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When?  And Payments? (Read 2321 times)
FireproofBooks
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When?  And Payments?
Mar 15th, 2007 at 5:47pm
 
When did everyone take the plunge to Chrislands? 

I don't have the inventory right now, but am adding more each week. 

Just wondering a roundabout number when you decided to get a site of your own. 

Whenever I get books that are cheapos on AZ, I keep thinking that it would be nice if I sold them on my own site because they would sell and I wouldn't have to pay the commission. 

Also, how are you processing payments?  Paypal with CC?  Or some other system?  We have QuickBooks Credit Card Processing Kit for our other business, but not sure if that would be a good option or not.

Thanks!
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iron_chick
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Re: When?  And Payments?
Reply #1 - Mar 16th, 2007 at 7:31am
 
I opened a Chrislands store last month and it's worked for me.   I use the authorize.net gateway - the folks at Chrislands integrated that for me.   

I sell non-media items . . . but I had a real specific buyer base in mind when I opened it.    And, like I said, so far it is working for me.

This is a very very easy storefront to use.  My biggest problem has been adjusting because I am used to hosting my own site and you don't have quite as much control at Chrislands.
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pagemaster
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Re: When?  And Payments?
Reply #2 - Mar 18th, 2007 at 12:49pm
 
We've had our Chrislands site since November 2002. We have about
25,000 books listed.

You can sell the heck out of penny books (for $2 each or more).

The thing to remember is that you need to advertise your site. And not just
once, or twice, but all the time. That may mean paying for a service
like Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly Overture), or
simply placing a note on your packing slip that goes out on all your
orders...

You need a "hook"... to get the customer to come to your site - and to keep
coming back. Unfortunately, customers don't put much stock in "personal
service", fast email response, and other customer service issues (until they
have a problem) - but rather, customers are focused on price. Internet
customers especially are looking for bargains. So, I suggest lower shipping
costs than other venues.

You may also want to consider offering free shipping for orders over $25...
just like Amazon.. Believe me, most of the sales on your own web site
will be people buying $25 worth of common paperbacks (penny books).
Works out to about 13-14 paperbacks at $2 each ... Media Mail shipping
for an order that size is about $4.00

Another way to look at it, you just paid $4.00 (or 16%) to get rid of
stock you NEVER would have sold on Amazon (or anywhere else), you
"paid" about the same (16%) as you would have if you sold them on
Amazon (15% commission) - your customer got some great books,
at a fair price, and they didn't have to pay $3.49 each to ship them.
Win/Win.

Something else you can offer is a discount for repeat customers. Sign them
up for a monthly newsletter, and give em 10% off.. That, combined with
the free shipping offer, really keeps your customers coming back. Send
out an email newsletter each month - that will generally spur additional
sales. We do it around the last week of the month because that's our
slowest time for orders on other venues- and it provides a few extra
sales during that slow period.

Lastly. Don't expect that as soon as you open up your own web site that
you'll immediately reap the benefits.  We didn't start making a profit
on our web site until about 6-months after we opened, and really didn't
start making any real money for a couple of years. Point is, it is a
long term investment.

Mark
Page Master Used Books
www.pagemaster-books.com
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FireproofBooks
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Re: When?  And Payments?
Reply #3 - Mar 21st, 2007 at 11:48pm
 
Thanks for the replies.  I appreciate them!

I guess I should talk to Chrislands for some of the other questions I have.


As far as the designs, have you guys and gals been able to make the site look like you want it to?  I'm talking colors and logos and special sections and stuff.  Is it just HTML editing that needs to be done?

Thanks!
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BookLadies
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Re: When?  And Payments?
Reply #4 - Mar 22nd, 2007 at 12:07am
 
I have to say that, although my store looked nice, I was severely disappointed in my Chrislands store.  When I signed up, I didn't realize that there wouldn't be any pictures unless I uploaded them.  Which, let me tell you, on 12,000 books, that would take me weeks!

What I also didn't realize is that there was no auto categorization...  All of my books were listed under misc. and there was no way just to browse.  The few sales I did get were due to the buyer searching for a specific book, not just browsing and buying.  Not very user friendly without tons of work on my part.

I just had my web site switched to http://www.whiteoakbooks.com/WOBSellers/default.asp and although I just switched it and have LOTS of work to do on it, I am already tons and tons happer.  I have pictures!!  And categories.  I was estatic when I learned about that.

I am not affiliated in anyway with them, I'm just a regular bookseller  Wink  and it was around $100 to sign up, inlcuding the first 3 months.  I wished I hadn't spent the $200+ on Chrislands already.

You can see my store at www.thebookladies.com.

Not Chrislands fault - I believe that all that was stated before I signed up, I just apparently didn't read it, lol.

Melissa Dusenberry
The Book Ladies
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Melissa @ The Book Ladies
 
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medievalbooks
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Re: When?  And Payments?
Reply #5 - Mar 22nd, 2007 at 2:18pm
 
I signed up for Chrislands in November and while it has been alot of work, I am happy with the fact I have a website that looks nice. I didn't have a software program that I had a description and pictures of my books so I had to manually list my books - all 1500 - plus pictures. It was a bear...however, I was able to clean up descriptions and also photographs.

There should be some warning tho...I thought I could just take the description of my books in my eBay store and do File Exchange.  Found out to my rue that all that got me was the author's name title and the fact it was used.

So several months later, I am almost caught up.

Also didn't know that the size of pictures used added to bandwidth so had to resize all my pictures. Which actually looked better anyways.

The folks at Chrislands were helpful when I contacted them and responded immediately...just wish they had been more hand on at the beginning for a complete newbie as far as websites are concerned and computers in general. It would have saved alot of time and aggravation. This however, could be true of no matter who I went with. Have noticed computer folk tend to not realize that not everyone knows or understands these beasts!

Have had one sale so far...but that one sale paid for half a year at least of Chrislands fees so not disappointed. Have to figure out how to farm out info about my website. With eBay, for all its positives and negatives, never had to do that - my client base was right there. Not true with Chrislands, I have to work to get people to come to my website.

medievalbooks

http://www.thehauntedbookshoponline.com/

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