Saturday, June 22, 2013

Running A Crafty Business Is A Learning Experience Too

Not sure I agree with Miles Davis ...

When I entered college planning to major in journalism, my mom insisted I aim for a minor in business as well because it offered more employment opportunities than journalism would.

I tried, but oh, the prerequisite classes for business were excruciatingly boring to me. And by the end of my sophomore year, I had abandoned them for the exceedingly useful classes in religion that had become my passion. (Note: I attended an entirely secular public university. My religion classes were focused primarily on analyzing Old Testament texts in a more literary way than a religious class would.)

But it worked out fine since I got hired by The Associated Press straight out of college and earned a good living for the 15 years I stayed with them. (The only other job offer I got at the time was for a tiny, rural newspaper, where a staffer told me in utter seriousness that it was great because all the reporters qualified for food stamps.)

Fast forward eight years, and now I'm running a small crafty business and boy do I wish I'd stuck with those boring accounting and econ classes to get to the more advanced business classes!

Although I'm not sure that business administration or marketing classes would necessarily have saved me from this week's business learning experience.


The exciting news is we had our first international sale! Woohoo!

On Thursday, I shipped one of my lovely fabric flower brooches off to Cork, Ireland, a place I've never been but hope to visit someday.

Imagine my surprise, though, when I learned that instead of over-estimating my international postage rates in my product listings, shipping cost me $12, 50 percent more than the $8 I had charged my customer. Oops!

Delete "MISTAKE"
It's not a mistake, it's a learning experience!

I'm definitely happy to have learned this lesson while shipping a light-weight brooch rather than one of Scott's wood pieces!

And now I'm busily updating all my product listings on Etsy to properly reflect the higher international shipping costs. I'd much rather refund excess shipping charges than pay them out of my own pocket!

Our shop policy is to refund shipping charge overages that are greater than $1. But if I underestimate shipping expenses, we don't ask our customers for more money.

Now that that's off my chest, I'm going to go back to celebrating having had my first international sale! :)


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