What would you do if you were in my shoes?

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-JOE-
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What would you do if you were in my shoes?

(I removed our conversation)

Edited by: -JOE- on 05/29/2013 - 18:04
tatasal
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You may not like their policies but it’s their policy. Bite the bullet. It’s part of the learning process in your way to business. Take it as it is and move on. Remember, your business in online and you can have as much opportunity as the next guy. A good word-of-mouth from your satisfied customers is one good start.

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Sorry to hear about it but sympathy is in short supply over there. They just cgaff about small fry.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

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-JOE-
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I will definitely be using CPF as a place to promote my store in the future so I didn't want to upset him. I just wanted him to see that it is hard for small businesses to "survive" on CPF.

I would really like to get my business going but I just don't have the time right now. Mostly I don't have the money though. I have everything all on paper and in order. I feel all of my goals/ and plans are reasonable but I don't have the income to make it happen. That is why you see me ordering such small quantities of items and selling them cheap so I have a higher turnover rate.

RaceR86
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Not sure what I would to, but their policy is their policy. So not much you can do about that.
I guess I would try other channels. Ebay etc etc..
CPF is driven in a very strict almost “nazi” way.. (no offence) That is how I perceive their board. This forum is so much better in every possible way.
But, I understand your issue. You would probably have a much larger customer base over there.

Once certain sites become too big, they become too greedy. Why? Because they can.
I would suggest to not support sites like that.

But then again, you do what you have to do to stay in business. They do what they have to do.

However things turn out. Good luck! Smile

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sb56637
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tatasal wrote:
A good word-of-mouth from your satisfied customers is one good start.

+1

Word-of-mouth is huge, much more than a nice website or a logo. That’s mainly how BLF got to be so popular.

You mentioned that you want to set up a nice website and create a nice logo. While all that is nice to have, in the beginning it doesn’t matter all that much, because the internet is a crowded place and random people won’t notice your site at first. The most important thing when you’re starting out is to just be yourself— a good, honest, friendly, straight-talking guy. Offer some good deals with good service to the right group of people, and you’ll quickly create a good name for yourself in no time. With that, you’ll have a good base for attracting new customers from other corners of the internet.

All the best to you!

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tatasal
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sb56637 wrote:
tatasal wrote:
A good word-of-mouth from your satisfied customers is one good start.

+1

Word-of-mouth is huge, much more than a nice website or a logo. That’s mainly how BLF got to be so popular.

You mentioned that you want to set up a nice website and create a nice logo. While all that is nice to have, in the beginning it doesn’t matter all that much, because the internet is a crowded place and random people won’t notice your site at first. The most important thing when you’re starting out is to just be yourself— a good, honest, friendly, straight-talking guy. Offer some good deals with good service to the right group of people, and you’ll quickly create a good name for yourself in no time. With that, you’ll have a good base for attracting new customers from other corners of the internet.

All the best to you!

+2 !

Just look at how FastTech has overtaken the old-timers

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I’d wash my feet and buy new shoes… Wink

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tatasal wrote:
sb56637 wrote:
tatasal wrote:
A good word-of-mouth from your satisfied customers is one good start.
+1 Word-of-mouth is huge, much more than a nice website or a logo. That's mainly how BLF got to be so popular. You mentioned that you want to set up a nice website and create a nice logo. While all that is nice to have, in the beginning it doesn't matter all that much, because the internet is a crowded place and random people won't notice your site at first. The most important thing when you're starting out is to just be yourself-- a good, honest, friendly, straight-talking guy. Offer some good deals with good service to the right group of people, and you'll quickly create a good name for yourself in no time. With that, you'll have a good base for attracting new customers from other corners of the internet. All the best to you!
+2 ! Just look at how FastTech has overtaken the old-timers

+3 very good advice from SB there. Good luck Joe, I wish you the best.

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I have had many run ins with Norm on the “other forum”. This is all I can ever think of when I see anything he ever types:

He just spins the needle and does whatever it lands on.

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Bort
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CEHepp wrote:
I have had many run ins with Norm on the “other forum”. This is all I can ever think of when I see anything he ever types:

He just spins the needle and does whatever it lands on.


where is that oval from?

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

sb56637
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Bort wrote:
where is that oval from?

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GoogleSpinner lol

-JOE-
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cat eyes wrote:
young joe, we need a list of every single forum that you are part of..... all members of BLF are required to tour the other forums as missionaries for the flashlight obsession..... here is the uncharted jungle of the forum landscape.... BLF members have been scared to go there..... young joe, you are the chosen one.... it is your destiny to convert this forum to the obsession and show them the "light", yeah, "light" you know like flashlight.... and don't talk back to me , boy !!!! http://www.thevccc.net/phbb_forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2[/quote]

Yet another reason why BLF is the greatest forum of all time. Laughing

Funny thing is our budget flashlights are causing quite the stir on Airsoft Society forum. They think I am some flashlight God (which I am very very far from). They are amazed at the quality of SolarForce and the brightness of an XM-L2.
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screw cpf, as said above just continue to be personable and get yourself out there and it’ll happen in time, the other markets you have access to will help too, why not expand on them as bread and butter?

good luck.

graham

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There loss is our gain. Seriously though I’m not surprised at all. They are obviously more concerned with making a profit that running a decent site. I went on that site years ago looking for battery advice. They seemed like tools then and this guy’s reply proves he is a twit and then some. It was one of the least professional responses I have read. If I ran a business like that I would have been broke a long time ago.

I sold on e-bay for years probably close to a decade I guess, but who is keeping track right? I made great money. Enough to support my family and pay cash for my house. I started small and built my way up as well. If you were ever into guitars and went on e-bay you probably saw my adds. I sold thousands of guitars and guitar amp packages. Unfortunately I really wouldn’t suggest e-bay anymore. Even though I was big and had amazing feedback it is no longer profitable for me. Their fees went up and the most profitable ways to list guitars went away.

This might still work for you. Take out one expensive listing that is highlighted, gallery etc but list all of your flashlights at once under that one add. Use a drop down menu so customers can pick which one of your lights to buy.

I honestly don’t know if I would waste my time though. Shipping, returns, damages, scam artists, payscam fees,etc.

Oh and another thing, if you do decide to sell on e-bay you should offer a 30 day no questions asked refund, ( state this, just ship it back for a full refund minus shipping). First of all customers have a 30 day no questions asked refund anyway no matter what you say. Some don’t know it, but the ones who do will use it to scam you if they can. Stating that they must pay for shipping and that you offer full refunds is a code that they understand. The Scam artists know that it means that you are not going to offer them a partial refunds because you don’t have to eat the cost of shipping. That is how they will try and scam you. “Give me some of my money back or I’m filing a dispute and leaving you negative.”

Set your shipping fairly high, just make sure to always ship the next day or even that day if you can and package them extremely well. You should also take a picture or even video of how you package your lights (you don’t have to do it every time). This way when you get a damage claim and you will, UPS or the post office or whoever will be more likely to pay the claim than to say you didn’t package it well enough. The problem is that people often throw away the bubble wrap or whatever and then when UPS looks at it they think you skimped on the bubble wrap.

Also call UPS right now and ask to get your own representative. It doesn’t cost a thing and it’s billed at the end of the month. They will assign you your own rep. He will work with you to get you bulk shipping rates even though you aren’t that big and if anything happens in regards to damages lost packages etc. he will be on your side. Also they will send you software, free labels and even a really cool ink-less label maker. I had them picking up every day at my doorstep and it’s free even if you don’t have anything for them that day. (I pretty much always had dozens)

I also sold many guitars each year on Amazon, you should check them out as well. I think they still have a thirty day free trial for their store rate, just remember that if you don’t sell anything to cancel it or they will charge you for the next month. I think it’s like $50. Amazon has gotten expensive as well though.

It also never hurts to have a web site. For a business your size there are plenty of free domain name sites with quick start software for next to nothing. One of the reasons to have a site and a domain name is to drive traffic to it. For instance on E-bay you can always just set your domain name to the same as your e-bay name and also set your web prices slightly lower. No e-bay seller fee and they are more likely to buy because they got a little better deal. Then of course on your web site you can have links and what not. On top of that you will find that moving ahead there will be many suppliers that ask to look at your web store. It wouldn’t hurt to get into a little bit of drop-shipping just to fill out your pages either. Just let customers know if it’s coming from China or wherever.

Well anyway, I’ll quit now before I bore you to death. Good luck and hang in there.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

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Some great insights on how eBay works, that was interesting reading, thanks. BTW: probably next week some guy will cut and paste your text and be selling it on eBay as a “How to Succeed” downloadable book.

Regards, TS

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rojos wrote:
JOE wrote:
I will definitely be using CPF as a place to promote my store in the future so I didn’t want to upset him.

