What’s new for 2019 – Sublimation

What’s new for 2019 – Sublimation

Sublimation, Uncategorized
Time for what is becoming an annual post. This blog is about selling online so I think it'd be best to talk about what's trending nowadays. The big one that I'm seeing is the move towards sublimation printing. Although it's been around for a long time, I'm seeing many hobbyists and small businesses gravitate towards it. People who embraced vinyl cutting with the Cricut and Silhouette are now adding sublimation to their store offerings. What is sublimation printing? It's a process of applying designs to products. It starts with a sublimation printer that utilize specialized inks. The design is printed on transfer paper and applied with a heat press. The heat produces a chemical process that adheres the design to the product. That's it in a nutshell! I know my…
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Prepping for Q4

Uncategorized
Holy crap I can't believe it's been over a year since I blogged on this site. So much has happened since then, I'm not sure where to start. I still have a Shopify store that's growing. I also have my existing Etsy stores that have been around many years.  There's so much that goes into running a store, as a small biz owner you end up wearing many hats. Design, product photography, marketing, order fulfillment and customer service. It's sounds simple but there's so much involved with each area. Even though it gets very crazy I wouldn't trade it in for anything. I wouldn't go back to POD like Red Bubble, Society 6 and Zazzle.  I LOVE having my own independent store. We're about to head into September, which the retail…
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Don’t Let Summer Slow Your Sales Down

Don’t Let Summer Slow Your Sales Down

Uncategorized
Summer can be a slow time for retail. People spend less time on their phones and computers and more time outdoors and away for vacation. But that doesn't mean you have to wait until September before the sales pick up again.  Here are some ideas to keep your sales going. Blog articles. Think about what your customers are doing for the summer. They may be taking vacations to the beach or Disney. They may have backyard or pool parties.  And definitely lots of barbecues. It's a good opportunity to write blog articles in relation to these activities. Like if you sell kids items for instance. You could write an article about slumber party ideas, then mention some of your products. Cozy pillows and blankets would be great for these sleepovers. Fourth of July. Now…
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POD or Etsy or Shopify? Which is better?

POD or Etsy or Shopify? Which is better?

Uncategorized
If you've been selling through Print on Demand Sites such as Zazzle or Cafepress, you know that making sales on those sites is no easy task. And if you have been in the POD world long enough, you've probably seen conversations surrounding Etsy and Shopify. How are they different from a POD? And are they worth looking into?   Let's start with Etsy. It's a place for independent creatives to sell their work. And it has an active marketplace with over 28 million buyers. You can open a store and list your products for sale. There is a nominal charge for listing and for selling an item. Advantages of Etsy: Access to an established marketplace. There is no need to build a customer base and drive traffic, Etsy gets a steady stream of customers.…
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Leggings

Leggings

Uncategorized
If you have an online store, you might be interested in adding All-Over-Print Leggings to your product offerings. They seem to be very popular and eye catching with colorful patterns. But are they worth putting into your store? Do they sell? I presented these questions to some Facebook ecommerce groups. No one seemed to know the answer so I took the next step - adding them to my store. Here are the results of my findings, hopefully it'll help you determine if leggings would work for your store. I placed test orders with three drop ship companies: Art of Where, The Printful and Galloree. In general, their leggings are made from a combination of polyester and spandex.  Each company's formulation is shown below: The formulations affect the elasticity or feel of the fabric. When I say elasticity,…
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Writing Product Descriptions that Sell

Writing Product Descriptions that Sell

Uncategorized
My mother-in-law wanted to sell an old sapphire ring. She wasn't sure of its value, so we looked through Etsy for similar rings. One listing in particular caught my eye.  After reading its product description I wanted to buy it. The ring was described in a way that stirred up something inside me. I WANTED THAT RING. I had to have it. And I wasn't even shopping with the intent of buying one. That product description created an emotional connection that moved me to action. The scenario I described above shows how a product description can turn a shopper into a customer. Consider them the final point in the conversion funnel. You went through the trouble to market and advertise your work. You got the customers attention and they clicked on a link to visit your site.…
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The Current Landscape of POD

The Current Landscape of POD

Zazzle
I share often about selling independently and encourage other Zazzle designers to do the same. Along the way I encounter a number of reactions. It's usually a combination of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, or how to take that first step. I totally get that. As Zazzle designers we get to have fun making designs and uploading them to products. Zazzle handles the rest - marketing, payment processing and order fulfillment, customer service issues. It's what I refer to as "set and forget", a source of passive income where you post products for sale with the hope that somehow, someway it'll sell. We get excited when we look at our earnings history report. Somehow among the billions of products the customer managed to find ours. And they liked it enough to order! Seeing the…
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I Wish I Could Tell You

I Wish I Could Tell You

Zazzle
I visited the Zazzle forums today. I don't get to visit as much anymore and it was nice to see familiar names. I do feel sad though when I see what is going on with other designers. I wish I could tell you that if you open your own store: You won't need Royalty Reform. When you have your own store, you decide the prices for your products and how much profit you get. You decide how much you want to discount your products and when you want to have a sale. No need to plead with Zazzle for more money. You don't have to complain about the referral system and feel like you're getting short-changed. You get ALL the profit and don't have to worry if a sale was…
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Branching out from Zazzle – Next Steps

Branching out from Zazzle – Next Steps

Zazzle
I know a few designers that are interested in branching out from Zazzle. They wonder what the next logical step would be? Well, it depends on a number of things.  Let me first throw out five questions: Would you like to make 3-6 times what you are making on Zazzle royalties? For example, the average t-shirt sells for between $25-30 on Zazzle. If there isn't a sale you'll make a few bucks per shirt. If you sell independently you can sell that same shirt for $20 with a cost of $10.  If you do the math the profit is $10 per shirt. Would you like to paid daily or weekly? Yes that's right! Instead of waiting for that monthly mid-month payment from Zazzle, you can be paid more frequently. Would you like to set…
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Converting Shoppers into Customers

Converting Shoppers into Customers

Uncategorized
My prior post was about window dressing your store for the holidays and bringing visitors. Today we'll talk about conversions -  turning shoppers into buyers.  This is a tough one and there is no easy formula. Generally for every hundred visitors just a few will actually buy.  There are many factors that can sway a customer, let's go through a typical scenario and look at things from a customer perspective. A customer sees your post on the Internet and clicks on it.  If they trust your website, they feel comfortable buying from it.  The operative word is trust. People are wary about giving their credit card  and personal information to a website, especially one they are unfamiliar with. So make sure your site has SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to give customers piece of mind about…
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