Just a Little Advice

dog-1713341_640Whenever you make a purchase take a look at the bottom of the receipt, or the back, for the return conditions.  Many stores have a short period of time in which to return the item.

I purchased four 9V batteries a month ago from my local 99c store to replace the fire alarms in my home.  I had to wait for my daughter to come by since I am not able to get up on the ladder to do that.  When she arrived she told me I only needed one battery.  The other alarms were good for a year.  So I decided to return the unused three batteries. I had no other use for them right now. And as I live on my Social Security every penny is needed.

I took them back to the 99c store and was told that the return time had expired. However they would honor it this one time.

When I looked at the sales slip for the items I purchased that day I noticed that the return policy was printed at the very bottom of the slip in tiny letters.  I had 9 days to bring any item back for credit.  NINE days!

I received credit for them in the form of a printed receipt which gave me a store credit for $3.27.  However, I must take the store credit within 9 days.  I had already checked out with my current purchases and wasn’t planning to go back quite that soon, but will, to take the credit.

So, check that receipt! Stores vary and you may have to research their policy.

MY AMAZON EXPERIENCE WITH MY FIRST SALE

The mailman just picked up a package for me. The package was going to my first Amazon customer. I had made a sale of one of my jewelry items, the first in more than a year.
It’s been tough. I joined Amazon Handmade a few weeks ago and entered more than 50 necklaces for sale on their site. I have been promoting this, as well as my other two jewelry sites, since joining, and have been patiently waiting for some action. It finally came in the form of a sale last evening.
I spent quite a bit of time getting the package put together with a packing list, a pouch for the necklace, and packing materials to ship it in. It took me a while to find all those things and be sure I didn’t forget anything.
Since this was my first sale on Amazon their forms were unfamiliar to me and seemed complicated. I had to make sure all their conditions were met. For instance, they asked for a description of the package I was using. Since it was an ordinary mailing envelope, one of those brown heavy paper ones with bubbles, I couldn’t figure out how to enter the sizes of length, width and depth. The envelope was 5”x8” but the depth? I entered 0” but that was not accepted. Finally, after several attempts to figure out how to resolve this, I entered 1” and it was accepted. As you know, those envelopes have no depth. Obviously they would want depth for a box, not an envelope, but I ship most of my jewelry in padded envelopes, not boxes. I guess I wouldn’t qualify for the shipping department job I saw in the newspaper…
Then, when I finally got all the info entered, I had to click on “Confirm Shipment”. It was indicated as being at the bottom of one of the pages, but it wasn’t there. Not on the indicated page, nor any other of the multiple pages. I just couldn’t find it.
I went to bed out of frustration. I thought a good night’s sleep and a clear head might tell me what I needed to do.
Early the next morning I attempted to contact Amazon to ask what I should do about not having the shipment confirmed. Nothing in all my paperwork with them had a telephone number for Amazon. I needed an answer before I felt secure in the shipping, this being my first sale with them. I didn’t want to delay it by trying to get an answer online.
Finally I found a page in the notes I had copied while setting up my Amazon site that had an option where I could ask them to call me. My phone rang almost immediately after I requested it and a nice woman answered my question about the confirmation. She responded that the confirmation was already completed and I could ship the package. Apparently Amazon furnished the completion. But I did not see that in my shipping page, so was confused. Her email message to me sent after the close of the conversation informed me that the shipment was confirmed, the buyer would be notified of the shipping and expected arrival dates, the tracking number was given to her, how she should make the payment and the date on which the payment would be deposited in my bank account. Now that seemed very efficient!
I sell on other sites and I think I am quite experienced in providing the information each one requires. I am confident that I will become accustomed to Amazon’s way of doing business. They are an enormous company and have millions of sellers and customers and have developed their sales accounts to be effective. My little shop is just a drop in the bucket, but the person who helped me this morning told me to send off the package today. Everything was completed.  I am an Amazon seller!
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Take advantage of free shipping

Next week, between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9, 29 pieces of my handmade jewelry will be discontinued for sale from my Etsy shop. If you would like to purchase one or more of them, shipping in the US will be free, as usual. All of the 29 pieces will go up for sale on my Jewelryalamode site, where I do charge for shipping for any item over $10. If you are interested in saving the shipping cost, take advance of this feature. After February 9, they will no longer be listed on Etsy.

