Thursday, January 31, 2008

Inclement Weather

It's snowy/drippy down here in the valley today. We have so needed the moisture. It's really good to see, and it was heavily predicted, so everyone I know can stay home and safe and warm.

Being house bound has enabled us to take the time to look at the stormy economy and check out some options for shelter there. Most of you know our main store front is on ebay. We love the community and our customers there. It is a wonderful portal to the world and has done well for us. But ebay is making changes in their pricing structure which are going to significantly increase our costs there.

We have been promising many of our customers who don't like the ebay format that we would get our store front back up on our Laffing Horse web site. Shawn has been working on that today, in between nailing looms, which he can do in front of the woodstove! We utilize Google checkout there and it has been working well in limited test mode. Check it out over the next few days and see what he gets listed. The graphics I can see over my shoulder look really nice.

I spoke with a business consultant on the phone who recommended that I check out Googlebase, which I haven't done yet and get listings on both Amazon and Etsy. So, I started an etsy store and listed a few items. I think we'll use that mostly for my one of a kind weavings and felted creations, but put trilooms, crochet hooks and knitting needles up too.

And then I turned my focus to Amazon. It is a whole different format. The listings are database style and the language is more formal programing. The colors allowed in your photos are given in Pantone code.

I figured out how to do single item listings (I think... does this link take you to a Learn to Triweave Kit?) but then trying to figure out how to do the drop downs for different sizes and different woods and I still can't figure out what the fee structure is and how to set up reasonable shipping costs and ...

I wanted to just close out the Amazon seller account that I had just opened and say that Amazon is not our format. Database is not a language that I speak very fluently. Time I spend elsewhere is time that I am not working on our main bread and butter ebay store. I am an artist! grumble, grumble, excuse, excuse...

So, I went out and did chores. Shawn came and helped me and listened while I muttered to myself. Or at least he did a good job of pretending to listen - he was probably running design ideas through his brain while we worked. And I convinced myself to leave the Amazon account alone for now and to look at it tomorrow morning with a fresh eye.

I know that I didn't learn the ebay listing format overnight, in fact it has taken me years to get some things right and there are still features that I do not use adequately or correctly. But it is comfortable. And I like comfort - like being inside next to the woodstove in a snow storm.

I don't know how long we'll be snowed in and I'll have the time to work in this direction. If you have any hints for setting up listings on Amazon, please let me know!

And stay tuned to see which way the wind blows.

No comments: