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.

Mess-Craft-Studio-Claireabellemakes

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.

Royal-Mail-Parcel-Size-Guide

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.

5 Gift Ideas For Instagram Addicts

My favourite social media platform has to be Instagram. I love the visual side of it and the creativity community that is always offering inspiration, support and general loveliness. That got me thinking about 5 Christmas gift ideas for Instagram addicts, so that’s what I am sharing today (as well as a giveaway at the end!).

Gift-Ideas-For-Instagram-Addicts-Claireabellemakes

The first is a photo printing service from Cheerz. You can order a box of polaroid style prints directly from your Instagram feed with a variety of cool boxes to choose from. They are so down with the kids you can even order directly from their app. Easy!
Print-Your-Instagrams-Cheerz

One of my favourite cameras to play with is the Pink Fujifilm Instax. It prints minature polaroid style photos instantly. Perfect for nights out with friends! Pink-Fuji-Film-Instax-Camera

This is a cute stocking filler idea for people who are addicted to snapping pictures on their phone! The Devil’s eye Clip Super Fisheye Lens literally clips over your camera lens like a bulldog clip, giving a cool fish eye effect to your photos.
Mobile-Fish-Eye-Lens

Wrap.me is a great company offering personalised photo wrapping paper. I did a review of their products last Christmas and had so much fun making my instagram gift wrap! This would be great for friends or boyfriends/girlfriends as you can put your memories for the year onto one big sheet!

Instagram-Photos-Gift-Wrap

The last gift idea is one for the crafty types. I am big into my Project Life scrapbook which is a great way for me to print photographs and document my memories. There is a ton of Project Life stuff on Amazon or you can even create your own journalling cards and embellishments. 

Project-Life-Layout-Heidi-Swapp-Gold-Foil-Claireabellemakes

I hope you enjoyed these photo gift ideas today. Now for the giveaway!

The lovely people at Cheerz have given me credit for boxes of photographs to give to 3 lucky readers! All you need to do is enter on the rafflecopter widget below and I’ll pick winners on 5 December at midnight. European entries only please as Cheerz cannot deliver internationally Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are from an overseas country outside of Europe and you have already entered, please feel free to send me your address and I’ll pop a little treat in the post for you! Sorry, I only just learnt the comp was for UK and EU only!

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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.

My Favourite Instagram Feeds

Today I wanted to share some of my favourite Instagram accounts, because a) it’s nice to share and b) I’m getting a little Insta-obsessed lately. Just click the images for each one to be taken to their accounts!

Andsmilestudio-Instagram

Andsmile Studio is run by illustrator Viktorija who I have been lucky enough to meet on a few occasions. Her feed is full of her cute creations and travels as well as lots of behind the scenes studio action.

Studio-DIY-Instagram

Studio DIY is a blog I’ve been reading since I began this blog and I never fail to smile when I look at Kelly Mindell’s feed. Full of colour, sugary sweets and party DIYs – you know one of her images when you see it! Plus she posts the occasional dance party video and I’m all about that.

Jeff-Mindell-Instagram

Kelly’s dance party video partner is her hubby Jeff Mindell. Another favourite of mine, Jeff’s feed is a wonderful mix of interiors, travel shots and inspiring photography. This couple have just put out an amazing Instagram class which I recently took and learnt so much from. The bloopers at the end are hilarious too.

Mimizukupapeterie-Instagram

I first came across Julia’s feed as she is also part of the Sizzix Design team for 2015. A wonderful mix of paper crafts, pretty pastels and the odd cat picture too. Her studio shots are inspiring and will make you want to get creative with paper.

From-Tree-To-Sea-Instagram

I’ve followed Lauren Natasha for a while now and her feed always makes me want to travel and enjoy the great outdoors. A blend of nature and adventures with some creative posts thrown in too. Plus she’s super lovely to chat to!Chili-Philly-Instagram

Phil Ferguson deserves way more than his 80.9K followers. He’s a CROCHET GENIUS and is starting to get noticed across the world. He doesn’t upload too frequently as he is usually working on one of his giant food themed crochet hats. The dead pan face makes this feed my favourite of all time. Plus, Avocado hat!

Lauren-Aston-Designs-Instagram

Finally, Lauren Aston Designs is a feed I’ve recently discovered and I now adore. Lauren makes mega knits and was recently nominated for a Mollie Makes Handmade Award. I’m definitely putting one of her giant knit throws on my Christmas list this year.

Do you have any favourite Instagram accounts to share? You can find me sharing crafts, cats, stationery and bicycles over here.

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