Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Laying Down A Base

I have started selling accessories on eBay, setting up an e-commerce site and integrating it all with our furniture store website. Just learning how to sell items on eBay involves weekly calls from eBay sales development for an hour. They have been extremely helpful, and they should be, for there are a lot of little fees they charge that can really add up. Then when you sell something, the item needs to be mailed either by USPS or UPS, and there is considerable risk of charging the buyer the wrong rate for postage and finding out it is more expensive than you estimated. At eBay I have an "about me" page that tells about "us" and directs interested people to a website with a catalog and shopping cart and also with a link to our home page which in the past, was just used for brand awareness.

When I direct people to a e-commerce site, I, now, need a catalog and a shopping cart, a merchant account (a way to accept payment) and work on rankings and keywords. It makes no sense to set all of this up, and have no visitors. I have hired a mentor to meet with me once a week to learn how to sell on the net and have people find our offerings. Where would I be without a mentor who has set up web sites and is experienced with the way Google and Yahoo rank web sites. Then there is a new language: HTML. Setting up this Blog through Blogger eventually gets around to HTML. I have gotten pretty good at finding what I want in someone's website in "view source" cutting and pasting it into my template. I have a lot to learn, but I do have my trusty HTML for Dummies by my side.

I am fortunate that I have a source of quality products to sell chosen by my wife. She has been in the furniture business for over ten years and has great taste, as demonstrated by the success of our store, which is now celebrating its third profitable year. We opened shortly after 9/11.

This kind of activity has occupied more of my time than blogging. Seems like there is no over riding issue, as there was prior to the election. I have commented on the excessive PC nature of our country. There's the invasion of illegal aliens and no solution. There's Iraq! I hope that our troops are not dying in vain. There's Iran and nuclear proliferation. There is the weakness in the USD, but about the time we all get worked up over it, the USD rallies. I don't want to be the "boy who cried wolf".

I will comment on some movies we've seen lately. Kinsey, Sideways, and Closer have been recent movies that I have enjoyed. I am fascinated by the study of adultry, the reasons it happens and the effect it has on the parties involved. These three movies are adult with very good acting and I suspect will be nominated for Academy Awards. The theme song "Blowers Daughter" by Damien Price in Closer is haunting (right now I can't hear it enough) and Natalie Portman steals the screen like no one I've seen in a long time. I remember her first movie in which she was a 13 year old girl living next door to Timothy Hutton. She was great in that movie and she has gotten better in each movie since.

Maybe, it's the season that has taken my mind away from the news. Not only is Christmas two weeks and three days away, but we've been going to the tanning booth every other day, laying down a base for our quick trip to Cabo, returning on the 21st. We started going under for six minutes and now we are up to 14 minutes. Some things just take time.

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