Mag Sets

When eBay offered 100 free listings to entice me back, I put 30 pieces of art up for auction and decided to test the eBay waters, so to speak,  with 50 buy-now listings for button products.  It is not the best venue for low-end items, what little profit there is consumed by fees, but I’m thinking eBay is good place to sell off those “leftover” buttons made for local venues.

I sorted out the trays of  1.25″ magnets yesterday, tossing out the worst and packaging the rest up as (mostly) sets of 8… decided to sell them as “used” since they were transported repeatedly and displayed at outdoor venues in open trays. Some look new, fresh off the button press, but too many have minor scuffs on the shiny mylar surface to call them new.  I created a few sets the same so one listing could have a quantity of 2 or 3.  I’m still debating if they should go up for 7 day auction, with opening bids of 99 cents, or if I should just post them as 30 day buy-now items.

I photographed each set with the camera on my cell phone before packaging, then emailed the photos to myself… it’s faster and easier than trying to upload via a cord to this computer.

Want a sneak peek before the listings go up?

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One of the photos shows how they are packaged… thinking ahead for mailing since the USPS has rules for magnets.  They must not be able to move a compass needle… so they’re packaged back to back on a strip of paper (to keep them lined up) inside 2″ wide cello bags, then they will be wrapped in bubble wrap and cardstock to further insulate the magnetization before tucking inside padded mailers.

I’ve always had better luck selling on eBay than anywhere else, even had a little eBay store years ago,  and still occasionally sell off a few things… mostly some tools and odd junk. When you consider that I’ve sold over 3,000 items on eBay (a lot of repeat customers when I sold jewelry making supplies, so my feedback score is only 2,000 something) as compared to less than 50 on Etsy, it sounds like an easy decisions… eBay should be my main selling venue.

So, test the waters… will my buttons sell on eBay?

For the curious, here’s a link to my eBay profile page:

Thanks for reading!



Revamp: 2017 Plan

I’m thinking about changing things as, quite frankly, my little button biz is not doing very well. Custom button orders trickle in slower than molasses in January, just small orders now and then, sometimes for just one or two buttons. Orders for more than 25 are rare. As for selling in person, I’m not physically able to go set up at fairs or festivals or to even hit the craft show routes. About all I could handle was two or three hours at the First Friday Art Walk when I lived downtown. I tried doing a flea market with my daughter, but I was in so much pain that we left before noon.

So, where does that leave me?

It looks like my only option is to sell online. So, that is what I am rethinking… how or where to sell my buttons online.

My experience from years ago, when I sold mostly odd junk and beading supplies online, highly suggests that eBay is the most logical choice. I sold over 3,000 items on eBay, compared to a grand total of 44 on Etsy and, more recently, absolutely zero on Webstore.

Still, selling on eBay was not exactly a profitable venture. I did well on some things and went in the hole on others. I made mistakes, like letting some low ticket items sit on the virtual shelves in my eBay store for so long that the cumulative listing fees exceeded my asking prices.  At the time, I did not pay much attention to the bottom line and it really did not matter because I had a good job. Selling online was a hobby business, something to do for fun. I was playing store, just like I did as a little girl in my grandmother’s garage.

So, will my buttons sell on eBay?

I’m testing the waters by selling off buttons that I made to sell at local events.

Buttons that were just tossed into bins as they were made will be auctioned off in small lots, sets of four or whatever. I considered those to be in “used” condition since they were not individually packaged to protect the mylar from scuffs and scratches. Next, I will list buttons that I did individually package as they were made and see how it goes.

If all goes well, the plan is to open an eBay store in 2017.

In the meanwhile (and for those who don’t care for eBay), I’m posting my 2.25″ button designs in an online store hosted by Square, Inc. Buttons posted there are made to order with the buyer’s choice of back option. There’s a link on my side bar if you care to peek.

Thanks for reading!


UPDATE March 15, 2017:

That little stroke I had in November slowed me down a bit… I also did the math and decided not to open an eBay store at this time as I would have to jack my prices up to cover the fees.  So, I’m in the process of stocking my online store hosted by Square, where buttons will be made to order with your choice of back. Here is a link if you want to see what designs are currently available: 

Pricing is $2 for 2.25″ pins, magnets, and pocket mirrors… key chains and bottle openers are a dollar more… I also included 1.25″ Fun Size pins and magnets on the options list.




Pet Buttons


Petey is a good old dog. He lives with Joe in Boardman, Ohio. We were duplex neighbors when we all lived in Struthers. Joe granted permission for Petey to model “Fun Size” Pet Buttons so you can see that pets are great subjects for photo buttons.

“Fun Size” buttons are 1.25″ dia. Back options include pins, fridge magnets, and flat back tokens. The metal back on tokens is steel color. In the photo, it looks black… I did not want to photo-shop the buttons, but I did white-wash the background and added text.

Tokens are made to be glued onto things. They’re great for craft projects, greeting cards, all sorts of things. For the samples, I used hot glue to attach a token to a badge reel and double-sticky foam tape to make a planter stick. The two unattached to anything have strong ceramic magnets hidden inside.

Something else I like about tokens… I can hide things inside. Of course, the contents must be added while the button is in the press and the only way to get it back out again is to destroy the button. There is enough space inside for a little note, a lucky coin, or whatever is small enough to fit in there.

The larger 2.25″ buttons can also make nice pet photo buttons. Text is optional.

Thanks for reading!

I think I can post this now as Joe should have received his package in the mail today.

I did not tell him about the token buttons. I also remodeled his badge reel sample, replaced the plastic strap with a detachable mini key ring, as the badge reels purchased online failed my quality control testing. I was thinking of offering badge reels as a product option, but some of those straps only have about a one snap life. So, I just sell the tokens and people can glue them onto whatever they want.

Along with the pet button samples, Joe also got a surprise button because found one of the misspelled words in Youngstown and commented about it on my Facebook page.