Ahh so you've found the awesome world of facebook auctions, and shows huh!! I can imagine you probably feel a wee bit intimidated and overwhelmed!! It's normal I think we have all been there.
I'll never forget my first listing either. I mucked it up atleast 20 times before I felt good enough to hit the "Post" button.
All groups do have files that explain what a listing should include and you can find examples on the wall but I do agree it can still be rather intimidating.
So I've been doing auctions online and shows with my jewelry for quite sometime now and I can say after you get over that initial fear, it's all good from there on out. You could list in your sleep and you'd be fine :)
So just in case I'm going to explain how the auctions work and later I'll talk about online spotlight and trunk shows....
Auctions: Online auction groups are for listing a few items at a time only. Please always read the groups rules which can be found either where it says "view pinned post" or in their "files " section. You always want to read through and agree to the rules so the admins know you have read them. The rules, times, and number of listings allowed will vary group to group so that's why it's important to read each groups rules. I actually have a notebook that I have written down all the groups I frequent, the number of items I'm allowed to list, and any special instructions I may need to know, along with the groups url (link).
Now you will see many weird abbreviated words such as SB, BIN, BI , and PM. Three of which a dollar amount will follow. One will not.
SB: means it's the "starting bid" it's the lowest price the artists will accept for that item
BI: bid increments meaning if Sally bid the sb of $10 , Joe can then bid $11 and Edna can then bid $11.50, however most bid increments are $1.00 increases. And most sellers like myself won't even use a bid increment. The seller will determine what the BI is.
BIN: means "Buy it now" that is the price the seller wants if you want to forgo from playing the bidding game. Sometimes we come across an item we must have right then and bin it right away so we don't take a chance of losing it.
PM: means "private message" This is how you communicate with a buyer when the auction ends. (More on this will be in blog part 2 coming later this week )
Now almost atleast 20 times a day someone asks what an "anti-snipe" rule is, basically if someone is holding the high bid and Sally comes in to swoop Edna's bid away at the last second then she is SOL cause the seller is allowing Edna five more minutes to respond and re bid. Now for me personally I hate the anti-snipe rule I think it's stupid. The fun of bidding gets taken away If Sally wins then good for her. However there is a sound reasoning behind it and it's usually a rule for higher end items . You will never see me use it however I like the fun and adrenaline rush bidding brings to the game. Most times I won't bid on items with that rule either.
Photos: So you are allowed one clear bright photo in your main listing and usually allowed 2-3 more to be added in the comments section (tips for these to follow in blog 2 as well)
Description: This is where you add any information you want your potential buyer to know. Always include what the materials are that your design has. Metals, beads, whatever it is. The length or size, color, etc. If your design was inspired by something do tell about it. You want to draw people in, you want to make them want to own your design.
Shipping: Everyone ships differently. So whatever your shipping details are add that in.
Auction start/end time: all groups allow for different lengths of times your allowed to list an item. I generally only post for 24 hours. But please always put you auction end date and time. Use your time zone , as buyers will figure out the timing in their own zones.
Paypal: This is how you will invoice your buyer when the auction ends either from a BIN or at the auction end time. (More on this in blog 2)
So these are the basics for an auction style listing. I will cover more details and tips in the next blog so be sure to follow up. Auctions should be fun and the environment of the group should make you feel comfortable. Will you sell your item right off the bat? Well I don't know depends on who your item is making a connection with. So don't feel discouraged.
SPOTLIGHTS & TRUNK SHOWS
Yessss this is where I see people running for their life. Afraid to even take the leap. Shows do really seem intimidating but......there is always a but right??
Spotlights and Trunk shows can be very invigorating, you learn so much about yourself, you meet some of the most amazing people including fellow artists. We as a community come togeher to help and show support.
A spotlight show usually runs only 24 hours and some groups will have 1-3 artists spotlighting together. It's a magnificent way to get on that sound box and share with the world the beautiful creations you offer. Will they always be successful?... no. . no they wont, some shows you'll get many likes and compliments and no sales, however this isn't to be looked at as a bad thing, not meant to discourage you, it doesn't mean people don't like your items. Even the most seasoned artist doesn't always have a productive show and guess what??? That is perfectly fine. It just means you'll try again and again. In the mean time people are getting to know you, they are getting to know your work, your style, your passion. Sometimes just letting go and putting yourself out there has the most amazing benefits. It's also about developing an online presence. My advice is to make something that shows who you are as an artist, what inspires you, stand out from the others, find your niche. Never be afraid to show the world who you are.
Trunk Shows usually run 24-48 hours and feature only 1 artist, again this is your time to shine, this is your time to make people aware of who you are, to show them what you offer.
Both types usually require that you list a minimum of 10 items. This shouldn't scare you off. You can do ten items in no time. Earrings are always great, but also offer a necklace and a bracelet. I know an artist who only makes earrings , she has developed a large following and she sells out in every show she does...why??? Because she has found her niche..
She has stepped up to the plate and hit that ball out of the park,,, she has made her mark among the community.
Shows in any form are always so much fun. If your still unsure of yourself, please follow a few shows, your always welcome to stop by any of my shows, I do have a "stalker fan club" of artists who have been following me to see how I work my magic which is totally humbling because they are artists I greatly admire, I've shown them the tools to a great show and one has already had such amazing success in her first two shows thus far... I do believe I created a monster :p
So these are the basics on auctions, shows, and listings.
Please don't ever be afraid to put yourself out there. Many of us aren't as BAM in your face ( I am because it's how im wired) but many are very shy and that's okay. This is all online and we don't make judgements ! you as an artist alone speak for yourself. Never second guess your work , art doesn't need to be perfect, find yourself and create from within. There are so many amazingly wonderful artists out there.
When I first came into the scene I was scared my designs wouldn't be good enough that even being in the same groups as others I would fail miserably.
But one thing I had that I want you to always have is FAITH!! Yep faith!! Have faith in yourself and faith in your craft. Please don't compare your work to anyone else's that alone will give you the wrong impression. Rather be proud of what you create, it's your heart and soul that made it, we all offer something different and unique, it's why it's handmade!!!
So my fellow artists I leave you now to ponder wether your going to take the leap. If your unsure or your still a wee bit afraid come and find me and I will help guide you along the way.
I hope this blog part 1 has been helpful in explaining the basics. Please stay tuned for blog 2 later this week where I will offer more tips and advice on running a successful show. As well as tips for writing an awesome auction style listing!!!
Until next time....