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Hi! Newbie from other e site! Little overwhelmed but EXCITED

 
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Quimzies



Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Hi! Newbie from other e site! Little overwhelmed but EXCITED Reply with quote

Hi everyone!
One of many who failed at the big site for no apparent reason...all 5 stars, shipped on time, y'all know the deal! Smile
Please don't kick me off for doing something dumb I didn't know I was doing! I'm trying my best!

~Since the other one did calculated shipping, I hope my shipping is good to go. Chose the USPS calculated option which overrides the others, correct? I'm reading the various info on this hoping I get it right.

~I didn't realize you could open other stores with different emails...Opinions?Anyone think I should do that?
~I've got so much to list from old to new, kids stuff, hello kitty, home decor, it's a variety gift shop kinda place! Currently, it's only my imported items posted, I haven't even really started with the rest or new items yet!!

~~Also, please go easy on me, I am terrible at photos unless outside! Need a logo and more listings...worked in office for years until weird reactions to paper caused me to find a new path at 40!
~~~SO MUCH to learn!! I applaud you guys who have been at it for years!! KUDOS!!!
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4075

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to eCRATER and welcome to the community forum. You have a nice start to your store. I commend and thank you for taking time to read some of the topics here on the forum. There is a lot of helpful information posted and fellow sellers who are willing to help when you can't find an answer. I took a few minutes to look over your store and have a few comments.

1. Shipping -- USPS Calculated shipping works a little different on eCRATER compared to other sites. The choices you make are storewide rather than for a single item. You should NEVER offer a shipping option that can not be used by every item in your store. In other words, Media Mail is out unless every item in your store can be shipped via Media Mail. The one exception is First Class mail which will only be offered when the item has a weight equal to or less than 13 ounces. Also, you need to enter your weights as decimals of a pound. There was a discussion recently that covered most of the points regarding shipping on eCRATER. Rather than writing more, I strongly suggest you review that topic. If you have additional questions, let us know.
eCRATER.com Forum Index -> Selling on eCRATER.com -> Google says I offer free shipping but I don't.

2. Other stores -- There are pros and cons to having multiple stores. I would never suggest anyone open multiple store unless they have a really good reason. The search engines love stores with activity. If you have only one store, every time you enter a new item, your store has activity. If you have multiple stores, you have multiple work to keep them all active stores. I think it would always be better to have just one store if it's possible. Personally, I have 4 stores because I wanted to use 4 different methods of shipping, but today I don't recommend it unless you have a huge amount of media mail items that justify their own store.

3. Imported items -- The eCRATER system does not allow HTML coding. When you import items using the My eBay import, all coding is ignored. If you didn't use coding on ebay, you're fine, but if you used a template or any other coding, your descriptions are going to be hard to read and need revision. You are also left with a category called My eBay which can't be deleted, but it can be renamed so I would suggest you change the name. I wouldn't use a name that is going to be a major category if you plan to use the ebay importer in the future because the future import will go into that category.

4. Google Attributes -- If you haven't added any, you need to. There are many topic here on the forum to help with attributes.

5. Before you start listing any new items, it would be to your advantage to review the info above and read the link related to shipping. Once you know the revisions that need to be made, you can made all changes to each item at one time and be done with that item. Then you can move on to new items.

Overall, I think you have a good start. You do need to add info to your terms and FAQs. The search engines check those pages too, so don't waste them. Your photos look fine and the ones I saw were a good size. Google Shopping wants photos that are at least 800px by 800px and larger is better.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16388

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well hello and welcome.

I had two stores once. No longer. After a year and half and only 3-4 sales in the book store I closed it out. As Sheila said, this is a personal decision.

By the way, as far as I am aware, there are quite a few of us old fogies here, that went to school in the pre-historic era (no computers). If we can do it anyone can.

I know you were wondering about shipping costs. I have only ever used the matrix here and I LOVE it! I have a very few items that are flat rate, although I think I have managed to sell most of them.

I am a bit concerned about some of your shipping for items. I don't know if you left ebay or etzy, but for the most part as a seller you should be having tracking/delivery confirmation on every shipped purchase. Charging $1 for shipping, doesn't allow for delivery confirmation on your items and some of what I saw that you have that charge on, like the Hello Kitty clutch purse, is never going to make it as a flat first class envelope. I don't know it's weight, but I would be sending it via first class parcel that has the cheapest postage price of $2.66. which includes delivery confirmation as well. Same with some of your jewelry pieces. You are only allowing for insertion into a regular letter envelope with that $1 and that does nothing to protect the piece from being squashed or broken in transit. And of course no D/C.

Just some thoughts, feel free to ignore.
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Quimzies



Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Sheila & Moonwishes for checking on my store! Wink

I agree on keeping one store. It seemed like too much work just reading a post about it! Smile I just don't want to scare certain buyers away because they think I only carry hello kitty! Smile

Shipping:
My inventory posted is figured out as to what costs what to ship. My little items easily ship for under $3.75. Shoes and pottery/mugs fit in 2 priority size boxes, weight approximately 2 lbs, few oz.
Plus, I have learned so much from my friendly USPS counter lady! Smile

My matrix is set up a bit differently...I used the advice from nonsport (a few posts down) from this thread:
