Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shigeru Miyamoto is Nintendo's Wii-nning Secret

To succeed in the videogaming industry, you need only one thing: a desire to create fun. At least, in Shigeru Miyamoto's world, this guiding principle works. Miyamoto has been responsible for Nintendo's universal fame and fortune when he conceptualized the Jump Man in Donkey Kong back in the 1980s. The Jump Man is the character we now love so well -- Mario.

Miyamoto is an admirable character himself for a lot of reasons. He held up production of certain games just because they aren't perfect enough for people to play. He split ways with Nintendo's competitors because he believed playing videogames should bring smiles to people's faces, and that everyone can play them. On the other hand, Microsoft and Sony focused on the more hardcore aspect of videogaming.

If you still have any doubts, here's a fact: the Nintendo Wii outsold the Xbox 360 and PS3 this year and is predicted to keep on selling like hotcakes even way past the holiday season.

Nintendo is an entirely different breed of game manufacturer. Like its celebrated gaming designer, it fires up interest not because of hype, but because it endears itself to people. And what could be more endearing than a Miyamoto quirk? The guy behind Nintendo's success rarely played video games and doesn't drive a BMW. Instead, he rides his bicycle to work.

Nokia: More Than a Phone, But a Futuristic Vision

No one even recalls what GSM phones are anymore. Now everyone's trying to get a hold of 3G phones, which are third-generation wireless services being developed by Nokia as well. But Nokia's success found its roots from the GSM project, which at first seemed impossible for the Finnish telecommunication pioneers to turn into reality. The GSM made a quantum leap in the history of mobile phones. GSM phones, along with other capabilities, allowed users to send SMS, which was a cheaper way to communicate wirelessly. The cheaper the phones got, the more people bought them, and the more units were manufactured.

If the people of Nokia were less visionary (Jorma Ollila was the CEO during that time), they would have given up on the GSM project. But they didn't, despite the disillusionment they have gone through. They were a startup company from nowhere that had to compete with the biggest analog telecom company (Telecom Finland) in the country. Now they are the biggest mobile phone manufacturer and seller in the world. I wouldn't even call it persistence. I would call it faith.

Being visionary also allowed Nokia to see and shape great technology that other telecommunication companies haven't foreseen such as CDMA. This is the basis of today's 3G phones.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Coach Handbags, Babe Ruth, and How Anyone Can Look Rich Without Splurging

The fascinating part about Coach's success story is that Miles and Lillian Cahn, the owners of the family owned leather goods business back in the early 1940s, knew something (or someone) great when they saw it. The business didn't take a real turn until they stitched Bonnie Cashin in their growing business patchwork. Cashin must have smelled the leathery scent of success too. The Cahns were so persistent to have her as their designer that they waited two long years, just time enough for her to finish her ongoing design projects.

That persistence paid off. Now Coach is one of the most successful luxury leather goods store that sold handbags, wallets, briefcases, belts, luggage, and other accessories with the label "affordable" tagged on them. As of today, Coach is eBay's most popular search for Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories category.

Story also has it that the first business owners of Coach luxury leather goods found inspiration from a baseball glove. The makers saw the glove's leather finish has a better earning potential if it can be refined and fabricated as ladies' handbags. Now Coach leather goods have made thousands (millions?) of American fans, probably as many as those who wanted to watch Babe Ruth pitch a ball.

Coach continually makes great waves with online sales. Their secret, (apart from some which I've already divulged here), is that they capitalize on a variety of designs that impress the senses of sight, smell, and touch -- designs that spoke of both luxury, and ironically enough, affordability. Coach also offers a lifetime guarantee and repair of damaged items.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

PING: The "Anser" to Your Putting Problems

The word "putt" originated from Scotland. It means to "nudge". Among golfers, putting is nudging the golf ball on the green to roll it into the hole. And when it comes to putting, perhaps no other brand is more popular than PING.

Karsten Solheim nudged his way towards success in the business of golf by creating putters in his garage as a General Electric engineer back in 1959. His inspiration? Frustration. He played golf and didn't like the putters of his time. This has led him to innovate various putters such as the PING 1A, and eventually the answer to his putting dilemma, the "Anser".

The Anser's success was brought about by the fact that it empowered all types of golfers. Solheim's product of mechanical design genius, like Enrico Fermi's calculations, was sketched on the back of record disc, instead of an envelope. It yielded the same mind-boggling results. Solheim's PING putters became so popular that now they are being used by famous golfers all over the world. Solheim eventually got out of the garage and into a factory of his own, the Karsten Manufacturing Company, in 1967.

PingGolf.com is PING's official ecommerce website. In it, you can find more golf products out of Solheim's ingenious beginnings. In it, you can also customize and buy a putter that fits you, just by ticking your options in the Putters category. Wow.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ecommerce Store Tips in Selling Used Electronics

There's a lot of misconception online about buying/selling used electronic items. In fact, it's a little ironic because a lot of items sold on ecommerce stores such as eBay are secondhand. Many experienced sellers say that it's better to sell new items because buyers have more doubts when buying used ones. What's your opinion?

When it comes to selling electronics, the big issue with used items is the fact that gadgets are upgraded pretty fast. Used electronic devices are phased out in a span of few months and the only people left to buy them are collectors. So if you intend to sell used items in your ecommerce store, make sure that it's only slightly used to almost brand new. You will still get good selling prices and a good market for them.

The best tip to sell more in your ecommerce store is to emphasize the strong points of your electronic products. If you are selling a GPS device or example, it may be slightly used but still with complete controls and a bonus map software.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Is Your Ecommerce Web Site Design Individualistic?

I think the single most important thing that merchants should look into when coming up with a top rate ecommerce web site design is to put themselves in their customers' shoes. I know there may be a hidden artist/individualist in every single one of us, but the businessman facet should balance that streak of individualism.

