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View Full Version : What do we want to see from a retailer?



Ironprime3089
20th October 2017, 01:17 AM
Not sure if this is the best place to put this thread but I think this could be an interesting conversation.
There are so many online stores now and there is a pretty decent number of Aussie based places to get your TF fix now. I am just wondering what does the average collector want to see from these stores?
Do you mind waiting the longer times the PC offers if it means that the price is lower? personally I think if they were better communicators then I don't think it would be an issue.
Do you want to see more social media content from these stores? What would you like to see in terms of YouTube content perhaps?
There is a reason for this thread :) I am working on a store with a friend and we want to know what you collectors want to see.

Trent
20th October 2017, 08:49 AM
1) Competitve pricing. Pricing that is consistent with the service being provided.

2) Realistic delivery timeframes.

3) Reliable communication. I don't have to get an answer within an hour of sending the email, but I need to know that I'm going to get a reply in a timely manner.

4) Not be Premium Collectables.

That's it. Pretty simple really.

Ironprime3089
20th October 2017, 08:52 AM
1) Competitve pricing. Pricing that is consistent with the service being provided.

2) Realistic delivery timeframes.

3) Reliable communication. I don't have to get an answer within an hour of sending the email, but I need to know that I'm going to get a reply in a timely manner.

4) Not be Premium Collectables.

That's it. Pretty simple really.
Thanks Trent. I'm hoping when our store launches that we will be able to give customers better customer service then pc

spiderken17
20th October 2017, 09:08 AM
That should not be hard, they set the benchmark pretty low.

Ironprime3089
20th October 2017, 09:45 AM
That should not be hard, they set the benchmark pretty low.

I haven't had a bad experience with them personally, but I think that enough people have highlighted issues to tell me that they are under-performing. I still shop there for now but I want my store to be something that Aussie collectors actually enjoy dealing with lol

drifand
20th October 2017, 10:37 AM
If you still shop there and have not experienced bad issues is a bit alarming for me. Either you are god and they listen to you and give you items and reply emails promptly or you are someone who is very little concerned about late times for items especially if we are talking about transformers toys.

Here's my no 1 take, don't list items if they are not in stock within six months
If things are not going according to the schedule refund your customers. Not customers going chargeback and claiming you are refunding.

There is no need for rewards, now hearing it just pisses me off.

I am no longer for upfront payments, forget it, I don't care how hot is the item there isn't a tf that is worth paying 12 months in advance let alone even six.
Thanks to pc I no longer pay items in full for pre orders.

Don't promote yourself if you have no intention of honouring it. If you come on to octa to gain our trust and all , I be pissed off if you do a pc.

Don't use auto reply emails. We are collectors, if you give false eta is the end of you. Copy paste email are not welcome.

You can forget about the no refund bs as per Australia consumer law is not relevant, so my advice is you take your business seriously and know your products what is hot what is not.

Threatening customers over bad feedback, I say no more. Deal with it face up to what's wrong rather than battle with your customers.

After learning that's is not worth saving money over extremely long waits, I am not for it either. As I personally buy tfs overseas and shipping by sea, it never took over two and a half months. But I am not convinced with the savings.

Other factors, don't do the in batches crap, I am not interested in seeing one to twenty people getting items and the rest the following month, get stuffed. Not impressed with this type of service. Shipping to customers should be all in one go.

Ironprime3089
20th October 2017, 11:13 AM
If you still shop there and have not experienced bad issues is a bit alarming for me. Either you are god and they listen to you and give you items and reply emails promptly or you are someone who is very little concerned about late times for items especially if we are talking about transformers toys.

Here's my no 1 take, don't list items if they are not in stock within six months
If things are not going according to the schedule refund your customers. Not customers going chargeback and claiming you are refunding.

There is no need for rewards, now hearing it just pisses me off.

I am no longer for upfront payments, forget it, I don't care how hot is the item there isn't a tf that is worth paying 12 months in advance let alone even six.
Thanks to pc I no longer pay items in full for pre orders.

Don't promote yourself if you have no intention of honouring it. If you come on to octa to gain our trust and all , I be pissed off if you do a pc.

Don't use auto reply emails. We are collectors, if you give false eta is the end of you. Copy paste email are not welcome.

You can forget about the no refund bs as per Australia consumer law is not relevant, so my advice is you take your business seriously and know your products what is hot what is not.

Threatening customers over bad feedback, I say no more. Deal with it face up to what's wrong rather than battle with your customers.

After learning that's is not worth saving money over extremely long waits, I am not for it either. As I personally buy tfs overseas and shipping by sea, it never took over two and a half months. But I am not convinced with the savings.

I only order instock items from them and in all honesty that hasn't been for a while.
I understand the problems people are having, I just haven't experienced it first hand so I don't have anything to complain about.
I am a collector as well and I know how I want to be treated as a buyer. I have been a member of OTCA for a few years now and I only started planning my store recently.
I can guarantee that we will have the best customer service because everyone involved is a collector and understands how things should be handled.

drifand
20th October 2017, 11:23 AM
You need to be on top of things to keep people happy.

Not saying is easy as there are easy layback customers and difficult ones.

Take not on the shipping in batches, I don't welcome that method. I like item is in, everyone gets it. Not "where is mine?" That's where problems start, I never gotten such issues with Japanese retailers.

Ironprime3089
20th October 2017, 11:44 AM
You need to be on top of things to keep people happy.

Not saying is easy as there are easy layback customers and difficult ones.

Take not on the shipping in batches, I don't welcome that method. I like item is in, everyone gets it. Not "where is mine?" That's where problems start, I never gotten such issues with Japanese retailers.
Will keep that in mind

Jellico
20th October 2017, 12:07 PM
Don't sell what you don't have. Trust in PC collapsed when they started failing to deliver. People will put up with lateness, rudeness, etc if the price is right and they get what they paid for.

DarkHyren
20th October 2017, 12:27 PM
Most important thing is transparency. Don't be like a certain retailer and say "oh items are coming next month, no wait next month, no wait the one after that", it's all just hot air. If you have delays be honest about WHY there are delays. Doing something to prove that the delays are real (like showing invoices proving you actually ordered products) goes a long way to helping ease customers minds.

Many people wont put up with excessive lateness or rudeness from a merchant. Learn the value of the motto "the customer is always right". Don't treat customers like they are idiots or only have value because they can give you money. The best thing a customer can give you isnt their wallet, it's their loyalty and praise.

drifand has said a lot of things worth paying attention to as well, you might not have experienced the worst of things that an online retailer can do but we have, and because of it even though there are now 4 or 5 other AU online stores we could buy from we still dont have much trust in them.

Oh yeah, and while it might be tricky to do a lot of us would like deposit only preorders, we might hesitate to give all our money over for an item that wont be coming out for 6+ months but we'd be more willing to pay say $10 to secure that item. This does require you having the capital to pay for your stock in advance and not getting reimbursed until the customers item is ready to be mailed to them, but it's much better then a certain retailer that takes customers money and only orders afterwards at the last minute.

Ironprime3089
20th October 2017, 01:27 PM
Most important thing is transparency. Don't be like a certain retailer and say "oh items are coming next month, no wait next month, no wait the one after that", it's all just hot air. If you have delays be honest about WHY there are delays. Doing something to prove that the delays are real (like showing invoices proving you actually ordered products) goes a long way to helping ease customers minds.

Many people wont put up with excessive lateness or rudeness from a merchant. Learn the value of the motto "the customer is always right". Don't treat customers like they are idiots or only have value because they can give you money. The best thing a customer can give you isnt their wallet, it's their loyalty and praise.

drifand has said a lot of things worth paying attention to as well, you might not have experienced the worst of things that an online retailer can do but we have, and because of it even though there are now 4 or 5 other AU online stores we could buy from we still dont have much trust in them.

