Monday, July 30, 2012

PayPal Chargebacks

Personally I haven't had any issues with fraudulent buyers nor have I had any major postage wows, sure I've had the odd parcel get delayed in the Australia Post system, but then again who hasn't! {touch wood}

I have heard many horror stories about Fraudsters using chargebacks to commit credit card fraud.  They do this by completing a legitimate transaction using PayPal, they receive the goods and then they dishonestly request a chargeback from their credit card company by either:
  1. Claiming that someone has illegally used their credit card; or 
  2. That the item was not received or that the item was does not meet their expectations or arrives damaged.
To learn more about this I've spent today reading through PayPal's Business section and other online resources.   Its been an enlightening experience and I have shared my findings below:

Safeguarding your business

If you are using PayPal to sell your handmade items I strongly suggest that you review their Business section and if you want to safeguard your business from these evil doers, take on board the following tips:
  • In your product descriptions describe your item in as much detail as possible and as accurately as possible. Include pictures, measurements (if applicable), and other relevant specifics.
  • Make every effort to know your customer including their feedback from other ecommerce sites.  If your gut says 'don't deal with this person' after looking at their feedback, then walk away.
  • Respond promptly to any customer service requests and get answers to any question you may have by emailing the buyer directly or via your third party selling platform aka Etsy, Madeit, hand-made etc. Keep copies of this correspondence.
  • Keep as much information as you can about the transaction and your customer, including email correspondence.
  • Be aware of unusual requests such as rush shipments at any cost, partial payments from multiple PayPal accounts and Payments not received in full.
  • Be extra cautious with high-priced items - it is fairly common for shipping addresses to differ from billing addresses. However, be extra cautious when sending high-priced items, especially if payment is received from one country and sent to another.  From my research this is a very common way for Fraudsters to commit their crimes.
  • Publish your return policy in your listings or on your website. Also include your return policy in email correspondence with your customers. Please note that certain laws and credit card issuer policies provide that buyers may have chargeback rights for merchandise that is not delivered or is defective, even if your policy indicates that all sales are final and that you do not allow returns.
  • Keep your buyer up-to-date with the delivery of their item - make it clear to the buyer what the estimated delivery time is (its always best to overstate delivery times) and if for some reason you are unable to send the item in time, then tell the buyer. Honesty is the best policy.
    A buyer is less likely to report a dispute if you have been clear about expectations and have been upfront with the buyer.
  • Always send orders to the buyer's address listed on the Transaction Details Page and retain proof of postage.  This can be difficult when you are using Australia Posts regular  delivery service, simply providing a receipt from Australia Post may not be enough as it does not state the delivery address of the buyer.
  • Ideally only send to 'confirmed' PayPal postal addresses. According to PayPal a confirmed address is an address that has been verified by PayPal, that is the buyer’s credit card billing and postal addresses are the same or in some cases, when PayPal has examined the buyer’s PayPal account history.
    Confirmed address help to guard against stolen credit cards, Prevent identity theft and decrease the chances of receiving a chargeback.
  • Track your packages and provide the buyer with this tracking number.  If there is a dispute with the delivery of your order you will need to provide PayPal with proof that the item as sent and received.
  • It is also a good idea to send items via registered post and that you keep the proof of delivery notification and that you insure your packages so that you are protected in the event that the item has been lost or the user claims that is was never delivered.

PayPal's Confirmed addresses

As stated above confirmed addresses are ones that have passed PayPal's confirmation process.  PayPal admits that most unconfirmed addresses are not fraudulent, and sellers don’t usually experience problems with them. To check that they are 'confirmed' simply check the transaction details page by:
  1. Log into your Paypal account
  2. Click "Details" next to the payment received in the section labeled "My recent activity." This is on the default "My Account" tab.
  3. Find the shipping address on the details page, and look for "Confirmed" or "Unconfirmed" for the address' status.
Or simply review the email confirmation you received.  It will state in green if the seller is confirmed or unconfirmed.  Its always a good idea to make your buyer aware that their address is not confirmed and direct them to log into their PayPal account and go through the simple process of confirming their address.

Sending to Unconfirmed addresses

If you decide to send items to an unconfirmed address PayPal recommends that you are alert and minimise risk by following their Security Tips for Sellers.