For example, you may want to come up with unique design that you hope your customers will appreciate. Complexity in ecommerce web site design requires that you use Flash and other programs that may cause lag time. Can your customers afford to wait for a website to load in exchange of a good design that you hope they will appreciate?

Ecommerce web site design isn't also just about the graphical aspect of an online store. Whatever content you put in it matters. Veer away from what your customers think as relevant to what they need, then your traffic will go down. That includes, among other things, written content.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Selling Holiday Humor in eBay

A holiday shopper's ecommerce shopping cart still won't be full without humorous gifts in it. If you're the type who indulges in selling funny novelty items, try setting up your own little gag store in eBay. The more ridiculous your items, the better!

Online, there are infinite possibilities. How you come up with ideas to fill what's missing in your ecommerce shopping cart is up to you.

For example, you can capitalize on people wanting to give gifts but do not have any ideas on what to pick for their loved ones. eBay has pretty much all the crazy items one can put in an ecommerce shopping cart such as fart machines, fake prank toys, magic trick items, decals and license plates with funny messages such as "Beware of the Mad Lawyer", fake lottery ticket jackpots, noisemaker toys, etc. On top of my funny list is the "Paper Money Toilet Tissue Roll for Millionaires". It sure makes the receiver of the gift practically feel like a "High Roller" when taking a dump! (ha-ha).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reselling Tickets on Ecommerce Web Site - The Accidental Business

A lot of people who like going to events -- concerts, sports, theater, holidays, comedy shows -- sometimes buy more tickets than they need. Others who buy tickets through a ticket brokering ecommerce web site find out soon that they are not able to use the tickets because something unexpected comes up. So inevitably they are forced to sell the tickets to someone else who might be interested.

The question is, how? People who are not into brokering tickets complain of the following:

1. I don't know how to resell tickets
2. I don't have time to haggle with friends or relatives who are likely to buy
3. I don't want to scalp tickets (legally questionable)
4. I don't know how to put up ads in an ecommerce web site

When this is the case, the accidental ticket seller must choose between the least of all the evils. That is, to resell the tickets online. This obviously is a lot better than the other options because not only it saves you time, you can also have the tickets bid for a higher price. Your tickets are advertised 24/7, and you don't have to be a geek to do it.

Anyone who knows how to read can easily resell tickets on eBay or craigslist. If you've experienced some success, you may also try reselling to other events marketplaces such as Ticketmaster, Ticket Web, Stub Hub, or ABC Tickets. Or better yet someday, you can put up your own ticket reselling ecommerce web site yourself!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Should You Invest in a Videogame Ecommerce Solution?

Play N Trade is a good example of an upstart videogame franchiser that prides itself in unique ecommerce solution "try before you buy".


Your target market is the younger crowd. Videogame products keep on booming as the giant manufacturers Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are continually innovating. The gamut of customer reach is universal. For example, Nintendo gets a big share of the market with the Wii, because the console is designed for the whole family to play.


Videogames have recently caught up with many other products being transacted online so now is the best time to sell. Also, with the holiday season ushering in, retailing most sought after videogame titles and consoles may actually send in the big bucks.


Sell online, because most gamers are tech-savvy and are part of an online community of enthusiasts also. Franchisers as Play N Trade or Gamestop retailers have brick and mortar stores and warehouses that complement their ecommerce store.


Play N Trade is a good example of an upstart videogame franchiser that prides itself in unique ecommerce solution "try before you buy". I've seen a lot of businesses work around this philosophy also. In my own opinion, if people are going to drop by in-store to try out products, they will be encouraged to buy. However, it is also a risk taken with care, since if the products are not high quality or the location is not geographically spot-on (remember this is also a brick and mortar franchise), then whether people will buy after they try remains a question.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sports Ecommerce Stores - Geared up for Christmas?

Sports equipment and apparel are an extremely attractive set of gifts you can give to your loved ones this holiday season. A lot of merchants have already capitalized on the demand by making their ecommerce store more inviting for sports enthusiasts (or gift-givers) to buy. In fact, sports merchants may already have added the latest Nike Sasquatch Sumo2 in their product catalog.

According to eBay, the Nike Sasquatch Sumo2 is the most sought after golfer's item in sports ecommerce store.

eBay also helps golf sellers to put up their merchandise in the site. However, if you are going to sell on eBay, you would have to accept the limitations in aspects such as shipping, payment methods (most preferred is Paypal), and advertising. But you can create good product descriptions and post photos in their ecommerce store/marketplace, since bidders or buyers are more likely to make deals if they see images of what you're selling.

If you're more interested in selling the Nike Sasquatch Sumo2 as a sports retailer with a bigger product catalog, it is better to set up your own ecommerce store instead.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas 2007 - Is Selling the Playstation 3 Your Ecommerce Strategy?

It's amazing that even though the Playstation 3 has been released and sold by Sony in limited packages about a year ago (geared all the same for the 2006 holiday season), demand and sales for the console are still continually up. This is of course good news for gaming retailers. It's a smart ecommerce strategy to sell PS3 consoles or PS3 titles for good profit this Christmas.

Sure enough, even independent sellers can simply put up an auction at eBay and see if anyone is interested to buy. This ecommerce strategy also works for those who wish to trade (or upgrade/downgrade) consoles and game titles for another, such as a PSP or an Xbox 360.

If your business is all about selling electronic gadgets, toys, game titles, and other computer related items online, then banking on the PS3 and PS3 game titles is a surefire way to make money for Christmas 2007. Remember, it takes a long while before next-gen consoles reach plateau on sales. But I doubt that they never, since even vintage consoles get good prices these days. Selling them as an ecommerce strategy this gift-giving season is indeed win-win situation for you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Building an Ecommerce Site to Sell Barbie Dolls for Christmas

The charm of Barbie dolls never fades. Even at this era, when young girls go to play videogames or roleplay adult acts that they see on TV, Barbie dolls are still in high demand online. Collectible Barbie dolls are great for auction ecommerce sites such as eBay because people can buy, sell, or trade their collectibles for a good profit.

The only fault I find at banking on collectible Barbie dolls online is that sometimes they are only bought or sold in certain territories such as Asia or Europe. Real collectors would go all the way to asking for help from a friend who lives in another continent to be able to buy the dolls. Any chance however, you might spot a good item on an ecommerce site so you should keep looking.

Vintage Barbie dolls are my favorites. Though I don't sell them, I've done a good deal of collection when I was a kid. I didn't put up my own store to auction it though, because I can easily do it on eBay and Amazon. I've seen a lot of good ecommerce sites specializing on trading Barbie dolls also. It doesn't take a genius to build one, but it takes insight to realize that these holiday season, you might just make good money off selling these girly toys online!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

How to Deal with Lazy Shoppers

Okay, I know this is little too fussy on my part, but blame the forum people for coming up with this idea. Nothing wrong with taking time to look at your ecommerce shopping cart. In fact, I still believe in the adage "Simplicity in structure is a true masterpiece and is really deceptive because one doesn't see the hard work behind it." If you can exert more effort to make things simple for your store shoppers, then you score plus points from them.

Much has been said about making the ecommerce shopping cart efficient and so many techniques have been devised to make this happen.

The process of filling up credit card details is a good example. Imagine yourself typing in all the numbers and realizing the fields are separated every 3 digits. Or, if you are required to format the date. Or, if you typed in the wrong details and went all the way till the last page before you got a "Ooops, error in xxx field. Please fill up entire form again!" message. These little things may cause annoyance and even ecommerce shopping cart abandonment. Do you have an excuse?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Can Your Ecommerce Store Offer More?

Recent statistics say that more and more (or most) users online are largely the rich and upscale shopper types. They book flights, buy jewelry, or transact their bills through the Internet. An ecommerce store may likely be populated with the rather deep pocketed buyers. I'd say this is practically obvious, since you cannot buy unless you have funds to pay for your goods.

My case is different, however. When I'm out to buy jewelry in the malls, I get frustrated by the fact that jewelry stores close shop rather too early at night. Of course, they do it for security reasons. An ecommerce store selling gems and silver earrings is open 24 hours a day. If you wish to order from the catalog, you have the option to pick it up their landbased store or have it delivered to you.

This is a good example of the shift of purchase from brick and mortar to an ecommerce store. Whether buyers are rich or poor, online purchase offers far more options and availability for everyone. The same goes for travel booking and transacting bills online. Instead of going to the landbased bank, bills can be automatically paid online and funds can be transferred easily.

Eventually discount stores such as Wal-Mart will have to offer more high end versions of products to the richer shoppers while still selling low-priced but quality items to the more frugal.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

International Merchant Account - Mo' Options, Mo' Money?

If it weren't for the ability to buy and sell online, would international merchant account providers even exist? I doubt it. Ecommerce merchants are a different breed of sellers for many reasons. They have more options in selling. They have more choices in accepting payments. They are on the forefront of the cutting edge industry and can innovate techniques as much as they can. Above all, they may act as an extension of an already existing brick and mortar store, and thus are able to enhance the consumers' buying experience.

When it comes to expansion, nothing is more beneficial than establishing your business with an international merchant account provider. Without it, it may be impossible to expand your consumer base overseas. Of course there are alternatives but this is the best and most convenient way to do it.

Expanding your consumer base internationally means you would have to create a bigger product catalog, perhaps acquire more ecommerce domains, hire additional customer service staff, or process larger volume of payments. Most international merchant account providers can offer services for any of these needs. All you have to do is research and decide which provider is best for your business.

Monday, November 5, 2007

ECOMMERCE SOLUTION 16 - Can You Really Make Money Having Fun Online?

When you work for money, do you work for fun? Okay, let me put it this way. If your goal is to make money, do you have fun in the process of achieving it? Is it part of your ecommerce strategy to mix business with pleasure?

In the online business industry, there are two types of people. Those who work too hard and forget to play, and those who play too much and forget to work. Which one are you between these two? They say too much of everything isn't always healthy and can get you to the psychiatric ward in no time. And dig this, have you heard of an Internet user in China who actually died after three days of using the Internet nonstop?

If your ecommerce strategy is to earn money online, then get to work and focus on work. If you work to earn money online though, don't take it all dead serious! A lot of merchants get distracted by the entertainment they get in the Internet. But there's a fine line that separates fun and making money. Balance and discipline are the key.

If you're not sure how you're meeting your goals in terms of having fun while going after it, check your hours. Do you spend more time surfing online for games, jokes, and gossip more than working? Do you spend more time getting all geeky than taking a break for outdoors? Create a balance and stick to your schedule. An ecommerce strategy like this is the basis of success, and, well, keeps you sane.

ECOMMERCE SOLUTION 12 - Keep Notes and Stay Alive

Enough said about knowledge being power. The Internet is actually a neural network of gazillions of information, information makers, and information takers that without delving into this aspect of doing honest to goodness research, you will be left in the station when the train starts to chug away. An excellent ecommerce solution is to create space and time where (and when) you can dedicate a part of your online efforts to stocking up on knowledge.

Information doesn't come naturally to most merchants. In fact, some merchants say they're too busy to read or learn anything else outside their business. If you're working as your own boss, spend a day just reading and taking notes, talking to people, listening to seminars, and generally ingesting information relevant to your business. If you have a staff, assign this task to one of them. This ecommerce solution will work miracles on your business.

When I was younger (and until now), I learned the art of keeping notes just enough to remind me of things I encountered, things I might want to do someday, and things that may be useful to my life in the present or in the future. I didn't know this was one hell of a life-changing survival technique. As a consultant for merchants seeking an ecommerce solution, I let them know how learning and note-taking can raise their potential success faster than most merchants in the industry.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How to Build Your Ecommerce Name - Step 4 Should You Spam?

