Welcome to the biggest update ShopHandmade has ever seen! First things first: this is an update. That means we have some fantastic new features to show you, some features on the way, and a few things that got retired.
It also means some things may not work perfectly. Don't worry. All of the critical stuff works. You can shop, buy, and sell same as always. If there is a problem, it's probably already on our to-do list and will get fixed soon.
Feedback is always welcome. contact us with your thoughts and questions. We read all feedback that you send to us, though we may not always reply unless we need to follow up.
Markets are on hold while we work on new features for them. Don't worry - all of your markets are still there. We will turn everything back on when the new markets system is ready and you can resume joining markets and inviting stores to your markets.
Markets are a unique feature of ShopHandmade: curated collections of stores. Market curators select stores that fit a specific style. When you browse a market, you browse all of the products offered by all of the stores in that market. Think of each Market as a mall built just for what you want.
Anyone can create their own market and send invites to stores to join. Anyone with a store can join or request to join a market.
Blogs are now given prominent placement on your store, with improved layout and readability. Just look for the "Blog" link on your store's navigation.
Blogs will make a return to the ShopHandmade home page, as well as other locations throughout the site. We're still making some design decisions about how to do this, and what will work best for customers and store owners.
Typically, exporting your store from another site and then importing it anywhere else is a painful, cumbersome process. Even the ones that call themselves "easy" are agonizing to get through.
This is a feature we want to get absolutely right for store owners. That's why we made the decision not to give you a second rate tool to do the job. We have a couple of ideas we're working on. Stay connected with us for more updates.
ShopHandmade is unique in that the e-mail address you use to sign in here must be the same as your PayPal e-mail address. So, if your paypal address is email@example.com and your ShopHandmade address is firstname.lastname@example.org then you're already set up! We handle the PayPal checkout for you. You don't have to do anything.
Some store owners prefer to sign in to PayPal and ShopHandmade with different addresses. PayPal lets you register up to five different e-mail addresses. So as long as your ShopHandmade e-mail address is registered with PayPal as one of the five available e-mail addresses, you're still good to go.
Your store nickname has always been your store's web address. So if your nickname is debbiescrafts, your store's address is debbiescrafts.shophandmade.com
Now instead of nickname, we're calling it store address. We think that's a change that makes more sense, especially for new store owners.
You can change your store address anytime you want. Just go to your store profile. Under Store address, type in a new address. As long as the address is available, it's yours! Then click the green Save button at the top right or bottom right of the page.
Some important notes with this new feature:
To delete an item from your store, go to your store inventory, and click Unlist next to each item you don't want to sell anymore. This will delete the item from your store page, from search results, and from customers shopping carts when they go to checkout.
There's a very specific reason we do it this way: it's easier than the delete/undelete game. We found that when customers could permanently delete their items from their stores, the requests to undelete items skyrocketed. We also found that trying to use an undelete system was cumbersome and difficult for customers. Lots of clicking around pages and getting lost. It was a frustrating experience for everyone.
So, we use the list/unlist system. List an item: it's on your store. Unlist an item: it disappears from your store and goes to a separate list on your store inventory page. Click relist: boom, it's listed on your store again. Simple, easy, manageable.
To close your store, go to your store profile, go to the bottom of the page, and click on Vacation. This quickly takes your store and all of your items off ShopHandmade.
While your store is on vacation, you can still edit your profile, change your graphics, and edit items. Your store and your items will still be gone from ShopHandmade.
If you want to resume your store, go to your store profile again, and click Resume My Store. This quickly puts your store and your items back into ShopHandmade and you can pick up where you left off.
When you list an item, you can add up to five photos of your item. Your photos must be a standard image format (jpg, png, tif, etc). This isn't a problem for modern cameras.
However, your photos must be under 5 megapixels. That means if you use a smart phone to take your photos, you may need to take the picture with your phone's front camera, since that is usually less than 5 megapixels. If you use a P&S camera or a DSLR, you may have to set it to a lower megapixel setting, or you can rescale your photos in your favorite photo editing program before you upload them here.
We may increase the megapixels limit in the future since that's where cameras are all going anyway and modern broadband connections are fast enough to handle it.
In ShopHandmade, we used to tailor the look of your store and your items pages to a store owner's needs. A store owner and a visitor would see slightly different versions of the same page. We have changed that so that you see what the customer sees when you look at your items and store pages.
At ShopHandmade, you get a fair amount of automatic free promotion. Your newest and best items are shown on the ShopHandmade home page, on galleries, and on other areas of the site.
We also bundle in social buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr for your items and blog posts. When visitors "like" your pages, they show up on Facebook, etc. for other people to click on and visit.
To promote your site yourself, every item page has a short URL link that you can post to anywhere to link people to your items. On your item page, look for this box: