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Tutorial on how to set up an Etsy or other on-line store.

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This is tutorial for those who haven't listed on a handmade craft site, I thought I would give some tips, it can be daunting for the first little bit. This tut will work for other sites too. Nothing is set in stone, it is merely a guide and my observations over the last 10 years having an online store.

A-- In Shop front you want :
1. The name of your store
2. Banner: A banner or picture you upload.
3. Welcome Message: I write it kind of like I was talking to the shopper in person, welcome to my shop, etc.
4.Message to Buyers: Thank you so much for your purchase from your store name. I get your product packaged up and get the shipping details to you asap, etc
5. Hit the Save button or all the above will be lost :'(

B--- Policies
1.Welcome : tell about how you make your soap, if you send free samples, do custom or wholesale soap orders.

2. Shipping: Will you ship world wide or you can pick your country or whatever you prefer..Explain how you will ship the product, usps, ups, fed-ex, Canada post etc. How often will you ship, eg,daily or mon and fri . Do you ship to paypal confirmed addresses only, paypal will cover if you do, if you ship to unconfirmed you may only get partial or no coverage. I also state an estimate of how long the package might take to reach the buyer.

3. Returns and Exchanges: I stand behind my product 100%, you can decide if because of the nature of the product, if you will accept returns, exchanges , not so much with the kind of product we sell. I believe it makes a potential customer confident if we believe in our product enough to guarantee they will love it too.

4.Sections: make a section for each product, soap, lip balm, unscented soap, facial soap, shampoo etc.

5. Shipping Profile: Weigh and measure your packaged product and go to USPS or Canada post to get the proper shipping cost, or flat rate cost and name that profile ( 1 soap ) , you can make many different shipping profiles to suit what ever and how many products you sell at one time. Will you combine shipping, let people know if you will.

enter your paypal email address here.

C:: List an item
1. Title of your product , make the most of the space, you want key words that Google will pick up ie handmade soap, scent of the soap , or unscented, is it bath or face or baby, or dog soap
2. Description: ie this listing is for 1- 4oz ( always put the weight or size of an item- it really turns buyers off if you don't) bar of my wonderful handmade soap. This soap is made to be etc etc etc. Put what scent it is , is it for babies, gardening, hand bath etc. make it sound wonderful so they just have to have a bar. Name the scent or if it unscented. If it is a best seller or people with a particular skin problem love the soap, mention that. Anything that is unique about the soap include here. You can also put here if you will combine shipping for people at the end of the listing. I thank them for stopping by and welcome them back to check out my new soap that I list regularly etc.
3. Materials used: just like a label , in most to least used.
4. Cost of item Against everything we were ever taught about pricing, sellers with lots of sales say $5.00 is better than $4.99. This of course is totally up to you. Pricing online is a little different than real life.The following is just a guide from information I have researched. Itmes under $10.00 are an impulse buy. Shoppers tend to go for the items priced reasonably and items that are priced the same as other sellers. ie : a $ 8.00 soap with the same ingredients and weight as a $5.00 soap.Just like we would do the customer will buy the $5.00 soap.If you are not sure about how to price something just do a search and see what other sellers are pricing the same product at. Pricing is very important , especially when you are just starting out, once you have a good solid customer base , it can be a little different, especially if you have your own website.This is just a guide, nothing set in stone, you have to price the way it works for you too.
5. How many of that item do you have to sell. I put the max in there, on Zibbet because you never know, that might be the soap the customer has been searching for forever, and they might buy it all , you might want to put a quantity of 1 so you can relist right away. You can also sell 4 or 6 or 12 soap in one listing, people seem to like this option. Then put your list of scents and soap types at the bottom of your listing so people can choose what they would like.
6. Section : Is it a soap, lip balm or lotion as in the sections you made up earlier.
7. Category: Bath and Beauty -
8. Key words: these are what google picks up,make them good, for soap : handmade soap, bath soap, the scent, is it a facial or salt bar,
luxury oils, hand soap, bubbles, lather,oatmeal, pine tar,honey etc.
9.Item height and weight: just weigh and measure the item and put the dimensions in the spots.
10. Shipping Profile: Just click the profile that you made earlier for 1 soap or 6 soap etc. You can also offer free shipping on a "deal" if you like, people do like free shipping, just make sure you charge enough for the "deal" to cover it somewhat.

D::Item Images: Take the best pictures possible and use the maximum allowed. Click save or they are gone.

E:: List the item :You can always edit and tweak your listings anytime.

To list your next item you can hit copy on the listing you just made and edit as needed.

Tips for sales
1.You will need to work this business as in a real life store. Promote it any way you can think of.
2. List or relist something daily so you stay at the top of the search.
3. Go on the forums and promote yourself. There are always people looking for items to put on their blogs etc.
4. Put your store link in your signature line on forums you are on.
5.Have sales and promotions from time to time.
6. Make sure you have something ready to sell for : Mothers Day, Valentines day , Christmas, Birthdays, any occasion gift packs, house warming, etc.
7.If you blog , put your store on your blog, most online venues have a "widget" maker, where you can make a clickable link to your store.
8. Put misspelled words in your listing ie, lavender/lavendar or castile/castille or bastile/bastille.
9. Customer service is # 1 , it has to be top notch, fast shipping , fair price, actual shipping cost, we want that customer for life.
10. Try to have everything you can think of spelled out in your listing, people do not want to wait for an answer to an email, they will move on to the next seller. There are so many B&B sellers on line that it is very easy for them to do so, you want them to buy from you and not move on, and you want to keep them with your awesome product and customer service.
11. Send samples of other products you make, if someone buys a soap, I will send a lotion sample or lip balm sample or a different kind of soap sample, as long as it does not up the shipping cost.
12. Enclose a receipt, your business card and a thank you note with the package. The more they have your shop name made known to them the better it is in the long run.
13. Have a little blurb about what is on your curing rack at the bottom of your listing, so people know what you have new to list. Describe them well as to scent or specialty (ie) gardeners pumice soap, a baby soap , new lotion etc.
14. Check out the Alchemy or Items wanted sections every day, there are many soap , labels, banners, special soap or lotions etc wanted .
15. $10.00 and under items are an impulse buy, people buy without even thinking about it, if you can get your soap and shipping under $10.00 that is a bonus, unfortunately it is impossible to do as far as I know in canada.

[b]Keeping Track of Sales[b/]
I know I could print everything out, but this saves paper and ink.

This is how we keep track of on line sales. I use printer paper and have spots for 2 sales on the front and back . I use one binder for each venue we sell on.This is how it looks on the paper.

Date:------- Price: ------- Cdn$ for us canucks------
Item #1------ Shipping:------ Tracking#--------------
Item#2------- Total:---------- PP Transaction #----------
Item#3 -------
Item Name------------------------------------------------------
User ID ------------------------- Email ----------------------------
Name & Address----------------------------------------------------
Billed-------------------Paid-------------Shipped date & Tracking # -------------------
Feedback---------------------Samples sent-----------------------------
Feedback on samples---------------------------------------------------
Venue Fee-----------------------
I staple the shipping receipt to the top right hand corner of each sale. Everything is on the sheet, should some one say, they did not get the order, or you sent the wrong item.
I high light the shipped date, this will be the most common question you get, where is my item.
I also high lite the paid date, then I know it is paid and shipped, I ship the day items are paid for unless it is a custom order.
This is just a guideline, feel free to tweak and make it work for you.

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~~~Live~~~Love~~~Laugh~~~Make Soap~~~

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