Archive | June 2009

Do you like to get suprises in the mail?

A couple of my bead (I originally typed bed here instead of bead.  Really changes the context don’t you think?) buddies are offering some fun deals and subscriptions.  I’d like to take this opportunity to point you in their direction.

First up is The Random over at JC Herrell Glass.

randomintroduction

A blurb from her website

“Back in Michigan, a friend of mine visits a local deli every morning and orders a “Random”.  A little while later he is served a random meal from the breakfast menu.  It’s like he gets a yummy surprise every day.  And so for a while now I’ve been thinking about offering a “Random” on my website because it’ll fun for both of us (and I’ll make it a pretty sweet deal for you).  Purchase a $10 Random and receive a bead or set of beads that retails for $20-$35 or even more.  Purchase a $25 Random and receive a bead or bead set worth $40-75.”

I think this is an awesome idea!  And you can’t really go wrong, since all of JC’s beads are TDF!  So head on over and order yourself up a random.

Second up is a monthly earring subscription from Melanie Hazen.

melearring

She has a four month subscription and a twelve month subscription. Her prices make these a fantastic deal.  Let me tell you, her jewelry is just gorgeous!  I know. I had the opportunity to see it in person this month and more than one piece came home with me!  I came home with something very similar to this. YUM!

Head on over to check out both of my friends and while you are there, order yourself up a suprise.

Peacock, is you Crazy?

Let me introduce you to my wonderful friend and artist, Miss Rebekah.  She has opened up a brand new Etsy shop, Hob Knob Glass, selling handmade glass cabinet knobs. www.hobknobglass.etsy.com. Rebekah has a variety of styles available and I personally love them all, but the peacocks are my favorite.  That’s probably because she is PEACOCK crazy.  Girl even put peacocks on her Christmas tree last year.  It was awesome.  When it comes to peacocks, she is like a hummingbird to nectar.

Now, both peacocks she listed have sold already, but never fear, I’m certain she will be adding more soon.  And if you want to smile or laugh your butt off, be sure to check out the descriptions on these two sold items.  Start here: Peacock is you crazy? and then here: Peacock Knob.

When you are done check out her other knobs.  I am going to be getting a couple of the spiral ones for the new shutter closet doors we are putting in our guest room.  While driving home from picking up our new–to us, we got them at the restore place– doors, my hubby says, “Now you know what you have to go home and order don’t you?”

Me: “Huh?”

Him: “For the doors.”

Me: “You mean Bek’s knobs?”

Him: “Yeah.”

Me: “Oh.  Yep, I was already thinking about which ones while we were picking out the doors.”

Then we both laugh.  Does he know me or what?

If you are near Miami or are gonna be near Miami on Saturday, July 25th, be sure to stop by the International Glass Bead Society’s Bead Bazzar at the Hyatt.  We will both be there sharing a table, Bek with her knobs and me with my beads and marbles.

Something New! Marble Stands

My dear hubby Greg has many talents (only some of which I can discuss here…I kid, I kid!).  Long ago he used to work with wood, making kaleidoscopes, pens, and even turned bowls.  Now he is putting our shed to use making lighted marble stands.  He’s using hardwoods, maple and walnut. But he did pick up some exotics at the hardwood shop this week, so there will be more variety to come.

061509stands1a

061509stands1b

061509stands1d

A few are on ebay now.

This all started last month when we were trying to figure out how we would display a few marbles at the ISGB Gathering next month.  Greg came across some lighted displays and picked them up.  This led to him making marbles that will glow when being lit up.  See the above picture.  And of course he wasn’t happy with the ready-made light stands he bought, so he ended up making his own.   We both love them and are pretty sure we will be offering hardwood marbles stands  regularly.

I hope you love them as much as we do!

Online Payments–What to accept?

For most online lampwork sellers (and all kinds of other sellers) the preferred method of payment is paypal and for good reason.  Paypal gives both the seller and the buyer protection against the sale and purchase.  As a seller, if I ship my item within seven days of payment, with delivery confirmation, I am covered if the Post Office confirms my item has been delivered (as long as I shipped to a paypal verified address).  As the buyer I have 45 days from the date of payment to open a dispute if I haven’t received my item or there is something  wrong with it.  We have a mediator and for the most part if I follow the guidelines I am covered both as a buyer and a seller.

But what about checks and money orders?  I have a handful of customers who pay by either check or money order, or on a rare occasion they send me cash in the mail.  I know there are people who don’t like to do banking type stuff online and that is fine with me.  But what about the scammers out there?  You know, the people who knowingly write hot checks.  In my nine years of doing business online I have only had one instance of a person trying to scam me via check.  That was last week.

