Most of the customers whom I've dealt with on Etsy have been really nice. The people who shop on Etsy truly appreciate the fact that my items are handmade and recognize the work that goes into them. I think it's a great site and love that artists have a place to sell their goods online.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, things have gotten pretty busy at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations. I'm not complaining!!!!! I'm honored that people plan to give my jewelry as gifts to their girlfriends, daughters, friends, etc. And I think it's cool that customers who live as far as Australia are ordering from me.
Still, this time a year can be a blessing and a curse. I think that most shop owners (on Etsy and otherwise) see a bump in sales. However, I feel somewhat like Santa in that I HAVE to get the gifts to everyone on time -- and that adds a whole lot of pressure.
I pride myself on shipping items quickly. On my site, my policies state that customers can expect items to be shipped within 3-5 business days, though I usually mail them out before then. When it comes to the holidays, though, I often get requests for rush orders so people can have their gifts in time for whatever celebration is on the horizon. I do my best to get them out by the requested date, but unfortunately, I also have to depend on USPS ... and the holidays can sometimes slow them down. Hence the stress.
I could send my packages via FedEx or UPS, but that costs a lot more money, especially if I overnight the parcels. I'm already shipping for free at the moment, so I'm losing a little money, anyway. It's worth it to me to add in that touch of great service; I like to give "extras," such as holiday specials. I just hate feeling like I'm out of control. I've been constantly checking the USPS site to make sure that my orders are en route... and it's frustrating when not much information is given about packages on the way to Australia, for example. Tracking in the US is a lot easier to do, obviously, but there still have been some delays.
I don't mind the hard work and I appreciate the holiday sales ... but I'll be relieved when I can relax and not have to keep such a tight eye on USPS.