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The birth of julzcraftstore.com – Part 3

jcsgrid_For logoThis website, with it’s accompanying blog is NOW LIVE!

So, it’s only fitting that I write this post from julzcraftstore.com, and copy it over to my other blog – julzcrafts.com.

This is your 5% off your first order Coupon Code.

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Please copy and paste it into your order on the Shopping Cart Page – if you don’t add the code exactly as it is, it won’t work!

It really has been an experience, setting up a new website, without knowing what I was doing – both technically, and with the constant question – will anyone actually buy from it!  I’ll find out the answer to the question very soon – smile.

The Good Stuff!

There are over 100 items for you to choose from, and lots of GIFT IDEAS.  I hope you will be able to find something useful that you like – please do browse the site. 

There are also a few oddities:-

please read as it will save you some confusion!

When you come to fill in your address, either on the Shopping Cart page, or in the ‘My Account’ Page – for some reason they don’t give you a scroll down list of Countries to pick from.  Please start typing the country, and it should autofill – if it doesn’t, just enter the full wording.

Please note that for the UK, Great Britain, GB or whatever you would normally use, you have to start typing United Kingdom, as it won’t accept any of the other names.

The same goes for USA – start typing United States of America – it should autofill before you get all the way thro’!

There is nothing I can do about it, and as the Shopping Cart Page is a standard fixed page, I can’t edit it to tell you to ‘Start Typing’!  I had trouble with this feature myself, and so have the friends I have asked to test the site! 

Also, there is no “Continue Shopping” prompt – but don’t worry, you can add as many items as you want to your order without visiting the shopping cart each time!

trying to help you find what you are looking for

Because there are so many listings, it’s difficult to know how to make it easy for you to find them,  especially when you don’t know what I stock!  I have sorted them into a growing number of  CATEGORIES. 

In fact, many of the listings fit into several categories, and so they may seem to have got duplicated.  I have given you suggestions on how to find what you are looking for on THE STORE page.  If in doubt – you can always get in touch with me by clicking on the TALK TO ME page.

 

trying to give you the best postage rates

As I wrote in my previous blog post – copied here from julzcrafts.com – I have racked my brains to find a simple AND fair  way to charge for postage/shipping.

I have settled on Flat Rates for all 4 shipping zones – UK – Europe – and Royal Mail’s International Zones 1 & 2.

I have had to set them to cover postage on small parcels, so in some cases, the postage will be more than you should pay, and in others it will be less – and I will make a loss!

I don’t want to be unfair – so if you reckon that your order could fit into a large envelope, please contact me BEFORE you pay for your order.

I should be able to reduce your final total on the order, as long as you tell me your name, and country, before the order is confirmed.  If not, and you have already paid, if you let me know, I will refund you the over postage through Paypal.

Similarly, I’m sorry to say, that if your order happens to be very bulky or very heavy, and be far more expensive to post that the Flat Rate, I may contact you and ask if you are prepared to pay a little extra for the postage.

However, most of the time, you will probably find that the Flat Rate is near enough to the actual cost of the postage, or even less than it should be, and I won’t bother contacting you about it!

if you have any problems using the Site

 please TALK TO ME!   

I EXPECT I HAVE MADE SOME SPELLING MISTAKES OR LEFT SOMETHING OUT OF A PRODUCT DESCRIPTION – JUST LET ME KNOW IF YOU COME ACROSS SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT SO I CAN FIX IT!

Just to let you know, if you are on the newz from julz mailing list, I am sending you a coupon for a 10% off your first order – it may not work if you have used the 5% one already!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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The birth of julzcraftstore.com – Part 2

This is a copy of the post on julzcrafts.com I published on 14 February.

julzcraftstore.com – a quick update…                                                     

blackshopcardFor those of you who seem to be checking this blog out on a regular basis, to see when the new website will be live – I can only apologise!

Well, I did say it would take some time to get THE STORE up and running!  And its certainly taking a lot of time!  I never realised it was going to be so complicated, and as I am not a ‘techie’, its been a slow learning curve.

I just thought I could follow the instructions and then it would take some time to enter the 100+ listings for the stock I have in my living room!  However – its not quite that easy, and it turns out that I have been spoilt by the large selling sites that I have been using up to now.

Ebay and Etsy have a very comprehensive system for costing reasonably accurate postal rates – or shipping costs – as others call them, and I thought I could do better than them!