All About Mizmlu’s Jewelry Shops

My jewelry shopsNecklace-Bag5 (16)

I’m continually aware of how much competition there is out there for jewelry. I am banging my head against a wall of talented artisans doing the same thing as I do. I would like to think that I have a little bit of an edge. I have 2 shops. Etsy and Jewelry ala Mode.

My jewelry is hand made with a large variety of colors and styles and prices. I create all the jewelry, all are original, one of a kind designs and especially in my jewelry ala mode shop the prices are affordable. I do not charge for US shipping in my Etsy shop. Each necklace and bracelet is packaged in an organza pouch. Shipping is free in Jewelry ala Mode for all sales in the US over $10. Sales of less than $10 are charged at USPS rates. International sales are at USPS rates. I do not charge for handling, ever.
There are lots of choices in my 2 shops. Etsy has the latest pieces I have just created and has about 40 items, not all jewelry. My other shop, jewelryalamode, is a much larger shop, with over 100 items, in every color and style under the sun. If you are looking for a special color, just find one of that color, and click on the color in the tags list. You will see all the pieces of that color pop up for your choice.
Jewelry ala mode pieces are bargain priced, marked down from the Etsy price. They range from a low of $5 to a high of about $20. Most are about $10-15. One special vintage piece is genuine topaz gems set in gold and includes earrings. My late husband purchased this for me more than 40 years ago, but I no longer wear it. I feel someone else should enjoy the beauty. It comes in the original box and will cost more than the others. But it’s special.
I would love to know how you feel about the jewelry I love to create. Can I help you in any way? A gift perhaps? A special color to go with that new outfit? Just something to perk you up? A unique color or style not found anywhere else? You can reach me at mizmlu@gmail.com. Talk to me.
I list new Etsy items about twice a month at http://mizmlu.etsy.com and at jewelryalamode.com as they become available. I just listed 9 new items yesterday on jewelry ala mode and I will be listing new items on Etsy soon. Maybe today. Come visit one or both shops. Perhaps you’ll find just what you’ve been looking for.

Why do I Make Jewelry?

 Good question.  I make jewelry because it satisfies my creative urges.  I would love to draw pictures, but I have no talent for this.  I have produced all sorts of needlework such as sewing, knitting, needlepoint, crocheting, making afghans for each of my offspring, even grandkids and babies as they come along.  But I don’t do much of any of those things anymore. Cooking doesn’t appeal to me, nor gardening.  I don’t have the energy to tend to a yard and I don’t have nuch of a yard where I now live, but I have pots of greenery on the porch. I have to remember to water them.

 However,  I can excel in making jewelry.  I search the various sources for beads that have character, color, design and a different style.  I am completely addicted to making necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I haven’t counted but I may have almost 200 jewelry pieces.

 I recently disposed of the bed in my guest room and turned it into a studio so I can spread out and not have to clear the table when guests come for dinner.  When I wander into my “studio” I am immediately struck by the need to work on the current project.  I lose myself in it.

 The fact that I have not sold a piece of jewelry in more than 4 months depresses me, but doesn’t deter me from making something new, or finishing a project started a while ago, or, making a trip to the bead shop. 

 I only wish that the love I have for my designs would translate into an equal monetary appreciation for my work.  Casual friends have all commented on the various pieces, but they are not buyers.   

My Etsy store is at www.etsy.com/shop/mizmlu

Some of my jewelry is on Ebay as well as Pinterest, classifiedads and a  few other places.

I’d like to hear your comment.  I’ll reward you with a piece of my jewelry in the color you prefer.

Be an Etsy Shop Owner!

Are you a passionate artisan who believes your handmade items could be sold but don’t know how?  My daughter, JP, and I have written an easy to follow step by step 51 page book to lead you through the process of opening an online shop on a site called Etsy.

Etsy.com is the fastest growing craft sellers marketplace WORLD WIDE!  You can be part of it with our instructions and business tips not found in any of  the Etsy books out there now.  We lead you through each step with detailed  instructions.   Everything is covered and explained.  Both of us are Etsy shop owners and have encountered problems along the way that we share with you so that you are aware and can avoid or resolve them.