Also make sure that the value of your item is no more than you are willing to lose and its always best to track these orders and obtain a signature confirmation.

Further Reading

I hope you found this to be informative.  I've listed below some further reading on this matter inclulding the CHA's post on Shop Policies. 

Missing Pieces: Shop Policies
PayPal Australia Business Pages
PayPal Problems Australia: Information, Resources and Contact Information

About the Contributor: 

Christine is a Wife and a Mum of 3.  She is the owner of C Percy Designs, the co-editor of the Handmade Cooperative - Australian Handmade 4 Kids and is a little obsessed with all things crochet and not Pinterest.

To find out more about Christine go to her blog - or follow her on Facebook.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Collaborate 4 a Cause: 27-29th July

A few months back we had the honour to have Collaborate 4 a Cause as our Blog Sponsor.  Back in ? C4C was calling for handmade businesses to gather together to make something unique for the C4C annual Auction.  

Well the collaborations have been done and some truly amazing items have been created in the name of charity.  Here are just a few examples of the wonderful creations up for auction.

NB: If you would like to bid on an item you see simply click on the photo.

Collaboration between tillytom & Two Little Monkeys 
with all money raised being donated to Diabetes Australia.
Collaboration between C Percy Designs & Little Toot Creations
with all money raised being donated to Noah's Shoalhaven

Collaboration between Little Sew & SewsMy Obsession & Puppy Dogs Tails
with all money raised being donated to Heart Kids Qld

Collaboration between AnK Bowtique & Georgie Girl 
with all money raised being donated to ICPA QLD INC - Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Queensland Inc.
Collaboration between Sugar Plum Treemissy mellyappleberry kidsLittle LeeCreative Butterfly Designs , Elocin Designs - Nicole Pomeroy
with all money raised being donated to Make A Wish Foundation
( or

Collaboration between Tea for EvieVerri Charmed & Or Elsie
with all money raised being donated to The 
The Benevolent Society

Collaboration between A Lillie Bug , giggleberry creationsBoondie Baby and Puddin's Retreat
with all money raised being donated to 
Epilepsy Action Australia

Collaboration between tillytom & Two Little Monkeys
with all money raised being donated to Diabetes Australia.
This is the second year that Collaborate 4 a Cause has been run.  It was a very successful inaugural event in 2011 which saw over $18,000 raised for many different charities across Australia.  In 2012 C4C has had over 380 creatives involved come together with more than 200 auction lots being donated.

All the donated items are Australian handmade, and are made to match/built around a theme.  C4C encourages participants to meet new friends, share ideas, help each other and collaborate - whilst supporting many different and deserving charities.

You can find the Facebook event listing here:

This auction start tonight (Friday 27th July) at 8pm EST and ends this Sunday at 8pm EST.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{Promotion} Introducing NOOKROAD

NOOKROAD, a Sydney based start up, is building an online community for creative people to share the stories behind the products they make, enhancing the sale of handmade, homegrown, vintage and designer goods.

The site gives users the opportunity to earn a living doing what they love. With no listing fee and only a 5% commission on sales, NOOKROAD is committed to seeing creative people turn their talent into turnover. Contemporary Handmade readers have a unique opportunity to be among the pioneering members of this creative community — commission free sales are available through NOOKROAD's crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

NOOKROAD allows users to display their Portfolio; demonstrate a Work in Progress; or present a Product Story that explains their creative process in a marketplace setting. "Everybody makes something," explains co-founder Keren Moran. "We wanted to provide a platform where users could do all these things in one place no matter what level they are at."

The site aims to promote transparency in production and to encourage thoughtful consumption. "We care about the inspiration behind products," says co-founder Matthew Williams. "We care about quality craftsmanship, where materials come from, and about the ethical considerations that have gone into the production process."

Users of the site can display their ethical commitments in their store or studio if they wish, and buyers can refine their search by ethical cause. NOOKROAD also gives 5% of profits to a charity chosen by its online community.

For more information:

Indiegogo Campaign

Note: This is a promotional post.  The Contemporary Handmade Alliance has no affiliations with this business and has provided this information as a community service announcement  for the greater Australian handmade community. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

{Business Tip} Change it Up

Regularly change your Facebook
Cover Image 
and Profile Image.  

Facebook cover image showcasing Appleberry Kid's range of girls bags and accessories.
Created using

Amanda Lefebure from Appleberry Kids does this on a regular basis and has found that it creates some great interaction with her Facebook fans.  She usually does this when she can see that there are a lot of people online and she makes sure that the new image is different visually to the previous image.  For example Amanda changed her Appleberry Kids images changed from pastel pink and grey to bring red. 

Profile image showcasing Appleberry Kid's range of girls bags and accessories.
Created using
"Last night I changed my cover picture again and my profile picture to match.   Nothing fancy, simple clean co-ordinating images in a collage that I made using picmonkey's  collage feature.  
I turned my computer off only about 10 mins after and at that point, just a few likes to the pic and a couple of comments. Well, when I woke up this morning and checked my page, it had been crazy all night. Over 20 new Likers and 3 shares of my profile pic college. Natalie Lymer (designer at Cinderberry Stitches- I had used her fabrics in the bags in the photo) somehow saw my pics, became a fan and shared on her page during the night. She had 67 likes to the share and 2 extra shares from that- one being a US craft blogger. Her reach was amazing as my new Likers come from her post, from US, Europe, UK and here in Australia.  
Just goes to show that FB can still cause some interest"

What a fantastic result!  When was the last time you changed your profile image? 

Further reading: Guest Post: 6 Ways to Enhance your Business Page using Facebook Timeline

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Handmade Mumpreneur: Cheeky Pickle

Alison Benyon of Cheeky Pickle is one of the finalist for the 2012 Connect2Mum Award for Favourite Handmade Mumpreneur of the Year.

As you know we asked each of the finalist what was the best business advice they received, here is Alana's answer.

The best piece of business advice I have received is to start as you mean to go on. Think of yourself as big from the very start by putting things in to place. So when you do make the big time, you will be be more than ready. I chose to ignore that advice and wish I hadn't.

To vote for Alison click on the image below:

Monday, July 16, 2012

{Guest Blogger} Craft Market Checklist

Making a list and checking it twice

Following on from our wonderful series on Craft Market Visual Merchandising, I thought it would be only fitting that we update our Market Checklist. I also approached Rachelle from Rachelle Rachelle, makers of fun children's clothing and accessories, to share with our readers her personal market checklist.  Rachelle has many years experience in both running and selling at craft markets. Over to you Rachelle!

1. Most Important – Your Products

Make a list of all the things you want to take with you and do an inventory list before you go to make sure you know what you sold and how much you sold of certain items. This will help you determine what items sell the best and which items are a bit slow and may need to be reviewed.

2. Trestle Table & Chair

You can buy foldable trestle tables at Big W, Officeworks and Bunnings. Bunnings I think are the cheapest and are around $49 and then they range up to about $79 from Officeworks. They are compact and a good investment if you attend a lot of markets. 6 ft/1.8m trestle tables are the standard but you can get smaller ones if you need them.   Remember to bring 1 or 2 chairs, although you may not use them, you may have a friend pop by who may sit down while you are chatting with customers.

3. Gazebo/Umbrella (for outside stalls)

Gazebos are a great investment whether you do markets or not. They are handy to take to kids sporting activities on the weekend or for parties when you are not using them at markets. If you prefer to use an umbrella don’t forget to bring a base or weights to secure the umbrella. I'd invest in a good quality gazebo which you can get at places like BCF.

4. Display material

What are you using to display your products on? Whether you are using shelves, bowls, boxes etc. make sure you add them to your checklist to pack and bring to the market. And don’t forget to do a test run beforehand as you may want to add something extra to give your products a bit more height or dimension. If you are looking for display items don't forget to check out your discount stores they have some great affordable display options and you just never know what you will find.

5. Table Cloth

If you have a 6 ft (1.8m) trestle table then you will want to make or buy a table cloth that is 3.2m x 2.3m for a 90cm deep table or 3.2m x 2.1m for a 75cm deep table. This will give you enough overhand at the front and sides so you can hide any packing boxes under your table. If you want a nice fitted tablecloth then you can make your own. Alternatively if you are not a sewer or don’t know anyone who does sew you can buy these online and get them printed with your name or logo on them at or you can pick plain ones up on ebay for about $39.95.

