Friday, February 26, 2010

Shipping Woes: Whoa! How Much????

Having your own website can be great. I've really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of starting my own online business. In fact it went better than expected.

The only problem I really have is the shipping. (Wouldn't it be nice to really have that many boxes to ship out at a time?)

I truly think my current shopping cart is hampering sales. It's crazy!!! Place more than one item in the cart and it doubles, then triples when adding a third, and so on.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I can just see the mouse clicking away from my site as it happens.

I don't blame my customers. I probably wouldn't continue with checking out either. Who wants to be hit with an enormous shipping charge on a few items?

Here lies my problem: When ordering more than one item, the way the current shopping cart is set up, each item placed into the shopping cart receives its own shipping value, as though it were being shipped separately in different boxes. Shipping is based on California rates (we're located on the East Coast)... so it really starts to add up. The shopping cart cannot to weigh all of the items selected and place it in one box.

I could set it up for a set value. Like lets say, the average cost of $5.85. But, here is where it gets tricky. A piece of jewelry may only cost 2.00 to ship while a heavy bowl will cost 10.00 to ship. I'm not kidding. I sold a small cup and saucer and a small plate to a woman in California, fit them into a small box and the shipping still came to 9.92! So, that won't work.

What I've been doing is returning overpayments back to the customer's account. It is working but I'm not sure how many customers I've lost who do not feel comfortable or do not trust this system. Again, I don't blame anyone for balking at high shipping charges.

Another solution would be to completely remove the shopping cart and have customers email me with their selections with their zip code. I'm actually starting to like this idea.

Last night Dear Hubs sat down with me and we tried to set up the cart to have a beginning value and each additional item only be a dollar or two extra based on the shipping zone. The problem is, it is not working. I tried to order my own item to see what would happen and the old system kicked in. Sigh. Total frustration.

But I'm not giving up! I am currently waiting to hear back from my website provider, PAPPASHOP, to email me back with some help. I've gone round and round with them before with no solution. I'm hoping for some help.

Anyone have a similar problem with your website? What did you do to find a solution?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Looking for a Needle in A...

Last weekend I took some time to go looking for new "treasures" for Bella Rosa. I chose a local antique mall in a small town nearby. They've got some oldies but goodies there. But you have to LOOK.

When shopping for antique inventory for my website I search high and low. It's got to be just right. Sometimes it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I search through old books. I like books especially the old old late 1800's editions. The art work on the covers are amazing.

Since my customers seem to be collectors AND crafters, I go through trays of old greeting cards, postcards, or other ephemera.

I also peek into display cases and hope to find something to catch my eye.
And sometimes my eye gets caught on something weird. She does have a bizarre look, doesn't she? (No offense of course to the mannequins of the world!)
It's the thrill of the hunt and I love it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thinking Spring! Latest Listings: Limoges Cupid Plate, French Decor, Antique Postcards, Vintage Easter Decorations

A great arrangement of vintage wedding and anniversary cards. Unused so they're great for sending as well as crafting.

Cute little bunny! He's heavy like ironstone. I'm selling the venetian type glass eggs, too. Check 'em out in the glassware category.

What's an Easter basket display without some Lefton rabbits?

For scrapbooking, altered art or for just plain collecting, these turn of the century postcards are lovely.
This powder box caught my eye as I quickly spun around to check it out. It came home with me! The little book is absolutely gorgeous. It is a German daily readings book with lovely illustrations and graphics. The plate is from Limoges, France and has two cupids in the center. Charming!

This old book epitomizes the antique look we strive for when decorating! Love it!

This little parasol gal and her little girl with poodle is ADORABLE. Shabby in places but simply could not pass this up!

And this platter has so many qualities about it that I liked. It is made in France, bordered in aqua and has a charming transfer of a young maiden, in pastels! Would make a lovely vanity tray, don't you think?

There are more items I haven't a French Grammar Book, Vintage Valentines, pastel handkerchiefs, bunny and shamrock cookie cutters...all in my Just Listed category on the website. Check it out here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Antique Sled Riding

This weekend we took Dear Bebe out for the first time to play in the snow.
We decided to try the antique sled we've had in storage. It was fun being pulled around by Daddy but it kind of sunk when we attempted to go down hill.

Our 30+ inches of snow is slowly melting so it's kind of mushy. But we had fun anyway!

Mommy did some antiquing this weekend too. Can't wait to show you my latest finds!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Champagne & Roses Fabric, Romantic Antique Books, and Sparkles!

Since February is a month to celebrate romance, the items I've listed this week fit in quite well!
This satiny rose fabric is great to have on hand for those special projects. It's about 9 yards long and 51 inches wide. Lots of material here! I love the champagne color tone.

