Painting Business – 13 Point Checklist of Essential Tools Most Needed to Start a Painting Business

If you are considering starting a commercial or residential painting business you will only need some basic low-cost tools to start with. You can buy other tools as more jobs come along and with your down payments. Here is a list of the most essential painting business tools needed to get you started.

1.) Quality Cage Frame – Also known as a paint roller. Wooster and Purdy both have strong, commercial-use cage frames sold at most professional paint stores.

2.) Extension Pole – Get yourself a good medium-size fiberglass extension pole for rolling out walls and ceilings.

3.) Wall-Sander – I always sand walls and ceilings before I roll them out. It cleans up cobwebs and anything else that needs to be knocked down to make the walls and ceilings smooth.

4.) Roller Bucket – I use Wooster’s roller bucket. It is tall, square and has a lid. It is made out of durable plastic and balances a lot better than a paint tray and washes out easy. It’s a must have.

5.) Cut-in Bucket – I like to put some paint in a small plastic bucket for cutting in. There are small 1-gallon buckets of drywall compound that when empty make a great cut-bucket plus they have a lid. They will last for years.

6.) Step Ladder – A regular wooden 5-foot step ladder works perfect for most homes. If I need a 6-foot ladder I have an aluminum one for that. Most of the time all I need is my 5-footer and I am only 5’6″ so there you go.

7.) 16′ Extension Ladder – Great for stairwells or ranch-style exterior jobs. I use my 16-foot extension ladder more than any other size. I also have 20′ and a 24′ extension ladders, but i couldn’t get by without my little 16-footer.8.) Drop Cloths – I like using the runner type the most. They are inexpensive, light to carry and can be moved around the room easily. I also have 9 x 12’s on hand.

9.) Fluorescent Light – Interior painting without a fluorescent light is nearly impossible, especially on a cloudy day. Fluorescent light is a nice white light that is great for painting and shows up the colors in their true form.

10.) Tool Bucket – An empty 5-gallon bucket makes a great tool bucket. I keep my pliers, a hammer, razor-blade knives, a caulk gun, etc., in my tool bucket.

11.) Small Fan – I bought a $30 blower type fan made by Stanley Tools from Walmart. It dries out walls and ceilings quickly so you can get back to work cutting in and moving around the room without it being wet.

12.) Drywall compound – I hate Spackle. It flashes under paint jobs. I use the Sheetrock brand of 90-minute quick-dry drywall compound found at Lowes or other hardware stores for around $11 a bag. It will last me all year long. It is the powder formula and is easy to mix up right on the job with water and a small cut bucket. This way you don’t have to carry a heavy 5-gallon pale around with you that can also freeze during the wintertime and can get lots of chunks in it over time.

13.) Caulk Gun – I use painters caulk all the time to fill small gaps between woodwork, trim and walls. Most paint stores have it on hand. I use the 35-year interior/exterior type.

So there you have it. If you are considering starting your own painting business and want to know how much it will cost to get started this list will help you. I would guess off hand that everything on the list totals around $300. If you already have a step ladder and even a small extension ladder, this will cut the start up cost down considerably.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grow Your Avon Business – 21 Tips For Fast Success

Are you interested in growing your Avon business? Becoming an Avon representative is super-easy and there are many resources to help you grow your business and meet your personal goals.