https://community.ecrater.com/viewtopic.php?t=481

I calculated all of it for mainland, Hawaii, Alaska and UK (from USPS site). Added fixed prices into the matrix (disregarding the actual weight) using my frequently used pricing, so that no one is over paying.

It's not that the actual item weighs a pound or 5 lbs, it's the number coordinating with my fixed price. I couldn't get my pic added to show you but here is a link to the pic. My notes are on the right with what number entered will coordinate with each price option.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/c1f6lcmjf1fptck/ShippingEcrater.jpg

The $1 shipping for super light items is my attempt to win new customers (like free shipping but was concerned about leaving zeros so put $1). My cost being $2.50 at most. I've done the math, I still profit.

Coming from 10-15% fees to here where I can focus on offering better pricing and incentives, I will gladly offer dollar shipping to bring in new customers! Plus, I have a large amount of new items I want to focus on posting and get rid of some of the older items!! My lil apartment plus storage unit is getting cramped!!! Smile

My only other question for now is- did it take you a while to get sales?

A few weeks ago, I had given up posting more here because I didn't know enough about attributes and was so frustrated!!!! Then along came a random sale!!!! HAPPY DANCE!!!!
And boy have I educated myself on attributes since I started setting up new stores....seems like 100 years ago!!!! I am updating them on here like a mad woman!!!!!!!

If either of you think the shipping is a nutty way of going about it, I will gladly accept some feedback and apply it!

Thank you so so so so much for your time!!!!!!!! You have been so helpful!!

Smile
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Quimzies



Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:52 pm    Post subject: One More Shipping Note Reply with quote

I did want to follow up a bit more on Moonwishes comment about tracking. I use click and ship whenever possible through my USPS account thinking I could copy and paste any tracking info.

Now I am rethinking this....I don't think I have used parcel as of yet. I use the shipping calculator all the time and chose the lowest priced option. I am currently only offering shipping to the UK until I get a better handle on shipping anywhere outside of US.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16388

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The post office just changed rates and rules on some things a few weeks ago. The cheapest that you can ship anything via first class parcel (1 oz and up plus tracking) is $2.66. At the PO it would be more I believe. I use endicia and you can certainly use click and ship as well. I am not cognizant of the newest rules for personal, business sizes and manilla envelopes, but they may now have a thickness limit. Some of the things that are thick and breakable without any protection but regular weight envelope paper on either side shouldn't even be attempted to be shipped via regular first class mail - such as in a letter envelope.

Don't mean to beat a dead horse so to speak, but you always want d/c. One of the nice things about selling here is when someone a month after you shipped something and it shows delivered, and the buyer decides to give you a negative because they 'never got it', you can write to the ecrater team and they are usually good about remvoing the negative, but they do want to see the tracking number.

You seemed to jump from US shipping to shipping to the UK in one paragraph, but shipping (unless you are using Priority) to the UK is called first class international parcel (I think Parcel is the last word) while here in the US it is called first class parcel for anything over 3.5 ounces up to 15.9 ounces which it then turns into Priority mail. however if you want tracking, even if something is 1-2 ounces, you would still need to use the FCParcel rate.

I just checked the thread you mentioned and do you realize that it is 12 years old? Things have changed and the last two posts are very incorrect.I did't read all 25 pages. I have been using the matrix for 10 years, no trouble. I have it set in such a way that my shipping is always combined with no problem. In all the years of using it, the only time it didn't come through is when I didn't code the weight for super heavy, 6 ounces and up, patterns and so sometimes I might be a bit short on multi-item orders. But that is rare and I try not to list like that. I've written a lot of posts about the matrix (a lot about a lot of stuff actually, if you want to do a search for more info. I need to be heading to bed. Just realized it is past 4AM!
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4075

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: One More Shipping Note Reply with quote

Quimzies wrote:
I did want to follow up a bit more on Moonwishes comment about tracking. I use click and ship whenever possible through my USPS account thinking I could copy and paste any tracking info.

Now I am rethinking this....I don't think I have used parcel as of yet. I use the shipping calculator all the time and chose the lowest priced option. I am currently only offering shipping to the UK until I get a better handle on shipping anywhere outside of US.
It appears you are paying RETAIL rates for your shipping. If you use Paypal shipping, you will be paying the commercial base rate without a monthly fee. You could also sign up for an account with Stamps.com or Endicia. They charge a monthly fee, but you get a big savings on the cost of insurance. You also get great service. I've never lost service with Endicia, but Paypal can be flakey at times. The eCRATER USPS Calculated shipping is Retail based, but then you can use the commercial rate shipping to off set some of your cost for shipping supplies.

First Class Parcel is the only First Class option that provides tracking and it's included in the price. If your customer files a claim with Paypal or a charge-back with their credit card saying they never received their item, the USPS tracking is the only way you can show both shipping AND USPS delivery. If you lose the Paypal claim, you will be paying for a full refund + your Paypal fees. If they do a charge-back and win, you lose all of the above plus a fee to Paypay that I think is $25.00. All because you didn't charge the customer the little bit extra to pay for First Class Parcel with tracking.

First Class International Parcel is way more expensive than simply First Class International, but it's the only service that provides tracking for your Canadian, UK and AU shipments. There is a list on the USPS site of the countries to which you can ship with tracking.