Spamming brings to my mind an ex-business colleague that I met last year. He began his business entirely by spamming. Asked whether he felt guilty of it, he said no. He used major auction and free advertising sites to solicit clients. His ecommerce strategy is to let people know what products and services he is selling while exerting only the minimum effort.

Could this be the perfect model for succeeding in ecommerce? I doubt it. This ecommerce strategy does look efficient -- it saves time and money and does work. People do check their spam folders and sometimes get attracted to deals that merchants offer. But in the long run, if you have built a name for your business online, spamming may become a stigma to your online business.

Imagine getting unwanted e-mails from companies you never heard of. Sure, you may find their product offers great and their services timely. But if you go check out their websites, what do you see? Do you even find a decent "About Us" description or an office address? Do you know the person behind the spam e-mail? My ex-business colleague, despite getting clients, eventually saw the effects of his "smart" ecommerce strategy. Word spread that he was spamming, not fulfilling the agreed services, and hiring semi-skilled employees. Before he got out of the trouble he made, everyone already had the impression that his business was a scam. Don't let it happen to you!

Other articles:

How to Build Your Ecommerce Name - Step 1 Domain Name
How to Build Your Ecommerce Name - Step 2 Web Hosting

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ECOMMERCE STRATEGY 12 - Show Off Your Secure Ecommerce Logos

People don't normally look for credibility seals when they shop online. I don't. I must admit I get lazy when I have to check whether a company has a Hackersafe, Verisign, Better Business Bureau or TRUSTe logos. I am aware though, like other shoppers, that these logos do help increase credibility and shows that your company uphold secure ecommerce transactions.

But since people don't care too much about secure ecommerce until they get their credit cards hacked, what can the merchant do? Inform everyone. No, drill your customers about how safe buying your products and services are. Providing articles and newsletters that remind them your company is registered with trade associations such as BBB or Hackersafe can actually make them realize they can trust you, and therefore can buy without worrying about online fraud.

Displaying the credibility logos are not enough to show how safe your ecommerce store. Merchants should make it a point to make customers realize it. Create press releases, write blogs, and occasionally inform about security tests made on your site. No online store is safe from credit hackers and identity thieves. Even the most secure ecommerce retailers can be victims, so keep a close watch, and keep your buyers informed!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

WEB OPPORTUNITY 3 - Can you Provide Information?

The part that I like best about ecommerce is that it levels the ground between the haves and the have-nots. People who don't have much capital but have expertise in a certain subject can easily create informational materials such as e-books that they can sell online. They can set up their own ecommerce store that focuses solely on these digital files or they may also advertise their product on various public auction sites or merchant malls such as eBay.

I must agree with Scott Lindsay that this is a low-key way of making money online, knowing how little capital is being invested (financially). However many online merchants have made considerable profit off selling e-books, webinars, and other downloadable digital files. In fact, most people who don't have much time to go to brick and mortar bookstores need only browse an ecommerce store such as Amazon to shop for books and have them shipped.

Despite the boom of e-book selling, merchants should also be aware that download security is an issue among e-book sellers. Unless they put up or advertise in a secure ecommerce store where they can send the file to the buyer without being defrauded, hackers are likely to steal the files. One of the best ways to protect merchants from download fraud or identity theft is to send only the link to the file via email as soon as the buyer has paid for the product.

Friday, October 26, 2007

ECOMMERCE WEB SITE SUCCESS TIP 4 - Web Metrics are the Necessary Evil

Google has created net addicts in all of us. Having to comply to SEO standards that result in your ecommerce site being part of top 10 in the first page of Google's search results has become an obsession for many merchants and online analysts. Some think Google is unfair, but others think the giant search engine is only doing its best to see all websites equally.

But these metrics we employ in order to track the online success of our ecommerce site are crucial. Think: without Google Analytics or other software that show details on visitor number, page clicks, or other essential technicalities, no one will figure out whether the business is taking off and whether it has a potential to do so.

The little things are the big things in the web. Your ecommerce site isn't built to merely sell products. The more you know about how it is running, the better you can create solutions to improve it. Eventually, the more likely your sales will increase.

ECOMMERCE WEB SITE SUCCESS TIP 2 - Build networks, Build Backlinks
ECOMMERCE WEB SITE SUCCESS TIP 3 - Use Your Backend Design to Your Advantage

Thursday, October 25, 2007

ECOMMERCE WEB SITE DESIGN TIP 5 - Design is not just skin deep

I used to work with real estate people and they always tell me that yes, there are secrets to closing sales which newbies in the business do not know. Real estate agents are usually bound by the idea that they need to sell property - and not really put much effort on trying to "help" their client find a good home. A lot of ecommerce web site design companies make the same mistake when dealing with merchants. Often, they just focus on creating good designs and making the site look spiffy for the shoppers.

One thing they forget is that in offering ecommerce web site design service, it is also a must to look into the clients' needs holistically.

Web design companies can argue that if they intend to go deeper into the needs of the merchant, then they would offer a consulting service that they can basically charge something for. But the really impressive ecommerce web site design providers don't have to ask for consultation fees that will help improve your website. They will help you from the beginning to the end of the project, and not focus merely on the site's design. Instead they will cooperate with you in your ecommerce needs and even offer to recommend reputable ecommerce solution experts.

ECOMMERCE WEB SITE DESIGN TIP 1 - Watch out for your designer's promises
ECOMMERCE WEB SITE DESIGN TIP 2 - Content is the Meat and Potatoes

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Advice to Would-Be E-Commerce Merchants - Plan Your Success!

The keyword is online. If you stop and think about it, doing business online and the brick and click way are kinda different. But if you look closer, the similarity of doing business between the two can be astonishing! The only difference may lie from the fact that online business people would have to deal with more computer technology than they can ever think of. In reality though, the most effective online entrepreneurs hardly spend more than 4 hours in front of the computer!

What makes a successful online businessman then? I hear various opinions from everyone. One, you should find multiple streams of income. Two, you should bank on your talent and persistence as your capital. Three, like learning how to swim, everything is about technique, technique, technique! Which would you rather believe? I'd say all of these work in conjunction with one another. But without a plan or goal, success in doing business online isn't as easy as it seems!

Sure, you get a domain. You design your website. You have infrastructure built such as shopping cart, payment gateway, third party credit card processor. You may even apply for a merchant account with a high risk merchant account provider. You employ SEO tactics and other forms of online advertising. You provide good customer service and ship goods efficiently. But what's your next move?

full article:

Advice to Would-Be E-Commerce Merchants: Plan Your Success!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How to Keep Your High Volume Credit Card Processing Account

Obtaining a merchant account for high volume credit card processing is nothing new. A lot of merchants find themselves compelled to apply for one as soon as their businesses boom. Before they know it, they are already transacting payments that began from $10,000 on monthly volume up to several million dollars. Most of them may have applied for offshore merchant accounts, too, depending on the nature of their businesses. Of course not all high volume businesses are considered high risk. The very reason why they eventually get translated into high risk is when they begin accepting higher than normal transactions and possibly encountering chargebacks and customer complaints.


Lower rates. Is this possible? Sure. Many high volume merchants would tell you that the best reason why they are out to avail of high volume credit card processing is the fact that they can get lower discount rates and fees. But wouldn't this be a little unprofitable on the part of the merchant account provider? Not really. Simple math will reveal that the sheer volume itself will make up for the lowered discount rates so both the merchant and the provider win.



High Volume Credit Card Processing - Keep it, Don't Lose it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Best Tips to Avoid Frozen Accounts with Your High Risk Merchant Account Provider

In the world of online sales, there are a lot of things written on the page but are left unread between the lines. In other words, you go about selling your products and services but there are lots of things high risk merchant account providers don't tell you. Not because they could not or would not, but because they would not discuss the issues with you until you have experienced them. A good example is going through possible freezing of your merchant account.

If, as a high risk merchant, you have not exerted an effort to make a research concerning frozen accounts, then you're in BIG trouble. I'll keep it short. Once your merchant account is frozen, your present and future business is put under horrible risk. First, because you will lose the ability to process credit cards online. Second, you will be denied merchant account if you applied for another one. You certainly cannot allow this to happen and it will never if you are smart enough to take preventive measures.

full article:

Best Tips to Avoid Frozen Accounts with Your High Risk Merchant Account Provider

Frozen merchant accounts are horrible for your business. Now is the time you find out the issues with your high risk merchant account provider before your business goes down the drain!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

High Risk Merchant's Guide to Selling Computer Hardware Online

Many people have been making a lot of profit off selling computer hardware online. Unlike selling software or other digital items online, computer parts undergo an entirely different selling process and may be considered less risky on the transaction scale.


A lot of computer hardware merchants actually make money by reselling computer parts. They will buy it for a lower price or acquire used parts then sell them online for a percentage of profit. There are a lot of existing reselling services online that will provide you several services in one package for a price. Some of these services may include:

  • worldwide vendor inventory search

  • new product alerts from advertising merchants

  • website customization

  • drop shipper list

Others work like eBay. You will only need to:

  1. Register

  2. List your products with their descriptions

  3. Receive buyer offers

  4. Pick, reject or haggle offers

  5. Accept payment

  6. Ship the product

Plus you will have access to what other merchants are selling online by browsing the virtual marketplace.


High risk merchants find that if they can affiliate with good computer hardware drop shippers, they can make a ton of profit. Drop shippers only charge for the wholesale cost of the items and ship the items to the customers themselves. In fact, some merchants make money solely through making selling contracts with drop shippers.


Computer hardware sells like hotcakes these days too, according to online marketing researchers. When computer hardware merchants start transacting high volumes of payments each month, they may also start considering getting a credit card payment processor or a high risk merchant account provider to help them handle the growing sales volume.

Here's a list of benefits of having a computer products merchant account:


Once the merchant account is up and you are ready to accept credit cards, it's likely that your provider will let you process checks and other forms of payment using a virtual terminal. If you do the math, not only will you preserve the old-age functions of your business, you will also likely quadruple your sales as soon as you acquire your virtual terminal.


High volume merchants profess that the new account has helped them save thousands of dollars per year, with discounts and promotions. Moreover, if your business is considered high risk and you're enrolled in an offshore bank, you get the privilege of reduced tax and non-governmental interference.


Keeping count of your transactions whether it's daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly is extremely valuable to your business. Account providers ease your burden plus give you quick access to your account statements if you wish to view it online.


It's mere common sense to apply only for a high volume merchant account that offers protection from fraud. This is the number one reason why some merchants don't want to take the first step towards application. A sophisticated system like SSL or secure database encryption will ensure no identity theft will happen. This results in less chargebacks.


How you do your business remains the same except that your customers will find more ease in buying your products and services. For a discussion of online shopping cart, see Streetsmart Tips in Choosing Your Online Shopping Cart.

more articles at www.highriskexperts.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Selling Digital Item Features - What's Hot, What's Not

Know that not all high risk merchant account providers are able to let you sell downloadable items for the simple reason that only a handful of them can provide 100% secure delivery of the files. When this happens you resort to selling at eBay for free, but selling at eBay also has its own pitfalls. In choosing a merchant account provider for selling digital items, you should weigh the following positive and negative points:






The ability of MAPs to deliver digital products sans hacking. Selling digital files won't be called a high risk merchant's territory if it does not involve the risk of getting hacked. Secure download is the rule, not the exception. Passwords with expiration dates are better than having to provide a download link where the url can be easily typed and the file be downloaded repeatedly by different users.



One thing I noticed is that even though a lot of high risk merchant account providers can process payment on your digital download sales, they can only process a very limited number of payment options such as Paypal, some credit card, some e-checks, or process payments only in U.S. dollars.




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Selling Digital Item Features - What's Hot, What's Not

Selling Software Online - Quick Tips for High Risk Merchants

Marketing researchers online have shown that of all the products that get sold online, computer hardware and software hit the highest mark. Tech-smart entrepreneurs can create their own digital products (e.g. E-book, software, digital images) or buy and sell computer parts and then sell them online for free. Some of these merchants also get the help of third party payment processors or high risk merchant account providers to transact, manage, advertise, and market their products when handling them solo becomes a big burden.

What features can you get from high risk merchant account providers that let you sell software online? I found out from a quick research online that some features may be commonplace but some also stand out. I made my own list and here's what I came up with:




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Selling Software Online www.highriskexperts.com

Friday, September 21, 2007

Online Casino Merchant Accounts Offshore: Has the US Lost the Battle?

As we already know that online casinos are not only based offshore but also hire the help of high risk merchant account providers, we can be assured that our accounts and transactions are being taken cared of. In fact, this is mostly what online casinos would tout of when it comes to payment processing: that they can process multiple currencies, process various types of payments (even non-virtual ones), and above all process these payments securely. At the end of it all, what more could a customer ask for? Of course whatever perks the online casinos would like to put in their array of attractions, it's up to them.

By Gerri Bryce

The US government has gone a long way to show its clear distaste of the online gambling institutions in the country. One that gave the most impact is when US players are prohibited from using their credit cards to pay online casinos and online casinos are just as disallowed from transacting payments made via US credit cards and other payment methods. This has eventually meant that online casinos will be not only be based offshore, but will be transacting payments that are non-US based, even though the majority of the players themselves come from the country.

The UK, however, has practically opened its floodgates to online gambling. Poker rooms and sportsbooks may soon be able to advertise on TV, allowing more players to invest on the games and thus increase the gambling companies' revenue. Does this spell more opportunity for high risk merchants doing business offshore? Of course. Even though profit is regrettably US-deprived, casino merchants may still be able to find relief from the fact that other areas of the world will still generate as much revenue in the near future.

A good example would be in Asia. In India alone, casino resorts are being built annexed to tourist spots such as Goa in order to attract more players. That includes not only land-based but hosted online casinos as well. In other parts of the world, companies are seeing more and more casino domains sprouting up to cater to online poker, roulette, blackjack, slots, lottery, and bingo players. This may mean more competition, but more value added services and features for the casino players.

As we already know that online casinos are not only based offshore but also hire the help of high risk merchant account providers, we can be assured that our accounts and transactions are being taken cared of. In fact, this is mostly what online casinos would tout of when it comes to payment processing: that they can process multiple currencies, process various types of payments (even non-virtual ones), and above all process these payments securely. At the end of it all, what more could a customer ask for? Of course whatever perks the online casinos would like to put in their array of attractions, it's up to them.

We can conclude that despite the online poker ban, online casino disputes, online payment processing regulations, and other issues concerning online gambling, this industry survives. In fact, reports have shown that regardless of setbacks, online gambling is a phenomenon that flourishes and helps countries earn from tax revenues these businesses generate. Whether the US has decided to totally ban online gambling or relax on its restrictions makes not much difference.

And for as long as players play and online casinos provide good entertainment and service, high risk merchant account providers will also make money. Because they are based offshore, online casinos benefit from the low taxation rates and laissez faire regulations in places like Panama, Gibraltar or the Caribbean. As everyone knows in the industry, it is virtually impossible for online casinos to own a domestic (U.S.) merchant account.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Adult Angels in the High Risk Merchant Industry

Yes, being an angel in the sex industry is definitely not the easiest job in the world. Sure you can relate well to what you sell, and you can also feel a certain degree of satisfaction knowing you can provide what couples need to make sex more exciting. But face the fact that you may also be challenged by chargebacks, complaints, or product returns. No adult business is perfect. With a good high risk merchant account provider to support you, things are easier on your back. To find out what it takes to get your application accepted, check out Insider Tricks to Successful High Risk Merchant Account Application for more information.

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Telemarketing Services and High Risk Merchant Account Providers

Telemarketing merchants have always looked on certain aspects of their business to find out whether they are operating smoothly or not. Yes, with the onslaught of outsourced call centers these days, what could be the best thing to do but focus on quality service instead of how to pay for in-house overhead costs? Many telemarketing firms offshore have benefited from the low cost of outsourcing by allocating the extra budget on high risk merchant account services instead. Not only did it work more to their advantage, it also took away most of the headache associated with handling hundreds of thousands of customer accounts.

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Telemarketing Services and High Risk Merchant Account Providers


  • Pawn Shop Merchant Account - Why Should You Get One?
    [Home-Based-Business:Network-Marketing] One encouraging thing about building an online pawn shop is that you get more exposure and thus more chances of earning good income. The Internet is fraught with advertising possibilities and cutting edge technology to assist you in your business. For example, whether you are a start up online pawn shop or already have an established store processing high volume of credit card transactions monthly, acquiring a high risk merchant account can be a big help in your business.

  • 7 Best Tools for Providing First-Rate Customer Service
    [Business:Customer-Service] "People used what they called a telephone because they hated being close together and they were scared of being alone." Chuck Palahniuk could be right and wrong! In the world of e-commerce, the telephone could be the single most important tool next to your car keys. An online merchant will not exist and survive in the cutthroat world of online business without key customer service tools.

  • High Volume Merchant Account - Is It Worth Acquiring One
    [Finance] I feel a need to go back to the basics. After years of hearing the phrase high volume merchants, I still encounter some perfectly running businesses who have not acquired their own high volume merchant account. When I tell execs about the possibilities it offers, they say they will consider applying for one. It seems to me that these businesses have reached their equilibrium, and at this point wish nothing but to maintain it.

