Friday, July 31, 2015

SHIPPING SUGGESTIONS

A friend of mine on Etsy had a bad experience with her shipping. I always assumed (I know, I know, we should never ASS U ME) everyone knew how. BUT as she and I talked I realized, everything I've learned about shipping has come to me from my postmistress and a former postmaster. SO if you DO know everything about shipping, don't roll your eyes PUHLEASE :+)  This is for those who may have some questions or have had a package destroyed by the post office or UPS or FedEx.  AND it's also about the impression you make with your shoppers.

FIRST never, ever use an already used box (with one exception, I'll get to in a minute). That is just tacky.  Yes, boxes are expensive BUT if it means a great first impression, it's worth it. I used to buy mine from U-Line but the postage is outrageous and you have to buy in lot quantities. THEN you have to store them. If you search for "mailing boxes" on google you will find many places which sell smaller lots.  Some Staples stores carry various size boxes IN the store as do some WalMarts -- so you can buy one or two at a time and not have to pay postage.

However, the BEST and SAFEST way to ship is to use priority flat rate boxes if the items you sell weigh more than 13 ounces. First, after you reach 13 ounces, you HAVE to go either priority OR you have to be selling a book and send it book rate which takes forever and the handling of book rate is pitiful.  Priority boxes and envelopes are FREE. Go to usps.com, open an account, and you can get all different size priority boxes and envelopes FREE and there is no shipping charge either. I use flat rate boxes for the antique medical books I sell, and my buyers have NO qualms about paying $11.70 to have their book shipped in that manner. Anyone who knows the value of the item they are buying, would be SICK if it were to arrive damaged, is more than willing to pay to get it in perfect condition. Other items which are large and heavy HAVE to go priority -- and flat rate is the best. Large, flat rate boxes ship for right around $18.00, medium for $11.70.  Flat rate means it mails for the size of the box, regardless of the weight. 

NOW why am I so "big" on priority? Because the people at my post office taught me long ago "do not EVER EVER EVER mail anything breakable or that would damage easily ANY way but priority".  Priority mail is HAND sorted. It is not thrown into the carrier where all first class and other class mail goes. No heavy box is going to land on top of it. When priority is moved to the truck for shipment to the sorting center, it is put in the truck LAST and taken out FIRST and kept apart from other mail. It is never thrown onto a conveyor belt.  A 200 pound tire doesn't land on top of it. THAT is what happens to first class, book rate, and any other rate of shipping.  Packages are DUMPED onto conveyor belts; priority mail is not.  

Now back to regular boxes. I buy on line a lot. If I receive a box that has three shipping labels on it with the newest one attached over the last two, and marks and scribbles all over the package, it's a big turn off. I feel like the seller doesn't care about me or the item I purchased. After one trip through the mail most boxes show wear and tear to some degree. Then add another mailing label, more tape, and they get to looking really pitiful. The ONLY exception I make are Amazon boxes. They are sturdy. They usually come in looking brand new. NOW you have to peel off that black tape they put on them and take a felt tipped black pen and NEATLY black out any pre-printed numbers Amazon has on their boxes -- BUT I have found they look VERY neat and clean if carefully repurposed.

Another thing --- bubble wrap is expensive. BUT so is losing an item. If it's insured, sure it's not going to cost you out of your pocket ... but I'm willing to bet the buyer will NOT be back to visit your shop. If selling something breakable, your box should be twice the size of the item you are shipping. The item should be wrapped and double and sometimes triple wrapped in bubble wrap with STILL enough room under, around and on top of it to put MORE bubble wrap. Don't use paper -- it's heavy. Usually those inflatable bags are too large and send you to yet a larger size box.  Peanuts cost a fortune. I put my breakables in bubble wrap. I put bubble wrap under and around and on top of them. THEN I use a newspaper and put ONE layer of wadded up newspaper on the sides to firm up the box.  THEN put the name and address of the person you are sending it to INTO the package, along with your return address just in case the post office outsmarts you and destroys the package --- that information can still get it to the recipient.  Have good, heavy wide wrapping tape. Wrap it around the boxes at least twice both ways.  THEN using the same wide packaging tape, TAPE THE SIDES OF YOUR SHIPPING LABEL DOWN. 

AND for shipping in envelopes, never, ever just slip something into the envelope. Again, bubble wrap it -- use backing boards and plastic bags for things that may bend .. and don't use Zip Lock bags -- again TACKY. 

Two years ago I ordered some socks for our grandson for Christmas. They arrived in a metallic bright colored, heavy "envelope".  Inside each pair was in plastic wrap. The name of the company was in each package and attached to each package was a business card.  Last year I bought from the same company -- yes their product was wonderful --- but it was the PACKAGING that got my attention!!! 

