Archive for the 'Online store' Category

Published by sylvia on 18 Jun 2008

Is “screw the customer” now business as usual?

I try to be an intelligent, reasonable consumer. I know no business is there for the sheer joy of giving me stuff. They are all out to make a buck, and the great strength of our country is that unless the business offers items I want at a price I consider reasonable, I can simply take my business elsewhere.

But that assumes that there is somewhere else that DOES have the items I want at a price I consider reasonable, and that they will take my money and provide the item. This is not necessarily true.

Our official Cheyenne farmer’s market has refused local business in favor of out-of-state resellers for a number of years. So a group of Cheyenne residents started another farmer’s market with the express purpose of giving local people an outlet to sell local goods. Unfortunately, it has apparently turned into just a different clique than the official market, as I discovered when I asked about selling my wonderful handmade candles there. They “juried” my candles and informed me that they weren’t going to bring in my candles. (They do have other vendors selling non-grown and non-food items, so either one of the “committee” is selling candles and doesn’t want the competition, or it’s just another “you’re not in our clique” rejection.)

Netflix has jumped on the “how poor service can we get away with?” bandwagon also. I received an Email that they will not have different “profiles” on the same account after August. Profiles were a wonderful way for us to let different family members create their own queues and decide what they wanted to watch at any given time. To combine them into a single list and decide who can set the movie at the top of the list next would be a nightmare, and there is no way I’ll bother trying; I’ll just cancel my Netflix account. (I know, of course, what they are trying to do; they expect each profile to become a separate account to increase their revenue.
Hopefully enough people will decide they can do without Netflix to hurt them financially unless they reverse the decision and continue to allow individual profiles.)

This attitude just baffles me. I have a small online store, and know that unless my products, prices, and service are all outstanding, my customers can find dozens of other places on the Web to buy scented candles and quilting supplies. So I make the effort, and nearly always get pleased comments from customers. But apparently it’s a secret that good service makes happy customers, to judge by what other businesses are doing.

Published by sylvia on 03 May 2008

Check out my new online store!

3/21/2008: Click here to see MamaSylvia’s Stuff, my new online store. I finally got most of the customization done, so you can find specific products and order them, and see my store name. I’ll be adding options to pay by check or money order soon!

Published by sylvia on 03 May 2008

Desperately trying to setup new online store

2/19/2008: After years of running my little online store via static HTML, I’m trying a free online store program, ZenCart. It has a steep learning curve but lots of neat capabilities. I’m still fighting to get ZenCart installed and somewhat customized. I’m not trying at this point to redesign pages or even set a different color scheme. But I’d really like to get rid of the “Sales Message Goes Here” blurb and the “Zen Cart” page description that appears on the top blue line of Netscape. There are some people on the ZenCart forum trying to help me, but I feel like they are giving me programmer answers when what I need is “pick up the blue duckie and put it on the sofa” simple directions. So far, every time I’ve changed something, the store has disappeared. I’m sure glad I do know enough to reinstall the original file so it reappears, even though it is still with the “Sales Message” message!