Official Blog of the Tophatter Auction House
Hello, my name is Melissa and I am known as LadeeBee.etsy.com on Tophatter. I became a member of the Tophatter community in December 2011 and started selling craft and jewelry supplies in February 2012. I loved the platform right away and became hooked. It was so much fun bidding and winning things and thrilling to sell my own items. Once I saw how great it was to be able to connect with buyers right away, to get feedback about my items and to receive support from other sellers, I started to get more serious about my online business.
Another benefit to selling on Tophatter was the resulting increase in traffic to my Etsy shop. The volume of packages I was bringing to the post office went from 2-3 a month to more than 100 in a couple of short weeks. Each time I shipped out an item, I would include a little coupon to my Etsy shop and a thank-you note and customers were coming back! I had been selling online since 2008 and never had this volume of sales. It felt so rewarding.
Things began to change for me as my online business increased. I was able to stop doing other part-time jobs and to concentrate on my business full-time. I dedicated some space in my home to storing supplies. Soon, however, I began to outgrow my own home and I knew it was time to grow again.
Tophatter sales were steady every month and this gave me the confidence to find a space outside my home. Since I live in a big city, rent is quite expensive. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Then, the right opportunity opened up and a local business owner, and friend, agreed to sublet the lower level of her business – formerly a gallery space. I have been in the space since January 2013 and it has been an amazing decision for both of us. Now I have the best of both worlds as I continue to sell to my online customers and meet new ones in my community. Without Tophatter, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.
Something I have learned from the dramatic increase in sales is the number of issues that come up. Before, a sale here and there didn’t really prepare me for the unique situations that may come up in the course of doing business online. Sometimes I have made mistakes, sometimes things are lost in the mail, and sometimes a customer is not happy with what they have purchased. I have had to think a lot about how to handle each situation as they arise. To me it is important that in the end, the individual customer is happy with their experience with me and my business. I feel all that I have learned from selling on Tophatter has given me the tools I need to succeed in my brick and mortar business as well.
Now, I am surrounded by beads and yarn and feeling optimistic about the future.
Melissa, a.k.a. LadeeBee, lives and works in Toronto, Canada. You can find out more about her brick and mortar and Etsy shop at www.ladeebee.com. Please visit her Tophatter seller profile to find out when her lots go up for auction. You can also find a large variety of her items in the ‘Supplies with a Surprise’ community auctions every week.