Monday, September 30, 2013

USPS Proposed Increases for Medial Mail, Parcels, Etc

USPS Proposal of Increases For Media Mail, Parcels, and etc is being shared. 

Hope ya'll had a super weekend! Enjoying the weather here in NW Iowa while we can. Warm, windy, and really hasn't been too bad.

Hope ya'll aren't getting tired of me quite yet with me repeating myself regarding some of the postal increases being announced, shared, and proposals that the Postal Service is submitting. I had found an Ecommercebytes link in one of my emails about this particular issue which tells us just a little bit more about it. Thought I would come by here to share it all with you. 

Visit Ecommercebytes for their article titled "Sellers to Pay More for Media Mail, Parcels under USPS Plan". They are wanting to increase 3 cents for first class mail as I had mentioned before, but many of the changes that the Post Office is trying for would have more of an impact with the online retail community. 

The proposed changes being discussed is just that too . . . Proposed Changes. It will have to be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission before any changes can be implemented.  

So, when you have a chance to visit, and read more about this issue just click on the Ecommercebytes here, or just above here, and that will take you to it.  

Thanks so much for sharing your time at LilacsNDreams, and hope to see you all again soon. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

USPS Postal Increases After First of the Year

 USPS Postal Increases After First of the Year

Just a little note to those who deal with shipping for your hobbies, crafts, online businesses, and etc. If you haven't heard it on the news yet you can expect the famous postal increases we generally get after the first of the year. If I heard correctly they are looking at first class mail charges going from .46 up to .49 is what was reported. Of course nothing is definite with the increases yet, but I am sure they will be coming to us soon enough. 

I know, it makes it hard in dealing with the shipping that we all deal with on a day to day basis. I cringe when I hear it as I always use the USPS services for my shipments, I generally ship priority mail which now includes the insurance up to $50 with it, and knock on far I have had no issues with this service. I like the free boxes I get that works for the sizes of the items I sell, and I try to be fair in giving the postal service business as well. Just makes it hard when the shipping costs keep rising, and how that effects all of us.  

It's Thursday, and the weekend is almost upon us again. Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams, and hope to see you again soon. I wish you all well, and have fun with the rest of the week. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shipping Success For Online Retail Sellers

Shipping Success For Online Retail Sellers  

Online Sellers share many things, many experiences, and of course many stories. One thing that many of us have in common is dealing with different shipping carriers. It can be very tough to sell if you cannot ship. There is lots to consider which is not always easy. If you find a solid procedure that works it makes things much easier for you, and for your customers. 

We all sell many kinds of items with shapes, sizes, and weights to consider. With the range of shipping methods, and packaging types you need to organize the best options for the items that you sell. Shipping methods will not just be about pricing. You need to look at choices offered with insurance, tracking, signature confirmations, and etc. You should be able to find these answers on the mail carriers website you are researching, and considering. 

Most customers like to have all the numbers right up front when they are buying. With this in mind I myself like to do an estimated cost of shipping. Measure, and weigh your packages. Having a scale at home is very helpful for shipping cost estimates too. For some sellers a kitchen scale works fine for them. Now, if you wanted to be a little bit more secure with shipping numbers take your packages to the post office. Then, keep track of some of the common item weights for future references. After weighing your items you can use the shipping calculator online for the shipping service you are using. United States Post Office, The United Postal Service better known as UPS, and many have found Fed Ex to be a great source for shipping too.  

Developing your shipping plan, and defining your policies is a good practice. Things to consider would be what your processing time will be, will you be offering insurance, will insurance only be offered for certain items, a versatile one is will you offer returns & how will you handle the shipping with that, how will you handle items that are lost or damaged through shipping, will you offer expedited shipping or may international shipping ( with international shipping you will deal with custom forms, duties, and taxes), will you offer free shipping, etc. It is easy to see the list can become lengthy. 

Develop your routine, and make sure to communicate with your customers. Like, what's the benefit of having/offering insurance if no one knows that you have it. Over time you will experience how sometimes the shipping challenges will be out of your control, but are just an experience that is a part of online selling. 

Make sure to stay alert with all of your shipments, and keep good records as well. Proof of shipping, pictures of items and packages before shipping, insurance, your label receipts, tracking, and all of these things can be very helpful in the event of any issues that might arise with your shipments. For any issues you can always go straight to the shipping carrier used, and talk with your shipping provider.

