Sunday, September 4, 2011

Touching Base

This has been a week of juggling a few things online.  My daughter wanted to sell some textbooks (the ones the bookstore wouldn’t buy back) on Amazon, so I now have an account to do that.  Out of the three she wanted to sell, two have been shipped already, so I am pretty happy about that. Amazon has an amazingly organized system.  You list your books for free, and when something sells, Amazon takes their fee (a fairly complicated system they spell out on their site), plus they collect a shipping fee from the buyer that will go to you once the transaction is complete.  Basically, the two books I sold went for a total of $24.00.  The Amazon fee was $8.28 and they collected $7.98 ($3.99 x 2) for shipping from the customers.  Once I figure in my actual shipping cost (around $2.60 each), I expect to realize $18.50 from the sale of the two books.  I found the fees to be kind of high, but it is hard to beat the audience the site has, and with the text book season being limited, I don’t mind paying it.
I’ve also been in contact with a possible customer for some custom work on Etsy.  When I first offered to do custom work on my site, I really had no idea as to how the mechanics might work.  Luckily, the lady I am working with is patient and is really helping me figure out a viable system.  She is interested in some 20” x 20” knit throw pillows with button closures.  I’ve spent one week knitting a big batch of swatches (she’s been pretty specific on her colors, but to avoid misunderstandings, actual samples seem like the way to go).  Once I got the color samples in the mail, I spent another week on an actual pillow, to make sure the size is right and to have an idea of scale when choosing the big, mismatched vintage buttons she wants.  Speaking of big, mismatched buttons, my stash is a little less varied than I’d like, so I’ve also been working with a lady on Ebay to purchase of a variety of colors and shapes.  I seem to be spending an excessive amount of time on this one sale, but by nailing down all the details now, I will be extra sure of my abilities to come up with a repeatable product.

Oatmeal, Charcoal, Espresso, and Plum Swatches

Previews of a future photo essay on drying tomatoes

Of all the things I need to do better across all social media, perhaps the most obvious it to add more photos.  The more blogs I read, the more I realize how important a visually appealing page is to keeping interest and adding to the written content.  For someone with a background in photography and graphics, you would think that this would come more easily.  Just the opposite seems to be true.  I think that this might be payback for all the snarky comments I’ve made over the years about poor design in general as well as all the poorly photographed and poorly edited images throughout the years.  Now that I am the one responsible for the content, I have a new found respect for how much time and patience it takes to accomplish even the simplest task well.  Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to comment.  I really appreciate your efforts and insites. 
The Butcher 

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