Friday, February 28, 2014

The CraftStar Flash Sales / Unique Interactive Auctions


The CraftStar is delighted to announce we have teamed up with another innovative company to offer: The CraftStar FLASH SALES / UNIQUE INTERACTIVE AUCTIONS.

What Does This Mean?

We’ve had lots of requests to create an auction platform that follows The CraftStar’s basic philosophy of: fair pricing, seller support, video marketing.

What’s the Difference Between a Flash Sale and An Auction?

Glad you asked, that means you’re interested in participating!  One of the main complaints we’ve heard of auction platforms is the fees are too high – in both listing fees and percentage taken out of sale.

“FLASH SALES” are FIXED price auctions.  If you list an item for $15.00, it will sell (or not) for that price.   You will not have to accept $5.00 for something you’ve worked very hard at creating or curating.

The “AUCTION” component of these FLASH SALES is that inventory will be limited, and / or exclusive to that sale and the items available at a discounted price for a certain amount of time (starting with 24 hours).

How Will This Work on The CraftStar?

We thought about building a separate website, but through hard earned experience (!), we decided this would A: take too long B: cost too much money – which would mean that cost would be reflected in the charges to our auction participants.

So, we’ve teamed up with a very successful and creative third party, who has lots of experience in facilitating auctions.   Creating this partnership, and using their technology, means we can keep our costs to participants at very fair levels.

What’s the Technology?

The auctions are run via Facebook and Instagram.  What’s SO great about this is, the more sellers who participate and promote, the more awareness of these auctions will be created.

It’s a remarkably simple and effective set up.  We (The CraftStar) set up the FLASH SALES / INTERACTIVE AUCTIONS ahead of time with YOUR items.  When the SALE is LIVE, the items appear on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  When a buyer comments SOLD, it triggers off a PayPal invoice to the buyer.  When the buyer checks out with PayPal, your inventory of that particular item goes down by 1 (or more if they purchase multiple.)

When the item is sold out, that message appears on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  Sellers will then have the opportunity to drive customers to their shops on The CraftStar to buy other items at regular prices.

If the buyer doesn’t pay within a certain amount of time, the inventory is freed up, and made available to people on the waiting list.

How Does the Seller Get Paid?

At the end of the auction, we’re going to start by keeping them active for 24 hours, The CraftStar will transfer all your sales money, minus transaction fees, into your PayPal account.

OK ... So What Are the Listing Fees and Transaction Fees?

As this is a new endeavor, and as all new things take time to grow (and this growth period will depend on the promotional participation of the sellers!) we will be starting with very low fees.  Even as this grows into a great success, we will always keep the fees affordable … and remember you’ll KNOW what you’re getting for each item … a buyer will not be able to knock you down to a quarter of the value.

To launch (and for at least the first 4 weeks), each auction will have a maximum of 5 sellers.  Each seller can have up to 5 items listed (with as much inventory as they wish.) 

Fees:  FREE LISTING UNTIL MAY 1, 2014.  Transaction fee: 10% of sale to The CraftStar.

So, When The CraftStar Flash Sales Become a Hit, Are You Going To Hit Us With Fees?

No!  That’s (part of) the whole point of us offering this platform – we want to give you a fairly priced alternative to what’s out there.

We will however need to cover the management costs of these auctions.  And when we get to a reasonable point of sales the listing fees will be attractive. *

How Do Sellers Promote?

If you are already a member of The CraftStar, you will know we are very active on your behalf on social media and with video marketing.  We will create videos for you to share promoting each auction and all the items up for sale.  We will also create still images for you to share.  The more the sellers promote, the more successful the sales.

AND … as we LOVE broadcasting … we’re tying in our YouTube activity into these auctions.  We will be hosting LIVE / INTERACTIVE shows when the auction goes live.  Sellers will have the opportunity to join in if they’d like, and buyers will have the opportunity to ask questions.   It will be a sales party!

This combination of pre-promotion, the participation of all sellers on social media AND the activity on YouTube is going to create a totally unique and exciting shopping experience.

Sounds Great!  How Do I Sign Up?

That’s SO easy!  Please go to our Facebook page - and click on the AUCTIONS / FLASH SALES tab.

We will soon send out an email explaining this to all sellers on The CraftStar asking if they’d like to participate.  Participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis as we will be scheduling the FLASH SALES / AUCTIONS weeks in advance.

Questions You May Have:

Who Is the Third-Party?

Soldsie.  They have an incredibly successful track record of launching and growing this sort of sales.

Do I Have To Be a Member of The CraftStar To Sell?

Yes.  The CraftStar FLASH SALES / UNIQUE INTERACTIVE AUCTIONS will be open to CraftStar sellers.  You can sign up here:

When Are We Starting????

We are scheduling the first FLASH SALE / AUCTION for March 13, 2014. 

When Will the Auctions Take Place?

Thursdays:  5pm PST / 8pm EST
The auctions will be open for 24 hours, and we will broadcast LIVE at the launch.

When Will I Receive Promotional Materials To Promote Auctions I’m In?

We will send you a video and still image, which you can share on ALL your social media platforms, on the Friday before your scheduled FLASH SALE / AUCTION.  The more you use these promotional features, the more successful the sales!

What Can We Sell In the Flash Sales / Auction?

Everything that is sold on The CraftStar:  Handmade, Vintage, Crafting Supplies.

The most successful campaigns are those with unique and limited inventory.  You’ll want to include items currently not available in your shop.

There will be NO RESELLERS.  That’s a PROMISE.
(with the exception of crafting suppliers)

Can I Tell My Friends About This?

Yes!  We’d love you to.  We want to get the word out to all interested sellers and buyers.  We are really excited about offering this platform!

Can You Please Remind Me of How I Sign Up?

Of course!  Just go to our Facebook page and click on the AUCTIONS / FLASH SALES tab.

*subject to change with advance notice

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