Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Kimono Sell-Off

I've decided to sell a number of my kimono, mostly the lined komon because I won't be able to wear them anymore. I thought I'd recoup some of my costs ^^;

I've invited a few of my fellow IG forumers and kimono friends to my flat for first dibs, and because they're friends, they get 50% discount :D Anything they don't buy gets put on the IG June trade thread, and anything that doesn't go THEN will be sold in the July Richmond event thing that Hong is going to. She and Isla are renting a table for the weekend, and Isla has made a bunch of really really cute kanzashi to sell! Hong said she might do a yukata dressing booth, and my kimono can be sold at Isla's table.

I'm wondering about selling these things online - I really don't trust eBay for selling stuff after all those horror stories I've heard from IG-ers, but I don't know where else to sell these.... IG only has one week-long trade thread every month, and I'm not familiar enough with the people on the Tsuruko Maiko forums to feel comfortable trading there. I did manage to make one trade through Flickr, but I don't want to set up a business there...

After looking at Yukikahou's blog shop, and this LiveJournal kimono page, I wondered... What if I created another blog on Blogger, but use that as a shop instead? It's a recent idea, so I haven't gotten out all of the details, but I was thinking of having a "Rules and Disclaimers" as well as payment details and Kimono Categories in the side-bar, and in the main body, I'd post each item for sale in individual posts. There will be one main picture on the post, and details of the item written in it, and a link to a Flickr set that will have more detailed pictures of the item. Payments will have to go through Paypal.

It all sounds well and good, but there is one major problem: the shipping. Since I'm moving back to Malaysia soon, I don't know how I will handle that. If I lived in the UK, I know my way about and the Post Office is easy enough to figure out. Buuuuut.. I'm not at all familiar with Malaysian post offices. In fact, I've never stepped in one before. Yeah, sheltered life. My mum posted all letters for me, and everything else came delivered. I guess I'll just have to learn.

There's also the matter of packaging items properly. I suppose my mum can get packaging materials really cheap from Petaling Street. Maybe she can teach me, so I can do it myself.

What about timing? When do I send out parcels? Theoretically, if I had a job like my sister's, I could always check for sales and confirmed payments every night when I come home from work, then pack any items before I go to bed and send it off the next day during my lunch break. I really don't know how well that would work out in practice.

I did think that I could add a little incentive for Malaysians to buy them, like "For people living in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, I'm willing to arrange a pick-up of the item at the following shopping centers on Saturdays or Sundays.." etc.

Of course, that all assumes that I actually succeed with the shop, and have pretty regular sales, which is impossible given that I don't actually have many things to sell. Hmmm.. Now there's an idea :P While looking for a job, I can set up a shop haha. When I do get a job, I can always maintain this shop as a form of extra income hehe. Hmmm, more excuses to buy kimono lots from YJA then.... :P

Yukikahou's blog did give me an idea on renting out kimono and yukata, and dressing other people in them for a small fee. I was very tempted to do the same thing with my kimono and yukata, but I'm not entirely sure I trust random people with my kimono and yukata... Still, Hong and I were discussing renting out my yukata as some form of income, and we thought I'd start out small, like at Bon Odori or something.

This week, I'm going to sort out all my kimono stuff and see which ones are for sale, and which ones I'm to keep. Once that's done, I'm going to measure each piece, check the condition, take detailed pictures and price them. When I'm finished cataloguing my stock, I'll turn to sorting my stuff-to-keep. I've organized and recorded most of my pieces, somewhat, but not all of them, and I think I'll need some sort of reference for myself on how to price these items.

In th meantime, I'm going to set up a new blog to test my shop idea :D I don't know if it's actually allowed to have a blog shop on Blogger... The rules state "Unless expressly authorised in writing by Google, you agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes (a) any portion of the Service, (b) use of the Service or (c) access to the Service." in no. 7 of the terms and conditions page. Is a blog shop considered to be "commercial purposes" if it's just a place for me to get rid of stuff I don't want? Oh well. Otherwise, I can go to Geocities and create a webshop there.

