Sunday, April 19, 2009

May / June Event Schedule

It's nice for us online sellers to go outside once in a while and get some sunshine. Why not drag our inventory outside with us and sell some more?

So far, I am confirmed for 2 sales events in May. At both I will sell jewellery, and also a new selection of children's clothing.

Here are the details:

May 16: Cochrane Children's Festival
-Times TBA

-Held on 4th St. SW in Calgary
-10:00am - 6:00pm
June 6 & 7: Spectrum Festival
-Held Downtown in Medicine Hat at 1 St SE & 6 Ave SE

BF has graciously secured a 10x10 tent to help me set up, and a couple tables. Plus, I've bought all kinds of new display items, (baskets, trays, necklace and earring displays, etc), so I'm looking forward to setting up and seeing how it all turns out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Taking Free Time to Expand Horizons

The long weekend is coming to an end. I had Friday - Monday off which only happens once a year for me without taking Holiday time, and it's a pretty sweet deal. Of course, I'll need to go to work early tomorrow to play catch up, but I digress.

I've kept myself busy this weekend searching far and wide for new and different products to sell. I mean WAY different. Nothing like jewellery. I am very taken in by a drive to diversify.

Part of what brings this is on, is my increasing realization of just how seasonal many items are. Tungsten rings, for example, are more likely to sell when approaching Christmas and Valentine's Day. Planting and gardening products naturally enjoy a busy season this time of year. And on and on it goes.

So, without a great deal of rhyme or reason, I am diving in and researching products that I already know something about for one reason or another.

My first new project is to add a men's hygiene section to my existing store. This is a natural outgrowth as I already deal in men's items.

Beyond this, I plan to move into a whole new industry in the year ahead. I look forward to sharing the details as things unfold.

If any of you have thoughts on branching out into new areas, versus focusing on what you know, I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

How to Start Your First Online Store

Online selling made easy!

There are 4 Essential Steps to starting an online store.

Let's look at them one by one shall we?

1. Have a Product

Find something to sell that you can buy, (or make), cheaply and sell for more.

Get ideas by attending auctions, flea markets, and garage sales.

Do searches online to see what kinds of prices different items are fetching.

If you are crafty, search craft forums to get ideas and tips on things to make and how to do it.

Buy something on ebay or Bonanzle and ask yourself, what about this buying process was fun for me? What could I sell to recreate this experience for others?

Importantly, get out a calculator and figure out all of the costs involved, and make sure that what you are looking to sell will be profitable.

2. Start a Website for Free

I started this website for free. When I was ready to make use of the more advanced features, I upgraded to a package that costs $10 a month.

Click here to start your own website for free.

3. Take Pictures

Good quality pictures are obviously important. All the info you need to do this is available with simple Google searches. Here are some tips to get you started:

-If you do not have a lighting system of some kind, natural light is your friend. Go outside.

-If the items you are photographing are small, invest in a closeup lens.

-Try a bunch of different angles and lighting conditions.

4. Figure out Shipping in Advance

Shipping can make or break you. Some items are easy to ship, and others cost a fortune.

Find out ahead of time how much the items you are thinking about selling will cost to ship. This is better than selling an item for $25 and then finding out it will cost $50 to ship it.

I use Canada Post. If you have the patience of a saint, this website will eventually give you an idea of how much it costs to ship things.

If you plan to sell a lot of items, buy shipping supplies in bulk. I use Uline.
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