November 28, 2007

Essential tools of the trade-links

To start off selling books and other media on Amazon and other venues there are a few tools of the trade that will set you on your feet right away.

Sign up for an email to be sent to you when there are library book sales are in your area. Don't go without signing up for this free service. You will kick your self for missing a really great sale just because you didn't know about it.

Mediascouter, the best media scouting tool around-after much research! Our hand held PDA and Scanner attachment has become the essential tool of the trade in this business. We actually have two and are contemplating a third! The potential for buying duds and the high possibility for passing up the really big ones is too great to leave to guess work anymore.

Endicia , online postage software. This has saved me at least a half hour every day standing in the Post Office line up. I wouldn't go without them now!

We wrapped with heavy paper in the beginning but after a few complaints of damage we knew we had to invest in a supply of bubble mailers. Start with the variety pack and then you will be familiar with what sizes you will use most often and then just order those sizes.

We replace most jewel cases simply because they are so cheap and if you send a customer a 55.00 CD it should have a shiny new case. At .25 cents each that is not a bad investment for a good first impression.

Anyone else have their favorite suppliers that have done you well?

Janet Langford ... who cannot wait to show you some pictures of our invisible book business in our next post!

OH NO! They gave me a bad rating! What do I do?

Few and far between are sellers that have a 100% feedback rank. They are
there but you will rarely find one with over a 100 or so feedback
responses. Why is that? Aren't there sellers out there that offer far and
above the average standard of excellence in products and service? Yes,
there are. In fact, I consider our "GrandmaToAbby" books business to be one of them. But
we have a 98% rating and in the beginning with each and every bad rating we
received I cried.

I'm a little tougher now and can honestly put my arm around young sellers
with the warning. "It will happen, not if, but will." Sooner or later you will
get someone who just has had a bad day, and your 1 day late package sets them
off. You are a faceless entity on Amazon and to take out a
minor annoyance on a computer is all too common. You just happen to be in
the receiving end of that 1 or 2 out of 5 stars! Many think that if their
new CD skips that you tried to pull something over on them. Its' a natural
assumption since they cannot see you face to face.

Or perhaps you really did blow it and did a switcheroo on the address labels and you sent a
children's poetry book to a technical engineer who was anxiously awaiting his 6
Essential Tools of the Trade. These things and a multitude of other goofs will
happen on your end as well. But the speed and efficiency with which you
rectify the situation will make all the difference in the world. You can
even turn an angry fist shaking customer around with speedy action and a soft
word that turns away wrath! Some of my best online friends and return
customers started out as complaints!

Rules for living in the book selling business

1) Be empathic and take as much responsibility for the problem as you
can (and still be honest with your self) "I'm sorry your book received
damage," "I'm sorry your little boy was disappointed." Getting on
their side does wonders for making them not feel like you intentionally tricked
them or deceived them

2) Offer to replace the order with another copy, or a full refund if
necessary without the requirement to send back the defective or damaged copy.
Yes, it will cost you money on that order but a bad rating also hurts so try
your best to make it right one way or the other.

3) Go over and above their expectations in speed of response and service.
Getting back to a complaining customer in a few hours usually blows them
away. At least check your rating and email twice a day.

IF you do get a bad rating and are able to rectify the issue to the
customers satisfaction you can sweetly and politely ask them to remove the bad
rating on your account. Many will but some simply won't reply to your
email. So far our response rate has been about 50%. Below is a sample of
what I may write to a defused customer. Always be sure to add the actual
instructions on how to remove the rating. You may well loose the removal
if they cannot find out how to do it!

Dear Bill,
We thank you for your order several weeks ago. We strive for customer
satisfaction just because we truly love this business of love selling books and music.
We love it because we enjoy
providing excellent service to our customers.
You placed a bad rating on our account because you were
disappointed in the condition of the CD that we sent you. It was listed in "acceptable"condition and described as, " it did play well on our player."
That's fine. I understand it probably was in worse condition than you thought
and I understand. We promptly refunded your full purchase price including

Our Amazon rank severely affects our ability to sell
and warns other buyers of potential problems in dealing with a particular
seller. As a FAMILY business this good or bad reputation advises other
buyers of potential problems with honesty or integrity and can dampen
business for us. I'm wondering, in light of our speedy refund and our
reputation for very speedy shipping times, would you be so kind as to remove
your bad rating placed on our account. It's actually quite easy.

If you go to "your account" shown on the top of any Amazon page, click
"open or recently shipped orders," then select the relevant order and then
there is a button to click "remove rating." There is a small choice of
reasons for removal and that is it. Thank you so much and we appreciate your
business and do hope to serve you again in the future.

Most Sincerely,
Janet Langford
"GrandmaToAbby" Books