Getting Ready for a Big Day!

Jennifer (JP)

Jennifer (JP)

My two daughters and I are going to be participating in an outdoor Vintage Fair later this month, on May 25. I have never done this before and am discovering how much work it is. Maybe it gets easier the next
Circe

Circe

time, but I am overwhelmed by the details. We will have a booth, 16×20, so we need at least 3 tables, one for each of us and our individual items.

My oldest daughter has framed photographs, and some vintage items. My youngest daughter has decorated T-shirts, creative things she has made and I have vintage items. All 3 of us have lots of jewelry as well.

I have been clearing out my old possessions in the last year and disposing of them, but when I signed up for this Fair I began to realize I could try to sell them there. Might as well. So now I have to price them. How do you price a vintage piece of jewelry that cost me nothing? Or a kitchen utensil in great condition that belonged to my grandmother? This is not easy.

Then we have to prepare for a full day of managing our booth, talking to customers, hopefully selling things and satisfying the normal needs of an ordinary day, like lunch, for instance, or potty breaks. We must be there at 5AM (!) to set up our booth and cannot take it down until 3PM. We have 2 canopies to set up, 3 tables for our merchandise and multiple boxes of goodies. In addition we have no idea what the weather will be like that day. It could rain, or the wind could blow our beautiful items off the tables. We can only hope for tranquil weather and lots of visitors.

At this writing I am already exhausted. I am worried that I will forget something. I wonder if I will sell enough to make it worth my effort. YIKES!!!

If you live near the San Fernando Valley, Calif. the Vintage Fair is at Victory Blvd. and Mason Ave. Our booth is #141E. Come by if you can. I’d love to meet you. I will definitely report back to you when it is over and I have recovered.

My heart

On my last Doctor’s regular visit he detected a ”change” in my heart rhythm and recommended I see a Cardiologist.   I made the appointment and went as advised.  On that visit he did an examination and noted that there seemed to be a blockage in my left ventricle and scheduled a stress test for me.

 

Heart Health Made Easy - Click on QR Pic

I had that done earlier this week.  I cannot do a stress test on a treadmill because with all the wires hooked up it is difficult for me to get from the treadmill to the examining table fast enough to get a proper reading, so I had a chemical stress.  This requires an injection that increases the heart beat and causes stress.  It only lasted about 5 minutes but was very strange to say the least.  My heart beat very fast, my breath was rapid and my head became rather warm and felt as if it was full of air.  I thought I was going to get a headache, but didn’t.  During the visit there were 5 examinations of my heart, 3 by machine and 2 with a stethoscope.

 

I saw the Doctor 2 days later and he told me that considering my age, 84, I passed with flying colors.  There was no significant blockage, my heart murmur, which I have had all my life, did not show up, and everything was fine.  I feel relieved that I am OK, but I have to start exercising which I hate.

Etsy report

My Etsy shop had 15 views yesterday, Black Friday.  I hadn’t had more than 18 views in the last 5 days, so I was getting pretty discouraged.  I posted 20 items in October and November and none of them have gotten very many views and no sales.  There are lots of Christmas things, some vintage, some I made.  I thought they would sell right away, but I was wrong.

 

I have more Christmas items to be photographed, but I have to wait until #1 daughter can come by to take the pictures.  When she does, I’ll post them on Etsy and blog them here so that you can see if there is anything that appeals to you. In the meantime take a look at www.etsy.com/shop/mizmlu.  You might find something you like.

MUST YOU COLLECT CALIFORNIA SALES TAX?

 

The simple answer is “Yes”.  However it is a bit more complicated than that.

 

I having been selling jewelry and other vintage items through a company called Etsy.  They post my items and provide information and help for managing my sales.  When I began most of my sales were outside of California.  But when my first California item was sold no tax was collected.  I attempted to find out how to collect the tax but was told to contact my tax advisor.  I have no tax advisor.  I discovered that other Etsy members in California were also not collecting taxes.  This is unlawful and I did not want to be charged with a fee and/or a penalty at some point in time.  So I did my research.

 

As a small business owner in California you are required to collect sales tax for every sale you deliver in California and send it to the State Board of Equalization at the end of the year. You are not required to collect  sales tax for any other State in the United States.

 

California State has a standard sales tax rate of 7.25%  Many of California’s cities, counties, towns, and communities have special taxing jurisdictions (districts), which impose a transactions (sales) and use tax in addition to the standard statewide rate.  Rates for these districts range from 0.10% to 1.00% per district.

Part 1 of 2.  See the next posting in this series Friday on how to collect the  tax.

 

My information came from the California State Board of Equalization, www.boe.ca.gov.   I found Publication 101, “Sales Delivered Outside California”, but there is a lot more useful information on that site.

© Marylou Denyer http://mludenyer.com

My Etsy Experience

Hello all. I have been very busy and unable to keep up with my Mizmlu’s Creatives page. I apologize. I will be sending out a new Thought for Today and the following article for your attention. I would like to hear from you about anything I have written, where you are, who you are, what you would like to talk about, anything to help me connect with my readers.

