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transNETNews Letter

A Newsletter by SAM about using your website.



  1. The Buying Online Experience
  2. 2009-12-08 16:10:01

    In this down economy and the big merchants stays big and the little merchants struggle, it is good to patronize the small merchant. The small merchant on the web usually specializes in something often not offered by the bigger online merchants. I encourage buying from the small merchant websites. Here are some tips to being safe when buying from the small merchant.
    Make sure they have a return policy.
    Call them and ask them a question to see about their response to a call. Also, to see if they are there. I would not buy from them if you are satisfied with their response.
    Email them too for a response.
    Questions to ask:

    • Do they store your credit card number online.
    • Do they store anything from the order.
    • If they do store your credit card number. Tell them you do not want them to store it. Can you avoid it.
    • What do they use for the transaction, paypal or something else.

    If it is paypal, it is safe. Many others are too. It is good to do a little research to see how safe. I do not mind when a website takes me to a third party for a transaction. The third party is all about security for credit cards like It is good when a website does not try to pretend to be big. The only other thing you want to make sure about a small company is that they fill the orders they receive. Talking to them on the phone lets you know they are there. Some website stay up when they merchants have gone. Once you are sure the merchant is good, you will have a good shopping experience.

  3. Check Your Online Purchase
  4. 2010-01-14 09:44:39

    It is so easy to buy on the Internet. One suggestion that I always make is to check your destination of your purchase when buying on the Internet. Unfortunately, we bought one gift this year that never made it. We kept checking and it was a major store that never got back to us and the gift was never sent because they didnít have one to send. Three days after Christmas we finally called the store and they said to call in three more days, because they had to track one down. After three more days passed the company was able to track another gift down and send it late. Here it is way past the New Year and it still has not arrived at its destination. We ordered this gift on Dec 15. It was a good thing we checked on it. By Jan 13 we cancelled the order. It was going to get there and their customer service didn't know what was going on.

    Another time I sent a gift basket to a family in Central America. It also never arrived yet the money was charged to my account. I called the company and they said it was impossible to get it to this country because of customs.

    They too, never notified us but kept our money. We finally got a credit to our account. Unfortunately, many of us learn the hard way to make sure to check a packages tracking and make sure it arrives at its appropriate destination and on time.

  5. Your Unique Cart
  6. 2010-02-10 14:45:37

    Selling items on your website is always a unique experience. Most canned shopping carts appeal to a generic item, gifts for example, sold with a repeat performance and a constant price. Most shopping carts are set up for price changes and item changes. However, the canned-cart doesnít allow for all the features one might need. To just say to your programmer, ďI want a shopping cart and I want to take credit cards online,Ē can get you into a place you may not want to be. Today, most programmers do not want to build or write code for something that has already been done. Why reinvent the wheel? If it were a only a wheel you needed then that would be fine, but there are certain things you need to look for when building your site with a shopping cart. Before you jump into the online sale donít let your programmer put you at risk or create a site that is obsolete in a few years. It is best to let yourself experience online shopping for yourself, especially with products that are similar to your own products. This will help you in two ways:

    1. Give you insight as to how the shopping cart should perform.
    2. How you can make it better or more efficient for your user.

    An efficient and friendly site always brings a customer back. I recommend that you write out the way you want your desired process to work, and if at all possible, pay attention to the details that you think your customer will appreciate. A few things to consider are a particular way you want to sign the receipt, following up with the customer the day after the order, or even follow up after the order has been filled to let them know where the purchased product is. This can be a little more work for you, but it could save you money and your developer time.

    When setting up your merchant account for your online product your merchant service will ask you if you need a shopping cart. Discuss this with your developer before agreeing to anything. Your merchant service can end up having you pay for an extra charge every month that could be avoided for a shopping cart that doesnít fit.

  7. Why a Custom Shopping Cart
  8. 2010-03-01 10:07:19

    There are many items that donít require customizing when selling on the Internet but too often the need for customizing isnít considered when a merchant requests a shopping cart. The first response to the need for a shopping cart is a canned one. That is, one that has already been created as a package and adapted to the needs of the merchant. Letís make an analogy. Supposing you have to move to Phoenix and you need to rent a house. You talk to someone and you tell them you need a house and it needs to have three bedrooms, two baths and a certain area. You put your money down and move. You forgot to mention you have a dog and you need a backyard. He also thought you would like a spa but you have little use for it since you have small kids and will have to close it off so they donít fall in. The point is you, missed the details. It is better when you take a clear assessment of what you need and make sure you get it.

    When building your site any research you do to define what you want your
    shopping cart to do will save you in the long run. Suppose you are selling large items that you do not want shipped overseas, does your shopping cart allow you to be specific and not take orders where you do not want to send them. Suppose you sell freshly baked cakes and only want to deliver in your area and you want to calculate the distance. Suppose you need to get real specific as well. This is something most shopping carts donít do. Suppose you want clients who order very large orders to get a discount on those large orders as
    well. Or you would like to give your club a special discount without having to
    send them a refund. Developers often use the canned carts like VirtueMart, X-Cart, Zen Cart, or PayPal's shopping cart.

    You might consider building your own custom to your needs. It is not that complicated and the results are your own. Contact us and we can talk about your needs. contact


  1. The Buying Online Experience
  2. Check Your Online Purchase
  3. Your Unique Cart
  4. Why a Custom Shopping Cart

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