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FAQ
 
 
Outside Links In The CraftStar Listings

As a new e:commerce site, we, understandably, want to promote The CraftStar as much as possible.

We have come across listings that have links to outside sites (competitors).  We ask you to please not include these.  

We also understand that when you're uploading from a CSV file, that the outside links may be part of the upload.  We just ask for you to  take these out when you edit your new listings on The CraftStar.  Simple!  

Together, we can make The CraftStar a huge success!

What is The CraftStar?

The CraftStar is a Handmade and Vintage Boutique - Where Every Piece Has A Story.


We are an e:commerce website for HANDMADE,  CRAFTING SUPPLIES, and VINTAGE items only.   And more importantly, we are a community of crafters, artisans, handmakers, collectors, who LOVE what we do!  And what YOU do!


While we're not the first site to focus on HANDMADE and VINTAGE, we are the first to build a site on a broadcasting platform.    You can see us LIVE on site most weeks, and as the site matures, this LIVE technology will become the focus.  We have some amazing plans up our sleeves!!!


We have a team of people who closely watch inventory listed daily and we PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE!  Shops who don't adhere to the policies agreed to at sign-up will be kindly asked to take down the items. 


Due to ever increasing requests, as of May 17, 2013, The CraftStar welcomes VINTAGE shops and items to the site.

What Are the Fees, and How Do I Pay?

You will be notified by email when one of your items sells.  

From June 1, 2013, we are eliminating listing fees and moving to a basic membership fee of $5.00 per month for unlimited listings.  This fee will be due on a monthly basis via PayPal or Credit Card (through our third party processor - Stripe.) 

It will be up to you to "re-list" sold items.

Fees: 

PayPal: there will be a 2.5% transaction fee for each sale (pre-shipping costs).  Credit Card Payments: There will be a 3.5%processing fee plus 30 cents per checkout (to cover the buyers bank transaction fees). Instead of a once a month bill for these fees, they will be deducted from your account at the time of the sale for each sale made. You will be alerted when PayPal has received the payment.

You are fully responsible for paying all fees and applicable taxes while utilizing The CraftStar.  You must keep your Account information up to date at all times.

When your items sell and payment is via PayPal, there is a 2.5% fee taken off the sale of an item (pre-tax and shipping).  Don't worry, you won't have to do any math - PayPal will automatically take it out of the sale.  For Direct Checkout using Credit Cards, The CraftStar will charge a 3.5% processing fee and .30 cents per check out fee (to cover the sellers handling fees).  Please be aware that Credit Card processing can take anywhere from 3 - 7 days to clear the banks.  We advise our shop owners not to send out any items until the payments are in their account.

You can terminate your membership with The CraftStar at any time.  To close your shop, log in to your account, and click the DELETE button next to your shop name.   As we don't hold financial information on site, please remember, that you will also need to terminate the membership payments through PayPal or Stripe (whichever you signed up with.)  The CraftStar is not responsible for payments made if you haven't cancelled your membership plan.

What Is a Shop?

Each person who registers with The CraftStar as a seller, will have virtual space to sell their items.

You will be able to brand this with a name, a banner, and an avatar.  This "store front" will be where your, and only your, items will be placed.

Some people use their shop name as their brand, so with this in mind, the more descriptive your shop name is, the easier it will be for buyers to find you. 

Your personal shop address will be: http://shopname.TheCraftStar.com



You may have as many listings as you like in your shop and each listing can hold up to four images. Be as descriptive as possible with your listings! The more a potential buyer knows about the product, the more likely they are to buy!

  Good photos (images) are KEY!  Check out our HOW TO GUIDES for some great tips on getting the perfect photo for your beautiful items.

Another unique featue of The CraftStar ... you can run multiple shops from a single log in!  No more toggling around with different email addresses, log in names and passwords!

What Are the Graphic Dimensions For My Shop?

Banners need to be 760 x 100 pixels, and avatars 75 x 75 pixels.

Does The CraftStar Participate In Social Media?

Oh yes, yes and YES!  In fact, we have a team of people dedicated soley to promoting YOUR items through various social media platforms.

 

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/TheCraftStar

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheCraftStar

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/TheCraftStar

Tumblr:  http://thecraftstar.tumblr.com/

The CrafStar Blog:  http://thecraftstar.blogspot.com/

What If I Have Special Terms For My Shop?

You will be able to list any terms you have for your shop when you set it up in the "about me" section.

For instance, if you need an extended (beyond 48 hours) amount of time to ship, you should state this here. If you require specific measurements, color decisions, etc from your customer, you should mention all that, too.

There is ample space in Check Out for customers to state their specific requirements.

Can Potential Customers Contact Me?


Yes.  There is an internal messaging system where people can send emails enquiring about items.  These messages will be sent directly to the email account you used on sign up.

How Are People Going To Find Me?

At The CraftStar, we're carefully defining our target audience so that more people who want to buy handmade, crafting supplies and vintage will see our site - and that means see your shop! 

Without getting too techie and throwing around terms like "meta tags", "SEO," etc., let me just say we've done lots of monitoring and research to build up a list of specially targeted keywords.  We've put these effective keywords into the site itself to help potential buyers more easily find The CraftStar.  This research also includes monitoring other handmade and vintage selling platforms.  This is important in helping us get higher in the search engine results and not get drowned out by the competition.  After all, we want you to have a competitive edge, because we're behind you 1000%!

