Setting Up Shop

Today is lesson #1 in your new adventure....joining The CraftStar.

Step 1 - the landing page.

When you click on the link above, or visit www.thecraftstar.com you'll see this...


..the landing page.

From here you need to click on that wonderful star, or shop at the top, or sell, or the pink Shop TheCrafStar button...and it will take you to...


...the front page.

Here you can see all the ways to shop in the section on the left.  You'll also see the featured items, shop collections, and recently listed items.  To join, simply click on the blue join and you'll see this.

Step 2 - the sign up page.




Just fill in the blanks, and remember, you only need one email sign in for multiple shops, for one small fee.  Once you hit the join button you'll see this...


So go and activate and get ready for success!

Good Morning Class....today's lesson is setting up your profile and other important information.


Signing in is as easy as entering your email and password.

Step 3 - setting up your profile.


To get to your profile, click on your name.


And this is what you'll see....a perfect blank canvas to tell your customers all about you.
You'll notice the section on the left with all sorts of cool stuff.  We'll talk about them later.
Click the pretty pink edit button.


The name you enter here should be your real name, not your shop name.  This name will also show up in the forums, and most customers like to know that they are purchasing a handcrafted item from a real person.  And the next box is where you can tell your potential customer about you.  Be sure to fill this out with information like your specialized talents, any awards or education you may have received, and where you are located.  You don't have to get super personal but share what you are comfortable with....most customers do read your profile and no (or little) information will not give them the confidence to order from you.

Now for all your social media links.


Adding your links to the about you section does NOT take the place of this very important section.  The information you supply here will show up on your shops front page for easy connection with your customers.  So please take advantage of this part and fill in ALL your social sites.


Scroll down and you'll see where you can enter your gender, and your photo.  Yes, a personal photo is important.  A professional type of photo is important.  No, you don't need to pay money to a professional photographer (though that would be nice), just don't use a silly picture.  Don't be dressed in your pajamas, or use weird filters to make your face round or skinny or anything totally unusual.  Weird is fine, and I myself had a hard time finding a picture where I wasn't sticking my tongue out or crossing my eyes, BUT you want potential contacts to take you, and your talent, and your business seriously.  So chose a nice, and still true to your personality, photograph.

Here is where you can also change your password, if you ever need to.

And don't forget to click the pretty pink update button after each section.

When you're done your page will look something like this.


Don't worry, when your customer sees this, they won't see the edit button. :0)
The photo at the bottom left is the start of the contact section, this is where all your social media buttons will appear.  Next class we will go over all the sections in the left hand box.
(Yes there is more to do BEFORE you start loading your shop with all your amazing items).

Lesson 4 - Extra information for your selling experience.

Today we're going to take a quick look at some extras you'll find to use in your shop.


We just finished our Profile, and we'll come back to the My Shops section tomorrow, so let's check out the payment information page.


Pretty simple and straight-forward, hit edit, and enter your PayPal info so you can start raking in all the moola! lol  And did you know that you can order a free debit card from PayPal to access your funds without having to transfer the money to your checking account?  I didn't, but I do now.  :0)



Next is Products Purchased so you can track where you're spending all the moola you're raking in. LOL.  You will see a list of your orders with a view order button next to it.  That view order button allows you to print your order, share what you purchased on your social media sites, leave a comment for the seller, and most important...a button to rate the seller.  If you purchase an item from another shop, please, please, please take the time to rate the seller, as this rating will show on their shop page for other potential customers to see.

Next button are your Products Sold.  It looks pretty much the same as the above page, with an added button, Request Rating.  This button will only show on the orders that your customer did not give a rating for, so you can send them a gentle reminder.  And it's automated so you don't have to beg in an email, just click and it's done.


Next is Support Request.  If you have any issues or questions, this button will connect you to the powers that be....as you can see, again this is easy to use, and you can track your requests, and our responses here.  If you need help with your shop site, please ask it here, not on the forums.  This also helps the support team to track the issue closer in order to satisfy you.


Next is Moderate Comments.  Here you will find the comments your customer have left you.

Next is a list of your Collections, and I'm saving that for a separate class.  They are lot of fun to make and a great promotional item.

The next two buttons are where you will find all your saved favorite items and shops.


The last button is for your Feedback.  Your star ratings will show here on your profile page.  Great info for your potential customers.

That's it for today....tomorrow we start the fun part....setting up our shops.

Lesson 5 - Announcements, policies, and banners


After logging in, click on the your shops link at the top of the page, it's right next to your name.
Then you'll see this...


Yep, it's time to set up your payments to The CraftStar.  Believe me, this will be THE BEST $5.00 you ever spent...with an incredible return.


First up...your shop name.  If this is your very first time selling on-line, you will want to really think about your name, because this is how your returning customers will recognize you and find you.  If you already sell on-line, and have an established name and brand, you can use it here too.  This is an important step, so don't rush the name....make it memorable.

Next is the currently on sale check box.  Please....only click this box if you are actually having a sale, with a discount, and remember to share your discount code in your shop announcement so your customers will know how to take advantage of your gracious offer.  If you click this box without offering a discount, that's not really fair to the other shops that are truly having a sale.  This can be very frustrating for a customer to follow the site link to the list of shops on sale, and then have to scroll through a bunch of shops that are not offering any discounts.

If you are going on vacation, here is the easy click box to make your shop invisible.


Now for your shop announcement and policy....these NEED to be filled out.  The announcement will show up at the top of each shop page, so you need to have something there.  A welcome announcement, your sales information including coupon code, a little story...just put something there!  And tag words...add tag words (without the hash mark) in your announcement.  This includes your shop name, specialty work, and holiday announcements.

Next is your shop policy, if you offer digital downloads, or custom work, discuss it here.  Better too much information for your customer than too little.  Also, share your return policy...do you accept returns?  Or just exchanges?  Basically, tell your customer everything you think they need to know to do business with you.


Now for your avatar and banner.  You'll notice that for my avatar here, I did not use my personal photo.  That's just my preference.  You can use your photo, or any image you have a right to use.  This means, don't just do a google search, and then use any image you like that you see, unless the original site states that it is a free image.  There is A LOT of free images out there you can use, I used one of the photos for one of my items.  And do you like the banner?  I give a big shout out and thank you to Rhonda...she made this for me.  In a matter of just minutes.  :0)
So if you are at a loss trying to create your avatar or banner...please...please...please ask for help.
Just contact Rhonda@thecraftstar.com or Carrie@thecraftstar.com

Lesson 6 - taxes, sales, and other links


Here's something I didn't talk about during our last lesson...
sales tax.


As you can see, you can choose your country, state, and tax rate, if you choose to charge tax on your sales.  Some people do, and some people don't, that's between you and your friendly tax man. lol

And if you are the type of person that loves to look at charts and graphs and that stuff, here you can enter your Google Analytics number.  I know that our CEO Bethan loves to check out GA numbers and trends, and while I have my GA account linked up, I still am not sure what exactly I am looking at...there's a great subject for a future boot camp lesson.


Every new potential customer is interested in the sales history of the shops they visit...a shop with lots of sales generally means a shop with great items and customer service.  
Here's another great thing about The CraftStar that you won't find anywhere else...
YOU can include ALL your sales.  The CraftStar does track the sales you make through the site, but here you can include the sales you make on your own website, and even off line sales, like from craft shows and home parties.  Plus, you can share where you sell off line, like at local shows, brick and mortar stores, and farmers markets.


Then there are testimonials...if your customer raves about your craftsmanship, quick shipping, or great customer service...share it here. :0)

The last link is for your shop video URL.  These are great commercials that you can share here, and on your other social media sites....while a picture is worth a thousand words, a moving picture is worth ten thousand words.  And if you don't have a video...just call Rhonda@thecraftstar.com
she is our video expert, she made mine. 

And last, but not least....
don't forget to hit the update button to make all this information live in your shop.

Once you update, you'll be brought back to this page.


As you can see, there are more buttons to try.
The my products button will take you to....yep, your products. lol
Then we have coupon codes, custom categories, and a CVS import option.


Next up we'll look at the coupon codes and categories, but the import button....I don't have a clue....I've never used it.  So hopefully, if I ask nicely, I can get someone to teach that lesson for me.

Lesson 7 -Listing your items, categories, tabs, and photos


LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!


Ok, now that you've gotten this far, your shop is ready to fill with your lovely creations, but first we need to set up our custom categories.



Click on the top pink button and enable your custom categories, then move down and add your first top level category.
Now, you can have as many categories and sub categories as you can dream up...but I personally follow the KISS formula.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  :0)
I also suggest that you take the time and decide what categories you want first, then have your list ready when you start making your categories.  Your page will look like this.
**Note - you do not need to create custom categories for your items to be searchable. 


