selling on etsy: tools & supplies, shipping & storage

{You can find my other Selling on Etsy posts here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3}

etsy series - tools supplies shipping and storage options @ 4onemore.com

When I first started researching what I would need to be an Etsy seller, I was imagining lots of expenses for silly things like bubble wrap and cardboard boxes!

Have no fear, you don’t need to spend your resources on boxes if you don’t want to.

selling on etsy @4onemore.com

{look at that adorable toddler in a box… how did she get in this post?!}  🙂

I want to share my favorite tips about Tools & Supplies, Shipping & Storage when selling on Etsy.

selling on etsy -- supplies @4onemore.com

Tools & Supplies

First of all, totally get amazon prime membership if you don’t have it already.  It’s a lifesaver and you get a great supply of boxes to reuse.

Have your friends and family save boxes, bubble wrap, air pockets, brown paper or newspapers for you, and you will have a free supply of shipping materials.  I just print off a “recycled packaging materials” label that includes my logo and stick it on the box.  Upcycling is part of being a good resource manager.

selling on etsy @4onemore.com

{This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my disclosure policy for full details.}

Shipping

Many people have questions about shipping when they  consider being an Etsy seller.  The customer pays for shipping.  That’s good news — but you also need to be prepared.

USPS shipping calculator is your friend.  Input weight and box sizes for accurate shipping quotes.  Buy your postage online.  You can even schedule a package pick-up.  You can ask my hubby what a blessing it was when we finally figured out that he didn’t need to traipse into our local post office each day with my shipments.

Make sure you have a reliable postage scale.  I started with a cheap kitchen scale and worked up to a digital scale.

After you buy your postage online, you can easily print it with a DYMO label printer.  This printer is not a necessity, but it’s a great investment.  I sold on etsy for several years by printing out my postage on computer paper, then taping it on the box.  But if your sales end up increasing you will want to upgrade.  This label printer has been a huge time-saver.  And it prints thermally, so your label’s information won’t rub off during shipment (don’t ask me how I know this the hard way!)

Storage

selling on etsy -- shipping & storage @4onemore.com

Storage has always been an issue for me.  For several years, my etsy storage was mingled in our basement with our family storage.  It was crazy!  I wrote on my boxes what the contents were, so when an item sold, I had to go search for the right box.  Terrible system.

I now have a bunch of space solely for my etsy boxes. But my best shipping system is not necessarily having a lot of space — it’s having an inventory list.

selling on etsy -- storage -- 4onemore.com

Next to each of my listings on etsy, in the title section, I have a letter and/or number label.  That tells me where to find the box in my storage.  

Each box is numbered 001-180, plus many in between like B014 (back shelf 14th box) or C003 (center storage 3rd box).  Do whatever system works for you, but if you’re going to have more than a dozen items waiting to sell and ship, please develop a system!  I really wish I could go back in time and enlighten myself.  

Setting up a shop and adding your first listings can be tackled in a few hours.  If you’ve thought about starting an etsy shop, go for it!  The risk is really actually small.  And you never know — it might take off better than you thought.  Message me if you’d like a link for 40 free listings.

Then & Now: Adoption Photos

Anna Rakeb has been home with us for nearly 7 months.

We are amazed everyday by how much we love her and how well she fits into our family, even with 4 older brothers!

Last year at this time, she was in her orphanage and looked like this.

then & now: adoption pictures @4onemore.com

Isn’t she the sweetest??

This fall, she looks like this:

then & now: adoption photos @4onemore.com

 

then & now: adoption photos @4onemore.com

We’re so thankful that God put Anna in our family.  She is a treasure.

{You can check out our adoption story here.}

 

 

Colorful Painted Kitchen Table and Chairs

Over the past decade I have slowly left the safe harbor of beiges and black accents and embraced more color.  I find that color in my home has an energizing and happy effect.  

painted dining room table & chairs @4onemore.com

So when my kitchen table and chairs were getting tired looking, I pulled out some spray paint and went to town.

painted dining room table & chairs @4onemore.com

There was just too much brown in this space.

painted dining room table & chairs @4onemore.com

So, here’s my ho-hum table and chairs before…

painting dining room chairs @4onemore.com

painting dining room chairs @4onemore.com

…and after!

painting dining room chairs @4onemore.com

Now, granted, this is a. lot. of. color.

painting dining room chairs @4onemore.com

But it can always be redone if it just isn’t working.