What think you of my idea?


6 comments:

Walter said...

Hi Priscilla,

I have no experience with selling online, only with buying.
Yes , you can't use your Google blog for commercial purposes, period.
But there's always Froogle.
http://www.google.co.uk/base/help/sellongoogle.html

I've 'googled' a bit , read this article , comparing different online shop providers.
http://www.intuitive.com/blog/next_up_google_shopping.html

Personally, I wouldn't rent out. Too much trouble fro what it's worth. What if it comes back damaged or dirty, late or not at all?
Unless you charge a deposit , covering the cost of the garment.
I think that's a can of worms best left unopened.
As for sending out packages, hoho, check your payments once a week and send it all out once in the weekend.
That's fast enough.
The selling booth and table sound nice : the customer checks trhe goods, pays, finito.
Good luck and BTW , when are you going back home ?

Priscilla said...

Hi Walter, thanks for the links! However, I checked around, and it seems like in this case, "commercial purposes" seem to mean "for advertising". Alot of people have set up shops on Blogger. Still, I'm not 100% sure it's completely legal, so maybe I could email Google and ask or something.

Yeah, you voiced all my thoughts and doubts on renting! I think with regard to renting yukata, I'll be fine if it comes back dirty, because washing is not a problem, but damaged... x_x"

I did think of a couple more ideas for profiting off my hobby (yes, I'm kind of moneyminded ^^;;). I could always sell some things on this Malaysian anime and cosplay forum that I frequent, but the problem is that the people who go there usually have limited budgets and are likely to be unwilling to pay very much for things like this >.<""

I also thought of renting out a table at Anime Expos and cosplay events where I can rent out yukata, charging by the hour, and dress people, but this is once again a rather messy deal.

.... I'm having so much fun thinking up ways of earning money from my hobby :) Haha, it really makes me wish I could open a kimono store, or move to Japan and work in one! XD

Petrina said...

Posting shouldnt be an issue. There's this chain of shops called Mailbox Inc that has stores in most of the major shopping malls (Pavilion, Bangsar Village and Midvalley all have one). They do mailing via UPS, DHL and the usual Poslaju and stuff. Basically like Post Office but in a mall and nicer decor.

Not cheap though. A few months back, Rommel wanted to send a burned CD with pics to his cousin in New York and that cost him RM160+ I think. But that was cos he wanted it delivered by 2 days or something like that.

I can crochet kimono-related little accessories and bags to sell too...

Oh and I've seen lots of Google blogs that do sell stuff so I dunno... Go read about it.

Priscilla said...

Pig, oh is that the shop that's somewhere in the basement of Pavilion that we pass by? Yeah, I remember you telling me it was really really expensive :(

Haha, by discussing all of this, we are realising Ma's worst nightmare - she spent so much on our education, and we end up doing things like this!! XD Oh well... Having a kimono store will seem fun at first, but when the novelty wears off, it'll get tedious and difficult. Besides, I think I want an office job so that, you know, the good (kimono!) balances the bad (boring job) :P That way, I'll appreciate kimono more~ (My twisted logic)

yukikahou said...

Hrmmm...when I first signed up for Blogger I took that line to mean that users were not allowed to copy the Blogger code for their own use, similar to this line in Google's term of service:

5.5 Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Google, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose. (http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS)

So it's more of "acknowledging Blogger as Google's intellectual property" kind of thing?

Anyway do update when you get a reply from Blogger, as I'll have to move the blogshop if it's not allowed :P

yumikoyy said...

hi dear~ u selling ur yukata ?
am really interested ^^
am from kl too ..... pls pm me dear~
need it for bon odori ... i`m fair skinned ppl ....
fave colour blue n pink ^^
pls pm me o
princessbluemelody@hotmail.com
am waiting for ur pm