Grab a bargain in my eBay shop

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My eBay shop is open for a week and it's mostly cutting dies this time. If you fancy MFT, SugarPea Designs, Paper Smooches, Impression Obsession, Tattered Lace and Creative Expressions, you'll find a small selection of used dies starting at £0.99 here.


I'll share some fun cards with you next time. You'll find some new designs from me published in Die-Cutting Essentials Special Edition, Making Cards and Papercraft Inspirations this week.

Destash & sell on eBay (and save on fees)

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Today, instead of a card I want to share some valuable advice about selling on eBay. I hope that it will inspire some of you to destash and make a bit of money while saving on fees.

My husband and I were quickly hooked on eBay and we have been selling anything from photography gear to craft items. People need all kinds of stuff and some of them are willing to pay a lot for it. This year, some of items that we sold included a bed frame and a used double-bed mattress. Not to mention that somebody also picked up our king size mattress (eight years old). It saved us time and money on hiring a van and driving to the recycling centre. Handy!

The first step you need to take might be the hardest: Parting from your stuff. Everytime I put my stash back into the boxes, I sort out paper scraps, embellishments, inks and even cutting dies and stamps. If you haven't used it for months, chances are you won't use it again. Dies and stamps always sell well on eBay.

eBay and PayPal fees might put you off at first. I heard about selling groups popping up on facebook to avoid these fees. The advantage of eBay is that you won't find a bigger audience anywhere else and you are protected as a seller and buyer. Personally, I much more prefer this option.

Standard fees: If you are a private seller, you can list up to 25 items per month "for free" (no insertion fee). eBay then charges 10% of the price that you sell the item for. It is important to note that the 10% also applies to postage (sadly). Paypal charges 3.4% + 20p for each item sold on top of your eBay fees. You can only save on PayPal charges if you sell more than £1,500.

How to save on eBay fees: This requires you to log into your eBay account 2 - 3 times each week. eBay won't advertise promotions that will save you £££ and they won't notify you by e-mail. You'll find these promotions if you log into your account, click on "my eBay" (upper right corner) and "Selling". Scroll to the bottom of the screen for promotional offers in the orange box. Every few weeks, there are offers such as 25% off the final value fee and we've been lucky before to sell for only £1 final value fee! Some promotions need to be activated by clicking the "Get Offer" button next to it. Note that any promotion is only valid for a short period of time in which you need to list your items if you want to cut the fees.

Auction/Fixed Price/Buy Now/Best Offer: If you put up a used item for auction, eBay will recommend starting at £0.99. Depending on how popular the item/brand is and how hard it is to come by (e.g. Stampin Up!), you might want to increase the price. There will often be a bidding war the last few minutes before the auction ends, but don't count on that. I've seen prices shooting up after six days of no bidding, but I've also sold items for £0.99. You can also add a Buy Now price at an auction.

Fixed Price is the opposite of an auction and you can add the option Best Offer. It's one of the boxes you can click and it allows potential buyers to submit an offer. Either you accept or submit a counter-offer in the hope of it being accepted. Bear in mind that items with fixed prices look more attractive if postage is for free

Taking pictures of your items: While you don't need an expensive camera to take good quality pictures, it's useful to know how to use yours. Would you buy an item that you can barely make out on a picture, that is blurred or poorly lit? Probably not. A neutral background such as a white piece of card helps. Taking the picture straight from the top often looks much better than from an angle. If you have photo editing software, it's a plus. eBay's picture formatting options are limited to cropping, rotating and adjusting the brightness. Here is how I usually sell my items:



Item description: Be honest and let your buyers know if the item has any minor faults or damages. Whether your used stamps are discoloured, the packaging damaged or not available etc., include it in your item description to avoid any surprises for the buyer.

Packaging & Postage: When I started selling on eBay, I forgot to include the price of the packaging in the P&P price. It's important to know your P&P and you'll quickly become an expert. If you have a post office nearby, perfect! You can go there with your items to weigh them. Once you know the weight, work out the postage yourself by using Royal Mail's Get a Price

You can also ask at the counter how much the services cost that you'd like to offer to your buyers. If you do this, it helps to put the item in the envelope as the price differs depending on the size and thickness. Mind you, I wouldn't keep staff busy with it if there was a massive queue behind me! Depending on the value you think your item might sell for, it's worth considering 1st/2nd class signed for. This is £1.10 dearer than standard 1st/2nd class but it will allow you to track the item.

