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Crafty1_AJ

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Crafty1_AJ last won the day on February 17

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About Crafty1_AJ

  • Rank
    Sleep, Eat, Post

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  • Website URL
    http://www.ajscountrycottage.com

Converted

  • Makes
    candles soap b&b
  • Location
    Missouri
  • Occupation
    chandler/soaper/B&B'er
  • About You
    Married mom of 2. Love to make candles, soap, and b&b items. Love cats. We have 2, plus a sweet dog!
  • Likes / Dislikes
    Likes ~ Colors: Cool colors and jewel tones. Royal blue, purple, teal, deep pink. Love vibrant colors. Scents: eo's, plus vanilla, citrus, spicy, bakery, fruity fo's. Hobbies: Flavored coffees & herbal teas, knitting & crocheting, reading, See's chocolate, and collecting cute Snoopy stuff! Love pillars w/ interesting textures / finishes and layers; love handmade lotions, creams & scrubs.
    Dislikes ~ Scents: florals; heavy perfumey scents; straight lavender (ok in blends though!)

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  1. I use small flat-rate priority boxes from USPS or the #4 box for larger orders, usually. One regular customer gets so many that I have to use a #7 box. LOL
  2. Can you post a pic to help us troubleshoot?
  3. If Etsy had started out with the free shipping model, it would have been a lot easier for us established sellers -- easier than switching gears this late in the game. I'm not bashing either, just stating facts: in order for me to change my model to the free shipping gig and maintain a fair and reasonable profit, I'd have to hike my prices more than 45%. That's going to alienate a lot of my regular customers. (I already raised my candle prices a bit when Etsy recently hiked its fees.) Etsy is forcing those of us who are established to basically choose between our current customer base and potential new customers. Again, not bashing - stating facts calmly. Not ranting here. The other difficulty with this situation is consistent pricing among multiple sales platforms. With my local customer base here in the Midwest, I'm not able to command top end prices. In my off season (I don't do local shows and markets January-March), my regulars often order from my Etsy site. Pretty reasonable to assume they'd be shocked at the price difference if suddenly they had to pay 50% more in the winter months. Changing my business cards and labels to direct them to a new platform is do-able, but time consuming and costly. And those old labels and business cards are already in a lot of hands since I've been selling for many years. Thankfully, not all my Etsy site traffic comes from internal Etsy searches. The bulk of my hits come directly and from sources outside Etsy. When I started selling on the net years ago, I got a lot of international orders as well as domestic. Then as shipping rates skyrocketed, I lost international sales. With continued shipping increases, I eventually lost a lot of orders from the west coast and east coast, where the bulk of the U.S. population lives. Now the majority of my online orders are from the Midwest since shipping is much more reasonable to nearby states. Business climates change. I rode the internet wave for a time, and it was a great ride. Time for a new business model. Local sales have increased, so that's where I'll focus my attention.
  4. Spicy Apples & Peaches. Perfect transition from summery peaches to spicy apple / fall!!
  5. I suspected lavender would be a winner. Thanks! And unscented is growing in popularity. One of my best-selling candles on Amazon is unscented.
  6. A lot of folks here rave about Pumpkin Pecan Waffles. If you do a search on that one, I'm sure multiple threads will pop up! I don't know the supplier, but I have a PPW soy candle from Trapp, and the throw is great. Smells so good.
  7. x2. I don't love making them, but I have customers who buy tons of them, so I happily take their money.
  8. For those of you who sell lotions, what types of scents sell consistently well for you? I'm not asking for specific fragrance names and manufacturers - lol - just general / broad categories. For example, do designer dupes do well for you? Mints? Citrus scents? Herbals? Woodsy scents? Vanillas? etc. Thanks so much in advance for cluing me in!
  9. I test in an average size room. After it's been burning for about half an hour (so that I have a decent melt pool started), I leave the house for a few minutes. Walk back in, and note how far away I was from the candle when I first caught a whiff of the HT. 6 feet away, 8 feet away, etc. Then I have my spouse do the same. If I'm not getting much HT, I try a bit more cure time and/or test-burning in a small room (10x10).
  10. Just a heads up for those of you who are frustrated that Etsy takes a cut of the shipping money. If you are considering Amazon Handmade, they do the same thing. They keep a percentage of not only your sales price, but also shipping money.
  11. I don't wait until the wax is quite that firm. I pour when I start to see a film forming on the top surface of the soy wax. I also pour in small batches, which helps. (Usually 5 candles at a time.) If I pour larger batches, the wax is too firm by the end of the batch. I like to pour while the wax is still fluid enough to get an even pour, but as set up as possible without sacrificing fluidity. Oh, and the trick of using a heat gun while pouring? I do that too -- but with lip balms, not candles. LOL
  12. Factor in the Amazon mentality, and e-tail customers increasingly expect free shipping and 2-day delivery, even if you're a small business. If I charge $10 for a candle and $5 for shipping, the customer will choose $15 for the same candle with free shipping, even though the bottom line is the same. It's the "free is better" mentality. I've been testing that theory with local soap sales. I can say "25% off on 4" and sell OK. But when I change to "Buy 3, Get One Free" ... guess what? I sell more bars of soap.
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