Feb 17, 2011

How ERIM Saved My Shipment

2 weeks ago, a customer from Tagbilaran returned a Sophie wallet due to wrong item shipped. It was a case of mistaken identity. The item code was DSM214, and by some reason DSM241 was given to me which I hastily shipped to the customer. The box and contents looked like a wallet, so I left it at that without thoroughly checking the item I was getting.

February 8, Tuesday

I drove several kilometers after 6pm to return the item where I got it. Almost missed the store, since they were ready to close when I came. To top it off, it seems that they didn't receive any of my messages regarding the item that I want to exchange. So, I had no choice but to leave the item on the store and wait for Saturday when they said the replacement item will be available.

February 12, Saturday

With my 2 exuberant boys, I went to the Sophie store to pick up my replacement wallet and other items that a dealer texted me. There were several other dealers inside the store and we were cramped. The store manager wasn't there and only a friend of her or an assistant was left to see to all the dealers. I had to wait until the other dealers were catered too. I gave my story of the wrong item. She checked it with the store manager to be true. Looks like my luck is finally making a turn. The correct wallet I need is there! Hooray!

The assistant picked my other items and went on creating a sales invoice; but she has no change for my bill. So, I went back to the car and picked some loose changed here and there. After going back to the store to check out, the assistant remembered to add in the catalog on the invoice. I paid for the item and carried the plastic bag supposedly containing all my items and put it on the trunk of the car.

February 13, Sunday
Since I have an 8 – 5 work, I had to ready all my items for ship a night before the shipping. I packed the items on the pouch and written the address on the waybill. When it's time to pack the faithful wallet; lo and behold! The wallet is not on the plastic bag I thought it was on! Frantically, I looked on my other bags and items, but it's not there. What rotten luck! After going all the trouble of getting the wallet, I had the gall to leave it on the store! Or the assistant was distracted enough to forget to add the wallet on the bag! Either way, I was left with a dilemma of having a no item to ship to a customer who's been waiting for almost 3 weeks now!

The Solution!
At exactly 10am Monday, I texted ERIM and told that I have an item for pick in Imus and want it delivered to a customer. I also, have an item at home to be delivered to another customer. After a few minutes, the sweet voice of ERIM's assistant phoned me and told me that they will pick up the item in Imus first, and then proceed on picking up my other shipment at home.

At 2pm the rider was already in our door-step with the wallet from Imus, ready to pick up my 2nd shipment, and bring them both to their final destination!

ERIM saved my shipment! More power ERIM!!!

Discount? Free Shipping? or Freebies?

Selling online is a steep competition. Swaying your customer to click the 'Buy It Now' button or send an order form is a critical moment of just mere second. Giving an incentive to your buyer is one-way of tipping the scale and making online shopping a rewarding experience. So what are the effective ways of enticing your buyer to buy?

Discount - giving discounts to loyal customers and bulk buyers is one-way of rewarding your customers. Just make sure the discount doesn't eat out the profit margin.

Free Shipping - this is a big deciding factor for buyers. With the increasing number of online sellers selling almost that same wares, the decision will boil down to the postage cost. Giving out free shipping on high ticket items or bulk purchase can make a first time buy again.

Freebies - based on buyers I've asked before, freebies is not really a big deal for them; but is very much appreciated when received.  So, to save some of your profit margin, give out freebies to customers truly deserving them.  A loyal customer perhaps? or during missed shipment deadlines, or any mishap that had happened on the deal.  Giving a freebie as a token of amendment shows that you care for the customer.

To my fellow online sellers and buyers? Which of these tactics do you use or have experienced? Share us your thoughts and leave a freebie knowledge about online selling on the comment section.

Happy Selling!

Feb 15, 2011

Payment Options – The Best Way To Pay

Keeping the shopping convenience motto high, online sellers should be able to offer several payment options for the customer to choose from. Each option should be (1) convenient; (2) safe; and (3) light on the pocket.

So what are the payment options available today and how do they rate on the three categories mentioned?

