Sunday, June 19, 2011
Contact Etsy, Ebay, Paypal, Artfire, etc...
Even though almost 100% of the time, these sites don't do anything to punish the scammers, it's just protocol.
2. Contact your network on Facebook, twitter, blog, youtube, etc... and tell ALL of your friends and networks about the crime so that the criminal can be identify by many others. Your networks also includes your teams, forums, groups, and guilds online as well.
Heck, they should have billboards plastered with pictures of all of these criminals' faces instead of stupid ads that no one wants to see on the freeway!
3. Write to Etsy Entrepreneurs and we will post your story and the criminals who have committed the crime so that others may be warned and steer clear of these scammers.
4. Write to: http://etsycallout.wordpress.com/
Tell them your story and let them know. They have a wide network of viewers as well, so this will help spread the word.
5. Contact Regretsy.com
Tell them your story. Like etsycallout, they will help spread the word about the scam and con artist.
Any other tips, please comment so that we may all learn together. Let's band together and shut these criminals down!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
CHECK OUT HER SUBMITTED TREASURY:
With Any Man Can Be A Father, But It Takes A Special Person To Be A Dad
Congrats to all and remember to share the love!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
The buyer purchases an item from you; then after the purchase is complete they contact you requesting that you send the item to a different address than the one that they have listed in their Etsy and PayPal accounts. If you do that, you will be forced by PayPal to refund the customer if they claim they never got it. In other words.....they have the item and a refund.....and you, the seller have zip.
If you don't ship the item to the other address they asked you to ship to; the customer will be angry because the scam didn't work in their favor....so they will come up with issues with the item; and either leave negative feedback or they threaten to leave negative feedback if they don't receive a full refund.....and they still expect you to allow them to keep the item.
They will say they moved and never got the item because you refused to ship the item to their new address that they sent to you after the sale was completed. Which let me make very clear....DON'T DO IT! PayPal will take your money out of your account and refund the buyer if you did not ship to the address listed in PayPal.
The worst part of this type of scam is that you can't do anything about it. Etsy will allow them to get away with it. Etsy will go so far as to tell you to work it out with the buyer, and to refund them or give them another item.....they offer no assistance at all.
In other words; if you don't refund the customer and allow them to keep the item you will end up with negative feedback from the customer.....and that's okay with Etsy.
My latest scammer went into great detail in her feedback; stating the item was damaged, rusted, scratched, etc.; basically calling the item a piece of junk.....and said that she was "ripped-off" by me. She never once tried to contact me prior to leaving the feedback to let me know of any problems....she just told horrible lies when leaving feedback because her scam didn't work out in her favor. She thought I would ship to another address, but I decided to contact PayPal about it, and I was told "Absolutely, under no circumstance do you ship to another address.....and it sounded like a scam to them".
After she left the negative feedback the buyer finally did contact me stating she would consider changing her feedback if I refunded her in full. Keep in mind that she wants the item, and admits that it's a cute piece in her convo to me.....and that she wants to keep it. She never once asked to return the piece for a refund.....even though I had mentioned that she could have returned the item for a full refund, rather than leaving negative feedback.
She also made it quite clear that she understands the Etsy's feedback system....and that the negative feedback that she received from me doesn't show to the public or to other sellers, so she could care less. She even went as far as to gloat about that fact, and how the negative feedback only hurts me, as the seller. She even added a smiley face after the comment to let me know she was gloating about her not being affected by the feedback.
The Etsy feedback system is totally unacceptable and unfair to all the honest sellers. I think as sellers here on Etsy we need to make it clear that these feedback policies only hurt the honest seller; and should be changed to make it a fair place for both buyers and sellers to conduct their business.
I'd love to hear from other sellers.....what scams are you dealing with? I think as sellers we need to look out for each other.....and let others know what kind of scams are being perpetrated here on Etsy!
Also, as a seller.....how do you feel about the feedback system? How have the changes affected your doing business here?
Saturday, June 11, 2011
It's important for us at Etsy to ensure our community is safe while using the site. Unfortunately there is no foolproof way to ensure safety online at all times. Sometimes all we can do is give information and hope that well informed users will be able to protect themselves. As the Etsy name spreads throughout popular culture and the world, it is bound to attract more and more unscrupulous individuals with ulterior motives. Unfortunately, this happens to web companies as they become more popular.
One of the most common scams is known as Advance-fee fraud. Also called the "Nigerian scam" or the "419 scam," this type of scam is frequently seen in emails where a person claims to be looking to engage in a business deal involving a large sum of money, but these scams are now cropping up more and more on online retail sites.
How this scam shows up on Etsy:
Typically this scam begins with the scammer sending out Conversations (also known as "Convos," Etsy's internal messaging system) to a wide range of Etsy sellers, specifically those that list one or more high priced items. In some cases the scammer may simply purchase some of these expensive listings. If they have checked out and committed to buy these listings, it's likely they have not "paid" in any sense and will send a Conversation along with their purchase.
The Convo will usually indicate that this buyer will pay with a money order or a cashier's check and will need to tack on an extra amount for their "shipping agent." Usually this amount is very high — sometimes even higher than the original cost of the listing. If this is agreed upon, then the buyer will send out the money order or check and typically a fake "invoice" from the shipping agent. They will then request that any over-payment from the money order be sent back to them.
This works because the check or money order (typically from an overseas bank) is a forgery. Your bank may allow you to deposit it, and then by the time the bank realizes it is a forgery, you have already sent back the over-payment to the scammer. Once the forgery is detected your bank will hold you liable for the amount, and now that the con artist has their money, you will not hear from them again.
What to do:
If you receive any suspicious Convos like this the best thing to do is ignore them and report it to Etsy's Support Team or forward the Convo notification email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If an item was purchased from your shop, you may cancel the transaction as well.
Sellers should never send any money in a situation like this, no matter what reason is given. If you do find yourself facing a potential loss, or realize too late that you were being targeted by a scam, be sure to contact your financial institution as soon as possible. You may also want to contact local law enforcement. Again, let us know about this and send us the pertinent information, so we can take steps to remove and block these types of users from our site. Please share this article with your family and friends so we can spread awareness!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Read all about Christine and her beautiful line of handmade jewelry!
READ ALL ABOUT CHRISTINE
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE WINNING TREASURY:
With Any Man Can Be A Father, But It Takes A Special Person To Be A Dad
CHECK OUT ALL OF THE PARTICIPATING TREASURIES!!!
Congrats to all and remember to share the love!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I noticed that ThePeppermintTree is one of EE team members and I wanted to warn you about this buyer and seller. I do not want for her to take advantage of other Etsy buyers and sellers on your team.
This particular individual used to be a buyer on Etsy by the name of BrenBooneDesigns. She is now operating under a new username: ThePeppermintTree.
On February 13, she purchased one of my items for almost $50. On February 2011, she wrote positive feedback for me that she had received this item and was very happy with it. Soon afterwards, I wrote positive feedback for her because she had paid for this item in a timely manner and had written what seemed to be genuine positive feedback. I strongly regret giving her positive feedback now, but unfortunately it is too late.
On April 2011, I received an email from PayPal saying that this buyer claimed that she had never made this purchase and that someone was using her credit card in fraud for this item. Soon afterwards, I received an email from PayPal saying that the buyer's credit card company had reversed the charges and that I was being withheld the $50.I tried contacting her 3 different times regarding this problem and never got a reply. I noticed shortly after receiving the PayPal emails that she no longer had a shop under the user name of BrenBooneDesigns. I have 3 pieces of evidence against her:
1. I have a copy of the original transaction
2. I have a copy of the postal receipt
3. I have her positive feedback as part of my feedback history in my store.
PayPal said that it could take up to 75 days for the buyer's credit card company to make a final decision whether to rule in her or my favor.
Today, May 20, I received an email from PayPal saying that the credit card company decided to rule in her favor, despite all the evidence that I had produced against her.
She has a Facebook page under Bren Boone Designs:
on this page, she has linked it to her new Etsy shop that she just opened on May 13, 2011: ThePeppermintTree.
I can't help but wonder why her original account, BrenBooneDesigns, was suddenly removed from Etsy. I have now noticed that her new shop, ThePeppermintTree, is "on vacation." It seems suspect to me that if she just opened this shop on May 13, that she would be putting her shop on hold this soon afterwards. It also makes me wonder because her last sold item was on May 19, 9 days ago.
I would be happy to send you copies of the transaction, the original positive feedback, etc as evidence. I also have the various PayPal emails saved.
If she did this to me, I'm pretty sure that she has probably tried doing this to other Etsy sellers as well.
Beware of this person!
Please contact me with any questions or additional information that you might have regarding this individual.
I simply feel like this person has probably gotten away with her unethical practices too many times.
I actually did call PayPal and spoke to someone very nice. But he told me that PP was not the one to make the final decision...it is up to the buyer's credit card company. They said they didn't want to become "involved" in this incident, yet was going to charge me a $20 fee just for intervening. Fortunately the guy must have felt somewhat sorry for me because he waived that fee (since the total amount was only about $50). But I was less than happy with the way PP dealt with this.
I have tried contacting Etsy several times about this buyer but never get a reply other than their generic email saying that a "real person" will contact me asap. Not so!
I have a feeling that she is a real con artist. Often times people who suddenly disappear from Etsy and then come back with a different user name are suspect. And that is exactly what she did.
I have not mentioned her name in any of my FB pages, blog, etc. And I don't want to get in trouble with Etsy for "calling out" and possible retaliation from this particular individual.
But I'm very glad to hear that you have taken this seriously, because Etsy and PayPal certainly have not.
I've tried contacting Etsy several times regarding this person but have not gotten anywhere with them. My first email to them was over a week ago. I sent them another one a few days ago and absolutely nothing.
I find that all these comment on her FB page about welcoming her to the EE team were strange and suspect.
Interestingly enough, when I search for her under "seller search" on Etsy, nothing comes up. I've only been able to link to her Etsy site via her FB fan page. Something very fishy is going on here.
