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Five Sales And Three Return Requests?
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centralavenue



Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my, I am glad I do not have too many of them. I am not much of a sewer and would be no good in answering in depth questions about these patterns. I think none of them are cut, but I better check. All are new- I got the patterns when Hancocks went out of business, which was actually a sad event. Now I think about, I also got some vintage patterns for craft projects from a garage sale, and they seem to be like instruction sheets. I better carefully check those over. I sewed more in my younger days, and rarely get on my machine now unless to hem or stitch something up.

I never paid much attention to the sizes or to much detail regarding the patterns outline. Unfortunately my scanner does not work well with my computer-but a scanner would definitely help more than any photo I could take. I need to look into figuring the problem out. Most of the patterns I have are not clothing, more like household decor, stuffed animals, and decorations.

Isn't it amazing how some sellers take photos? One guy had a computer for sale with an open bag of chips and soda on his desk, with a host of junk about (you could also see his reflection in the monitor). Laughing The stuff on the floor photos gets me too with junky backgrounds. At least clean the area up, even if your surroundings are not too pretty.

Your post has a big help to me! I need to get more detail in my descriptions. I have had little success with patterns on Ebay, probably because of the way I have handled them (or not handle them). Thank you MoonwishesStore for your great advice! Very Happy
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16402

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have run into a pattern seller with not much inventory it seems. His pictures look like they are taken on a pickup truck liner. Black with grooves in it and some water it looks like in the grooves. Or it is maybe a BBQ grill of some sort. Not really sure. Great place to pose a pattern! NOT!!! Right next to a puddle. These folks seem to not see anything wrong with what they are doing.

The other is the newbies that pop up in the forum after they have been opened for a day or two or three and wonder why nothing has sold. Well let's see, they have 8 items for sale and all look like yard sale rejects. Once hubby and I were at a yard sale where someone had an old bar for sale for 25 cents. The elastic was shot. It was as limp as could be and wouldn't have even made a good slingshot. That was something that should have gone in the garbage! Yet some try to sell that some sort of junk and wonder why traffic to their store is nonexistent - ignoring the fact that they just opened. If you are going to sell something, be sure it is worth the time. Say for patterns, there is no reason to list an A-line skirt pattern that has been cut, and is a mess as well as the envelope. Toss the thing. A-line skirt patterns in decent condition and cheap are easy to find.
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centralavenue



Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though I have had a rough start on Ecrater, my first sale came about a week of allowing access to my store! I was delighted, although a week later the buyer asked for a refund.Confused Still such a quick sale demonstrates to me there are possibilities here. I definitely feel there is potential to make some good sales on Ecrater.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16402

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And you are quite correct about the possibilities! There are some websites that most people's opinions about the different selling sites. At times eCRATER gets slammed big time but when you read the post, many times you can tell almost exactly who wrote the post by the syntax of their writing style. Usually, they are the folk that when they came here would immediately be volunteering all of us to pay to get the bells and whistles that eBay has/had. They complain because they didn't get immediate sales and when you see their site you can immediately tell WHY they didn't get a nibble. Some have a title and for their description of the item just repeat the title and that is all and the title wasn't that descriptive. You offer suggestions and are basically told to go fly a kit as they have been selling for a long time and know what they are doing and we don't.
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centralavenue



Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will not buy from a seller if they cannot give me some idea about the condition of the item in their description. There are tons of Ebay listings with NO description. I do not know how their listings can go live--I get flagged if I leave a field incomplete.

Ebay's bells and whistles are evil. Now their item specifics have taken on a new life form, filling in fields with their own dysfunctional ideas. The other day I put up boys shoes from a particular brand, and it automatically inserted the brand name as "boy". Their item specifics have become nightmarish to many sellers. I am beginning to experience more and more problems with it.

Well, the returning socks arrived today and I refunded the buyer original price absent of shipping. Hopefully no black eye results. Oddly, she sent it back through priority mail, was it even worth it? If I recall it was between 5 to 8 ounces, and I sent it first class mail.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16402

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Oddly, she sent it back through priority mail, was it even worth it? If I recall it was between 5 to 8 ounces, and I sent it first class mail.


Some folks seem to be made of money.

Way back over 12 years ago (we were still living at my old place) I sold something for around $10. The buyer insisted on insurance and so between shipping and PO insurance as well as tracking! She paid over $5 to get this book/pattern.

But then many buyers seem to think that insurance is for their protection, when in truth it is for the seller's protection, in case of problems happen while in transit. I also bought something a year or two ago on eBay that the buying was charging $3 for shipping and said that they shipped via Priority! Sure enough, that is how she sent it so I guess, her profit was less than zero considering how much she paid for it.
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centralavenue



Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While on the subject of shipping, do you or anyone else know if Alaska and Hawaii are considered zone 8? I saw someone on a site, I think it was associated with Etsy, claim a photo cost nearly $50 more to ship Hawaii than it did to Alaska. That's scary stuff! Shocked I have a couple charts regarding zones, I just hope they are correct. First class mail will not inflate the price of shipping as high as other options.

Unfortunately, some of the priority mail prices can be $10 to $15 more for those two states as opposed to the 48 contiguous states. In those cases I will go to flat rate priority to make shipping cheaper. I do strictly flat rate shipping, even on Ebay, despite the new USPS zoning fees. It's easier for me in how I process things, and it helps me categorize better for myself. More often than not I take a small hit, but being in central US, it has worked out well. So far, I have changed around 10 of my listings to accept all 50 states, but when I test a listing as if I were a buyer, the site requests zips for Hawaii and Alaska when I click on "more destinations). This does not happen with the US mainland listings.

It will take me several weeks to go through my listings and make the shipping changes and add some new (hopefully self preservation) policy sentences. My arm and hand is going to have to see a doctor, and of course this happens to me at the best time of year for sales. I am just going to chip away here and there. For the most part, the highest hikes will be on regularly priority mail, so I suspect flat rate is the way to go on my 1 1b and above packages. Hopefully I am not playing Russian Roulette, I am going to take the site off "Hold" so some sales will come in.
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4081

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Postal zones are totally dependent on the shipper's location. Zone 8 for one shipper may be a zone 1 for another shipper. You should have a zone chart handy for your own zones. You can get one from the USPS site here: https://postcalc.usps.com/DomesticZoneChart. Just enter the first 3 digits of your zip code (or the zip code from which you ship if it is different), click Submit and you will get the postal zones for your location. I keep a printed copy, but you do need to check back, especially if they have done a postal increase, to confirm the current zones.

Another tool I have found helpful is the map provided by Endicia.com to everyone (you do not have to be a paid user of Endicia to use the tool).. The link here: [url]https://online-shipping-blog.endicia.com/best-usps-shipping-rates-endicia-zone-pricing-tool-online-businesses/ [/url] provides good information on how the USPS postal zones work. Here's the link to creating your own Postal Zone map. https://apps.endicia.com/apps/zonemap. Just add your zipcode and click update. If you have a color printer, it's a nice quick guide.

Another bookmark I use often is the USPS Price Guide located here: https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm.

he reason Alaska & Hawaii are listed separately is to assist those sellers who use UPS or FedEx in the 48 states and must use USPS for AK & HI.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16402

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sent something to Hawaii just a couple of days ago. The postage was $3.09 which is the same as what I pay for CA, OR, and WA. I also sent my usual FCM item to Alaska and it also was $3.09. Shipping from western PA.
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centralavenue



Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much SheilaDeesPostcards for the information! The Endicia map is a Godsend! I saved the USPS Domestic Zone Chart to my desktop--I do have some 8 and 9 zones to contend which, which may be crippling if I do not get my shipping set up right. Sad

Thank you MoonwishesStore! How you described your package to Hawaii is what I thought it would be for most orders, very much like when I ship to Washington or California on Ebay. Regarding first class mail, there is less expansion on the prices. My sales to other areas rarely cost significantly more, but one time I lost close to $3 on shipping to California. It was standard Priority mail.

I am probably viewing this wrong, but using flat rate shipping, say $3.25 on a particular item, will that price of 3.25 automatically transfer over to Hawaii and Alaska upon checkout? Confused On the few items I have already adjusted, I put $4 into the Alaska and Hawaii fields and $3.25 into US mainland. As I mentioned earlier, I think the buyer sees a "US-Mainland" and "(more destinations)". This option of "more destinations" never appeared until I put $4.00 into the Hawaii and Alaska fields on my product listing page. I am not sure what the buyer sees, but when I put in a Hawaiian zip under "more destinations", it showed $4.00 like I specified. Problem is, I am not sure if buyers see this option when they check out or if it will say shipping $3.25.


Some of my packages weigh 3 lbs. It may be the simplest solution is to set up flat rate for all packages over 1 pound if there is no way to isolate Hawaii and Alaska using the flat rate shipping option. That will severely impact mainland sales as shipping cost will need to rise across the board. But if I can put in a specific amount differing from US mainland for those two states, I will be good to go as long as the buyers are presented with the cost I designated.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16402

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have my US Mainland as well as HI and AL in the matrix with the same shipping amounts. Perhaps I live in the 'sweet spot' of the USA where the FCM can go to those states for the same amounts as the west coast.

Most of what I ship is less than one pound, so when listing things I specify weight as to what I will need to ship the item out such as some of the 6-7 oz patterns I use weight #2 which bumps the postage up enough to cover the shipping. For Column 10 on, I have the amount that covers #1 Flat Rate Priority up through to 16 and then 16+ adds another amount on. Simple math will tell you what weight you will need to list an item to have the postage come out correctly. O if I am shipping something that will cost $XX.XX to ship I will say the weight is 19 for example. Which gives me the cost of a flat rate envelope $7.75 plus another $4.50 (3 16+) if that makes sense. For may patterns and anything that generally is only 2-8 ounces I don't tack on much as a long time ago I figured that after a certain amount in postage and PP fees, it is cheaper to pay those last few ounces, whatever, out of pocket. Each individual order that goes through PP and Stripes not only gets charged a % of the sale, plus 30 cents. Those 30 cents can add up. So after a pound, I generally don't charge anymore no matter how many patterns a person buys, that is my discount to them. I once sold something like 27 patterns in one order and they were charged the rate of one Priority flat rate envelope. It cost me $10 to ship it. However, I saved myself 30 cents per envelope after the first one so I saved myself $7.80 just on that fee alone. Only one box to pack as well. I really remember that one as I was out of town for my son's wedding and my other son made it home way before us and pulled every last pattern for us on top of being worried -- our plane was only about 12 hours late getting home! Not sure I could have gotten everything out in the mail without his help.

Buyers like seeing that they get discounts on shipping when buying more than one thing. For a long time, we could not set our shipping on Amazon and occasionally I would get an order for 2-3 patterns and the buyer had been charged $10-15!!! just for shipping! A couple of years ago, Pro sellers were allowed to set our own shipping. I have mine set so for each pattern after one, they get a big discount in shipping. They could buy a whole another pattern with the discount. I loved it as I don't want my buyers thinking I am stealing from them. I used to give refunds for part of the shipping money, but then Amazon and their love of metric strikes got so they didn't like us refunding anything. I do when I need to, but much better to not have to in the first place.

I hope something I said makes sense and helps you. Sometimes you can think that you are wasting money that the buyer should have paid, but I know I had to look at the long view of everything when setting shipping costs. I have rarely been off on my shipping.
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centralavenue



Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much MoonwishesStore! I skipped setting up the shipping matrix as I read somewhere months ago that it was not required for flat rate shippers--not sure however about it. On four out of the 5 sales I've made, the shipping cost went through as planned. Somehow a media mail option came on my first sale; I have forgotten what I did to get rid of that option.

