The Store is Open!

Romeo and JulietWoo! It’s time to celebrate because the online store is now open. You can access the store at any time by clicking the Shop link in the menu bar at the top of every page on this site.

You may be asking yourself why buy New England Handmade Artisan Soaps here instead of at the Etsy store? Customers who purchase soaps here will have a couple of advantages over customers on Etsy.

First, all new soaps will appear here for a full week before they appear on Etsy, so you can be the first to order new soaps and make sure you don’t miss out if you order via the shop. That also means that if items sell out in this shop, they may never appear on Etsy, so if you really don’t want to miss it, check it out here.

Second, the shipping in the shop has been calculated by weight instead of by item. Etsy will not allow shipping to be calculated by weight, which is how the USPS calculates shipping. As a result, I have to calculate by item, which sometimes results in inaccurate shipping charges. While I do refund shipping overages that amount to more than $1.00, it is much simpler to pay the correct amount in the first place.

A final advantage to customers in this shop is that they will have the opportunity to order more items. I plan to list fewer numbers of soaps on Etsy—in many cases, only a maximum of three bars of the same soap will be listed on Etsy.

With all these reasons to try the new shop, it is my hope that if you have been a loyal customer of my Etsy store, that you will give the new shop a whirl.

Big News for New England Handmade Artisan Soaps

I have some exciting news, and I just didn’t want to wait until September to share it. Starting Monday, August 25, New England Handmade Artisan Soaps will be opening its own independent online store right here on this website! In fact, you may even see the store button on the menu bar above, but at the moment, there are no items for sale.

What will change?

Aside from having a new outlet for purchasing New England Handmade Artisan Soaps, nothing will change. The Etsy store will remain open, and if purchasing via Etsy is preferable for you, you will still be able to purchase soaps via Etsy. You will no longer be able to access the Etsy store using the link above in the menu bar, but the link in the sidebar to right will remain active. Prices will be the same on both sites, but my personal store will make it easier for me to run sales and promotions, so you might want to check into it. You will also still be able to use either credit/debit cards or PayPal in the new store, just as on Etsy, but of course, Etsy gift cards will not work in the new store. Coupon codes shared in the regular monthly newsletter will also work in both stores.

Why the new store?

Well, a couple of reasons. First of all, I have control over more aspects of operating an online store at my own site than I do on Etsy. For instance, Etsy has always made calculating precise shipping difficult because the only method for setting up shipping is per item. USPS works more conveniently when calculated by weight. In my own online store, your shipping price will be based on weight and will automatically configure orders of certain sizes to fit USPS Priority Mail shipping containers. There will be no need to set up custom orders to achieve exact shipping quotes.

Also, it is my hope that customers will find what they are looking for more easily through my online store. Etsy does have a large number of gifted artisans, many of whom are soapmakers, and it is easy to be lost in the shuffle. The chances of someone searching online for a certain kind of soap and finding my Etsy store are slim, but a personal storefront will make it easier for customers using search engines to find what they are looking for at New England Handmade Artisan Soaps. It was also my hope to attract attention to my blog, which many customers on Etsy may not even be aware exists.

Finally, an independent storefront will make it easier for me to set up preorders for soaps that are not yet ready so that you can reserve soaps in advance and not miss out on your favorites. I can also set up backorders for soaps that are out of stock. If these features interest you, please feel free to let me know you’d like to see them implemented in the store.

What else is new?

You may have noticed things look a little different on the blog masthead, the Facebook page, the Etsy store, or even Twitter and the blog. As the new online store opens, I thought the time was right to make a few cosmetic changes. The next time you order soap, you might notice small differences in the packaging. However, you’ll be getting the same great soap.

If you have any questions about the new store, feel free to ask. I’m looking forward to sharing this new venture with all of you!