It’s been a little while since the last weekly little improvements update, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! Here’s a bit of a rundown of what we have been working on lately:
This week we worked on:
We thought we might start to also mention some of the little features that we are releasing to give you all more of an insight about the smaller improvements happening around Craftybase HQ.
This week we released:
Keep those suggestions and ideas coming in - many of the above tasks were originally raised by our userbase, so we are definitely hearing you and responding to your feedback! :)
We’ve been hard at work making improvements to our expenses features based on your feedback: this week we released a hugely improved Expenses area of Craftybase that allows you to log multiple purchases from the same vendor in the same screen. Much like the way our newly improved Orders area works, you can now create a single Expense record and instantly assign as many different expenses to it as you like.
All expense categories can be added to Craftybase in this way - postage, material purchases, travel, tools & equipment and more. Based on the expense category you select, you can link each expense with a project, order or material from the one screen.
Shipping, discounts and tax can also now be assigned to an Expense, and Craftybase will automatically proportion these amounts to each item in your expense for use in your manufacture and project cost tallies.
We’ve just updated our feature tour with some new screenshots to showcase our new look! Check it out here:
Craftybase Feature Tour
One of our most requested features has been to create a way for to account and track materials that are made from other materials. We’ve just released a new feature this week that does this very thing!
We’ve called this “Component Projects” - a project now has a type of either Product or Component which now determines what the project now makes when you create a manufacture log for it.
A Product project works exactly the same as projects have always worked: when you create a manufacture of a Project, it increases your stock of your items for sale and decreases the quantities in your batch recipe. A Component project now does something slightly different - it creates a Component material and adds stock to this instead. This component material can then be added to other projects, so you now can essentially create materials that are made from other materials.
Not exactly following? That’s completely understandable! It’s again a concept that is best explained with an example:
Lets use making a cake as the example - some cake recipes involve an ingredient called “Buttercream” which is in turn made from Butter and Sugar in appropriate quantities. Most bakers tend to make batches of this ahead of time for use on multiple cakes.
Before Craftybase had component projects, to add Buttercream as a material ingredient would have been problematic - I could do one of two things:
a) ignore the fact that I make a batch of buttercream before I make the cake and add the exact amounts of butter and sugar the buttercream contained. This is not great as it doesn’t account for the time I originally spent in creating the buttercream unless I specifically remember to factor in this time as part of the product labour cost.
b) Create a material called “Buttercream” and assign a rough price to this material that equals the amount of materials and labour that has gone into producing this item - also not a great option as I can’t track how much butter and sugar went into creating this so my inventory on these two materials will always be slightly out. From a Craftybase perspective, this material just “appears” and then “disappears” in the system every time it is used leaving really no trace or accurate logs which is also not great.
Now that we have Component Projects, the new process is as follows:
Create a Component Project called “Buttercream” - this project will be used to create new batches of a material also called “Buttercream” that contains a batch recipe with the exact amounts of butter and sugar required.
When I make a batch of Buttercream, my ingredient materials will be decreased correctly and my in stock quantities of Buttercream increase. I can also put labour against this task so that this cost is not lost.
When I create a product (e.g. Birthday Cake) I add this Component Material as part of the batch recipe - this automatically knows how much time has been spent in creating the material and will proportion a labour amount to the product project to account for the time making the batch of Buttercream ahead of time.
This can be used for any situation in which you create a batch of a new material from other materials that is subsequently used in creating your products - for jewelry makers this could be making a batch of clasps or jump rings, and for soap makers it could be creating a fragrance oil that is used in more than one product. It should be a very powerful tool that will allow you to be even more accurate in your inventory tracking going forward - we hope you like it!
We’ve just released an awesome new feature: automatic PayPal fee estimates for all US Etsy Orders. This means that when you next import your Etsy sales, Craftybase will calculate your estimated PayPal fee for you and add it as an automatic expense, along with the exact date of payment and transaction details so you can easily cross reference this with your PayPal records.
We’ve made PayPal rates completely configurable to allow for users on different pricing tiers - you’ll now find a new settings area called “Payment Services” to allow you to modify your transaction and percentage rates to suit your own business setup for both domestic and international orders. On this same page, you’ll find a link to a special PayPal Historical Updater page you can use to add PayPal fees for all your orders already in Craftybase - just follow the instructions and we’ll do the rest!
As the PayPal fee structure is much simpler in the United States, we have rolled out this feature to Craftybasers in the US first. We will be adding PayPal fee support for more countries, and also for non-Etsy orders in the very near future - watch this space! :)
Just a note to let you know that our popular Etsy Pricing Calculator now calculates your PayPal AND Direct Checkout fees!
Check it out here:
Etsy Price Calculator
As a bonus, it now works awesomely on a mobile device - try it out!
One of our most popular suggestions has been to create a way of adding multiple sales for a single customer all in one step. As a bit of an early Christmas present, we’ve now just released a new feature that does exactly that!
We’ve now removed the Sales section of Craftybase and replaced it with Orders - essentially, you can think of Orders as grouped together Sales. This feature will now allow you to link together multiple sale items into one order, apply discounts, taxes and shipping charges and keep track of what orders have been paid and what orders have been shipped. It now allows us also to start thinking about some interesting features around shipping and tax….but more on that at a later date :)
If you have existing Sales in the system, we have carefully moved these and applied some clever logic to join together and create Orders for you. We’ve also tallied up your combined discount and shipping totals so you don’t have to - everything should be ready and working when you next log in.
This upgrade required quite a bit of a rejig of the internal inner workings of Craftybase, but we think that the end result is a much more flexible and user friendly system for tracking the sales you make - we hope you think so too!
Our entire help area has also been updated for this change: for more information about Orders and the migration steps we have undertaken with your existing data please see our new help article What is an Order?.
Today we released Pricing Guidance - this feature is designed to help you with the difficult task of deciding what to charge for your products for all your sales channels. You’ll find a new section on your project pages called “Pricing Guidance” showing your suggested pricing and margins - we’ve preconfigured 4 of the most common ones for you for starters, but you can easily add and remove these over in your settings pages.
So, how does it work? Much like our popular manual Etsy Pricing Calculator, our newly built-in price calculator takes your manufacture cost (automatically provided via your Batch Recipe) and uses your configured Sales Channel Pricing Markup Percentage to calculate a suggested price for each of your Sales Channels. If it sounds technical, it’s not really! To explain it best let’s use an example:
Jane makes a product called a “Star charm bracelet” which she sells both at her market stall on the weekends and also through her Etsy shop.
She creates this as a project in Craftybase and creates a batch recipe to calculate the material costs involved in making the bracelet. She finds that to make 1 bracelet it costs her a total of $17 in materials. She has set her labour rate to $6.50 / hour, and calculates on average it takes her 2 hours to make. This results in a total manufacture cost per bracelet of $17 + $13 = $30.
Jane has already pre-configured her Sales Channel markups in Craftybase to be Etsy as 150% and Market as 100%, so over on Jane’s “Star charm bracelet” project page, she should now see the following pricing suggestions:
These suggestions will be recalculated with the latest information we have about your project, so If your material costs increase, these suggestions will also increase - so you can always check how close you are to your target suggested retail pricing.
A new help article is here if you would like more information about how this works:
How is the Pricing Guidance calcuated?
We would love to hear what you think of this new feature!