I hope this gives everyone who reads it at least ONE new idea. AND I'd love to have you share some of YOUR ideas with me!  Ann






 

GOOD MORNING FROM MARGARET --- ANOTHER WONDERFUL TREASURY

THANKS AS ALWAYS to Margaret for her beautiful treasuries. And a beautiful way to start the last day of the week too!  Thanks for including me, Margaret -- and if you've not visited Margaret's Etsy shop (or if you have) please do so.  Click on the following:  fireflygirl777.   Bingo -- you're there! Thanks very much Margaret!

We have a choice...

"We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."~ Henri Nouwen
Cat Portraits, Cat Paintings, Cats in Clothes Paintings, Cats Wearing Clothes, Big Hats, Cat Art, Original Painting by k Madison Moore
$110.00
Headless Hat!  Hat light shower time to shower! and protect your eyes
$12.50
Silver Spinner Rings for Women, Wide Band Ring, Unisex Ring, Hand Stamped Ring, Men's Wedding Band, Customized Spinner Ring
$68.00
Fine China Roses Cup and Saucer, Collectible Grosvenor bone china
$15.00
Vintage Heart Earrings, Dangle, Pink Beads, Sweet and Charming, Filigree
$7.95
Raven Print Mason Bag, Doctor Bag, Handmade, Striped Linen and Leather, Macabre Tim Burton Style
$148.00
The Pink Elephant #54 (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) 2.5" x 3.5" by Mike Kraus Free Shipping
$6.00
Funny Fridge Magnet, Random Acts Kindness Funny Fridge Magnet
$3.00
Surreal Face - Surreal Art - Weird Folk Art - Folk Art Face - Grey Abstract - Black Face - Folk Art Collage - Black Grey Abstract
£65.00
Fawn, Doe, Deer Crochet Hat - Newborn, Baby, Child's, Adult Photography Prop, Hunting Season, Rudolph, Camoflage
$15.00
Silk Wrap Bracelet Gift, Ocean Jewelry, Nautical Jewelry, Ocean Silk Wrap Bracelet, Sterling Silver Nautical Jewelry Bracelet
$48.00
Antique Vintage Japanese Gold Filled Signed Carved Geisha Netsuke Necklace Gemstones
$2000.00
Choose Joy Charm and Necklace Inspirational Silver Jewelry
$48.00
Today I Choose Joy - Distressed Wood Sign 6" x 6"
$23.99
Rhinestone Choose Joy Apron With a Removable Spatula & Inital J Charm, Cooking Apparel
$27.99
Neon dimensions - oversize dress
$65.00


Thursday, July 30, 2015

A NEW TREASURY ...... THANK YOU MARGARET!!!

Margaret has curated a beautiful new treasury and I know everyone is going to love this one --- as usual the theme, the colors are outstanding and her choice of items perfection.  I'd love it if you'd all go to her shop and send her a little thank you from there :+)  She's at FireFlyGirl777 on Etsy (click on the name of the shop and you'll be there) ...

"A Woman must have money..

...and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." ~ Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
Art Print Still Life van Gogh Sunflowers Interior  Fireplace Books Furniture from Original Oil Painting van Gogh's Study by k Madison Moore
$18.00
Tulip blooms - skirt
$80.00
Virginia Woolf - Famous Poet Photo Book Locket Necklace
$35.00
Bookends, Poet Henry W Longfellow, Brass over Cast Iron, Painted Green Highlights, Pair
$22.00
Folk Art Collage - Raw Art Originals - Unusual Paintings - Art Brut Face - Bea Roberts Artist - Quirky Original Art - Surreal Faces
£90.00
Yellow and Orange, Mixed Media Collage, Star
$30.00
Art Deco or Steampunk Lacy Restored Art Print, Parrot and Ocean Through the Window, Vintage Restored Art  #17
$12.00
Vintage yellow Sperry Remington Tenfifty typewriter
€94.00
Vintage Style Black Cash Register Necklace. Teeny Miniature Metal Cash Machine. Cute Whimsical Oddities. Gift. Money Wealth 100 Dollar Bills
$29.00
925 Sterling Silver Money Tree Necklace Olivine Swarovski Crystal Necklace Olive Green Pendant Swarovski Briolette Necklace Money Amulet
$30.00
oversize cast iron key to open and close hearts.
$28.00
MINIATURE PERFUME Arpege Lanvin Paris
$11.50
Graduation Gift Set for Her, Inspirational Quote Jewelry for Grad Girl, Road Less Traveled Gift Necklace, Silver Jewelry Book Gift SET
$75.00
Celluloid Rhinestone Art Deco Cuff Spiral Snake Wrap Clamp Bangle Bracelet Antique Book Piece Celluloid  Hand Painted Accent Circa 1930s
$99.00
PORTFOLIO Secretary Desk  - Slate and Aqua Painted Curved Leg Table
$225.00
Leather Messenger bag Office Bag leather briefcase  school Bag  laptop satchel Leather bag
$47.00

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How To Watch OUR NEW SLIDE SHOW

Hi everyone. I know a lot of you have watched many of these, but a lot still have questions so here goes ...\

1. Look to your right and scroll down slowly till you see the screen.
2. Hover over the screen with your mouse. You will see three green icons and one has two red // over it. Click on THAT icon and you can then hear the music (IF you have your speakers turned on :+)
3. ENJOY  :+)

A NEW TREASURY and a BIG THANK YOU TO MARGARET

THANK you, Margaret, for the wonderful treasury and for including me in it!  I hope our visitors will share it with their friends ... and that you will all stop by and visit Margaret's shop (it's time to start thinking Christmas!)  She's on etsy at fireflygirl777  (just click on the name of your shop and you'll be in it!

