Oct 17, 2010

I'm here but I need advice!

I'm stuck in image sending land this week. Lots of problems all the way around for some reason - planets out of alignment I think.

Since listing my new collage sheets a couple of months ago, I've been so lucky to need to send over 500 collage sheets to customers. I'm astonished but so happy and thankful. Everything has gone well until the last couple of weeks and I've hit some snags.

Here's where I need your input . . . (there's a prize involved!)
Almost everyday, after I've taken the time to send jpg sheets as attachments to customers, I get at least one customer (at least one - today I've had two already) with a full mailbox or over their quota limit or their email service has very limited permissible message sizes and everything bounces back and I have to contact them and start over. I truly waste hours and hours and hours a week trying to deliver images. To the point that I've almost thrown the towel in on selling images. I haven't had time to even make more sheets due to all the email issues people have.

So, I had decided to send everything through download links from 4Shared. I thought this was going acceptably well until this last week. It was faster for me, faster for them and all seemed to be fine. But this week, I have had customers totally confused by using 4Shared or didn't have the slightest idea how to unzip and save the image file from there . . . or just plain old didn't want to move away from email attachments.

Do you all have a solution? Do you get really great image delivery from an image seller you want to share? Do you have any input on file sharing services like 4Shared or MediaFire you like or don't like? Leave me some advice and you might win a drawing for a free set of collage sheets! (that I promise will get delivered one way or another! :))

Jpeg images can be attached to emails but some sellers, like me, have very large high resolution sheets and some email accounts can't handle the size of the file. Png images have to be zipped and sent through links. Png images/files are way too big for anyone to email or receive in an email. If you have no way of unzipping, links of any kind won't work for you. Lots of PC software has built in ways of unzipping so be sure you don't have to buy one before you do. There's a free zip file utility called jzip that gets pretty good reviews if you are in need of a way to unzip files.

I know they are not real popular yet with most cut and paste folks, but I prefer png images hands down to jpg images even when working with hand cut and paste pieces. Png files are much more flexible and don't have that jpg white background in the way if you want to print overlapping pieces before you cut them out.

And one more note . . . links are much faster than email attachments. I can send you links to five pages and you can download and unzip them all faster than I can send one jpg attachment. Just sayin' . . .


Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

You could send it in a zip file (winzip, winrar, winace, etc.) with a link for the customer to download the free demo version in case they don't already have it. I think you would have to buy the program to do this, though I'm not sure.

sharon said...

I've always gotten my purchases thru email attachments with no problem, but I always have a problem if they have to be unzipped! I got a free version of winzip once, and then it ran out and they want you to buy. That's just me.

Janet Ghio said...

I have to agree with Sharon. Maybe you need to just remind people to check and make sure their mailbox isn't full and that their server allows for the download.

Robin Sanchez said...

I have received them both ways. I must say that I am pretty comupter progrm saavy, but for someone that is not, the email with images attached is lots easier.

I personally would rather receive them that way just because its more convient for me to save them to my image file.

But if I were on your end I think a 4shared website with a password would be the way to go since its less time consuming. Maybe you could send directions in the email with on how to use it with the link.

Hope you get this figured out....


Yvonne said...

When I order collage sheets, if I get them via email, it's just usually two or three sheets per email. It works. This is probably the easiest for the people that are not to knowledgeable in computers. I also get them via zip files but for those that are not that knowledgeable with computers, I can see it being a problem. Solution, when people are placing their order have them state in the message box email attachment or zip file. Hope that's a little helpful :)

Leila West said...

In regards to ppls emails being full, my suggestion is to CONVO on Etsy and provide them the link there. That way they're bound to get it, even if the email Etsy sends them bounces back.

For the zip file, or download issue where ppl don't like, why don't you put a standard message in all your Etsy items and say these items will be zipped or a download link will be provided, whatever you choose, and then if they really dont want or know how to handle that ask them to convo you requesting that you attach the file, with a little reminder for them to check that their inbox has room.

I've received attachments, download links, and simple convo'd info with links....I'm fine however the seller wants to send, but I know others have preferences.

Hope that helps!

The Painting Queen said...

I like getting downloads via 4 shared. I just use 7zip (free online) to open them. Easy.

I think if people are into online purchases they can take the time to learn about how to get 7zip and right click the downloaded file to unzip it to their desktop. It is not rocket science, in fact it takes only seconds! Plus you can download tons of freebies this way as well.