This is VERY strange. Because earlier tonight she was a part of your team. Now she isn't. This is really bizarre.
Now this is really strange ...I found just about all of the comments from other EE team members welcoming her have just been deleted! We both saw all the comments, but now they are gone (at least I can't see them).
Something very strange is going on here.
Yes, she used to have another shop on Etsy by the name of BrenBooneDesigns. That one is no longer in existence. I noticed that she quit that shop soon after she filed that false claim to me via PayPal.
She also has a personal FB page:
I didn't find much info here (unless you become a friend, I think most of it is hidden). But that is her personal site and she also has a blog.
**Anonymous** The victim have asked not to have her name or etsy id exposed due to fear of retaliation from the con artist.
If you have been a victim of an online scam yourself, please write to us and we will post here:
Online Scams- Protect Yourself
PLEASE FOLLOW THESE RULES FOR COUPON CODES, PROMOTIONS, AND DISCOUNTS:
Only coupon codes that DO NOT expire will be posted here. Please do not post coupons that have expiration dates, or temporary sales of any kind. We want to keep our page current and up to date. If you make any changes to your coupon codes or current discounts, sales, and promotions, please notify one of our leaders ASAP! or comment on this page, so that we can make the changes immediately. Failure to follow these rules will deny your shop the rights to be featured on this blog.
What can be posted?
Coupon Codes: Percentage Off Coupons or Dollar $ Amount Coupons
Shop Promotions: (Including Free Shipping and Discounted Shipping)
Discounts: BOGO SALES (Buy One Get One Free, Buy 3 get 1 free ect...)
You may post more than 1 coupon codes, promotions, and discounts; as long as none of them expires.
**Coupon Codes, Promotions, and Discounts can be from your Etsy shop, Artfire shop, etc... as long as you are a member of our team**
How to post your Info:
1. What category do you sell? Examples: Supplies, Jewelry, Vintage, Crochet, etc...
2. Your Shop Name & URL (links, including the http://www.shopname.etsy.com or http://www.shopname.com)
3. A picture of an item or group of items that show what you have on sale.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Create an EE Team treasury within ten minutes using EE team members products! In this challenge you will choose whatever products your eyes are drawn to first to include in your treasury.
1. In a new tab, search for the words "eeteam" and/or "etsy entrepreneurs" for our team members items.
2. Select one or two items per page that your eyes are naturally drawn to. Feel free to skip pages, go back and forth, start from the end, etc. because there are tons of items! Since there is only 10 minutes there is little time to choose a theme, but if one happens that's amazing!
3. It's fine if it takes longer than 10 minutes; just try to do it as fast as you can.
4. Tag your treasury with 10 minute challenge, and ee team/etsy entrepreneur team.
5. Send a message to all members with your featured items to let them know they should check it out, share, and comment.
6. Post your treasury to the 10 minute challenge discussion as well as your twitter, facebook, and blogs for all to see!
When you are done, please post your finished treasury in this thread for other members to see, share, and click. Thank you for your participation!
Monday, May 2, 2011
Did you know that we have a wonderful Team Blog filled with so many AMAZING and helpful information?!!!
Well, here is your chance to get increase exposure for your shop!
WHAT IS IT? Are you an expert on a topic or field of practice or craft? Well, here is your chance to get noticed! Share your wisdom, knowledge, and experiences with your fellow EE Team Members. We are always looking for members who wants to write articles for our blog. We read all articles and info before posting it, and combing through all of the not so important details. Our featured articles are well written, have a nice flow to it, easy to follow, informative, and packed full of knowledge.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU? Just so you know, our team blog gets on average 100-200 views a day and on peak days, 600+ views a day. With people from all over the world viewing and reading our blog. In addition, with the majority of our traffic coming from Google, other websites, Social Networking sites, and numerous other blogs and search engines. That means that being on our blog will get your shop exposed much further than just in the realm of Etsy alone.
We always credit the author of the article. And if an article is written from an EE Team Member, we always attach your shop avatar with a link to your shop with the article. This is a great opportunity for those of you that don't have a blog to still get blog exposure!
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED? Have a great topic that you want to share? Please let me know of your topic. Write your article within 1-2 weeks of getting the stamp of approval. Once you are done with your article, send me an email with the article to proof. I will also share the article proof with another leader/s on our team. Once everything looks good, it will get posted and you will be notified when it does get published. We are looking for many many good articles and contents. So there will be many features! Each author and article will be featured on different days. Our goal is to have at least 1 featured article each week.
WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR IN AN ARTICLE AND AUTHOR?
1. No noticeable grammatical errors. Hence we need to proof the article before posting. Nothing is perfect, so every now and then, a few small errors might slip by.
2. A good topic. One that is helpful and practical. Or one that is encouraging and uplifting. Anything to benefit our team, our members, and their businesses and/or life.
3. Please include pictures (if you can and if you have any pertaining to the topic written). Pictures are great because they tell a thousand words.