  • Homemade Remedy for Download Theft
    [Internet-and-Businesses-Online:E-Books] Many online sellers aren't bothered so much by copyright infringement as they are of losing money by theft of their online products. Most popular among these is the e-book. Guess we already know why those who are selling e-books are considered high risk merchants - the sole fact that the e-book they are selling can be easily downloaded for free (without being dubbed "freeware" or "shareware") makes them vulnerable to frauds and chargebacks in the long run.

  • High Risk Merchant Account Tips on IP Detection
    [Finance] Any high risk merchant should be aware, if not become thoroughly an expert, of all the technical aspects of credit card transactions. Let's face it, doing business online is taking risk a hundred times more dangerous than doing business the brick and mortar fashion. Smart merchants would never plunge headlong into online ventures without a good, working knowledge of the loopholes of the billing process via credit cards.

  • High Risk Merchants Black Book Guide on Building E-Commerce Websites
    [Internet-and-Businesses-Online:Web-Development] Building an e-commerce website is a simple task that requires the help of a good programmer. High risk merchants must decide which factors they will need to prioritize and incorporate in the website. Web copy, layout and other visuals, e-commerce elements, marketing elements, and customer service tools are some of the basic elements you need to consider in building a website that sells.

  • OsCommerce for High Risk Merchants - The Good, The Bad, and The Possibilities
    [Finance] Just because osCommerce is the most popular merchant account software doesn't mean it's the best solution for your online business. Agree or disagree? Do you find osCommerce to be overrated? A lot of high risk merchants adopt osCommerce as their primary merchant account solution because of so many advantages.

  • Insider Tricks to Successful High Risk Merchant Account Application
    [Finance] Many merchants complain about the lack of information when it comes to high risk merchant account application. It's not that there's no information at hand; it's more likely because merchant account providers do not give standard customer service or are simply too lazy to share the nuts and bolts that the applicants need.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hoodia and the High Risk Merchant

Is selling hoodia online a type of business that requires the help of a high risk merchant account provider? Will adding hoodia diet supplements in you online pharmacy inventory really increase your profit? Read on to find out more!

Losing weight is such a colossal problem with most people, especially for those who are growing older or have some weight-related diseases. That's why any form of remedy that is introduced in the market becomes appetizing regardless of whether it is authentic or not.

There is a discipline where people can psychologically train themselves to sustain hunger by conditioning their minds that their stomach are full. By taking hoodia, such a sacrifice does not have to be contrived anymore.

Hoodia does work but it is also now classified by the African environmentalists to be an endangered plant specie. Making money off selling it online is not as easy as one thinks, especially now that consumers are wiser thanks to testimonials of fake products online and on TV. However, considering the demand for this herbal diet supplement is so high, online pharmacy merchants find chasing after the profits still worth their investment.

What type of people will buy your hoodia products once you sell them online? Virtually anyone who is willing to lose weight. Of course, those who have eating disorders are advised by their doctors to take precaution in taking diet supplements so their consumption is beyond your control as a high risk merchant, as long as you provide warnings and disclaimers on the label.

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Hoodia and the High Risk Merchant

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Building High Risk Merchant Dating Websites Simplified

Applying for a high risk merchant account fall along the lines of ambitious start ups who know they can make more revenue as each month passes. I don't think anyone would be able to go far without the help that high risk merchant account providers give. There are so many advantages but if you are unsure, don't plunge ahead. Make intelligent research and decide according to your business plan. Some online dating merchants who are content on using a payment gateway alone can very well survive, but with some cogs missing in the machinery. Others who believe they can get approved by local banks' merchant services are doomed to be disappointed.

Many high risk merchants are already aware of how to make money with online dating websites. It's not a vague concept that keeps everyone in the dark for long. It may begin from simple desire to help people meet their match or dissatisfaction from existing dating websites. It may also be inspired by the desire to make more revenue online, knowing how profitable the online dating industry is today.

I can make a wicked oversimplification and stack it in three steps:

  1. Build your website with low domain overhead costs and WSIWYG editing software

  2. Pitch in a number of affiliate programs

  3. Promote it with ethical SEO

Experts in building dating websites might want to add or whittle this simplified procedure depending on their experiences. I'd say though nothing is more effective. Many online dating entrepreneurs have already made money without even realizing it by simply applying these concepts.

Matt of Mingle2 for example was able to create his own free spiffy dating website in 66.5 hours -- not bad for a neat website inspired only by his analytic observation of what other dating websites lack or don't prioritize. Another programmer built a website on cheap hosting or do it yourself web design and managed it herself, earning an average of $40,000 monthly. Whether you make money through advertising, affiliate programs, or subscription is up to you. Note however, that high risk merchants usually make profit off member subscriptions.

The only thing left for you to do after the online dating website has been set up is maintenance. You can market your site via search engine optimization techniques. You can also apply for a high risk merchant account in order to outsource the payment processing tasks involved in your online dating business. Although many merchants frown on additional expenses incurred by third party providers, in the end they are grateful for having acquired one. It makes your life easier since not only it is efficient, it also gives your customers security when it comes to credit card processing. Many members balk at subscriptions when they know they cannot rely on you for protection of their credit card details. Far too many cyber crimes like identity theft and credit card hacking abound online.

Applying for a high risk merchant account fall along the lines of ambitious start ups who know they can make more revenue as each month passes. I don't think anyone would be able to go far without the help that high risk merchant account providers give. There are so many advantages but if you are unsure, don't plunge ahead. Make intelligent research and decide according to your business plan. Some online dating merchants who are content on using a payment gateway alone can very well survive, but with some cogs missing in the machinery. Others who believe they can get approved by local banks' merchant services are doomed to be disappointed.

