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  • Hi people!

    Hi!
    I'm new here so wanted to say "HI".
    I am completely new to the craft scene and have just recently started a craft blog. I'm a student at the moment but when I finish next summer I'd like to set up an Etsy shop selling lots of different craft. However, I have NO IDEA about any of it yet so I'll have loads of questions!

    I was just wondering too, how do I find out where there are craft fairs, and can anyone just visit and shop? How much are stalls and do you usually make quite alot of money (compared to online selling)?

    Also, are most people of here selling on Etsy ...or do you have actual shops or your own websites?

    And lastly, I was wondering about posting your items - Do you have to keep all proof of postage reciepts to prove postage costs as expenses? (I'm sorry I know nothing about tax and stuff). Does everyone just go to the post office with bags of stuff to send and weigh each one there? Doesn't that take ages?

    Told you I had loads of questions! Sorry for the long post but thanks for any answers ina advance

    Find what you want to do and then do it with all your heart.



  • #2
    HI and welcome

    don't worry about lots of questions, we all ask lots of questions when learning - I still am!

    The tax office are very helpful with providing information about tax/expenses and stuff, they can send you out a boooklet.
    Businesslink is very very good too, I'd suggest having a read of lots of the topics on their website

    I do obtain a proof of posting for each item unless I am getting recorded delivery - you gradually get used to what times are the busiest at your local post office so it doesn't have to take ages

    There will be many more people more qualified than me to provide answers - I'm still learning too!

    Fiona
    http://www.samigailsgifts.co.uk/
    Handmade personalised gifts for all occasions created by the art of pyrography
    My Facebook

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    • #3
      Welcome to the forum

      In answer to some of your questions, I used to have an ETSY shop but now sell through Open days, craft Fairs and my own website. I also post my blog with updates every Monday.

      Craft Fairs can usually be found from sites such as The Craftsman or just looking at noticeboards locally, along with contacting the parish councils, two of the villages near me have their own websites and directories which are really useful. Anyone can go to a craft fair and buy, you can also approach the organisers and ask for details of exhibiting at any future events, they will tell you what is involved and what the selection process is.

      With postage I have an online account, which I top up with funds, package my items weigh them do the label online with the postage amount, then drop off at the local PO for onward delivery. This saves time as you do not have to queue at the counter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello and
        MISI - http://www.misi.me.uk/store_info.php?user_id=741

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        • #5
          Hiya
          welcome to the forum
          I usually sell via craft venues and a site that I am registered on, I have also a folder that I leave in places of work and get orders that way so most of the time I don't need the post office
          My Cupboard Storeroom!

          http://en.dawanda.com/shop/cardsgalore

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          • #6
            to the forum.
            View my flickr

            'I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight.' - Jane Austen

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            • #7
              Welcome from me as well
              http://www.aniccajewellery.co.uk
              http://www.new.facebook.com/profile....ery/6215267978
              http://www.AniccaJewellery.etsy.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi and to the forum !!


                Sara x
                allabouteden blog

                fromthehandsofkittyeden

                my folksy shop

                Comment


                • #9
                  Welcome. Nice to see you.
                  Carol
                  God helps them that help themselves.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Caroleecrafts View Post
                    Welcome to the forum

                    In answer to some of your questions, I used to have an ETSY shop but now sell through Open days, craft Fairs and my own website. I also post my blog with updates every Monday.

                    Craft Fairs can usually be found from sites such as The Craftsman or just looking at noticeboards locally, along with contacting the parish councils, two of the villages near me have their own websites and directories which are really useful. Anyone can go to a craft fair and buy, you can also approach the organisers and ask for details of exhibiting at any future events, they will tell you what is involved and what the selection process is.

                    With postage I have an online account, which I top up with funds, package my items weigh them do the label online with the postage amount, then drop off at the local PO for onward delivery. This saves time as you do not have to queue at the counter.
                    Thanks for everyone's welcome!

                    When you say you weigh the parcels, do you have to buy some proper scales? Doesn't the post office have to check you have done it right? Also, do you just put the parcels in the hatch thing they have at post offices - because how would you then know they have been posted and how would you get proof of postage? Do you do the labels on Paypal?
                    And lastly do you have to keep records of every postage expense you make for taxes? Lots of q's sorry again!

                    Find what you want to do and then do it with all your heart.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hello - I am new here too but i do have an online shop and i have sold on craft fairs.