The first illustrated page of this antique book titled Lucile reads: "The Duke bowed his lips o'er her hand."

I don't know about you but that sounds pretty romantic to me!

And the cover appealed to me with the lovely pink and green flower motif on gold.

For that special night out... a pair of prong set rhinestone hoops.
The dollhouse furniture is also up on the site now for the miniature collectors.
Also, a big shout out "THANK YOU!" to those who are on FACEBOOK and became a fan of our new Facebook page for Bella Rosa Antiques. You'll get ten percent off your next order as well as you'll be the first to see my latest finds and hear about upcoming sales/events.

Have a great weekend! Hopefully I'll be able to go antiquing this weekend...we've had so much snow I haven't been going on my weekly hunting trips.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Retro Vintage Doll Furniture

Recently I came across this vintage doll furniture. I fell in love with it immediately. So cute!
How great my LuRay dinnerware would look on the table. Tee hee!

That gives me an idea! Make mini LuRay dishes! Oh another project for later.

What this furniture is really making me think about is getting a dollhouse for Dear Bebe someday. How much fun it will be!

But I think for now I will imagine sitting on this patio set with the sun shining on my face. The snow is still here but spring is only 32 days away!
Along with some vintage rose fabric, books and jewelry, I will be adding these cute vintage pieces to the website tonight. Think I'll start a new "Vintage Toys" category. Fun!!

Are you a dollhouse person? I'd love to hear about yours!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pink Roses Make My Heart Go Pitter Patter

There's really nothing better than pink roses on that special day.
You know the one... when we get to eat chocloate and bake yummy treats? Receive flowers and go out to dinner?

Postcards from the early 1900's are also fun. They were so romantic, weren't they?

For more pink Valentine's check out Beverly's blog at How Sweet the Sound. You'll be amazed by how many pink lovers there are out there!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Toolin' Around in PINK

Where does the week go? Pink Saturday seems to creep up on me faster than ever before. I think it is the Taking Care of a Toddler Syndrome. Don't get me wrong, I love my Sweet Dear Bebe... but my days go by in a flash.
But we do go shopping. It's fun to get out and she's so good when I'm in a store.
Recently I came across a new bakeware set in you'll never guess.... PINK!

It took me about 2 seconds to decide it was going into my shopping cart. I think brownies are going to be absolutely delicious in the pan on the right. They're not antiques but maybe I can pass them on to Dear Bebe some day.

And who wouldn't want to go toolin' around looking for antiques in this cutie? It's the "Open and Close" car from Fisher Price. Dear Bebe received it for Christmas from her older Sister. It is so cute. The horn beeps and then a song plays. Too perfect not to share with my favorite pinkies!

I usually like to show my latest antiquey finds for PS. There really isn't too much from my latest inventory that will work this week. So this Victorian photo album is a stretch...but it is sort of pink.

And this royal sash really isn't pink at all but red is a form of pink at some point, isn't it?

Wink wink.
For more pinks ... tool on over to Beverly's blog at How Sweet the Sound. She hosts this every Saturday!

Snowstorm Buzz

Our area of the country is all a buzz with talk of a snow storm. I've seen it on the radar and this one is a BIGGIE. A friend of mine wrote on facebook how she had seen a local headline read: Mid Atlantic Region to be Mauled by Snowstorm.
Mauled? I'm not sure about that one. A little too dramatic don't ya think?

Well, the pantry is full of soup, so we're good.

I'm kidding.

We actually do have a ton of soup. I'm not sure what we were thinking when stocking up. But it's there.

My calendar is also turning into swiss cheese. It is full of holes now!

We have our annual Valentine's Day Tea at the antique mall where we have a booth on Sunday. It also happens to be Super Bowl Sunday! We were hoping to go to a get together but this may not happen either. Not because of the snow, but because we can't find a baby sitter yet.

So, more on the Valentine's Day tea later. I've got to get my snow gear ready. And make these yummy cookies to serve.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Victorian Horseshoe Photo Album

Isn't this amazing? This antique Victorian era photo album caught my eye this past weekend while looking for inventory.

I love the horseshoe mirror.

And the clasp is still attached, too!

Just listed on Bella Rosa Antiques.

Monday, February 1, 2010

We're Now on Facebook! Become a Fan, Receive 10% Off

We're excited to announce our new Facebook page. We'll be announcing latest listings, finds, and even sales. And speaking of sales, if you become a fan, I will take 10% off of your next order!

here to become a fan. (A Facebook account is necessary.)

Working on linking my Facebook page up to TWITTER as well. Once you go high tech, you might as well keep going!

I also did some antique hunting yesterday. Found a very old and unique Victorian shell purse. Plus an antique Victorian velvet photo album. Amazing finds! Can't wait to show you.

Stay tuned! And as always,