How To Organise A Successful Instagram Sale

Last weekend I held an Instagram craft sale and managed to declutter my studio a little. It was the second sale I had held and it was pretty successful (I made about £250). I figured there were a lot of things I could share with you guys about how to organise an Instagram sale, so I noted down some tips and tricks along the way. This is a pretty long post, but hopefully it’s comprehensive and useful!How-To-Organise-An-Instagram-Sale

First of all, think about the reason you are planning the Instagram sale. For me it was purely because my studio had too much stuff and was an utter tip. I still have some more clearing out to do but thankfully it no longer looks like this. Plus I had to buy a new laptop recently, so I was grateful for some extra cash.

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Collate your stuff

I started with a big blue IKEA bag and over a few weeks added items to it that I wanted to sell. As my items were craft supplies, I noted the measurements of fabric and the condition of each item. You might be selling clothes so will need to note the sizes etc. At this point, you should take a photo of each item and begin to keep a spreadsheet, writing a short description listing for when you are ready to sell. If you do this as you go along, it wont feel like such a huge task at the point of the sale!

Research postage and packaging

Make sure you have worked out whether an item is worth selling or not – you could be spending more on postage than you think! I picked up one of these mail item size guides from the post office along with a price sheet. If you are looking to make a profit, remember to cover your postage costs. I stocked up on bubble wrap and brown paper as well as a few plastic mailing bags for lighter items. Factor the cost of the packaging into your plan too.

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As I also run an Etsy store alongside my blog, I actually have a Drop and Go business account with my post office (UK only), which makes it easier for posting large numbers of packages without having to queue. If you don’t have this, check opening hours and think about the least busy time to visit your post office.

Build your following and set up a separate account

The sale will work best when you have a substantial amount of people following your Instagram account. As my normal account is full of crafts, I invited my existing followers to take a look at my sale account if they wanted to grab a bargain and that way I didn’t spam my existing followers who weren’t interested. At the time of the sale I had around 5200 followers and 180 of them came over to the sale account. Think carefully about who you want to attract to your sale and what you can manage. My sale was UK only as I didn’t want to deal with customs forms and overseas postage.

Decide on when to hold the sale and set rules

I prefer to make my Instagram sales more of an ‘event’ rather than drip feeding my followers with items for sale. I looked at my Instagram stats via Iconosquare to find the time my followers were most active. I scheduled posts on both Instagram feeds a couple of days before to let people know I would be listing from 6pm onwards.

Prior to the sale starting, I made a ‘rules’ post which outlined how the sale would work and how people could purchase. This also gave people an opportunity to ask questions if anything wasn’t clear.

Schedule in advance

If you’re going to be listing a lot of items which I would recommend, it makes sense to schedule your listings in advance so you aren’t frantically typing out descriptions when the sale goes live. I used Hootsuite to schedule all my Instagram posts, so when the time of the sale came, I just had to sit on a mobile device and hit publish for each one (currently, Instagram doesn’t allow autoscheduling so posts are only partially prepared).

Hootsuite Pro accounts will allow you to bulk upload a csv file of posts (here’s where your earlier spreadsheet comes in handy) and they also offer a free 30 day upgrade on existing Hootsuite accounts so there’s no charge. Other tools such as Latergramme will also work, but they only allow a small number of posts to be scheduled in advance without a fee.

During the time of the sale be online to answer questions about each listing and to make sure all your posts have successfully gone live!

Managing payments

I found Paypal the easiest way to accept payments for the sale and asked people to leave their email addresses on the listing they wanted to buy (some DM’ed them instead which was also fine). Soon after, I sent Paypal invoices to each person and asked for payment within 24 hours. Luckily everyone paid up so I didn’t have to do any chasing! Remember to factor in Paypal fees too.