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It turns out to be a very complicated matter, because there are 4 shipping zones to cover, all of which have different tariffs for weight and size, and even if I put in the weight and dimensions of each item, it still wouldn’t give me an accurate price per parcel!  I have done a lot of research on this, even spoken to Royal Mail themselves – and nowhere in their repertoire is there any help for websites to set up their pricing system.  The Business Section, which will happily link in with ebay to offer you cheaper postage – had never heard of a ‘plug-in’ for small businesses, and were utterly unhelpful!

When I contacted various other UK businesses and asked them how they had sorted out the problem, most of them said, they didn’t know, because they had employed a specialist to do their website – I’D NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED DOING THAT!

Having bought from various sites over the years, it seemed the best compromise would be to set flat rates for each shipping zone for the moment, and I even had trouble working out how to do that!  There are some +ve’s and -ve’s about using flat rates, and it would certainly put some of you off if I charged you parcel rate for an item that can be posted in letter form – so – head’s up for my readers – if you contact me before you put in your order for a small, flat item – like a badge or small signs etc – I will agree to refund you the extra postage that the system will charge – because I can’t find a way to be able to offer TWO FLAT RATES at the moment, and nor can the ‘Happiness Engineers’ at WordPress!

iuI aim to post WORLDWIDE, on the same basis, until I can come up with a better solution!

That said – there are a few more things I need to iron out before julzcraftstore.com – julz craft supplies – THE STORE – will go live – but it shouldn’t take too long now – cross fingers!

I hope some of you will come and visit when it does!

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The birth of julzcraftstore.com – Part 1

newz from julz

copy of post on julzcrafts.com – 22 January 2018

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Well, I don’t know about you, but it feels like this has been a very unusual winter in West Wales.  The weather has been all over the place, and there is more to come – smile – there is always more to come!  However, there are signs that spring is on the way.  Snow drops are starting to appear, and daffodil shoots seem to be pushing up all over the place.

I have a large garden here – part of the reason I moved was so that I could raise chickens, and here are a couple of them!

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The first batch of Buff Sussex started off in my incubator at the end of July, and are nearly 6 months old now, and hopefully will start laying soon. I ‘m just praying that the foxes don’t come around!

There is a lot of work to be done in the garden, and I have been pruning some of the overgrown trees and bushes this week, and planning where to put the veg patch and what plants I want to grow.  It will all take some time!  So it seems will the changes I want to make to the cottage!

There is one more important change that I am making….

….. and I’d like your help!

As many of you will know, part of the reason I blog is to let you know about the small business I run  –

new etsy banner

I sell a mix of craft supplies and gift items, which you can find here on etsy – and here on ebay.

I have thought about setting up my own website for a long time.  Whilst selling on the above outlets has worked fine for over 10 years – its getting more and more restricting.

The last straw, was when ebay recently changed their rules, and no longer allow any outside links on the listings – so – I was forced to take down any links to this blog – even the tutorials that go with some of the listings!  They don’t want to give buyers a chance to contact sellers direct, as they might lose some of their revenue.  However, since I am a business seller, my full details have to be shown on every listing!  Makes no sense at all, and I even told them that – but its the new corporate era for ebay, and they really don’t care about what I say!  They have changed so much since I first started selling with them – it was much more fun!

Anyway – whilst I will still keep the sites with ebay & etsy – I have taken the plunge and bought a business site with WordPress. 

I have been spending ages since Christmas working out how to use it and adding much of my stock – and have still got some major decisions to make about how I want it to look!

Originally, I’d thought I could just add a page or two to this blog – but it turned out that all the complicated stuff – like a shopping cart and taking payments etc wouldn’t work with this blog’s format.  You might have noticed that I tried working out whether I could sell direct from this blog a while back – and it didn’t exactly work well! (The lantern I was selling there has just been sold on etsy, and it went to Phoenix, USA!)

blackshopcardSo its a separate site, with a slightly different logo.  This is my first attempt at a business card for it – but I think it needs a bit more work – just as well I only got 100 of these cards printed!

As you can see, I’ve called it THE STORE.  This was to make sure it doesn’t get mixed up with the SHOP on etsy.

THE STORE ISN’T OPEN YET.  

If you try clicking on the link above, you should just get a page saying that the website is “under construction” – but feel free to have a look – there’s a nice picture with the message!  If by any chance, you do get to the site itself, please let me know, as something will have gone wrong!

In the meantime – would you be kind enough to take a few minutes to fill out the questionnaire?  It would be nice to know how many of you would be interested in using THE STORE.

Anyone who fills in the form below, will be sent a 10% OFF COUPON to use when the site becomes public – in the next few weeks- hopefully!

I look forward to hearing from you – thanks!

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