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Friday, February 25, 2011

I heart the Happiest Place on Earth!

Mickey Mouse Party Confetti - $7
In addition to crafting, one of my other hobbies is saving money.  Most people like to save money, but there are some people that really put effort into it - and I am one of those people.  I like to think I can find a coupon for everything, and I follow numerous Facebook pages and blogs about couponing and deal-seeking. 

I get asked a lot: is it really worth it?  Spending all that time just to save a few bucks?  YES!!  Especially because I save way more than just a few bucks.  Not only that, it's actually really fun. I love to see the look on my husband's face when I find a smokin' hot deal. 

I will be turning the dirty 30 this October, and I decided that I wanted to spend my birthday in Disneyland - the happiest place on earth - with my mom.  No offense to my wonderful husband (love ya babes!), but the very first person I ever went to Disneyland with was my momma, and it's just not the same without her.  My mom grew up on the East Coast, and did not take her first trip to Disney until she was in her 40s and living on the West Coast.  She's a total kid at heart and fell in love with Disneyland.  She took me for the first time when I was 17, and even though we didn't have a lot of money, she'd save all year for us to take a special mother-daughter trip down every year (I think I learned a lot about deal-seeking from her!).  We haven't been there together since I was 22, so this trip will be a special one.

Why am I blogging about my love of couponing and Disneyland together in the same post?  Well, because I found this on one of my favorite blogs, FabuLESSly Frugal, about how to maximize your dollar in Disneyland.  I'm posting it here not only because I wanted to share these great tips from a former Disneyland employee, but I want to be able to reference it myself later - ha!

Oh - and in related crafting news, I just picked up some HOT deals on Disney scrapbook kits on clearance at JoAnns!  I used a free shipping coupon, and scored three kits for $8.98 each - regularly $24.99.  I haven't decided if I'll keep 'em for myself, or if I'll put them together for my shop.....maybe I'll do a little of both!

Are any of you Disneyland lovers like myself?   Do you have any frugal tips you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear them! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Renewing Success! Preliminary Results......

Its been three weeks since I implemented the strategies outlined in nerd Jerk's article about being smart when planning your Etsy item renewals.  Even though its still early in my experiment, I was eager to see if it was working so far.

I ran the numbers comparing the three weeks of my experiment (January 19 - Feb 10 ) to the previous three weeks (December 28 - Jan 18), and was surprised to see that it *IS* working, even after just three weeks!  While a lot of my Etsy friends are reporting a dip in visits and sales, I'm experiencing an increase in both.

Here's what I did:
-Determined my highest traffic hours of the day using Google Analytics
-Used to set at least two items to automatically renew each day during my peak traffic hours
-Edited most of my listings to cross promote my items by including a link in the beginning of each listing to a similar shop section or matching/coordinating items

Here's how it went:
-My unique visitors have increased by 11%
-My page views have increased by 14%
-I saw a 38% increase in the number of first-time shop visitors

Here's how that translated into sales:
-My number of sales increased 200%
-My revenue increased by 65%

WOWZA!!!  Yes, it is still early, but I'm thrilled to be seeing these statistics thus far in my process.  I'll definitely keep analyzing.  I also learned something about my peak times, which happen to be around noon and then again at 7pm.  I saw better results when I only renewed items during the noon hour, as opposed to splitting them between noon and 7pm.  I now only set my items to renew during the earliest peak hour of the day.  However, when I renew items very early in the day (at say 8am instead of waiting until my peak time of noon), I had lower shop/item views.  In summary: renewing early in the day doesn't necessarily bring more visitors for me, but renewing at my first peak hour of the day does bring in more visitors, even if that happens mid-day. 

Has anybody else been trying this experiment?  How has it been going?  If you haven't done it yet, are you planning on it? 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Caution: Serious Sweet-Tooth Action!

This shop is one of my current Etsy obsessions - because I am addicted to sugar!  Tookies is one of my TreasureMe Team teammates, and there isn't anything in that shop that I wouldn't eat.  Check out a few of my favorites - and maybe find some new favories of your own!  YUM!!  If I ordered anything, I know it would be gone by the end of the day, but I just might have to order anyway! 

Sweet Snickerdoodles, 1 dozen, $16

Heart Shaped Brownie CookieWitches, 1/2 dozen, $15

Smores Ganache CookieWitches, 1 dozen, $25