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Saturday, August 8, 2009

An excerpt from my latest book, "Jewelry.Com"


“How To Learn the Ins and Outs, and tricks of the trade, to selling your handmade jewelry online, or anything else you make!”

By Tara Van Stelle
Jewelry by Tara

This Book Includes;
Tips on internet selling,
Setting up your own site,
Answers to most asked questions,
Where and what to buy,
Find It Free,
Top 10 Mistakes,
And much, much, more!!
Chapter 10
Common Mistakes We Can Easily Avoid

At one time or another, we will all make a mistake with our business. Whether it’s a mailing issue, broken item, or misrepresentation, we’ve all done it.
Here is my list of the top 10 mistakes that we can hopefully avoid.
1. Getting Angry With a Customer
This happens in my head a million times a month. But in reality, it is a definite no no. No matter what and I mean what, you will answer all emails, questions, and problems, with an immediate resolution, apology, and extreme politeness. You can be entirely in the right, it doesn’t matter. Every customer has the potential to leave negative feedback, and/or ruin your reputation. Plus, it is very hard to understand the tone of someone’s email. So please take the time to respond with kindness, before flying off the handle.
The exception to this would be customers who threaten you with bad feedback, or just want to yell. These offenses are not justifiable, and should be handed off to someone else, if you are on a large sit. If it’s your own site, and you’ve already shipped to the customer, it may benefit you to give them a partial or full refund. If you haven’t shipped yet, tell them politely that you don’t feel they will be happy with their purchase, and you’re issuing them an immediate refund. After that, no more emails, cut them off with kindness, and send them on their way.

2. Stuck In a Rut
Just because you like it, doesn’t mean it will sell online. Let’s try and understand that everyone’s got their own taste. Like it or love it, sometimes you may not be a good match for the jewelry market. There’s only one way out of this. Either you revamp your own jewelry style, or play to the marketplace and their whims. You may have to come to terms with the fact that your jewelry isn’t only a representation of you, if you want to make money.

3. Being a Stickler for the Rules
Have you ever heard the saying, “Rules Are Meant to Be Broken?” Even the best laid out store policies may need to be changed on a case by case basis. For example, do you really need a ship back on a $1 pair of earrings? Take the loss, and please a customer. The over referencing of policies to customers on your site, can also lead to profit loss. Some people are almost afraid to buy from merchants with a homepage full of rules. So don’t scare them off, be flexible! You are still in charge of your site, just easier to work with.

4. Drama and Gossip
Just because you meet a lot of other sellers on the internet, doesn’t mean you have to make friends there. Sometimes these can be wonderful experiences, but beware… Forums and chat rooms can turn into a battleground. The last thing you want your customer to see is your personal information, attached to some negative words. This also goes for posting our beliefs, politics, etc. You may win over some new friends and customers, but you will risk alienating a lot more. Always remember, everything you say and do on the internet is there forever. Another thing that can cause a huge problem, is talking about your customers. So many times I see people bad mouthing sales. Even if we don’t know who you’re talking about, your negativity is reflecting on potential customers.

5. Selling supplies that you use for your best sellers.
I am so guilty of this! When I get a great wholesale deal I want to share it, and profit of course. It took me some time to figure out that one, if a customer wants to make it, they won’t buy yours. And two, if a designer buys it they will copy your design, and possibly undersell you. Ouch!

6. My work isn’t great…
Yes it is! Never say this, or downgrade yourself. Even if you get a bad case of the self doubts, there is no reason to project anything but confidence. Please don’t list something as not that good, damaged, etc. Just redo it, or reuse it in another way. You want all of your work to be up to a standard that your customers can appreciate.

7. Let Your Business Consume Your Life
Working diligently is fantastic, and I highly recommend it. But when it’s 2:00 A.M., and you’re still taking pictures, it’s time to stop. Burning yourself out can be discouraging to a new business. Set a schedule for yourself, and stick to it. This is something I still haven’t learned! Just like anything else in your life, don’t overdo, or take on too much at once.

8. Spending Too Much Money
Assess, assess, and then reassess. Keep track of what you spend on supplies, advertising, etc. Remember, your time is money too. Don’t just buy on a whim, comparison shop. And don’t buy in bulk if you don’t need to. Just because it’s a great deal, doesn’t mean you will be able to turn it over into profit. Spend slowly, and shop around.

9. Signing Up For Everything
Can you really manage 10 jewelry groups, 5 indie boards, 3 social sites, 2 blogs, and 4 websites? Probably not well, but I’ve done it. Better to just focus in on your main selling site, and a couple of your favorite ones. I do think you should have a site on a larger site, as well as your own. But when you start having 10 sub sites with selling capabilities, you can easily lose track of inventory. If you’re just signing up for marketing, and other advertising, more is always better.

10. Scatterbrained Site Management
This includes a lot of things; constantly changing themes, websites, domain names, and jewelry types. Your customer expects some consistency in your brand. So if you need to spruce things up a bit or add some new ideas, go ahead. But don’t change your site from purple skulls to blue shabby chic in one day.

Post your own ideas to comments of "Not To Do's".

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Only $10 get's you my vast wealth of knowledge, which was learned from screwing it all up! LOL



Blog Internet Marketing » Blog Archive » An excerpt from my latest book, “Jewelry.Com” said...

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Brenda said...

Great tips! I love your blog! :)