The last time we stained this table, it turned out too orange for my liking.  But it was so much work, that we just left it as is for several years.

painting dining room chairs @4onemore.com

This time, I used chalk paint in Castle Gray that I found at Walmart.  I was going to use the Rustoleum brand from Home Depot, but it would have cost $40 to paint my table.  That was before buying the wax for finishing.  The Walmart bottle cost under $10, then the wax was another $5-10.  I still have some left over.

I used a simple foam brush to apply the chalk paint.  It took several coats.  After lightly distressing, I finished by brushing on the wax, then buffing it with a clean cloth when dry.

How is it holding up?

painting dining room chairs @4onemore.com

Well, just how you’d expect for our table with a toddler and four boys doing school at this hub each and every day.  But it’s not too precious of a piece of furniture.  I will just redo it (probably another color!) when it gets too shabby looking.

As for the chairs, the boys have strong opinions about color, so I let them choose their own from my stash.  It they have to sit in these chairs for school each day, why not have some fun?

painting dining room chairs @4onemore.com

I used Rustoleum spray paint and one can in each color was plenty.  Just took them outside on some cardboard, turned them upside down and painted that direction first, then stood them right side up and finished up.  Because they were black originally, some of the lighter colors took several coats to cover the black.  And I know these aren’t perfectly painted, but they’re working for us right now.

painted dining room chairs @4onemore.com

I recommend choosing a spray paint that includes primer.

What do you think?  Would you ever spray paint your furniture?  Do you embrace color or are neutrals more “you”?

painted dining room chairs @4onemore.com

I’m learning to embrace what makes a cozy home for my family, even if it does break all the conventional decorating rules.

colorful painted kitchen table & chairs

 

Our Adoption {Just Show Up} Story

Our adoption story really begins and ends with grace.

Through undeserved grace, God stepped into our lives when we were hopeless and needed forgiveness and made a way for us to be adopted into His family as sons and daughters.

just show up @4onemore.com

As our family began to grow, God burdened our hearts for the needs of the fatherless. That is His heart, and He made it our heart as well.

Soon the question changed from “Why adopt?” To “Why not adopt?

So we started on the journey to find a little girl that needed a family. Before she was even born, we were seeking her.

just show up @4onemore.com

The grace cycle was continuing.

We love because He first loved us.

We know what love is, what grace is, because of Christ.

Adoption is totally undeserved and unexpected on the part of the orphan. Our little girl couldn’t fathom how drastically her life was about to change that day we met her in an Ethiopian orphanage.

just show up @4onemore.com

But starting the adoption journey wasn’t the end of the grace cycle.

God had burdened our hearts to adopt. That much was true. But we had no way of paying the huge financial costs on our own. This is where God’s grace shows up in amazement and splendor.

 

just show up @4onemore.com

He could have plopped down $35,000 in our laps when we stepped out in obedience to His calling on our family to adopt.

But instead He mobilized hundreds of friends and family to Just Show Up.

To Just Show Up and share generously with us in many totally unexpected ways.

To Just Show Up and be God’s hands and feet in our lives during the adoption.

Every time an adoption fee had to be paid, God miraculously paid it in full. Right on time.

just show up @4onemore.com
Money came in from people generously saving their spare change, slipping us $20 bills, contributing to a huge yard sale, and many more ways. And through grant organizations whose donors we have never met, but who have significantly touched our lives.

And I pray that those friends and family who were such an integral piece of the puzzle in bringing Anna Rakeb home from Ethiopia received great joy in knowing they were making a difference.

just show up @4onemore.com

By choosing to Just Show Up, they were a part in the story God was and is writing in the life of a former orphan. Now our cherished daughter. And one day, we pray, a daughter of the King.

just show up @4onemore.com

 

{Linking up our Adoption Just Show Up story at MundaneFaithfulness.com}

{Just Link Up}