Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The CraftStar Update



I hope this finds you well and prepping for a busy holiday season.  I can’t believe we’re at the end of October already … where has the year gone?

As you know, we’ve made some major changes with The CraftStar recently.  We hired a new tech team who are (pretty much) rebuilding the site from the ground up.  While this is taking longer than I would like (where is that magic wand??!), they are creating a great foundation for us to grow upon. 

While we have been / are going through changes, the one thing we are totally committed to, and always will be, is the HANDMADE market.  While other sites may be straying away from this, it will remain our basic tenet.   

You will have noticed fixes and changes coming through on a regular basis, but the main one we’re waiting for is PayPal and shipping activated.  This is scheduled for the beginning of next week.

We need to tidy up a couple housekeeping issues in our shops for when this all goes LIVE.  Please make sure you have either you PayPal address in your account, your bank details or both.  Shops that have neither forms of payment will not show up when we activate the big push, as the buyers won’t have any ways to pay the seller.  So this is quite important.  You will find this under PAYMENT INFORMATION in your log in. 

Another thing … for your shop URLs to work properly, can you please go into your account, click MY PROFILE, then EDIT and make sure your USERNAME (under Profile Details on the right) is all one word; no spaces, and alphanumeric only.  Commas, dashes, etc confuse the system.  This will ensure your Shop URL is:  http://shopname.thecraftstar.com

We are delighted to see many people returning to The CraftStar and re-opening shops.  While we’ve had a bumpy road, we WILL get there and I think our perseverance and the noticeable improvements are making The CraftStar an attractive venue to sell on.

We will not be charging listing or membership fees until we feel the site is solid and something we’re very proud of.  Please help us spread the word and let your crafty friends know about this!

Following next week’s big push, we have an extensive ad / promo campaign lined up ready to go.  This will bring much more awareness to the site, so it would be great to have those shops stocked up and ready to go.

Kim has her HANDMADE HOLIDAYS hat on and has set up some promotion routes dedicated to that.  Here’s what she has to say about it:  
 
We have created a page, http://www.facebook.com/TheCraftStarHolidayGiftGuide, where sellers can be content contributors and personally add their own items to the Facebook page this holiday season. To become a content contributor you need to go to the fan page and first like the page. After you have liked the page you should then email kim@thecraftster and include the email address you use to login to your Facebook page. Kim will then add your account and you’ll be free to promote your handmade or supply TheCraftStar listings!
Make sure you invite your friends to like the page! The more we share the page with our friends and family the quicker we can grow the page this holiday season. To invite your friends watch this quick video tutorial via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjUIwS_vL1k
Every day we will Blog (Tweet, Tumblr, Pin, etc) our Top 5 Handmade Holiday items every day. We will be using all of our social media resources to shout our holiday gift guide from the roof tops! We will promote your shops as much as possible, but we need your help too! The more we all like and share each other’s posts the more likely items will appear in our friend’s feed.


I love the idea of a FB page purely for promotional purposes.  If you join it, expect to see some great gift ideas!  We find the items we currently post on FB and Tweet, Pin, etc are the items that sell the most. 

As we’ve said all along, we want to create a crafting community where the members support, nurture and help each other out.  We have an amazing group of people on site and it’s such a pleasure seeing the support you give each other.

Once the big pushes are through, we will start up our live broadcasts again!  I miss those get togethers, and I think they’re going to be a great benefit to us over the HANDMADE HOLIDAYS.

If you have any questions, as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me:   Bethan@thecraftstar.com

We’re here for YOU … to make you craft STARS!

Bethan


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