When Your Customers Steal

Written by Chris Malta

"When Your Customers Steal" You know it’s a slow news day whenrepparttar news programs on TV turn their attention to their favorite new consumer warning “Beware of online businesses!” they cry. “YOU could be SCAMMED onrepparttar 116935 Internet!” Every time I see one of these news stories, I groan, and wonder how many sales my sites just lost. Then there arerepparttar 116936 ads for that new credit card that “protects” consumers against online fraud. They make Internet businesses people look like a bunch of thugs who meet in a sewer all day long to torture innocent consumers. There a lot more honest, hardworking Netrepreneurs out there than scam artists. That doesn’t make for a good news story, though, so we all takerepparttar 116937 lumps forrepparttar 116938 transgressions of a sordid few. You know what I’ve never seen, though? I’ve never seen a headline story aboutrepparttar 116939 CUSTOMERS who scamrepparttar 116940 Netrepreneurs. I’ve seen stories about thieves robbing convenience stores. I’ve seen exposes featuringrepparttar 116941 practices favored by professional shoplifters. What aboutrepparttar 116942 “consumers” who target online businesses when they steal? My partners and I market both informational products and brand name merchandise onrepparttar 116943 Internet. And we’ve been taken on both sides ofrepparttar 116944 fence. We publish a B2B (business to business) product called The Drop Ship Source Directory. Recently, I received an email from someone who bought our Directory on EBay, and had questions about how they were to receiverepparttar 116945 information updates we send our customers every month. There was only one problem. We don’t SELL our Directory on EBay. I was forced to write back to that person and tell him that he had been scammed. It was obvious to me that someone had purchased our product from us, and was reselling it to others illegally. How this scam artist expected to get away with resellingrepparttar 116946 product, I’ll never know. At that time, it was a download that contained nearly a thousand pages. (Now, it's a much larger online database). There is a copyright notice on EVERY SINGLE PAGE. It’s like me buying Stephen King’s latest book on Amazon, typing it up into electronic form, and then reselling it on EBay. I’d have to be nuts to try something like that! Last year, a site I was working with received an order for some moderately expensive jewelry. Nothing out ofrepparttar 116947 ordinary. The credit card processed just fine, withrepparttar 116948 AVS (Automatic Verification System) coming back “green”. This means thatrepparttar 116949 online processing system had checkedrepparttar 116950 card’s information againstrepparttar 116951 on-file address and zip code of its owner, and everything was OK. The Ship-to address was different fromrepparttar 116952 card owner’s Bill-to address, but that’s nothing out ofrepparttar 116953 ordinary either. LOTS of people buy jewelry and have it sent as a gift to another address. A while later, we received a “chargeback” letter fromrepparttar 116954 customer’s bank. A chargeback means thatrepparttar 116955 card owner has disputedrepparttar 116956 charge, and we have to show cause why we should not refundrepparttar 116957 money. At aboutrepparttar 116958 same time, we got a phone call from a police department in West Virginia, asking about that same order.

Should I Offer Free Shipping?

Written by Chris Malta

"Should I Offer Free Shipping?" Boy, it's tempting, isn't it! Free Shipping! People will see your proclamation of Freedom fromrepparttar dreaded SHIPPING CHARGE (imagine agonized screaming here), and flock to your site to take advantage of THE INCREDIBLE SAVINGS! (Fanfare, people cheering). Well, it’s true. In my experience, shoppers will check out an offer of free shipping before they commit to your competitor. Yahoo Shopping even lists Free Shipping sites as a category on their home page every once in a while, when they’re promoting their Shopping area. Do those sites get hits? You can bet they do. Are they doing better than you are? Probably not. Internet Shoppers, as a rule, are not dumb. Althoughrepparttar 116934 Internet Shopper tends to be an instant-gratification junkie (like me), they will check around before pushing that all-important Order button. They’re going to go allrepparttar 116935 way through your order process, until they getrepparttar 116936 FINAL price. Then they’re going to cancelrepparttar 116937 order, and do some checking. What are they going to check before they push your button? The same product on other sites. Now, let’s assume that life is perfect, and you getrepparttar 116938 best possible wholesale price onrepparttar 116939 items being drop-shipped for your site. Naturally, life being perfect,repparttar 116940 Shopper is going to be comparing prices on other sites that getrepparttar 116941 same great wholesale price that you do. What’s going to happen? Remember, somebody’s got to pay for that shipping. Unless you are personally related torepparttar 116942 Shipping Fairy, you’re going to have to deal with shipping charges in all their sneaky little forms. Ground shipping, air, motor freight. Residential delivery surcharge. Shipping insurance charge. Signature release charge. They get you coming and going. (Literally!). So what’s going to happen? Your price is going to be higher. It has to be. When you offer free shipping, YOU pay forrepparttar 116943 shipping. So you have to raise your price. You have to includerepparttar 116944 estimated shipping in your item price. (Unless, of course, you want to take a hit belowrepparttar 116945 belt…right inrepparttar 116946 profit margin). Ok, ok, I knowrepparttar 116947 logic. Maybe your price is higher, but with free shipping your final price will be aboutrepparttar 116948 same as a site that has a lower price, but charges for shipping, right? Six of one, half a dozen ofrepparttar 116949 other. Afterrepparttar 116950 dust settles, you both make aboutrepparttar 116951 same profit. Sorepparttar 116952 Shopper will buy from you, because you have free shipping.

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