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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Chill of Winter Retail

Ok - Christmas is over and we're all getting into the swing of a work routine again. Not listed much over the festive season. As soon as it was over though the first thing I wanted to do was go stock hunting. Winter is a dull month for most retailers. I suppose Christmas has its advantages for some shops but for me it's a hard time. Can't find my stock as no car boots or flea markets. At the moment I'm totally relying on visiting Antique Fairs. Just been to one in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. I spent about £100 which for me is an average amount. I always get quite excited when I'm buying stock cos I get to buy the things I like, which is quite fun. I'll try to find a fair every 2-3 weeks. I attend the odd indoor car boot where I will pick up mostly my vintage style ladies clothing.

As an update to this blog, whereby I intended to discuss the ups and downs as they happen, I would say my website shop is not doing so good. No matter how much I try to do as the experts inform me I should be doing, it just doesn't seem to be getting the sales. Ebay is still my main income source but their very strict rules are proving difficult to abide by. I am a very customer focused kind of seller, after years of being in public services, but am experiencing difficulties with ebay (see earlier blog). To be honest I think I may have been the victim of some unscrupulous opposition who has purchased something from me thus allowing them to leave terrible feedback. It is only one person but you really aren't allowed many hiccups as an ebay seller.

Whilst discussing ebay I must tell you of another recent experience whereby they banned a listing of mine for a cake knife. I didn't mind them taking the listing off but I also received a penalty of having breached their rules and you are not allowed many of these either. Incidentally I have never knowingly breached their rules. Anyway I messaged them with my astonished reaction as they have many cake knives still listed so why pick on mine. Turns out it was done in error and I can now re-list the cake knife so long as I don't call it a 'cake' knife - oh the mind boggles. I also had my penalty point reinstated. So my point here is that it is worth enquiring about, if you do have this sort of experience yourself.

So, we're all awaiting the arrival of 2012 - a time when every business thinks - this WILL be a good year. Overall my income is increasing with ebay sales so I'll keep on trucking - for now anyway.  Speak to you all in the New Year.

Monday, 12 December 2011

My latest techy developments

whey hey - how cool am I !!!! Finally worked out how to open an account on Twitter AND open a business Page on Facebook. However, the finale is yet to come --- I actually managed to connect Twitter to Facebook - how clever am I ??? WHY??? I hear you ask - Because the experts tell me to do these things to get a higher ranking for my website. OH I hear you say - YOU MUST HAVE LOADS OF NEW SALES I hear you say - well, actually no-one reads my Tweets and no-one reads my Facebook page so not exactly sure it's of any use whatsoever.

Mind you I have also, whilst messing around sorting this lot out, managed to join a sort of forum group for likeminded vintage dealers on Facebook whereby, we can put our wares on show on the group page. So it's all techy stuff which can only be a good thing - can't it?

I'm not that excited really but I am trying all the top tips of things I should do to increase my place on the search engine ladders & spiders & bots etc. Don't think any of it is actually doing any good as my viewers haven't increased and my sales remain low.

On the bright side, the hitches I had with ebay, set out earlier in my blogs, seem to have passed over, I think. Ebay sales are doing good - thank goodness. We are receiving some lovely feedback, which makes one feel very good and like all this is really worth it.

Sales on my vintage style clothing is picking up a good pace to make it worth keeping. Sales on vintage style jewellery is happening but still early days so I'll keep it going a bit longer. Haven't done any Christmass advertising - no pennies for that sort of thing.

Anyway, what with Tweeting, Blogging, Facebooking, Ebaying plus my website daily updates, it's a wonder I have time to go to the post office with my orders. I'll try to pop in to my Blog before Xmas again but if not - have a merry one!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Limoge, French Pottery

Added to my web shop 3 Dec this lovely Limoge salad plate. We have 2 of them for sale. Great for Christmas or New Years tableware. visit Cathys Curios for more details.

Mostly I sell English Staffordshire but it's always nice to put on a piece of french Limoge as most pottery from that area produced to a high quality finish. At the end of the 18th century, the substance Kaolin, needed to produce china, was discovered near the town of Limoges, France. Between 1700-1930 there were numerous pottery factories in Limoges city, France that were producing fine porcelain. However, few remain today and often Limoges factories only produced the blank product whilst others would design the patterns. Haviland Limoges tableware was once very popular in USA andthe Pieces & Sets were handed down through generations. More than 50% of porcelain in France, comes from Limoges.