Tuesday, February 3, 2015
It's not the same as ordering several cards (which is what most customers do) and asking for confirmation of a total, or asking us to double-check their math for calculating postage. No puzzle about this at all. Once in awhile, someone will ask if the listed price is in US$ or Hong Kong $ or Canadian $ or someone else's $, and we will steer them in the right direction (it's US$). And, luckily, PayPal will do an instant conversion for someone who wants to pay in Euros or whatever.
So then we have to ask ourselves if there is a better way to show the price of each card. If we were bigger, we would have one of those "add this card to the cart and proceed to checkout" functions, but we're not geared up for that and even if we were, it would mean re-listing every entry where we have more than one of the same card, but in different conditions.
By now, you're yawning and thinking "yes, yes, life is full of problems, move on." So we will. But this is a real FAQ and our polite answer will always be: thanks for asking, it will cost US$___. There you go!
Until next time.
FAQ #5: How much does this card cost?
Global Postcard Sales
Friday, January 2, 2015
TriageFirst responders to an accident sometimes need to make quick decisions about who to help first. This process of "triage" should be the most efficient use of time and resources to save the greatest number of lives. We haven't yet encountered a life-or-death decision involving postcards. But you can see how labour-intensive this whole process is, and thanks to some over-eager acquisitions a few years ago, we still have piles of cards waiting for their turn to join others in the website.
Sad to say, many of them won't make it. We recently took the whole lot and pulled out cards that met the following criteria:
* From places or theme categories where we are under-quota.
* Interesting or unusual
* Very old
* Everything's there: stamp, postmark, good message
They have, as people say around here, jumped the queue. We'll be dealing with them before long. So the question remains: what to do with cards that didn't make the cut? Pictures of mountains, flowers, anonymous art, kittens playing with yarn, comic cards that aren't funny, corporate headquarters, you get the idea.
You might already know that stamp vendors often sell by weight ("kiloware") and we could do that, but the problem would be that the market for this kind of postcard hardly justifies buying them by the kilogram. Most likely, we will think of some creative Special Offers and list those. For as we have said so many times before, one of those cards might be just the one an eager collector has been wanting to complete a collection of postcards with blue beach umbrellas.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Global Postcard Sales
Thursday, January 1, 2015
New Year's ResolutionsPeople say, if you are dumb enough to make ten new year's resolutions, but can manage to keep five of them, that's good. We are more of a "glass is half full" operation than that, and we would rather make just two resolutions we think we have a chance of keeping.
That was the teaser. You still need to see the explanation first. GPS (us, not the navigational system) is in its eighth year. The site is larger now, getting more orders than before, and that's good too. But we are at the point where we want to jump-start the process. Anyone in marketing will tell you: you can have the best product and the best pricing in the world, but if nobody knows you're there, you haven't got a chance. Google is good at finding us for very specific places, but not so much for the more generic terms people would normally use to search. "Vintage postcards"? Forget about it. So, as they say around here, what to do, lah?
Here are our two resolutions for Global Postcard Sales for 2015:
1. Boost up the number of cards in less-well-represented categories. California has lots of cards. Mississippi has almost none. The solution is simple: find more cards from Mississippi. It's going to be a little more difficult for categories like "Mauritania" or "Barber Shops".
2. Increase visibility of the site in a cost-effective way. This is the curse of all small businesses and not something we can easily solve. We are thinking of blackmailing our friends into each finding one more person who can spread the word, and having those persons spread the word, and so on. Well, you know what we mean. If you have any good ideas on how to do this without buying full-page ads in the New York Times, let us know, would you?
Here's a special shout-out to Luiz in Brazil for working with us to overcome the South American deficit in a big way. You'll be seeing the results of this soon.
Meanwhile, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, and--from chilly Hong Kong--to all a Good Night!
Original article New Year's Resolutions
at Global Postcard Sales