The blog of BaggieAggie, designer of bags, gadget cases and other fabulous accessories handmade in Wales. Sprinkled with recipes, gardening chat, the odd piece of short fiction, and anything else that inspires (or annoys!) me. So pull up a comfy chair and stay a while.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I'm alright Jack, up yours! and other Folksy non-delights...

Topping the list of things I can't abide and won't tolerate are unfairness and injustice, so you'll often see me pitching in to support those affected, even when I've nothing personal to gain.  Depressingly, I seem to be in a minority, as unfairness, injustice, apathy and self-interest reign supreme everywhere I look, even on a small UK craft site called Folksy.  Nor do I suffer fools gladly, especially when their foolishness affects people's livelihoods.

Some of you may have read my Farewell to Folksy post a couple of months ago, but if you haven't, I recommend you do so before continuing, to get you up to speed.

After emptying my Folksy shops in disgust, I kept them open, partly to download hundreds of feedbacks from my lovely customers as and when time allowed, and partly in the (forlorn) hope that Folksy Towers would eventually see sense and limit those gold stars to featured sellers' shopfronts.  In the meantime, I continued to contribute positively to the forums, and to purchase items from a few of the many excellent Folksy shops (avoiding, of course, any seller who has their items made abroad, and those featured sellers who shot themselves in the foot with their arrogance and deliberate obtuseness in the gold star debate).

Then Folksy launched the Plus account.  The account was originally labelled 'Pro', but on this occasion Folksy managed to dredge up a modicum of common-sense and changed it to something that sounded a lot less like 'professional'.  And, not only that, Plus badges have been sensibly limited to Plus-sellers' shopfronts.  (Having said that, I don't see why an account option should be badged at all.  Badge one, badge them all!)  Anyway, that they managed to limit this particular badge to shopfronts begs the question: Why could they not have done the same with featured sellers' gold stars when requested to do so by a mass of disgruntled and disadvantaged non-featured sellers...? 

But I digress, so back to the Plus account, which clearly states that it costs £30 for unlimited listings for one year.  Nothing more, nothing less (but more on that later). And I agree that it's an excellent way to solve the financial dilemma of materials sellers and sellers of large numbers of lower value items, so well done, Folksy.

So what's the problem, you ask...?  The problem is that Folksy (as usual) failed to properly think through this account pre-launch, and Plus sellers found they could list not only unlimited quantities, but could also RELIST THEIR ENTIRE SHOPS EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR FREE.  Which of course they're doing, and at huge expense to non-Plus sellers whose items are lost under an avalanche of daily Plus-seller relistings and therefore aren't available to view for more than a minute or two.  And this in August, the 'dead' season, so imagine how much worse it will be on the run-up to Christmas!  Some Plus sellers - who apparently left their brains at home that day, or simply chose to ignore the bleeding obvious for their own selfish ends - declared defensively that Plus was available to everyone, and that any unhappy non-Plus seller could switch. Wrong.  Plus is not a financially viable option for those who can't make and list items on a regular basis.

To Folksy's credit, they've acknowledged the problem, but James' comment on a certain thread (now typically locked), that free relisting is allowed by Plus sellers 'because they've paid for it' was, quite frankly, jaw-dropping. I pointed out (again) that this wasn't part of the Plus account's description (and therefore not part of the deal), expecting to get a sensible reply.

Well, silly me...

Instead, I logged into my email account next day to find one from Folksy admin accusing me of 'spreading deliberate misinformation in order to rally support against Folksy' and advising me that they'd therefore suspended my accounts.  As all I'd been doing was supporting and fighting the corner of downtrodden non-Plus sellers - with facts, and only on Folksy, not elsewhere - I couldn't believe my eyes.  Any old excuse, it seems, to shut up anyone with valid criticisms (and I'm far from being the first).  Perhaps I should be grateful that the Putin act-alikes in Sheffield's very own Kremlin haven't locked me up for two years. Though at least Russia's Pussy Riot got a trial of sorts...!