Shipping may seem like a procedure that isn't an important issue for your online retail business, or that it should be simple to handle. It can be a much bigger part of your plan to consider, and to be dealt with. Don't let it scare you. Once you get a feel for the service you have chosen things actually can run pretty smoothly. 

Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams everyone, and hope you enjoyed this bit of informational about shipping. See you all again soon. Have a super day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Upcycled Repurposed Handmade Candle Holders

                  Upcycled Pink Cupcake Stand, Candle Holder Stand

               Pink Candle Holder For Her by SecondChanceUpcycles

     Upcycled Vintage Brass Candle Holders in Aqua by PaintJunkies

 Vintage Plate and Tea Cup Ring Holder Candle Holder by happybdaytome

  3 Wine Bottle Candle Holders Lighting Upcycled by Orchard Design Studio

Upcycled Repurposed Handmade Candle Holders

Candle Holders for holidays, parties, special occasions, weddings, bridal showers, etc. You name it candle holders are popular for use everywhere. Many of us have some form of a candle holder within our homes some where. 

Yeah, you can shop at your regular home town stores for the traditional candle holders made of glass, wood, for the walls, and etc. If you want something unique, one of a kind, different shapes, sizes, and colors you need to check out people who are crafty offering such things. Maybe you want to make them yourself which makes it a unique piece for your home, and a little more precious too. 

So many things are used in making diy candle holders. As you can see above, or will find on the internet they are made from cut glass, some are painted, pieces are done by gluing them into forms offered, use a little mod podge with some lace or doilies on a jar, tea cups with saucers, picture frames, and so many things are used. 

Why pay the money with places like pottery barn when you can make candle holders yourself? Better yet buy unique pieces from talented people who make them, and offer them from their shops. Visit some of the links above with the pictures, see what is offered, get some of your ideas from viewing, and follow to many others making these pieces too. 

Thanks for sharing your time with LilacsNDreams, and hope to see you again soon. Till the next time everyone . . . . Toodles . . . . . 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY Picture Frame Makeovers Wall Projects

                  annabooshouse frame makeover frame into picture board

                            Floating Frames Makeover

             All Things Heart and Home Picture Wall Makeover

DIY Picture Frames Makeover

I know I have brought this up before, but I just see so many neat things others are sharing on the internet of the how to of doing makeovers with frames. Not only do they share some instructions of what to do, but the ideas and creativity is amazing at times too!

Above you will see just a few ideas I have shared. Click on over to see what else these people have to share with ideas, and sometimes instructions for their projects too. 

So many neat things to do with picture frames. You can paint them, put a frame inside a frame, make floating frames, create picture frames into corkboards, make some chalkboards, put letters inside the picture frames, make pin boards, add a mirror to a frame, do some mosaic work on the frames, etc. Not only can you use picture frames, but maybe you find a gorgeous frame with a mirror you would like to upcycle, or repurpose it. Sometimes the mirror may be bad, and needs to be removed, and there sits this adorable frame that you must decide what to do. This is a time to have fun, and be creative with it. When creating there is no right, or wrong way of doing it. What makes you happy will work. 

Sometimes frames are bought new at the stores, maybe found in clearance isles, and better yet when you are thrifting with some of your favorite thrift stores you may find treasures to use. 

However you decide to do your makeovers, have fun with it, and enjoy it as well. So many ways to decorate with them! My list of ideas is growing, and I think maybe it is time for me to get busy creating some things myself. If you live in an area like me, winter time is a great time to be working on some of these projects too. 

Thanks so much for sharing your time with LilacsNDreams! Hope to see you all again soon. Happy hunting, and happy sales to everyone!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thrift Stores and Good Will Stores Charging Too Much

Thrifty Stores and Good Will Stores, Are They Charging Too Much?  

There are many of us who have our favorite thrift stores we like to frequent. As you are strolling through some of these thrift stores have you noticed that with some of them the prices are becoming a bit spendy on things? Can you still find some items that are maybe below the thrift prices that we had become accustomed too?

Some of our local Good Will Stores have been fairly good with their prices, but that definitely is not the case with all of them. During my thrifting I had found a couple of Good Will Stores that had become quite spendy. Due to this I no longer shop with them either. 

I find it disturbing when some of the thrift stores have prices on their clothing that is higher than what you would find at like Walmart, or maybe with Target too. If you are willing to spend some time digging around for a while you can locate some items that are marked well, and are affordable thrifting prices. 

