Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August Sales take off.

I opened my Etsy Shop on March 2nd. By July 31st I had made 12 sales, most of which were vintage items. I made very few sales of my baskets.

Then came August where I made nine (9) sales, seven of which were actual baskets.

The photos here show the result of the learnings I made with these August sales. They show the vintage cat basket I refurbished being readied to ship to a purchaser from California. It cost almost $80.00 Can to ship this, even though it weighed less than three (3) kg.
At the beginning of August, I had raised my prices a little and offered "free shipping" in Canada and the US. The early August sales showed me this was not a smart business move. Shipping costs came very close to equalling the total $US I received from these sales. After shipping them, I spent a half day revising my prices by adding in shipping costs to Canada and the US in $5.00 increments. Lower priced items had a shipping cost of $5.00. As prices increased, I increased shipping costs to $10.00, $15.00 and $20.00.
On August 21st, an article I wrote was published in the Etsy Storque magazine. Over that weekend I received five more orders, including that for the cat basket. The $20.00 US shipping cost I estimated proved to be way too low, as did other shipping cost estimates. I filled the orders and then spent that Monday morning revising both prices and shipping costs. Prices were increased for almost all items, and so were shipping costs. I tried to ensure that the ratio between price and shipping cost was 3 to 0ne at worst and 4 or 5 to one at best.
I then took part in the Capital Crafters Back to School for the last week of August. There I offered a refund of 15% of the selling price for purchases made in that week. I sold two baskets during that sale to one customer. The two items fitted nicely into one parcel. And its shipping costs matched the costs I had estimated for the larger item. So I was able to refund the buyer her 15% as well as the shipping fee on the second item. That was a good way to end the month.
I hope this last sale in indicative of better sales in the future.

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