In the meantime, vicious personal attacks go unpunished, the pink-and-fluffy brigade convene to gossip and to accuse those with perfectly valid concerns of 'sabotage' (yes, really!), the I'm-alright-jack-up-yours brigade continue defending the indefensible; and other assorted arse-lickers continue to bury their thick skulls in the sand - hobbyists with no concept of how Folksy's utter ineptitude has and is negatively impacting the businesses of those who suddenly find themselves no longer on the level-playing field that Folksy once was, but are instead having to negotiate Everest while other sellers receive free promotion and free publicity at their expense. 

There is now nothing at all about Folksy that is fair and just.  Hopefully, another UK craft platform will evolve at some point, and one staffed not only with professionals, but with professionals imbued with brains, common-sense, and, most of all, humility.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Do YOU need Paypal payment buttons with drop-down menus...?

As many of my handmade fabric eReader and tablet cases are now made to order, I did, and it was high time I made this change to my Weebly website online store to make life easier for my customers.

Like many Weebly users, I'd been using their 'Revenue' elements - which is great for sellers of uncomplicated items or techno-thickies like me! - but these offer only a choice of simple Add To Cart or Buy It Now buttons.  This meant relying on customers to advise me of their particular Kindle or Kobo via Paypal's message box when paying.  Of course, customers being busy people sometimes forgot, so I would then have to email them for details and wait for a reply.  It was also impossible to offer a variety of gadget cases at different prices within the same listing.  Not an ideal situation, as I'm sure you'll agree.

I admit that, as a techno-clutz and a coward, I'd been putting off these changes for far too long.  But now that Google, Samsung and others are producing small tablets not much larger than eReaders, and I wanted to offer handmade sleeves for these too - within my existing listings - I knew it was time to bite the bullet and get brave.

Amazingly, once I got going, making the Paypal buttons was surprisingly easy.  The complicated part was making the necessary changes within Weebly as I had to replace all the 'Revenue' elements with title/paragraph, photo and html elements before I could import all my new Paypal buttons.  And it took forever!  So if you're planning to do this yourself, I would seriously recommend that you do it while your online store is still in its infancy!

If you decide to give it a go, bear in mind that the drop-down menu options won't accept certain characters.  I'd described one of my options as 'Kindle 4 (£89)', and didn't discover till the next day that anyone choosing this option would receive an error message telling them there was a problem with my website.  Scary!  After some experimentation, I changed the description to 'Kindle 4 (no keyboard)' which sorted out the problem, thank goodness.

So it's finally done, and everything's working as it should.  Anyone wanting to purchase a handmade fabric case for the Kindle Touch, Kindle 4 (no keyboard), Kobo Touch, Kindle 3 (keyboard), Google Nexus 7, or Samsung Galaxy Tab, can now do so with ease.  And I have the opportunity of adding more options as they're needed.  Am exhausted but happy!

If you want to take a peek, you can check out the new buttons on my Tablet & eReader Cases page at

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A gorgeous ladies' Kindle sleeve for fans of dots and florals.

Beautiful red Kindle case handmade in Britain with gorgeous fabrics in polka dots and contemporary floral designs.
Carmen, a stunning ladies' Kindle sleeve, even if I do say so myself!

I've used two co-ordinating cotton fabrics - white pin dots and an elegant white floral design, both on a delicious wine red background  As you can see, I chose to continue the pin dots theme for the loop and covered buttoning fastening, and also for the lining.  I love it.  In fact, of all my Kindle sleeves, this is my current favourite.

As with all BaggieAggie Kindle cases, Carmen is handmade to a high standard by me in sometimes-sunny Wales, UK.  She's padded, and fully interfaced to give her structure and extra durability.  She's also hand-washable if necessary.  But dry her flat, as she has an aversion to tumble-driers.  Carmen - never one to hide her light under a bushel! - feels she would make a lovely gift for women who love their ebook readers and want to see them smartly dressed.

I do have a few Kindle covers in stock and ready to ship, but Carmen is made to order - for the Kindle Touch, the keyboardless Kindle 4 (the smallest model) and the Kobo Touch.  I'm pleased to say that made to order items are currently ready to ship 1st Class in three working days, which should suit even those searching for last minute gifts.  Oh, and if you're looking for a quality case for your Kindle Fire or Kindle 3 with keyboard (considerably larger than other Kindle models) contact me for a quote and I'll get back to you asap. ☺