Uhm… too late.


i thought the same thing but didn’t say it

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

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Bort wrote:
rojos wrote:
JOE wrote:
I will definitely be using CPF as a place to promote my store in the future so I didn’t want to upset him.
Uhm… too late.
i thought the same thing but didn’t say it

Sorry I deleted it. I thought it was dumb of me to point out the obvious. But yes, it probably was a bad idea to trade insults with Norm and an even worse idea to post his PM’s here if the plan was to use CPF in the future.

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Norm is a cock! I commented on a new Surefire thread. Some light that was the price of a car, I can’t remember. Anyway because I didn’t think it was a sensible price, He called me a troll! Needless to say I told him what I thought of his comment and where he could stick said comment!

Marc.

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hi JOE, I am from Europe and may look at things a bit different than you, perhaps a bit stiffer, but if I would try to build up a business: a) I would not let a discussion with Norm escalate like that, but stay polite, especially if you, as you mention, plan to use CFP marketplace in the future, and b) I would certainly not publish that discussion including your own mildly 'adolescent' replies on the other forum. I believe that is far from good practice and I also can not believe it is good for business (I for sure am not attracted to sellers like that).

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I think you have burnt your bridges as far as CPF goes. Publishing private communications is a no-no, and you will certainly be banned over there. Mind you, with CPF, money talks, so you never know.

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Norm is the only moderator I added as a buddy or whatever it is, over on the CPF and that is because he has a lot more leway and less of an attitude that many of the others. Sorry to say, I agree with him closing the thread. A dealer is someone selling lights (or items) to make a profit. If that is what Norm has to work with then, there is no alternative but for him to act as he did. I UNDERSTAND that for you, the dealer subscription fees are rediculous but, that is what they charge because they can and maybe because they have to. (I don’t know.) In summary, you’re better off not selling anything in the cpfmaketplace.

My gratitude to those who are willing and able to help others (in whatever way you can)! Being human is more than just existing for yourself. Smile

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Joe, that place is neither on freedom nor democracy. It’s run like a banana republic high on coca leaves!

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I just don’t understand why CPF has 2 forums if that’s correct, one to talk about lights ect…and one to sell/buy on ?

But Joe just ignore that forum intill u get on your feet little better

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id suggest to keep trying to peddle here, maybe some on ebay .remember ebay has listing fees, final sale fees, and paypal fees which can add up to 15%+ of the sale value. and dont forget to factor in what the package will actually cost to ship. i have burned myself many times on shipping costs because i would just say “well, $10 should cover shipping”…
maybe try to find some easy going forums like guns, survival/prepper, outdoor (camping, hiking…). to get a good business started i wouldnt just stick to the flashaholic customer base.
though dont forget about us either Silly

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I think you just stepped on his toe by mentioning BLF Big Smile

 

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Thanks for all of the advice everyone. (Especially 18sixfifty for your lengthy response)

Posting our private discussion in public was a bad idea. I just wanted to hear a little insist as to whether or not he/I crossed the line. I feel that honesty and transparency goes a long ways.

I still see that it was a bad idea but as a business person I believe you need to show sympathy towards your customers/potential customers. A simple "I'm sorry, we can't offer you special privileges because our current dealers will get upset." sort of an answer would have ended the whole conversation and I would have been on my way. I guess I have just been exposed too a lot of good people in customers support to understand why he would say the things he did.

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cat eyes wrote:
see , i told you he was the chosen one.... the one to lead us into and through all the other forums.... the one to unite all the forums and rule all the forums with a flashlight the size of the sun.... all hail joe !!!!!!!!

...One Flashlight to rule them all

And in the Darkness Blind them.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

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Milton Bradley had it before Google even existed. I can’t be the only one here that remembers the Simon game!

KuoH

Spasmod wrote:

GoogleSpinner lol

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A while back around when I joined BLF I was considering selling my own brand of top quality 18650 cells (keeppower OEM). I had an order of 20 as a trial run to see how well they might sell, and listed them on CPFM as well as here without knowing there were automatic dealer fees. Of course my thread was closed, and unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to re-list them as a one off sale without paying $75 for a month’s dealer membership, in my position that wasn’t worthwhile so I just finished selling them on BLF and gave up on the idea.

I can understand why they enforce the policy, it just seems a bit unfair that it’s so rigid. If you only have a small inventory of 1 item then it isn’t worth paying the same dealer fee as a larger company selling many different items. I did offer to pay CPF something like 10% of any sales made through the site but they wouldn’t consider that either.

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