Sunday, September 28, 2014

Because Fashion Is Smashin'

Oh I wish I could get away with wearing the gorgeous fashions of way back when. Unfortunately, jeans and T-shirts are my uniform. The way women dressed back then was just amazing. So feminine and couture. You see the runways now and just go 'what the @*#&??' Who would wear that really??

SERIOUSLY??!! You have a Yeti in a skirt, a tiger with liposuction, a zebra taco and I think the one on the end is a serial killer. Or a Nazi. Or a sleeper cell. Whatever, it's not good. So, in the true spirit of real fashion I present to you some beautiful vintage pieces I could only dream of pulling off, and they won't cause people to gawk, snicker or run screaming for the hills.

Now that is fashion. If you will excuse me now, I'm going to go get ready to go out in my Spongebob Squarepants outfit. Or maybe I should rock the cheesy poofs dress? It's a thing. Really.

Just remember, friends don't let friends dress in clothes that look like food.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Listing Is A Pain In Me Arse!

That title came out very pirate-y. Wasn't it just Talk Like A Pirate Day? I digress......I have stuff, but I have no time. Between life and stuff and other junk I tell myself everyday "OK Niki! This is it! You are going to list those kick ass 80's dresses today!" I give myself pep talks. Alas, the puppy is being a psycho spaz, I forgot to charge my camera battery, I have to take my Mother In Law to the doctor, Navy stuff, blah blah buggery I got nothing done! To be honest, I love the shopping and finding treasures part. I love interacting with my buyers and doing research to find out exactly what it is I found. What I hate is listing. It's not hard, it's just tedious. Even the photo part I like. I used to be a freelance photographer and I like getting creative. I JUST HATE LISTING! Anyone have tips or tricks? Something to make it just a bit easier? Man you would be my best friend if you told me there was a button that just went 'click, your item is live to shoppers' Heck yeah! And I have a unicorn tied up in my backyard. I guess it's just part of the job. PPfftttt.... you can't see it but I'm making faces at my computer. OK, I'm really going to list some stuff tomorrow!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Have You Seen New England In The Fall??

Autumn is sneaking in rather quickly. I swear I was just complaining about how hot it was and how sun burnt I got fishing all the time. Now it's cooling off and my flip flop tan is fading. It's time to make the house warm and cozy for those cool nights filled with fluffy blankets, hot beverages, comfort food and the smell of falling leaves in the air. Oh, you need awesome vintage items to make your home inviting? I can help with that!

Hopefully you find something amazing to comfort you and yours for the chilly days to come. I have lots of other autumn inspired items in my shop. Go see! Hurry!

Stay warm!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How To Keep Em' Coming Back! A Guide To Repeat Customers

My adventures of online selling at different venues and owning a brick and mortar business taught me a few things about customer satisfaction. Vintage can be a hard sell so giving your customers a warm fuzzy feeling will always be a win. I hope these tips can help you get a few more happy customers who will keep coming back!

Cliche Informative Stock Photo

Never Ignore Messages
Customers want to know you are paying attention. It makes them feel comfortable purchasing from you. If you ignore their message or take forever to respond they might take that as sign you are not serious about customer service. Respond as soon as you can and be cheerful. Even if it's just a quick note telling them you got their message and you will contact them soon.

Follow Up
Send them a message a few days after shipping to check in on them. Tell them you just want to make sure their item arrived safely and that they are happy. Ask if they have any questions and thank them again for their purchase. This way they know you care about your customers and if they haven't left feedback it might incline them to do so. Following up can also prevent any problems that might arise. If they are not happy you can intervene immediately to fix the situation. 

Make It Personal
I always call my customers by name and reference the item they bought when I have any correspondence with them. This way they know they aren't just another sale or profit. I like to include a handwritten note with the item they purchased and tie it on with ribbon and such. Sometimes I like to add a little extra touch like putting candies in a jar or container they purchased or a cute little soap or candle for decor items. It's always a nice surprise.

The Importance Of Shipping
Make sure you ship your packages as quickly as possible. We live in an instant gratification world so the faster they get their item the happier they will be. There are so many tools now to help make this easy. USPS will deliver shipping boxes right to your home for free. Shipping labels have become easy being able to print them right from home. If you leave your package near your mailbox with the "hey pick this up" flag your postal carrier will pick it up and scan it on the spot. 

When a customer receives their package that is the first impression they get of you. If the box is old and raggedy or it's covered in duct tape it really doesn't give them the impression that you packed it safely. Use new boxes and tape them up clean. I like to write on my boxes 'This package is for someone special. Please handle with care'. Label your boxes in bold letters or use stickers to let the postal service know if the item is fragile. 

Pack your items carefully and be confidant that even if dropped it will be safe. I saw my postal carrier scan a package and literally tossed it over his shoulder. Thank goodness it was made of aluminum! Try double packing glass and fragile items. I will pack an item securely in a box then place it another box fully padded. I have a lot of crystal and it is so delicate. This really protects it well. Thank goodness for flat rate shipping!

Always offer combined shipping and offer alternative shipping methods. Not only does the buyer have control over their shipping costs, they are more likely to purchase another item. 

Finally, don't overcharge! Try to keep your shipping charges as accurate as possible. If I ship an item and it ships less than $1 as quoted, I will issue a refund for the difference.

Give Them Value For Their Money
Everyone loves a deal! Offer discounts for future purchases or for other reasons such as 10% off a $50 order or free shipping for a second item. Offer other items at a discount if purchased together. Of course only do this if it doesn't cut into you profit margin. I had a woman looking for replacement Mikasa pieces. She was interested in a vegetable bowl I had listed. I had 2 and offered her the second one at half price. she was so happy! 

Don't pull the old 'offer an item dirt cheap then charge a billion dollars for shipping' routine. This really turns customers off. Be honest and fair in your pricing and charge accurate shipping charges You come across as an honest seller.

I hope this information was helpful. When in doubt just think about how you would like a transaction to happen. Make them smooth, cheerful and easy and I guarantee they will come back for more. Happy customers=sales! (the photo says so) 


Party On Wayne, Party On Garth

Breweriana....weird word. Really just a fancy word for people who collect items you would use for drinking. If you are a brewerianan (is that even a word?) check out my latest finds!

So party on you crazy brewerianans! (I still think I made up that word) 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Curses Are Nothing To Poo Poo At! (Caution-Spooky!)

I came across this bunt pan that has a very scary backstory. Read on if you dare...


Edna Heffelpoppin was taking a leisurely afternoon walk along a graveyard fence. She stumbled over something and looked down. She saw a beautiful West Bend Shape Cake bunt pan. 'This is perfect!' she thought. 'Now I can make a beautiful cake for my good friend Enid.' Edna took it home and made a lovely cake for Enid. The next morning Enid and Edna woke up with giant warts on their faces. Coincidence? Maybe. 

Janet Saffenbocker bought this same bunt pan from a garage sale. It was 10.25" across and 4" high. Perfect size for her Christmas Jell-O mold. Janet went home and made her famous lime, cherry and jalapeƱo Jell-O topped with bacon bits. Her guests loved it. The next morning everyone who ate the Jell-O woke up bald. Related perchance? 

Robert Gobbelbobbin found a bunt pan in nice vintage condition with a slight patina and a small mark on the side in an abandoned lot. 'My wife would love to use this as part of her kitchen decor!' He took it home and his wife displayed it proudly. 2 days later frogs started coming out of all the faucets and filling their home. I don't think this is just happenstance. 

Niki Patterson was shopping at a thrift store when she came across an awesome fluted/bunt pan. 'This is great! My son's birthday is coming up and I can make him a cool cake!' After baking the cake it fell apart because she doesn't follow directions well. Her son is now disappointed and has told all his friends on social media what a horrible cake his mom made. (This incident was actually caught on film) She is now a social pariah and never leaves her home. 

I did some online research and found that this pan was used by a coven of witches in Salem to bake their Cake Of Doom on All Hallows' Eve. They hexed the pan so any person who was not a witch would never benefit from the beautiful cakes it can make. It comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity For Curses and Hexes written by a real witch doctor named Larry I met at a laundromat. He has confirmed my suspicion of the curse.

Buy this at your own risk. I am not responsible for any harm that may come from using this pan. Larry told me if you go see him he can remove the curse. He lives in the basement of his mom's house.

(None of these statements are true except me making a cake for my son. I can never make a bunt cake! That's how I know this thing is cursed!)

C Is For Cookie....

Oh cookies. Yummy, warm and sweet who can resist? Well to make those cookies taste even sweeter come see what I have to not only have them taste great, but looking great too! These vintage Brown Bag Cookie Art presses are super adorable and have all been retired. Not only can you make cookies, they have a little hole at the top so you can hang them with a piece of ribbon as neat-o wall hangings. Your friends will be so impressed!  *oohhh ahhhh* Oh yeah, cookie press.

Happy baking!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This Style Brought To You By Dynasty

I love vintage earrings. Especially big chunky 80's styles. They always remind me of Alexis and Krystal. I'm sure a lot of you are too young to remember but boy did they have 80's high fashion down to a science! I just got some new items in my shop so you too can look like the Divas of Dynasty!

Now no fighting ladies!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Niki Is a Spaz.......

So I was running errands yesterday and dropped my phone under my seat. When I got home I looked under it to grab it. Hey! A bag of goodies from the thrift store I completey forgot I had. Awesome vintage jewelry and some cool Brown Bag Cookie Art cookie molds. Got to post new stuff today like this awesome pin!

There was also these super cute earrings

I hope you like my awesome vintage finds as much as I do! Cheers!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Man I love Finding Cool Stuff!

So I found some really cool stuff the last time I went out treasure hunting. Like this awesome 70's Road Runner Glass!

Hey, you know you want it! Contact me if you have questions!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Social Media Smocial Media........

So I have turned to the Dark Side. I have connected to the world through social media. Feel free to check out these links and friend or pin or tweet or follow or whatever. Of course I must do it in memes for it to be legit.....#cometothedarkside