                      Ok, I find that stock that i sell loads of on site i couldn't shift at a craft fair BUT stuff that i struggle to sell on site just sold so well at craft fairs. Basically my crafty stuff sells better at fairs. Fairs are hard work though - a) you have to get all the stock together and make sure that you have price labels - peple never buy unless a price is clear to see. If you have something unusual you will always get someone who wants to know where it was made, how and a 100 questions - I made sure that i spent hours designing info cards - propblem with those is that often the tabels you are given are smaller than your backside and nothing fits on.

                      I have done school fairs where all they have wanted is 10% of sales and fairs that have charged £25 but have forgotten to advertise. I know peple who have paid £50 for a table and not sold a thing - SO, i think that craft fairs need to be well and truly tested out - I was always worn out after one cause you are so desperate to make back your table fee, petrol costs etc that you can't afford to sit down for a moment.

                      At one fair, i was the only person who made any dosh but then iwas the only person who had some low priced products and apart from my friend who did her wone stall, we were the only two who didn't stop talking to customers all day - I worked my little socks off for those sales and at the same time i was promoting my friends stall cause her bags were just beautiful - i don't think that she made a sale - I covered my costs and made some BUT for all that hard work with my products it just didn't seem worth it - SO you need to a) have a good product but one with variants of affordability b) the gift of the gabb workes well and enticing your customers will sway them to buy, a big smile works - you got to be prepared for loads of time wasters, they may love what you sell, they may want one desperately BUT if they don't have the disposable income it will stay on your table c) Times of the year may always influence the amount of sales d) Top tip, alwasy, always have a sale selection - its not really a sale but as long as you have a bit of card that says sale on it and a selection of products that says (eg) £4.99 now reduced to £2.99 - well people just can't resists a bargain. Another good banter is to have at lesat one product that you are happt to reduce - so you tell the customer that they are £4.99 but for today only they can have it for £3.99.

                      Yep i know, i sound like Rodney Trotter

                      Now the other thing that you need to have for craft fair is a reciept book and quite a lot of statinary - a website will automatically calculate but at a fair you have to calculate and handle money - a float is essential and this has to be accounted for - you take all earnings and deduct all costs inc petrol, price of table - I am not sure how tax works with craft fairs to be honest.

                      I wouold never do a craft fair again because my site makes so much more in a day.

                      As for postage for a website - you would have a kodule that calculates the postage and then after you have packed each item you would weigh it on postal scales, these can be bought for around £30 - possibly cheaper on ebay but watch postage on there - you would only need an expensive trading standards scale if you was selling products by weight - so, soap, bath salts, etc that are sold by weight or volume do need special TS scales and measures - there are so many people selling illegally and all it takes is a visit from trading standards and you are closed down.

                      Back to postage - Royam Mail online have a free "print your own postage", they also do smart stamp which i think is confusing and a waste of money - if i was allowed to post links at this stage i'd offer you a direct link to the RM pages that offer postage - you can select a pre pay option for as little as £3.50, i buy £100 a time and the majority of postage i send out with a courier BUT if you buy say £20 postage at a time, there is no need for loads of reciepts from the post office, you just have the cost of the postage all automatically saved online and the cost is shown on your debit/credit card - this si the easiest way to keep on top of postage costs and no paper receipst to sort out for end of year account.

                      As for proof of postage, i just het a wad of the slips from my post office, I print my own postage labels and just fill in the form, when i go to the PO, they don't even weigh cause he knows that my scales are actually more acurate that theirs all i have to do is hand over the parcels and have my proof of postage form stamped - I am in and out and it si so much easier.

                      End of year accounts are a pain in the butt, i hate doing them, I do them on excell and then hand it all to my accountant and he does his jiggery pokery and I wish that i'd used him after my first year cause i actually messed up and now i may have to give more pennies to the tax man than i'd anticipated

                      Its just a case of keeping all reciepts and being legal as far as distance selling rules are concerned on your website, having the right insurance and trading according to the DTI and keeping TS happy.

                      Good luck
                      xx

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                      • #12
                        That was so much help thank-you!!!
                        Just that last sentence confused me about insurance and about distance selling rules - what insurance do i need if i just sell on Etsy, and what are distance selling rules?
                        Why can't things be simple lol
                        Thanks again for your help

                        Find what you want to do and then do it with all your heart.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The distance selling rules apply to everyone in the UK if they are to sell legally - the information can be found on the DTI website - department of trade and indulstry - basically you have to add your address and an email and a phone number to any sales site if you are distance selling, possibly doesn't apply if you aren;t in the UK. The reason for this is to prevent fraud - I would never buy from a site that doesn't offer me decent contact details and a decent page rank to boot. A contacts page like they have on MR sites aren't enough, I have a contact page in a Mr site that I have but i couldn't tell you where the heck that email inbox is or even what email i have used - not a problem cause i don't sell anything from my Mr site so legal BUT my point is, a contact page is not a firm confirmation that any site is legal.