Once I had received their payments, Paypal would provide their postal addresses and names which I then matched up to the listing photo and the listing spreadsheet I had made. You need to be good with record keeping here as their Instagram profile name might be completely different to their actual name or email address! Basically you are aiming for a master spreadsheet with item description, price, who you have sold to (include IG and real names) and their address.

Be efficient with packing and sending

I had over 30 packages to send out so I made use of my Dymo Labelwriter to print all the address labels. This saved a lot of time! If you haven’t got a label maker, you can use a mail merge from your spreadsheet into a label template in a Word document. Then a sheet of labels can be printed on a normal printer. Otherwise, get your master spreadsheet out and a friend to help you with writing out all those addresses!
Dymo-Label-Writer

Package items well (breakables should be bubble wrapped!) and post as soon after the sale as you can. I notified all the buyers that packages had been sent and got proof of posting for each one.

Communicate well

A key factor of any successful sale is to communicate with your buyers. At all points of the sale you must update them; for the rules at first, then when invoices have been sent and when packages are on their way. You can do this via another photo upload to save individual messages if you are short for time. I also asked buyers to tag me when their package arrived so a week or so later I could delete the original photo listing.

Lastly….

One thing to remember is that these sales take a significant amount of time to prepare and run – so think about whether it is worth your time and effort. I made enough to feel like it wasn’t a waste of my time (took almost a whole day!) and I sold almost every item I listed (except my sewing machine which is still up for grabs!). You need to be really organised and work out your system beforehand.

PHEW. There you go – it was a lot to share, but I hope some of you find it useful. I’m definitely going to be holding more sales in the future so please keep following Claireabellesells if you’re interested.

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*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.

Instalife January 2016

If I had to sum up January in one word it would be emotional. 2016 started with two bereavements, one colleague and one friend. I found it hard to be cheery and upbeat about the month ahead. However, we had our first holiday of the year planned so G and I enjoyed some down time. Here’s what I got up to via my Instagram snaps.

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Stationery love from Kikki.K and celebrating 5000 Instagram followers

My 3 planners for 2016 (see more in a new blog series here)

Weekly planner layouts and goal setting
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A colour change and rearrange in the studio / New spray paint supplies

Sharing Scrabble goodies and working on products
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Updating the keyring designs and working on positive products

Customer photos / Valentines Cards / Sharing Scrabble Facts!Claireabellemakes-Instalife-January-2016-Blog

Geometric Wall Art / Gold Stationery / Valentines Date Night Jar

Scrapbooking fun / Upcycling a lamp / Sharing my favouritesClaireabellemakes-Instalife-January-2016-Cambridge-Bicycles

Brisk winter cycles and running errands / New Cambridge Satchel Co store

Daily ride on Florence / Off to Woodworking / Bike spotting

Time out for a holiday / Making hats / Finding forest stationery!

Claireabellemakes-Instalife-January-2016-Tammy

Tammy has had a haircut after some clumping in her fur – poor fluffball!!

Thanks for letting me share my month today. February is already looking extremely busy with some really exciting projects. I promise to share as soon as I can!!

I’m also working on some new products which I cannot wait to launch. Expect more bicycle goodies, my first collaborative product and a relaunch of the glitter heart pins in some fantastic new colours!

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Instalife November 2015

November was so much fun! I celebrated my birthday, caught up with family and made a TON of things for the blog and for customers. I’ve felt generally well (aside from one big migraine at the beginning of the month) and have been enjoying acupuncture sessions to see if it helps.

