Archive for June, 2007

Owners Locker

Friday, June 29th, 2007

This looks like a clever idea.

http://www.ownerslocker.com/

The idea seems to be this. You have a timeshare, or you vacation in the same town every year (say Orlando, FL). Every time you go, you have to pack so much stuff just to survive there… sunscreen, bug repellant, maps, books, water toys for the kids, and other things for living in that time share.

Now, you can get a "locker" delivered to your resort and picked up when you’re done, and it’s all yours. You can store your stuff so that you don’t have to keep packing it and travelling with it. It’s already there for you, and hey, you’re going there anyway.

They want $99/year. I think that’s a bit high, but if you have multiple kids and often have to travel with lots of snorkeling stuff and buckets and shovels and things you may only use that once a year OR hate packing and travelling with, then it may be worth it. I think that they should have levels of service since what I may want to store for a room with 2 adults may not be the same as someone with a spouse and 3-4 kids.

But it seems clever.


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I Can’t Be Bought

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

I get calls all the time wanting me to promote products and services to all y’all. I turn down many of them. They push me on them, mostly focusing on the revenue I’m going to make from recommending these things to you.

I even got a call earlier this week from a guy really pushing to get me to push his company on you guys. I think his company has a target audience of zero people I have ever met in my entire life, and I said that I would not recommend it. He kept telling me about the $20 I’d get for each of you, and I said that he couldn’t pay me enough to recommend this. He laughed at me. Everybody has his or her price evidently. I said try me, and he didn’t.

So you’re welcome. I think it’s about integrity, and you deserve better. If you are coming to me for ideas and recommendations, they should be services I have tried or think are exciting. They should NOT be services I’m recommending to you so that I can get money when you sign up. That’s lacking integrity in my opinion.

Good marketing to me for being me. :)


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Pregnancy Test Commercial

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

I was just flipping around TV while folding laundry, and stumbled upon the no-thinking-required SoapNet channel, which typically reruns some soap operas. This means that their commercials have the same target audience as the soap operas.

A commercial for the new version of a home pregnancy test came on. I knew the product and brand, but hadn’t seen this commercial yet. It was a very serious announcer talking over footage of the product at various angles. He kept talking about how advanced their new pregnancy test was.

Finally, he says that this is the most advanced technology you will ever pee on.

I thought that was damn good and really funny. Thank you for making a pregnancy test commercial have some humour and life. They’re usually morose and scared ("I don’t want a baby right now") or they’re syrupy (people crying at being pregnant). So this commercial should stand out from the others.

OK, maybe the simulated urine stream on the product was a bit much, but I still thought it was good for standing out from the rest of the commercials.


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Persona Non Grata at eBay Live

Monday, June 25th, 2007

We’re finally back, so it’ll be time to blog about what we’ve experienced this month.

First, I’d like to mention the interesting fact of seeing a certain person walking around eBay Live. It was Mr. Adam Ginsberg, permanently suspended eBay seller who wants to be your source of information on selling on eBay. It’s like a disbarred lawyer trying to sell legal advice. I’m just not OK with it.

Second, it’s weird that someone thinks he’s a great in the business. People, do some research already!

He wore dark sunglasses around the floor (indoors) and hasn’t written any public blog posts about being there. But if you are the greatest eBay speaker and author, what’s the big secret? Why look like you’re trying to fly under the radar? Well, let’s see.

  • eBay hand picks who speaks on which topics. You didn’t speak at this convention.
  • eBay hand picks who gets to exhibit on the floor. You didn’t exhibit on the floor.

You can do business with whomever you like, but in my opinion, I wouldn’t spend money with someone who’s not a friend to eBay and is acting like this. Get your eBay books, seminars, products, and more from Certified Providers who have good relationships with eBay and aren’t permanently suspended sellers.


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1980’s Computer System

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

I was recently watching someone make a purchase at a Guitar Center here in town. There are hundreds of Guitar Center stores around the country, so this is not a mom-and-pop-shop.

The computer system was an old dumb terminal with a green-only screen. It was beyond archaic. It was before Windows 3.1. It was before Macintosh. It was nearly predating your typical Personal Computer.

The salesman said that he had been working for Guitar Center since the early 1980s, and the computer systems have not changed. He said they promised a few years ago that they would roll out Windows-based computers, but are only just now testing them in a few stores.

The one thing that stood out the most was that when the address of the purchaser went in, there was no field for country. As in this system was from a time before online orders and before most mail order. Evidently, nobody buying from Guitar Center could possibly be from somewhere else.

I said, "I guess they didn’t have other countries back then."


