Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Small Business Talk No. 1

I'm sure some of you have been wondering where I have been. Sorry! I do still think about and take photos for this blog- getting around to posting them is a different story. I have really fallen off ever since google reader disbanded. I miss it. I have not found any good replacement for it. Because of that, I haven't been reading the blogs that I used to subscribe to. I think that's also the reason for why I haven't been blogging. Anyway, I'm trying to get back into it. I recently got an email asking for mailing/packaging tips for selling online. This post is to answer that question more in depth.

I dedicate two days a week to packaging orders. I'm always trying to improve my overall shop, photos, descriptions, and packaging. {Side bar, if any of you have any comments or feedback, they are always welcome} Way back when I started and had an order a week, I hand wrote thank you notes to include in my online orders. As orders picked up, that became less and less realistic until one day they just disappeared all together. Last month I ordered a couple things on etsy. A week later, a very cute package arrived with a note. I was impressed. I love seeing what other independent businesses do. I decided that if I couldn't hand write a note to include with my orders, I could at least stamp one. To keep my options open, I purchased this Martha Stewart self inking stamp kit, which lets you trade out letters.

It comes with an alphabet, some icons, a stamp base, an ink pad, tweezers and a stamping foam pad.

I had to cut apart each letter individually; if I tried to pry them apart they would tear. Time consuming process and then you have a bunch of tiny letters all over the place.

Then I had to come up with what I wanted the stamp to say. "Thank you! Your business is so appreciated" didn't work, because there weren't enough s stamps. I texted Katie and she immediately came up with two other options.

My stamp was set and it was time to test it out. I just slid the plastic tray into the groves and then opened up my ink pad to slide into place below it.

It looked pretty good but those smudges around "is" and "so" bothered me.

I got my scissor bee precision scissors out to do a bit of trimming. This made me get inky finger tips.

But it was worth it! Now this note included with every outgoing order, and whoever packaged it can sign the bottom.

Some other tips that I've found useful:
-Find a reliable place to order supplies. If you don't have boxes, you can't ship your orders.
I order all of my packaging supplies (boxes, padded envelopes, clear sleeves, bubble wrap) from uline. 
-If you are unsure if an item is going to make it to the customer safely, do a trial run before you place it in your online shop. I send things to my sister and she tells me if they got there a) on time b) in one piece. It's great if you can try this with a friend out of town.
-Invest in a digital mail scale- this allows you to print postage from home and (hopefully) avoid those nightmare lines at the post office.
-If possible, include a little something extra. 
That's all I can think of off the top of my head- did I miss anything? 


  1. Yeah, it's been interesting since Google Reader stopped existing. I've been using bloglovin' but I still have to be signed into Google in order to comment. Anyway, glad to see that you posted today. How was the Renegade Craft Fair???

    1. I heard feedly is a good alternative, I'm going to check it out.
      Renegade la was hot and exhausting, and somewhat fun. It's fun to see my friends/family but it is after all, work in the end. It was too hot for me to have to use an outhouse that weekend. (renegade la is in a park)
      Renegade san Francisco was a dream. I wore a sweater all weekend and shopped a lot :)

  2. I miss Google Reader! I've fallen off the blogging wagon as well, both reading and writing. I honestly didn't think it would impact me that much, either. It was great seeing you at Renegade, however brief it was :)



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