Etsy has Started to Syndicate Shops


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo
Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

Etsy has started adding syndication to Etsy shops–check your syndication status here:

http://www.etsy.com/syndication.php

Active means you are syndicated.
Pending means you are still waiting to be added.

For future reference, that’s in:

Your Etsy, links on the left under
Promote see
Syndication

What to do now?
You must enable your items for the feed to upload them:

Etsy’s GM Syndication: Enable your items

Got more questions? See the FAQs:

FAQs about the new Etsy GM feed

GM: Things you should know about the new Etsy uploads


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo
Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

Google Merchant: Things you should know about the new uploading Etsy will be doing for us:

  • Etsy will be uploading our items for us soon, as of December 1st individual sellers won’t be able to create feeds for their shops. (That’s Google’s rule, not Etsy’s.)
  • Be among the first: Those currently using the Etsy RSS method will have their shops added to Etsy’s upload first. Shops not currently using Etsy’s RSS to upload their goods will be added some time later–so if you’re not using it yet, set it up now–see the Etsy RSS tutorial linked to from our main Google Base/Merchant Center page (the gold links on the right will get you to the main Google Merchant Center page.
  • Check your items to be sure they are within Google Merchant’s guidelines now. We won’t be able to see error messages once Etsy is uploading for us. The same rules that applied before will still apply to item titles and item descriptions–like no “Free shipping”, no special characters (symbols), etc. See FAQ 3 for more details, linked to from our main Google Base/Merchant Center page, link on the right side of the blog page in gold.
  • Etsy will be adding product type values for us! Using the first three tags of each item, Etsy will create product types for the Google Merchant submission–make sure your first three tags are in a good order and be sure to keep anything that prevents items from being inserted out of the first three tags.

Google Base Glitches


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo
Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

Google Merchant Center seems to be a bit glitchy at the moment–three issues:

1. Messages saying 0 of 896 (or some other oddly high number)–those feed issues seem to self correct after a day or two. If you want to do a manual upload in the mean time to update your stock, see the “Manual” tutorial linked to from our main Google Base/Merchant Center page, link on the right–see the gold links on the right.

2. Messages saying 40 out of 100 items (or something similar) were inserted, when all 100 items had been uploaded last time without a problem. It will say that even when you log in to GM and check the number inserted next to the feed name, but for most folks, it’s just a false message:

Go to the active items page and check to see if your items are all there. Most folks have said their items are all there.

If you are actually missing items on the active items page, then you might want to troubleshoot the missing items, in case GM finally realized you are mentioning free shipping or some other thing they don’t like but are inconsistent about enforcing…

See FAQ 3 for troubleshooting help–it’s linked to from our main Google Base/Merchant Center page, link on the right–see the gold links on the right.

3. Sloooowwwww Processing–some sellers are experiencing extremely slow processing–some as long as 2 days, so if yours is stuck in processing you are not alone.

International Shipping: Prohibited & Restricted Items


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo
Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

For some sellers shipping internationally means careful checking of import restrictions. Plant & animal products, food products, precious jewelry, leather and more are restricted or prohibited from being imported into in certain countries. Often when customs finds a prohibited item, it is confiscated without notice.

To help minimize your risk, use the USPS website’s list of countries on the following page, each has a link to their prohibited and restricted items:

http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immctry.htm

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

Go To Supplies
Visit our 2nd Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

bloke

Shipping Insurance


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009-2012
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

First & foremost: Insurance protects the seller, not the buyer:

Stating that you aren’t responsible for lost packages in your policies is more than a turn off for buyers–it’s also usually not true. Whether the buyer paid through Paypal transfer or credit card, if you can’t prove your package arrived, Paypal will refund the buyer out of your account. If Paypal doesn’t refund them, your buyer can dispute the payment on through their credit card & that will cost you even more than refunding (see PP’s Fees section for “8.7 Additional Fees”.)

Not all packages need shipping insurance–I find that the vast majority of our shipped goods make it to their destination just fine. If you ship fragile, expensive or irreplaceable goods though, buying insurance might be a good idea. When to insure is a decision you need to make for yourself. Every business will have different price points at which purchasing insurance is the way to go–some insure everything over $50, some over $100…

If you insure a lot of packages, the fees can add up. If you ship internationally, you can’t even insure some of your through packages USPS and that is a problem for many sellers, but you can insure international First Class Mail! (details below)

It’s easy to add USPS insurance for most packages while you are paying for postage whether you are buying postage online or at the post office:

USPS insurance rates:
Domestic–available for all services
International–available for Priority & faster services only

When shipping internationally, the prices for Priority Mail International shipping is often cost-prohibitive–add insurance and the high prices might keep buyers from purchasing.

First Class International & the small flat rate Priority Mail International boxes are a more affordable shipping method but USPS doesn’t offer insurance for these services, which can be risky if you are sending items that are pricy/fragile/irreplaceable.

That’s a tough hurdle for lots of folks who want to sell internationally, until they learn you can purchase insurance through third-party shipping insurance companies.

Third-party Insurance

Not only is third-party insurance available for International First Class Mail, it less expensive than USPS’ insurance to boot–even for domestic shipping, less than $2 for $100 in coverage.

