Should I Offer Free Shipping?Written by Chris Malta
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But wait a minute. Where is Shopper right now? Let’s see, they visited you first, because you have Free Shipping. Then they went somewhere else to compare, and found that overall price was about same. What’s going to be easier for that instant-gratification junkie? Click! That’s sound of someone else’s button. Far-fetched, you think? Not really. I’d rather be last site someone compares prices on than first. The Shopper finds it easier, all things being roughly equal, to push button where they ARE than go back and push button where they WERE. When you have free shipping, people ALWAYS want to go elsewhere to compare prices, to see how much they’re saving. We ran free shipping on one of sites for a few months, and we were less than impressed. We got an increased hit count, but it didn’t make us rich with hundreds of extra orders, and we really got nailed on some of bigger shipping charges. We’re still trying to weed those two words out of all little nooks and crannies in our site that we stuffed them into. So, in my humble opinion, leave free shipping to big department stores that buy hundreds of each item and get massive discounts. They can afford it. We can’t. What we CAN do, as smaller stores, is build cleaner sites that don’t have 80 million items stuffed into each page. We can personalize our service by being more responsive to Shopper’s questions and concerns. We can sell slightly more unique items that big guys don’t want to “waste” their precious warehouse space on. We can specialize, and market to a single niche. There are any number of ways to find success without getting tangled up in a gimmick that is marginal, at best. Chris Malta WorldWide Brands, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.YouCanDropship.com
Chris Malta is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He has worked with computer Systems for 18 years. He's been involved in eCommerce systems, networking and site design for more than 6 years. He's taught college-level computer courses in Western NY. He developed The Drop Ship Source Directory, and he and his partners at Worldwide Brands, Inc., publish the Directory and run eCommerce sites of their own using Drop Shipping as their only business method.
How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Product MarketWritten by Chris Malta
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Now, along comes Chopper Jane, also searching for lowest priced competitor. She finds that it's Chopper Joe, and SHE starts selling VCR for $78.88. Pretty soon, this turns into a feeding frenzy that would scare a Great White Shark. The result of all this? The market price of VCR (the price that it's generally available for sale at) plummets from MSRP of $149 all way down to about $78. Suddenly original genius, Chopper Bob, finds himself undercut at every turn, and everybody is selling VCR dirt-cheap. Now that there is so much competition at that same price level, nobody is making any money. As long as you're dealing with a genuine distributor, like ones we list, you will always find a good margin between Wholesale and MSRP. It's fact that some people drive down market prices on certain products that causes problem. The manufacturer and wholesale distributors of VCR don't care about this. They are still selling VCR at their wholesale price of $69, and now a LOT of them are being sold, because of all price-choppers who are killing market price of VCR, and their own businesses along with it. In a few months, manufacturer will change color of VCR, slap a new model number on it, and whole cycle will start all over again. Please don't make mistake of thinking that YOU can't sell that VCR for a higher price than Chopper Bob. You can. What you have to realize is this: The Internet is a very big place. Not everyone is going to FIND Chopper Bob's site. In fact, vast majority of shoppers WON'T find it. Most shoppers are very leery of sites like Chopper Bob's. People who get themselves involved in pricing wars tend to spend all of their time being mad at their competition, and to forget about customer service. You and I both know that we have paid a little more to purchase a product at a store we trust, rather than just going for absolute rock-bottom price. Thankfully, I see this type of situation mostly in just one area right now...consumer electronics. There are hundreds of thousands of other products that can be sold at very good profit margins without running into Chopper Bob and his buddies. However, that does not mean that you can't sell consumer electronics. You can sell anything you want to, no matter what competition's prices. Sales is a bit of an art form. If selling something were simply a matter of absolute lowest prices, Wal-Mart would be only store on face of Earth. Without going into too much detail, sales is a mixture of choosing right product, or combination of products, for your web site. It's presenting a clean, attractive, focused site. It's giving customer some little value-added bonus at your site. It's providing absolute best customer service that you can. All these things help a customer to trust you, and when they trust you they are willing to buy from you, even if in some cases, some of your prices are a bit more than they find on other sites. We never sell products on our Ecommerce sites at lowest price, and we do just fine. If you feel that you must Chop something, Chop your customer service response time. Chop a few kilobytes off your graphics, so your pages will load faster. Chop “dead wood” out of your site by getting rid of products that are overexposed on ‘Net. Leave price chopping to Bob and his buddies…they’re only hurting themselves, not you. Chris Malta WorldWide Brands, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.YouCanDropship.com
Chris Malta is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He has worked with computer Systems for 18 years. He's been involved in eCommerce systems, networking and site design for more than 6 years. He developed The Drop Ship Source Directory, and he and his partners at Worldwide Brands, Inc., publish the Directory and run eCommerce sites of their own using Drop Shipping as their only business method.