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How To Not Work For Us

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Sunday 3 June in the afternoon, I get a call. I’m here getting ready to leave for the convention, so I answer the phone with my usual greeting. The guy asks me if this is really As Was or if I’m an answering service. People still use answering services? No, this is really As Was.

He proceeds to tell me that he found me I believe on the exhibitor list for eBay Live, and wants to work for me. Evidently, he works/worked for a dealership that sold cars on eBay, but is suspended because someone with whom they partnered did something illegal, and is being investigated (and not by eBay). He wants a job telling car dealers how to sell online so they don’t make the same mistakes.

I don’t want to just flat out tell him that it makes no sense for me to pay him to tell car dealerships to NOT operate the way they want to operate. Even if they’re doing something illegal, car dealerships would probably know that, and be choosing to do it anyway. So what benefit is it to my company to employ a guy who’s going to tell car dealerships to do things differently than they’re happy to do? I tell him that we don’t have car dealership clients at this time (I’d like them but we just don’t have any yet). I tell him that we don’t cold call car dealerships, and they tend to not contact us.

"So you don’t work with car dealerships. Your clients all sell knick-knacks," he says. This is when I know I am dealing with someone who doesn’t ask questions and just makes things up. I’m not liking this. I tell him no, that’s not what our clients sell. "Well, what DOES your company do," he now asks the person that he’s called to ask for a job at that company. I give him the short version, and tell him that just because we’re not working with car dealerships doesn’t mean that our clients sell shit.

Then, he starts telling me that my company (and I’m not sure he knows what we do) should be consulting for the guy who’s going to BUY the dealership and start selling on eBay again. He’s still suspended, he may NOT be allowed to sell on eBay again, but a guy is going to buy this business and my company should consult with these people? I don’t think this is a match.

He’s going on and on about his story, and throwing in things like, "If you know anything about eBay," and then telling me what I already know as if I don’t know it. And, "This is your first time at the eBay convention?" No, I’ve been to EVERY eBay convention. Jeez, why not ASK me first. This is some lovely phone call from someone trying to get a job! Then, he’s trying to tell me that someone at the convention should be promoting in their booth his message of change to the car dealerships, because a lot of car dealers will be at the convention. I’m thinking OK, get yourself a booth and see how that goes!

I said very little and just let him hang himself with his own words. I would never hire him for two reasons. The first is that I don’t need anybody with his skill set. I don’t need anybody who would get themselves into this situation. But more importantly, I would NEVER hire someone with his personality. I would be HORRIFIED if he spoke to any of my clients this way. My clients are so precious to me, and I can’t run the risk that someone is going to condescend and not ask the right questions. Communication is about listening first, and this guy was not about listening. Or maybe reading either since he called to ask for a job without really knowing what we do.

I’m sure he got off the call thinking we were a nobody company because I didn’t hire him, site unseen, on a Sunday afternoon because he has a message for car dealers. LIke it looks good for As Was to employ a suspended eBay seller who’s going to consult for you. I wouldn’t want a doctor whose license has been revoked telling me how to set up my medical practice… I’m not sure I could really trust that information.

Good luck to this guy. We are hiring, but not for what he wants to do/be! :)


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Do You Believe Marriage Is Hard?

Monday, June 18th, 2007

It’s June. Lots of people getting married this month. Over in my personal online journal, lots of friends and friends-of-friends complaining about their husbands. :) And the same thing always comes up. It’s almost like the only thing you need to say to someone who says that their marriage is going not that well at this time.

Marriage is hard. Marriage is tough. Marriage takes work.

I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it has to be hard or take work. I think that’s something that we keep telling ourselves so that we can NOT make any changes. After all, that’s all we heard growing up. Marriage is hard and takes work! So what kind of relationship seems perfectly poised for marriage? The hard one that takes work! We have NO expectation that marriage can be better than that. Growing up, was there ANYBODY who told us how GREAT it was to be married? How joyful it was? How it just kept getting better without even trying? Nope. So we all keep going with the message. We believe it and we spread it.

Seth Godin’s new book has a quote from the Declaration of Independence, but it’s fitting here:

All experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Exactly. We’ve all learned to lower our standards when it comes to marriage (and dating). To me, bad relationships take work. They’re hard. Man, they are tough. Good relationships just ARE. They’re good. Think about your best friend or sibling or that special non-spouse who’s been in your life for years. You don’t have to try to make that relationship work. No trying required. That person probably never demanded that you change. He/she probably never gave you a list of the things you have to start doing, stop doing, do more often, do less often, and do better so that he/she can be happier. You didn’t get dragged to a therapist to find out why you don’t get along better. You probably just have real care and a real connection. So it’s effortless. It isn’t hard and it doesn’t require work. I’ve never heard anybody say that friendship is hard and requires work. So what’s up with marriage?

For those who might write in and say that you don’t live with your best friend or great sibling, I say don’t live with the man or woman with whom you are having problems or may have problems. Use your best friendships as a standard. If the love, understanding, communication, and connection are there, living together won’t cause major problems.

I think people are marrying the wrong people because their standards are lower than their standards for "friend." I read friends’ journals, I talk to people, I see random people on TV. They all thought they’d get married and then he/she would change in ways that the other spouse wanted. Where did we get that idea? Who told us to marry someone who wasn’t exactly what we wanted but to keep hoping that they’ll change or pushing them to change? Who told us that our happiness relies on who someone else is, and that we should try to change their natural selves to placate us? Who the hell do we think we are trying to change others because we think our happiness depends on someone we "love" being different than the person we supposedly love?!

What if we told our children (and then each other) that marriage can be effortless… like those great friendships we have? What if we had grown up learning that the standard for who you marry was about having communication, understanding, support, and consistency even better than you have with your bestest friend? What if we lived by example? What if we CHOSE the person who fits that standard, and then taught our children that? What if we stopped telling our friends marriage is hard, which just creates marriage being hard?

Imagine that. Imagine a world where you marry someone who is a better friend than the best friend you’ve ever had. Why marry someone who isn’t and then blame it on "marriage"? Marriage is a word for the connection between two people. One that is hard, tough, and not going well may just not be the right match. It’s about standards, and I think it’s bad marketing that we’ve all learned (and then probably reinforced it with others) to marry below where our standards could be, and then bitch about marriage. It’s not marriage. It’s who we’re picking and how we see those relationships.


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Vendors, Stop “Sharing Leads”

Friday, June 15th, 2007

The day before the eBay Live! convention opened, I was on the show floor working on my booth. One of the other vendors/exhibitors asked me if after the show, I wanted to swap lists. At first, I didn’t know what he meant. Then, it hit me.

He wanted me to give him all the data from the people who came to my booth and were interested, and he would give me the people who came to his booth and were interested. I said a huge NO, and told him I will never share people’s information like that unless they expressly give me permission. Here is why this makes no sense:

1) Spamming people really doesn’t work, and this is a target audience that especially hates that.

2) His company does NOTHING like what my company does. People interested in him may not be interested in us, and vice versa. So it’s not like his leads are my potential leads.

3) That just seems like bad form… taking people’s info with them assuming ONLY you would use it, and then sharing it without letting them know that. I don’t like when this is done to me… why would I do it to anybody else?

I didn’t think much of this until a guy came into my booth yesterday not wearing his badge. Wouldn’t even SHOW me his badge. Why not? Last year, he said he ended up on HEAPS of mailing lists, including for vendors he didn’t visit. He was really pissed off about that, and had decided to not even SHOW his badge to any vendor. He gave me his name and phone number since he was interested in what we do, but wouldn’t let me scan his badge.

What a shame! What a shame that we are so desperate for business that we’re willing to sell out strangers to try to push ourselves on other strangers. What a shame that we don’t believe that the right clients will find us at the right time without us doing something that I think is unethical.

So everybody coming to my booth should know that I NEVER sell, rent, share, distribute, publish, or otherwise give your information to anybody outside of my company. No other vendors, no "internet marketers," no mailing lists. I take your information and privacy very seriously since that’s how I would want mine treated.

You can read blog posts from the convention over in the News blog. http://aswas.typepad.com/news


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We Make You Remarkable

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

As Was makes eBay sellers remarkable. We make you stand out. We make you special to your shopper. We help sellers increase sales and be more profitable.

Are you in Boston? Well funny enough, so are we. Come see us in booth 939!

Anything we’re blogging from the event is at http://aswas.typepad.com/news


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Lathe Operator and eBay Specialist

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Every day, Monster.com emails me every job listed with the word eBay somewhere in it. I’m not looking for a job, but I’m always curious who’s hiring for what positions.

Recently, one of the jobs that showed up in the Monster summary email had the title CNC Lathe and Mill Operations. I was DARN curious what a lathe operator needed to know about eBay, so I clicked on it.

It looks like the company was just trying to be cheap by posting three completely different jobs in ONE Monster ad. So they want a lathe operator, a lawn care person, and an IT person who can "manage eBay and PayPal accounts."

If you’re that IT guy, and you search Monster for eBay, and the lathe ad comes up, will you click on it? They might actually want you and you could want that job, but would you click on a search result that says Lathe and Mill Operations? Doubt it!


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