There is no bidding as on Ebay.   You make an item, take a photo of it, and list it for sale.  Following our instructions, we show you how to place your item for sale and collect your money when someone buys it.

A Spanish language version will be available soon.

You can buy our book now on Amazon for $9.99 using this link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CRB6NUQ 

OR contact me at HowToOpenanEtsyStore@gmail.com and pay with your card through PayPal and I will send you a pdf copy.   (California residents only $10.90).

You won’t be disappointed, you’ll be a business owner selling your great crafts, vintage items or supplies through your very own Etsy store!

Free Shipping on Etsy items

As of today all items in my Etsy shop will ship free of charge for customers in the United States.  I am doing this to help make it easier for my customers to purchase jewelry that they choose.  International customers will have a standard price of $5.00 to cover postage and handling.   http://etsy.me/GV8zSc

OOPS! Sorry (;o(

I should have included sales tax advice to sellers in other states as well as California.  I am just now involved in the reporting and remitting of the sales tax I collected from my Etsy sales.  It finally dawned on me that someone outside of California might just skip over this post.  The advice that I wrote applies to all US states that have a sales tax program.   Some don’t.  In doing research for an ebook on this subject I discovered that each state has different, sometimes complex requirements.  In California each city, or county, sets a sales tax that applies only to that area.  Therefore, each sales tax on my product has to be determined by the city, or county where it is shipped in California, not just a general tax for the entire state.   Did I mention complicated?

However, if you are a seller you must research the sales tax laws in your own state.  Most states have a phone number for access to advice.  I called my Bureau of Equalization and they were very helpful.  They helped me determine how to file my return which must be done this month.   If you are a seller please find out how to collect and remit sales tax for the state in which you have shipped a product.  It is illegal to avoid collecting this tax and you could be fined a much larger fee than the original amount of the tax.   There could be penalties as well.

I have begun an Excel form which will contain all the information that I need to file my return next year.  I suggest you do the same if you haven’t already.

California Sales Tax Advice

I feel obliged to pass on the information I have acquired regarding the collection and remittance of sales tax to the independent sellers in California, my state.  I am a jewelry seller who has a small shop in the Etsy company.

I believe that Etsy should advise their sellers in California who collect sales tax from their customers that they must declare and pay that tax to the California Bureau of Equalization.  This applies to all independent sellers in this State, not just Etsy members.  I know for a fact that there are Etsy sellers in California who are not collecting sales tax from their California buyers. This is illegal and could cause them future problems.

The process for declaring the sales tax and remitting it to the State is extremely complicated and requires much information.  In addition I was not aware that the BOE changed the tax rate on July 1 so all data must be separated into 2 sections.  My advice would be to call the BOE and get the current requirements for remitting the payment.   Call 800-400-7115.

At least the California sellers should know what is required of them.  I am positive that some of them are ignorant of their obligation.

SHOULD YOU CHARGE SALES TAX FOR ONLINE SALES??

Internet Marketing Tax Guide -Click QR Picture

SHOULD YOU CHARGE SALES TAX FOR ONLINE SALES IN CALIFORNIA?

Part  2 of 2

Guess what? Yes, you should!

 

Every sale of goods from an online store in California should have sales tax collected if the buyer is also in the state of California. This is the law.

 

Online companies, similar to Etsy, for example, provide a form to charge the customer for the price of the item, the shipping cost and the TAX.  You must provide the State in which the tax is applied, California, and the amount.  I can find the amount for the County, but since I do not know where the customer lives until the purchase has been made and paid for through PayPal, I set a rate of 8.25% for each California State purchase made.  Etsy computes the amount and adds it to the purchase price.

 

If you sell directly to the customer, or go through some other site, such as Classifiedads.com, you can choose the price, add the sales tax for a sale in California and the shipping cost.  This then becomes the total charge for your item.  I post a statement that if the customer lives outside of California they can deduct the amount of the sales tax from their payment.

Avoid future problems by following California State Law.

All of the above information just applies to California, but other States may have similar conditions.   So check it out and be sure you are within the law.

Information provided by the California State Board of Equalization www.boe.ca.gov.   See Publication 101, “Sales Delivered Outside California”, and Publication 71, “Tax Rates for California Cities and Counties”. Also, review “FAQ forTax Rates for Sales and Use”.

© Marylou Denyer http://mludenyer.com