Sunday, September 19, 2010

Copy Cats: UPDATED

I been getting several emails/etsy convos regarding shops that have popped up that are selling robots similar to mine. I have received the most messages about this shop: TNZsculptures. Yes there are clearly a lot of similarities between their bots and mine. Thank all of you who wrote me giving me the heads up. My figures are copy written as well as trademarked so I'm not too worried. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!













*UPDATE: Someone today after reading this post sent me to this shop: SweetMelodys Her bots as far as the shape of the head and the big black eyes do bare a little resemblance to mine, but not by much!

This post was NOT meant to make my readers go on a witch hunt to find other Etsy sellers ripping off my robots. It was meant to show that no one should be ripping off or copying anyone elses ideas or work. If you are a true artist you can come up with your own unique idea. And if you do feel the need to copy something someone else created DON'T SELL IT ON ETSY OR ARTFIRE. IN FACT DON'T SELL IT ONLINE! As you can see it's not like the original artist isn't going to see it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Etsy Selling Tip 6: Using Paypal to Process Payments at Craft Shows

I originally found this article on This is something I have been doing for sometime at craft shows that have WiFi access. I feel this article explains it far better than I ever could. I usually take my laptop with me on the off chance that the show will have wifi and I can allow people to check out via Pay Pal. It is much simpler and affordable than buying a credit card machine/processing credit cards and it's safer. The following article explains how to allow customers to check via Pay Pal Using a "Donation" button. I myself have never used this method. At the conclusion of the article I will put in my 2 cents on how I usually have customers pay via Pay Pal at craft shows.

If you have been looking into the options for processing payments at craft fairs you will have noticed that most require some sort of monthly financial commitment that seems a little pointless paying especially if you don't do a fair every month or you don't take many card payments.

However with mobile broadband for netbooks and smartphones it is now possible to take payments through paypal.

First set up a donate paypal button in your paypal account you can do this by going to merchant services and clicking on the link for the buy now buttons then clicking on the donate link in the left menu. Donate is best since you can enter the amount as needed rather than creating buttons for each price and having to use add to cart for customers that want to make multiple purchases.

You don't even have to host the donate button anywhere once it is created you will be able to click through to the page and bookmark that so you can get to it quickly. (if you are using a smartphone you may find it easier to temporarily host the button on a free site builder so you can click through to the link after setting it all up on your home computer.)

For blackberry users you will need to download the opera browser because the default browser automatically goes to the paypal mobile site and this feature isn't possible on that.

Now you should have your donation page bookmarked and all you will need to do when you have a person wanting to pay is go to the bookmarked page, enter the purchase amount (inclusive of any taxes) and put in the card details, if your customer is registered with paypal then they will be able to log in and pay that way if preferred.

Of course there are limits with the paypal system since they do not accept all cards and anyone that has already used their card three times with paypal will need to sign up for an account but you now have a simple and free (other than the cost of your phone/netbook) way to process most card payments. This works best for those outside the US since you will be able to have the payments in your own currency. However if the venue you sell on is in your own currency you can just process through your venue but the donate button makes things faster because you don't have all the purchase steps to jump through.

Sleepy Robot 13's 2 cents:

Ok so I use 1 of 2 methods to allow customers to check out via Pay Pal. The 1st is just using plane old Etsy. I will pull up Etsy on my laptop and if it is an item already for sale in my shop they are purchasing, I just remove the shipping charge and let the customer log into their Etsy account (If they have one) and check as normal. I like this method because it helps me keep track of sales and the customer is able to find me again later if they want to purchase something else (we all know business cards usually end up at the bottom of a purse or junk drawer).

The 2nd method I use is letting the customer check out directly via their Pay Pal account and clicking on the "Send money" tab. Now not all customers will be comfortable with this option because they are logging into their Pay Pal accounts from someone else's computer. For both methods of check out I recommend having cookies turned off on your computer so the customer's information is not saved. The upside to using this method is you avoid Etsy's transaction fees and you have a record of the sale for tax purposes.

Halloween Comes Early At Sleepy Robot 13!

Since I'm one of those people that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year and I just use the holiday to stock up on supplies, you can only imagine that my little robot minions would feel the same way. Most of them have already picked out their costumes and wanted to show them off for you!

You can view more robot Halloween Craziness by visting the Halloween section of my shop HERE.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Christmas Custom Orders

I know it's crazy to be talking about Christmas already, but over the last 2 weeks I've been getting a lot of custom order requests for Christmas gifts. Usually customs take me about a week to a week and a half to finish. I want to make sure everyone gets the customs they want to give as gifts and make sure I am also able to complete all of my regular orders during the Christmas season. Therefore there will be a cutoff date of November 6th for ALL custom orders. If you are interested in a custom item you MUST have it submitted to me by Nov. 6, 2010. My goal is to have all customs completed and shipped before I leave for Designer Con in CA on November 18th. Custom order requests can be sent by sending me a convo on Etsy or emailing me directly at

While we're on the subject of Christmas I also want to mention that the cutoff date for Christmas orders this year will be Dec. 13th for domestic orders and December 3rd for international orders. You can still place Christmas orders after these dates, but I cannot guarantee that they will reach you in time for X-mas. If you place a late Christmas order you do have the option of contacting me for a faster shipping method. To all international customers, for reasons unknown to me there has been a delay involving customs/transit stations that are causing extended delays to customers in Canada and Australia(these are the only ones I'm aware of so far). Please take this into account when placing orders for Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

856 Etsy Sales!

Today I reached 856 sales on Etsy and along with countless other sales offline it feels amazing! Next month on the 9th I will celebrate my one year anniversary of opening my Etsy shop. I am still amaze in less than a year how fair I've come. I definitely couldn't have done it without the advice of other amazing crafters, all of you who wrote about me on their blogs and having the guts to try things that others wouldn't think of, without knowing if they would be a success or I would fall flat on my face! Sleepy Robot 13 definitely put a hole in my wallet for a while, but before there can be feast there must be famine...or maybe I should just say it takes money to make money. I started Sleepy Robot 13 with 3 figurines (2 of which weren't even robots) and the hope that I could make a little money to pay my bills while I was out of work and today it's more than I could have ever hoped. My goal is to reach 1000 sales by my shops one year anniversary. 144 sales in 3 1/2 weeks, think I can do it?