Search Engines

18 04 2007

There are is alot of talk about submitting your site to search engines.  Then you see those ads about how you can submit them to 100’s or 1000’s of engines all at once.  To be honest I think those ads are just looking to harvest your email so they can spam you to death!  If you want to do that type of thing I would recommend getting an email address JUST for that purpose.  Why?  Some of them will want you to confirm that your email, website, etc are legit and you will have to respond to them.  After that happens you email box will be filling up with EVERYTHING under the sun!  Why drive yourself insane?  I’m sure some of the items you get might be worth looking at, but for the most part BLECK!

It seems the way to go at first is submit to major search engines at first, and you can do that for free!  They all work a bit different, and remember this robots are looking for content!  Here are a couple of links to submit to:

Submit to msn here:  MSN Submit URL 

Submit to google here:  Google Submit URL

Yahoo you must have a signin name:  Yahoo Submit URL

Here is an interesting short article about How to gain popularity with the search engines.

It goes into some of the principles we have already spoke about.  Here are some helpful tips I have taken from the article.

  •  
    • Search engine robots are pretty rigid in their approach to sites. The robot crawls your HTML from top to bottom. Given this, it is important that the first stick of body copy it comes across (the stuff your readers also see) contains copy which is relevant to, and reflects: (a) the Title of your web page and, (b) the meta keywords and meta description phrases contained in the <Head> of your HTML.
    • To put it simply, the first few lines of copy will often be grabbed by the bots and used as a description of your site in their listing. So, if this copy says nothing in particular about your products or services, then you’ll be banished to page 97.
    • Research shows that people generally use phrases in their search requests – they rarely employ a single word. It makes sense, then, to populate your meta keywords with phrases you feel people will employ in their search for products or services.
    • And the easiest way to figure out what key phrases are optimal for your products, is to ask yourself what phrases people would use to find you, then try them out on the search engines.
    • One other point worth mentioning about keywords and phrases is that some search engines – Google, for instance – no longer take them into account at all! On the other hand, many others do. So it is generally better to incorporate them.
    • A title tag can contain up to twenty words; but more doesn’t mean better. Eight to twelve well chosen words is more than sufficient. For best results, the first (short) phrase of the title tag should be geared towards the human reader, while the remainder can be key words aimed at the bot. Bear in mind that the search engine will display only the first few words of the title tag anyway (whatever suits their house-style).
    • Now a word or two about how often you should post your site to search engines. Some authorities believe that if you post too often, your efforts may be seen as spam by the engines and you’ll be banned. On the other hand, it seems to be the consensus that you should post every time you make changes to pages or add pages.
    • Generally speaking, whenever you tweak your site – particularly the index page, you should post straight away. The search engines seem to like changes and they react accordingly by shoving you farther to the front of the listings. The more you do, the better they like it.




Scams – one I got and you need to watch out for!

15 04 2007

I placed a couple of promotional products within my store, and within the trophy and awards section.  I had heard of scams, and I had heard how they word things to get people to bite!  Some people will get so excited because they get a hint of the first sale that they might even go for it!  Be careful!

Re: Ultra Round Stic Grip Promotional Pen .44 at Quantity of 500

Buyer: donsmith

Hello ,
    i am to notify you my interest in buying your ITEM on behalf of my
Boss.He has given me a quick notice to placed an order for your
particular ITEM .I need to get in touch with you on the negotiations if you
would accept a (Money Order or certified check) as a mode of payment.If
yes,send your address phone&name and the final asking price.I am
counting on your support in concluding this transaction within the shortest
time,but my Boss is going to send you( Money Order or certified check) of
an excess money which you will deduct your ITEM fees there and send the
excess Fund to the reputable shipper for Pick Up……

don_smit20001@yahoo.com

This is something I received recently, and it sounds JUST like those notes everyone was talking about when they speak of scams!

There is no need to ‘chat’ about the price, because all the details are very clear on my sale page of the store.  The buyer (if he was real) would know what terms of payment I accept, and wouldn’t have to ask such a silly question.  Since I offered free shipping the comment at the end doesn’t make any sense at all!  The smell of scam is all over this email! 

