Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bonjour!

This... was not a good week.
I've still been working on getting things listed in an effort to raise the money for the next Swell Doll Shop, but this week I'm sad to say I did not make my goal. I actually had nothing sell this week. I've been working hard listing everything on Etsy, and not a single thing sold. It's funny, several months back I noticed that all my sales were coming from Etsy, and none from the Dollpage, now it's the total opposite. So far everything that's sold was from the Dollpage. I'm not really sure what's up with Etsy. It could be that my prices are too high, or that my listings are getting lost in a sea of similar products. I even went back and started listing patterns, but still no interest. I also noticed that the people favoring my items were down really low, so I'm kind of thinking that Etsy "upgraded" the search features and now my items aren't getting seen by as many people as it used to. It's just a theory, and at least it explains the total lack of interest in what I'm listing. I don't know, all I know is that this week I didn't make my selling goal.

Which, quite frankly, stinks. I won't lie this week has been a really low one. Not only did nothing sell, it seems this week everything could go wrong did. It's been really rough and put me in a pretty low place that I'm still struggling to get over. This pretty much drained all my energy.

But not my energy to shop. It's true, when I'm this down a bit of retail therapy can be what I need to pull me out of my funk, but it's sort of a catch 22. I want to buy something to make me happy, but I feel guilty spending money since I'm trying to save up for March. I ended up finding a couple things on E-bay I wanted. They were all ending at different times. I decided to bid on each of them, and if I was outbid I would move onto the next auction and not let it get me even more down. And wouldn't you know, I won the first auction I bid on. Happened this Thursday, which means not only did I not make my goal this week I'm back to square one with saving money. I'm not upset by this, I've decided it's better to get one doll I really want than wait to possibly get dolls I want later down the road. That just means for the March meeting I'm going to have to run upstairs so I don't see any of the dolls downstairs I don't have any money to buy. I don't I'm going to bother working on selling more now. It feels rather counter productive to give Etsy 20 cents per listing when nothing's selling.

So now I'm waiting for my newest doll, and I'm going to be waiting for a while. She's coming from Australia! Which is crazy when you think about it. She was made in Japan, sold in Australia, then ending up in America. You know what else is crazy? The 14 dollar shipping charge she's costing me. And that's the low shipping charges. I did some rough calculations, and it takes about two weeks to get from Australia to America. The seller already contacted me and the doll will get getting into the mail on Monday (My today), meaning she should get here shortly after the March meeting... which kind of stinks. I was really hoping to bring her to the March meeting to show off, and remind myself not being able to shop was worth it. But even if she gets here early I'm not sure I'll be able to bring her. The poor gal does need some freshening up, and I think that will take more than a couple days before she's ready for the public. And I'm not even including clearing up her green ear in that time, I still need to buy the remove-zit for that endeavor. And I know that's going to take a while to clear up.

I'm going to be a jerk and not share with you the exact doll until she gets here, but if you need a spoiler go check out my Flickr. Some of the auction pictures are posted there already.

So that's all for now Dear Readers. While I'm giving up selling, I'm still on a hiatus from blogging. I'm not doing any sewing right now and this week isn't going to be fun. This week I get to help my sister move for the billionth time. And I recently found out they're planning on staying at the house overnight during the move, which means I get to clean the house for them. Luckily it's still in pretty decent shape from Christmas, but it's still not a fun chore.

*JustthinkabouttheBarbie*

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hola!

Well it's Sunday again, which means it's time for my weekly update. I'm still working hard on getting to my hundred dollar goal by March 9th. I am pleased to announce that I'm still on target. I did manage to get my twenty dollars raised for this week, but just barely. Last week I bemoaned losing out sales due to overseas shipping being so high, but I actually heard back from one of the people who contact me. Apparently they wanted the dolls, despite the high shipping cost. Those two dolls were the only things that sold this week, despite my listing things practically every day. I've already listed most of the nicer things that I hope to sell. I mean I certainly have lots of stuff left to list, but the higher end things have been listed, and weirdly enough, it hasn't found much interest out there. I won't lie, I am a little worried about making my goal. So far I haven't sold a single thing on Etsy, all my sales have come from the Dollpage. Hopefully sales will pick up.

I've also been working on that dress I'm going to donate to the club raffle. Work is slow on it because I'm really scrutinizing every part of it. I'm ripping out a lot more than I leave in. I just want it to be perfect. I need to spend more time on it. I know that I have a while until March, but the rate I'm going I probably won't make it. And I'd hate to be stressing myself out at the last minute because I didn't plan my time accordingly. I do have a picture to share this time of it. It's just the bodice at the moment. Most of it's sewed with holding stitches, I'm still working out the placement of the straps and making sure they're even since they're inset and I can't easily go back and change them after this step. But at least you can see the fabric I chose for the dress.

See you next Sunday, hopefully with progress on both projects!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hello!

Hello Dear Readers,

As you know I'm taking the month off from blogging, but you also should know I can never keep the rules I set for myself. I'm not back full time however, I just wanted to stop in and keep you updated on how things have been going.
I have been working on posting all that stuff I've been stockpiling in an effort to raise some funds for the next trip to the Swell Doll Shop. I started with my Dollpage stuff since it's free to list unlike Etsy. I'm almost done with everything that I can post to that site. All that's left are a couple dolls I haven't posted yet (working on those today), and a couple that still need some TLC before I can post them (mostly stain removal with acne cream). Once I run out of those items, I'm going to be focusing on my Etsy store, where I have plenty to list. In fact I have more for there than I did for the Dollpage.
So as my first week of listing is over, I'm pleased to tell you all that I'm on goal. I sold three dolls this week, meaning I have 20 dollars of my 100 dollar goal. Yay! I'm one fifth of the way there. You want to know something ironic? I've been listing dolls all week, and the three that I sold were dolls that I listed a long time ago. I'm glad that they did finally sell, but I would like to see something sell from what I just listed. You know me and my need for positive reinforcement. But I'm glad I got them listed, they were doing me no help when they were just sitting on my dresser, at least now they have the potential to sell. But since it's Sunday that means it's a brand new week and I'm back to square zero for selling. Will I be able to keep up the progress? You'll have to find out next Sunday.
I did have a couple nibbles on some things that I listed this week, but they were both for overseas buyers and didn't end up working out. I didn't realize how expensive overseas shipping has gotten! Both buyers ended up declining to buy the item after getting shipping quotes, not that I blame them. It was going to cost more to just ship the dolls than for the dolls themselves. 
I've also been doing some sewing, don't worry nothing exciting. I'm still having terrible sewers block when it comes to sewing for the actual collection. Which is pretty funny since I'm tearing my hair out in frustration of not making any progress, and here I am saving up money so I can buy more dolls. Anyway, at the upcoming doll meeting (March 9th) we're having a raffle in order to raise the money to pay the dues to be an official club from Mattel, as well as fund some other club things throughout the year. The president asked everyone to bring something to raffle, and that way everyone would be helping raise the money (also to buy tickets to help raise the money). Since I'm trying to save up money and not spend any, I decided to make something. I'm going to be making a dress and hat for the raffle. I'm been working on it slowly since I want it to be perfect. I rarely sell or give away what I make, so I want it to be as close to perfect as I can get it. Right now I'm working on the bodice, I need to tweak it a bit, but I'm making progress. I'll keep you posted on that as well.

See you next Sunday, hopefully with more good news!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Retrodoll.com

The following is regarding the experience I had with a specific company. This is all true, and I did not embellish anything. I do not have any ties to any other similar companies, and if you feel your company was misrepresented in this post feel free to contact me and we can discuss it.

September 9th 2012
It was a regular day. I was doing my usual internet routine, when I saw something over on "In the Pink". It was a listing from a company called Retrodoll. I had heard of them before. They were a UK based company that sold hair for re-roots. They had started a US branch and were offering free samples to people on the board, I assume to draw up interest among the doll community since they mainly sold hair to the My Little Pony community. Since I do re-roots from time to time and I'm always curious as to what's out there, I decided to take them up on their offer. I went to their website, where I was unable to find an e-mail address to contact them with. I ended up contacting them over on their Facebook page asking where to contact them. I was given a fast reply with an e-mail address, which I promptly e-mailed that I would like to try a free sample, and gave them my mailing address.

And then I waited. 

After waiting over a month, I assumed that I would never get the hair. I never did contact them since it was a free sample and all, so I just assumed that they didn't want my business. 

December 11th, 2012
The owner of Retrodoll again posted on "In the Pink", again offering free samples. I was a little annoyed, but than began to wonder if perhaps they didn't get my first e-mail. It would make sense since I was not given any reply. Until I clicked the ad and read; "Also, if anyone has contacted me for free samples and I accidentally missed you, please send me your address to...". Reading that made me believe that my being ignored wasn't just an accident and I wasn't alone with requesting a sample never to get it. I mean, why would you say something like that, unless you knew it happened? Again I e-mailed regarding the free sample. I stated that I had been one of the people that had contacted them back in September and was still waiting. This time I did not send my address because I wanted to make sure they got my e-mail and would be forced to reply to me. This time I did get a reply, in a short period of time no less. I was asked what type of hair I would be interested in trying. I requested a sample of the "Copper Penny" Saran hair. I also asked if it would be possible to get a small bit of their thermal hair since I was curious about that too. I did say that I would understand if it wasn't possible since it was a specialty color. I was told that day that I would be sent a full hank of the Copper Penny, and a few plugs of the thermal hair. (I was not expecting a full hank of anything, just a few plugs taped to a card or something.) I was also informed that; "Package is set to go out in the mail tomorrow.". I was also thanked for allowing them to rectify the situation. 

December 17th, 2012
I am still waiting for the doll hair. I receive an e-mail from Retrodoll. Apparently they have thrown out their back, and been unable to go to the post office. I was then assured that my package would be getting into the mail the following day. They did apologize for the delay. Although, when I checked their Facebook page, there was no mention of this shipping delay for anyone else. I even saw people mentioning they had received their free sample. I assume they ordered theirs in May or something. 
January 22nd, 2013
Another new e-mail from Retrodoll in my in box in the morning. They were curious if I had received the sample yet. Apparently they sent me a package with some full hanks over the holiday and had been too ill to check if I liked them. Of course I received nothing from them. I sent them back an e-mail saying that I had not yet gotten anything from them. I also suggested that perhaps the post office was still catching up from the surplus of Holiday mail (In late January!), and that if anything arrived I would let her know. It was incredibly sarcastic, but not blatantly so. In a shocking move, Retrodoll was kind enough to offer to send me a brand new package of doll hair, since clearly the Post Office clearly lost the last one she sent me. 
Silly Post office, loosing my package! 
January 23rd, 2013

Another new e-mail in my inbox from Retrodoll, I was wondering what had happened to them this time to delay this sample another time, even though it was way too early for another... "I didn't get the package into the mail for this reason...". This was a totally different e-mail. It was one asking me if I was interested in filling out an interview for their blog regarding what I do craft/hobby wise. At this point I started believe that Retrodoll was trolling me. I did not bother replying to this e-mail.

February 4th, 2013
In a incredible shocking turn of events, I received a package today from Retrodoll. It was a large manilla envelope and was incredibly flat. I opened it up and found two packages of hair inside. I honestly thought this day would never come. 
Now where to start?
You may recall that that I had requested a sample of both the Copper Penny and one of their color changing ones. I'll save you the trouble and cut to the chase, my order was half correct. I was not given any color changing hair. Instead I was given a full hank of "Kagami Kanekalon", which is a lilac color. This was my first experience with Kanekanlon hair. All I know about it is people on Flickr bemoaning it's poor quality when Mattel uses in on the newer Barbie dolls. And now I can say for a fact that I too do not like it. It's really dry and feels brittle. I do not think that it would stand up for much play. I wondered that maybe they had just grabbed a similar but wrong bag when packing the envelope, but when I found it on their website it's clearly marked as Kanekalon, and the color change hair is not offered from that material. 
But at least Copper Penny was correct. It was the correct color, but not what I was expecting. First of all, it was incredibly dark. I was expecting a brighter red. This one is a dark color, almost brown. I compared it to my Re-rooted Midge, and it's close to her color, and I believe her's was originally an auburn. I can't hold the color difference against Retrodoll, it was just not what I was expecting. What I can hold against them is how it felt. I'm not sure why, but the Copper Penny hair feels incredibly greasy. When you touch it, it leaves a greasy feeling residue on your fingers. Even the bag feels greasy. 
Also, these not a lot of hair in these hanks. The copper penny one was marked as 3.25, so it was one that they were intending to sell. I know they mainly do ponies, but there's no way this much hair would fit a doll. I would need to purchase at least two to fully root a doll, maybe even three. And I'm just talking Barbie. Anyone with a bigger head would need a lot more. The Kanekalon is just as small.

So that's my experience with Retrodoll. I'm not going to be contacting them about the wrong hair because, hey, it was a free sample. I will however not be buying anything from them. The terrible almost FIVE month wait was practically a deal breaker, but the unsatisfying products which I received was a sure way I won't do business with them again. At least it only cost me time.