Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Away For The Weekend....

Please note that Archeress Arts will be closed from Friday, February 29th, to Sunday evening, March 2nd. All orders placed before 7am Eastern on 2-29-08 will be shipped out the same day. All remaining orders placed by Sunday, 3-2-08, will be shipped on Monday, March 3rd. I will be out of town during this time, and will not be able to answer any emails or calls - but will be back to answer questions and package up orders afterward.

In the meantime, stay tuned! March is just around the corner, along with a new monthly contest, the announcement of which necklace prices will be changing, and a little something special from Karen at The Auctioneer's Wife. Her blog is linked in the sidebar, feel free to stop in and pay a visit!

Thank you again for stopping by, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

(By the way, the picture above is a card I painted about 3 years ago for a friend. The birds are based on two found in The Sforza Hours, an illuminated manuscript from 1400's Italy.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Home, New Payment Method!

Last week, I did a little research and came across an auction site called For those who aren't familiar with it, this site does not charge listing fees, and is still running a 50% off lifetime seller+ membership for the remainder of February. Seller+ accounts cost $49.99 during the sale, and include free shops, a 2% final value fee, and a setup similar to that of eBay - making integration that much easier.

On a similar note, I am now accepting credit card payments through Google Checkout. No more fees like PayPal has, and easy to use. I am still accepting payments by PayPal, however, Google Checkout has proven itself the simpler and easier of the two, and more cost-effective to everyone all-around.
If you're curious about the new site, I've added a link to the right. Meanwhile, Etsy has been keeping me busy, and I've picked up a few ideas of what to buy there for Mother's Day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Viva la Revolution!

It's been a busy week!

Despite the sellers and buyers strike on eBay, I have been researching new places to settle in for my auction services, while increasing my inventory over on I see fellow competitors from eBay are finding a good home over on Etsy, where the market is just flooded with jewelry artisans of all types - and this is a good thing. Etsy now has a LOT more selection as a result, and the atmosphere is a lot more peaceful and professional there. We are all striving for the promotion of handmade goods, and independent artisans, and Etsy certainly respects our needs and way of life.

While setting sail for new horizons, away from eBay, I may have found a new location for my auction services, as mentioned above. This morning, I signed up (SEVERAL auction sites are hosting membership discounts for eBay refugees this week!), and am working on setting up another new shop on this alternative auction site.

I have been grateful for the support my friends, fellow Etsians, and fellow "FeeBay" refugees have lended me. I especially feel bad for those fellow sellers who had relied on eBay as a primary source of income, and goodness knows, I had relied on it too to help pad the cost of my upcoming wedding. But these things are not etched in stone, and thankfully there are other options worth checking out.

eBay's loss is another auction site's gain, so it's going to take a bit of exploration, and a lot more promotion, to help bring these other auction sites into the limelite that eBay has held for many years.

Thank you all so much for hanging in there with me, and thanks for being patient as I test the waters of a new place to explore and set up shop!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

eBay's New Policies, Upcoming Price Increases, & Sales

By now most of you have heard about eBay's new policies, which will go into effect on February 20th.
Lower insertion fees for sellers, free gallery... with the fine print spelling out that sellers will also be subject to a 3.5% Final Value Fee increase across the board. With the structured system set up as it currently is, despite the savings eBay is currently lauding, there will still be more fees on top of their existing fee structure, and many sellers, myself included, are forced to take a good hard look at how we sell on eBay.

I cannot help but sympathize with those who have already looked at other auction sites and moved away, but eBay has been a part of my business for many many years. Although I will not be disappearing from eBay entirely, I plan on updating my pricing schedule on March 2nd, and will limit the total number of auctions I list on eBay in a month. As a small seller, this may be but a drop in the bucket, but with the opportunity to sell in the flat-fee structured artisan market that is Etsy, there is yet some balance to be found.

So what does this mean for my customers?

Simple. Although I am keeping a closer eye on the number of eBay auctions I have in a month, I am increasing the number of items in my shop inventory on Etsy. This is a benefit - items are ready made, and can easily be stocked so that there is no fighting with other buyers over my items. Of course there will still be the issue of squeezing in time in my schedule, as before, for commission work, but this is still a boon to buyers looking for something right away at a flat price.

Further combatting the rising costs of eBay, my blog here will feature a contest each month, for one customer to receive a discount that can be applied to a purchase in either my Etsy shop or on my eBay listings. There will also be occasional sales, and yes those contest winnings can be combined with sales.

Last of all, shipping costs will continue to be kept as low as possible. Free first class shipping is still offered for purchases of $50.00 or more, and even though there will still be some things I cannot control, like the rising cost of plating on my metal parts, I can at least provide sufficient notification in advance to my customers of upcoming price increases, postal hikes, sales, and other items that may be of assistance in keeping costs down for all of us.

eBay's new policies are a minor setback, but rest assured, I can and will work around this, and hope you will be there with me as 2008 opens up to a year of promise.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Featured Items, Testimonials, and a Contest!

Welcome back. By now you have noticed a few additions to the site - a featured item, a schedule of events, and a few tweaks here and there.

Featured Item:
Each month, you will see an image of a featured item on this page, for a featured holiday or activity. These items may be limited runs for only a certain time of the year, or may be rare due to materials availability. I would like to take this one step further, however, and need your help....

Customer Testimonials:
I would love to hear from you! Although my business is small, it really makes my day to know that I have made someone else's day special. Please pay it forward, and write to me with any positive commentary you may have. Spread the word!

CONTEST! - The Color of Love
Red is the color of love and passion, and is more than just a Valentine's Day theme. Send me a picture of you wearing something red of mine that you have purchased (please keep it PG!), with a maximum size of 700 pixels in any direction, and I will select a winner on March 2, 2008. The winning photo will be published here in this blog (reduced to fit), with a gift certificate of 10% off any purchase in my Etsy store.

Good luck!


Welcome to my shop blog!

Some years ago, what began with a few sales of beanie babies on eBay has since grown into a hobby that is a business, and a business that is a hobby. It's been a pleasure working with many customers over the years, and although I believe my eBay business will be shrinking a little in the coming years (more about that later) due to recent policy changes there, I have been enjoying my new home in the artisan community that is Etsy, and have treasured the support of friends, fans, and family alike since picking this up.

As life tends to get a bit hectic at times, I may not be able to post here on a frequent basis. I will, however, continue to post updates as I can, about policy updates, new styles, new products, and whatever else may come up. I am open to ideas, and commissions, depending on material availability and time, and would love to hear any constructive input you may have as well.

Thank you again, and as things get rolling here, I will keep you all posted, so to speak. :)