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Magic Tracks Review

My two children saw the commercials for Magic Tracks on television and were wowed by them. They bugged me for several weeks before I went out and purchased them from Walmart. You can get them online easily from Amazon by clicking this link.

magic tracks

So what did we think of them? Well, getting the battery into the car was a little bit difficult. It sort of felt like the car was going to fall apart when I did this. I bought two of them, one for my son and one for my daughter. Turned out that only one of the cars worked. So, we returned the defective product back to the store and got a new one (which actually did stop working again after a few weeks). It could be the roughness of a toddler and a four year old. Or, the product could just be a bit defective.

The tracks themselves were the neatest part of this toy. You have to interlock them when you’re setting it up, which isn’t hard to do. The way that they bend and move is amazing. I think perhaps someone invented the tracks first and added the car later.  Once you have your track set up you set your car on the tracks. There’s a button on top of the car that gets it going. It’ll shoot off pretty fast and it whips around these awesome tracks in an amazing way, staying on the tracks the whole time. The more track length you have, the more fun it will be. So, it may be worth investing in two of these. Get two of them for less from Amazon here.

Would I buy them again, yes. Scale of one to ten? I give this product a seven (only because the cars broke and needed to be returned on several occasions).

Here’s a great video advertising Magic Tracks.

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Tips to Sell More On Etsy

Do you want to know how to sell more on Etsy? Here are 15 Etsy seller tips. This amazing marketplace helped bring my dreams into reality when I started selling invitations, announcements, and digital goods. I’ve been selling since 2013 and I’ve learned a few tips to sell more over the years. Here are some great tips to help you make the most of your Etsy shop!

  1. Customer Service: Good customer service doesn’t just mean being nice to your customers. It means going above and beyond… all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to shout at a customer through an Etsy convo, but I don’t. I know better now. Above all, be honest! If their order is delayed, let them know. Let them know even if it’s an outrageous delay. Always respond to customer questions and thank them for their positive reviews. Be nice. Always.
  2. Ask for positive reviews. It’s totally okay to ask them for this. If I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t have half of the reviews I have. Most people don’t think to leave a review unless it’s a bad experience. However, I find that, if they’ve had a great experience with me, they’re more than happy to leave a review. How to ask for an Etsy review? It’s simple! When you know this might be your last conversation/email to that person (such as when you’re thanking them again – and always be sure to thank them one last time), use verbiage similar to mine: “Thanks again so much for your order. Though not necessary, I would greatly appreciate your review for my shop. It’s still a relatively new shop and every review counts! To leave a review, just click on your ‘my account’ link to the top right. Then, visit ‘purchases and reviews.’ The item you purchased from me should be there soon if it isn’t there already. Thank you again and I hope you shop with me again soon! I’d love to help with anything you can dream up!” Make sure you tell them HOW to leave a review if you’re asking for one. Also, encourage word of mouth about your store!
  3. Work with people on price! If someone asks you if you could make something for them and are surprised to hear how expensive it is, see if you can work with them a little. Perhaps offer free shipping or an extra freebie (such as with digital items).  However, never go too low that it isn’t worth it to you to do. I’ve found that I undervalue my work and I’ve suffered some in pricing before I realized that people will pay more.
  4. Have a good bio and store story. Etsy is a community. We know these are real people making things and selling vintage items. They want to know the person they are buying from. Points for pictures of yourself and your real name!
  5. Don’t price your items too cheap. People may be willing to spend more if they think that item is of a better quality. More expensive = better quality.
  6. Take some great photos! This one is a must have. You have about five photos that you can upload. Use them all. If you are selling actual items and not digital downloads, invest in a good camera for photo taking.
    Etsy Photos Upload If you really want to capture some great photographs, create a lightbox. Here’s how you can make your own light box from home.
  7. Build your brand. Use shop announcements, shop logos, header images, listing images, and more to set yourself apart as a unique and coherent brand. Ask yourself these questions. What message are you communicating? Who’s your target customer? Is this message carried through in your logo, shop banner, tagline, and photographs?
  8. Use SEO. Use search engine optimization. You’re allowed 13 tags in each listing. Use ALL OF THEM. Ask yourself what people would search for when trying to find your item. Use this language in your listing title and listing description. A lot of people just copy and paste their title to the top of the listing description. Although this can work for some items, I think it looks better to use a brief paragraph describing the items – while including those tags. To find words to use in your SEO, visit your detailed stats on your dashboard and view the keywords people are using to sell your items.
  9. Social Media. Social Media. Social Media. Social media is free marketing for your business. Almost all social sites don’t cost a penny! Put your social media URLs in your Etsy profile. Using platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you can interact with your customers and answer their questions. It also gives you the opportunity to tell people about any SALES you may be having. Use an Etsy Coupon code and spread the news via all your social sites. Some people may use their own, personal sites. I prefer to have separate sites (for example, I link to my shop’s Facebook page as opposed to my own profile) for each social platform.
  10. Target your customers. After you’ve made more sales and talked with lots of customers, you should have a very good idea of who you’re selling to. For example, my target audience is moms ages 25-50 years old. I know this from the past experience I have. So, I don’t try to target men (aside from little boys’ invitations for their moms to pick out) or anyone too young. This saves you time and a great deal of effort if you know who you’re talking to.
  11. Study successful shops. Search for something similar to what you’re selling. Visit that listing as well as that shops home page. You can see their sales numbers up top and, if you visit their reviews, you can see exactly what people are loving to buy. Don’t steal their ideas, but it’s fine to use some of their verbiage and other ideas from visiting other sites.
  12. Have accurate item descriptions. This says it all. Be honest. Tell the buyer EXACTLY what they will be getting if they purchase that item.
  13. Set clear policies. Be very clear when you state your policies. One way to make sure buyers read your policies is to write, “Read my shop policies before purchasing.”
  14. Use your own word of mouth. Tell friends and family what you sell and ask them to tell others!
  15. Think of a creative shop name. Remember, although it can be a hassle to change everything, shop names CAN BE CHANGED.

    Above all, the best way to become a great Etsy seller is to communicate clearly and sell products people want to buy. If no one wants to buy what you’re selling, you’re not going to start selling.



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How to Find High Resolution Photos Online

PNG of a spider's web

Finding high resolution photos on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines is simple. If you’re not using search terms and search tools, then it’s time to start.  First off, when you do a google search, you should always use this first trick:

  1. Using the * – Put a * after the word. For example, instead of searching “Cow” or “Cows”, search “Cow*”. What this does is expand your results, giving you both search results from the plural and singular cow searches. This works in everyday searching as well as image searching.

To find a high resolution photo on Google, use the SEARCH TOOLS box.  I’ve illustrated this below.

using google search tools

When you search for size, make sure you’re searching for something at least larger than 2MP (1600×1200). This will almost certainly help you find the search results you want.

Google has a nice relatively new feature that includes colors with searches. As you can see illustrated above, you can now pick which shades you want your results to come in.

The same goes for a Yahoo search, as you can see below.

yahoo image search

It’s not just the “size” search tool you should be using, utilize them all for the best results. As you can see in the yahoo picture above, you can search for only photos, graphics, GIFs, face photos, etc.

Usage rights also matters. With google and many other search engines, you can search to get only results with the usage rights you want. For example, searching only “commercial use okay” or “reuse with modification okay” searches.

So, the internet is not just full of low resolution photos. If you know how to find them, you can find almost anything you’re looking for.