6. Change Tin/Bag

You will need to bring your own change on the day. We suggest you bring around $200 - $250 in coins and small notes.

7. Calculator

Bring a calculator along so you can make sure that you add purchases up correctly and give the right change to your customers. I keep one in my box of market supplies so it is always with me. Although I did 3 Unit Maths at school, baby brain has well and truly kicked in for me so I like to have it as a back up.

8. Business Cards/Flyers

Have business cards or flyers made up with your contact details on them so people can contact you after the market. They may not want to make a purchase on the day or may not have someone to buy for at the time but they may love your products and want to purchase down the track. Make sure ALL the information is current on your business cards or flyers. There is nothing worse than having the wrong phone number or email address as this just irritates people and no matter how good your product is, it will leave a bad taste in their mouth. If information is incorrect, reprint it or if you can’t reprint then print little labels to cover up the wrong information with the right information. Its the little things that make a big difference.

9. Signage

People want to know who they are buying from so have a sign with your name or logo on it. You can put it in a frame, print it on a canvas or simple laminate a printed sign. Or if you have time and an artistic flair why not paint one or think of another creative way you can display it. You can also get pop up banners or x banners made up if you are after a more professional look.

10. Back soon sign

If you are on the stand on your own and you need to duck to the toilet. This will let people know that you won’t be long if they want to buy something. I went to a market recently where the stallholder had left their stand and there were people in their stall and I wasn’t sure if they were the stallholders or customers, or where they had gone or how long they would be. I waited for quite a while before another stallholder approached me and said that they had ducked to the shop and would only be a few minutes.

11. Price list, swing tags or price labels

Make sure you items are priced and visible. You can individually price them or have a price list on your stand. Don’t forget to take a few extra labels or swing tags just in case you need them.

12. Bags

Bring some bags to put customers purchases in.

13. Receipt Book

Bring a receipt book if you have one. This is not essential but some people may like a receipt on the day particularly for custom orders where they might be paying a deposit or the full amount for the item.

14. Mailing List

If you want to grow your mailing list take a clipboard with a mailing list spreadsheet. Include first name, surname, email address and phone number so you can contact your customers after the market and tell them about any new products coming soon or any sales you have coming up. It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to find new ones.

15. Storage Boxes

I buy 80L storage boxes with wheels to pack all my products/materials in. They are durable and you can easily stack them and wheel them to your stand if need be. They also sit neatly away under your table (if you have one) or you can use them stacked as a table to sit your money tin, calculator etc on behind your table.

16. Camera

You may want to take photos of your stall if you are happy with how it is set up so you can look back at what you did and if you would do anything differently.

17. Garbage bag

Bring a garbage bag for any rubbish you may have on the day. Generally a small bag will do.

We have combined Rachelle's list above with the one previously listed as well as some other suggestions made by our followers on Facebook.  

Do you have something to add?  Leave a comment below.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Handmade Mumpreneur: Sparkling Dragon Designs

Alana Jones, the Mum behind Sparkling Dragon Designs, is one of the finalist for the 2012 Connect2Mum Award for Favourite Handmade Mumpreneur of the Year.

As you know we asked each of the finalist what was the best business advice they received, here is Alana's answer.

Hello everyone my name is Alana Jones. I am the creative hands and mind behind Sparkling Dragon Designs, the place to shop for unique handcrafted jewellery.

One of the best pieces of business advice that I have received is website related; and that is to make sure your contact information is readily available. People don’t want to have to hunt all over your website to find out how to contact you. It needs to be clearly visible or just one click away.

I would also like to share my most essential business tool, the “TO DO” list. No matter what the task is write it down. Then you can prioritise what needs to be done and cross tasks off when completed. Aim to cross off at least one task per day. It is nice to look at your list at the end of the day and have a sense of achievement.

To vote for Esther click on the image below:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Handmade Mumpreneur: Beatnik Baby

Krystel Sattell of Beatnik Baby is one of the finalist for the 2012 Connect2Mum Award for Favourite Handmade Mumpreneur of the Year.