My most recent interest has been with Etsy. Etsy is a site that has vintage and handcrafted items for sale. I joined them in November, 2010. My daughter recommended it to me since she knew that I was disposing of some of my no longer wanted possessions and thought I had some items that were worth money. My daughter is an artist and creates beautiful objects like pop-up greeting cards, portraits, seasonal items, as well as graphic designs for logos or for whatever use they are needed. She has sold many of her creations on Etsy.

I put together the items I wanted to sell and my other daughter took pictures of them and posted them in a folder on my computer. Pictures are required on Etsy because they give the prospective buyer a good look at the item for sale. Also some information is needed to describe the article, its size, the material used, and any other useful facts to help the buyer make a choice.

Joining Etsy was easy. I had to fill out a form, give some information about myself, provide a picture if desired, but not necessary. No personal information is required.

Once I had joined I listed about 10 items that I wanted to sell, set a price for each, added shipping cost and posted pictures of the item. In most cases I used an overall image as well as a close up view so that the customer would have a good idea of what they would receive.

It took a while before I sold anything, but I kept posting messages on Facebook and Twitter promoting my site, Mizmlu.etsy.com, and finally a sale! Then one lady bought 4 necklaces I had listed. What a great feeling! I put up more things. I do make handmade items so I listed a pillow, some slippers, crocheted cell phone pouches, wearable business card holders and lots of old jewelry that I never wear anymore. Etsy takes only handcrafted or vintage items at least 20 years old.

Etsy has a tutorial that teaches how to price your item, how to fill out the form to sell your item, suggestions on pricing and shipping, and tips for succeeding.

Once an item sells it must be shipped within 2 business days. I have collected packaging supplies over time so I didn’t need to purchase anything but the small padded envelopes for the jewelry. I make sure that the item is well padded to prevent damage in shipping. Paypal has a connection to Etsy so that when an item sells Paypal notifies you of the sale and who bought and paid for it. Once you know the weight of the packaged item you can use Paypal to print a mailing label without showing the amount of the postage and just drop it off at the Post Office or put it in your mail box to be picked up. The cost of the postage is deducted from the proceeds of the sale and the rest is deposited in Paypal where you can leave it or transfer it to your bank.

Etsy charges .20 per item for the listing and 3.5% from the sale price. Each listing is automatically withdrawn after 4 months. You have the choice of relisting it if you have more than one and you so desire. The Etsy charges can be deducted from your Paypal account.

Etsy has about 3,000 members who create some of the most beautiful items I have ever seem. They come from all over the world. Some are truly accomplished artists and paint or design jewelry, clothing, accessories, household items, toys and more. Others seek antique items at yard sales or second hand stores and resell them. There is a forum where Etsy sellers can converse and help each other. It is truly a joy to just spend time looking at the amazing talent and imagination of the Etsy sellers. If you have any vintage item or handcrafted piece that you no longer want check out Etsy. It’s fun, it’s easy, and you get paid for your efforts. How nice.

Is Age only a Number?

Are you elderly because you dress the part or because your age says you are?

According to the US Government people in the United States who are more than sixty years of age are commonly referred to as senior citizens or seniors. These terms refer to people whose stage in life is generally called old age. People are said to be senior citizens when they reach the age of sixty or sixty-five because those are the ages at which most people retire from the workforce.

 

I was shocked a few years ago when I discovered that one store I frequented set their senior discount at the age of 35!

 

In my case, as an elderly senior citizen, I dress the part because it is comfortable and say I am elderly because my age says I must be. My grandkids don’t treat me like they think I am elderly, so maybe I am not. I have trouble hearing so I am elderly. That is a physical condition anyone of any age can have and can be adjusted with a mechanical device, so maybe I am not.  When I have to walk slowly, I feel elderly. When I can walk at a good pace, I am young at heart and not elderly.  I tell myself that age is just a number, but my body says differently.  My hair is falling out, a sign of old age.  I have had both knees replaced, another sign.  My back hurts all the time for which I have been told there is no cure.  My eyesight is not as clear as I would like.   I think I am elderly.

 

My neighbor is 9 years older than I.  She lives alone, has no husband, no children, no siblings, no relatives, but several friends.  She has glaucoma, but no other medical ailments.  She has all her teeth, doesn’t wear glasses, but does have a hearing loss, she drives, although not at night, she does all her own housework, shopping, attends church and goes to a yoga class once a week.  She even takes care of bill paying and other business matters for a younger woman and takes her to the doctor on a regular basis.  My neighbor is 91 years old.  Because of that number she must be elderly, but I would describe her as spry.  She will probably outlive me.

 

Many people, men as well as women, attempt to stave off the dreaded appearance of old age with plastic surgery.  These procedures are very costly and often do not have the desired effect.  Wrinkles are everywhere on the body.  It’s not possible to tighten up every inch of skin.

 

I tell my friends that I read the obituary column every morning to make sure that my name isn’t there, but actually I do it to check on people I have lost contact with.  It seems that many of the deceased are younger than I am.  So if I am elderly I am still fortunate.