Archive for December, 2007

E-tailers – To charge for postage and packaging or not

Had an interesting discussion today. Was querying the validity of offering free delivery over charging for it. Its something i probably should have give much more thought into when launching but since personally i hate tricky charges that end up winding up the end total when shopping online – i made a hasty choice to offer free shipping. Ok so by “free” it is factored into the price – but at least unlike some of our competitors (who charge 27 Euro to deliver – even if the item doesnt cost as much as the shipping!!!) i felt customers would get a upfront view of the costs.

Then this morning Alan Keane Co-founder of Cubic threw me an analogy that made my head spin and had me in an instant (in a kinda of Satori moment) completely change my mind.

“Have you ever heard of someone tell you their flight only cost 1 Cent with Ryanair? Well they actually paid 50quid ish in taxes, but all they think the flight cost was 1 Cent. Yeah there were other costs – but in their mind they were for other things” said Alan. And it makes sense.

So i chewed it over for a while, i’d rarely pay postage for a low ticket item like a DVD, but then again postage for these items is cheap and rarely via registered postage etc; but then somewhere like E-bay i’d expect to pay the postage and packaging. It all comes down to meeting unconcious customer expectations. Keep low ticket items, with low shipping costs free. Keep high ticket items (350+ Euro) free. And make medium ticket items (20 – 349Euro) at a reasonable, easy to understand fee, that encourages buying more items to divide the per unit cost of shipping and encourages WOM (Word Of Mouth) marketing.

So it’s been decided IrelandCostumes will change over to item price plus a fixed shipping cost in Jan. That way for price comparing customers out there its first glance cheaper and then better postage rates too should pulling in more multiple item orders.

The Mahon Tribunal Really Annoys Me

I never thought i’d be writing about politics here, but i’m been fed up of hearing about the Mahon Tribunal.

Bertie is the Elected leader of Ireland and what people don’t seem to understand that he’s like the CEO and Entrepreneur of our country. For me running a buiness is 24/7, even when your not working your brain is chewing over things and often i’d wake up in the middle of the night with an idea or solution to a problem related to the business.

So surely the countries leader, when he should be chewing over idea’s to improve the country, which is heading towards a down turn in the economy; rather than thinking about his job he is preparing for and worrying about himself (or a stupid tribunal which ever side your inclined to). Yes technically he may have done something wrong. The figures arent huge and at the time it wasn’t that abnormal. Lawyers are creaming it in and the country is suffering because of it. Has anyone thought to do a tax payers opportunity costings? in Liquidation

Was surfing around the web this afternoon and noticed that PartyWarehouse has gone into liquidation. “ – Europe’s biggest and best online party store!” (according to their own site has ceased business). Which is a shame as it had seemed from the outside to be a good business model.

Why dont all laptops nowadays have webcams built in?

Just occured to me its nearly impossible to get a Dell laptop with a built in web cam, but the average phone is capable of making of video calls. Shouldn’t this be an essential feature nowadays? or is it a case that some people dont wanna be seen when they communicate?

Just an off the wall thought really.

The Snowman @ The national Concert Hall

The Snowman Film with Craig Doyle (from the BBC) narrating will be in the National Concert Hall from 16th of December to the 4th of Jan. will be supplying the costumes.

The Snowman in the National Concert Hall

Today was the official relaunch of Ireland Costumes.Com’s website and after spending the last few weeks making the back end of things work smoothly. Today we’ve finally started accepting payments and i feel like its a massive milestone reached.

We’re the only Costume store to offer free shipping to Ireland… and were also shipping free to the UK as well. The next days should be interesting. Obviously in due course the product range will be expanded.

I’d love to hear people’s advice on the site, still a little more tweaking to be done, SEO stuff, about us info etc. My favourite IT guy in the world Stephen Nutley did a fantastic job.

Any feedback or Comments on the site, positive or negative would be most appreciated.


**** Update**** no longer offers free delivery, we’ve instead opted to drop the prices and charge a low delivery fee (10Euro to Ireland)****