Oh yeah, and while it might be tricky to do a lot of us would like deposit only preorders, we might hesitate to give all our money over for an item that wont be coming out for 6+ months but we'd be more willing to pay say $10 to secure that item. This does require you having the capital to pay for your stock in advance and not getting reimbursed until the customers item is ready to be mailed to them, but it's much better then a certain retailer that takes customers money and only orders afterwards at the last minute.
We plan to be very transparent with customers. I actually find it surprising that more companies don't provide frequent updates on incoming stock.
As for deposits, I think that will be an option down the road but as we are just starting up it will be hard to be able to make that work financially. It will take a few months to be able to afford those kinds of sales.
In saying that I don't think we will be listing many preorders that have a 6 month waiting time, in the beginning at least.

UltraMarginal
20th October 2017, 04:07 PM
be honest and transparent with customers
provide accurate estimates for arrival of stock
be competetively priced
I can take or leave incentive schemes, I'd rather just have consistantly good value product.
Post general information updates etc regularly on your site to avoid being swamped by hundreds of emails asking the same question
be aware that couriers don't work for everyone, as they don't leave slips for pickup at the post office. not everyone can receive parcels at work. I've had a few boxes damaged by couriers lately as well.
pack items on all sides of the box, not just the side the customer sees when they open the box. this is something that PC did get very good at, the crumpled paper is light, cheap and recyclable.
sturdy boxes are a good thing
have a good filter system on your website, it's frustrating looking through heaps of sold items trying to find that few that aren't sold out.
don't make your website secondary to social media, it must be your primary focal point for information and contact.
give me lots of cool free stuff. ;-):p
It seems that multiple payment options are appreciated, as is some sort of layby.

Trent
20th October 2017, 06:40 PM
be honest and transparent with customers
provide accurate estimates for arrival of stock
be competetively priced
I can take or leave incentive schemes, I'd rather just have consistantly good value product.
Post general information updates etc regularly on your site to avoid being swamped by hundreds of emails asking the same question
be aware that couriers don't work for everyone, as they don't leave slips for pickup at the post office. not everyone can receive parcels at work. I've had a few boxes damaged by couriers lately as well.
pack items on all sides of the box, not just the side the customer sees when they open the box. this is something that PC did get very good at, the crumpled paper is light, cheap and recyclable.
sturdy boxes are a good thing
have a good filter system on your website, it's frustrating looking through heaps of sold items trying to find that few that aren't sold out.
don't make your website secondary to social media, it must be your primary focal point for information and contact.
give me lots of cool free stuff. ;-):p
It seems that multiple payment options are appreciated, as is some sort of layby.


The ones I've bolded are very important.

I can't get packages delievered to work. Once would get me a stern talking to, the next time would be my job. In my experience of having TFs delivered (and I have had an awful lot of TFs delivered over the years!), all of the issues I have experienced have been from couriers. In my area at least, Auspost are faultless. Yet I experience no end of problems from the local courier company who seems to have the contract for all Wollongong. To get an idea of what I'm talking about, check out the google reviews of them (https://g.co/kgs/UeXbv5). I have had far more bad experiences with them than good.

So yeah, couriers may suit some, but don't think they are a one fit solution for all.

And yes, knowing what is in stock and what is sold out will get you more business. If I have to click on an item to see that it's sold out, you're gonna lose my business very quickly.

Bidoofdude
20th October 2017, 09:36 PM
Stocking new official stuff, relatively cheap and fast shipping.

Seriously, every new retailer and their mum decides that they want to be the newest third party and MP Australian dealer on the block. They're great and all, but I just want some Transformers.

llamatron
20th October 2017, 10:39 PM
Stocking new official stuff, relatively cheap and fast shipping.

Seriously, every new retailer and their mum decides that they want to be the newest third party and MP Australian dealer on the block. They're great and all, but I just want some Transformers.

I would speculate that comes down to supply + cost issues.

Ironprime3089
20th October 2017, 11:48 PM
Stocking new official stuff, relatively cheap and fast shipping.

Seriously, every new retailer and their mum decides that they want to be the newest third party and MP Australian dealer on the block. They're great and all, but I just want some Transformers.


I would speculate that comes down to supply + cost issues.

I am looking at more official stuff but like llamatron said cost is the issue, its hard to find suppliers of official stuff. I am new to this obviously but I really have no idea where PC sources some of their stuff.

drifand
21st October 2017, 10:34 AM
I am looking at more official stuff but like llamatron said cost is the issue, its hard to find suppliers of official stuff. I am new to this obviously but I really have no idea where PC sources some of their stuff.

Mate we don't want where pc source their stuff. Find your own, charge your own and make sure you make profit.

Listing prices to be the current lowest price is absolutely NOT what I am looking for. Reliability comes a long way. I said this from the very start, no point giving 30-50% discount when there is no goods to provide.

Amiami and hlj are not the cheapest but their reliability is there, I don't even need to send a single email because they update you throughout the items you purchase.

Most sellers nowadays source their goods directly from china. Whether through tapao etc....I just have not reached that stage where I want to complicate my hobby to order it. This is where sellers who know what the heck they are doing do the risk and bring the goods in.

What I like from a retailer is they get a stock of 100-200 pieces of the hottest product and that's it. Stick to it. There is no point in doing extra runs which confuse and frustrate everyone else waiting.

Never be greedy, sell what you can sell don't get multiple suppliers for one product if you can't keep track.

I have to say there are currently two retailers on octa who are actively updating their products. That to me is being reliable.

Ironprime3089
21st October 2017, 10:42 AM
Mate we don't want where pc source their stuff. Find your own, charge your own and make sure you make profit.

Listing prices to be the current lowest price is absolutely NOT what I am looking for. Reliability comes a long way. I said this from the very start, no point giving 30-50% discount when there is no goods to provide.

Amiami and hlj are not the cheapest but their reliability is there, I don't even need to send a single email because they update you throughout the items you purchase.

Most sellers nowadays source their goods directly from china. Whether through tapao etc....I just have not reached that stage where I want to complicate my hobby to order it. This is where sellers who know what the heck they are doing do the risk and bring the goods in.

What I like from a retailer is they get a stock of 100-200 pieces of the hottest product and that's it. Stick to it. There is no point in doing extra runs which confuse and frustrate everyone else waiting.

Never be greedy, sell what you can sell don't get multiple suppliers for one product if you can't keep track.

I have to say there are currently two retailers on octa who are actively updating their products. That to me is being reliable.

Thank you for the advice. I will definitely keep that all in mind. My starting budget is not the highest but I am trying to get as much as possible for the stores opening

DarkHyren
21st October 2017, 06:44 PM
I really have no idea where PC sources some of their stuff.eBay, stolen goods, and the back dock of the stores his mates work at.
As drifand said, don't look to PC for any kind of example, if anything you want to distance yourself as far as possible from even having him mentioned in your threads.
In saying that it might not be a bad idea to look at what other AU based TF stores are doing to get some ideas. Some are listed HERE (clicky) (http://www.otca.com.au/boards/showthread.php?t=12563) however that list is incomplete and hasnt been updated in a while. Just as we've said, probably avoid using PC as any kind of example.

Do some research on different options like taobao, Hasbro Asia, and whatever other wholesalers you can find that can reliably source you stock.
Reliability is key, dont sacrifice service, quality or reliability for cost, because while certain stores might look cheaper they are also the ones that never deliver or communicate and force customers to have to do bank chargebacks and paypal claims.

Ironprime3089
21st October 2017, 07:09 PM
eBay, stolen goods, and the back dock of the stores his mates work at.
As drifand said, don't look to PC for any kind of example, if anything you want to distance yourself as far as possible from even having him mentioned in your threads.
In saying that it might not be a bad idea to look at what other AU based TF stores are doing to get some ideas. Some are listed HERE (clicky) (http://www.otca.com.au/boards/showthread.php?t=12563) however that list is incomplete and hasnt been updated in a while. Just as we've said, probably avoid using PC as any kind of example.

Do some research on different options like taobao, Hasbro Asia, and whatever other wholesalers you can find that can reliably source you stock.
Reliability is key, dont sacrifice service, quality or reliability for cost, because while certain stores might look cheaper they are also the ones that never deliver or communicate and force customers to have to do bank chargebacks and paypal claims.
Thanks. Definitely didn't mean I'm looking at PC as an example, I was just referring to their prices. I'm exploring lots of different options in terms of suppliers. Low prices is second on my priority list, customer service is definitely at the top

Ralph Wiggum
21st October 2017, 09:20 PM
Have a look at the Facebook pages of stores like Little Robot (https://www.facebook.com/LittleRobotAus/?hc_ref=ARSCgVmq3HlwbtbKcOt40sfHoqylGVqKc6lFTzDk5l 3klBtp7rojlxgXyyJbKIUadec&fref=nf) and Oh My Primus (https://www.facebook.com/ohmyprimus/). They are regularly updating customers with proof that they are getting stock in.

Its important for me that stores are open in how customers provide feedback. Any store which doesn't have a customer review option, or continually shuts down commenting, makes me question what they have to hide.

I also want to see a professional looking store page. If your website is hard to navigate, has spelling/grammatic errors or generally looks like a half-arse job, then I assume you are a not genuine in providing the best service to the customer.

As you probably guessed I (we) are not sucked in by cheap under-pricing. I will happily pay at a price similar, even a little dearer, to the overseas stores if it means buying local, receiving the item in a timely manner and the service is good.

Ironprime3089
23rd October 2017, 01:53 AM
Have a look at the Facebook pages of stores like Little Robot (https://www.facebook.com/LittleRobotAus/?hc_ref=ARSCgVmq3HlwbtbKcOt40sfHoqylGVqKc6lFTzDk5l 3klBtp7rojlxgXyyJbKIUadec&fref=nf) and Oh My Primus (https://www.facebook.com/ohmyprimus/). They are regularly updating customers with proof that they are getting stock in.

Its important for me that stores are open in how customers provide feedback. Any store which doesn't have a customer review option, or continually shuts down commenting, makes me question what they have to hide.

I also want to see a professional looking store page. If your website is hard to navigate, has spelling/grammatic errors or generally looks like a half-arse job, then I assume you are a not genuine in providing the best service to the customer.

As you probably guessed I (we) are not sucked in by cheap under-pricing. I will happily pay at a price similar, even a little dearer, to the overseas stores if it means buying local, receiving the item in a timely manner and the service is good.
I'm quite picky with the finer details so I will be sure to make the site as easy to navigate as possible and look pretty.
I won't always be able to offer the absolute lowest prices but I am hoping that I can provide customer service and reliability that could make up for it.

Ironprime3089
23rd October 2017, 02:01 AM
I appreciate all of the feedback I have been getting here, I'd like to get some feedback on the site before it launches, its currently password protected so if you would like to check it out and offer some constructive criticism that would be most welcomed. I'll provide the password to those interested.
I really want this site to succeed, I don't just want to take peoples money I want to get more involved in this community so I would love for members to give their thoughts before we launch the site.

spiderken17
23rd October 2017, 08:05 PM
I know it seems minor but like Ralph mentioned sites that have loads of spelling/grammatical errors reeks of incompetence. If you are not great at that stuff have someone proof read it as sites that don't bother with proper English skills make me question their ability in all other areas.
Also I know it has been mentioned already but aim to be the Aussie TF store with the BEST customer service rather than the cheapest prices. We are all used to paying (relatively) ridiculous prices for our "toys" so a few dollars here and there means nothing to a lot of us if the service is exceptional. Aim for exceptional, not just good.

Ironprime3089
23rd October 2017, 09:14 PM
I know it seems minor but like Ralph mentioned sites that have loads of spelling/grammatical errors reeks of incompetence. If you are not great at that stuff have someone proof read it as sites that don't bother with proper English skills make me question their ability in all other areas.
Also I know it has been mentioned already but aim to be the Aussie TF store with the BEST customer service rather than the cheapest prices. We are all used to paying (relatively) ridiculous prices for our "toys" so a few dollars here and there means nothing to a lot of us if the service is exceptional. Aim for exceptional, not just good.
Thanks for the input, its actually quite interesting to me that people value customer service so much. I completely understand why and its kinda scary to think that people have had bad enough experiences that make them want to spend more money to make sure they are protected.
The main focus for us will be making sure our customer service is the best it can possibly be. I really want people to enjoy shopping with us and to return.

UltraMarginal
24th October 2017, 08:52 AM
we all say that, but keep in mind if there are 3 shops all with good customer service, and one is 5%-10% cheaper we'll shop there every time. :cool:

DarkHyren
24th October 2017, 07:34 PM
Very true, while customer service should be your number one focus low prices shouldnt be ignored.
If for example an item in your store is the same price as Target I'm more likely to go get it from Target purely because A. I can have it in my hands today B. No excess costs like postage C. I can return it if I change my mind.
It's a balance that you need to look at getting just right, both for the customers and for yourself (because you dont want to put yourself out of pocket either).
So will we pay more then PC and dodgy ebay sellers charge for things? Yep. Will we pay a lot above what other stores charge just for good customer service? Not as likely.
It all comes down to personal preference (as well as income) at the end of the day. I know that there are people that refuse to shop anywhere but Myer or Toys R Us even though things are cheaper everywhere else, purely because of their preference, so I wont say that low prices are important to everyone, just that it's something that is worth looking at

Ironprime3089
24th October 2017, 08:32 PM
we all say that, but keep in mind if there are 3 shops all with good customer service, and one is 5%-10% cheaper we'll shop there every time. :cool:


Very true, while customer service should be your number one focus low prices shouldnt be ignored.
If for example an item in your store is the same price as Target I'm more likely to go get it from Target purely because A. I can have it in my hands today B. No excess costs like postage C. I can return it if I change my mind.
It's a balance that you need to look at getting just right, both for the customers and for yourself (because you dont want to put yourself out of pocket either).
So will we pay more then PC and dodgy ebay sellers charge for things? Yep. Will we pay a lot above what other stores charge just for good customer service? Not as likely.
It all comes down to personal preference (as well as income) at the end of the day. I know that there are people that refuse to shop anywhere but Myer or Toys R Us even though things are cheaper everywhere else, purely because of their preference, so I wont say that low prices are important to everyone, just that it's something that is worth looking at
Obviously I wont be charging more then retail, the goal is to be the best option for collectible items.

Ironprime3089
26th October 2017, 11:34 PM
Hi guys, its looking like the website will be ready to go tomorrow night, maybe Saturday depending on how things go. I need to finalise shipping details but other then that its right to go. Very excited to see how this turns out and I'm hoping collectors enjoy shopping with us.

GoktimusPrime
27th October 2017, 10:49 PM
One word: RELIABILITY

Nevac
28th October 2017, 09:09 AM
Perhaps offer paypal as a payment option so if you are dodgy they will hold you accountable.

Ironprime3089
28th October 2017, 07:29 PM
Website is live guys :D
Please check it out and even if you don;t buy anything please send any feedback you gave to info@maynstreammerch.com

drifand
28th October 2017, 08:17 PM
Perhaps offer paypal as a payment option so if you are dodgy they will hold you accountable.

Paypal means nothing.

Anything after six months, Paypal will not entertain you at all.

Nevac
28th October 2017, 09:38 PM
Paypal means nothing.

Anything after six months, Paypal will not entertain you at all.

Looks like you're right not sure what you should go with for preorders they'd still be good for in stock items though if they don't deliver


Website is live guys :D
Please check it out and even if you don;t buy anything please send any feedback you gave to info@maynstreammerch.com

Link? Ah it's just maynstreammerch.com ?

Ironprime3089
29th October 2017, 10:59 AM
Looks like you're right not sure what you should go with for preorders they'd still be good for in stock items though if they don't deliver



Link? Ah it's just maynstreammerch.com ?
Of course I forget to post the link lol
www.maynstreammerch.com