Thursday, 15 November 2012

Famous for five minutes!

As you may already have seen if you follow Mog's Togs on Twitter or Facebook, or are visitors to the Folksy or Etsy forums, last week I was included along with some other UK sellers in this article on the BBC website, all about the resurgence in crafts and particularly selling them online.

You can read it here: Etsy, Folksy and the mania for making crafts

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Saving time on packaging orders

My sales are creeping up at the moment (I think Christmas shopping is already beginning!), which is great of course, but I’m increasingly conscious of how much time I spend packaging orders. Because I work full time everything is done in the evenings and at weekends, so most nights before I go to bed I package up any orders outstanding, and even 4 or 5 orders seems to take me half an hour to take through from on the shelf to ready to post. I think this is too long, considering that I don't have particularly fancy packaging. International orders are the most time consuming, and since most of my increase in sales is happening on Etsy, the hours spent sticking, writing, printing, are really starting to encroach on both making time and sleeping time!

Determined to do something about it I realised that the two big time-killers are finding the extra 4 digits for US orders, and printing postage on Royal Mail’s online site, so I tried to find ways around these.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Well that's summer done...

Hm, so it seems I haven't blogged since May! I guess I got struck down by blogger's block, and a bit of Olympic and Paralympic fever too, and Mog's Togs has been keeping me pretty busy as well. I've hardly written anything on my cat blog either. Ah well, onwards and upwards!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Airmail: Small Packet or Letter?

In my article on postage I say that you can send anything internationally as a Letter rather than a Small Packet if it is cheaper. When I first wrote that article, it was only cheaper up to 40g, but now it is cheaper up to 100g, so this issue now applies to more people.

I had a question on the blog about whether I had any proof that this was true, and also got involved in various threads on the Etsy and Folksy forums about this issue, so I wanted to collect together the facts and myths in one place. Let me warn you, this is a bit of a long post, and there are no pictures to break it up, sorry! Update - I think we've cracked it! Whizz down to the bottom to see!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Cheeky Moo!

Have you seen this offer from Moo in conjunction with Folksy, for 50 free business cards? I decided to take them up on it last month. I'm a big fan of Moo but don't find it cost-effective to use their lovely business cards for all my needs (I admit it, I'm an even bigger fan of Vistaprint!), so when I saw this offer I couldn't resist. I wanted to have photos of my happy customers on the back; they look cute and make a good talking point. The only caveat to the offer was that the back of your cards had a smart "Folksy" tab added (and you had to pay P&P too).

Monday, 30 April 2012

No paypal, no cheque, no bank account... Another way to pay

This is just a quick post about a payment issue that came up this weekend on my website shop, as I thought the way we (the customer and I) resolved it might be useful to other sellers.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Royal Mail price increases & thinking outside the box on packaging

As we probably all know by now, in just a few days Royal Mail's pricing for personal customers is changing. Pretty much everything you send now will be more expensive from April 30th. Not only are the price of 1st and 2nd class stamps increasing, but there are some changes to some pricing structures which are important to note. I'll be amending my previous two posts on posting internationally, but here are some of the important points for both domestic and international post and what (if anything) you need to do about them, with a particular focus on thinking creatively about packaging in order to reduce costs. All the new prices can be found here.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My first solo craft fair

Sorry I've been quiet for so long! I am still here, I promise. I submitted my PhD thesis at the end of March, and since then have been catching up with Mog's Togs. However I should now have a bit more time to spend on this blog, although I might have to use some of that updating / rewriting my international postage posts - thanks for that, Royal Mail!!

I just thought I'd share some photos from a craft fair I did on Saturday. I don't normally do craft fairs, for various reasons / excuses...

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Posting Abroad: Keeping Missing Parcels to a Minimum!

I wanted to split up my introduction to posting internationally. The first concentrated on the services available while this one is more concerned with how you can improve the chances of your packages getting to their destination in a timely fashion, and in one piece. Note this article was updated May 2012.

Posting Abroad: The Facts

A common barrier stopping UK sellers from taking the plunge into Etsy is that they are wary of posting items internationally. There's really not much to be worried about once you know the basics, so I thought I'd put a few tips down here to help reassure you. Most of this post refers to Royal Mail. I have most experience with RM, but there is a bit about other options at the bottom. Note this article was updated May 2012.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Folksy & Etsy Comparison Part 7: Everything Else!

