Saturday Night Specials
Ok, so this probably won't interest a great many of my readers. If my every mention of Etsy has you immediately snoring over your keyboard, then it's probably not worth your reading any further. (Unless I can assist with your insomnia, of course...)
But, if you meander through Etsy at all - and particularly if you have always felt that you would like to buy from it but that the combination of your DLA and your IB (and whatever other pittances the government reluctantly releases to you in recognition of the fact that you successfully completed its incredibly-demanding claim forms to exactly the standard it required) won't stretch even as far as one teensy pair of earrings, one candle, or one bar of hand-made soap, then read on....
Every Saturday, a thread is launched in Etsy's "Promotions" forum with the title, "Saturday Night Specials - OFFICIAL thread for April 19th - post here". (Er, obviously the date element changes. But the rest stays the same.)
This thread is an opportunity for Etsy sellers to publicise short-term special promotions in their shops.
The value of these will vary: some offer only free shipping (which doesn't sound all that exciting initially, but can mean that you'll be able to go ahead and buy the one really small item you had your eye on, but which wasn't worth buying on its own because the shipping would have effectively doubled its price); there are quite a lot of 'buy one get one half price', 'buy two get one free' etc, offers; and store-wide discounts of anything from 5% to 75%.
As per the wording of the official thread,
"The SNS runs from 5 p.m. EST/NY time and *must* officially end at midnight Samoa time (which is 6 a.m. EST/NY time). You can choose to end your SNS earlier in a different time zone of you wish."
Confusing, no? If you're in the UK, the thread will appear at bang on 10 pm Saturday. Experienced SNS sellers are poised with their marketing threads ready in draft, so there's a pasting-in frenzy the moment the thread opens, resulting in at least three pages of offers in about the first thirty seconds.
If you're already tucked up in bed by 10pm, it's worth bearing in mind that the offers from those sellers who do run their promotions right through to 6 a.m. EST (which, to be honest, is most of those who take part) will still be open when you get up the next morning.
As with anything so short-lived, there's always a risk that you will purchase on impulse and experience buyer's remorse afterwards. So, if you know that you're by nature an incorrigible impulse buyer, the whole thing is probably best avoided. Personally, I've been surprised at just how many of the items I have been "hearting" on my list of favourites have turned up much reduced in an SNS thread. Anything which has survived more than a couple of months on my regularly-weeded favourites list is definitely something to which I'd be happy to give house-room: so, if it's once dramatically reduced in price, it seems daft not to snap it up.
The process of shipping from the US to the UK is evidently labyrinthine in its complexity, so don't be surprised if a US seller asks you how they should go about it. My response in the past has always been one of apology that I couldn't assist but, the next time it happens, I will be able to send the seller a link to this extremely useful entry on The Beading Tree's blog.