Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Heartsy Experience

I recently had the wonderful luck to be able to feature my Etsy shop on Heartsy.  For those of you unfamiliar with Heartsy, I basically describe it as Groupon for handmade goods.  A store will offer steeply discounted coupons/vouchers for their items so that people can have the opportunity to experience their shop for an AMAZING deal.

I really had a great time doing this, so I just wanted to tell you a little bit about this whirlwind experience.  One of the nice things about Heartsy is that the featured shops are chosen by the members.  When I submit my shop to be considered, the members voted on whether they would purchase from my store.  I can't remember the exact figure, but I had around 1500 people vote on my shop.  The results were good enough that I was asked to do a feature!

These are the pieces that were part of my submission.

The next step was that I negotiated a deal with the Heartsy people.  I've heard a lot of other shop owners express negative or frustrating experiences working with the Heartsy peeps, but I actually had a great one.  I negotiated my deal on the phone with John, and he made me feel extremely comfortable.  I think a lot sometimes gets lost over email.  Being able to ask him questions, express my concerns and vent my fears without waiting for responses or wondering about intonation made me feel so much better.  I could tell that he truly wanted to help tailor the right deal for me (us) so that we could all benefit from it.  I also learned a lot about how they've built their systems and how they estimate future sales.  It was quite fascinating actually.  We settled on $28 worth of credit in my shop for $12.  VIP Heartsy members received $38.  I decided that I could handle offering 75 vouchers.  OMG it was really happening!

I honestly had no idea what to expect from my offer.  Would I sell a lot?  Would people actually be interested?  It felt like a crapshoot.  What the heck though?!  I couldn't lose anything from trying, since I only offered what I knew I could handle.  I stocked up on a ton of supplies just in case and made up what stock I could.  Needless to say, I REALLY had no idea what was about to happen!

New Heartsy deals are offered to VIP members a day early. VIPs are those that pay a monthly membership fee to get deals early and an extra $10 store credit in some stores. (Regular memberships are free).  The Thursday morning that my deal went live (at 3am EST) I woke up around 7am to see that not only had a bunch of my vouchers been purchased, but I had already gotten orders! Yay! By the end of my VIP day, I had already sold 2/3 of my vouchers and gotten a TON of orders.  I barely ate because I was so busy sending out invoices and emailing with customers that wanted custom designed pieces.

My deal went live to non-VIPs on Friday at 11:00am EST.  By 12:00pm I realized that the purchases were diverse enough that I could probably offer additional vouchers because I only had about 15 left.  I added an additional 25 to make it 100 total. Within about 4 1/2 hours of my deal going live to non-VIPs I had sold out all of my vouchers.  WOO HOO!!!  Heartsy had a glitch in their system too, so I ended up selling 107 vouchers before they were able to cut the sales off.  oopsie, but that's okay.

So, by mid afternoon on Day 2, I was non stop on my computer relisting items and emailing with customers. Soooooo busy!  Within about 40 hours of my sale starting, I sold about 160 listings, some of which were custom orders and contained multiple pieces of jewelry.  I couldn't be happier.

The following couple of days were a whirlwind adventure of relisting, emailing, invoicing, making jewelry, keeping spreadsheets and packing up orders.  There wasn't much eating or sleeping going on. lol!

As you can see, my work table was in shambles!!!

My faithful friend Christina (and sweat labor for the weekend) really saved my life!

 If only everyday could be like this!!!

By Sunday night, we had the first 30
or so orders ready to ship! 

I did offer an extra incentive with purchase.  For those non-VIPs that purchased $40 or more in my shop and VIPs that purchased $50 or more ($12 over their voucher amount), they received my Silver Retro Heart Necklace for free. Quite a few people took advantage of this extra incentive and received the free gift.

I'm so happy with how my Heartsy deal went that I'm actually still offering this free gift with purchase!  If you would like to participate, please visit my shop on Etsy.  The same stipulation still applies on purchase amounts with a Heartsy voucher.  Regular purchases will also receive the free necklace when $40 worth of merchandise is purchased.

All in all, I had a wonderful experience.  I did have a few people try to take 'extra' advantage of a ridiculously good deal, but I guess that's to be expected.  2/3 of the vouchers purchased were VIP and 1/3 were non-VIP.  6 of those were purchased as gifts for other people.  So far 72 of the 107 vouchers have been redeemed.  Only 14 of them did not go over the voucher amount. 35 are still unredeemed.

I honestly, can't wait to do another sale.  I hope that I get enough votes to have the opportunity!

THANK YOU to those of you that voted for me, cheered me on and purchased from my store!!!!  It was a wonderful experience, and I couldn't have done it without you!

- Carrie