The two companies I’ve tried have different restrictions–one doesn’t cover jewelry, the other doesn’t cover stained glass. Since we sell both, I made a point of bookmarking each of them, including the pages where they list their rates and restrictions–each allow you to purchase insurance on a per package basis or to set up an account so all packages are covered for a monthly fee:

Shipsurance
http://www.shipsurance.com (formerly DSI insurance, same as InsurePost)
Coverage restrictions:
http://www.shipsurance.com/one_time_parcel_terms.asp?
Rates:
http://www.shipsurance.com/pop_order_online_shipping_insurance_rates.asp?

U-Pic
http://www.u-pic.com/index.aspx
Coverage restrictions:
http://www.u-pic.com/CoverageRules.aspx
Rates:
http://delta.u-pic.com/Order/OnlineRates.aspx

I haven’t needed to file a claim with either company, but purchasing the insurance through their websites was easy enough. I read about a few sellers who needed to file a claim with these companies–they said the claims process went well.

If you are selling on a venue, sometimes the venues have agreements for discounted third party insurance. On Etsy, the ShipSaver Insurance App offers third party insurance to sellers.

The rates for ebay sellers is better than the rates they give Etsy sellers when shipping USPS–what’s with that?

Destination
Shipped via USPS
Ebay Etsy
Domestic
per $100 in coverage
$0.79

$1.00
International
per $100 in coverage
$1.00

$1.25

It’s still better than the rates you get buying individually from the third-party insurance companies, but I haven’t tried it yet.

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

Hoarders Make Lovely Things

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

I finally got a treasury spot for our Hoarders Unite Team Treasury! We gladly hoard new members too–so please come join us!

See our profile on Etsy here: Hoarders Unite

See our blog here: http://hoardersunite.blogspot.com

Hoarders Make Lovely Things

Hoarders Make Lovely Things

Google Merchant Feed for Your Website

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

I get lots of requests for help with getting sellers’ website items up on Google’s Shopping search. Some websites & shopping carts have feeds you can use to supply your goods to Google Merchant Center, but if yours doesn’t you can use a file you upload to your website to submit your products.

For a nominal fee I’ll provide a digital file I’ve created that should help get your started and basic instructions for getting your feed up.

If you are interested in receiving the file and directions by email please use the Paypal button below and I’ll get it to you as soon as possible, usually within 48 hours.

You’ll need Microsoft Excel to open it, or something like Open Office–a free-ware program that can open & edit Microsoft Excel files.

These are my original documents, I have put my time and effort into creating and providing them for you. When purchasing, you agree not to share or sell the file or the accompanying instructions with others.

If you are from NY or CT:
Please do not use the buy it now button. Please email me for an invoice with sales tax included: gotogreatpanes@yahoo.com
Please mention if you are in NY or CT, and if you are in NY I’ll need your mailing address to properly determine sales tax.

Order the Sample Google Merchant Data Feed File & Instructions:
$5.00 delivery service charge
Pay with Paypal
Pay with PayPal


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)


USPS has put up their Holiday Shipping Deadlines:

2009 Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates

First Class
Domestic Military International
Dec 21 Dec 4 to 11
See link above for details.
Dec 4:
Africa and Central & South America
Dec 11:
Everywhere else

Priority Mail
Domestic Military International
Dec 21 Dec 4 to 11
See link above for details.
Dec 4:
Africa and Central & South America
Dec 11-14:
Everywhere else
See link above for details.
Express Mail
Domestic Military International
Dec 23 Dec 18 Dec 12:
Africa and Central & South America
Dec 17-18:
Everywhere else
See link above for details.

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right.

Shipping: Service Choices

Shipping Service Choices


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

You need to choose what service works best for your business, I can only speak to what works for us. We use First Class whenever possible–it’s fast and inexpensive.

When a domestic package is over 13 oz (the First Class rate cut-off), we generally ship Priority Mail. International First Class goes up to 4 lbs, we rarely have an international package that goes over that, but when it does the package has to go Priority.

First Class is generally handled the same as Priority Mail, except during the busiest seasons when Priority Mail is put on the truck first, and if they run out of room for slower service packages, the non-Priority packages have to wait for the next truck. The only other time I hear that Priority is handled better than first class is when it is being shipped to APO/FPO addresses, Alaska and Hawaii.

If you don’t ask for First Class at the post office, the clerks are supposed to just give your Priority Mail, so be sure to ask about your options.

First Class Mail Domestic: Up to 13 oz
The rate is the same across the US no matter how far the destination. It is the least expensive you can ship, even less than Parcel post–and yet the service is much faster than Parcel Post.

First Class Mail International: Up to 4 pounds
The rates are variable but they don’t change much except for Canada and Mexico being much less expensive than anywhere else–we’re neighbors after all. See here for more: International Shipping

Priority Mail for domestic shipping is covered here: Priority Mail
You can get boxes free when using Priority Mail, but we can still ship most items cheaper in our recycled boxes or in bubble mailers using First Class Mail. They have great “flat rate” boxes–same price no matter what shipping US zone your package is going to but it’s only a good deal for heavier items, that’s covered in the link above. There are different prices for the Priority International Flat Rates, though you use the same boxes.

Parcel Post
We don’t often use Parcel Post because it is significantly slower, and usually not much less expensive than Priority Mail–especially if you pay for postage online.

Once you’ve got your items shipping figured out, you’ll probably want to use shipping labels you print from home–once you start you’ll wonder how you ever did without it! See the “Shipping” page for links to posts for help with printing labels and even more shipping help.

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics