boring status update (2015 reparations, organizing of stuff)

I have a few emails sitting in my inbox that I haven’t answered yet, not because I’m ignoring the people but because I wanted to give them good, solid news… or at least solid news… when I did respond.

My plan was to spend the weekend locating and sorting through all the paperwork associated with clients, customers, companies, processors, orders, charges, chargebacks, postal crap, etc by Monday and announce that I had a list or something.

Yeah, that was unrealistic. I’ve found lots of it but I feel like I’m missing something pretty crucial – probably like all the info for orders and services in progress that lived on clipboards in the appropriate area while in progress. Haven’t found those clipboards yet, which is frustrating.

I did find the storage box containing orders that my partner had spotted. It was large. It was full. It was full of shipping boxes in various stages of being filled. Quite a few of them had paid shipping labels attached to them. And they went into storage. And they stayed there. I just … I can’t even. (This is me not screaming. It’s taking a monumental effort.)

I guess I secretly/semi-consciously hoped that I’d blown all this up in my head to monstrous proportions but it wasn’t really as bad as all that. Well, it really is as bad as all that (and this is just orders for items – haven’t dived into services/readings yet :/ It could realistically be *even worse than I thought.* )

And the former customers who’ve gotten in touch with me over the past week to say they’d like to have any products/supplies that could currently be created rather than just a straight-up refund? Well, I was hoping I’d find their full or nearly full and ready-to-go shipping boxes in there and that everything in their order would still be usable and stable after sitting in a box in a storage unit for years.

LOL, yeah, that’s not too realistic either, huh…

Well, at the very least, I hoped I could see what made up their order and check to see what could conceivably be recreated if I have or could order the materials. That would give me an idea of what was left over that I’d simply need to refund.

Well, no such luck there either. I mean, the boxes didn’t even have packing slips in them (wince). No names, either, most of them – just initials and order numbers scrawled in horrible handwriting that’s barely legible on the outside of the box. In theory, if I can decipher those numbers, I can make a start towards a list, but yeah… I have a long way to go still.

It kicked up my asthma, too, all this digging around in dusty boxes and files, which has made me feel all slow and gross and fuzzy. (It’s taken me two days to write this post now that it’s after midnight.) And it really bummed me out. It was enough to send me back under the bed for a while.

I didn’t do that – I’m still here being vertical and trying to tackle this head on – but wow, this is a challenge (and not just financially but also psychologically).

Anyway, I’m working on it! I’m also still working on populating the new Etsy shop, Seraphin Station, which is very slow going, in large part because I have to rework prices on every single little thing, both to account for how much ingredients have gone up in almost five years and to account for Etsy’s  new-to-me, complex, and quite significant fee structure. This is all after I go through all my stuff and determine whether I even *can* make the thing in question, which in some cases can take a day or two. (One box I needed yesterday ended up being up in the barn in the loft, which I had to move a 12 foot ladder over half an acre to get to. Stuff like that. Free workout, I guess…)

But one thing’s become clear as I’ve been doing this – Etsy’s free to charge what it pleases, but especially for someone who tends to stock lots of smaller, lower-priced items (like individual oils or bath crystals), their fee setup isn’t very friendly. (Neither is their pressure to offer free shipping, because there’s no such thing as free shipping, really – but that’s gonna have to wait for another post when I’m less fuzzy headed before I try to talk about math!)

So I’m investigating alternatives. As with everything, so much depends on available funds, which means I have to make one thing go before I can afford to make the next, better thing go — since the next, better thing usually wants X amount of money a month. But hopefully Bonanza support will answer my email at some point soon and I’ll know what’s what with that. It might not be ideal, but its fee structure means I don’t have to tack $3 onto the normal price of a bottle of oil like I do at Etsy, blech.

Any of you folks who have done this same song and dance with platforms who have any recommendations, I’d love to hear ’em!

anthony post cover (1)And in not-whining-about-Etsy-and-my-allergies news, I’ve updated the FAQ Directory to consolidate all the St. Anthony links into a single blog page, updated the resources, and written up a bio/overview. (Mostly so I would have something to write here that wasn’t me whining and that could actually benefit *y’all* since this blog’s been a little shy on that kind of thing for a while now!)

store inventory update

The store repopulation is slow going – I have to re-add everything manually. In the meanwhile, most always-in-stock stuff can be had at the bonanza shop here.

Bonanza FAQs

Alright, folks, I’m finally learning my way around Bonanza a little better, and I can give you some more insight into how to make your purchase there as smooth as possible. This first FAQ deals with shipping and how NOT to over-pay.

How do I make a purchase without paying too much for shipping?

