Wednesday, December 7, 2011

First, loving the buttons... I haven't even opened half of them yet (20lbs is a LOT of buttons!), and my cup already runneth over with awesome buttons.

However, this post is not another one about buttons. This post is about the recent evilness of Paypal.

The in case you don't know, Paypal recently tried to screw over 200 children and their families who have fallen on hard times and were, very generously, going to be given a bit of happiness from strangers this Christmas from the founder of Regretsy, April, and the forum members of You can read about the entire thing here. Something many of you likely don't know is that this isn't the first time Paypal has tried to f*ck with people trying to help others... After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the forum members of got together and accumulated over $30,000 to donate to the Red Cross. Paypal pulled a similar stunt of freezing the account and then gave the owner of the SA account no choice but to refund all of the money (though, fortunately, Paypal did not keep their fees that time). You can read a detailed story about THAT situation here.

Truth be told, I've been pretty irritated with Paypal myself for quite awhile now. I've considered it an unfortunately necessary evil largely due to the incestuous relationship between Paypal and their head honcho, eBay, as well as their very obvious 'deal' with Etsy (funny that Etsy doesn't offer the option to have a Google Checkout [now Google Wallet] payment or Amazon Payments or any of the other dozens of Paypal competitors).

Many, many people closed their Paypal accounts over the last couple of days because they had had enough of the evilness that is Paypal. Unfortunately, I can't be one of them if I want to continue to do business on the internet. Because people are weary of using checkout options they aren't familiar with, or because it takes more effort to pay other ways, or because they don't want to have to re-establish themselves with another online payment processor, I have to use Paypal.

And here we come to the more important part of my post: I hate how much power Paypal has and I want to do something, however small, to try to take some of that power away from them. There is a damn good reason anti-monopoly laws exist and Paypal is a good example of that reason.

So I am setting out to introduce more people to the other options they have available to them. I'm going to start offering various promotions over the next few months for those who use Google Wallet to make their Etsy payment. I encourage other Etsy sellers to do the same.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Buttons, Buttons, Buttons...

I shouldn't be blogging right now, but I need a bit of a break!

So, today, I bring you a post about something I started pseudo-obsessing over a couple of years ago: BUTTONS! It all started when I needed some buttons for these awesome and easy Mary-Jane-esque crochet slippers. I made several pairs as gifts Christmas 2009 and didn't have any buttons. Which was when I realized how crazy expensive buttons are. Which was when I checked eBay and found the 10+-lb auctions...

Buttons by the pound are a hot commodity, apparently. I did figure out though that I shouldn't be paying more than $3 per pound when I was buying more than 3 pounds at once. If you're patient, it's more than possible to get several pounds for that price (and we ARE talking about a random assortment of buttons here where there is no guarantee you'll get any duplicates or certain sizes or colors and you'll need to rifle through them yourself... It doesn't matter if they tell you that, if you considered the buttons MSRP it would cost 10x what they want - MSRP was decided with people getting to choose cards of specific buttons!).

I got lucky and a woman nearby on craigslist had 12 pounds of buttons (some of them sorted by size and material!) for sale. Since then, I've still been on the hunt for more buttons. eBay has been a disappointment though... There is NO reason that 2 lbs of buttons should cost $15 to ship, FFS. Those would very likely fit in a USPS Small Flat Rate box which costs $5 to ship (and USPS provides flat rate boxes for free, so I call BS when someone charges more! Bump up your price, not your shipping costs, if you want more $.)

Getting to the point (can you tell I'm procrastinating? :P ): I found an awesome deal on buttons in bulk online! There's a local small chain of art supply stores called Dick Blick's ( here in the L.A. area. I'd forgotten about it for years until I found their chalkboard paint. My grandpa was a very talented artist and LOVED Dick Blick's for his oil pastels, charcoal, canvas, exacto knives, balsa wood, etc. (he was a retired very-very-very highly desired machinist and was amazing with his hands!).

Well, Dick Blick's happens to sell buttons by the pound at $2.99/lb. It's their "always on sale" price. And shipping for 20 lbs (yes, I'm a nutter :P) cost only $8! They're on their way to me now from IL via FedEx Home. All of the photos I've posted in this blog post are customer photos of buttons they received. Lots of variety in size, color and even shape!

If I ever feel the need to buy more bulk buttons (and with nearing 40 lbs, I don't think I will anytime soon, haha), I won't bother looking anywhere else.