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Old 10-09-2006, 03:33 PM   #11
Michael Rowley
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Elyse:

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Bookstore browsing with a six year old active son is not my nor his idea of a fun time
That, I must admit, is a cast-iron excuse during the school holidays. But you're over optimistic (or pessimistic) if you think your son's going to continue shopping with you until he's 14.

   
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by terrie View Post
I was really pissed and told them I didn't want the book if I had to pay twice the price that I would have paid had I ordered it from THEM online.

Supposedly they credited the gift card but when I tried to use it 20 minutes later at another store, the card didn't have any funds on it.

Took 3 weeks!!! to get the card value restored...

I've never shopped at BAM--either online or locally--since...
I don't blame you.

In the case of BestBuy, their in-store prices were better than the online prices for the same items. Promotions run in their brick-&-mortors do not match their online store. I figured promotions might vary by region, but thought surely their online store would recognize and use the promo price for the store listed as the pick-up location. Nope.

   
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley View Post
That, I must admit, is a cast-iron excuse during the school holidays. But you're over optimistic (or pessimistic) if you think your son's going to continue shopping with you until he's 14.
<g> Most likely true, but if he does have to go shopping with me, he will be with me. If he and I do go shopping together, it's either to quickly dash into the mall for a specific, targeted item, then leave or it's for clothing for him, which means he must accompany me to try stuff on. Also, he's increasingly picky about what he wears and definitely has his opinion of what's "cool." I expect him to only get more particular about what's in his wardrobe.

   
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:34 AM   #14
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Default No shopping cart?

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KT: But it suggested the answer to it: by all means advertise your service on a Web site, emphasizing your ability to supply any book in print and your strong lines, but don't try to set up a mail order delivery service.
Currently the bookshop prospect has a mail order delivery service, and that is the main thrust of the web site. Oh, there is a page about in-store events, and one showing hours and directions, and another with a not yet created blog by the owner, but every page has books to order down each side. Without the mail order books setup, there would hardly be any website left.

My advice to the owner is going to be to clean up at least some of the average of 100 HTML validation errors per page and the 2 CSS validation errors that affect appearance, and then have me work on getting more links and submitting to search engines and directories.

If he follows your advice, Michael, he would start over with a very simplified web site. Maybe he should do that, but I doubt that he will do so without trying to make the online book sales business plan work. The shopping cart and book information and merchant credit card accounts must be costing him quite a bit, so simplifying the site would save money.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:58 AM   #15
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I think there's a middle way here, David. What any site needs is a USP: and just selling books online doesn't cut the mustard, What he needs is compelling content to get people in: whether that is opinion, advice, specialised knowledge or whatever. Without adding that in spadefuls, he is wasting effort I suspect.
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:00 AM   #16
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on the other hand, you might go into a shop meaning only to buy one book (perhaps a must-have dictionary) and end up with four.
Oh, right. Bookstores are "dangerous places"! Second-hand bookstores even more so, for me at least. The trick, of course, if you do mean to buy something is to enter only shortly before closing time... and not to enter at all if you're not prepared to to buy anything. Not an easy trick, I know.

   
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:35 AM   #17
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Default Usp

USP is not a term I recognized immediately, so here is a description from Wikipedia for myself and any lurkers out there.

This bookstore site has no USP, and very little content beyond the books for sale. I doubt that he can really get a USP, but otherwise he is doing what you say, wasting time and money on a bad business strategy. Thank you for suggesting a middle way, but it won't be easy to get it going. There is a hint of more in the undone owner's blog, but that isn't much to go on.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:28 AM   #18
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Dave:

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simplifying the site would save money
Yes, a mail-order service (for that's what it is, although the technique has changed) costs money, and if you can't cover it by bulk sales, it's money down the drain. Just look at Amazon's initial losses!

Several big chain bookshops here (Smith's, Waterstone, for example) are setting up on-line selling, because they're beginning to feel the effects of Amazon's sales, but they're really big. A recent complaint in Germany is that chain bookshops are driving out the independents, which have managed quite nicely so far, even against Amazon & Bertelsmann.

   
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:34 AM   #19
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Marjolein:

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Second-hand bookstores even more so
Oh certainly: though all of those have gone out of business in Ipswich; they're still flourishing in London, and, I imagine, Amsterdam.

   
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:47 PM   #20
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elyse: In the case of BestBuy, their in-store prices were better than the online prices for the same items. Promotions run in their brick-&-mortors do not match their online store.
Interesting...I loathe BestBuy so I don't shop there but I do find it odd that their in-store prices can be better than the online prices...wonder if Circuit City is the same way...

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