cissalj: (Default)
So- someone who'd ordered a set of wedding rings decided they wanted to pick them up rather than paying for shipping.

The problem is that if they pick them up, I have to charge sales tax, since i am selling them in MA.

The other problem is that since I ALMOST ALWAYS make rings and send them out to non-MA locations, I tend to forget that a MA delivery means sales tax... so I didn't quote it.

So now the guy has decided he wants the rings sent anyway- and he's not paying EITHER sales tax NOR shipping.

OK, that's a way to make me learn my lesson. Although in many ways location is irrelevant, there are some ways it IS important, and I need to keep that in mind.

But still- is stiffing the person who made you your rings really good karma for the marriage? because, I think not.

Worrisome

Sep. 25th, 2009 07:02 pm
cissalj: (Default)
OK, so we had 1 package sent registered mail go missing in Shrewsbury- meaning, the tracking confirmed it go there, and then... nothing. Nothing at all.

At this point we can start the official tracking of lost mail. Since registered is supposed to be insanely secure, with every item explicitly signed in and out at every step of the way, this ought to produce the missing package.

Except that a few days ago we sent another package via registered mail- this time via Priority Mail/registered, for faster delivery... and this one too got to Shrewsbury several days ago and since then- nothing. In the 3 days since it got to Shrewsbury, it should have been travbelling to its destination; instead- NOTHING.

So: at this point it's looking like somebody in the PO at Shrewsbury is stealing registered mail packages, despite all the bragged-on security these supposedly have. I can't really see any other reason that 2 packages, sent via different means (1 first class, 1 priority, albeit both registered), and roughly 2 weeks apart, have hit that point and disappeared.

This is very worrisome- both because of the vanished commissioned work, AND because it points up that there is actually NO safe way to ship bloody anything at all. Registered mail gets lost/stolen. FedEx drops stuff on porches, unsigned for, even when one pays extra to demand a signature on delivery. Etc., etc.

I really don't know what to do. I can't continue to make jewelry for people if I can't get it to them... and there doesn't seem to be any way to securely get it to them. I'd been relying on registered mail- and now that that's gone south- I have nothing.

Dunno what I can do... I sure cant' keep making stuff and having it vanish in shipment- and that seems to be my only option.
cissalj: (Default)
Woo! It looks like my Mobius ring is an engagement ring in "Numb3rs"! And for a major character, even!

This is such a thrill!
cissalj: (Default)
(OK, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration.)

Still! I have permission to tell people that I made one of my Mobius rings, similar to the one in that link, for the TV show "Numb3rs".

They got it and I'm told everyone loves it, and it will be appearing on Amita ( a math person, so it's especially perfect) on the May 22nd show.

The one I made for them is silver, but that's the only difference.

I am really excited about this! I know one of the things reps do is plug an artisan's work to TV shows and movies... but I don't have a rep at this point, and since I'm keeping busy without one I hadn't really given it a lot of thought.

So I had NO expectation of ever seeing a piece of mine on TV! This is such a thrill!
cissalj: (Default)
I got my copy of this book a week or so ago, but hadn't opened it because I thought it was a cookbook. Silly me!

My Plique-a-jour Smiley Face is on page 148, and the rest of the book has really nifty examples of what people are doing with enamels these days. I plan to spend a lot of time perusing this for inspiration!

Also: one of my rings may be appearing on a network TV show, which would be very nifty if it works out!
cissalj: (Default)
I am having a problem with UK ring sizes.

To wit: although there are various conversion tables on the Web, they are not consistent one with another. What's more, they do not even offer consistent measurements for the inner ring diameter at various sizes- which, frankly is all I need, since the sizes in any set of units are merely a convenience; to make rings, I need the inner ring diameter.

And so, I plead for help!

Among things that would be useful: anyone who knows their ring sizes in both UK and US units; and/or anyone who has both a known UK-sized band and the ability to measure the inner diameter accurately (and by "accurately" I mean ideally to 0.02mm, but definitely to 0.1mm, and please measure it from, say, north to south and then again from east to west, in case it's gone a bit oval in wear).

Either or both of these will help me figure out which of the conversion tables is approaching accurate. And then all I'll need to do is figure out whether or not my clients are using the figures from one of these... I know their UK ring sizes, and will be happy to make them in those sizes (or maybe a bit small, since stretching is pretty easy), if only I could!

Thank you very, very much.

Also: if anyone in the UK or elsewhere knows where I can get a (hopefully reliable) UK ring mandrel or set of sizers, I would be most, most grateful. And, what the hell- a European one, too, while I'm at it.

(I just posted this on my metals journal, too, so that's why you may be seeing double.)
cissalj: (Default)
I have recently gotten some criticism about our shipping policy, on Etsy and Electric Celt: we will send Paypal orders to the confirmed address on the Paypal account; we will send credit card orders to the billing address on the credit card; for other shipping options we need either a check (and shipping will happen once the check is cleared) or money orders.

I know this is inconvenient for people who want to send things as gifts.

The problem is- if we send something to an address that is NOT confirmed (Paypal) or billing (credit card)- the person who paid can initiate a charge-back, and no matter how much evidence we have that proves that they asked for something to be sent to another address- it doesn't matter. Not only do we lose our product, and not get paid for it, and lose the shipping costs- but we ALSO get a substantial penalty from the credit company (Paypal or other) because they did a charge-back.

This is why we will send stuff only to a confirmed Paypal address if the customer pays with Paypal; or to the billing address on the credit card if they pay with a credit card; or, if they want a gift, we need a money order or a check (and a check will need to clear before we send the goods).

We just cannot afford to subsidize thieves. Nor do we think it's fair to charge honest people extra so we can afford to send stuff to thieves; I'd rather do something to minimize our risk, and thus NOT charge honest people extra because some people are crooks... even though with gifts, that can be inconvenient.

Still- the alternative is to charge honest people more so we can afford to send stuff for free to crooks. I just can't get behind that, and don't think it's fair.

I wish there were a way that we could send stuff to people as gifts WITHOUT putting ourselves at risk. At the moment that doesn't seem to be possible, though, so we need to insure that we get paid for items we send out.
cissalj: (Default)
My piece "Phases: A Moon Ring" his currently featured on the site Jewelry of the Day. I'm so honored! Lots of pretty stuff there, too, so it's worth looking through the back entries.

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