Re: The good side of auction sites
- Randy Brown wrote:
> When I had the Boise store in the mid '80's, I didn't haveI lived in Boise in the 80's, and did not know you had a shop there
> competition from the Internet, but I still had customers telling
> other customers (which I agree is rude) about the great prices from
> Standard Hobbies. Remember them? 4-6 page ads in Model Railroader?
> They often sold items for less than what I paid for them
> Well, I went under and Boise lost a LHS.
Randy. I used to frequent Little Bit Junction to get all my train
stuff, and I do remember guys like Carl Sorensen, and Bob Smiley
coming in and telling me that I could get this or that cheaper mail
order. One guy even brought in the Captain Blaster catalog from BLW to
compare prices on the shelf at Little Bit. Back then I was loyal to my
LHS because they offered personalized service, and would order
whatever I wanted from Walthers for me. Mostly I liked instant
gratification, and Little Bit offered that!
But times have changed, and now that I am into Z Scale, the internet
is the place to find stuff. There are no local hobby shops that can
afford to carry much Z Scale, so the internet is where you actually
get to see the merchandise. I tend to purchase from online shops that
have good pictures. When I go to a site that just has a listing of
products, I will only try them when others are sold out, and many
times that guy is also sold out, but you can't tell unless you contact
Ebay and ebay shops are good because you can shop and be done with it.
That's what internet buyers want. We don't like 50 questions. You
already have our mailing address when we paypal, so don't ask us to
fill out another stupid page of stuff.
This is my list of internet seller do's and dont's:
a) Big color in focus pictures and multiple angles.
b) Show quantity on hand, in stock, or usually takes x days to ship.
c) Show MSRP and Our Price.
d) Tell a little about the product, something more than the basic item
description. Era suitable, footprint, time to construct, tools
required, or a hyperlink to this info from the manufacturer or reviewer.
e) Show shipping charges before any confirmation screen.
f) Offer paypal, and credit card so purchases can be made quickly,
before I have time to change my mind.
g) Offer to keep credit card info online so I don't need to re-type it
in each time I shop.
a) Never charge too much for shipping. It it can safely fit and ship
in a small bubble envelope for $2.50 shipping, don't put it in a $5
priority mail box. If you need more money, charge more for the item
not the shipping!
b) Don't even think about doubling the shipping for quantity of 2,
when they fit in the same package for the same price. That Reeks to
High Heaven of crooked, greedy, selfish seller. Charge more for your
item up front and honest like.
c) Never play 50 questions with a buyer. We don't want to fill out
redundant screens, especially after having all the required
information automatically filled out by paypal.
d) Never harvest phone numbers and re-sell them.
e) Don't dare take a picture from your cell phone and list an item
with that blurry, tiny, washed out photo that screams "No Sale"!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Credit cards are a double edged sword. They are easy to use and make our
lives easier. I live by my credit cards since it is just plain simple to use and
easily rectified. But yes, we retailers must take this into account when we
sell merchandise. I would NEVER even consider not taking credit cards. So the
fees we pay are just part of business and our overhead.
But now we have come full circle. We bring it back to PayPal and what started
this long string of posts on eBay, pricing, shipping, etc. PayPal charges
much higher fees to retailers for the 'privilege' of using their service. For
small retailers and consumers, this is convenient. But for a company like Ztrack,
we have going through great pains to be an authorized Visa and Mastercard
merchant. Our fees are approximately 50% less than if we used Paypal. What this
means is that we can keep costs down and is the sole reason we do not accept
So, if anyone is even still reading these threads, I hope we all have learned
from them. I know I have come through this with some thoughts on improving
our websites to make some of these charges more clear. I hope anyone reading
this has more of an insight what retailers faces when trying to offer products at
the best price. Many retailers cannot get it right which is why we see so
many failures today in the hobby market. It is sad, and a trend I fear that will
Again, it is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. I ask all of you to
support our Z scale retailers. They are the backbone of this hobby. Also, please
remember to tip your waitress...
Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
6142 Northcliff Blvd.
Dublin, OH 43016
phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.
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