Micro Macrame Jewlery, Tutorials, and KIts

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Always a Dilemma

So, right after I heard about Etsy's new policy of forced integration of PayPal into Etsy Payments (see my rant on previous blog post), I found out PayPal is changing their refund policy. 

 For those who don't know, whenever I receive payment through PayPal, a processing fee is automatically deducted.  This is how PayPal gets paid to process orders for sellers. 

In the past, PayPal has refunded their fees - fully when seller makes a full refund and partially when seller makes a partial refund.  Recently, PayPal has announced they will no longer refund any of these fees whenever a seller makes a refund to a customer. 

 "If you agree to these changes, you don’t have to do anything. If you don’t agree with these changes, you may close your account....

...We’re changing how we treat refunds. If you refund (partially or fully) a transaction to a buyer or a donation to a donor, there are no fees to make the refund, but the fees you originally paid as the seller will not be returned to you."

It's like PayPal doesn't even care anymore.

I rarely need to make a refund to a customer.  In the few times I have needed to do so, it has usually been because a customer made a mistake on their order (for example, a customer ordered a pattern package and also ordered a single pattern that was included in the package).  Or, the checkout system has a glitch and charged State sales tax from a customer who does not live in my state.  In these cases, I make a partial refund to the customer.  In the past, PayPal would then make a partial refund of the fees to me.  No more.  Sigh.

As far as I know Etsy does not refund any seller fees either...although I could not find any information about this on their help site.  I found all kinds of information on how to make a refund, but nothing about Etsy refunding seller fees.  I will keep looking.

So, after spending the past several days researching alternatives and calming down a bit, I have decided to sit back and think about how I want to move forward.  I really don't want to let go of my Etsy shop - I've been there for 12 years and have a small following...and all that positive feedback from customers.  Etsy has name recognition and is trusted by consumers.  I would have to start over with any new shop I might open and a lot of people are hesitant to order from a platform they are not familiar with.

I really don't want 2 shops either, because reasons.

Unrelated, but coinciding with the above quandary, the cost of international shipping has skyrocketed while Etsy is pushing (not forcing, yet) sellers to offer free shipping.  Part of my strategy for moving forward will be how I handle shipping charges in the future.  I am leaning towards free domestic shipping, but still charging for international orders (as opposed to not shipping overseas at all). 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Times They are A Changin'...Again...Sigh

First, I am just going to copy and paste the rant I posted on my facebook page:

ARGH!!!!! Caution: Rant follows...

Note: I am looking into alternatives and will probably be closing my Etsy shop as soon as I find a viable alternative.

Now onto my rant:
I think I have finally had it with Etsy. I have been with Etsy for 12 years. A few years ago, they went "corporate" and I have not liked many of the changes...but I have bit the bullet and stuck with it.
Today, I got an email saying that as of 15 May, they are forcing PayPal integration with Etsy Payments. This means that even when someone pays with PayPal, the money goes into Etsy Payments and is distributed to the seller the next day (or week, month depending on your settings) into your bank account, not your PayPal account.

Etsy will get the sales commission (that usually goes to PayPal) and will get whatever interest that sale accrues (while the seller waits to get paid).
And, if the seller (like so many of us do) uses PayPal to order supplies, etc, they must now transfer funds from bank account to PayPal account (after waiting of course for their money to reach their bank account). When paid to my PayPal account, my funds are immediately available
Etsy is trying to push PayPal completely out of the picture. I like PayPal. I have been using for YEARS without any problems. Etsy does not have that same reputation.

Next thing you know, they will be forcing sellers to sign up for autopay (for our Etsy account fees). This is the system that has access to your bank account and recently over charged so many sellers and delayed refunding the overcharges. I will NEVER sign up for autopay. I pay my bill every month (manually) and have NEVER missed a payment or been late in paying it. I don't need auto pay.

Okay. There. I have gotten that off my chest.

Afterwards, I opened up an eCrater account and have begun to build a new shop there.  So far, I have one item listed (probably will add a few more tonight), but if you want to see it (and comment below to let me know what you think) - here is my newborn shop.

 If this works, I will of course be changing my "shop" links from Etsy to eCrater on this website and on my facebook page.

There's nothing like starting over again....sigh, I will lose a 12-year history of positive feedback by letting go of my Etsy shop.  Maybe I will keep a handful of items there just to keep it active...you know, for the feedback.  We shall see.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A New Look and a New Feeling

Last year I got a new camera and have finally gotten used to it.  I am also experimenting with more artistic set-ups (like photo above) in my photography for my Etsy Shop.  I still provide the ones with a plain background so customers can get a better focus on the actual jewelry, but I think these more artistic ones will better catch initial attention.  What do you think?

I am officially down to one online shop - on Etsy.  Check it out and tell me what you think of the new look - not only do I have some new photography, I have started listing some of those shawls and scarves I mentioned in my previous post "River of Change".

Alas, I have cleared out my ArtFire Shop and sent the request to have it deleted.  I am experiencing a variety of feelings about this decision.  While I did give it a LOT of thought and really believe this is the right thing for me at this time, there is still a part of me that is afraid to let go.  I suppose this is normal when going through change, even positive change.  Sigh.

So, then I had to update this blog (delete ArtFire links, etc).  While I was at it, I chose a new theme with a new look and cleared out some old widgets in the sidebar.  I still need to check for expired links in some of my "recommended" lists, but that will take some time.

I got a mannequin (named Selina) for better displaying not only my shawls and scarves, but also my jewelry.  I have already done one big photo shoot with her and will be doing more as I continue to take new photos of my jewelry and of anything new I make.  Here is one of Selina wearing a shawl I made for myself and some jewelry I was playing around with.

I think I will save telling you my "crochet story" in a future post.  Bye for now, I hear my yarn calling.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

River of Change

It has taken me awhile since my husband James' passing to adjust to my new reality.  I moved in with my mother (Dad passed several years ago), so we can take care of each other.  It has been working out quite well - She loves that I love to cook!  She is willing to do dishes if I cook...works for me!

In one of my few bursts of jewelry creativity this past year, I made several pairs of these hoop earrings (photo above) and matching anklets.  I am finally in the process of getting them listed at my Etsy Shop

I have recently been getting back into crochet - in fact I have been on a bender making shawls and scarves (many of which I gave away to friends).  My Mom got on the band wagon with me and has made several scarves and shawls as well.  Here is one of my favorites (hard to choose just one, LOL) - fun to make and fun to wear.

A facebook friend asked if I planned on selling any of my shawls and I am considering it.  But photographing and listing them must be a task for a much later day -  I have a big project right now...

I have decided to simplify my online presence by keeping only one online shop.  Both Etsy and ArtFire have aspects I like and aspects I don't like so much, so it was a difficult decision.  After much consideration, I decided to keep my Etsy shop.

So, for the days and weeks it takes me to move my inventory over to my Etsy shop, I have put everything at my ArtFire shop ON SALE!  Yes!  Everything at my ArtFire shop is currently 50% off - If you ever wanted some of my finished jewelry, now is a great time to get it.

I will be taking new photos of many of my pieces, so this process may take weeks.

Once this process is done, I may just start listing some shawls and scarves.  We shall see.

Friday, May 12, 2017

I Love Beads!

I have always loved beads...and tying knots.  I love how micro macrame has opened up so many ways to make beaded jewelry - some complex and some simple. 

This past week, I have returned to simplicity with making some beaded rope necklaces.  First, I made a couple of necklaces for some Tree of Life pendants that my sister made:

 Then, I had a strand of jet beads that broke a couple of months ago.  So, I decided to make one (very long) continuous loop necklace with them and I love it.
I loved it so much, I had to make one in red.  This one includes some lampwork glass beads my sister made.  Yup, my sister is multi-talented...I'm so lucky she shares with me!
Then, I fooled around with some smaller "Y" necklaces with a few more of my sister's lampwork beads:

Then, another (slightly smaller) continuous loop necklace with...wait for it...yes, more lampwork beads.  I really love this one, too.
And, finally, I made a necklace with a hook closure so it is adjustable.  Again, still playing with those lampwork beads...and I added some faceted crystal teardrops for the sparkle effect:

I have a new camera and new photo editing software, so please bear with me as I learn their quirks and secrets...
Meanwhile, I have already listed the first Tree of Life necklace at my ArtFire shop.

Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood