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Just wanted to say I've received some great Q&A submissions and will be answering some next week. Also there was a problem with commenting that has now been fixed. So if you had a question and weren't able to leave a comment on the previous post you can now.

Sometimes it can be a little tough to know what to write about for this blog. So I'm throwing this thing open: Email me or post a question in the comments. I would like to start a semi-regular Question and Answer post. So come on all you readers, I know you're out there and must have questions so let me have it!

Lovely work space. Look at all the beads! I'm a little jealous.

My desk upgrade!, originally uploaded by freshie & zero.

Submit your photos for consideration as a Weekly Inspiration by adding them to the Flickr Group.

Submit your photos for consideration as a Weekly Inspiration by adding them to the Flickr Group.

As promised here are the results of last week's poll on shipping:

92% - 44 votes: Cheaper
8% - 4 votes: Faster

Those are pretty overwhelming results so I've decided to make changes in how I handle shipping for my jewelry. For single orders I'm now shipping first class but still using priority for multiple orders and my sculpture. The reason for this is that I feel more secure sending expensive orders ($60+) priority rather than first class.

Here are a few of the comments from last week's post that I found most insightful:

Sculptor?!? said...
That depends *entirely* upon what's being shipped. If it's fragile, I'd want it faster, so that it's more likely to arrive in one piece (less handling by the carrier). If it's a book, I might choose the cheaper option. Totally unhelpful, I know

molecula said...
I experimented with first class mail after the last priority mail price increase. I found that in most cases first class is as fast as priority mail. The folks at my post office said that priority used to be batched with express, but now it is batched with the first class.

abitabite said...
I choose slower and here is why: The items I make need to be shipped in a box, so I was shipping priority. Now, they don't weigh very much, they just need those sturdy walls to protect them. Last year, when priority just kept going up and up and up it started to become stupid to charge SO MUCH to be shipping something that eight 3oz. So i went on Uline, discovered I could purchase nice study boxes for about 50c a piece, and ship first class, including the weight of the box, for half the price i was paying for priority. Once i got these boxes I did a few tests. I shipped a few of these boxes to the same location, at the same time, one priority, one first class. They got there at exactly the same time. I did a survey like this before I changed shipping, and the overwhelming percentage cheaper/slower. I was nervous to do so at first, but I have noticed ZERO changes in the speed that my items are getting to the buyer. My etsy feedback has lots of "very fast shipping" type comments since the change. I do think it helps that i ship in boxes rather than envelopes, as I believe they are treated with a little more respect and priority than bubble mailers.
 Has this poll or the resent priority mail increases made you change your shipping? If so please share in the comments.

New theme for the blog is up and running. Sorry for any wonkiness earlier. Hope you like the new look.

A Friend of mine snapped this picture when out shopping because he knows I like cool displays.

I think the idea could be easily adapted to items other than glasses and dressed up even more. Say with silk flowers, shells, or fruit.

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A Valentine from the DOG! , originally uploaded by She's Batty.

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I was talking with Amy from Surlyramics on Twitter last night about the new Priority Mail price increase. I'm not planning to change my shipping prices right away and she's lowering them and switching from Priority to First Class on a trial basis.

So I decided to throw the question out there for readers: As a customer (not as a seller), do you want faster but more expensive shipping or cheaper and slower? Please vote in the poll and/or weigh in with a comment.

Edit: I forgot to add that I'll be writing the results post for this poll next Wednesday, January 13, so please pass this post along so we can get a larger sample size.

Just a quick note today, Priority Mail rates went up yesterday here's a link to the new rate chart. It caught me by surprise, I know I had heard about it when it was announced a while ago but totally forgot. Prices for flat rate packages stayed the same but non-flat rate has changed. In particular for those who ship small lightweight items the rate is now no longer the same for anything under 1lb but varies by zone.

So if I ship on the east coast where I live I'm not paying more for shipping but I'll be paying up to $0.65 more for shipments to the furthest zones like California and Alaska. I'm going to wait a few weeks before deciding if I should raise my shipping prices, with the new variable rate I need to see what the average cost works out to be before making any decisions.

Rates for First Class and Parcel Post have not gone up nor has there been an announcement yet of any planned increase.

One thing that has always frustrated me with Paypal is that while you can download a .csv file for all your transactions you can't do so for just a subset of them. For example I can filter my transactions to show only shipping but there's no way to download just that information. I found a work around.

Not to long ago Etsy put up some of their Seller Deals now most I don't care about but they had a link to a free online small business accounting tool called Outright. Now I do all my bookkeeping using Open Office and Mint so another tool wasn't much use to me but I wanted to check it out to see if maybe it would be useful. Honestly I'm not impressed with it's abilities as an accounting tool, you can't batch apply labels to transactions for example and it doesn't do it automatically for obvious one like USPS or Google Adwords like Mint does.

What it does do is be able to pull ALL your paypal transactions (many other accounting tools like Mint only pull a few months) and if you go to Reports you can select a specific transaction source like USPS set a date range and download a nice .csv for use in your spreadsheets.


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