  1. Use Avon products yourself. One of the best ways to sell a product is to know everything about it. Your regular discount and demos allow you to save money and try the products yourself first.
  2. Ask your customers for product reviews. When you pass out orders, ask your customer to let you know how the products perform. This is a great way for you to learn about products so that you can offer more information to other customers.
  3. Share your products. If you work in an office, make sure you have hand lotion to share with your co-workers. I have gotten several orders just by letting others try the lotion sitting on my desk. Another Avon rep keeps extra tubes of hand cream for on-the-spot sales.
  4. Educate yourself with training. Make the most of your business by taking Avon’s online training courses. Every new representative should start here first as courses include everything from money management, to launching your business, to entering orders. Most of the classes are 30 minutes and have downloadable text sheets. You get a certificate after completion of each and special recognition for completing certain courses.
  5. Become an eRepresentative. Curious about becoming an eRep? Customers can order online and have product shipped direct to their home. There is usually a free or discounted shipping code on the website. I tell my customers that if they don’t see one, to let me know and I will get them one! Once you become an erep, you also have access to other customer management tools. You can set up an email marketing campaign to let customers know about new products or campaigns. My customers love the “little reminder” because they often include free or discount codes. 
  6. Use your network. Share your excitement about your new business and people will be excited with you. Most of your friends already are familiar with Avon products and so they will be your easiest customers. Everyone is a member of some organization or workplace. You have an extended network of soccer moms, hairdressers, delivery people, doctor’s office workers, etc.
  7. Wear Avon jewelry. I get so many compliments when I wear a new Avon necklace. Most jewelry comes in sets, like a necklace and bracelet. They are designed to compliment fashion or seasonal colors. I have had a few tell me they were not sure if a necklace would match their outfit, but with the no-hassle return guarantee they were not afraid to return it if it did not. Oh, and I haven’t had any jewelry returns, yet!
  8. Invest in great-looking business cards. Make sure your business cards look professional, even if you buy from a discount supplier. Include a customer reward program on the reverse side. I have mine printed with a “buy in five campaigns, get 20% off your sixth campaign order” coupon on the back.
  9. Share your business cards. Leave one with the tip for your waiter, hang them in the community bulletin board area at the grocery store, give to the checkout clerk at the mall, etc.
  10. Personalize your business cards. When I hand out my business cards, I write a free shipping code offer that is good on my website. I also mention the Avon Opportunity: do you want to earn extra money by becoming an Avon Representative?
  11. Order plenty of brochures. Brochures are really your “store.” They are designed well, colorful, and cheap. The photos are very clear and often show how the makeup looks on a real person. In every campaign brochure, Avon includes their famous scratch-and-sniff perfume circles.
  12. Keep brochures handy. I keep the latest campaign brochure in my purse, as well as an outlet sale flyer. I always preview the campaign brochure so I can target market: for example, I may say, have you seen the new Avon line of mineral makeup? There is a buy 1, get 1 half-price deal on page 32 for Smooth Mineral Makeup. Wow!
  13. Buy stickers for the backs of brochures. My stickers match my business cards and large print makes them easy to read. Stickers include my name, phone number, email address, and website address. Brochures, stickers and business cards are powerful sales tools!
  14. Don’t forget special offers. Everyone loves a bargain! Use your imagination to come up with catchy ideas. How about free wrapping for Mother’s Day? Birthday and anniversary reminders? BOGO – buy one get one? Recommend a friend and get 10% off your next order? Print out Avon Bucks and include in their bag when you hand out orders.
  15. Always upsell. This is a key sales tip that really works. Say your customer buys a certain fragrance; draw her attention to the lotion. Got an order for a necklace? Point out the ring on the same page. Did your customer choose a skincare product for aging skin? Make sure she knows about the eyelift cream.
  16. Attend sales meetings. Your district manager or DM will hold sales meetings every few months where you will get an opportunity to meet other representatives, see and try new products, share your successes, and discuss sales techniques. These meetings are encouraging and fun make sure you attend.
  17. Make samples and demos work for you. Attach a sample on the page of the newest brochure where the item is listed with a paper clip. Encourage your customers to try the product. Buy a demo and either use it yourself or give to a faithful customer to try.
  18. Holiday and special days. Remind your customer that holidays and special occasions tend to sneak up on us, and you have great gifts for just about anyone.
  19. Don’t forget the male customer. We tend to forget about the guys – but they have daughters home from college, wives who love to great makeup, and mothers who love to be treated to a thinking-of-you-mom gift. Avon has some great products especially for men. Check out the after-shave conditioners and the foot care line. Don’t forget about Bug Guard for camping, hunting, and working in the yard.
  20. Use the no-hassle Return Policy to close the deal. Avon promises, “If you’re not happy with any purchase, just return it for an exchange or your money back. No questions. No fuss. No problems.” Even if the makeup is opened, if the customer is unhappy Avon will give a no-stress return. You will take back the item and use e-Z Returns for a credit. No-hassle for reps, too!
  21. Grow your team. Be ready to share your success when someone asks about the Avon Opportunity. Some of your customers may tell you they are interested in earning extra money. Avon is so successful because of people like you and me who love the products and work on growing their business.

Focus on what attracted you to Avon and build strategies to communicate that to your customers. Were you already a customer who loved the skincare products? Your testimony can be a great asset to your business. Are you excited about the earning potential? Share how you met a financial target. Avon offers training, great products, customer service, and a support network to help you meet your goals. Becoming an Avon representative is a personal growth opportunity that is also lots of fun!  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

10 Reasons Why You Should Manage Your Business Ethically

Why are ethics in business so important? Isn’t it enough to comply with the letter of the law and the rules of society? What’s in it for the business enterprise?

These are all interesting questions. Many business owners feel that maximizing profits is the chief obligation of the firm. Other owners feel that operating a business in a transparent, ethical manner is also important. Both business management and business ethics are about making the right decisions. Does one have to exist to the exclusion of the other?

I think not, and here are the reasons why managing a business ethically is important:

1. It sends the right message to customers and clients. With all the choices available nowadays, who wants to do business with a shady, ethically-challenged company?

2. It sets the right example for the firm’s employees. The temptation to cut corners or behave illegally, immorally, or unethically is reduced if employees are familiar with the firm’s code of ethical conduct and the certainty of its enforcement.

3. It can make the firm a desirable place to work. Recruiting, and then keeping, high-quality employees is far less costly than managing a turnstile where people come and go in bulk quantities.

4. It establishes a prism through which a company views not just normal business dealings, but the handling of extraordinary events or crises. When all options have been considered, asking “What is the right thing to do?” ultimately becomes the basis for action.

5. It provides a clearer focus for the firm. That clear focus is found not just in the tactical day-to-day operations, but in the firm’s strategic planning, as well.

6. It helps protect the interests of the firm. Ethical behavior doesn’t always insulate a firm from lawsuits, bad publicity, or other such negative and costly conditions, but it can certainly reduce the probabilities or mitigate the damage.

7. It helps protect the interests of everyone with whom the firm comes into contact. Will suppliers become more reliable if they know they will get paid on time? Will regulatory agencies be more helpful and accommodating? Will clients be more trusting? There is an obvious higher likelihood of the foregoing answers becoming “Yes” with a company who is seen as highly ethical, than with one who is not.

8. It promotes mutual respect and integrity. This can happen both within the company and from those whom the company deals with.

9. It promotes accountability. This can occur not just within the ranks of the employees, but with the top executives and owners, as well.

10. It can yield a reputation in the marketplace that can be beneficial and sustaining. Isn’t this a desirable condition for any company? If it isn’t, it certainly should be.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 7 Principles of Business Integrity

If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t

have integrity, nothing else matters. — Alan K. Simpson

If I were to ask you what attribute is the most influential

in regard to the success of a business, would you know

immediately which one is the most important? Based on my

many years as a business owner and entrepreneur, I have

discovered that at the very top of the list is the

distinguishing quality of integrity. Without integrity at

the helm of a company, a business is usually short-lived. In

fact, when business integrity is present throughout the

deepest layers of a company and not just at its surface, it

becomes the heart and soul of the company’s culture and can

mean the difference between a company that succeeds and a

company that falters.

The Internet’s Immeasurable Impact on the Marketplace!