Here’s a little of what I got up to in November via my Instagram snaps.Claireabellemakes-Blog-Instalife-November-2015

Making festive treat boxes and ornaments / Trying Christmas teas

Renegade market haul / Planner DIY videos / Instagram Gift Ideas

Crochet Ear Warmer Pattern / Satchel Collection / Getting a local award
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Dream Big Print / Fabric for future makes / New Gold Bicycle Necklace

Packing Christmas Card Sets / New Product Testing / Wall Art Frames

 Snowflake Necklaces / Metallic fabric for future work / You Got This Print
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Messy Studio! / Crochet Snowflake Appeal / Pretty inspiration

Postcards to keep close by / Late night in the studio / Tammy ‘helping’

More Tammy time / Watermelon pincushion / Festive cards and candlesClaireabellemakes-Cambridge-London-Instalife-November-2015

Autumn leaves and sunshine in Cambridge / Bike Spotting

Visiting craft markets, Cambridge Satchel Company and the Liberty Flower Stall

Birthday trip to Sketch / Lucky Dip Club Meet Up

So there you have it! A busy month of lovely things and experiences. I am expecting a hectic December, but will hopefully have some time off around Christmas and the new year. I’ve got the dreaded accounts to catch up on though…wish me luck!

Tomorrow I’ll be at a craft market here in Cambridge (Mill Road Winter Fair) but I have scheduled a Christmas studio decoration post which I think you will love!

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Instalife October 2015

October was a calmer month for me. I consciously slowed down and had some evenings off. I tried to reduce my screen time and read more books. Consequently, I had a good migraine month and started acupuncture to see if that also helps.

I did my first Crafty Fox Market and I guest posted for one of my dream brands; Laura Ashley! I went nuts for planners and took loads of bike spotting photos as usual. Here’s what October looked like via my Instagram feed.Instalife-October-2015-Claireabellemakes-Blog

Reviewing the Happiness Planner / Blogging for Laura Ashley / We Make Collective

My Planner Collection / Sharing Favourite supplies / New Podcasts

DIY Marbled Gift Bag / Crocheting more Totoro’s / A Cambridge print review
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Makers Gonna Make Print / My Prints shared on Allison Sadler’s IG / Custom order

Seconds Sale / Wearing my TEA Pin /Reaching 600 Etsy sales!

Happy Birthday Card / Crafty Fox Market / Christmas Cards ReturnInstalife-October-2015-Claireabellemakes-Cambridge

Bike Spotting & Roof top views in Cambridge

Bike Rides on Florence / Spotting winter berries

More Bike Spotting and riding Florence to the day job
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New card display / Discovering Caboodle Magazine / Messy studio

Tea time in the studio / Tidy workspace & studio updates / Blogger photosClaireabellemakes-Persian-CatAnd of course we end with Tammy who is (like me) really enjoying blanket season.

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Instalife July 2015

July was sunny and warm in Cambridge and finally felt like summer. I managed to get out and about and enjoy the nice weather.

I had a better month for migraines in terms of pain level, due to a return to my daily meds. Unfortunately I’ve had bad fatigue and I also have some eye issues alongside the migraines which means I have a few hospital appointments to see a neuro eye specialist. It’s kind of annoying, but it could be much worse.

I spent lots of time with family this month and also got busy in the studio. Here’s what I got up to via my Instagram snaps.

Claireabellemakes-Cambridge-Instalife-July-2015Cycles home via Cambridge landmarks / Giant Ice cream! / Punting

Donuts at the day job / Dinner date nights / Train rides to family days

Summer cycles / Bike spotting / Skating practice

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Flower crown craft party / Cloth and Candy Fabric Giveaway (ends 7 Aug)

New Wall Art in store / Get Well Card / Custom Wall Art (inc. guinea pigs!)

Rainbow craft supplies / Sweater knitting / Pin cushion kit

Claireabellemakes-Blog-Instalife-July-2015Marbled trinket dish / Gold stationery haul / Blog Life postcards

Coffee table styling / Kikki K Planner review / Marbled Stationery DIY

Colouring in / Milk Carton Gift Box / Paper Straws DIY
Claireabellemakes-Studio-Instalife-July-2015Changing my studio pegboard display / Celebrating collabs / Post day

Getting my planner in order / Peonies in the studio / Filming my planner review

Card rack / Tammy helping out / Motivational wall art

I hope you’ve had a great month. I’m planning a little break for August, I need a recharge before I burnout!

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 *Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.