I do a lot of prep work leading up to a live sale. Not only do I make the dolls and things, find, purchase and bag prizes, I also do everything I can to make it as easy to run the sales as possible. There is definitely a lot of work before the sale. Which is nothing to compare to sale day and the day or two after.
Yesterday morning it was another bright sunny day. There were several projects that needed doing and Ethan gave me the option of handing him things (marginally useful) doing the second coat of paint on the fence or doing nothing that would help him out in any way. I felt the best use of my time, for the first task of the day, was painting the fence. It is monotonous work, which I don't mind at all if I have either someone to talk to or music. I had music and time to get in the zone and paint. I didn't have to think about dolls or shipping, just painting. And painting doesn't take much thought so it was a little over 2 hours of zen. And exercise, since of course I move the entire time. My back hurts, but the fence looks good. I am also a fast painter once I get in the groove, which is a bonus.
After the fence was done it was time for more monotonous work. Monotonous, tedious work. I am not the biggest fan of packing and shipping. If it's one package it's not that big of a deal. If it's an enormous stack of them (I didn't count) it is a bit more dauntinting. Let me back up a little bit.
So after the sales are done and I turn the camera off I usually do nothing doll related for a few hours. I spend some time with Ethan and Travis, we eat supper and then I will try to organize all the bags of sales stuff and start invoicing. For my birthday live sale I was also packing stuff to ship at the same time. It was efficient. But I also had to stay up until 11:30 to get it all done. This time around I just did as much of the invoicing as I could deal with and then I went to bed. When I got up in the morning I continued doing invoices as I was having my coffee. I don't like to make people wait.
On that note, after I finished painting the fence I jumped into packaging up everyone's stuff. It turns out, this is actually a much faster and easier way of doing it. All I had to do was find the correct size bag or box, pack the items inside, seal the package and write the person's name on it. Then I threw them in a pile until I was ready for them again.Next I went through all of the paid invoices and printed out the shipping labels. This is where I actually had to think a little bit because I needed to weigh all the packages and enter in the correct information. The beauty of the paypal invoice is I don't need to chase people down for their addresses, I don't have to risk getting friends and family payments (which is illegal and will get me audited if it happens too much). After I had a big stack of shipping labels I alphabetized them and then started grabbing packages to affix the labels to. With the mailing labels in alphabetical order, this was very fast. When I has a smaller stack of packages I alphabetized those as well, then things went really fast! Though I must say, "fast" is relative. I worked at packing and shipping for about 5 hours with pretty much no breaks. Holding a big sale takes a lot of work. I also still have more things to pack, but I ran out of bubble wrap and boxes and had to go out and get more. I'm a little tired...
I did a lot of work and I was all ready to bring two big bags of packages to the post office, then I realized I would not make it there in time. And if I did, they would hate me for making them check in all those packages as they were closing. Maybe some more invoices will get paid and I can get even more shipped out all at once. Anyway, I didn't manage to send out any mail but I had a really excellent mail day when I got around to opening stuff. When Breyer came out with their midyear releases I thought about getting some of the little blind bag stablemates because they are just so cute. But I only wanted a few of the models and I didn't really want to buy a case just to have to try to resell them or give them away (and lose money). People were reselling for enormous markups so I waited.
And then I saw a seller who had lots of duplicates and was only charging $6 each plus $5 for shipping. That was barely a markup at all! And totally worth it to not get a bunch that I didn't want. So today I got my little fighting stallion, indian pony and mini croi. I don't love the charcoal color, so I will likely get a different fighter when they come out with one I like, the indian pony and it may need to be a new conga. It's funny how I don't like Croi in traditional scale but I like her tiny. And in crystal, I like her that way too.
I also got my June micro from Maggie Bennett. I have already forgotten his name, but he is a wild unicorn! His head is a separate piece and will need to be glued on. He has 4 different sized horns so he is also customizable. And I am not sure yet if I like him or not. It would be cool to do a unicorn in fantasy colors. Or even totally realistic colors. So either I don't really like him or I like him a lot and need a few, lol. I haven't decided yet.So today is laundry day. I think I will put the stuff in and then go to the post office with all the sales loot. I am ready for a bit of a break. Then it will be time to jump into a few orders and start (continue) prepping for the miniatures sale.