The importance of integrity has always existed among the

business community, but in recent times has been shown as

falling short. It is the Internet’s immeasurable impact on

the global marketplace that is now making the expression of

integrity, reliability and credibility extremely important.

Furthermore, the consequence of global competition means

that customers will simply not consider a company that shows

any less than the highest level of integrity. Since there is

a wealth of competitive companies easily available and

accessible via the Internet, there is in fact no need to

accept anything less than the best.

Where Does Integrity Start?

In an effort to build upon a foundation of integrity, the

first requirement would be to establish excellent rapport

with clients. Based on many years of study, the best and

most practiced method for achieving rapport is by way of

Relationship Marketing. Just as it sounds, Relationship

Marketing is founded on the single and most critical

characteristic, known as “Integrity.” However, achieving

true integrity with clients often leaves many an

entrepreneur bewildered, grasping for techniques and

strategies that guarantee their futures. But integrity is

not something that can be grasped and then simply used.

Integrity in its essence must be so ingrained within the

nature of an individual, its company and the team members,

that it remains steadfast no matter what. Without question,

others sense it and find it very attractive.

The True Nature of Integrity!

Now you are probably asking yourself, what is the true

nature of integrity? There are in fact some very basic

principles that surround the qualities of business

integrity. At its core, integrity begins with a company

leader who understands the qualities of integrity which then

filters down throughout the company into every department

and every member’s approach and attitude.

In recent research performed by the Institute of Business

Ethics- an organization which is among the world’s leaders

in promoting corporate ethical best practices, it was found

that companies displaying a “clear commitment to ethical

conduct” almost invariably outperform companies that do not

display ethical conduct. The Director of the Institute of

Business Ethics, Philippa Foster Black, stated: “Not only is

ethical behavior in the business world the right and

principled thing to do, but it has been proven that ethical

behavior pays off in financial returns.” These findings

deserve to be considered as an important tool for companies

striving for long-term prospects and growth.

The following 7 Principles of Business Integrity are the

basics of integrity and a good starting off place to

consider. By integrating each of these principles within a

company environment, the result will be nothing short of a

major rebirth of the enterprise.

Principle #1: Recognize that customers/clients want to do business

with a company they can trust; when trust is at the core

of a company, it is easy to recognize. Trust defined is

assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or

truth of a business.

Principle #2: For continuous improvement of a company, the leader

of an organization must be willing to open up to ideas

for betterment. Ask for opinions and feedback from

both customers and team members and your company

will continue to grow.

Principle #3: Regardless of the circumstances, do everything in your

power to gain the trust of past customer’s and clients,

particularly if something has gone awry. Do what you

can to reclaim any lost business by honoring all

commitments and obligations.

Principle #4: Re-evaluate all print materials including small business advertising, brochures and other business documents

making sure they are clear, precise and professional;

most important make sure they do not misrepresent or

misinterpret.

Principle #5: Remain involved in community-related issues and

activities thereby demonstrating that your business is a

responsible community contributor. In other words, stay

involved.

Principle #6: Take a hands-on approach in regard to accounting and

record keeping, not only as a means of gaining a better

feel for the progress of your company, but as a resource

for any “questionable ” activities; gaining control of

accounting and record keeping allows you to end any

dubious activities promptly.

Principle #7: Treat others with the utmost of respect. Regardless of

differences, positions, titles, ages, or other types of

distinctions, always treat others with professional

respect and courtesy.

While it is most certainly an integral and positive step for

a small business to recognize the significance of integrity

as a tool for achieving its desired outcomes, that is only

the beginning. What must truly be recognized for true

success is that while certain precise universal principles

lead to business integrity, it is in the overall mindset of

the company and the unfailing implementation of these key

elements that an enterprise is truly defined. A small

business that instills a deep-seated theme of integrity

within its strategies and policies will not only be evident

among customers, associates and partners, but its overall

influence cannot help but to result in a profitable,

successful company. By recognizing the value of integrity,

and following each of the aforementioned 7 principles for

achieving integrity, your success cannot be far off.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Small Business Marketing Strategy – A Blink Lesson Part 5

This is Article five of six in a series of lessons for small business marketers from Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.

