I’m getting to be “that age” where many people start thinking about downsizing their possessions and their homes.
This is what too much studio stuff looks like:
My husband and I have our names on a waiting list for a nearby
retirement community and we’ve been sorting through nearly 40 years of
stuff and tossing or giving away a lot of it. I’ve been making jewelry
nearly all of my adult life and my studio is overflowing. I must destash
or we will never be able to move. My husband jokes that perhaps we
should keep our current house for a studio and move to a smaller home to
Its not just that I’m a messy creative, its also that there is no place left to put things, so it just accumulates on every horizontal surface. In our new home, I won’t even have a separate room for a studio, so where will I put all this debris then?
So I’ve set up a destash group on Facebook
. Its working quite well, so I thought I’d share some tips for success, in case your bead stash needs thinning out too.
First take a look at the Facebook selling groups you already belong to. If they are well run, study their policies and rules. For example, I belong to the Ceramic Art Bead Market
on Facebook. This group has nothing to do with destash. They sell ceramic artisan beads and pendants. The group is well managed and has been quite successful. I studied their policies and thought about what would be applicable to my destash group. In a like manner, I studied policies from a lampwork selling group and a couple of destash groups, then I formulated my policies to create guidelines for the way I wanted my own group to be run.
Your policies must include how you want your members to let you know that they want to buy something, how they will be billed and how they will pay you. Your shipping policies must be clear. How much will you charge for different weights? Will you combine shipping? How long after payment will it be until you ship? You must include if you expect payment within 24 or 48 hours of receiving the invoice and what will happen if they don’t follow through with payment in a timely manner. I recommend that you also include language that addresses polite discourse in the group and what will happen if a member self promotes, spams or treats others disrespectfully. Its best to address these issues upfront. Its much harder, if not impossible, to restore a friendly atmosphere once it has been damaged.
I looked over my calender of commitments and decided that I would hold my destash sales on Wednesday’s only, as that was my least busy day. This gives me a week in between sales to take care of invoices, shipping and photographing items for the next week’s sales. This works very well for me, but other groups have more or less continuous destash going on. You have to think about what will work for you.
I’ve decided to just write the price on a piece of paper and put it in the photograph. This saves me typing time, when I’m listing items. Not elegant, or sophisticated, but it works and is easy. I generally try to record the price per bead whenever I make a purchase, and this has enabled me to state what the retail price was and what I’m offering the items for. Members can see that they are getting an awesome deal by being a part of this group. I’m intentionally pricing things low, because my primary objective is to move things out of my studio. Getting reimbursed for doing so is nice, but it is secondary for me. I include a penny in the picture for size reference.
I start my sales at 3:30 PST and list about 15 sets of beads and pendants. Last week the sale was over by about 5:00 pm PST. When someone claims an item, I always be sure to thank them, then I edit the original listing wording to say “SOLD to (name)”.
Later the same evening, I send out invoices through PayPal. Once an item is paid for, I “hide” the picture on Facebook, so it is easy to see what is still available for sale, without having to wade through all the pictures of sold items. I ship out items by Saturday or earlier and then I start the whole process over again.
Like any online selling, you have to do promotion or all this work will be for nothing. I started off by personally inviting about 5 of my friends, just to get the group started. Then I posted links on my timeline, my business page and on all the Facebook jewelry groups I belong to. I included a picture and wrote:
Shortly before my first destash sale I made a collage, like the one below and included a link to my group. I posted this all over Facebook, as well.
For the 2nd sale, I made another announcement, with the same wording, but new pictures. I plan to have new preview pictures every week, to help build interest and anticipation.
I’m excited about this group and it makes me happy to know that my extra beads are going to people who will put them to good use, making the world a little bit more lovely.