You need to do what makes your life easier first. This method of using "4 shared" is not uncommon. So do not feel bad for choosing this delivery system.:-D

Anonymous said...

In a world of increasing data, people are going to have to learn to use the technology! I know, I sound harsh, but seriously - downloading is the best way, and there are lots of free unzip utilities out there.

gaby braun said...

Dear Marsha

First of all I want to thank you for the Gimp tip. This was great.

Second: In the past I asked myself if the images need to be on 300 dpi resolution, when people use them to make ATC. Why this images need to be on this high resolution? Because every one do this?

What about when you ask people what they want to do with this pics, or you can offer the collage sheets in various sizes. People who needs the sheets in a high resolution have the tools to receive it.

You can make a big sheet with 150 dpi resolution and send it by e-mail without zip. It works!

yoborobo said...

Hi Marsha - the ones I bought came to me via email as attached jpegs. I had no problem, and they were high resolution images. Off to get kids out the door - hope you get things humming along! xox Pam

Lou Ann said...

Hi Marsha - I have never had any problem with either 4Shared or MediaFire but then I have a MAC which automatically unzips the files for you, so my advice would be for everyone in the world to buy a MAC -
he, he, he. Truthfully though, I think an attachment to the confirmation attachment would be best with the message that the attachment is a large file and they need to be sure their mailbox isn't full.

Hope your planets come back into alignment soon!

NancyB said...

I have been using yousendit.com Never had any issues with it! xoxo

Lisa Purcell said...

I would just offer people the choice. The default would be the 4shared website. That way, if they buy from you a lot and know they will have no trouble with getting an attachment they can choose to get it that way. If they want links because they are faster, they can choose the links. If they don't know which is better for them chances are the default option will be best.

Mary Green said...

You might look into e-junkie.com. It automatically provides the zip file or document to the buyer when they pay. It doesn't go through email. Let me know if you want more info: greenpaperpack@aol.com

Linda said...

If your customers have Vista or Windows 7, they don't need an unzip utility. The operating system treats zip files like a folder. Just click on the zip file while in Windows Explorer (not internet explorer) and they will be able to view the contents.

XP users will need the unzip utility.

slommler said...

I didn't have any problems with your png. links at all! And I like working with them.
Good luck with mailing in the future. I know that has to be hard!

Tracey@glitterbugstudios said...

I wish I could go to the highest mountaintop and shout to everyone the benefits of using pngs! SO MUCH better than jpegs! And as far as the downloading, I really do like having them sent thru 4shared. I have never had a problem unzipping (I have Windows 7) and as far as the dpi? I say always go 300dpi because if that person "who always just does ATC's" wants to branch out and make something a little bigger, the quality will not be there and then they have basically wasted their money. I agree with one of your commenters, if you are going to order images then learn to use the way most of them are sent, thru zipped files. That is how most of the big sites are doing it. I haven't checked but do you have a disclaimer on yout etsy about e-mail capacity and such? I think it is really the buyers responsibility to make sure that their e-mail can handle it and make sure it's not too full to receive if they insist on attachment delivery. You are just spending way too much time trying to get ahold of these customers. I know you are trying to please evryone but sometimes that just isn't possible.

Pat said...

I agree with those who said if you are savvy enough to use the computer and order online, you can unzip a folder. In Vista and 7, one or two clicks and its open. The first time or two I used a file-sharing site, I was a little confused, but it didn't take long to figure it out.

Just remember, you can't please all of the people all of the time. Do what is best for you.

Sharon said...

I happen to LOVE png files and have no problems at all using 4shared. I'm just happy that you have continued to offer collage sheets in spite of all the hassles. As for zip files, I just click and my Mac does the work. My email has presented some challenges for you but my assumption is that it has been the fault of Ma Bell and my "sympatico.ca" address, and I sooooo appreciate your perseverance! THANKS!

Fiona (anubis 1 ) said...

I have been using png files for over two years now and much prefer them to jpegs. The quality of a png far outweighs that of the jpeg when resizing etc. However I don't have a problem with jpeg files. As for file delivery systems I have been recieving my files zipped through 4 shared or media fire with no problems at all. This suits me just fine. Sometimes I get files through email attachments, it just depends on the sellers preference of delivery method. All that said Marsha I personally think go with whatever suits you my friend. If like me who is a huge fan of your work. Your customers will come hell or high water whatever system delivery you choose to go with!!!!