Wow, what a great chapter for marketers Chapter Five in Blink is. This quote on p. 160 outlines the thoughts a great marketer (Louis Cheskin) had on packaging: “Cheskin was convinced that when people give an assessment of something they might buy in a supermarket or a department store, without realizing it, they transfer sensations or impressions that they have about the packaging of the product to the product itself. To put it another way, Cheskin believed that most of us don’t make a distinction–on an unconscious level–between the package and the product. The product is the package and the product combined.”

A key concept in this chapter is that experts are often more reliable at identifying what will work–or won’t–in the marketplace than market research based on consumer surveys. For small business marketers, then, this chapter is a must-read. You know full-well you rarely have the money for consumer surveys.

Gladwell explores the New Coke debacle and the incompleteness of the market research that led up to it. Although this is a well-known marketing mistake, Gladwell supplies his typical journalistic behind-the-scenes story, and clues us in on why the marketing information that Coke marketers used to base their decision on was flawed to begin with.

Even more fascinating is his exploration of the musician named Kenna, a person music experts agree should be a smash, but can’t get Top 40 airtime on radio because market research can’t capture the same information the experts see in a Blink.

Why? Because as Gladwell points out, the “…first impressions of experts are different…more esoteric and complex.” (p. 179). Kenna’s music is different and hard to put a specific label on, so the music market research can’t adequately measure him.

Gladwell also relates the story of the Aeron chair–a new product with a completely innovative look that even experts said would fail. But with this chair, which looked so different, people didn’t know how they themselves felt about it; Gladwell says consumers “misinterpreted their own feelings” (p. 173). Market research indicated the chair would fail, but it didn’t, because it was a great product.

What’s this chapter mean for the small business owner? Two lessons.

For one, we need to understand the limits of market research. This method is not fool-proof nor will it guarantee market success or prevent market failure.

Second, the small business owner should learn to recognize in just what areas she is expert and in what subjects she is not. In areas where you know you are an expert–where your years of experience have taught you well and you can now realize something in a blink about your industry or your industry as it relates to your customers-well on those topics it’s a safe bet that you really are an expert.

However, a key pitfall is to then think you are expert in all areas of your business. You aren’t, and even your customers aren’t. They are super-savvy purchasers, but they, too, are not always aware of why they do what they do…so, where possible, study what they do, and then find out ways to alter that behavior in your favor.

Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success.

© 2006 Marketing Hawks

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shopping Guide – How To Buy the Perfect Engagement Ring

Are you looking for just the right piece at your local jewelry store to surprise your partner? Engagement ring shopping is one of the most specialized experiences in the world, and one that almost all of us go through at some point. Buying the perfect diamond engagement rings is no easy task, especially given how individual the shopping experience can be. Don’t worry – there are plenty of resources out there to help guide you through the process, and plenty of professional jewelers in stores that you can consult for help narrowing down the right piece. Wedding pieces can be some of the most stressful and intimidating pieces to select, but they are also the single most common category of fine jewelry sold in the world, so there are plenty of people who have been in your position before. Here are some things to keep in mind while making that big purchase to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that you have an incredible piece of timeless jewelry that is as resilient and beautiful as your union.

There are many kinds of bridal diamond rings and designs that exist on the market, all with promises of traditional design values, modern values, etc. What style works for you and your partner? Have you decided whether or not you are going to buy the ring directly or in pieces? For full customization, buying loose diamonds with separate bands can help really create a unique jewelry piece that gives you the freedom to be much more selective about the completion of the finished piece. However, with so many pieces already available in store, the perfect ring could be staring at you already when you walk into the store. Consider which method would be the best for you and your partner.

