Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tips For Shopping Art on-line and off

This year I started my Christmas shopping very early for Dan and started buying on Etsy and also from one of our favorite print makers and painters. So many people are trying harder and harder to avoid Kmart and Target and instead support small business owners and independent artists.  With that said, many still wait till the very last minute to get on-line and shop and they also tend to expect factory style big-box service from smaller providers. This year I bought a small assortment of inexpensive stocking stuffers for Dan from Etsy, and if one item is late, I am not really going to loose sleep over it. Actually one gift item is taking forever, and it is totally my dumb... it is shipping from Malaysia after all. It is just a tiny little $4 item so no, I am not going to message the seller in a frenzy and ask for tracking ... it will arrive when it arrives.

Here is my top 7 List For Shopping with Independent Artists:

#1 Try to find local sales events where you can have the fun of meeting and talking with the artist in person.

#2 When shopping on-line try to start early.

• #3 Etsy Tip:  Check out their left hand menu at the bottom and under ways to shop choose "Shop Local", enter your zip code and buy from folks in your area ... your items will arrive quickly.

#4 If you are buying just one important gift for your spouse or relative, be sure and buy with enough shipping time factored in ... when in doubt ask if you can purchase overnight or 2-day delivery. Once an item leaves the artist's studio they are not in control as to how fast it gets delivered.

#5 If you are buying a lot of stuff on-line for people do yourself a favor and in order to stay organized print out an image of each item you buy. Just print the browser window and place it in a file folder.  Then if a package does go missing at the very least you can wrap that photo-image up in a comically over-sized box and tell your recipient that their gift is on its way.

#6 There are tons of talented and organized artists out there that are hustling very hard right now to fill holiday orders for people. Remember that they are usually just one person handling shipping, e-mail, creating the product and so on ... cut them some slack and if they do not reply to an e-mail right away know that it is probably because they are either creating art, shipping art, or trying to collect payment for their art.

#7 Pat yourself on the back and know that in addition to purchasing an original handmade item you are supporting the arts!

Ok, last blog post from me until Friday when I hope to report that Art Paw's holiday shipping is done. I will not be answering the phone for 48 hours so leave a message. My blinders are on and I am in the home stretch .... going to get November clients shipped and all the late after posted deadline people proofed this week.

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