First, I want to thank you for your kudos and comments on yesterday’s post about the cross stitch kits. And, I also want to emphasize that not all needlework kits sell for that much. I agree with Jennifer B. who commented that most cross stitch kits sell for an average price of $15, although I’ve had a couple of needlepoint kits sell for $20-$25. Jennifer provided great additional information and I recommend reading her comment here.
I am still at a real loss as to why these kits sold for so much, but I did have a few clues that these might be good sellers:
- They were complete kits and were brand new.
- They appeared to be European.
- Instinct told me that the names Eva Rosenstand and Clara Waever were better than Leisure Arts.
- The kits were vintage from the 70s and 80s.
I also find it interesting that four of the five winners were Japanese; and in fact, I believe most of the bidders – even non-winning – were from Japan. I can only speculate that needlecraft is highly prized in Japan; and perhaps with the horrific devastation, they are now trying to replace their losses. I am glad Japan is making a comeback!
A couple of you also commented that you don’t normally offer international shipping, although you will ship international if requested. I cannot emphasize enough the big loss in sales when you do not offer international shipping. It is as easy as domestic shipping!
I know you can now print international postage directly from eBay*, but I prefer to use Stamps.com. Not only is it FREE, but they will also give you a FREE scale (just pay s/h)! I get by just fine with the free version.
*Correction: eBay does offer flat-rate international shipping. Not sure why I thought it didn’t. I still prefer using Stamps.com simply because I can print on a 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 adhesive label which I also use for domestic shipping. And I don’t have to sign the label as I do when I go thru eBay. Not a big deal but it keeps it simple, as in KISS!
I linked my PayPal and eBay accounts to it and now print all my international shipping labels with Stamps.com. No more waiting in line! And, I go to the post office anytime and just drop the package in the chute. Have been doing this for over a year and have NEVER had a problem.
Here’s a quick pictorial tour of how it works for me:
Step One: This is the first screen you will see after clicking on the BATCH tab from the home screen. You can hit the refresh button to make sure your imported sales are up-to-date. In this screen shot, I have one international order from Canada. I can select (check) this one order to edit and proceed to the next screen.
Step Two: In this second screen, I can confirm the address, make changes if needed, enter the weight, select the shipping method and even buy insurance if I choose. From this screen, I can also click SELECT to update the customs form, which will take me to another window.
Step Three: This window is for Customs Information. I fill-in a few simple boxes, agree to the the terms, and hit OK. This will take me back to 2nd screen, where I click on the SAVE button. I will end up back on the first screen.
Step Four: Now that the information is updated, I am ready to print postage for my Canada sales order. Not enough money in my postage account? No problem, I can easily buy more postage using my PayPal account. I then slip a shipping label into my printer, and hit the PRINT POSTAGE button. This will take me to the next screen.
Step Five: Hit the PRINT button and before you know it, you have an international shipping label:
This is a First Class International label, but I also use this for Priority Mail. You’ll notice that I don’t even have to sign the label since all my information is already on record:
I can request a Carrier Pickup, but I prefer to take my packages to the post office. No waiting in line … just drop them in the mail chutes. I can even go after hours … whenever it’s convenient for me. How much easier can that be?
By the way, USPS now offers free padded envelopes for priority mail shipping. I use these to mail bulky clothing items, like jeans and overalls. You can see in the picture above how great they work. I order them online and within a few days, they arrive at my door. These free FLAT RATE padded envelopes are only $4.95 to ship and you can fit so much more into them. I’ve even mailed flat shoes and sandals in them.
Whether you use eBay or Stamps.com, it is now so easy to ship internationally. Why are you waiting? Do not hesitate anymore and you’ll definitely see an increase in your sales! I hope this post has encouraged you give it a try. Check out the Stamps.com website for more info. I think you’ll be glad you did!