Now go back to my shops in the section on the left and then click on your shop name, for class we'll be listing in Rusty Art.


As you can see, you have several tabs at the top, all your items that are completed and ready for sale will show up under active, while adding items you can choose to have them as featured items (meaning they will always show up at the top of each shop page), if you used the CVS import tool your items will show up under the imported tab, your in progress items are drafts (you can not delete a live item, it must be made a draft first), sold items, and an expired tab.....even though your items do not expire so you do not have to worry about relisting.
These tabs do not show when a customer is visiting your page, only you can see them.

Click at the top right pretty pink button to add product.


When you name your product, use good descriptions, but you don't need to stuff your title with tags, that's what the tag section is for...and don't use cutsey funny product names, you want your title to be good and searchable.  

Position in shop...you can set up a specific order for your items to show in your shop, or you can leave this blank and it will sort by listing date.

Next are your tags....
tags are important because they are used for the searches.  Here are some articles to help you with your tags.  You can list as many tags as you desire.
Tags...what they are and why should I care
HOA boot camp on tags

Then your price.

Product Status is where you can decide if you want your item featured, or if you are not finished with entering the item information yet, make it a draft to save your work till next time.


The quantity...if you sell an item in a set, list the quantity by set not each item.

Now for the categories...here is where keeping a chart of your categories is helpful, if you have a lot of categories and sub categories.  (After the items are live, I'll show you how the categories work on your page).  The first 3 categories are set for The CraftStar site, your's is the custom category.
Be careful if you click on the enable link here, it will take you away from the page you are working on and you will lose your work.  Which is why I showed you how to make your categories first.


Now the product photos....I can not stress enough just how important this step is!!!
A picture is worth a thousand words, and your item pictures are worth $$$$
A good (or bad) picture will determine if that customer makes a sale or not...plus good pictures help us here at The CraftStar promote your items...if your pictures are blurry or dark or even too busy, they may (will) get passed over for collections and features and just plain sharing.
Here's some extra homework on improving your item images...
Polish your photography skills
Digital Camera World
How to make a light box video
How to make a light box article
You can search for all sorts of helpful hints on product photography, but the very first thing you should read it...your camera manual!
And if these all fail you, hire someone.  Or check with your local community college photography classes, maybe you can trade with a student who is building up his portfolio.

Don't forget our own how to guides on site.

Lesson 8 - Make your listing live

Good Morning students,  today we're going to finish up our first item listing.
First...sign in....open your shop...click on the draft button...and you'll see this...


On each item in your shop, under any tab, you'll see the options to edit/duplicate/delete (you can only delete from the draft section).  The duplicate button is great if you have remake your items after they are purchased, or whenever you want more than one listing of an item.  Today let's finish our listing...hit edit.
DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE THIS FROM A DRAFT TO ACTIVE FIRST THEN
Scroll down to where we left off...your product description.


MAKE YOUR DESCRIPTIONS COUNT!!!  A potential customer cannot touch or smell your item, so while your great photos caught their attention, it's your amazing descriptions that will catch the sale.  Use words to evoke emotions. Be expansive in your expressions if your are describing color or smell.  Tell the customer why they need this item.  Share a story or history about your creation.  And don't forget size and measurements.


A new options we have here at The CraftStar is a variation section.  If you offer your item in a choice of color or sizes, here is where you share that information with your customer.


Now your shipping information and costs.  In your profile you have already stated your return policy, so here you will share your shipping policy.  How will it ship, when it will ship, and anything else special about shipping that particular item.  And then you add your shipping costs.  Local shipping first, and then


International shipping.  When you check the international shipping box, it will drop down all this other information for you to fill out.  If you don't check the box, you won't see all of this.  I have never shipped internationally, so I truly have no idea about costs, taxes, or tariffs.


The components section is where you will list everything your item is created from....
type of yarn-paint-metal-fabric-paper
you get my drift.


This last section is a great addition, these badges show up at the top corner of your item page, and you can choose as many as you need.  So if your multi-media item is created in Canada with vintage watch parts on recycled paper, click all 3 appropriate buttons.  :0)

Then update...this will make your item LIVE!

And this is what you will see next...an easy way to promote your new item right away.


So that should do it for now...you are ready to fill up your shop with all your great creations.
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