Diamond jewelry, in general, is valued by the 4 C’s of diamonds – color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Having a working understanding of these concepts before you go into the store at all will help you figure out what questions to ask the jeweler as you narrow down your choices. A larger diamond is not necessarily a better diamond, after all. Keep this in mind when you see traditionally stunning diamond solitaire gold rings. While they are beautiful, make sure you have all the information on the quality of the ring and jewel itself before committing to any purchases.

Remember that this ring is an investment in your future with your soon-to-be spouse, as well as the piece itself, which will – if properly taken care of – last the length of your marriage. Be prudent about the materials, including potentially investing in a band made with allergy resistant metals if you or your soon-to-be spouse have a family history of metal allergies. Lastly, keep in mind that you and your partner absolutely have a varied taste – the right diamond bridal jewelry piece will be a perfect union of your separate aesthetic desires, representative of your new union and life as a couple.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upsurge Excitement and Adventure With Mystery Box Shopping

People love shopping. When we buy something online, we wait eagerly for the items to arrive. Imagine, we have bought something and do not have any idea of what will actually come. This doubles the eagerness and excitement. This is not imaginary but real.

The concept of mystery boxes makes it possible for us to buy a box we have no idea what it contains. It feels venturesome to buy an item that is a mystery. There are many people out there who love to take risk and mystery box is a thing that pays off taking a risk.

The mystery is countless. Actually, the mystery box concept came in the early nineties, but are becoming popular recently because of many YouTubers. Keep reading to under the concept of mystery boxes and interesting stuff related to it.

What is a Mystery Box?

The mystery box is a box you can buy online. You will receive interesting and curated products in the box. The number and type of products are not fixed. Sometimes, you get to know what it contains while you are buying, while other times its complete mystery until you receive the box.

It contains all sorts of products. The number of items and their values depends on its size. The sites that sell them make sure that is it is created with equal fairness and remain up to the value of the box. The price of the mystery box is then decided accordingly.

There are sites that let you create your own boxes and sell online. You can opt to either show the products inside it or display the items. If you do not like any of the product from the box, you can put the item for resale as well on the same site you have bought from. Although, this facility is not provided by all sites.

What does it Contain?

The types of products vary greatly. The products can be jewelry, clothes, wearables, key chains, shoes, sneakers, jackets, and all those products available for sale individually. Some boxes contains valuable items, while others have notes showering spell of luck.

There is a broad range of product one can receive in a mystery box. A new concept of the digital box is trending in the market. In it, you won’t receive any physical products, but digital assets like game coins, gift cards, product keys of software or games, and more.

Perks of Mystery Boxes

  • The excitement and adventure of not knowing what is inside the box makes you happy

  • It is a perfect gift when you are confused about what to give

  • The cost ranges from $25-$1000

  • Perfect as Christmas gift

How does it work?

  • Have a look at the collections

Browse from a range of custom curated box including brands like Balenciaga, Gucci, Supreme, Louis Vuitton, and more.

  • Select the box and add to cart

Some boxes show the content in it while others you can see when it gets delivered. Choose accordingly

  • Buy or exchange box for other collections

You can either purchase the box or exchange it with your items. Also, you can exchange your items for credits of some sites.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

10 Tips To Safe Online Shopping

The internet has changed our buying habits. Many people have found the convenience of online shopping to be a great experience. You can easily click and see the product. You have a fun time shopping, browsing, reading and getting informed about products. And you don’t have to take time out from your busy schedule to fight traffic, crowds and lines to buy the perfect gift for your recipient.

No wonder Internet business generated $301 billion in revenue last year, by a University of Texas estimate.

If you compare shopping online to offline you would think as far as security goes, it would favor offline shopping, right? Not really.

In the years past, shoppers were more reluctant to do their shopping online – now things have changed greatly. And that confidence in consumers directly reflects the enormous growth of online sales.

