Saturday morning Q&A with Annie
When I worked at the paper in Pilot Point, Texas, the owner was forever sending me to do "man on the street." I posed questions to ordinary "men" and women on the street. You guys have a lot of questions.
Q: Is your name LeAnne or Annie.
Q: Why is shipping $10.
Q. What's on your spotify playlist?
Q: Will you ever do auctions again?
Q. Where can I find.....
So lets get to them (and feel free to post your question).
Q. Is my name LeAnne or Annie.
A: A lot of people look at me weird when they find out my name is LeAnne as if I have pulled off some type of scam or they've spent hours googling Annieofanniesbarn and come up empty. IF you know where I'm from (hint: smalltown Kansas) you know EVERYONE has a nickname. I'm named after my grandpa, Lee, with the Anne added but no space and a cap A. My mother loved the name. Loved it. But EVERYONE called me Annie except her. I just accepted this as fact til I went to kindergarten in Topeka Kansas in the late 60s in my saddle shoes. I learned to write LeAnne Rene Stowe. So I have two names. I answer to either. I "prefer" none. But if you want to know how it works, my kids call me Mom A. (so don't let that fool with your head too much, I actually answer to THREE names! such a nickname hog)
Q: Why is shipping $10.
A: It feels a little weird to charge local people $10 to ship a shirt. Other vendors offer free shipping. You can get a lot of shirts off amazon for free shipping (note the quality of the shirt, and the price, and you're often over $40. Well, I thought I'd explain myself and, to be honest, I thought about this for a long long time. We offer MUGS on the website. A mug requires a box that costs $1.50. The box to ship a mug is $1.50. I've read so much research on this, but it's the only box out there that ships a mug reasonably well. When I ship mugs, about 1/20 wind up broken. Lets not ask USPS how they can break a mug that has a special fully fitted foam box? Anyway, USPS charges me different rates based on where that mug is going. When I go down to the workshop twice a week to do shipping, I have to make or pull the mug. Assemble the mug box. Match the shipping label to the box (harder than you think for some). Lets say you bought one coaster. If it is a coaster I have in stock, I pull it, print a label, get a foam mailer, print a label and send it. It is not $10. But maybe you are the only person that has ordered that week (this happens in the off season a lot). Now your label does not cost $10, so this is a time the "handling" is higher. Also, take into consideration that a lot of what you are buying via amazon is "dropshipped" … so people in the USA make a deal with distributors in china, you the customer place your order with the website in the US... your order goes both to the owner of the website and to the people who fill your order in china. (and that's a short version, because there are other models too). Anyway, the net is, on some orders on make $1 on shipping and some I lose $1 and in the end it all comes out in the wash. And locals, I have always offered the ever confusing porch pickup. I probably had 7 orders for coasters that NO ONE ever came to pickup last year.
Q. What's on my spotify playlist this month?
A. Well, this week we dialed up the Cars in honor of Ric O.
"I won't back down" by Tom Petty.
"Take it easy." The Eagles.
"Scuse me." Lizzo.
"The Mother" Brandi Carlile
Q: Will we ever do auctions again?
A: I'd love to. BUT …. honestly, I'm so overwhelmed creating new things that remembering to who bought what and to put it on the porch would be overwhelming. If I went with "shipping only" then I have to have a box your merch fits in and I think we've covered shipping nightmares above. I would like to sell about 30 percent of my collection of metal vintage kid trucks. I NEED to. I'm not ready to let them go yet. And a little pyrex destash would be a good idea too.
Q: Where can I find......
A: Probably if I was more organized, I would have an inventory system so that I know how many of each item is in all of the stores. But I'd rather be creating than running an inventory system. I can only offer generalities when you ask me if a certain store has a certain cup, tee, coaster. One, I can't recall if they carry it. Some are too naughty. Two, I don't know if they are sold out. Right now, most of my stores are open to an old fashioned phone call and they will set aside an item for you. The web site is always open but I don't always ship in 24 hours. (the stairs are a problem for me and that's a story for another day). The red "on earth as it is in Arrowhead" mugs "may" come today so that I can make them. IF SO, I will have two dozen with me at the Plaza Sunday from 1-3.
Q: Are you still reading?
A. Yes. So, here's your reward. I've created a 20 percent off offer. Happyfall20. Good today and tomorrow only. Thank you for following Annie's Barn. YOU are officially a Barnstormer.