The way bonanza’s settings work, you have to “make an offer.” If your offer is for the full displayed default total, your offer will be automatically approved and an invoice will be automatically sent. BUT if you add things to your cart and then let the computer do the math, you may end up paying too much for shipping, because it won’t let me do the math one way for First Class and a different way for Priority. If one of your items is $5.75 for Priority Mail, and the rest of your items will fit into the same box, then they can ship at no additional cost. But we both have to take a few extra steps to make this happen.

If you want First Class shipping in the US, AND if your calculated shipping total is less than $5.75, follow these steps: Select your items and add to cart. Make an offer for the default amount, changing nothing. If you change nothing, your offer will be automatically accepted and you can then pay via PayPal.

If your shipping total is greater than $5.75, and/or if you want Priority shipping, follow these steps: Select your items and add to cart. You will have the option to “make an offer.” To the total cost of the items in your cart, add $5.75 for shipping to the US. Add $14 for shipping to anywhere else in the world. Submit your offer. If your stuff will fit in the small flat rate Priority box, I will accept the offer and you’ll get an invoice.

In the event that the items you want will not fit into a small flat rate Priority Mail box, or there is anything else about the offer that won’t work for whatever reason, I will submit a counter-offer, explaining what I had to change.

If you KNOW that your items won’t fit into a small flat rate Priority box, but will have to go into a medium box instead, you can add $11 to your item total and I will automatically approve that offer. If you aren’t sure, submit an offer with the lower shipping amount; I’ll know if your stuff will fit or not when I see your cart and I’ll make adjustments. Don’t worry – if I make a change to your offer showing a higher amount than you planned on, you will have the chance to back out.

Note: If you are not in the US, this won’t work. You’ll need to let me look at your cart contents and figure out the best shipping option depending on size, bulk, weight, amount, etc. So international buyers whose stuff is larger or bulkier should add stuff to their carts and make a best-guess shipping offer; I’ll adjust it and explain what I’ve done and why. Alternately, you can write me first with a list of what you want and I can tell you what the shipping will be, and then you can add it to your offer; that will save time.

Is bonanza just a little bit more trouble than your other options for shopping with Karma Zain?  Yes.  But the savings can be significant, so especially if you have a larger order, it can be worth the time it takes to follow a few extra steps.

store and site stock news/updates re. eBay and Bonanza.com

eBay came pretty close to hitting "the last straw" with me a few weeks ago when they gigged me for listing a prohibited item, removed the listing, and docked my "policy compliance" rating down to "low" (which endangers my power seller status and makes my fees higher and goes on my permanent record in case they ever want to kick me off one day).  The offending listing was not in fact prohibited and I was not in violation of any policy whatsoever, but attempts to get a human being to use a brain cell on this matter were doomed.  Here’s how it worked:

I got an email saying my Five Around the Fifties bath salts were removed due to the listing being for a prohibited item. In the portion of the form letter that was customized to tell you what prohibition you violate, it said "salvia divinorum may not be sold on eBay."  Since none of my listings mention salvia divinorum, I was perplexed and picked up the phone.  I was assured by a very nice but completely impotent customer service person that he would look into it and let me know what was up (and if you know me at all, you know that I have to be pretty pissed off to pick up the telephone if email is an option).  A week later I called again, as I’d had no return call.  I’m deferred again.  They finally get back to me with an email. Here is the glorious computerized, search-form-enabled, utterly freakin’ stupid and illogical manner in which my bath salt listing gets removed:
read the whole ridiculous saga here

New items at ebay and bonanza

New items:

Cursing/Crossing Sour Jar Spell Kit ebay or bonanza

These are the ingredients to do a nasty cursing/crossing spell jar.  It can be used on a single target, on a couple, or on multiple targets.  Depending on how you treat several variables, you can use this as a serious hotfoot spell, as an extra-strength breakup spell, as a DUME working, as a revenge working, to cause sickness, etc.  This kind of spell is not a first line of defense and it’s not very nice, so it’s used only after other measures have failed or been too slow to work in cases where someone is threatening someone else’s life, family, children, etc.  If you use this on a neighbor for parking on your side of the street, you’re really shooting a tiger with an elephant gun, for instance.

Kit includes all your herbs, oil, instructions, and nine pins, nine needles, and nine coffin nails.

Coffin Nails – ebay or bonanza


If you know anything about modern funeral practices and mortuary laws, it’s probably occurred to you that most of the coffin nails you see for sale on various websites and in various occult supply stores could not possibly have come from an actual coffin in which somebody was actually buried.  The days of being able to access those old-school types of graveyard materia magica are over. So no, I did not rob a grave in order to provide these traditional hoodoo curios, and it’s highly unlikely that coffin nails you get anywhere are going to have come from an actual coffin – not if you’re paying a few dollars for them, anyway. Modern coffins are often not made of wood anyway, and when they are, they are generally constructed with wood glue, screws, and joint fasteners (like big industrial staples) – NOT with nails. (If there are any nails in a modern casket, they are likely to be put there by the upholsterer who does the fabric lining, and are more likely to be technically "brads" rather than "nails."  They most certainly do not look like the traditional "coffin nail" curio.)  So don’t get all hung up on whether or not your coffin nails have come from a real coffin – chances are they haven’t.