Each seller must make their own decision regarding selecting a service that provides tracking. I just want to try to help sellers make an educated decision based on their personal needs.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16388

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheila is completely correct. One of the things that I have learned here about giving discounts, 10% off as well as coupons, is that they never effect my sales one bit. So I stopped. I charge what I need to charge to ship including postage, shipping supplies, and even the occasional trip to the PO.

I also use stealth shipping via endicia so that a buyer can't see how much the shipping was. Some buyers seeing that the shipping is, for example, 99 cents and they paid $1 want that penny back. An extreme example for sure. At one point I had a French buyer purchase a pattern, back before international mail got so high priced and before I had the stealth shipping. She saw that she had paid something silly like 26 cents more that it cost me in postage, and complained and wanted it refunded - NO WAY! This was on eBay and I checked all the feedback that she had left for people and at least one third of the feedbacks she left was complaints about not being refunded 25 cents, or 40 cents or whatever. She couldn't comprehend that there are more shipping costs than just postage.

I just switched for most mailings to a plastic envelope. A 100 of them cost me LESS than half of what the UPS charges is normally for shipping a box of bubble envelopes, not even counting the cost of the envelopes themselves! Because their weight is so much less than bubble envelopes, where the scale might have tipped to the 5 ounce rate. Not so now. So there is savings in several areas, besides which I have 400 envelopes, minus the ones I have used this past week, are sitting next to me by my desk. Those big boxes just clutter up the house. Lots of pluses. I got pink ones which I think of as a happy color! Every penny we save in shipping helps us keep our rates down and customers happy. I do however charge sufficient to cover mailing costs plus the postage.
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Quimzies



Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a duh moment i am having! Sorry y'all, info overload setting up shop on other sites!

I have a few customers (they email me orders) that send checks for handmade soaps which i use my USPS account for, but Paypal for any online sales. The sale I made on here was Stripe which I am new to... I will re-do the matrix, use the calculated option and read more about it. That old thread I posted a link too seemed like an easy way for me to understand how to work it.

Not a fan of any shipping without tracking numbers....I live by those to follow up when its arrived!

I will try to get out of the ebay mindset of "offer your first born for 75% off and free shipping!" Very Happy They spoiled me with the easy calculated options but not with the fees! No discounts...just post it at what the value is from now on.

Hit 40 last year, too old to figure out a new career without a boss! Wink

You guys have been so good to me! If you're ever in nc, I owe you a thousand big hugs!!!
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16388

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem I think I speak for Sheila as well and others that are willing to help. We don't mind helping until a newbie has a huge glaring problem that you mention to them and they turn on us with sharp claws and teeth so to peak. For us it can get risky trying to help a newbie as some just want pats on the back and being told that everything was wonderful.

You are just a kid! I'm old enough to be your mother. I ended up sick almost 16 years ago now, and have been home ever since on disability. I started selling some of my stuff to help clear out stuff since I thought I was dying. I didn't die, but did start a business. Only part time as I don't have a lot of oomph.
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Quimzies



Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like some not so fun but juicy drama! Maybe you should blog for money! Wink The days of our lives on community forums! You can jazz it up, theres a reason soaps are still on TV!

I certainly wouldn't be an ass to someone being helpful. If anything, my feelings may be hurt but I'm a sensitive perfectionist. Smile Plus my mama raised me better than that!

I'm sorry about your illness but I am so glad you are still here! It gets lonely doing this and you both have brightened my days lately. Smile I was making very good money at a state university until a string of bad events led me to unemployed and sensitive to paper among numerous other things. Haven't been able to focus on my store much today because of it.

Guess the Vtines rush is over anyway, tax refunds next?
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16388

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of what I sell, I don't notice holiday sales as much as others. I've sold quite a few Christmas kits and patterns since Christmas! Valentines is my 16th anniversary and it was three weeks later that I first got sick and spent several days in the hospital. Took months to get a diagnosis and then on the right meds. But between what I had been making as a nurse and then started getting two years later on SSD, my income had dropped by two thirds. This has been my occupational therapy as well as a way to be able to afford the important things in life, like medications, groceries and chocolate! But these things happen and I like what I do. Smile One of the reasons that I encourage people to sell in a niche that they are interested in and enjoy learning about. I can't conceive of why people would want to be the millionth seller of cell phone covers Question Rolling Eyes Question when they could be selling something interesting. But then maybe some do find them interesting but they sure aren't my cup of tea.
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Quimzies



Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy anniversary Moonwishes! Was messing with Pinterest and think I followed you. Smile I found eCrater looking for inspiration. Smile Hope y'all have a good day!
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express-dealsbay



Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a newbie myself - have migrated over from Ebay.
With Ebay's recent seller update ( increased shop fee's, expected to provide free returns ) i just couldnt afford selling there any more.

Liking the great community spirit here at Ecrater Smile
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4075

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@express-dealsbay, you might want to start your own topic to introduce yourself and your store to the eCrater community.
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