                          My friend was royally ripped of for hundreds of pounds on a fake glastonbury site - it had no PR and no contact details. you could postentially loose sales if your distance selling rules and address aren't in place - the distance selling rules offer the same benefits as purchase from a shop - if you bought a dress from M&S, you have so many days to take it back if you don;t want it - most sites offer the chance to cancel within 7 days - if one of my customers cancelled within 7 days I have to agree to refund - what I don't have to agree to is to paying the return postage. I did once have a customer who bought something and phoned up and asked to return it - it wasn't as she'd expected, It was after 7 days but I said yep, send it back second class - she didn't like having to pay for the postage, the downside for me was that she had been a HUGE customer but she didn't shop again - should I have paid that postage? - yep, on that occasion i should - lesson learned. YOu have to make your customers aware that they have the right to return damages and that you will pay for both a replacement and return postage - I have never requsted that a customer return anything and have always sent out an immediate replacement or on occasion just offered a refund.

                          You may need insurance to cover stock and you have to look at your product to see if it hasd any potential dangers - the AA does a specific home workers insurance - i dunno but say you sold a card with a topper on it and the topper wasn't stuck on properly and a baby swallowed it and choked to death - insurance would help you fight any claim.

                          I know lots of homeworkers who sell on the net and don't have any insurance - it isn't compulsory i don't think but wise. It would depend on what you are selling though and insurance may make any etsy sales look like non profit straight away.

                          My insurers refuse to insure me to sell to the US and canada - and i know that the UK aren't a nation of suers but we do go for compensation - I bought a product that burned me, i didn;'t even know that it could burn and i have two bad scars - I was told to take them to court, they told me that their insurers wanted to pay an out of court settlement and at that time I accepted, i accepted cause their doctor said that i wouldn't have life long craters - here am i with two life long craters on my shin - now, they had to find some money to give me - a child fell down at school and cut his nose, he is set to get compensation paid by the schools insureres.

                          If you are sure that you have a product that is to be sold to someone esle and is 100% safe and could not undera any circumstances cause damage, injury or even death then you don't need insurance. If in dount then get the basi policy - i read on here somewhere tonight that someone had insurance that only cost £50 - baragain!

                          Also, if the central heating pipes bust and leaked water all over your stock, how much would it cost to replace? Someone joked with me tonight about my business premises being stuffed with this and that - made me uneasy cause if someone is thinking about it, why are they thinking about it - I am insured for 7K of stock and when i have just restocked all lines that is grossly under insured - and i only sell on the ineternet which
                          is where etsy is.

                          If you allow anyone to come to your house to buy stock you need insurance, if you courier steps inside your house you need insurance - although he shoukd know that he ain't alloed to do that cause he isn't covered. My courier does come into my work place and if the roof fell on him and injured him - i'd need insuirance.

                          Hope this helps some more - it is damned hard when its all so young, worth it after a few years though.

                          Good luck

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                          • #14
                            PR is page rank and can be found if you add the google page rank tool - helps you to see if a site has any credability and is a trust thing to a lot of people - if a site has a page rank of one, it means that it has people linking back to it and its is more than likely genuine - page rank can come with time too but you can also gain PR with adding your site to loads of diectories - so for the crafty person, they could get a fantastic page rank but not actaullay have any sales - so its not 100% but it helps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have postage scales for weighing and they do not check, I know the PO staff well as only 2 of them, I also have a pad of Proof of Posting receipts which I fill in advance, they either stamp at the time or hold and I collect the next day (I only have to walk around the corner). If you are not local then you would have to wait to have the PoP stamped but just assess the busy times, as mentioned before.

                              Re business receipts I keep everything and enter into my accounts as postage charges are all expenses against sale of goods including the label costs etc.

                              The poo account is not done through paypal but you enter a debit/credit card number and they top up from there, only need to do £3.50 at a time. I also think the printed postage and address labels look professional. They also have your return details on the top left of the label.

                              Any other questions just ask.

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