Take note of the "International Postage" options when adding your postage options on eBay. It will automatically default to International Shipping through (eBay) UK Shipping Centres which is not what you might want. My husband uses it to ship photography gear to buyers abroad. Ask yourself if it makes sense to offer this service. The cost of P&P might be higher than the value of the item, certainly if you talk about craft items. Instead, you can select "No International Postage". Alternatively, enter your own international postage option.

I hope my handy hints will come in useful if you decide to destash, make space and earn some money. Have fun selling!

A Handmade Christmas

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Time to leave Christmas behind to get a head start on birthdays and other celebrations next year! January and March are packed with birthdays and right now I'm now working on some fun cards for those still young at heart.

If you're a subscriber, you might have already received the latest edition of Making Cards and Papercraft Inspirations. Both go on sale this week and feature a mix of papers with a floral/winter/Valentines theme. I have recently bought Sea Blue pearlescent card but didn't have any papers to go with it. It's the perfect match for the floral papers from Making Cards' January edition.

Here is a set of cards that was part of the Christmas present for my friend Diane. I also added die-cut foxes, ribbons, buttons and patterned papers.






















... And here is a picture that sums up today's afternoon:



















Hope you enjoyed the celebrations!

A budget-friendly Christmas

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Anyone not in the spirit of Christmas? Those of you who aren't, rest assured... You're not alone!

This year, I decided to do things a little differently. First of all, no gifts for the grown-ups in my husband's family. Next the kids. It's always tricky to find something for our nieces and nephew as they have too many toys. Usually, I'd contribute €20 per child which is a lot of money, so instead they're getting a handmade craft kit this year. I love browsing charity shops and if you take your time to look around, you'll find some brand new, unused items such as toys and books. At the RSPCA shop in Princes Risborough I got new sticker books, pencils and a cardmaking kit at half the original price. Tucked between the toys was craft kit to make funny bobble heads. At the local sewing shop, I got some googly eyes for free.

Back at home, I put together a stack of patterned paper, stamped cute images and die-cut foxes, grassy borders, clouds, fences, cars, planes with goggly eyes and stars (great way to use up paper scraps). I filled a bag with colourful buttons (which the kids love!). Everything went into separate clear bags and was wrapped with the items from the charity shop. I still had the gingerbread house which I'd made for Papercraft Inspirations so I filled it with sweets and wrapped it, too.

Let's hope the kids appreciate my effort! Luckily, I don't need to worry about my family as we don't exchange presents. The only exception are my aunt, uncle and cousin who receive a parcel full of sweets every year.

Time to share my latest designs! These were made with the gorgeous free papers from Making Cards magazine.






































We posted the last Christmas card today. I know that some of you are still busy with their Christmas crafting, so why not try this easy design to make in big batches? It would also look lovely in a frame as a gift! Click here to get your free iris folding template.

Happy crafting!

Perfect Layering

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Whenever it's quiet on my blog, there's lots going on inside and outside my craft bubble. Over the last few days, we had the carpenter and painter in. The painter spent a whole week here. The house was a mess, there was barely any room that wasn't untouched and my hubby had taken over the living-room to instal his photo studio and office. No space for crafting then.

Now I'm catching up with my Christmas makes. We're sending out 14 cards to family and friends this year. I'm still finishing the last batch as I'm writing this and Making Cards' free papers came to the rescue. I didn't want anything fancy and went for these simple iris folding designs. You can find the lovely papers in their December issue.



















While I was looking for something bling and shiny in my stash, I found Hunkydory's Glitter Glaze Card Deco Collection in one of the CMOTY boxes. It was part of the prize from last year's competition. Just to warn you, the card has a pretty strong smell. I can't figure out why. Maybe it's been sitting in the packaging for too long. Funny smell aside, it looks striking on the two Joy cards and the snowman card in blue. I used red mirri card for the card in front.

Here's a tip that will make things easier for you: Invest in a set of square dies for layering. I always thought they're expensive but Tonic Studios are reasonably priced.

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