As you know we asked each of the finalist what was the best business advice they have received, here is Krystel's answer. 

Don't forget to take time out for yourself and family. When running your own business with two kids under two and a half, things can easily blend in together and before you know it, you will have a teenager standing before you. Don't worry if your house is messy, the beds aren't made or the dishes are in the sink. Sit down with the kids and don't think “I really must hem that dress” or “sew those buttons” just sit, laugh and cherish the time with your children and husband as each day they grow. Each day its a new skill learnt. Each day its a new laugh. Each day your little baby is becoming a toddler. Nothing is more important then your family and children are only little just once …. so don't miss a thing by over working yourself. 

To vote for Krystel click on the image below:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Visual Merchandising 101 - Your VM Toolkit

Your VM Toolkit 

When you are packing your car to pack your emergency VM toolkit.  This is essential and should contain at least:
  • tape - sticky and heavy duty
  • rubber bands
  • stapler
  • string
  • fishing line
  • scissors
  • Pins/Safety Pins
You never know when you might have to whip up a new display!

Lastly remember Practice makes perfect!

Each market you attend will be in a different setting with different clientele.  You can easily have a base display that you work off and tweak it for the big day.

Always do a trial run at home before you head off to market.  Take time to fiddle around with it and ensure you are happy.  Then – take a photo!!  Come market time, your set up will be done in a flash and you can enjoy reaping the fruits of all your hard labour.

Once you are all set up, take some more photos for use in the future and enjoy the day engaging with your customers and making sales!

For some more inspiration go to our Pinterest "To Market To Market" board.

Calamity Bolt Hobby Horses -
We hope you enjoyed our series on craft market visual merchandising.  Below is a list of our posts just incase you missed some.

Part 6: Be different!

About the Author
 As a design addict and lover of all things artistic and crafty, Elizabeth can't get enough unique handmade goodness on her life!  When she's not working, playing Mum, Wife, re-styling her house or planning the next renovation, Elizabeth is wandering the markets, hunting for vintage goodies, reading blogs and watching Grand Designs. Preferably whilst drinking a strong espresso.   Elizabeth sells vintage craft and sewing supplies on Craftumi and feeds pinning addictions here and her Instagram addiction here  (username @walkamongthebirds) and lets not forget facebook

Friday, July 6, 2012

Handmade Mumpreneur: Winnie&Clem

Anita Keith of Winnie&Clem is one of the finalist for the 2012 Connect2Mum Award for Favourite Handmade Mumpreneur of the Year.

As you know we asked each of the finalist what was the best business advice they have received, here is Anita's answer. 

The best piece of advice I was given was to have a plan. Without a plan there is no direction, nothing is accountable, and you will quickly lose motivation. I love this piece of advice, from day dot I did do a plan, but quickly learnt it needed to be adaptable. When I start to lose focus I now simply review my plan, adjust if necessary and get back on track.

To vote for Anita click on the link below.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Visual Merchandising 101: Lighting and Safety



Believe it or not, I’ve been to some twilight markets that are actually in the dark.  Couldn’t even see the product, let alone the name of the stall and that’s a real disappointment.  Invest in some good lighting if you are doing a night market.  Yes fairy lights are pretty and LEDs are great, but do they actually throw off any light? Test them out at home beforehand and your customers will thank you for it!!


Then there is our good friend safety. If you are hanging something, make sure its sturdy.  If you are using some flooring like a rug, ensure the corners won’t curl up.  And if you’re thinking about putting baskets on the floor in front of your table, try to limit them to the sides – people are unpredictable and they will trip and fall!
Image used with permission by Billycart Markets.
Photograph by 
Essence Images

Next Post: Your VM Toolkit

Part 6: Be different!

As a design addict and lover of all things artistic and crafty, Elizabeth can't get enough unique handmade goodness on her life!  When she's not working, playing Mum, Wife, re-styling her house or planning the next renovation, Elizabeth is wandering the markets, hunting for vintage goodies, reading blogs and watching Grand Designs. Preferably whilst drinking a strong espresso.   Elizabeth sells vintage craft and sewing supplies on Craftumi and feeds pinning addictions here and her Instagram addiction here  (username @walkamongthebirds) and lets not forget facebook