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 Hints gleaned from the old board

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PostSubject: Hints gleaned from the old board   Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:29 am

Digits used in prices

Heather wrote:

Various tips/suggestions for trial:
  • When pricing, use 0, 1, 2, 4 as your dominant numbers to convey a smaller amount. These are considered "soft" numbers.
  • Vary your prices such that different colors/styles of the same thing are NOT identical.
  • When possible, increase stock on individual items. Many large main shops have reported to take a once-thought unpopular item from 2-3 in stock to 8 and suddenly start selling them often. Apparently some buyers think high stock = high desirability regardless of reality.
  • Always keep your staples in stock and don't be afraid to vary or take educated risks with your stock selection. Example: a pretty 40K petpet is a better bet than a 10K one you think is downright UGLY - however any at 4K could be a perfect addition!

Pricing "Optics"

Heather wrote:
Addition: price by comparison with your own shop

When pirate and fire pppb came down to buyable ranges due to Tarla, I left them at a selling price nearer to the other pppb. My plushie pppb has a significant markup on it, but because it is still the cheapest pppb in the shop (and closer to the others in price) - it maximizes profit without changing the perspective of buyers.

My petpet prices didn't start until the 4K range, keyrings 1K, and toys generally 2K. By having thresholds and pricing comparatively (without using identical numbers), I can hide my markups and give a better shop impression as a collective Smile

Customer Relations

Heather wrote:
After several neomails, I am going to encourage any of you with a quest shop to include this text in your shop:

Quote :
Please neomail me if I don't have your quest item in stock
I will stock it right away!

I have gotten neomails not only about my own stock, but the stock from at least two other quest shops. Sometimes the user simply cannot find the item, but others the item truly isn't in stock (which is perfectly normal as we don't stock EVERY item in existence!) I have redirected people back into your shops for items quite often, and a few did still buy as they wrote me a thank you or "I found it" message later.

If the item truly was not in stock and is cheaper, I generally reply with a thank you and come again, and then send the item for free. I have never had the same person do this more than once, although I have had a few say "the faerie says I need a Baby Paint Brush" or obvious lies. Laughing I think it is a great way to provide a little customer service/loyalty with our name in terms of quest items
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PostSubject: Re: Hints gleaned from the old board   Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:52 am

HUTS

Heather wrote:
Anytime a shop is visible in a marketplace, the hits are going to be from a mix of sources.

Part of it is pure placement. As I mentioned briefly before, average location in an excellent hut can be better than top billing in a bad hut. Huts of bright colors and central placement (main) and those on the inner edges (island) tend to bring the most hits. This is why competition into those huts is the most fierce of all, but I fully believe and have seen how valuable that position can be, even if only fleeting at times.

Part of it is enticement as buyers see YOUR individual top banner. Maybe they came to the market for a specific item, but they saw your ad instead and became an impulse buyer. This is the prime example with the mini-category "sand." The only time this has been a highly profitable venture is when I have held it - as a main shop. Other shops have stocked it, and stocked it well, but considering the only advertisement for it is through one's own shop -- it takes main presence to make main profits, if you will.

It is generally good to have the hut locations of your other main members bookmarked. This isn't to say that island positioning can't be valuable (because it is), but as they say even a poorer main hut still garners more traffic than good island positioning (main market is MUCH easier to find for newbies). You can then see when jumping out of main can help position a team member. I don't have the time to keep up with this anymore, so I generally watch sales patterns. If sales are stagnant, I'll often jump as a test (unless I can see my own placement is good, of course). At times, I have been know to jump just for the sake of bumping a rival if there seemed to be nothing to help our group immediately *shifty eyes* Sometimes I refer to my maneuvers as "baiting" because...well....I switch in and out of main enough times against a certain shop until they give up, or I switch and wait to bait them out, hoping they won't notice when I switch back 0:-)
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PostSubject: Re: Hints gleaned from the old board   Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:05 pm

CROSS OVER ITEMS

Heather wrote:
If anyone wondered why I only stock two pages and why I have hand selected EVERY item appearing on my front page....well, now you know my sales secret Wink Large tills can TOO be yours Laughing

I'm going to go as far as to say - if the category is assigned to another shop, do NOT stock it. Doesn't matter if the "home" shop wants it or doesn't want it. If we agree as a group to make one exception for one item to one person, I'm afraid it will only leave the door ajar for arguments down the road. Since this is an area in which we have struggled in the past, I suggest treading lightly.


Heather wrote:
When permitted by the malling group, the general "rule" in malling about wiz pricing to get rid of SDB stuff, etc. is that your item(s) should be gone within the hour. Most ETS (easy-to-sell) items can be quickly sold for 90-95% of wiz value. For HTS items, prices often need to be closer to 80% value in order to move that quickly. Your front page should not have more than a handful of non-category items at any point in time. If need be, a set threshold could be established if "best judgment" doesn't work for the group.

I think this is an agreeable formula for random event items and sporadic restocks. Again, items can be offered to the shop that would be stocking them, but I understand most times it is easier to price quickly rather than deal with trades/pricing and feeling like you are "forcing" someone to take your stock, especially if it is HTS. Individual random items should not affect the buying structure (i.e. who looks for food in a furniture store?)

My own opinion is that this formula above could be successfully applied to hoards (medicine, seasonal items) if a cap were induced as a hard formula - to provide a clear line for all parties. Most hoarders want to unload items as a reasonable rate. It would be nice if the hoarder offered stock to the active shop assigned with the item. Remember that our shoppers are oblivious to the existence of the wizard, and those that use the wizard will rarely buy other items. In the case of meds, most underpriced listings are bought out by other hoarders anyway Smile

Yes, many mall shops still use wizard gimmicks to try to draw people in, but in my opinion - you spend more time keeping sufficient quantities of the item in stock that you can't make up for it in sales. Most wizard shops are quick to spot a mall shop (i.e. having a name, established banner, advertised specials) and refrain from buying other items.

Most of the crossover issue of the past was having PERMANENT stock in something outside your category -- and most of the time, firmly within someone else's assignment. If you guys would like some additional input on this, I can poll a few of the notable MON crowd with their experiences (theaishalord, chelsealuv, etc.) if it would help answer questions.

Edit: Thus the compromise (at least in my eyes) would be this -- current shops allowing a maximum set number of an item at a set price, and hoarders accepting a reduced profit margin in exchange for being allowed to sell them at all.


Heather wrote:
I would say this as a general guide:

*All non-category items need to be wizard priced or under.
*If one-time item, mark to sell within roughly 24 hours.
*If repeated item (i.e. selling a hoard), mark in small intervals as to sell each "stocking" within roughly a few hours.
(Key: don't over saturate the market at any point - this should be a mantra for most hoarders anyway)
***Use your best judgment in respect your fellow co-mallers

I think this group is mature enough to use the final suggestion as the primary focus. I tossed out the other three flexible guides as a reference point for those who really crave structure. Maybe it was having TOO many "rules" that caused this problem in the first place (back in time), to be completely honest. Embarassed


Auri wrote:
Generally, unclaimed categories are "fair game" - though it won't give you exclusive rights to them, you're welcome to have such items in your shopas long as they don't start to overwhelm your assigned categories. Smile
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