Another thing that sometimes is disturbing is that prices for some of the items of interest I find are being priced as they would be on Ebay. Out of curiosity I have asked a couple of different clerks how they were determining their prices for some of these higher end products being found. They told me that is what they are selling for on Ebay as the answer. Sorry, but the answer of Ebay kind of gives me a chuckle. These places are not auction houses, or places that take bids on items as Ebay does. Using Ebay for determing prices is not always the sure way for pricing items at thrift stores. Ebay has prices that fluctuate all the time. Sometimes it will end on a higher price, and at other times it could end on a price for maybe $5. It depends on the want for what people are searching the internet for, and what they are willing to bid on it for at that time. 

I have inquired with clerks before if anyone pricing in their store was using collectors books to do so. Some of these books upon research can give you an estimated idea of what your items are worth, but again it does not say that is the selling price of the items either. Generally items will sell for about 1/2 the price of what you see listed in these books. Unless, as mentioned before, someone has a want for the item, and they are willing to bid for it till they get it. 

I guess I assumed that thrift stores were places to go, and shop with for items for your homes, your home decor, to craft with, maybe repurpose, or refurbish too. Some of those who have an income a little bit less than others rely on these stores to shop at for clothes for their children, for the adults, to supply them with work clothes needed, and to help with their kids being better accepted with other kids at school by wearing similar clothes to them. 

Many of these particular stores have items donated to them. That is one less big expense for them with their inventory. They have automatically saved cost there with buying their items, and then having to price according to their purchase price. 

Recently I had come across a little article at ecommercebytes that talked about this same issue as being discussed with the prices of some of the thrift stores. Give it a click, and stop on by to read what they had to say, and what others have commented about as well. 

So, what about you? Have you seen some of this price trend when you have been thrifting? Do you think maybe it is certain items that they are doing this with, or maybe they are just doing it to be doing it? Something to think about a little bit, huh?

Thanks so much for sharing your time with LilacsNDreams, and hope to see you all again soon. Till the next time have fun, enjoy, happy thrifting, and much luck with all that sell online too. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Blogging With LilacsNDreams

Monday Blogging With LilacsNDreams

Hi, and Welcome to everyone! It's Monday again, and I hope everyone survived the weekend. It sure has cooled off here, but it has made it quite comfortable here as well. I was gone for a couple of days this weekend. Had the iPad with Me, but my nephew some how took it over using it. So, I just let him have fun. Nothing special this weekend, no thrifting, no junking, no treasure hunting, just simple days of relaxation that is sometimes needed. 

So, what are your plans for the week? Will you be creating anything, shopping, looking for some vintage collectibles, doing any listings, etc. I hope to get my week started with revising of listings I have with Etsy, Ecrater, and Ebay. Simple adjustments, but it takes time with all the places revising. You know changing pictures, adding these words, removing these words, adjusting my shipping prices, and so on. 

I wish you all a wonderful week! Thanks so much for visiting with LilacsNDreams, and see you all again soon. Happy Monday to all of you!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Season of Fall Autumn and Halloween is Soon Here

                       Fall and Autumn Sunset Through Trees

                    Decorative Pumpkin With Candle For Fall Autumn

                     Halloween is Coming Soon Upcycled Boo

                      Painted Decorative Pumpkins Make a Catepillar

Season of Fall Autumn and Halloween is soon here

Seasons are changing with evidence of the leaves changing on the trees, nights are starting to become a bit cooler, some of the hot weather is starting to cool down for many, and all over we are seeing designs of the season as well. This time of year gives decorators a chance to bring some of the festivities with autumn colors into our homes. Also, a fun time with some of the creativities that are down for outside our homes, and also inside the homes too. 

So, is this your favorite time of the year, and if so what is it you like about it? I know with Fall it means that winter is lurking around the corner, and will be visiting us soon. Cold weather I do not like, but watching the colors of fall changing is a beautiful site to see. I also enjoy seeing some of the fun creations for decorating by many. Just like that adorable caterpillar made from pumpkins pictured above. I have seen this done before with orange pumpkins, but this one showing is different, fun, and unique. 

Thanks so much for sharing your time with LilacsNDreams, and hope to see you again soon. Take care, have fun, enjoy the change of the season, and have a fun filled weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vintage and Silver Plated Trays Upcycled Repurposed Displayed

                 Vintage and Silver Plated Trays to Upcycle

      Vintage Inspired Kitchen Wall Display With Silver Pie Tins

       Upcycled Painted and Chalkboard Silver Trays

       Silver Trays Used For Vanity Organization and Decor

Vintage and Silver Plated Trays Upcycled Repurposed Displayed. All these silver trays, and what to do with them? They are many things that can be suggested to do with your collection, or inventory of silver trays.

How many silver trays do you have in your closet, are collecting dust, or maybe you have a pile of them because you are not sure what to do with them. There are so many really neat things that can be done with all of these. Doesn't matter if some are tarnished, polished, and of course what size they are. You can always find a way to display them, use them, or revive them too. 

When you research the internet with google, bing, or maybe pinning on pinterest you will see many suggestions for use. Add a cloche to them, make them into a chalkboard, you could also make magnetic message boards, some make cake stands, paint them, design mosaic work on them, etc. You could also give them a really good cleaning, and display them on your walls, use on your tables, on your vanity organizing, on top of the dresser, and the possibilities are endless. 

Click the links with the pictures to see more possibilities, how some of these people did the creative work they did, search google and bing, and most of all check out pinterest. After viewing some of these you might ask yourself "Why didn't I think of that?"

Thanks so much for sharing your time with LilacsNDreams! Hope you found some possibilities, and were able to add just a few more ideas to your notes. Take care, and see you all again soon. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hang Onto Your Wooden Hangers to Upcycle Repurpose

                              Upcycled Wooden Hangers Decouped

                           Upcycled Vintage Wooden Hangers Into Towel Bars

                            Upcycled DIY Wooden Hangers Into Coat Rack

                                Upcycled Repurposed Wooden Hanger Gallery

Hang Onto Your Wooden Hangers to Upcycle, and Repurpose them. Such wonderfully neat, creative, do it yourself ideas being shared for those wooden hangers collecting dust in our homes.

How neat, and so many things you can do with those vintage wooden hangers that you are staring at, and thinking . . . should I keep them, what to do with them, throw them out, or better yet . . . What can I create with them? There are some different styles, and different sizes of those old wooden hangers that we either have, or we find when we are thrifting. Many times we look at them thinking I won't use those, or who uses these anymore? Like anything there is something that can be done to revive them with a new life for another purpose. 

As you can see from some of the pictures above a few ideas where shared by others on what to do with some of these old wooden hangers. You can decoupe them, make some towel bars with them, make a coat rack with them, paint them, use them in a photo gallery in your home, use them to make some wonderful upcycled lighting, I seen a dish rack made with some, and there are so many creative ideas being shared on the internet for us to get our own ideas. 

Don't you think these are neat? Is it something that you would have never maybe thought of? I know some of the ideas I seen I would have never guessed. I am thankful for those who share their skills, and ideas with us that we too can create such neat things. As always make sure to click the links under the pictures to take you to where you can either find some instructions, more ideas, and to have fun with too. 

It's great being back here with everyone! Thanks so much for sharing your time with LilacsNDreams. See you all again soon. Till the next time, have fun creating!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LilacsNDreams Vintage Collectibles Handmade and Upcycled

Hello, and Welcome back to LilacsNDreams everyone! Wow! I truly have been gone a little longer than I thought I would, or anticipated. I have dropped by now, and then to catch up on things. Can't ever stay away from here completely you know. 

I do hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. Now, is everyone getting ready for the seasonal changes, and the holidays with their online shops or brick and mortar stores? During this time I thought I would do a lot more than I did with crafting, shopping, and of course am disappointed that I did not. But, it felt good to take some long needed time away, sort through a few other things, and to come back here raring to go again!

I enjoy offering vintage collectibles, handmade, upcycled, repurposed, and homemade for your home decor, for those cottage homes, to add a touch of maybe retro or vintage in the home, and upycling pieces to better blend with your lifestyles. I still offer my items at Ebay when they run listing specials. I much prefer either Ecrater, or Etsy myself. But, with selling online you work with what is all available to you, right? I have work to do with Ecrater, and Etsy adjusting prices, freshening up some pictures, and of course adding in more treasures offered too. It's always a working progress, don't you agree?

It's Tuesday, and I hope everyone is able to get back into the routine of things after the long holiday weekend. Time of year with seasonal changes, getting ready for the big holidays, kids are back into school or college, and some of us have just a little more Me time too. 

Thanks again for visiting with LilacsNDreams, and hope to see you again soon. Toodles . . . . . . . .