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Old 22nd February 2012, 02:36 PM   #1
Inspiredtb
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Default Please View And Critique My Web Site

Hey guys,

I just created an online only consignment web site about one and a half months ago and finally made our first sale yesterday.

I would really like if someone can take a look at the web site and offer me some feedback as to how I can make it more attractive to generate more sales.

http://www.inspiredtobuy.com/

Thank you guys very much.
Joel

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Old 23rd February 2012, 01:39 AM   #2
ringahding
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First of all I would completely set my site up. You have a ton of pages not fully optimized. Your blog is not set up. Keywords are not evident. Start commenting on blogs and forums related to your niche. This should keep you busy forever.

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Old 24th February 2012, 02:18 PM   #3
Inspiredtb
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Thank you very much ringahding,

I realize that I have a lot to learn about blogging and tweeting and I'm looking at other forums to join as per your advise.

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Old 25th February 2012, 10:46 AM   #4
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I like the site - as soon as it loaded my eyes went DIRECTLY to the featured products, then to the categories on the right, which is good! Everything looks quite professional, which will help gain trust with your visitors.

1) Your top CATALOG link goes nowhere...
2) Your contact us page is pretty plain - maybe use Google Apps to run your email and get rid of the MSN email address - not pro! Add a physical address, corporate information and a contact us form.
3) Either hide your blog until it actually has posts, or get posting! An empty page makes it look unestablished as mentioned in the other reply.
4) On product pages, maybe consider a related items box instead of the frontpage box? You could use tagging for relevancy if your CMS doesn't have an automatic feature. You want to avoid loosing visitors and keeping them looking at other items. Having to click back to the beginning of the category will loose interest in buyers :/
5) The photos are too dark I think - even though your design is good and it draws attention to them, they could be better with better lighting. The fact that you ask people to send in photos taken against a black background is going to be a tough selling feature - most people don't necessarily have something to use as a black background, and don't have a camera or lighting rig set up to meter exposure properly on something with a black background (hence rough photos). I understand you want it so it stands out, but hten you need a lightbox so the articles contrast the black background which isn't something that's happening right now and it's definitely not something you can expect your visitors to set up and do.......

Hope this info helps!

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Old 27th February 2012, 09:05 AM   #5
Inspiredtb
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Codyloco,

At the end of your Critique of my web site you stated that you hope it helps.
I can't say thank you enough. Your advise is a big help. I'm glad I joined this forum and I will recommend it to others.

You mentioned that my catalog goes nowhere; I don't understand that statement because if you were to move your mouse over the catalog, you will see a pull list of all the product catalogs I have so far.

I will look into updating my contact us category as per your advice.

I am in the middle of populating my blog page as per your advice.

Concerning having a related box instead of the frontpage box, I'll see what I can do. My website is a shopify website and I used one of their templates to create my site.

Concerning photos, I'm getting mixed reviews about them being too dark. Some like the way they are and other like yourself think that they are a bit too dark. I will be getting more advise about my photos from a good friend who is a very good photographer.

Concerning having people send me pictures of their items, I'm rethinking that concept because another friend of mine mentioned that how would I know for sure that the items sent to me via photos are the actual items that the customer is purchasing? I also saw that another online consignment store was requesting that the owners send the physical item to them for listing.

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Old 27th February 2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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The actual CATALOG link itself, from where the rest of the links drop down, is a link but it goes to a 404 page. Hope you understand what i mean by that?

The dark photos are nice, BUT the items themselves need to be properly lit so it can contrast with the black background. As it stands the items fade into the background and make it hard to see. If you want a black background, you'd have to take the photos yourself and set up a mini studio with a matte (not shiny or reflective) background and a couple difuse lights. You can get a cheap lighting kit on the internet for this - or make your own with by shining a cool white bulb thru a difusing paper (basically make your own umbrellas)... It doesn't need to be perfect studio quality, but right now the photos definitely don't attract any attention.

With regards to the consignment, I would probably suggest you start a small warehouse and hold everything you are selling and deal with the shipping / etc and if the item sells then pay the item owner his cut... Otherwise, why wouldn't users just use eBay if they are gonna sell it from home?



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Old 27th February 2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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With regard to the catalog link I think that you are clicking on the word catalog.
If you just hover your mouse over the catalog link, a drop down menu will appear. You can then scroll down to the desired category. Let me know if you're still getting the same error message.

I'm working on setting up one of our spear bedrooms as a studio and will do just like you suggested.

I already have a storage room in my house and the items I've listed all come from close friends in my area. Right now I don't think I'll have a shortage of items to list. I'm targeting the people who don't want to or have the time to post on ebay or list on Craigslist.

I really appreciate your feedback.
Thank you very much.

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Old 20th March 2012, 09:53 AM   #8
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I agree with CodyLoco. I understand that the catalog is a drop down menu, but you cant explain it to all your visitors and will have them clicking on it. You should either a.) Disable it as a link or b.) Make it link to a page with a list of the categories. That aside I actually recommend taking pictures of the items outside. The natural light gives you bright light source from all different directions and the colors will be more true to the actual item. That is what I do whenever Ive had to sell things online and it really helps.

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Old 21st March 2012, 09:52 AM   #9
Inspiredtb
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Hey Printnstyle,
Thank you very for your feedback. Fortunately I was able to fix the catalog drop down menu so I won't have to do any more explaining. The guys at Shopify are great.
Another friend of mine told me that there is something called a light box that would enable me to take better pictures against black backgrounds with even lighting. Have you heard of or used such a thing?

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Old 21st March 2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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Here are some resources on how to build your own inexpensive light box:

http://www.digital-photography-schoo...ive-light-tent

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Ine...raphy-Lightbox

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK4VVGWmMUs

If you prefer to purchase something ready-made, just search on "photography light box" and you'll find a bunch of alternatives.

These show photography on a white background. That's actually what you'll probably want to do (easier to get even lighting), then use your photo editing software to isolate the product item and place it on whatever color background you want. (Or just start using a white background for your photos. That will right away eliminate most of the issues with people saying they appear "too dark." )

--Torka

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