4. Please make sure that article submissions are topics that our members relate to. And we want to keep our current theme cohesive: business topics, business related, anything to save money and time, craft room decorations etc... Anything to make our lives more simple. Not sure about an idea or article?, feel free to convo or email us and discuss it with us Thanks.
5. A nice flow to the article. You don't have to be a professional writer. Just write from the heart.
Any other questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks and hopefully we will get many of you excited and willing to participate.
TEAM EMAIL ADDRESS: EtsyEntrepreneurs@gmail.com
Thursday, March 10, 2011
If you are totally new to treasuries check out Esty's FAQ on treasuries
Treasuries are great marketing tools. Not only are treasuries selected for the front page they also browsed by thousands of customers everyday. There are currently 22,641 pages of treasuries with 20 treasuries per page, that's 452,820 treasuries! So it's extremely easy to for any treasury you create or that you are featured in to get lost. But we have a secret weapon! We have a team of over 1,100 members to help push our treasuries to the top pages!
Treasuries are listed by "hotness" not by creation date. Hotness is determined by how much activity a treasury generates, views, clicks and comments. With 1,100+ people and all their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to visit our team treasuries we can generate lots of activity pushing our treasuries to the first pages!
So that makes our treasuries easy to find but are they front page worthy? Will Etsy pick it to be featured? You don't have to be a mind reader to figure out what Etsy is looking for. They tell you! If you haven't found the merchandising desk yet head over and take a look. The link is below. In addition to the desk Etsy will send you emails telling you what they are interested in! The link to sign up is also listed below.
If you build your treasury around one of their trends it is more likely to be selected. And DON'T feature yourself! Treasuries are about sharing the love.
But at the end of the day it needs to be beautiful. Don't just pick random items from team member shops. Compose your treasury around a color, theme, season or story. Here's an Etsy Storque article about how to curate an amazing treasury. www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/how-to-make-a-great-treasury-list-671/
So before we begin the challenge, please tag ALL items in your shop that you would like to have other EE TEAM members be able to find in a search for items to put in their treasuries. (You can tag a few items or all items in your shop if you want).
1.Check out Etsy's Merchandising Desk. www.etsy.com/storque/search/title/merchandising/
2. Sign up for at least one Etsy newsletter www.etsy.com/mailinglist
3. Create a treasury based around a current trend Etsy has promoted on the merchandising desk or one of the email newsletters using at least 8 items from Etsy Entrepreneurs Team members.
4. Tag your treasury with the tag EE TEAM, EtsyTeam and Entrepreneurs
5. Send a convo to every seller featured in your treasury letting them know you've featured their item and asking them to come take a look.
6. Maintain your treasury by revisiting at least once a day to replace any items that have sold and respond to comments.
7. Comment on every treasury you are featured in.
8. Comment on at least 10 Etsy Entrepreneurs team treasuries you are not featured in. You can find them be searching Treasury for the tag EE TEAM
9. Promote your treasury and the ones you are featured in on any platforms you can, Facebook, your blog, Twitter. Etsy gives extra brownie points for using the tag #EtsyTeamTreasury on Twitter. I don't tweet so I hope that makes sense to those of you who do!
All right, when you are done with your treasury, please post them here so that all of our team members can view it, comment, click, tweet, blog, FB, etc..
We have over 1000 members, and if each of us make at least 1 treasury to share and then click on each other's treasuries, just imagine the amount of exposure that we all would get! I'm so excited just thinking about it. This challenge will last for about 1 week to 1.5 weeks. I want to give people enough time to tag all of their items and then make treasuries of items that they find.
Okay, let's have FUN!
TO PARTICIPATE, PLEASE GO TO OUR TEAM FORUM:
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Made up of a little bit art and a little bit science, proper tweeting is essential if you want your Twitter account to work for you, and not against you. There are a lot of opinions out there about the right way to tweet. Like so many things, it really comes down to the fact that there isn’t a single answer. It depends a lot on the type of business you have and what you’re trying to accomplish with your Twitter account. So how often you tweet and which combination of the types of tweets you use is not addressed here. But it’s just as important to explore the different types of tweets and know what your options are. So here’s a breakdown to get your brain working:
Personal - Twitter is for connecting with your audience. One of the best ways to do that is to let them get to know you. The type of business you’re in will dictate the nature of these tweets. For instance, if you’re a blogger, you can afford to be more personal, as you’re probably on a personal level with your readers anyway. If your business is tax consulting, you might be more concerned about how your clients will see certain kinds of tweets. That doesn’t mean you don’t tweet personal stuff, but you might be more inclined to tweet about your son’s soccer team winning last night, and less likely to tweet about the cool iPhone game you just found. The key is to show your human side, while adding some value in the form of insight into your life or maybe something entertaining. Tweets like, “Had a bowl of cereal for breakfast,” while personal, are probably of little to no value regardless of your goals.
Useful 3rd party information – Posting a link to a blog post, video, e-book or other useful tool or information will help your followers and show them that you’re interested in more than just self-promotion. If you have a way people can save money or learn something interesting, share it, and they’ll keep checking your feed for more.