From what I have gathered from reading around its normally people based outside the United States.  They will send you the money order or what have you – but it will bounce!

Don’t get to excited when you read these type of things.  Please be careful!  For me you notice he made no mention of artwork for this product, and yet that is KEY for the product he is writing about.  RED FLAGS are waving in the wind over this type of thing!  Place your excitement to the side, and try to look for scams.  They will be coming your way, and you need to realize that so you don’t get burned!

WideBody Promotional Pens – Qty 300 mininum

Promotional Pens

We will help with your artwork as much as possible, and provide an online proof!

Product ships in 5 working days after art approval. We will do our best to help you with your artwork, and we will supply an online proof before production begins. Shipping is a 2-day service at ground rates.

Keep in mind this is a quality pen. It does not fall apart, imprint doesn’t rub off, and the ink doesn’t dry up quickly or leak! Seniors especially love the bigger size of this pen. Enjoy 1.2 miles of writing ink.

Our price is based on .99 per pen with a quantity of 300 minimums.
This is end quantity pricing so the next price break would be 10,001. Free shipping within the United States. We are hoping this sale continues until the end of the year. Orders in house with artwork already approved with be honored at promotional price.

Order Checklist
Quantity: Minimum 300 pieces. Point Style/Ink Color: Medium Point: Black, Blue or
Red Ink. Fine Point: Black or Blue Ink.

Barrel/Trim Color: Choose 1 barrel and 1 trim color from the selection shown.
Please note that barrel and trim colors may not be an exact color match.

Barrel Imprint:
Imprint Area: 2 1/8 x 1″
Color 1: Included.
Color 2: Add $.11 per pen.
Color 3: Add $.11 per pen.

Optional Clip Imprint:
Imprint Area: 3/4″ x 5/32″
Color 1: Add $.14 per pen if requested.

Imprint Colors Specify:
1.) Match trim.
2.) Stock colors (see above).
3.) Custom PMS colors are available, but at an extra cost.

Packaging: Standard – 11 lbs. (approx.) @ 500 per carton.
Shipping: 2-day service at ground rates.
Enjoy 1.2 miles of writing ink.
Wide-profile design with large imprint area.
Over 100 possible color combinations!

Repeat Orders: Shipped in 4 working days. We will hold onto artwork 24 months, and after that new artwork must be resubmitted.

Legal Information and returns policy is below.

Product Performance Policy: All products adhere to strict international quality and safety standards and are produced in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations.

Returns: Merchandise found to be incorrect due to our error would be replaced at no charge when returned within 180 days from receipt of merchandise. Authorization from us is required prior to return of merchandise. Unauthorized returns will be refused and returned to sender. No credit will be issued for merchandise, which is unavailable for return to us.

Authorization Indemnification – by placing an order with us you represent and warrant that you have the authority to order, purchase and distribute merchandise containing the names, trademarks, logos, copyrights, etc identified in your order. You also agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless our company, its parent, subsidiaries and its affiliates, representatives, from and against all claims, liabilities and expenses (including attorney fees) arising out of or related to any actual or alleged infringement or misappropriation of any trademark, copyright or any other proprietary right of such merchandise. This provision will remain in effect after delivery of your order.
 





Advertising Ideas

9 04 2007

Ebay doesn’t like for you to place advertisments that go off their site.  A few things people have mentioned about this are the following:

Article written as to HOW you can do this legally!

You are allowed one link on your “ABOUT ME” page!  Here is the link to how you can create and manage this PAGE.

Other Items Mentioned for stores:

  • Include your ecrater store URL in every package you send out!
  • PayPal packing slip
  • If you send any invoice to your customers on Ebay make sure you place your website – it may not be clickable, but it is seen!
  • You can do the same thing if you send invoice’s via paypal.
  • Start a blog, and place RSS readers on it.
  • Announce a coupon – lets say take $20 off any order over $200, and mark it on coorespondence.
  • Write a newsletter!
  • Wearables, magnets and business cards promoting your business.
  • Someone wrote that when they return their library books they use their business card for the store as a bookmarker – and forget to remove it!
  • Join forums related to your wear, and place your link to the store, blog or whatever in there.  It helps the rating on how many sites are links to yours for internet searching purposes.  It can help with sales etc as well!
  • Leave your business card with the tip while dining out.
  • Find places and people that offer link exchanges.

These are just a few, and as I come up with more….I will post them!

4 Color Business Card Magnets On Special NOW! Qty 500!

4 Color Business Card Magnets On Special NOW! Qty 500!

Free 4 Color Process
Free Setup
No Artwork Charges
Free Copy Changes

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A LIMITED TIME OFFER UNTIL MAGNETIC STOCK IS TAKEN OFF SALE. WE CAN’T BE SURE WHEN PRICESS WILL CHANGE. WE WILL HONOR ALL ORDERS IN HOUSE AT THE TIME OF THIS CHANGE! SO DO IT NOW!!!!!

20 Mil is the Thickness and the size is 2” x 3.5” Quanity is 500. Cheap price for every shipment, sales order, etc that goes out! Magnets stick around also!

Price includes a 4 color process imprint on a white surface. The process allows you to print as many different colors as you want for one price. All PMS Colors will be converted to the closest process match. A perfect match cannot be guaranteed.

We will help as much as possible with your artwork. We will also send you one FREE proof right before production! This will be supplied online.

We so have some stock backgrounds if you prefer to use that. I have added some examples to the gallery above. Send me a note with your theme, or idea of what you might use to use and I will send back some examples. I will also do general typesetting for you.

Full Bleeds are available and your text should remain within 1 7/8” x 3/8”

Typically after artwork is finally approved and submitted production time is about 5 working days, and we have found that our customers typically get their product within 2 days after shipping.

If you prefer a thicker magnet 30 mil is also available at .22 per magnet instead of .19.

Below is for people that prefer to do their own artwork.

DIGITAL ART
The highest quality art is VECTOR ART. It is resolution independent . This means that it can be enlarged without affecting the quality of your imprint.

RASTER ART (Placed/continuous tone images)
Raster Art is resolution dependent. When you change the size of an imprint, you change the quality. This means that the resolution (dpi or ppi) of your file is critical. Files must be at least 600dpi. Grayscale and Bitmaps must be 1200 dpi at 100% of final size. Do not submit files w/linked images. Please mebed all graphics.

FONTS
Convert your text into “curves” or “outlines” before e-mailing your art.

TYPESETTING
We can add text to your imprint at no additional charge. We have a variety of popular fonts, just pick your favorite from the list on above. Then send a typewritten version of the text, and specify typeface, point sizes and case.

Artwork Standards
In order to give you the highest quality imprint, we have developed some artwork guidelines, which include minimum line weights. All copy should be 6 points or larger. Lines should be no thinner than .5 pt. We will redraw halftones and screens, filling them in or outlining them, and reset copy when necessary. BIC reserves the right to modify your art if it does not meet these quality standards.

We do have templates, and details instructions also…..just ask!





RSS Feeds – What do you do with them?

7 04 2007

WordPress has an RSS feed on your blog page.

I’m sure you have seen the above, and there are other feeders as well.  This one seems to be the most popular! 

First I want to include a cute video as an introduction!


So what did we learn about RSS?  Basically new content on your favorite sites are sent to you via your reader or email.   

Why would you want that?  It seems RSS is getting more and more popular, and as the video states – its saves your readers TIME!  I have been told that your website counter may go down, but if you pay attention to your feedburner account (the company I choose to burn my feeds) your readership has gone UP in alot of cases!  They don’t have to come to your website anymore to read what you have to say!

On ecrater you must burn you feed for each catagory, and to be honest I get the impression if you have more than one page on your catagory of goods – burn that as well!  That is why I have a couple of different feeds.

When I first HEARD about RSS I was writing on another blog off wordpress.  I had found a video I wanted to post to this blog, and I had no clue where to start to figure out HOW to do this!  I found this website that had tutorials in video form to show people how to do this.  YES this was before I had heard of Youtube!  They do have a good video on burning a RSS feed tho!

BURNING A FEED  You have a choice between a windows media or quicktime.  Its well worth the view if you are like me, and NOT quite sure what you are doing!

Once you burn the feed make sure you click on all the tabs within feedburner, and learn about them.  They even have a ping service for your feeds.  I will talk about pings on a later date! 

Spring/Fall Zero Posur girls Jacket with

 4 Velcro Pockets 6X

Spring/Fall Zero Posur girls Jacket with 4 Velcro Pockets 6X

This Light Blue Fall Spring Jacket is from Zero Posur.

Its one of those situtations we all hate when a relative buys your child this WONDERFUL jacket – you blink – and they grow out of it!

The inside tag mentions “Element Protector” it has the grey wool like lining (soft). The zipper pull is still in tact if that gives you any clue how much it was worn! The picture above you can see one of the side velcro pockets – front of jacket. The other one is on opposite side – I wanted you to see the gray accent going down the sleeves. On the left sleeve you have the “ZX” logo and the pocket you can see on the bottom portion of the main picture (thumbnail below), and a bigger pocket on the rear of the jacket shown on the top portion of main image (thumbnail bowl).

This jacket is nice for those Cool Spring Nights or Early to late Fall! Great for Camping TRIPS!

Label reads: Size GIRLS (L) 6X, Shell – 100% Nylon with Polyurethane coating. Lining: Body and Hood 75% Polyester 25% Rayon Sleeves 100% Polyster Rib 100% Acrylic Sleeves Filler 100% Polyester. Exclusive of Ornamentation. RN# 50411, Machine Wash Cold, Gentle Cycle, Wash Darks Separately, Do not Bleach. Tumble Dry Low, Do not Iron, May be Professional Dry Cleaned.

Normally, I use Priority Mail for all my packages.

If you would prefer to use Parcel Post for your packages to save some money on shipping I would be more than happy to do that. Keep in mind that will take at times a lot longer to get to you, and has restrictions for delivery confirmation and insurance.

I would be more than happy to combine items to save your money on shipping charges, and I normally ship out within 3-4 business days. If there is a delay I will contact you right away. I normally try to get the packages out promptly.

I welcome international orders, but you will have to contact me for a quote. Also be note that I can only pay the shipping charges presented at the time from the carrier, and can’t be responsible for additional fees you are asked to pay to be received within your country.

 violence ministry we are trying

to help with your sales: Focus Ministries





Title Tag Page for your store

5 04 2007

I’m going to go at this Section one at a time.  I’m not sure about some items, and as I figure them out I will pass that along! 

What is the title page you ask? 

If you look on top of your screen you will see something along the lines of my article title that you are reading: Title Tag Page for your store – and then it will mention my blog name: Nice Used Clothes For Charity.  WordPress does this for you automatically, but in Ecrater you must place what text you want in that space.

You ever notice on some sites they say, “WELCOME!!” and some message?  THAT is part of their title page!  Basically this is this is the text that is displayed in the top section of the browser when you open a certain page.

I found an interesting article on title tags!

All About Title Tags  

I found some tips on how to dress up the site also!  Some of it made alot of sense! 

Dozen Tips for Sprucing up your website!

Girls Honua Spagetti Strap Orange Top – ADORABLE NWOT 13/14

Girls Honua Spagetti Strap Orange Top - ADORABLE NWOT 13/14

  

This top is very adorable! We were very disappointed when the gift from HI
(relatives on vacation) didn’t fit! This item was tried on, and
never worn again.

There is a zipper on the right hand side
from the picture along the side of the garment. Makes it easier to put on.

Tag on the inside states:

Honua

55%/45% poly/cotton

machine wash cold no

bleach, tumble dry med

use cool rion

Made in HI

USA

Style# 4000

Size 13/14

Measurements from garment laying down flat

The top (armpit to armpit) is 15.5 inches

Armpit seam to armpit seam 17”

Seam of armpit to bottom of garment is 12.25 inches

The straps themselves are 12 inches

Measurement from side to side (front) on top of 1st ruffle is 14.5” (seam to seam)

You will LOVE this top!!

Domestic abuse violence ministry we are trying to help with your sales:
Focus Minstries





Shipping and Taxes Section

3 04 2007

I’m going to go into this whole section all at once.  To be honest there isn’t much to it, and it’s not the most HELPFUL section to the free online store in the world!

The Weight Scale section:

You need to choose the section that best fits your needs.  For myself I picked the first section:  Small.  I left it at that also!

In the shipping zones it depends on WHERE you are and WHERE you want to ship – you pick it!  For me being in the United States every country outside of here can be very confusing for shipping!  I choose NOT to include any other countries.  For now I want to stick to pants, since I’m not all that familiar with other things.  Most of the time pants will weight anywhere from 2-3 lbs on average in the box.  I know alot of people use those tyvec bags from the postal service, and I get kind of afraid of that!  I have ordered some bigger bags that aren’t offered at my local post office to see if I can use them.  For now I place the item into a shopping bag, so it will protect it from the weather once it arrives.  I use a box just because to me its more sturdy!  That might change once I receive the ordered items.  I don’t know yet!  I’m not sure if taping the crud out of the envelope will give me peace of mind it will get there in one piece to be honest! I do note that I ship internationally, but they need to contact me.  Certain orders if they are large enough I need to use insurance, and possiblity another carrier besides USPS.USPS Site for Supplies You can get all kinds of sizes of boxes, bags, and supplies from there.  Most of the items are FREE!  Can’t beat THAT!  If you sell more DVD’s, Books, Shoes, etc they have special boxes just for you!  I used one of their shoe box items for shipping lots of old VHS Tapes I had around the house that sold on Ebay.

The shipping Matrix I will have to play around with a bit.  Either I am NOT very quick, or I’m over thinking it!  For now I just filled in amounts for 1lb, 2lb and 4lb.  The one pound I will just use a standard flat rate envelope!  The 2 lb package I picked middle of the road postage zone for the rate.  The 4 lbs I used the standard flat rate box charge for USPS.  The most anyone has ever purchased from me was 2 items, and that is all I could fit in the box anyway.I came across an interesting conversation about “What if you use Ounces?  You know for light items! Here is what poster came up with!

So, the problem. I sell items that are very light and usually ship 1st Class and only weigh 2-4 ounces. With this system I couldn’t see how to set it up so when someone purchased more than one item so they wouldn’t get raped on shipping charges.The sollution. What I figured out was that instead of using the shipping matrix as it was ment to be used with pound weight’s I use it instead based on ounces.Example. For Mainland US in the shipping matrix I have shipping set to $1.50 for column’s 1 and 2 (ounces) then it starts going to even numbe weight’s. 4 is set to $1.65, 6 at $2.10, 8 at 2.60, 10 at 3.10, 12 at 3.55, 14 at 4.60, 16 at 4.60 and for 16+ which add’s the set ammount for each additional 2 units I set it to .30 cents.Created some store items and did a test checkout and it works!!!Just make sure that when you create your listing’s when you put in the weight to do it in ounces and not pounds. Not perfect but it works.Hope this helps anyone else that ships very light items.Pretty COOL huh? For the Sales tax portion you need to know HOW much sales tax you much charge for your area.  Some places you don’t have to charge sales tax if shipping outside the state, but DO have to charge within the state.  Again ask your accountant for this, and fill in the correct amount where indicated on the chart.  Leave the rest blank!

Lot of 5 Fun Boy’s Tee’s Sizes Vary around 6 – 7 Lot of 5 Fun Boy's Tee's Sizes Vary around 6 - 7This is a collection of Boy’s Tees, and I will describe all five,
and see the bottom for the pictures of them taken individually!
I took these measurements laying down, and certain measurements
you may wish to double.
The Red Tank Top (Sleeveless) is a Sonoma size M (5-6)Armpit to Armpit Seam is 14.5, Shoulder to Shoulder Seam is 11.75.
Shoulder seam to hem is 15.75 and Pit seam to hem is 10. Armhole is 6.
The Senor Frog Shirt (Skateboard theme) doesn’t have a size listed,
but I would guess 7. Armpit to Armpit seam is 14,
Shoulder to Shoulder Seam is 13, Shoulder seam to hem is 17.
Pit seam to hem is 10 . Top Sleeve seam to hem 6, Bottom 4.
The Moose Creek Shirt is a Arizona Shirt in Size L or 7.
Armpit to Armpit is 13.75, Shoulder to Shoulder seam is 12.75.
Shoulder Seam to hem is 16.5, and Pit seam to hem is 10.
Sleeve Searm to hem 6 and bottom is 2.5″.

The “Super Troops” Army Shirt is a Sonoma Shirt in Youth S.
Armpit to Armpit is 14.25, Shoulder to Shoulder seam is 14.
Shoulder Seam to hem is 18, and Pit seam to hem is 11.75.
Sleeve Seam to hem 4.25 and bottom is 2.5″.

The “SpiderMan” Shirt is a Underroos Shirt in L.
It does have a small smudge on the front that I just noticed.
It doesn’t look permanate. Armpit to Armpit is 15.25,
Shoulder to Shoulder seam is 13. Shoulder Seam to hem is
17.25, and Pit seam to hem is 10.25. Sleeve Seam to
hem 5.5 and bottom is 3″.

proceeds go to:
Focus Ministries 
 





Payment Options Section

2 04 2007

The offer will expire in the future, but for now it looks like google wants a piece of the action that paypal has been getting for years.  They are now offering payment options you can use for your store.

Google Ad is on Ecrater right now.  All your payments processing will be free until the end of 2007.  I have to be honest I have NOT checked this out so far.  I have a paypal account, and I have for years.  Maybe later when I learn about it a bit more I will write about.

This looks like a link that will be there forever regarding their service at GOOGLE CHECKOUT!

It looks like things are explained pretty well there.  If you decide to use this service just make sure you check that box.

If you have a paypal account you need to check that box.  Then make sure you enter the email address that goes with that account. 

There is the link to PAYPAL for rest of your questions.

For myself I do accept money orders, but I’m sorry I am NOT going to place my address for the world to see!  If I were guessing all kinds of people are out there for junk mail purposes, etc.  If they want to use money orders they can contact me for that information.  I do mention in my ads that I accept this form of payment, and also in the question and answer section.

Cashier’s check, Personal Check, and Cash on Delivery – well that is up to you what you wish to offer!

One item I wanted to point out because I can see this happening if you are currently using paypal, and place the shipping charges in there automatically – this can be a problem with ecrater!  Lets say all you do is ship one product at a flat rate.  You asked paypal to automatically charge lets say $10.00 for shipping automatically.  It sounds like the ecrater charges the $10.00 and your default on paypal will also.  I saw this note on their community board regarding this:

MY SHIPPING IS SET BUT PAYPAL ADDS EXTRA CHARGES- WHY?Log into your Paypal account and make sure the override check box is checked in your Profile. If omitted, and your Profile-based shipping is enabled, your customer will be charged the amount or percentage defined in your profile.More Questions??  Check this thread on Ecrater HERE for paypal.More Questions on Google checkout?  Here you GOFeatured Product For the Day:Haggar Mens Polyester Pants 38 x 30 Haggar Mens Polyester Pants 38 x 30Details: Up for sale is an authentic pair of 100% Dacron Polyester pants by Haggar Big and Tall in men’s size 38 x 29.
Pants are front pleated and they feel very soft.
Condition:Pants are gently worn, and very handsome. They have been washed, and are ready to go right out of the box!
Very Nice pair of Haggar Big and Tall mens pants, but check the measurements below!
Waist – Top of Pants 38
Hips – Around Bottom of Zipper 48
Rise – Crotch Seam to Top of Pants 13
Zipper to Top Of Pants 9
Inseam – Crotch Seam to Hem of Pants 28
Bottom of Pants – Length folded in half 9.75