At last, the last post!! This one contains some stuff that didn't really fit in anywhere else, and a pep talk to encourage Folksy sellers to dip their toe in the Etsy waters!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Folksy & Etsy Comparison Part 6: The buying experience

This is the second last part of my looong winded comparison of Folksy and Etsy. Here I'm going to cover some aspects of the buying and selling experience; some from the customer's point of view, some from the point of view of you the seller. 
Note I have updated this post 18th September 2012.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Google - more than just a search engine!

Today I've discovered another thing Google can do!

I already knew it could act as a currency converter:
what is £10 in dollars
10CAD in CHF

Folksy & Etsy Comparison Part 5: Sharing & Promoting

Well, I'm slowly getting through all these posts! This one is about how Folksy and Etsy each make it easier (or harder) for you or others to share your shop and items for sale with the rest of the internet, and encourage them to buy when they visit you.
Note I have updated this post 18th September 2012.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Folksy & Etsy Comparison Part 4: How Items Appear on the Sites

This fourth part of my series comparing Etsy and Folksy concerns how items appear on each site, and how customers might find your item; so this includes how searching and browsing works on the two sites. This is a slightly tricky area to cover as it is probably the part which is most prone to being changed, but hopefully it'll still be useful even if some minor aspects are altered in the future. 
Note I have updated this post 18th September 2012

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Oversharing on Facebook

Yesterday (Tuesday 7th February) was Safer Internet Day, apparently. Last week I blogged about the Facebook Ticker and how to tell who can see various posts on the site, turns out that post was inadvertantly timely! I just wanted to add a little more about watching how we share things on social networks.

Every morning this week I have heard an odd advert on Radio 1, each with a different DJ saying something along the lines of "oh, that's gross... that's disgusting! I can't believe he's put that photo on his timeline!" and a strapline broadly saying "If you would be embarrassed for your Grandma to see it, don't put it on Facebook". It's a good message and there's more info about the Share Take Care campaign here.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Folksy & Etsy Comparison Part 3: Personalising Your Shop

This installment is all about how Folksy and Etsy differ when it comes to personalising your shop; making it look like you want it to. It's important to remember that you are selling on someone else's site, so you're never going to be able to completely tailor the appearance of your shop, but both sites - Etsy in particular - do offer a few helpful ways to keep it organised.
Note I have updated this post 18th September 2012.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Facebook Privacy & the Ticker "Hoax"

This is just a quick post about a "hoax" that is going around on Facebook (related to your personal profiles, not business pages). I'm not sure if hoax is quite the right word – but certainly it encourages people to do something under false pretences and is likely to give people a false sense of security and misunderstanding of Facebook's privacy structure. 

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Folksy & Etsy Comparison Part 2: Listing

So last time I gave a bit of background to Folksy and Etsy and talked about some of the things that can and can't be sold on each site. This time I'm going to concentrate on the differences (and similarities) between the sites in terms of actually putting items up for sale; including listing, renewing or relisting items, and ease of setting postage rates. Enjoy! 
Note I have updated this post 18th September 2012 - there were LOTS of changes to both sites over Summer 2012 when it comes to listing! 

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Folksy & Etsy Comparison Part 1: Introduction

I thought I'd kick off the blog with a series of posts about some of the differences and similarities between two popular and large craft selling sites - the UK based Folksy and US based Etsy. It would be easy to have titled this post "Folksy vs. Etsy" (and a lot shorter!), but I feel that's unnecessarily provocative! I enjoy selling on both sites - both have their strengths and weaknesses - and it's my opinion that most craft sellers can only gain from having shops on both sites.

I hope that these posts will provide useful information to sellers new to either or both selling platforms, through objective facts and some of my own opinion and experiences too.

This first post includes a brief introduction to both sites and a run down of what you can sell on each one.
Note I have updated this post 18th September 2012!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Welcome to my (other) blog...

It's always a bit awkward, the first post of a blog... so I won't linger over it. This is my second blog, my other one is here, but this time I fancied talking with my own voice rather than through my two cats!

I started my business "Mog's Togs" in 2010, selling handmade cat collars. In October 2010 I set up shops on Folksy and Etsy and then a year later from my own website as well. Since starting Mog's Togs I've learned such a lot about selling online - some things specific to crafts and some things more general - and I'm still learning new stuff every week. I am a bit addicted to Google and use the skills I've learned from my day job as a researcher to help me find and assimilate the right information as fast as possible when I'm trying to solve a problem, answer a question or improve the way I do things.  After all, there's only so much you can do during your lunch break...