By Jordan Malik, MBA/MS & Award-Winning Amazon Pro Merchant & eBay Top Seller

Thursday

Deals that Suck, and Going 'Crazy.'

NOTE: This blog has moved to: http://www.HonestOnlineSelling.com


Hi, online sellers.

Some retail giants have warped ideas about providing value these days. There's a lesson for us Internet marketers here, so bear with me:

- Borders.com offers $10 off their e-readers (priced $119 and up).

- HomeDepot.com offers Free Shipping on 'Most Orders Over $249'.

- BestBuy.com offers a free BestBuy $50 gift card when you buy a Denon Receiver (which are priced $800 and up).

These 'deals' are underwhelming. They suck. There's VERY little/no value to the consumer. I call them 'Nomotions': Promotions worth nothing.

Rarely do these companies - and thousands others -  'wow' customers into making a purchase.

This is precisely one of the reasons I left the 'real' working world earlier this year: most of the companies I worked for just don't get it.

What does this mean to you?

It means this: If you want to stand out from other sellers, you've got to 'get crazy'.
Example:

Last Halloween, I offered all buyers a promise that I'd deliver their item by Halloween or their item would be FREE. And I meant it. I had an almost 100% sell through rate on all my items.

Am I crazy? No. Why?

-I actually did deliver all orders by Halloween. It costs only a few pennnies more for U.S. Postal service delivery confirmation, so I had proof.

-I 'padded' by eBay/Amazon listing schedules with enough days in advance of Halloween so I could ensure orders were indeed delivered on time.

-The risk for me was pretty low. Most of my costume items were $20, not $1000. So if I did miss my "Get it or its Free" deadline, I didn't have to sell a kidney to make up for it.

Oh, I also offer (on most items) a 'NO QUESTIONS ASKED' 30-day return policy. Other sellers offer 7 days, or deduct a restocking fee from the refund. But , I RARELY get a return. Most retailers' return percentages are very, very low - so the risk to them - and us - is incredibly small (provided they're selling quality, reliable goods).

But last Halloween, I didn't see ANY OTHER COMPANY offering the same deal.

Why?

They're uncomfortable with taking a risk. They stick to the 'plain vanilla' approach: Don't rock the boat. Don't do anything out of the ordinary. Sellers, that's not good business sense - it's just bad, novice-level marketing.

Still skeptical? The companies below go to great lengths to WOW their customers with "CRAZINESS". Check it:

Zappos.com:
-Free shipping for shoes, free shipping for returns if you don't like the shoes. And a 365-day return policy. That's ONE YEAR. IS ZAPPOS CRAZY? Yes, and it works: Amazon bought the company last year for $850 Million. Oh, and Zappos has a cult-like HUGE following of dedicated customers because of their craziness.

Hyundai:
A few years ago, Hyundai introduced the first-of-its-kind TEN YEAR, 100,000 Mile Warranty when their competition offered 3-year/36,000 miles. And when the economy tanked, Hyundai said if you lease or finance their cars and you lose your job, return the car and owe nothing. IS HYUNDAI CRAZY? Yes, and their cars are now renowned for oustanding quality, style and value.

So how can YOU get a little 'crazy' and stand out from the competition?

-Offer free shipping, regardless of how much the customer spends.
-Guarantee delivery in time for the holidays.
-Provide 'nutty' return policies on goods you know are extra-durable. I have a TWO YEAR exchange policy on one of the $30 toys I sell because I know it never breaks, and if it does, I can send one to the customer because it costs me under $6.

Your competitors will call you crazy. But your customers will be crazy in love with you.
Stay classy, Internet.

-J.B. Malik, Founder, http://www.HonestOnlineSelling.com

2 comments:

reg55 said...

Hey J.B.
that is so true, I have hear of that many years ago... But have lost that approch, thanks for bring it back to my mind... Love your newsletters they are awesome... Tips like this will make me happy...
Happy Holidays to you and your family...
Your partner in Use Book & Cd's DVD's
Reg Boczko
Ryan's Books & Cd's (On Amazon)
ryan570_0 (On half.com)

J.B. Malik said...

Thanks Ryan, I appreciate the compliments!

-J.B.