I have a friend who took his wife out for a romantic evening to a local restaurant. The last place you would expect credit card fraud to happen. By the time he noticed they had charged him double the amount for their dinner, it was too late to go back to the restaurant. He rang me and we concluded that it must be a mistake. It was later that we found out that the restaurant owner’s reputation was a bit shaky. Apparently he frequently overcharged customers in the hope they wouldn’t notice.

I don’t know. It’s a funny world we live in.

Does this mean the internet is safe? Relatively yes, but don’t forget, the Internet is an open field and there are some bad elements out there.

We have been shopping online for years. We never had a problem with credit card fraud on the Internet. But then again, we always take precautions. From this point forward, you will see 10 checkpoints online merchants have to pass to secure our business…

Will your credit card details be safe?

Reputable companies online know that one of the things preventing customers from placing orders with them is customers not been sure whether their credit card details will be safe. Responsible companies have taken this concern onboard and have set up their systems to provide the customer with maximum security.

How would you know if you are entering your payment details on a secure page?

You should see a picture of a lock on the bottom right hand side of your screen. This lock will appear on the page that you fill in when ordering and ensures that your name, address and credit card information is being sent to the online store through encrypted code. This encrypted code means that a hacker will not be able to steal your credit card information.

Does the online store value your privacy and confidentiality?

Prior to the internet days, when I used to order something from a mail order company, mysteriously I would be sent advertising from companies that I hadn’t done business with. Back then I didn’t know that companies sold your personal information for advertising purposes to other companies.

Receiving junk mail was annoying but because of the cost involved, it didn’t happen constantly. Imagine now if you do business online with a company that doesn’t respect your privacy and sells your email address.

Next time you open your email software, you are bombarded with emails ranging from a dozen to hundreds. Now that’s not annoying – it’s intolerable.

So moral of the story here, make sure your email address won’t be sold. Ensure the online store has a privacy statement which would state they will maintain your personal details in the strictest privacy and confidentiality.

Does the online store have contact details?

You may think, of course an online store would display their contact details on their website. You would be surprised. I was. No email address, nothing. This is a sure red flag.

Reputable companies will have contact details.

Do they have a refund policy?

Offline stores have a refund policy and you go into the store, physically select the product and are then allowed to return it for whatever reason. If a refund policy is important in offline stores, it’s twice as important for online stores.

The internet in convenience surpasses the offline world when it comes to shopping – but one thing it can’t match is that offline you can physically touch the product. Therefore a refund policy of 30 days is great, more is better. No refund policy and I would stay away.

Do they send you some sort of confirmation when you place your order?

When you place your order what you need is something to tell you they have receive it, a receipt if you like.

A reputable company will either issue you one via email or display a new page of their website where they thank you and tell you the order went through okay and your product is on its way.

When do they deliver?

What times do they deliver during the day? Do they deliver on the weekends? Can you choose a time to have your gift delivered? Will it be delivered personally to the recipient intended or will the courier leave it outside their door?

How will your gift arrive?

If its flowers, will it come with a vase or in a nice box or wrapped? Will your bouquet contain flower care instructions? How about flower food to make your flowers last longer?

If you’ve ordered another gift product, will they wrap it? In what kind of material will they deliver it? Do they tell you these things on their website?

How long have they been in business?

This may not mean too much. There are companies that start off and surpass all others. But perhaps for your peace of mind, you may want to use an online store that has been in business for some years. To check the history of the company is easy.

You can go to networksolutions.com and click on “whois” on the top bar. You will be taken to a page where you can enter the web address of the online store you want to check and you will receive the relevant information.

Is the online store’s site easy to use?

Is navigating easy? Is looking for products easy? Do their graphics download in a reasonable time? A sure sign of an amateur sight is if they have their website cluttered with information.

Have they gotten any bad reviews?

A reputable company isn’t necessary one that hasn’t any bad reviews to its name. It’s virtually impossible to please everyone.

There have been companies I have bought from and absolutely loved. So it surprises me sometimes when I stumble on a bad review about their products or even bad comments about them.

