No one will notice the back of your card though, unless you pay extra to put your own text/design on it, and then the advertisement won't be there.

"Don't they feel/look cheap?" They're okay. They do feel kind of papery, but the designs are in full color and look good. I did order some where the font was supposed to be pink, but it came out red on the actual cards. So stick to black text if you can. You can pay extra for heavier card stock, or glossy finish, etc. Bottom line, they will look/feel better and more professional than cards you printed off yourself from your home printer.

"Don't you have to buy something else to get the free cards?" No, you can get 250 cards for free with shipping without getting anything else--but they try damn hard to get you to upgrade or buy something else. Their business model is based around this: lure you in with free cards, and sell you tons of other stuff that you don't need. T shirts, car decals, signs, banners, mugs, post cards, pens, it goes on. If you are looking for that kind of stuff though, Vista Print has a lot of options at good prices.

"Aren't all the free designs stupid?" No, the designs that are available for free are nice. The recently updated them and now there is one with cute cupcakes, which I got, one with brightly colored felt/fabric, one with a beaded charm bracelet, and then others with themes like construction, restaurant, nail salon, for other businesses. You can also upload your own pictures and make your own design, but again that costs extra.

So all together, I would recommend Vista Print. I bought from them twice and I will buy from them again. Cards from start at $20 for 100 cards, without shipping that's $0.20 a card. I bought from Moo once before and the cards were nice, heavy paper, very customizable with your own pictures or their designs, and the colors were true to the pictures. But the Vista Print ones are so much cheaper, it makes more sense to get them because the point of business cards are to hand them out to as many people as possible. You're giving them away, so as long as they convey "This is what I sell and this is where you can but it" the cheap ones from Vista Print will do the same job as more expensive cards.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Artist Will Cotton

You may have never heard of him, but you've probably seen his work. Will Cotton is an amazing painter who creates still lifes and landscapes from candy and confections. He was the creative director behind Katy Perry's "California Gurls" music video, and designed the cover of her "Teenage Dream" album.

What's amazing about his work is that he creates these elaborate scenes in his studio, and then painstakingly paints them with photo-realistic detail. He could just take a picture and call it day, and a photograph would be enough to make these images amazing (the Katy Perry album cover is a photograph). But the fact that he takes the time to paint these scenes really earns my respect.

I love his mastery over texture, which the paint medium probably adds to (visually is there much difference between a dollop of icing and a dollop of paint?). I imagine how hard it is to paint an ice cream cone as it melts. His paintings really are "landscapes". It's one thing to paint a still life with candy, it's another thing to turn those candies into trees and rivers and cliffs.

In an installation of his work in New York City he set up a temporary bakery that offered sweets like macaroons to viewers. What an amazing experience that must have been!

This statement from Cotton sums it up: "These paintings are all about a very specific place. It's a utopia where all desire is fulfilled all the time, meaning ultimately that there can be no desire, as there is no desire without lack."

To see more of his work please visit