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[Research Help] Your Web site for jewelry


#1

Dear All,

I am in the throes of working on my presentation to SNAG, part of
which is on the Ganoksin site (details in another email), and part of
which is on how jewelers are using the web. If you have a web site
for your work I would appreciate any time you can give me in
answering the questions below. I would give you credit if I use any
of your comments, and would be glad to send you a copy of the final
text. The gist of the question is, what is important to know, does it
work for you, do you make money on it and what are the important
principles you have learned from your web project… So far I have
about 23 fully answered surveys compiled and could do with a couple
more. Thanks to those who have already filled one out. I will
eventually report on this to the Orchid list as a whole.

For anyone who is going to answer my list of web questions, please
include your url in your answer!

Please email me OFF-List with any answers to: @Charles_Lewton-Brai1

If you can’t take the time I thank you anyway.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

best wishes,
Charles Lewton-brain

– Why do you have an internet site?

– How much did it cost you to build?

– Did you build part or all of it yourself?

– What is the ongoing maintenance cost?

– How much time do you (or your employees) have to devote to the web
site? To a sale?

– Do you have a shopping cart function?

– What is the cost to you of making a sale for fees and other costs
(visa etc)?

– What is the cost to you in terms of time spent on the sale?

– What kinds of items do people buy the most on-line from you?

– What is the average sales price of a sale?

– What is the highest amount you have sold an item for through the
site?

– What percentage of your total sales are through the web site?

– What problems have you seen?

– What successes spring to mind with your web site?

– What are the top three things to remember when doing this?

– Have you ever been hacked, and if so what happened?

– Is the internet a main sales outlet for you?

– It is an extenstion of or coordinated with print advertising?

– What is the primary use/function of your web site?

– Is print the gateway to your site?

– What further advice would you give a neophyte? Technical?

– What is important about a background?

– Ideas about font, pagewidth, contact design, metatags
etc?

– Do you have your own server and if so why?

Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brai1


#2

I do not have site, but I would purchase a publication of some sort
should you want to take your presentation in that direction. I am in
the process of designing one and any type of “snap shot” of comments
from others and the pros and cons or pitfalls encountered would be
very helpful. Things like available design software, great or
not-so-great hosting sites, accepting credit cards, shopping carts,
uploading pictures, and most of all–how have others been successful.

Thanks,
Nancy Logan


#3

For a simple website solution: I used Microsoft Front Page software,
this allows you to create your own website in any manner you choose
& upload it to your e-commerce site.

For Jewelry item pictures, I used my scanner instead of fancy or
expensive camera setups. This allows you to get great detail &
close-ups of your work. Using a piece of gray paper over your pieces
on the scanner helps. Your scanner program will allow you to size,
adjust quality etc.

So now you have your site built, your pictures look great, you still
need to do something with all that hard work so folks can see it on
the web. I use CWI web hosting company, you can find their link at
the bottom of my web pages. They are great to work with. They
answered all my dumb questions as I was trying to figure out the
whole e-store situation for uploading & managing my account. And the
best thing is they only charge me $15. per month to host my site!
Plus they offer ongoing help anytime I need it, for free. No hidden
costs. They do charge an initial low one time setup fee. Can’t quite
remember but was between $25.- $45.

I found CWI after much searching & being “courted” by numerous host
sites for my business. There are many hosts out there willing to
charge big bucks & offer all kinds of fancy stuff, but the bottom
line is, you still have to do all the preliminary work with
pictures, pricing, descriptions etc. And when you want your site
updated, you have to rely on them, bad news!

A representative from CWI initially advised me to use their low-end
business package & “feel the waters” until I was experienced enough
to make a further decision. That was refreshing in itself as all the
other host companies I spoke with pushed me to buy their "big"
package so it would be done right. This advise from CWI was enough
to get my attention & business.

I have now had my site with CWI for 3 years & am still using their
inexpensive $15. per month package, which I have yet to max out. My
site has major graphics on it since it is my online Jewelry Catalog
with lots of content, but still has lots of growing room left.

Great, now you have a beautiful site, you are ready to upload it to
your internet host, but you still need that e-commerce package so
folks can purchase from you online. CWI does offer an e-commerce
solution, a “shopping cart”. But I chose to go with the Paypal
"shopping cart" as it is about the cheapest way to go. Paypal is
free to register with, you need to setup with them as a “Premier
Business Account”.

The way Paypal works versus Merchant accounts. If you already have a
Merchant Account with your local bank, you are set, just use it,
although these accounts usually are not very cheap. But if you want
a cheaper way to go, use Paypal. This will save you a lot of money
while you get setup & get your website into full swing.

Paypal supplies you with the html to create your “purchase item
buttons”. Once you have created a button for one item, it is easy to
copy, paste & adjust the html for the next item. Each item you have
for sale gets a description, a number & of course a price.

Using Paypal, you can accept Credit Card purchases, etc. Paypal gets
a small fee for every sale you make, this covers the credit card
processing fees. I also still accept checks & money orders through
the mail for purchases.

There is your low cost website, built with Microsoft FrontPage
software, hosted by CWI, & credit card enabled using the Paypal
Shopping Cart.

Now there is “search engine optimization” & submission to be
considered…

Definitely an education in itself! Any questions?

CHAR
"One of the Best Jewelry Stores on the Net!"
http://www.ejewelryoriginals.com
by the Grace of God!


#4

Nancy - and others contemplating website building: Read the book
"Don’t Make Me Think", by Steve Krug. It’s a quick read, very
straightforward, and full of the whack-my-head-of-course! revelations
and reasoning. As the author says, “It’s not rocket surgery.” And
if you do decide to take on the task, it’s the last laugh you’ll have
for a while.

Tas
www.earthlywealth.com