That’s right….hotter, steamier, and all new! And this update is just in time to coincide with the next book in the series, Accepting Fate, which will be released November 10th, 2014. Isn’t the artwork incredible?
Finally! Angels of Bourbon Street is here:
iTunes and print format coming soon.
Despite having lost half her soul, coven leader Jade Calhoun is determined to lead a regular life, and that means planning her wedding. With just five weeks until the big event, plans are halted when Jade falls victim to a ghost possession. Unfortunately, it appears the only way to keep the ghost at bay is to spend twenty-four hours a day with the last person Jade wants to share a house with—the angel who has the other half of her soul.
Things go from bad to worse when the ghost targets Jade’s friends and her fiancé, Kane. The ghost is using sex magic to steal Jade’s power, and she’ll stop at nothing to get what she wants. Even if it means forcing Jade into the arms of another man. In order to banish the ghost, fix her soul, and have a chance at her happy ending, Jade will need to find her father and uncover the decades-old secret her mother is determined to keep hidden.
September 2013 Irresistible Magic (Crescent City Fae: Book 2)
November 2013 Defining Destiny (New Adult Paranormal romance. 1st in the series)
Early 3014 Shadows of Bourbon Street (Jade Calhoun Series: Book 5)
This weekend was exciting! First of all, I was out of town at Bead Fest in Santa Fe. As always when I’m at a bead show, I got to visit great friends. Some of them I see at a lot of bead shows, others I only see once every few years. So in addition to selling beads, it was great to catch up.
While I was there, I got the confirmation that Haunted on Bourbon Street is now available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. Since I only had my Kindle Fire, I wasn’t able to copy links and blog about this exciting news. I love audiobooks while torching (and I know a lot of you do too). So, for those of you who have been waiting, Haunted is finally available. Witches will be released on audio in July.
Ten years ago eBay was the big game in town for lampwork beads. It really seemed to be list it and they will come. These days, not so much. But if you’re willing to be patient, it can pay off.
Why should you use eBay when you’ve been told (or experienced in the past) other sites like Etsy and Artifre are so much cheaper to use? I’ve got secret for you. The final listings fees vs sold items in my eBay store is often cheaper than my Etsy stores. Last time I looked, sales to fees ratio on eBay was 8.5% and Etsy across both stores was 9%. That is because eBay is now offering fifty free auction listings a month. You only pay final value fees when the item sells. This seems to be a permanent deal, but you never know when eBay is going to change things.
Fifty free listings a month! That’s a huge bonus for someone trying to start a following there, because it takes a while to get noticed.
Greg and I have five different internet stores and eBay continues to dominate our sales numbers. We have over the years tried many different sales strategies, but the one thing we have never changed is listing new stuff consistently. If you can listing something every day, that will mean you will always have an item listed under newest and one under ending soonest in the search categories. And customers will always be able to find you because your store never goes dark.
The number one way to drive business on eBay is to list new stuff consistently.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are some ways to be seen on eBay. Have a few items listed at over $50. Many people start their search in lampwork beads by highest price in order to weed out the imported stuff. Go take a look using that search feature. At what page do you burn out and stop looking? Now look at what price those beads are going for. Strive to always have something listed above that price.
Consider adding the Buy it Now feature. Some people really dislike the auction format. They see what they want and would rather just click through to buy it. On the other hand, some people get a high off of auctions. So have a mix of listings if you can.
Here is how I handle it. All of my beads have a set retail price. For eBay I set my BINs at the retail price and the auctions start at my designer wholesale price. Around 25% off.
Every once in a while if I have a new design I feel strongly about, I won’t set a BIN on the auction, just to see what the market thinks of them. If I get lots of bids, it helps me set the retail price.
We also use the Buy it Now feature (no auction format) with the or Best Offer. I set these all at my retail price and entertain offers when they come . Some of them are ridiculously low. Like $22 for a marble listed at $100. At that point my options are to either accept the offer, counter offer, or decline. Usually when the offer isn’t even close I will just decline it. But most of the time I will counter and we play let’s make a deal. It’s kind of fun, but you have to be prepared that if you counter, the buyer may walk. And that is perfectly okay with us. We already know how much we will accept for something. If the offer is too low, it’s just too low. Try not be insulted by low ball offers. Everyone likes a great deal.
99 cent auctions. I confess, I’ve tried this and I hate it. If you’re going to run a 99 cent auction, be prepared you may very well end up selling your item for 99 cents. I always think of the 99 cent auction as an advertising expense. But I’m not sure it’s effective among the sea of hundreds of other 99 cent auctions. I’d try to use it in conjunction with some other kind of advertising. Something like a month-long ad on a jewelry makers forum, or a blog event like 99 cent Fridays where you run one every week. Something that can help you build a following around it.
Now, if you are constantly making one of a kind items 99 cent auctions may work for you. Or if you have a huge following. Or if you are brand new and trying to build a following. I know many beadmakers who have used this strategy and have had it work for them. It doesn’t work for me. I do a lot of production work and in order to preserve my pricing the 99 cent auction just doesn’t work.
Speaking of preserving pricing, if you sell wholesale to beads stores or galleries, they are not going to like it if you are undercutting their prices on eBay. This is why I go with my retail prices and a designer wholesale start price. If I listed everything at 99 cents, that would be a huge conflict.
Sets or focals? Everyone wants to know what sells better. I can’t answer that for you. I sell both and marbles. So I think it all depends on the work you put out there. I can tell you, often what sells online does not sell as well in person and vice versa. So try different things until you find your niche.
Pictures, pictures, pictures! eBay used to charge for added pictures. Now you can add a bunch for free. I’m not certain how many because I host my own on my website. I just like having sole control over my content in case an image is hot-linked somewhere. But that’s just a personal thing. Use up as many picture slots as possible. Most customers will not read your entire description, so try to get your pictures as clear and accurate as possible.
And as always, link up your auctions on Facebook, Twitter, Lampworketc. Let people know your auctions exist. Put your link in your email signature. Send a newsletter letting your customer know you’ve started a new venue. Don’t have one yet? Time to start. Spread the word, but don’t be obnoxious about it. One post in each place is enough.
If you’ve ever bought or sold anything online you know each seller and buyer has a feedback rating. It’s expected once the transaction is completed, both parties leave feedback.
I’ve seen sellers ask when they should leave feedback. Right after the customer pays? After they receive the item? After the buyer leaves feedback for the seller?
In my opinion, after the customer pays, they have completed the transaction. Anytime after that, I will leave feedback. To me, it doesn’t matter if a situation arises later. I worry about it then, and because my policy is I will accept a return for any reason within a certain amount of time, it just doesn’t matter. Problems arise so seldom it isn’t something I worry about. Plus, it’s rude to hold feedback hostage.
As a buyer, I think it is important that if a situation arises, to give the seller a chance to make it right. Feedback is usually the first indicator of a seller’s reputation. Most professional sellers I know will happily address any problems. Just please don’t leave feedback as a way to get their attention without an email first. That said, if they don’t acknowledge you or handle the situation to your satisfaction, you have every right to leave an honest account of your experience.
On another note, leaving feedback is optional. Hounding buyers or sellers to leave it is annoying. Sellers, I strongly recommend not asking your buyers to leave you feedback. If you must, put it in your thank you email and word it something like this: If you’re happy with your purchase, please consider leaving me feedback (insert link to online retailer’s feedback page). Then leave it alone. Hounding them will only result in an annoyed customer.
Personally, I leave feedback once a month for all my online venues. It’s more time efficient for me. So if you buy something and I don’t leave feedback right away, it’s only because I haven’t gotten to it. But I will, don’t worry.