Online dating websites are no doubt a highly profitable Web 2.0 business. It's far less prone to critical attacks like online pornography, and far more helpful to singles who are seeking their partners. Although the market is quite saturated, with a little twist to the concept and excellent marketing techniques, even the start up high risk merchant playing matchmaker is bound to succeed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

High Risk Merchants: Tips on How to Deal with Lazy Customers

Having a clunky e-commerce site makes life even more difficult. The general rule for high risk merchants is to step into their customers' shoes and figure out how to make shopping online easier. If you are not willing to go through the challenge of this business, then the door is always open for you to find another vocation to pursue. You either put all your power to make money with the business you have chosen, or let your finances whittle away in mediocrity.

They say America enjoys the reputation for being spoon fed and spoiled, having most of the conveniences in life laid out in front of her. In fact, the U.S. has quite an abominable percentage of obesity in its population that it sometimes make you wonder whether the culture of abundance has done any good at all. But that is not what this article is all about. This article talks about competitiveness in the e-commerce industry, and how high risk merchants can get ahead by understanding this so-called “lazy” culture.

Generally though, people are hardworking. That is to serve their best interests. But generally, you or I would rather sit back than dig a ditch if we have a choice. Shopping for many of us is a burden. Rather than drive a car to the supermarket, we would sit in front of the computer and shop online. Or call up for pizza delivery instead of going to the restaurant itself.

Having a clunky e-commerce site makes life even more difficult. The general rule for high risk merchants is to step into their customers' shoes and figure out how to make shopping online easier. If you are not willing to go through the challenge of this business, then the door is always open for you to find another vocation to pursue. You either put all your power to make money with the business you have chosen, or let your finances whittle away in mediocrity.

People may have seen the best or worst of things when it comes to shopping online. They may have visited a store that looks a lot like your country grocery store or something like the Fashion Show Mall in Vegas. In fact, you can only do so much as guess what kind of customers are coming over to browse your products or services. Can you afford to lose them with your lack of knowledge on what they expect? Here's a short list of how to deal with the “lazy” culture problem. See if any of them are familiar to you!

Problem: Clicking!

Solution: Simplify your shopping cart. The less clicks to get to the checkout, the better.

Problem: Remembering page names and link names!

Solution: Come up with easy to remember and unique names, whether your domain, link, categories, or pages. Heck, there's a copycat in every corner of the world and you don't wanna add yourself up to the list.

Problem: Looking for products only to turn out they are out of stock! Or links that don't work!

Solution: It is common sense not to annoy your customers by not informing them about products that aren't in the inventory. Hire a good programmer to fix the broken links too.

Problem: Waiting for the graphics-laden page to load!

Solution: Think twice about using Flash or lots of pics as not only they make the page slow to load, they also generally cannot be crawled by search engines.

Problem: Reading esoteric or poorly laid-out text!

Solution: If you can't write good text, better let a professional do it. Bad text is a big turn off.

Problem: Having to download a hefty file!

Solution: Maybe unavoidable but do your best not to burden your customers with software or pdf downloads -- unless extremely necessary.

Problem: Expectations, expectations!

Solution: If you can't fulfill your promise such as no hidden fees or free shipping then don't make any.

Problem: Same old flat boring e-commerce website?!

Solution: No updates, no blogs, no newsletter, no design revamps, etc.? There must be a better way to be competitive.

Bottom line is: Spiffy up! You owe yourself and your customers a more exciting shopping experience. (See High Risk Merchants Guide to Creating the Perfect Shopping Experience for another good stuff to add to your entrepreneurial library.)

Source: www.highriskexperts.com

More Gerri Bryce articles:

How to Tackle Your E-Commerce Shipping Issues

E-commerce shipping is obviously a lot more complicated if you're a high risk merchant. One, because it may involve shipping goods overseas. Two, because you may be selling intangible products such as e-books. When this happens, the risk of returns and frauds are even higher.

Many a high risk merchant has suffered due to negligence of shipping issues. It's a little ridiculous, knowing how impossible it is for customers to get their products purchased unless an efficient shipping method is implemented. According to e-commerce reports, shipping issues are one of the top reasons why people do not buy from e-commerce merchants. People would either complain that the rates are too high, that the carrier cannot reach their location especially internationally, or that the company has a reputation for late delivery. Are you guilty of any of these headaches?

If not, you're lucky. Either you've progressed ahead of the crowd or have learned from sour experience. In reality, high risk merchants tend to neglect that only with efficient shipping will they be able to gain the trust of customers and encourage new visitors to buy. Shopping carts would not be abandoned for the sole reason that they (customers) didn't like the pricing or heard from a friend that your delivery date always come a day too late.

If you affiliate with popular shipping companies like UPS or FedEx, your customers' products are likely to be in good hands. However, you can establish your in-house shipping system if you are a small merchant or a start up with a modest product inventory. Otherwise, it is best to outsource shipping to a reliable shipping service provider.

E-commerce shipping is obviously a lot more complicated if you're a high risk merchant. One, because it may involve shipping goods overseas. Two, because you may be selling intangible products such as e-books. When this happens, the risk of returns and frauds are even higher. For example, if you're selling a collection of e-books, you don't need to employ FedEx or UPS' services. Instead you would provide a download link for your customers to access the product as soon as they paid for it. Hence, delivery time is no longer an issue. Delivery overseas require a better judgment when it comes to the shipping method you choose. The chances of errors in delivery and profit loss are higher.

Unscrupulous merchants will simply ignore customer complaints to avoid complications in product return issues. This is the easiest way to destroy your reputation as e-commerce merchant. Chargebacks or product returns should be addressed even though they may hurt your leg. They are part of business and all high risk merchants encounter them.

The best thing to do is to outline your shipping policies and make sure your customers are aware of them. In such a case where dissatisfied customers complain or even try to sue you, you are protected. A good and reasonable shipping policy vindicates you from the burden of paying for chargebacks and other expenses beyond control. This element is usually present in a high risk merchant services list in case you have applied for one. Keep in mind that even though shipping comes last in the buying and selling process, it is one of the most important aspects of doing business. And as a general rule, if shipping is free or low-cost, you're more likely to attract even the most reluctant of online buyers.

Source: Highriskexperts.com