So when is a bad comment about a company worth considering? I take note of reviews where the writer complains of:

  • not receiving the product
  • not receiving a refund
  • not having their emails answered

If you want to see what kind of reviews a company may have, click on alexa.com. When you get to the website, type in the address of the store you want to check out. This will also show you how long the company has been in business.

Online shopping is fun. Take a little care and make it an experience! Happy shopping!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Factors Affecting the Production of Paper Shopping Bags

Paper shopping bags have become immensely popular these days. Available in a wide array of colors, styles, and designs, paper shopping bags have become a huge hit among shoppers from all walks of life. In this article, we’ll discuss the major factors that influence the production of paper shopping bags.

Energy and natural resources:

It is evident that manufacturing a plastic bag is easier than producing a paper bag. Usually, it takes more than four times energy than to make a paper bag than to a plastic bag. It is widely accepted that paper comes from tree pulp. Thus, manufacturing of paper is directly related with the reducing tress in forests. According to published news stories, in 1999, about 14 million trees were cut to produce about 10 billion paper grocery bags used only the American citizens in that particular year.

Pollution:

Usually, for making the Kraft paper, wood chips are used to heat under pressure at high temperatures in a chemical solution. Millions of gallons usually pour into the waterways to cause water pollution and burning of wood chips may add up to the air pollution.

Recycling:

In comparison to recycling of paper than the recycling of plastic is easier and takes less time as well. It takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than to a pound of paper. Also, the recycling rates are very low and the output is usually ranges from 10 to 15% of paper bags than to 1 to 3% of recycled plastic bags.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Undergarments Shopping

When shopping for undergarments, people have to be extra careful. They should make sure that the items they choose fit comfortably and suit the clothes they wear. An undergarment, as its name suggests, is worn underneath clothing, so it is not visible to others. Even if this is so, it can greatly affect how the wearer feels and looks. Therefore, one of the factors to consider when choosing undergarments is the material or fabric it is made from. This is especially important in some climates.

Perhaps the main advantage of online undergarments shopping is the convenience it gives. It saves the time and trouble of going to different shops and falling in line to pay for the product. It would definitely be easier to shop online by browsing a number of websites to check the available products, compare prices, place an order and finally, pay over the Internet. On the other hand, the major disadvantage of online undergarments shopping is the possibility that the items won’t fit. This can be a problem with online shops that use a “no return, no exchange” policy.

If a store does not accept returns, it makes no difference if the purchase has been made online or in person. Once people buy from retail shops and they are contended with their purchase, it can be an advantage to buy the underwear online, since it is more likely to fit. Some shops accept returns on undergarments that still have their tags attached to them. Therefore, making online purchases of underwear on these sites can definitely be an advantage, even if they are not the same brand.

One more advantage of online undergarments shopping is the possibility of searching not only local shops, but stores from the entire country, as well. Shopping locally will only allow consumers to visit a few stores in person, while shopping online gives them a wide range of choices, in terms of style and color. This is particularly helpful for those who live far from urban areas. One of the disadvantages of making online purchases is the probability of experiencing poor service or not getting the ordered item on the expected date. These potential risks, however, can be prevented by purchasing from reputable online shops and from those recommended by family and friends.

Undergarments that are sold online usually have accurate and detailed descriptions. A disadvantage to this is the fact that the items for sale are not tangible. These online sites do not show all the different colors or pattern options in their online catalog. Another disadvantage of making an online purchase of underwear is the time you have to wait for the delivery.

The last disadvantage of purchasing underwear online is the shipping charge. However, since these items are lightweight, the shipping may not cost too much. Come to think of it, the amount of money that consumers spend when shopping from different local stores can just be as much as paying the costs of shipping, when it comes to transportation and fuel costs. They can, however, save these additional charges by buying from sites that provide free shipping. This is another advantage of online undergarments shopping.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment