Archive for the ‘That’s Bad Marketing’ Category

eBay Wants You To Do Business Like It’s 1899

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Today’s blog post is about eBay, but I’ve posted it to my other blog. Rather than dropping it in both places, please go enjoy it over there:

http://brassflowers.com/ebay-wants-you-to-do-business-like-its-1899/


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Fantastically Poorly-Written Sentence

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Found this sentence in the resume of a guy who works for a company who thinks they compete against As Was. I think this sentence is fantastic in how bizarre it is. It's almost like someone challenged him to pack the most buzzwords into one sentence.

We lead our market share by offering business consulting and proven recommendations to new & existing business owners looking to address the eBay / eCommerce opportunity effectively.

I can only compare this to a Dilbert cartoon where one of the characters says something like, "Let's qualitize our paradigm so we don't overinundate with datums."


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I Don’t Jump For Money

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Earlier this year, I went to an AT&T Store to learn about the iPad, when it was first coming out. I didn't really want one, but I was curious. I'm on Sprint, and very happy with them. The AT&T people tried very aggressively to get me to switch to them. At one point, very confidently, they told me they would give me $75 RIGHT NOW if I switched. The drool told me that this must work all the time.

I looked at them, and told them I don't jump for $75. If you want me to be disloyal to a service I'm happy with, you'd better offer a lot more. Or there may not be any price on my disloyalty.

This week, someone emailed me wanting me to try his alternative to Terapeak. I asked him what it did that was better. He told me it was just like Terapeak, except it had fewer features. I asked him who would want that. He wrote back, "You?" asking if I would want that. Nope, go fish.

I asked him who would want a version of Terapeak that did less. I'd also think that if there were a huge market for that, Terapeak would come out with a lower-feature option. His reply was that he will put my name on it, I can sell it as my research tool, and make money off it.

Nope, I'm not going to jump for that. I've been recommending Terapeak since I first checked them out many years ago. They've been my pretty consistent recommendation. I think they do a great job with eBay-related research. I see no reason to fake-compete against them just to put a few dollars in my pocket. I think relationships are worth more than that.

When I told him that, he complained that I was supporting a monopoly. Well hey, goofball. If I use Terapeak, they make money from that. If I use your competing product, Terapeak's parent company makes money from that. It's a monopoly either way, though I'm not complaining about that, and would never have thought of that!

So use Terapeak! All the time! For everything! :)


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Spying On Employees’ Emails

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Yesterday, I emailed a guy for whom we're doing some eBay work. I got an autoresponder from his BOSS saying the boss was on vacation. I hadn't written to the boss.

CLEARLY, this company has things set up so that every email coming in is also going to the boss. I know a lot of companies do not treat email as private, and people may read emails of workers who report to them.

But this was so blatant and poorly-done since it was obvious to ME, the outside person! Everybody who emails this guy will now get an autoresponder from the boss. Everybody will figure out that the boss is reading all these emails. Eeek.

If someone else at your company can read your emails, they probably are. Be careful of what you say, or of what people send to you (if you can foresee any issues there!).


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Facebook Wants You To Enjoy Memories of Things People Did Without You

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Somewhere in the bowels of Facebook, there is a place where you can say you'd like to hide certain people from your news feed, and see MORE from certain people. Go to the bottom of your news feed, and look for "Edit Options." Well, months ago, I picked two people to see MORE from, not knowing what that might really mean around Facebook. I picked my friend Bryan (Mr Bigfoot) and my boyfriend.

That seemed to mean nothing until now. Facebook is dropping random pictures of these two people in the right sidebar. Facebook labels them as Photo Memories, as if I should remember these things. However, Facebook isn't picking pictures where I'm tagged. I'm getting pics of Bryan at events I didn't attend. Or events I did attend. No pics of me and him together, even though they're on Facebook and tagged. It shows me pics of vacations my boyfriend took years before he met me. Huh? Photo Memories for me?

Hint to Facebook: if I'm not tagged in the pic, I may not have been there. That may not be my memory! That is someone else's memory of something they did without me.

This is especially weird since my boyfriend does have pictures up of him with a woman who's not me. I've got pictures up of me with men who aren't him. And Facebook shows me pics of the two of them as a great memory I should behold and treasure. Boo. And it makes me wonder if he's being shown photo memories of me with other people I've dated!

So Facebook. If you want to show me a photo memory, show me my own photo, or show me a photo in which I'm tagged. Otherwise, this may not be my memory, and it may not a GOOD memory for anybody!


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“National Association of Professional Women” Is a Scam

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I got a letter today telling me I was approved to join (for free) some group called the National Association of Professional Women. The letter was incredibly bland and meaningless, and it just smelled like a scam… even if they wanted no money from me now.

I Googled them, and among other things, found this: http://www.insiderpages.com/b/15246772989/executive-women-s-association-new-york

So if you get a letter or call from them, whether or not they want money, I would stay away.This doesn't feel right to me, and Googling made this look really not good.


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I’m Suspicious About Local Mail

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Tucson mail is weird. It just is. My local post office is closed on the weekends, but you can knock on a Wizard of Oz door from 10am – 2pm on Saturday ONLY if you need to pick up something they're holding.

We barely get weekend mail. I had a client Postal Express me something recently on a Friday for Saturday delivery. The tracking said that at 11am on Saturday, they left me a notice. I was home all day waiting for the package. No notice on my door. No notice in my apartment mailbox. And the leasing office was closed, so they couldn't have signed for it. The next business day, they shoved the Express envelope in my apartment mailbox. Didn't knock on my door.

Not very express. So what's going on?

I heard a rumour years ago that Tucson officially has ONE post office, and everything else are satellites or mini post offices or I don't know what. Fake, imaginary post offices. And that every piece of mail has to go through this ONE post office in town, and then get sorted out to the other post offices. I was being told that this is why mail takes DAYS extra (in both directions). Chances are, my Express Package his this mystery post office on Saturday, and wasn't sorted and ready to come to me until the next business day's postal delivery. But they're comfy promising overnight service, and putting in fake info in the tracking that they left me a notice.

I was even told that if I mail something from my 85737 post office, the stamp won't be cancelled there. It goes down to this central post office, this ONE place in the whole city, to be cancelled.

So, for example, if something you mail me hits town on a Friday, it's going to this wacky post office. Because of weekend hours at varying post offices, I'll get that mail Monday. I get Saturday mail Tuesday. I typically don't bother checking my box on Monday, and wait for Tuesday to get ALL that weekend mail.

Well, that seems weird. I would think that if they are trying to send to 85737, and we have an 85737 post office, some postal system would KNOW to send the mail straight to me. And this one post office has the unforgettable address of being located on South Cherrybell Stravenue. Yes, Stravenue.

Yesterday, I was tracking a package I ordered from ThinkGeek.com. They sent it Priority Mail with some sort of tracking. This is what I saw: Processed through Sort Facility, July 20, 2010, 11:59 pm, TUCSON, AZ
85726

I dropped 85726 into Google Maps, and it's the post office on Cherrybell Stravenue. So when this came from the east coast, nobody was able to route it straight to 

Does anybody know if this is a common practice in the postal system? That my mail takes days extra because everything has to go through this one post office?


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Remove People You Don’t Know From Your Facebook Friends

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

A bizarre experience this past weekend has really put a spotlight on this whole Facebook friends thing.

Long story short, I was briefly cyberstalked by a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend. The guy sent me a bunch of pretty psycho Facebook messages, first congratulating me on dating that friend in common (I'm not dating that guy), and then asking me to date him. Yes, he was asking a total stranger about whom he knew nothing to date him. His reasoning? I was cute and why not.

I was on a phone call and didn't reply right away. By the time I responded 40 minutes later, I couldn't. He had posted a bunch more inbox messages saying "I guess not" and blocking me on Facebook. I thought it was over, but it wasn't. 3 hours later, he unblocked me to see if I were interested in dating him, then minutes later saying never mind because I'm ugly, and random abusive crap.

I blocked him, reported him, and screen shot everything to email to my friend. I wanted him to know what his friend was doing, and I suggested that he not set this guy up on any dates since this guy is sick! I do NOT hold my friend responsible at all. He is not responsible for what someone else chooses to do. My friend is probably completely uninvolved in this, and this is not his fault in any way! He's just the weird connection here.

My friend emailed me back that he has NO idea who this guy is. Well, he seems to be your Facebook friend. And then it hit me.

Your Facebook friends have some access to ME. When you comment on my stuff, they can follow a link to see what you commented on, even if I have it set to "friends only." Even if your friend is not my friend, they can read all the stuff you comment on… and see those pictures.

I have probably 250 Facebook friends I don't know. Most eBay sellers interested in what I have to say about things… no realising that most of what I say in Facebook is about pets and dating… not eBay or my work. For that, you should hang out at the As Was Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AsWasInc

So I'm doing it too. I think it's time to prune Facebook friends. You don't win anything by having 300 friends rather than 200 friends. There is no prize. The only thing you win is less privacy, and you expose ME to people I didn't want to be exposed to. And by the way, when your account is compromised and you send me messages that lead me to a virus or to try to disclose personal info, that wasn't cool either!

Facebook is getting too much like MySpace, and Facebook themselves is making it that way. When it tells me I should be friends with my college friend's Dad, something's not right. When Facebook tells me to be friends with people I don't know because they're friends with my friends, something isn't right. Facebook was SUPPOSED to be about connecting with people you REALLY knew… not being MySpace and just piling up anybody who has or hasn't met you.

