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Re: The good side of auction sites

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  • Robert Ray
    ... I lived in Boise in the 80 s, and did not know you had a shop there Randy. I used to frequent Little Bit Junction to get all my train stuff, and I do
    Message 1 of 41 , Feb 2, 2008
      Randy Brown wrote:
      > When I had the Boise store in the mid '80's, I didn't have
      > 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.


      I lived in Boise in the 80's, and did not know you had a shop there
      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
      them.

      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:

      DO:

      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.

      Dont:

      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!
      -Robert
    • ztrack@aol.com
      Loren, 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
      Message 41 of 41 , Feb 4, 2008
        Loren,

        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
        Paypal.

        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
        not end.

        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...

        Rob

        Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
        6142 Northcliff Blvd.
        Dublin, OH 43016
        phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
        www.ztrack.com
        www.ztrackcenter.com



        **************
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