Re-tweets – Re-tweeting is saying that what someone else had to say was of value, and you’re letting your followers know that you respect the person whose tweet you repost. This adds value to your followers by passing on useful or entertaining information, and it lets the original tweeter know you appreciate them, which strengthens bonds on both sides.
Thank-yous – Mom was right – saying thank you is always a good idea. You can tweet thank you messages to thank people for following you on Twitter, which is a good way to connect, but might be difficult to keep up with, especially as your followers grow. Another way to use Twitter for a thank you shout out is for off-Twitter deeds. If someone wrote a guest blog for you or has agreed to speak at your event or webinar, for instance, thanking them on Twitter will accomplish the thank you, and it will get the word out about the blog or event as well.
Promotional – It’s no accident that this is last on the list. Twitter folks are very leery about people using Twitter for blatant self-promotion. That doesn’t mean you should never post a link to your products or services. It just means you need to be careful that you don’t turn anyone off. There are a lot of supposed “golden ratios” out there, ranging from 1 promo post per 3 other posts, to 1 per 10. The “right” one is probably somewhere in the middle, and again, it depends on your business and your goals.
If you want to see someone who uses a combination of all of these to effectively market her business, check out @MariSmith‘s page. Everything from her page design to her tweeting strategy are outstanding. Then again, she’s a social media consultant, so she’d better get it right! Do you have other recommendations for optimizing your Twitter efforts? Share your thoughts below in the comments.
Thank you to our member for finding this article: CrochetBabyBoutique
Saturday, March 5, 2011
1. The value of treasuries: The main value of treasuries is exposure. But now that there are thousands of treasuries the exposure can be very limited. The Etsy team does select from member created treasuries for the front page but they aren't going to search down to page 57 to find them. You want your treasuries to make it into the first ten pages if possible. The question is, how to do that? You want as many views, clicks and comments as possible! Here are tips on how to achieve that.
2. Treasuries are searchable! You can search by your shop name to see any treasuries you have been featured in or created. The activity feature does show you treasuries you have created or been featured in as well but lately I've been experiencing a sporadic delay of 12-24 hours so I search the treasuries at least twice a day. Always always comment at least once on any treasury you're featured in. If you created the treasury respond to the comments you receive.
3. Tag you treasuries! The tags you use are also searchable. You want to tag treasuries as much as possible. Always tag treasuries featuring your team mates with the tag Etsy Entrepreneurs!!!! We are blessed with an enormous team. If half our team commented on your treasury it would have 500 comments. Also use a any trend tags Etsy Finds has been sending out in their emails. This is what the Etsy team is currently interested and is likely to search for when picking the front page. You want to use color tags, theme tags, style tags, season tags etc.
4. Composing a treasury. The Etsy team doesn't always just pick the hottest, most commented on treasury. The are looking for a beautiful well composed treasury. Select your items with care, compose them around a color, style, trend or subject. Include a variety categories, jewelry, home decor, paper goods, clothing, photography, painting etc. Also Etsy will not select your treasury if you feature yourself!
5. Using team love. We have an enormous out pouring of enthusiasm right now. To harness that on treasuries we should all take a few minutes a day to search the treasuries for "Etsy Entrepreneurs" and give those treasuries some love. If you've created a treasury but didn't use that tag don't worry! You can go back in and add it! That way the entire team can find and support the treasury even if they aren't featured.
If you have any tips I didn't include please post them!
Thank you to our member TopiaryDesigns for this wonderful post!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Studies have said public speaking makes as many as 3 out of 4 people anxious. But that was before Facebook.
The 650 million people on Facebook suggest that most of us are getting over—or want to get over—that fear of communicating (or at least sharing pictures) in public. In just a few years, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have given billions of people the chance to connect to an audience they would never had access to before.
But now that you’re becoming comfortable in public, you may begin to wonder: Am I revealing too much? In a world with the NSA, TMZ and Wikileaks, do I have any privacy? Is it possible to be a public person and still protect my information from being misused?
The more visible, attractive or rich you are, the more you’re a target for the haters, the stalkers and online criminals of the 21st century. Heck, if you have a credit card, you’re a target for both the online criminals and unscrupulous marketers of the world.
Sharing personal information in an age where data can travel faster than lightning requires a 21st century view of data privacy. Some think it’s vain to worry about privacy. But don’t think about your ego, think about social engineering.
Wiktionary describes social engineering as “The practice of tricking a user into giving, or giving access to, sensitive information, thereby bypassing most or all protection.” Criminals have discovered that human error is the easiest vulnerability to exploit. If you’re not careful, your private data (or even public data) can be used to fool you into making mistakes that even your award-winning Internet Security can’t prevent.
Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s not an excuse. Once your private data is stolen, you’ll have to deal with the consequences. The good news is that you can do a lot to make your data more secure
My nephew once told me, “Facebook is so easy that even old people can use it.” And by old people, he meant me.
I agree with my nephew. Most people who use social media don’t suffer significant negative consequences for doing so—or there wouldn’t be millions of new people trying it every day. Stories of people being fired or arrested for what they’ve done on Facebook are rare. But they get lots of attention because Facebook is the superstar everyone knows.
