Friday, April 22, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of Whiskey Jack’s Trading Post

As some of you know, I have reached a point in my life where I simply cannot do all the things I was once able to do. Some of this is the inevitable result of age, and some due to health issues. Both were instrumental in my decision to retire two years ago. Because of this, however, I am now limited to just what I can do in the way of employment. Therefore I decided to really put forth an extra effort into my online sales ventures. Selling on eBay and Bonanza has been okay, but as with us all, an increase in sales would be very welcome! In my attempt to increase sales, I soon learned that I am woefully ignorant of the many ways to increase online sales.

Thanks to some excellent information out there on the web, and in books, and more importantly thanks to some very friendly and helpful folks out there who are extremely generous with their time and knowledge, I am working hard at expanding my customer base, and also engaging in several marketing venues.

As I mentioned above, to achieve this I have started selling on Addoway. You can view my store front by clicking here. I have also set up my Google Profile (here), as well as a profile on HotFrog (here) and LinkedIn (here). If you are also on LinkedIn, let’s connect up. One of the groups I have connected with is Bonanza Sell, which provides a venue to promote my booth, and visit with others who have joined this group. I am also looking into other “business profile” type sites as well, and I’ll keep you updated on my progress with those as well. These sites are free to set up your business profile, and can go a long way toward getting your name out there with regards to internet searches.

I have also signed on for both Twitter (click here), Google Buzz, and Face Book (click here). In fact, I have also started a second Face Book page exclusively for the genealogy research I do. You can view it by clicking here. You can find and either “friend”, “like” or “follow” Ol’ Whiskey Jack by clicking on the links here, and I’d love to see you on these sites! In the not too distant future, I will be exploring Digg, StumbleUpon, and Google Reader as viable marketing venues. And, of course, I will let you know how they work out.

As I mentioned above, I am now selling on Addoway, in addition to Bonanza and eBay. Along side of these online selling sites, I have also signed up with eCrater, BluJay and iOffer. As of yet, I do not have anything in these stores, and I have yet to personalize my profiles on these sites, but I am working on it. One step at a time, ya know. As soon as I get these stores up and running, I’ll let you know. I’ll also let you know if my plan, which is to expand my potential customer base by utilizing additional selling sites, is a success or not.

I did look at some other online selling sites, such as Yardsellr, Etsy and ArtFire, but as yet I have not made a decision on whether or not to use them. Except for Yardsellr that is. I realize some folks really like Yardsellr, and have had success on that site as well, but I have to say that when I visited the site my first impression of Yardsellr was less than positive. One of the first photos I saw of the Yardsellr team (see below), makes me feel as if the Yardsellr team is somewhat lackadaisical in their commitment to professionalism. Which leads me to wonder if their commitment is somewhat less than desirable in other areas, such as customer service, as well. I also do not care for two of their main policies. First, although they do not charge listing fees or final value fees, they do charge your customer $1.00 for the privilege of buying something on their site. I can’t say I like this idea, as it may discourage buyers. Although I do not like the idea of listing and Final Value fees (and who does?), I think they should charge the seller rather than the buyer, and leave it up to the seller to recoup those fees as they think best. More importantly, the number one thing I do not like, is their policy which states that the seller must ship the items before being paid for the item. I think this policy leaves the seller at a distinct disadvantage, and offer too many opportunities for the buyer to somehow defraud the seller.

Also on the horizon I will be utilizing some of the many free advertising sites on the web, to advertise not necessarily specific items, but primarily my online stores.

Hopefully, all of this will translate into the increased sales that have eluded me thus far. As in many things, time will tell. But I will keep you updated as the (hoped for) success, or lack of success that I experience, and will hopefully be able to pass along any hints, tips, and tricks that I learn on the way.

Until next time, stay good, stay safe, and I hope you all will prosper in all of your endeavors!

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