We've carefully chosen our specific keywords and keyword phrases (what people type into search engines to find various websites) to generate better search results, as well as how we use these keywords on every page of content and in image tags.  We're also creating back links, which helps us to get a higher spot in the search engine rankings.


How Do I Get Paid For A Sale?

A buyer can use either PayPal (to your account) or pay direct through Visa or Mastercard when they purchase your item.  You will receive an email telling you your item has sold and that your PayPal account has been credited and monies received.   Credit Card payments can take anywhere from 3 - 7 days to clear through the banks.  We advise our sellers not to ship items until the money has been deposited into their account.



It is expected that the sold item will be shipped within 48 hours unless otherwise stated in your shop terms.

What Is Chat?

To us, chat is the heart of The CraftStar. 

It's where The CraftStar community gets built and developed.

  Chat is where you make friends, discover amazing items, show off your new listings, sell and buy items, and have a lot of fun!  You won't know where the hours went when you get caught up in an interesting chat with your fellow sellers!

  

While Chat is intended for promotional use, we understand it's a water cooler version of a work environment.   Anything nasty or too contentious in matter may be / will be stopped.

If you believe a member is obstructive, demeaning, or anything negative, please report them to us as soon as possible at info@thecraftstar.com.  We will review the situation, and if necessary, give the person a warning.  If the behavior is excessively egregious, or continues, we will stop their access to chat rooms for one month.  If we're still having an issue after that, we will ban them permanently from chat.



There are options on how you can use chat.  You can stay in the general room to chit-chat, or you can create topic specific rooms.  For instance, if you're interested in getting to know people who are interested in knitting, you can create a "knit room."  These rooms will stay live while people are in them, then will close down when empty.  You can always restart your topic specific room when you next go into chat.

What's Up With the Videos?

We have a LIVE STREAM TV feed that we use in a variety of ways as The CraftStar grows up!



One of the initial uses, will be for YOU to show off YOUR items!  

One way of showing off your talent is through video, which brings to life your products more than photos do.  There's nothing wrong with photos and a description, but adding video and audio gives your online shop that extra PIZZAZZ.  Something MAGICAL happens when there's movement - the way your handmade jewelry glimmers in the light...the way your pillow looks so cozy and soft as you touch it...the way your handmade candle glows as you pan the camera around it. 

Whatever handmade crafts and products you sell, adding video will give it that irresistible "it factor" that will make people want to buy! 

 Showing your personality and giving people the opportunity to get to know you are huge sales plusses!  Artisan and craft blogs have been doing that for years; now it's time to use video! 

People want to know the person behind the product, and once they get to know you through a short video introduction, they're more likely to buy from you. 

Here at The CraftStar, we offer you as many selling advantages as you can use to share with the world your handmade crafts and products in order to make the sale!

  Of course, many people are camera shy, so you might be thinking The CraftStar isn't the handmade selling platform for you.  Au contraire!  You can show off your handmade items and not appear on camera.  Simply tell your potential customers all about your products as you pick them up and handle them...perhaps even telling a little story about how and why you created them.



This is only the very beginning of The CraftStar!  Rome wasn't built in a day and all that!   We have many many great features, tools and concepts which we will grow into and we look forward to you growing with us!

Who Is The CraftStar?

My name is Bethan.  I'm a life-long crafter and a producer in the entertainment industry for over 25 years.  A couple of years ago, I was working for Ryan Seacrest, and in a case of totally bad timing (it was a great job), I got very ill.  I couldn't cope with the work load and had to leave.  Not one to sit around doing nothing, I got out the crafting supplies!   After I felt a bit better, I went back to work and set up another show for an 80s rock star, but I was getting more and more ill as time went on.  Again, I had to leave. I spent months on the couch while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me, and with no energy to do anything else, I became totally engaged in crafting again. 

As time went on, I got better and started consulting for a premiere TV commerce channel (HSN) where I learned a lot about tele-commerce and e-commerce.


Since I loved creating with my hands so much, I threw myself more into my crafts.  I had set up shop on a major site but became more and more disheartened by the amount of resellers allowed and their dismantling of the "community" aspects of the site.  These resellers were drowning out the handmade sellers and totally undercutting our prices, and I believe a community environment is crucial for an e:commerce site in the world we live in. I decided to do something about it and Ta-dah!  The idea of The CraftStar was born! 




We are very lucky to be partnered with Placements Media …  a technical and digital marketing agency that focuses on research-based, integrated marketing campaigns by using a proven methodology  created and tested across large and small clients.  With a team there dedicated to The CraftStar, we are able to combine our ideas and experience to create new and innovative routes in e:commerce.


The founding partners of Placements have a combined 75+ years of marketing experience that stretches from (gasp) “pre-digital” creative development and media buying/analytics, to years spent in the trenches developing websites and digital strategies and campaigns, to even more recently, social media and mobile app development and engagements.


We have LOTS of plans up our sleeves for The CraftStar that we will introduce as the site matures.   *Very exciting and totally unique plans* that will only enhance the community and your ability to get your shop noticed!  With my background in crafting and production, and a great tech and marketing team, we believe The CraftStar is going to help you be a SHINING STAR!