"One cannot think well...

..love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."~ Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
Cat Portraits  Cats in Clothes Paintings, Cat Paintings  Cats Wearing Clothes, The Chef, The Cookby k Madison Moore
$149.00
Apples Salt, Pepper, and Sugar Set Antique Just Like Grandma's Large 1940s Spice and Sugar Storage/Servers
$60.00
Metal Farm Sign, American Agriculturist Protective Services, Antique 1930s, Farmhouse Decor, Rustic
$65.00
Plucky Kid Billy Goat Doll Handmade Toy OOAK Peaky Blinders Wardrobe
$85.00
Outdoor cafe scene painting in Italy - European, Siracusa Cafe, patrons enjoying a meal, textured acrylic painting on canvas
$195.00
Copper Coffee Pot - Vintage  1930/1940 Norway pot coffee or tea.
$43.00
Have S'more (original acrylic painting) 5" x 7" by Mike Kraus
$23.99
But First Coffee, Popular Quotes, Trending Quotes, Typography, Writer Gift, Black and White, Coffee Quote, Minimalist, Art Print, Art Poster
$14.00
Original 2x4 Apricot Refrigerator Magnet Painting on Canvas by J. Mandrick
$25.00
Vintage Seafood Forks Stainless Steel   Set of 9
$18.00
Vintage 70's mod parallelogram-shaped picnic basket, cream & taupe wicker, side and top handles, missing leather latch
$28.00
Funny Gift, Funny Mystery Book Lover Fridge Magnet, Gag Gift for Mystery Book Fans
$3.00
I Do Me Too Wedding Fork Set
$30.00
A lovely shabby chic downloadable image of Tea For Two!
£4.99
A contemporary print of an ice cream van on the beach
£55.00
Glass Juicer from Circa 1950s
$22.50


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A BLUE TREASURY (MY FAVORITE COLOR!!!!) AND A BIG THANKS TO VICKIE!!!

THANK YOU Vickie for this gorgeous treasury!!!!  And double thank you for including my hankie!! I hope all of you who visit will share this across your social media, that you'll follow our blog, and that especially, you'll go visit Vickie's Etsy shop which is: VickieWadeFineArt (just click on the name of the shop and you're there).

SUMMER TREASURES IN BLUE

Fresh beauties for you to view! xo Vickie
Blue Statement Bracelet, Glass Bead Bracelet, Beadwork Bracelet, Beaded Bracelet, Womens Jewelry
$9.00
vintage handblown glass pitcher, blue glass pitcher, blue crackle glass jug
$30.00
3 Vintage Mod Glasses - Libbey / Rock Sharpe - Camellia Blue Tumblers
$15.00
Abstract Flowers Watercolor Painting Art Print, Abstract Floral Blue Modern Painting,Watercolor Painting Wall Art
$8.00
Coffee Mug in Tri-foot Style and Cobalt Blue Polka Dot Design - approx 12 oz (think Starbucks Tall size) in Cobalt Blue
$45.00
Summer Clearance Sale, Blue Leather Shopper, Nautical Tote, Gold navy Bag, Laptop Hobo, Everyday Tote Bag, Shopping Purse, Birthday Gift
$69.99
Blue Pendant with Silver Leaves, Hand Painted Glass Necklace
£15.00
Blue Roses on White Hankie for Collecting, Framing, Sewing, Crafts, Collage    S20
$5.00
Blue Gift Soap Rhapsody in Blue Decorative Soap Collection
$21.00
Mosaic Earrings - Lapis Lazuli, Pearl & Matte Brushed Silver
$165.00
ON SALE White Blue Flowers Wreath Artificial Flower Blossoms Wreaths Front Door Decoration Spring Table Centerpiece Summer Wedding Gift
$27.00
Ocean Life--Whales n Dolphin Fabric--Hawaiian Style --HARD Find-- LAST Piece
$9.95
INSTANT Download - Photography- Abstract
$10.00
Hand Knit Wool Socks, Handmade, Unisex, US 6 to 8 Small, Teal Blue, Sleeping Socks, Warm Winter Socks, Slippers, Chemo Socks, 121 BLUE TANGO
$28.00
BLING Volvo Keychain with genuine Swarovski crystals / sleutelhanger Volvo / Volvo emblem / Volvo  keychain / Volvo key fob
$20.00
Silk shawl-Handmade raw silk scarf-Handwoven silk scarf-Pure silk-Wedding shawl-Bridesmaid gift-Handmade accessories-Thai silk-Organic silk
€21.00