So I am asking you to be brave! Be less fake popular. :) Go into your Facebook friends, and remove people you don't actually know. You are trusting them with a LOT of personal information about you. My policy was to only add people I knew, and to tell people I didn't to join my fan pages. I think I have to go back to that. It's not fair to YOU, my Facebook friend, for your private postings and info to be exposed to people neither of us know!


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New Blackberry Commercials Are Embarrassing

Monday, July 19th, 2010

I saw an article recently that said in the war of Apple vs Android, the loser is Blackberry. Well said. I'm thinking that my 2004 Palm Treo is not that far from a 2010 Blackberry. I was thinking about this more as I noticed each company's latest advertising campaigns.

The iPhone 4 ads show various scenarios in which people are having video calls. A dad sees his daughter's new braces, and tells her she's beautiful. A husband finds out his wife is pregnant (and they're happy about it). Obviously, it's about connecting to people, face to face, even when you can't be there. I love Skype for this, but OK, the ads make you want to video chat from your phone.

Android phones are running great commercials. Droid and Evo commercials make you feel like you can do anything with these phones, and now that I have one, let me say you freaking can. Between "Droid Does" and Evo's "First" ads about how it's the first phone with a number of exciting features, these are just kick ass devices and campaigns.

Blackberry has new commercials out. One shows a barber taking pictures of intricate razor styling he's done on a customer's head. He's saying he can email this pictures to people and show off his work. The other Blackberry commercial features an interior designer talking about how he can sell pieces pretty much before he buys them because his Blackberry is taking pictures of them as he goes around stores. When they show the picture he takes on that microscopic Blackberry screen, I'm cringing. 

The Blackberry commercials also push Blackberry Messenger because you can message people (!) and you know when they got it (so when they ignore you, you KNOW you are being ignored!). OK, but my phone doesn't have BBM. I'm not part of the club. You can't reach me. You will have to reach me on AIM, Yahoo IM, MSN Messenger, Gtalk, Facebook chat, or Skype. Pick one!

Blackberry, you lose. You're not cool. You will NOT be able to make having a camera phone cool. I had my first camera phone in like 2004, so you're a little late. And what else will you say about what a Blackberry can do?

The people I know who have Blackberries use zero or nearly zero apps. They don't really understand them or see why they need them. They wanted a way to really stay on top of email and text messaging, and Blackberry, with its tactile keyboard, was that perfect device. Always on email! Here's another email coming in now! This is great.

It's like the opposite people from iPad users, who live in touch-screen application worlds. :)

Mobile devices are going in the direction of touch screens and applications. My 2004 phone did that. It was a Palm Treo. Touch screen, colour, always on email, and I think it took pictures. According to Wikipedia, it had a 0.3 megapixel camera. Woo hoo!

But in a sense, my 2004 Treo is nearly a 2010 Blackberry. Both can run apps, but most of the target user doesn't really get the app thing. Both colour touch screens… oh wait, sorry Blackberry… most of your phones are still controlled by a rolling nipple thing. Both handle email really well and reliably. Well, at this point, so does everything else. The K9 email app on my Android phone is one of the best apps I've ever had on any phone.

So I went to the Blackberry site to see what their main marketing messages are. Evidently, their main marketing messages are that on a Blackberry, you can use Blackberry Messenger with a group of friends, and you can use Twitter too! You can get the weather with pictures!

I think Blackberry is going to go where Windows Mobile is going. They're just not keeping it up or keeping it fresh. It's no longer that amazing or unique. While the iPhone has no tactile keyboard, many Android phones still do, for people who want to press buttons to type. However, as someone who thought she couldn't live without the tactile keyboard, let me tell you I'm typing faster without it.

Using ShapeWriter for Android (similar to Swype), I'm typing words at a time rather than letters at a time. I can type with one finger. Faster and easier. I'm definitely typing much faster without the tactile keyboard. I don't miss it at all.

Blackberry people, look at Android phones like the HTC Incredible and HTC Evo. There's just kinda to reason to have Blackberry anymore. Even all the eBay staff I knew who were glued to Blackberries now have iPhones. :)


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Don’t Call It Free If It’s Not Free

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

A company in my industry has some messaging around their website saying their service is now free. But is it?

In the tiniest font you can imagine, it says that's just for very limited usage. If you are going to use it more than the limited usage, well their price is $X per month… which is 50% more than it's been for years. I'm hoping that they at least are grandfathering in the people at the old price considering they announced those people could have that price for 3 years.

But no matter how you slice it, that's not free. It's not really accurate to say this service is now FREE. It would be more accurate to say that there is a free level or tier of service.

I don't believe that we have to reel people in with false promises or half truths. I think the straight truth is something people will appreciate more, especially in the long run.


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