I for the most part, like you, have mainly products under 1 pound. You are so right, those 30 cent fees add up! I see what you are saying about the 27 patterns saving you money in the long run. That's smart thinking! Wink

Can invoices be generated here? I do not understand how combine shipping works. I do not offer combine on Ebay and I limit my buyers to 1 sale per 10 days. I have seen sellers get 5 negs from 5 sales from one buyer, too often. I know I lose money by not doing so, but it works better for me-- at least on Ebay. I have never experienced a neutral or neg, but Ebay is simply an oppressive environment given the buyer/seller equation, not to mention their practices!

On my Ebay accounts, I may overcharge or undercharge loosing $ on a flat rate to all orders, but it seems to balance out. Rarely will a buyer pay more than 50 cents above my actual shipping cost. If it exceeds $1.00, I slip a bill into their package. I only had to do that twice in the past several years.

Say a standard priority mail package is 1 lb, 3 ozs-- as a flat rate shipping seller, it will be significantly higher to ship to Alaska and Hawaii. A package over 1 pound but less than 2, is projected to cost $7.71 in Zones 1 & 2 given my location. However, that same package given USPS current rates would be $17.61 in zone 8, and $24.30 in zone 9. For me I will be dealing with zone 8 primarily. I have to ensure this increase on cost goes to the Alaskan and Hawaiin buyer, otherwise I would take too hard of a hit. What I intend to do is to use a flat rate priority box in the Alaskan and Hawaii fields and a standard priority cost to the mainland. Hopefully, upon buyer checkout, the prices stand if I can set it up correctly. There will be times the price is the same if flat rate priority packaging is best for all buyers.

I did some investigating of stores here. There were several like me, which had a shipping cost set up for US Mainland as opposed to calculated shipping, but when I clicked "more destinations", and put in a Hawaiian zip code to test it, some showed a shipping cost of zero! My current listings must be doing this as well. I am now inclined to think its imperative those fields by filled!! I did find a few who had different charges for Hawaii and Alaska as opposed to mainland. One seller was selling jeans, and for such items, an increase seems essential to do for those using standard priority mail. For now my listings are going to have to go on hold.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16402

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flat rate priority envelopes are just that. Flat rate as in only one price as long as the item fits inside. The Priority bubble envelopes are also flat rate I believe as well as the legal size envelopes.

On my Matrix. The first column is the price to ship one patterns, the second column is the price to ship two. Each 2-3 ounces increase is the next amount up until we hit the Priority flat rate amount. As long as for each thing you sell has the proper weight to price of postage, they can be added up or a weight 1 can be added to a weight 2 as well as a weight 6 and in the end, the price comes out correctly. Never had a problem in all these years with that.

One thing I would like to mention, there is NO need to 'refund' shipping that goes over the actual cost of the postage. Shipping and handling means just that, the shipping cost, the supply cost(tape,labels, envelopes, boxes, etc), the drive to the PO cost if needed, I even include my PP/Stripe fee. I know some sellers are totally paranoid about charging exactly the postage, but unless you are only using free Priority mail supplies and taking it to the PO to get the postage label, you still need to buy labels and tape for where it is going and coming from. I even put seasonal thank you stickers on my packages and that is part of the cost of shipping. I had a buyer in France that I had to ship a pattern to and the shipping cost about 30 cents less than what she was charged. My feedback from her was her telling me that I owed her 30 cents for the postage. That 30 cents had had to cover the label, tape, envelope, etc. I looked at all the FB she had left . 1/3 of her feedback was telling sellers that they owed her like a nickel, 23 cents, whatever. At that point I moved to stealth shipping so that the actual postage price wasn't showing. I ship fast, I ship it well packaged, etc. They get what they pay for and I am not in the least embarrassed to charge more than actual postage. I do it deliberately to cover all my costs.

Almost forgot. I send invoices via PP. Let me know if I forgot something. I have to go make my dinner.
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centralavenue



Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Moonwhishes! In truth, Ebay with its DSRs has made me paranoid about postage and it encourages nitpicking regarding shipping and handling. I can be real here--like actually being on plant Earth where business endure acceptable costs unseen by buyers and not confined by Ebay's Planet Fiction perspective! You have been very helpful and I am truly grateful for all your assistance! Very Happy
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16402

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are very welcome - Any time!
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