Only a small percentage of those on social media fall victim to the worst of identity theft, malware or scams. And that’s still too many people suffering needlessly—especially because most of these scourges are avoidable.
If you learned to manage the benefits and risks of email, you can do the same for social media. Here a few things you can do to help keep your private data private.
1. Decide why you’re social networking.
For some, social networking is an extension of your private life. You mostly interact with people you know or would like to know in the real world. The main topics of conversation are personal. Even when you delve into entertainment or politics or sports, it’s about sharing opinions to have fun and connect. Intimacy is the goal so private things are often shared nonchalantly. For instance, you might reveal what you did on a day when you played hooky from school or work.
For others, social networking is like interacting at a conference. You’re seeking out people in your industry or whom you admire. Conversation is like a cocktail party—being interesting and on-topic matters. When you talk about entertainment or politics or sports, it’s a way to network and establish trust. You want people to feel like they know you, but getting too personal too fast raises red flags. For instance, you may reveal what you did on your vacation but only in a way that you wouldn’t mind your boss reading.
For a growing number of people, social network is a chance to build a little fame or fortune. You’re looking for an audience who trusts and enjoys you to the point you might even sell them things. You converse with fellow influencers and friends but you also broadcast for a targeted or general audience. When you talk about entertainment or politics or sports, you’re entertaining or engaging an audience while establishing expertise. You may share extremely private details or never talk about your personal life. Either way, you’re establishing a persona that’s relatable to the audience you’re trying to attract. For instance, you may reveal a joke a well-known person shared with you.
By the time you’re out of college for a few years, most people have tried out some variation of each of these approaches to social media. And your approach definitely affects your data security.
The rule is: the bigger the audience you seek, the more you have to think about the information you share.
All of us have to protect our ID, account and phone numbers, our address and our Mother’s maiden name. But if you’re an aspiring Disney star or class president, you have to think about which pictures you take—since you know they’ll all be posted eventually. And George Clooney probably shouldn’t use Foursquare to share his location unless he wants to spend his day shaking hands or filing restraining orders.
We all need to be cautious about sharing details that can be used to scam us. If you achieve, or accidentally achieve, fame, your privacy will become even more precious. So if you want to be internet famous, you need to be savvy about which information you share online—or you’ll have to hire people who are.
2. Secure your systems
Don’t use the default password for your voicemail or anything. Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts. Don’t use work email addresses or passwords for social accounts. Put security software on your PC and your mobile device, if possible. Password protect your Wi-Fi networks. Turn on secure browsing on Facebook. Put a remote lock on your mobile phone. Always lock your PC and mobile devices when you aren’t using them. Keep your system and application software updated. (Our free Health Check makes that easy.) Turn off GPS on your phone and pictures if you don’t want strangers to know your location.
3. Choose services you trust
4. On a social network, your information could be shared with everyone– no matter what your privacy settings are.
Twitter is simple. There are two privacy settings: everyone or “Protect my tweets”. But even if you go with the protected option, your approved followers can still retweet your information to everyone. Facebook’s privacy settings are much more complex. They’re so complex that it almost feels like you should get college credits for really using them. Going with “Friends Only” is a good start, then you have to decide if you want your page on Google (if you don’t want your Facebook page to show up on Google, go to Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites: Edit your settings > Public Search: Edit Settings > Uncheck Enable public search) and if you want to automatically share your information with other websites.
The safest rule is: get your settings right and still assume that what you post could go public so only share information you wouldn’t mind a future boss (or fan) seeing. NEVER share information that could be used to crack your passwords. Also keep in mind that the information you’re sharing that could be used by identity thieves and social engineers.
5. Be available or don’t
There is a difference between following and friending people. You can follow a lot of people but our brains can only handle around 130 friends. Rejecting or ignoring friend requests can be emotionally difficult, but your privacy is more important than others’ feelings. I say follow anyone on Twitter but on Facebook I’d recommend only befriending people you know or trust. And realize that the person is your friend, not their links. If anyone begins to spam you, let them know the problem. If they keep spamming, unfriend them. If anyone harasses you at all, block their communication. If you’re threatened, contact law enforcement.
You have the right to keep your private data secure while living your digital life to the fullest. All you have to do is respect your own data privacy and do your best to make sure that the people and businesses you interact with do the same.
Thank you to our Leader Fasheners for the info for this post.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Blogging about your craft can be another way to get the word out about your Etsy shop, but it also a wonderful way to make connections with other crafters, get feedback, and receive (the occasionally necessary) moral support. Blogging is free and relatively easy.
I’ve been blogging about my daily painting for two years. (You can see my blog at http://carolynfinnell.blogspot.com/ ) I now have 299 followers and close to 100 subscribers. And I have learned a few things about making a blog successful. There are two things you need to do to have a successful blog. 1. Get traffic to your blog for a first visit and 2. Get them to come back again. Sounds easy when you put it that way doesn’t it.
