Pinback Buttons: from Politics to Activism

Stop Lynching, Vintage Pinback Button

Stop Lynching part of the 1930s Civil Rights movement. Image Credit Hake`s

Pinback buttons have been around and used for hundreds of years – literally hundreds of years; the first patented pin was made in the United States in 1896! Pinback buttons have mainly had a political application being used to promote a political candidate and their slogans, but the last few decades we’ve seen them used for activism such has the civil rights movement, saving the rainforests & many other causes, like the equal rights to marry.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling making on equal marriage rights, making it a right across the United States, I wanted to share some pinback buttons that others have made to help the cause and that promote equality for the LGBTQ community.

Pinback Buttons might not be able to directly change the world, but they can help by making it easier for you to be heard!!

Rainbow LGBTQ Pride Flag button by ThatLovelyBrooch

Foster Equality, Vintage Button found on Ebay

Rainbow Run, vintage 1990s Pin, found on Etsy

Rainbow Run, vintage 1990s Pin, found on Etsy

 

 

Gay Pride Buttons made by Mehoi

Various LGBTQ Pins made by Mehoi in Toronto

Ally - Rainbow Pride button

Ally Pride Button made by The Little Kangaroo

LGBT Rainbow flag button by ThatLovelyBrooch

YES, Marriage Equality

Yes to Marriage Equality Pins by PointyPins

Starting your own Button Making Business: With Etsy!

Etsy Logo

The term “Etsy” is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. ButtonBiz.com is not affiliated with Etsy, Inc.

Starting your own button business has never been easier, with Etsy.
Now that you have your button making machine, why not start selling your creations online?! You can easily create your own business! There are a few different online sites that will allow you to sell items such as Ebay, Shopify, DaWanda, and finally Etsy.

I’ve had success with Etsy – I recommend you give it a try. Now is the best time to open up your store because you can get 40 listings free (regularly listings are $0.20 each and last for 4 months). Sign up using my link, HERE.

I’ve chosen Etsy to focus on because it is a social and community based eCommerce site. You will find tons of opportunities to interact with other users, promote your goods, and most importantly, communicate with your customer. Conversations or ‘Convos,’ are the easiest way for buyers to ask sellers questions or request custom items. We’ll go deeper into this later-for now let’s stick to the basics of opening your Etsy shop.

Quick information about the fees associated with selling on Etsy; most sites will charge you something or a percentage. When you list an item it costs $0.20, and when you sell an item Etsy will charge you an additional fee of 3.5% of the item cost. Etsy now has direct deposit, to make things easier. You can setup a chequing/savings account to your Etsy account and any profits you make will be directly deposited, they do charge a fee for this service as well. If you prefer you can still use PayPal to receive funds.

Naming your shop on EtsyStep 1: Pick a shop name!
Come up with a shop name that you love, is easy to spell and remember, and a name you can grow with. You may start doing buttons but add more products in future. Think hard!

Etsy Screenshot: Listing an Item

Be unique, use short as well as specific keywords to help your products be found!

Step 2: List an item!
You can now list your first item, if you need to change this later, you can. Start by telling Etsy what category your button belongs in, what it relates to, and when it was made. You will then want to add in your pricing. Setting shipping rates for different countries is easy

and any variations available. This is a newer feature to Etsy, you can now have multiple items

with different pricing under listings, for example, I have put pinback buttons and keychains. You can then go on to add other variations like colour, sizes, and create your own. Add a title for your listing.

Think of titles a searching tool for search engines and Etsy- you’ll want to add in extra info so it can be found easily. Most importantly, add in your photograph of your product; include a coin/ruler to show the size. Don’t forget to fill out the description with information about your Etsy Screenshot: Setting Shipping Chargesbutton, the size and maybe even a little about your process. Make sure to use all 13 keywords to have your buttons found on Etsy. Think outside the box, be creative! Finally, add the quantity available for the users to buy, and the shipping information.

 
Step 3:  Getting Paid!
Etsy has different payment methods you can use. You will need to fill out some banking information for Etsy to be able to direct deposit right into your chequing/debit account. You can use Direct Deposit. Make sure to check with your bank, if there would be any extra fees associated with this. Or you can click the ‘Other Payment Options’ button and the choices are Paypal, Money Order, Personal Cheque, Other. Whatever methods you choose always make sure you’ve received the payment prior to shipping an order.

Step 4: Billing!
As discussed earlier Etsy will charge you listings fees and transaction fees so you’ll need a credit card in order to pay for them.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with Etsy’s Terms of Use; as they have specific rules about what you can sell and other important information you should know.

Step 5: Tell your buyers about yourself!
open1x8If you look in the top right hand corner you’ll see ‘Shop Settings,’ click on that and it will take you to a page that shows your public profile. In that space you can tell your buyers a little about yourself. The ‘Info & Appearance’ tab is where you can upload a shop banner, link Twitter & Facebook, create a welcome message for customers and include a thank you message to your buyers!
Next is the Shop Policies, this is the spot to be detailed and inform your customers about key things:

  •     Payment Policies – Custom orders could require a deposit, or you only ship items when you’ve received the payment.
  • Shipping – If you only ship on Fridays, or you ship every day, let them know! Also, you could let them know how you are shipping their goods with USPs or Canada Post.
  •     Refunds & Exchanges –How you will handle refunds or exchanges. Does the customer pay the return shipping to exchange an item? Or perhaps refunds will only be given if items are damaged/defective.

You’ve also got a spot at the bottom to put any additional information, like contact info.
Finally you have Shop Sections, this allows you to divide up your store however you like. You can sort your products by theme, size or just keep custom options separate.

Step 6: Open your store!
Go ahead and make your store live! Be patient it takes time to get lots of sales and views to your store.

Next post I’ll focus on using Etsy’s social tools to get you noticed, more traffic and learn more about all Etsy has to offer you.
Any questions, need a bit of help, feel free to Convo me on Etsy! @BayleafButtons