Acceptance MarkPaypal is by far the most convenient way to pay. With just the click of your fingertips you can bid/buy and check out your items. It is equipped with all the encrypting technology available online since we're talking about money here. Buyer can also file a dispute with Paypal or reverse the entire payment should the transaction prove to be unsatisfactory; for a period of 30days. But is it light on the pocket? This entirely depends on the buyer-seller agreement. Since Paypal is charging the seller a payment fee1 for every transaction, not all sellers are keen on offering Paypal. Others would allow Paypal payments if the buyer agrees to shoulder the charges or even half of it. All in all, Paypal is still a must to offer especially if you're selling high value items.

Bank Deposit is not high on the convenience chart, but definitely pose a safer way to pay compared to GCash or SMART Money transfer. If the buyer is within the Metro then bank deposit is no problem. Not so true for people living in the province. Also, a seller should be aware if there are inter-branch charges that the bank is collecting during deposit. BDO is an example that collects 50pesos for deposits on personal accounts from different provinces. This may surprise some buyers, so always give prior notice.

Bank deposit also gives a buyer some sense of security since they know that the person they're transacting with is existing.

GCash or SMART Money Transfer

These mobile payment options are both high in convenience and risk. Many online scams are transacted thru mobile payments. A scammer can just buy any SIM card, subscribe for a GCash or SMART Money2 number and be able to transact anonymously. The transaction is non-reversible to be accurate in giving your card number. Globe and SMART also doesn't keep track of all GCash or SMART Money number, so refund is not 100% guarantee.
Mobile payment method should also be light on the pocket, since depositing to a GCash or SMART Money number is virtually free. Buyers can drop by any BDO branch and fill-up a merchant slip containing the seller's GCash or SMART Money number and pay only the amount to be deposited. This could very well be used as an alternative to BDO bank deposit that might incur inter-branch fee.

LBC, Cebuana, M Lhuillier or Wester Union

These payment options are a definite NO-NO, both for buyers and sellers. They are not convenient, and definitely not light on the pocket. Buyers should think twice, or even thrice when these are the only payment option a seller is offering.

Foot Notes:
1 Paypal charges 3.4% + 15pesos per transaction when receiving payments
2  Unclaimed SMART Money number can only transfer up to 1000pesos.  After that, it must be linked to a named SMART Money card before any other transaction can be done.

Feb 11, 2011

MYSH My Shopping Heaven

Store Name: MYSH My Shopping Heaven

URL: http://myshmyshoppinghaven.multiply.com/

Email: shielib2000@yahoo.com

MYSH My Shopping Heaven primarily caters to resellers and wholesale buyers though sometimes i also have few buyers who purchase in retail. My items are all fashionable and yet affordable because we believe that one should not spend more or slash one's budget just to look fab and stylish. All the clothes that I sell are locally made and direct from the manufacturer, hence, the cheap prices. We really make it a point to pass all our products to resellers and business partners at very low prices so that they can earn good income and together we can sustain a long term business partnership.

Feb 8, 2011

Flowers by Bliss – Real flowers to express real emotions

Store Name: Flowers by Bliss

Flowers by Bliss – real flowers to express real emotions offers beautiful flower arrangements for all occasions. We simply love flowers. We understand how flowers can help bridge the gap between feelings and words. Every flower in each arrangement is personally hand-picked by us to make sure that we only give you the best.

See our samples or better yet, drop by the store here.

Photo courtesy of: flowersbybliss.multiply.com

Bonnibelle, Silicone Nipple Cover – Your Bosom Buddy

In every girls closet there are essentials that transcends the boundary of every fashionista.  Whether she dresses like a rockista, a girl next door, a preppy or a hot babe, there are certain clothing articles that is a must have for everyone.  An example would be your strapless bra.  Every girl should own at least a pair or two of strapless bra.

But even a strapless bra has its limits.  You can't wear it with backless outfits or plunging dresses.  Going au naturale is not for everyone.  That's why I pick this week's feature product to be the Bonnibelle, silicon nipple cover. 

By using a silicon nipple cover, you can go braless and definitely tipless. The product is self-adhesive with no harmful chemicals for your nips.  After usage, just return it to its original packaging for safe keeping and to avoid unnecessary dirt going into to adhesive.  You can wash it and the adhesive retains its effectiveness, after the silicone has dried.

So what are you waiting for? Grab one of this versatile bosom buddy here.

And by the way, did I mention that a pair is only 100pesos?

Feb 7, 2011

Flirtéshoes – Great to be a girl! so cutie… so flirty…

Store Name: Flirtéshoes Wedges and Loafers

URL: http://flirteshoes.multiply.com

Owner: Freya Vargas

Flirtéshoes Wedges and Loafers is a shoe store that sells stylish wedges, loafers and sandals at very affordable price.  New styles and designs are constantly introduced to keep customers wanting more and more.  Shoes are stylish, affordable, comfy to wear and are made of quality raw materials to last.

Buyers can afford wholesale price at a minimum order quantity of only 3 pairs per transaction. Visit Flirtéshoes store here and feast your eyes on their collection.

Photo courtesy of: flirteshoes.multiply.com

Feb 4, 2011

Shipping your items … and a lot more!

Even if you haven't sold any item yet, you should start thinking about how to ship your item as soon as you've made up your mind about becoming an online seller. Identifying the courier services available to you and simple things about shipping is just another factor of online selling.

You can call yourself lucky if you're within the Metro since there are many options that you can choose from. Not so much for those living in the province. So, to help you pick the best courier service, here are the options prevalent today.

But before that! Let me tell you things that you should know about shipping.

  • You call the shipping form as waybill. Here you will see the details of the shipper, name and address of consignee and tracking number.
  • Most courier companies have pouches & boxes available for their customer to use and put their items on. Know the sizes of these pouches and boxes and determine if your product will fit. Else, you'll have to provide your own packaging.
  • Parcels gets thrown a lot during transport, hence, it is the seller's responsibility to pack the items securely to avoid damages.
  • Photo by: gettingstarted.outright.com
  • Different Courier Company offers different shipping rates based on the weight, value and area where your item will be shipped.
  • Small courier companies offer FREE pick up. Even if you only have a single small parcel to ship, they will pick it up at your door-step for free. This is very convenient since you don't even have to step out to ship your item.
  • Package weight and volumetric weight are two different things. Package weight is determined by weighing your parcel. Volumetric weight is determined by measuring the size of your item and using the equation below:
    (L x W x H)/3500
    Dimensions should be in cm.
    3500 is used for local deliveries. 
    3000 for deliveries abroad.
  • Both the package weight and volumetric weight will be measured if your parcel is packed using your own packaging. The rate will be based on the value that's higher.
  • Courier companies take any fraction of a kilo as 1 kilo. Better be decisive in packing your items. Remember your minima-maxima lessons in Calculus.
  • You can always under-value your parcel for local shipment, but you can never under-weight them. Even if it's for pick-up, riders bring their own digital weighing scale and tape measure to determine the final weight of your item.
  • Insurance is optional for local shipment. But is a must for international shipments. Fee is determined by the value of the package that you declare.

Feb 3, 2011

How to create a Facebook Fan Page?

Facebook is fast becoming ‘the’ place to sell online.  With over 18 Million Filipino Facebook users as of November 2010, there’s bound to be a buyer for your item somewhere.

However, using your personal profile as store front is not very wise.  Yes, you’ll get hundreds of invites daily but you’ll also need to approve those invites first before linking your potential buyers to your store.  You'll also be spending a good number of hours tagging each friend on your album so they can atleast notice whatever it is you're selling.  A process that's starting to get really annoying for the person being tagged.  Good thing there’s a Facebook Fan page, where a simple Like can make the big difference.

Once a person hits the Like button of your fan page, he or she will automatically receive on her wall your page’s update.  No need to tag users and annoy their friends by doing so.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how easily you can create a Fan page in Facebook.
  1. Sign-in to your Facebook account. 
  2. Go to Facebook Fan page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/create.php). 
  3. Choose the purpose of your Fan page.  Brand or Product is the common type for online sellers.  If you have a physical store, then choose Local Business or Place.
  4. From the Brand or Product, choose the category of your for sale items. Type the store name on the Brand or Product field and tick the agreement box.
  5. Your page will look like below.  Just fill-in the necessary details and you’re done.

Step number 5 is a widget creator that showcases your Facebook Fan page on other sites that you have. Say, you have a blog or other ad site and would like people from that site to easily see you fan page. Just add the html code of this widget called Facebook Platform and whenever they click the Like button, people will automatically added to your rooster of fans.
Once your Fan page is complete, the only thing left is adding the Shipping and Payment details, as well as the photos of your items for sale!

Feb 2, 2011

Where to sell?

Now that you already have your chosen merchandise, the next big decision is where best to sell them.  This question is not about a place that you can locate around the neighborhood.  A place that you have to rent or lease.  It's a free spot on the vast internet that you can claim and name as your own.

There are 3 sites that top the list of online sellers.  Ebay, Facebook and Multiply.

eBay, with its auction format attracts treasure trove seekers of every kind.  Selling is easy since the site showcases the items fairly and is sold to the highest bidder (anywhere).  That being said, there’s hardly any big need to advertise your product before anyone finds it.  A simple SEO, descriptive title and good photo is all an eBayer needs to sell an item here.

Facebook is now the 2nd choice, a spot held before by Multiply.  The big reason is that a seller can create her own Fan page and invite one and all to like that page.  Those who did will automatically see on their wall anything that the seller would deem to show off on her page.  It’s broadcasting to the highest level.  As human nature goes, the more buzz an issue would get, the more people would be intrigue to see what the buzz is all about.

Multiply, nowadays is a site driven by online sellers.  Its original purpose was to let users interact with each other by connecting each ones pages of photos, blogs and what-not.  It is now a place to parade stuffs to sell; with albums after albums of treasures that you won’t normally see elsewhere.  Multiply even gave in to the demands of its users and implemented the order form widget, which before was banned.

Feb 1, 2011

What to sell?

For an aspiring online seller, 'What to sell?' is the very first question that comes in mind.  So what are the popular items to sell?

Clothes - whether its baby clothes, Korean fashion, Bangkok shirts, plus size fashion and everything in between, clothes is always been on top of the online items that you can sell.

Shoes - selling shoes is a bit trickier than that of clothes.  There are a number of size standards being followed everywhere, and sad to say, Philippines doesn't even have its own.  It would all depend to where your stocks come from.  Having a sizing guide would come real handy if you're planning on selling shoes online.

Bags, Wallets & PurseLiz Clairborne, Longchamp, Juicy Couture, Coach, Nine West, etc… Those are just some of the authentic bags that are selling like hot potatoes on the net today.  If you have a designer bag on your closet that never got around to using, then sell them online.  Best put on an auction site and see how much money (and fun) you’ll get disposing the item.

Electronic Gadgets - mostly guys are selling this stuff.  You won't see a guy selling out mini-dress, but you'll always see a guy selling iPod mini.

Perfumes - whether they are original or imitation, the key in selling perfumes is honesty.  Don't ever try to say that you're selling original if you know that they are not. 

Books I’m not a book seller, but I do love to buy books online.  You’ll always find someone, somewhere selling the book that you’re looking for.  Although, selling books may not be my cup of tea, I know several online sellers who found success in this niche.

Service or Skill now, you might wonder what I’m talking about here.  Don’t get the wrong conclusions.  I’m talking about your skill with a DSLR camera, Photoshop or XML.  Due to the number of online sellers, competition is steep.  Photo’s of the items must be near perfect and the site easy to navigate.  Hence, successful online sellers turn to free lance photographers and web designers to give their sites a make-over.  If you’re a student or an enthusiast with skills on this field, then go ahead and sell your service online.

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