That is my new goal. Simplify my life. Having my own website with a shopping cart and a merchant account has become so stressful to me that I didn't even want to create new pieces of jewelry. I wanted to ignore the whole thing ... as I tend to do when something stresses me out.
New Plan - Purchase through Etsy
I still have a 'regular' website, but it no longer has a shopping cart feature. Items posted there will be for gallery style viewing only and I'll maintain my policies and about pages, as well as my contact form and newsletter sign up page.
The new setup for selling my jewelry will include Etsy and Paypal. I don't know what people did before these two companies existed. And with recent upgrades and changes they are even better.
To purchase from my Etsy shop you will need to create an Etsy account, if you don't already have one. The process for making purchases through Etsy is "simple" but can also create some confusion. There are several steps needed to complete a purchase.
- Click the "Add to Cart" button (green, to the upper right of each item listed)
- If you are done shopping click the "Checkout" button
- Enter your address or pick a saved address.
- Select a payment method.
- Send Your Payment (This is the most often skipped step!)
That last one gets skipped a lot because after the 4th step it kind of looks like you're done...but you aren't. =)
While this may look complicated I can promise you that once you get the hang of it, it takes seconds. I've purchased tons of items and it's a simple process once you get used to it.
Some people get nervous when they hear about Paypal. I promise it's not as scary as it might sound. I've been on Paypal for more than 5 years. I started using it as a customer on Ebay when I bought a lot of beads and supplies.
I resisted getting my account linked to my bank account but honestly it was an easy transition that has made my life easier in the past few years. As a business it makes sense to hold me accountable and have a link to a "real" bank.
Your information is safe!
Really...I know there are horror stories out there about how bad Paypal is, but as a customer using Paypal to buy items and as a business owner taking payments I have never had any major issues.
The key is to be smart about answering e-mails that claim to be from Paypal. NEVER click on a link that claims to be directly from Paypal in an e-mail message. EVER. [This is different than paying an invoice sent to you though.] Always directly type in the paypal address directly into your browser to check your account. Seriously. It's the best way to do things. And if you ever have a question about an e-mail just forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will confirm whether it is a spam message.
And if you can't stand the idea of creating an account, don't worry. Paypal now allows you to pay with a credit card without signing up. It is just like inputting your card information to any other site shopping cart and is secure.
This is the one issue that bothers me most because I loved the ability to give coupon codes for people to save. Etsy does not allow for the use of coupon codes (yet...I hope they will eventually allow this) so all discounts have to either be made to the item listing or given after the fact.
All coupon codes will still get you a discount - but the discount will be in the form of a refund via Paypal. For example...
- You buy a necklace for $100 and have a coupon code for 20% off.
- Leave the coupon code in the 'notes' section of the Etsy checkout process.
- Complete the payment process through paypal.
- You would receive the $20 discount as a "refund" before the necklace is shipped.
I'm hopeful that this setup will allow me to stress less and create more. I love love love designing jewelry and it is the highest compliment when someone is willing to part with their hard earned dollars to buy a piece of my work.
I always am available if there are any questions. I still will do custom pieces and if you have an idea for something you want designed feel free to contact me.
And thank you all for your patience and understanding!