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!
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!)