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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 05:42
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

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Originally Posted by AnnathanMagz View Post
At the beginning I was way too excited and ran out and bought TONS of ribbon. It was a long time before I saw a profit because I had already spent a ton on supplies. Plus, I ended up liking to make different kinds of clips than I originally set out to make, so I had extra unused ribbon. I found ways to use most everything or sell it off, but I should have been patient and only bought a little at a time in the beginning.
Same thing here! I have tons of ribbon and have yet to sell anything! I'm still in the learning phases and didn't need so much. My sister is testing my bows on her 2 DD, I wouldn't dare sell them just yet! I also wish I would've only bought a little at a time.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 05:45
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

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Originally Posted by my2squirrels View Post
Let's see--

1) don't steal pictures. You WILL be found out and then your reputation will be tarnished and it will be hard to regain trust

2) Practice makes perfect. We all think our first bows/headbands/clips are great but now when I look back at the first stuff I have I can't believe I actually thought it looked good!

3) Packaging is super important. Buy nice boxes for bows, polymailers for shabby headbands and be sure to make it look nice. I wrap my items in pretty tissue paper and include a packing slip and a business card. All of my items come on bow or headband cards and I HAND WRITE a thank you on the packing slip. No one wants something that comes packed sloppy. Part of ordering online is the excitement of opening the package IMO.

4) Don't undersell your products or undercut the market!!!!! If you sell online do your research and find out what the median price is for the item you are selling. If you are selling locally don't undercut the other local businesses. That does no one any good and you won't make a profit.

5) Figure out a formula that will help you make a profit. Set an amount you want to pay yourself per hour. Then figure out how much time it takes you to make each one of your items. Figure out the cost of the item you make and then add your "fee" in. That should give you a MINIMUM of what to charge. Don't forget to include Paypal fees into your pricing. I add the cost of my shipping materials (labels, boxes, tissue paper, cards, etc) into the shipping cost. Yes, it only cost $1.67 to mail a 3 oz package but I need to pay for all the materials that went into the packaging.

6) Your pictures need to be CLEAR. Use the macro setting on your camera. No stray hairs, toys in the background, junk on the counter, etc. Get some scrapbook paper from the craft store and use it to stage your photos. Good lighting is key. Don't forget to watermark them.
Great advice!! I haven't started selling yet but everything you stated makes perfect sense, thank you!
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:19
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

This is all wonderful advice!! Thank you so much!
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:58
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Location: Virginia
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

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Originally Posted by Angela R View Post
I think my first mistake was buying the first tutorial I came across on the Internet. It was junk!! Within a week of buying it, I found so much free information and tutorials that were worth buying. Also, I was listening to people on YouTube for advice.....wrong again! I have deleted about 90% of the channels I had subscribed to. That being said my advice would be to take it slow & do your research (this forum is now the only place I look to when I have questions). Making bows is easy, making quality bows that you will be proud of takes practice and hard work
Agree with this. You tube has some of the worst video tutorials. I learned from one of those to line my clips using Fabric Tac. What a bad idea that was!
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:03
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

I am still new to the business but I learned that it takes a while to make perfect bows. I did lot of research and practice makes perfection.
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:30
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

I've been at it for about a year. I've learned quite a bit too! My first mistake was not doing enough research before spending $100 on a brand of ribbon I now feel is crap.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:04
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

I recommend setting up folders in your email for every major file, example; Customer Correspondence, Purchases, Payments, Invoices, Shipping, Advertising, etc. Keep EVERYTHING. I have been in business for over a year and I have every single email filed and believe me they have been needed.

Staying organized is so very important. I even use a spreadsheet for my orders.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:06
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnathanMagz View Post
At the beginning I was way too excited and ran out and bought TONS of ribbon. It was a long time before I saw a profit because I had already spent a ton on supplies. Plus, I ended up liking to make different kinds of clips than I originally set out to make, so I had extra unused ribbon. I found ways to use most everything or sell it off, but I should have been patient and only bought a little at a time in the beginning.

I second this. I have so much ribbon I don't even want to look at it. It is so overwhelming.

I guess I like the buying part more than the "making" part...lol.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:15
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Location: Dallas, TX
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

This is a great thread. I have learned so much along the way. My first bows which I thought were so cute are horrid! I have saved them but it has taken me several years to make a good bow- correctly. It takes practice, practice, practice. I have also learned that bow makers are at every show I go to...and its OK....all different styles and a little competition makes for better products!
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:18
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Default Re: What mistakes have you learned from since making/selling bows

Organize everything lol!!! I'm still working on organizing but nothing is more frustrating than sitting down to work and realizing you don't have all your supplies on hand.

Be confident in yourself and your ability! Take the time to learn and do it right, but don't undersell yourself if you plan on selling your items.

Take pride in your work, if your own children wouldn't wear it, don't sell it! Make sure to heat seal or otherwise seal your ribbons, no loose ends, neatly lined etc...

Research! Research your market, your costs, where to buy supplies, don't be afraid to ask for a sample from a supplier. Finding great supplies takes time, but is so worth it in the end.
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