I have to admit, I was weary from the start.  This particular person ordered over $200 worth of stuff out of my artfire store.  The amount on this sale isn’t so unusual and I was running a sale, which brought it down closer to $160.  I sent a paypal invoice, to which she replied she would be sending a check.  This is where I start to wonder, as I haven’t ever done business with this person before.  On Artfire, one does not have to sign up to purchase, therefore there isn’t a user name or a way to track their activity at all, unlike etsy or ebay.  Then two days later, the same person ordered $400 worth of stuff from my website.  I sent the revised invoice for my BOGO Half off sale, to which she replies she has already sent the money and just add more beads to make up the difference.

Warning Bells!  So I goggle this person.  I find nothing but a closed etsy account.  My husband tells me to stop being so pessimistic.  Still, I have no real reason to believe this person is trying to scam me, so when the two checks come I run them down to the bank and wait for them to clear.

Here is the tricky part.  Two days later they did clear and the funds were sitting in my account.  But wait!  If you know anything about the banking system, you know a check can still bounce later all depending on when the two banks communicate with each other.  A day after the checks cleared my account I was scheduled to be in Tennessee at Bead Camp, so I put the whole thing on hold and told myself I would deal with it later.  I emailed the customer and told her I was going to be out of town and I’d ship her items when I got home.

No response.

Six days later I returned home and checked my account, to find they had indeed bounced, with a ten dollar fee to me for each one.  I am now out $20.  Great.   The next day I received the scanned checks in the mail confirming they were written on a closed count.

I emailed the person to let them know I would not be sending the product and I am not surprised I received no response.

At least I didn’t send her any product.  Thank goodness.  I am just one person and $600 worth of inventory is a good week worth of production. A day later my friend pointed me to a thread on Lampwork Etc, where one of my fellow lampworkers was scammed by the same person.  You can read it Here.  So sellers please beware if you receive a request to pay by check from a Ms Tonya Pendley of Jasper, Alabama.  I don’t know if this is a case of identity theif or not, but a person is going around the internet writing checks on a closed account in that name.

So do I still accept checks?  Yes, I do.  And money orders, which have their own issues.  The biggest money order scam out there is when someone wants to pay by money order and over pays and asks you to send them the difference back.  This is always a scam, please do not fall for it.  The money orders bounce later just like bad checks when you deposit them.

While I still accept checks and money orders, I am careful to do my research on the buyer if I haven’t dealt with them before and I listen to that little voice in my head when it tells me something is amiss.

It’s a tough economy and we are working harder than ever.  It’s easy to get excited about a large sale, but be patient and deligent and don’t let the scammers scam you.  Good luck!

I’m back!

I am back from Bead Camp and to be honest, still recovering a little bit.  Our event in Tennessee had 21 attendees, all bead makers and and a few jewelry designers.  We had Jennifer Geldard come in to teach half day classes and while we weren’t doing that we were torching, eating, and do a lot of laughing.  There wasn’t much sleeping going on however, so it’s taken me a few days to bounce back.  Having that much fun sure wears you out.

Sadly I don’t have any pictures.  I am the one who never brings her camera and relies on everyone else to take the photos.  I am still waiting for my peeps to post them so I can snag a couple.  I did learn a few new things and have a bunch of new ideas in the hopper for new designs.  I spent most of my time making focals, which is always a nice break from making sets.  Here are a few I brought home from bead camp.

061009focal3c

061009focal1c

061009focal2c

060909focal1a

060909focal3a

Most of these have made it to my ebay page, and I have a few more coming in the next few days.

This one time at Bead Camp…

I am off!  Today is the day my friend Rebekah and I head north to Crossville, TN for the second (hopefully annual) Bead Camp.  The event is officially for three days, but as we girls always do, we dragged it out another day.  So we’ll be driving home on Monday.  All orders with the exception of one (and you know who you are) are complete and shipped.  All new orders and inquires will be taken care of next Tuesday.

The event hosted at Beadaddicts, is a gathering of 21 woman, with guest teacher Jennifer Geldard.  This will literally be my first official class I have ever taken.  Sure I’ve torched one on one with other lampworkers and shared tips and tricks, but I have never really taken a class, except for the mini lesson I got way back in 2003 from Anne Scherm Baldwin and okay, the few lessons I allowed hubby Greg to give me. 🙂

I hope to learn something new and fabulous and I’m sure I will, but really it’s just a great excuse to get together with the girlfriends.  See you Tuesday!