At least 2 times a week, 3 is better. I know many people who will not return to a blog if there are not any recent posts.
MAKE YOUR CONTENT INTERESTING AND PERSONAL.
Write about your process, why you do what you do, what you like about your creations. Write about the experiment that failed as well as the ones that succeed. You can, and should, sometimes write about the things that are going on in your life, but remember the focus should be on your craft. Include pictures, and if the item is for sale in your Etsy store, a link to that item. Reading other crafters blogs will help you get a feel for what sort of things you might want to write about. Whatever you do write, it should be in your “voice”, people want to connect with you as a person, not just as a crafter/salesperson.
USE A PHOTO OF YOURSELF ON YOUR BLOG PROFILE.
This is not Etsy. Your primary goal is not to sell but to connect with other people and those other people want to know what you look like. Having your photo there makes you a real person to them, and that makes you much more interesting. People are much more likely to want to buy from someone they like, and feel they have a connection to. (I know I’m saying “connect” a lot, but it’s really the key.)
THINK OF YOUR POSTS AS A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR READER.
Don’t think of it as writing, think of it as talking, and not to – with - your readers. Invite active participation from them. Ask questions (but not just “do you like this”). Ask them about their experiences, or how they do things. For instance, when I had trouble mixing just the right vibrant pink, I asked how other painters mixed that color. I’ve occasionally asked my readers to suggest a title for the painting I’ve posted. (And gotten some fabulous suggestions.)
KEEP YOUR POSTS RELATIVELY SHORT.
Three or four paragraphs is about the limit anyone will read. Two paragraphs is even better.
TELL YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS AND YOUR EMAIL LIST ABOUT YOUR BLOG.
Get the word out to people who are already familiar with you. Don’t forget to email those people who have bought from you.
LINK UP WITH OTHER BLOGGERS.
Make a link list on your sidebar and ask other craft bloggers if they will exchange links with you. The more links the better. You will get most of your traffic from these links, especially at first.
VISIT OTHER CRAFTER’S BLOGS AND LEAVE COMMENTS.
Make sure your comments are interesting and specific. Not just “I like this” but “I like this because . . . “ And do NOT include a link to your blog in your comment. Most bloggers consider this sort of self-promotion spammy and will delete your comment. If they like your comment, and if their readers like it, they will click on your profile and visit your blog without your asking. Make your comments positive. Negative comments, even constructive criticism, is best communicated in an email. When I first started blogging I made it my practice to comment on at least 10 blogs every day.
RESPOND TO THE COMMENTS ON YOUR BLOG.
Blogger will email you every comment by default. If it includes a return email (instead of noreply-comment [!at] blogger.com) you can respond directly by email. Otherwise leave a responding comment on your blog. Remember, this is about making connections and having a conversation.
CONSIDER A GIVAWAY.
I know bloggers who occasionally will give a painting to one of their followers/subscribers. They will mention it in their blogs for several weeks before it happens. This can encourage people to follow or subscribe. I’ve done it myself with moderate success, but I figure if someone wants to follow/subscribe they will do it without any incentive.
AND FINALLY - BE PATIENT.
Creating a successful blog takes time and commitment. There are no overnight successes in blogville.
Good luck and good blogging.
Carolyn Finnell – aka BayouGirlPaintings
Sunday, February 20, 2011
As a photographer I can tell you right now that you don't need special lighting for displaying your items.
Pick a nice clean pressed bedsheet. Pin it to the wall and let it drape over a table. Be sure the drape is long enough to cover the table front.
Next what colour is your ceiling? If it's white that's great. Go get a single construction light I think you can pick one up for about $20. Here a link for what I'm talking about. This is double head http://www.wilkinsonplus.com/Workshop-Equipment/120-LED-Twin-Headed-Rechargeable-Work-Light-On-Tripod-/invt/rl00046.
Take the light and point it UP to the ceiling. Now you are ready to take your picture. If you use a point and shoot you should be OK. Get down to the level at which you are looking straight on.
Take pic# 1.
Next making sure you still have the sheet in the image, move 45 degrees to one side then the next.
Take pic #2&3.
Lastly. Move in close and shoot some nice closeups to show of the details.
Take many pics and edit them as needed.
Oh and please be careful these lights get EXTREMELY hot.
Let me know if this helps.
For more photo help: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7978/etsy-entrepreneurs/discuss/6783321/page/1/
THIS THREAD IS FOR COUPON CODES ONLY!!!
Please do not post anything else other than coupon codes that you would like to share with other team members. Thank you!
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ADD OR ACCESS TEAM COUPON CODES:
Congratulations for being apart of our wonderful team. Thorough out the next few weeks we will be organizing Team Challenges and a series of business activities and exercises to get you heading toward the road to success.
First off, lets introduce ourselves:
A little bit about yourself and your shop/what you sell.
Don't forget to add your Facebook Fanpage URL, Blog URL, websites, Twitter, etc...
Let's get to know each other.
FOLLOW THIS LINK TO MEET OUR TEAM MEMBERS:
FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ADD YOUR TWITTER:
FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ADD YOUR BLOG:
Team Challenges are designed to help ALL of our members increase exposure to their shops and increase sales. Our team have new members enrolling everyday, so I have to design the team challenges in series of lessons. That way, the new members will not feel like they are falling behind. They can follow and catch up to the rest of the team by simply following these lessons in order. This is the 1st lesson so we all have a fresh start. Ok, here we go....
Starting a business is a difficult challenge and it is also an art. As business owners, we have to wear many hats and have to be a jack of all trades. I know how overwhelming it can be to start a new business venture. Even if you are not a new business, you can still benefit from our team challenge business series of lessons. The market is always changing so you have to make sure that you are adapting to the changes each season. Plus, there are always something new out there to learn. Now, since there are so many topics and lessons to cover, and each of our members are on different growth level of their business; I have to make sure that we are ALL on the same page so that we can move along together.
Now, keep in mind that we all have different business needs. So if the lesson does not pertain to you then you have no homework for the week. Treat these lessons like your weekly homework. Each week, you will be assigned new homework assignments. Your reward at the end of the semester (lesson series) is to see growth in your business and sales.
First off, like I have mentioned earlier, to move forward together as a team, we cannot be doing random things here and there online or in forums. This is extremely non-productive. So to move our team along, I have to make sure that we are ALL on the same page and we will be starting off our Team Challenges on a level playing field. That way, we will ALL be able to grow together. Even if you think that the lesson pertains to you, please don't discount the lesson entirely. Before you decide that the lesson is not advanced enough for you, please give it a try. There is ALWAYS something that you can improve on because the market is always changing.
LESSON ONE: Store Makeover
1. Make sure that you have a cohesive theme and look throughout your store.
1a. Make sure you have a banner with your store name and logo
1b. Make sure you have an eye catching avatar
Your Avatar should be something interesting. It should be eye catching. It should make you want to click on it if you see it in a forum, chatroom, or facebook.
It could be your best selling item. Something that screams You. I see some people putting their picture up as their avatar, but let me ask you this question: If you see someone's picture in a chatroom or forum, would you click on it? Does it catches your eye? Does it stand out among the thousands of other images online? Does it tell others what you are selling? Does it represent/fit in with the theme of your shop? Now do you see my point. It is up to you if you want to use your own picture as your avatar, but I do not think that it is a good idea.
1c. Make sure you have set your store policies: including Returns and exchanges. Many people do not have a return policy in place and then when something goes wrong, then it's just a big mess because you did not state your terms ahead of time. Your store policy is a place where you can state your store terms and what your customer should expect from you and your shop (especially if something were to go wrong). And it is where you can lessen your liabilities. You should state a clear return and exchange policy. Also include shipping and insurance info here too. Just in case, if something were to go wrong, you would be covered if you state it beforehand in your store policy.
2. Take Great Photos
Good photos are not enough...it must be GREAT!
Online shoppers do not have the luxury of feeling and touching your products in person. So your job is to be able to do that for them. You should create an experience for your shoppers by the way you portray your products. Suggest how it is used, but don't just say it, show it with pictures.
2a. Lots of lighting (use natural light, no flash).
2b. Use light color background
2c. Do not use distracting props
2d. Ask yourself if you were in your shoppers' shoes, would you buy your own goods by just looking at the pictures? If you wouldn't buy it, then chances are your customers won't either.
2e. You do not need an overly expensive camera to take great photos. This is a secret, but some of the pictures in my shop were taken with my cell phone camera...can you tell which ones...exactly my point! A good source of natural lighting is the secret to taking great photographs.
2f. You do not need to be a professional photographers to take great photos. Just practice practice practice. Also, another tip is taking as many photos of 1 item will give you a better chance of getting a great photo out of the bunch. A professional photographer once told me that his secret to taking amazing pictures is to take as many of them as you can...you might be able to use only 40 photos out of hundreds. But 40 amazing photos is better than hundreds of so so photos. Do you see my point.
3. Lastly, make sure that all items in your shop follow the same theme and color scheme. When you open an Avon catalog or some other store catalog, all of the items look like they belong to 1 collection. There is no single item that screams, "I don't belong here." Now, make sure your shop is the same way. Your store is like an upscale catalog...now it is your job to stage your product and use the right color schemes (use a light color background for your photos)
4. Write a good description of your products. Paint a story. Suggest some uses for your products. Many shoppers might admire your products but they are only lookers and won't buy because they don't know what they will use it for. It is your job to consult them on what they should should it for. Lastly, answer this question for each of your products (in your customers' point of view): Do I have to have this item and why?
Alright...you are done! See that is not so bad!
Once you have completed this assignment, post your store here and we will critique your shop (optional). By posting your store below you are agreeing to have our members visit and critique your shop. Doing so is extremely helpful for our members who feel that they need a non bias opinion. Please remember not to take our critique personally...remember it is just business! Ok, now let's all have fun and help each other out!
TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS TEAM CHALLENGE: FOLLOW THIS LINK: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7978/etsy-entrepreneurs/discuss/6787871/