However, that does not mean you can’t use the old-school spells that call for them anymore.  Modern practitioners adapt and adjust to the times as necessary in creating and obtaining their curios.  The difference with me is that I’m up front about what I change or adjust, how, and why (hence my long and numerous posts on black cat bones, various animal curios, etc.)

 

These coffin nails are made from the appropriate type of wood nail which I then antique for that authentic rusty look, and "bury" by interring them in a box of graveyard dirt on the appropriate altar.  The finished product thus has the association with the resting place of the deceased that is appropriate to their use.

Listing is for 9 nails.


Hoodoo Nails –
ebay or bonanza


This is a packet of 5 Hoodoo Nails.  Where Coffin Nails are for use in works of malice, crossing, causing sickness, breaking up, etc., sometimes nails are called for in old-time spells for other uses, involving binding people, carving candles or other things, "nailing down" a person, object, or even property to keep hold of it, etc.  I call these Hoodoo Nails for lack of a better name.  They can be used in the famous "railroad spike" protection spell, if railroad spikes are too large, obtrusive, or difficult to get.  They can also be used in Protection workings to call on St. Michael, and dressed to serve as a token of St. Michael’s Sword in mojo bags, spell bottles, and amulets or paket charms.

These are large, square-cut nails about three inches long. If you aren’t familiar with woodwork and nails and the like, they are not a proper square – more rectangular – and the end is fairly blunter than what you probably picture when you think of a nail.  But they go into the ground easily, and with the right hammer or mallet you can pound them into other things as well, such as trees or lumber.

Listing is for five nails.

 


the Bonanza store / booth and FREE BOTTLE OF OIL offer

New things at Bonanza. (Though by "new" I mostly mean "newly imported from ebay" rather than "never seen before."  eBay has seriously, seriously pissed me off this last week or so, and I just don’t think I can keep selling lower-cost stock there, such as oils and bath salts. It’s just not worth their fees and trouble anymore, not for inexpensively-priced stock items, sigh…)

Almost all the things at Bonanza are cheaper than they are at eBay. Plus, you get one free bottle of hoodoo condition oil (your choice of any regularly priced oil) with any purchase totaling $10 or more for the *entire month of January.*  Just leave me a note in the "note to seller" or "instructions to merchant" box when you check out through paypal telling me what to send (traditional hoodoo oils are those priced at $5.34 on bonanza).

*free bottle of hoodoo oil* offer at Bonanza.com

Karma Zain Spiritual Supplies is now on Bonanza.com as well as eBay and the still-in-progress (sigh) web store.

From now through Saturday, December 11, anyone who makes a qualifying purchase at my store at Bonanza will receive a free bottle of hoodoo condition or dressing oil, a free bottle of voodoo oil, or a free bottle of esoteric oil of their choice.  Qualifying purchases are those that total $10 or more. 

Just tell me what bottle of oil to include with your order, either through the Bonanza messaging system, or else in the "note to seller"/"instructions to merchant" box on the paypal payment page.  The only oils that are excluded from this offer are Ultimate oils (the ones with diamond dust and gold in them), Plagues of Egypt oil, and Black Cat Bone oil.[*]

This serves a few purposes – one is to help me get familiar with how things work on Bonanza from the seller end (I’ve made some purchases on there already, but haven’t sold anything yet).  Another is to get y’all to help me check for any glitches or weirdness, and to make sure I have my settings set up properly for combined shipping (which I *always* offer – the settings on Bonanza booth are supposed to default to full shipping cost for first item and $1 per item after that, but you can as usual request an invoice before paying and, if you choose priority mail or one of your items is only available via priority mail, the other items that will fit in the box will ship for free).  Yet another is to solicit feedback on the booth’s appearance and operation (they’re called "booths" instead of "stores" on Bonanza), and to simply spread awareness of both Bonanza and my stuff on Bonanza.[**] 

The prices are lower, because their fees are lower, and that is a win-win situation for everybody!

***

[*] If you aren’t sure what types of oils I do or don’t carry, you can get a fairly full list of them at my website here.

[**] I know the items aren’t sorted into categories yet, and most of the listed categories are empty with all the products jumbled together in the "other" category right now. this is because I have to do the sorting manually after import, and I haven’t quite gotten the knack of what is a not-entirely-intuitive searching and filtering system in the business end of the listings.  Sorry – I know this makes it harder to find what you want.  But there is a search box. And I’m going to get this fixed as soon as I get caught up with the readings and consultation I owe (she says, faintly aware of a collective sigh from over there where the people who have been waiting are sitting, twiddling their thumbs, and wondering if they will have another birthday before I finish typing their damned reports).