1. Sometimes the internet sucks.
Whether it be Folksy, Paypal or Facebook, they can all have bugs and go wrong, even if only for a second. So when I got an email from a customer saying she didn’t seem to be able to pay because Folksy didn’t want to know, THEN found that she had indeed paid twice but into an account that wasn’t set up yet, THEN realised I would be charged for receiving money through Paypal, well that was pretty rubbish. She was gracious enough not to blame me for the mix-up and kind enough not to let my first sale be plagued by bad feedback forevermore. Yet, all of that stuff tainted the awesome news of my first online sale.
2. Always be ready with the knowledge of who to fix simple problems.
It would have probably all gone much quicker had I read up on ALL the details I could about selling on Folksy, about using Paypal, and about how people buy and sell, but I’d been stupid and believed the “it’s simple” slogan. When an email comes through and you don’t have a clue how to sort it, reading slowly through information isn’t the most fun thing in the world.
3. Do as much as you can to be ready for a sale as is physically possible.I have just started out so for now I am selling on order, I have pictures of the prints I can sell up but I don’t have a massive pile of stock just waiting around – I simply can’t afford that option. However, it may well have been useful to have one of each ready to go. I managed to get the order out but having been a little taken aback by everything above I was not half as focussed as I could’ve been. I have learnt and shall do better.
4. Don’t get flustered.
Take a breath. Count to 10. Get a grip on the situation and then move on with the plan of action. I am normally pretty good at this, I have dealt with extreme stress and had to problem solve under time constraints. If I had given myself even a few more seconds rather than letting it all take me off guard and squeaking “Ahhhhh! I-have-a-customer-and-it’s-gone-wrong-and-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-and-they’re-going-to-be-mad-and-it’s-not-professional!!!” etc, etc, I would’ve been more than fine and could’ve enjoyed it more. Which leads me to my last lesson:
5. Do get excited.
Despite the crazy confusion and worry of my first sale, it was still MY FIRST ONLINE SALE! It wasn’t from family or friends so I can’t claim it as a pity-buy. It was posted on a site alongside many other great pieces from great artists and designers, and they still chose mine! That’s pretty awesome and if you have that experience too I’ll be cheering you on in my heart!