The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Our foray into the unseemly world of internet marketing: Part I

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:08 pm on Friday, October 12, 2012

Some time ago ( without going into too many personal details)  Mr Chick made this ITEM that we shared with our friends and family.  Everybody liked it and asked for more.  Many of them said ” Mr Chick,  you should sell this!”  So he made more of this item and started to actually sell it to people.  It went over pretty well and with little help from Pharmacy Chick herself ( I am no salesman) he sold about nine thousand bucks worth of ITEM.  Then one day somebody approached Mr C and told him he could make ” real” money by selling it on the internet.  ” do you wanna make lunch money or REAL money”  Mr C thought it might be nice.  He knows I hate my job most of the time and gets stressed when he sees me so stressed about work.  He wants to find a way for me to quit. Perhaps this could be it…..

Pharmacy Chick wasn’t quite so excited about it.

Granted, this guy  has made millions in internet sales.  He has 2 huge houses in sunny climates.  Whats not to like?  Well, first off, everybody wanted money…and more than I wanted to spend.  Money to build a website. Money to integrate the billing, money to hire affiliates to market ITEM ( IE banner ads and what I would call Spam emails)  and then  money for every customer sent to the website that actually buys it…money to have access to a site to shows “clicks” ( wtf?)..on and on.  But more importantly,  Mr MoneyBags wanted to market our product in a form most commonly seen in questionable supplements, penile enlargement pills, and junk like that:  ” get a free trial, and if you keep it, you are charged an enrollment fee then you are sent ITEM once monthly for X number of months.

Personally, I never buy stuff like that.  I was afraid that we would get nothing but trash trying to  steal our product under the guise of ” free trial”.  My concerns were voiced but not taken very seriously.  After all Mr money bags asked again..” do you want REAL MONEY or lunch money”. I didn’t even tell our friends about the site to be launched.

Thus began a 10 month money pit fiasco. For starters, web design and integration can be a pretty unseemly group.  Promises were made and money was collected. Deadlines came and went and  about the only thing forthcoming from Mr Web Designer was excuses.  He got canned and Mr MoneyBags hired WebDesigner II to finish what WebDesignerI couldn’t finish.  WD II didn’t do much better than WDI did as far as  getting the integration with the bank working.  About the only thing HE was good at was debiting our account for his fee.  THAT went off flawlessly.

WD II finally announced that all his work was complete and all the testing was done.  Ready..set..go!   ( you know that feeling of doom you get when you just KNOW something is going to fail?..yea..thats me)  The site looked like the typical cheesy site. I never liked it.  Even Mr Chick, didn’t LOVE it,  but again..Mr Money Bags said it was perfect.   I asked  ” ARE YOU SURE EVERYTHING WORKS?’  ….” but of course”…

So finally 9 and 1/2 months after ITEM was supposed to launch…it finally launched.   I guess the adage is true that some people with buy anything if they think they  might get it for free.   The question is:  do you really want THAT kind of people?

The answer I will tell you:  NO

To make a long story short: 1) No, everything DIDNT work.  Orders for the “free trial” came in and half of them never passed thru the bank…they were declined so obviously they were probably stolen or maxed out credit cards.  2)  Of those that actually worked, the processor didnt’ collect really important information like, Oh, I dunno, the FRIGGIN ADDRESS…so I could mail ITEM out.3)  It also failed to start the clock on the ” free trial”.  I guess WDII forgot that ” free trial” meant  ” TRIAL..”  not  just FREE… and 4) since I wasn’t immediately aware of these failures, we mailed out a lot of ITEM that ended up free.  Nice.  NOT….so….much.

Frantic calls to MoneyBags were met with concern and promises that WDII would handle it immediately.  I guess ” immediately” has a different definition than whats in the dictionary.  Every order that came in we had to ” cancel” with an email telling them that there was an error in processing.  This, of course, made us look stupid.

Several days later they announced that it was indeed fixed…and by all appearances it was.  We started processing orders again, but I had this funny feeling that this was going to be a complete failure.  I’d finish work, get home at 930 pm to find 20 internet orders to process.  They had to be shipped in 24 hours so I went from ONE job to another, working at home til midnight.

Pretty soon, it became obvious that the people who buy stuff from banner ads and spam emails arent likely the people you really want to be your customers.

to be continued.

6 Comments »

Comment by Justin

October 13, 2012 @ 2:48 am

PC, sounds like you should ditch Mr Moneybags and go out on your own. You should look at a Kickstarter campaign to raise some capital, then hire a “real” designer (ask for references) to set things up. If it’s worth it, it will sell all on its own. You can also sell through Amazon.com as a third party seller, and it won’t cost you nearly as much in heartache as this guy is charging 🙂

Comment by Jade

October 13, 2012 @ 11:05 am

Wow. Thanks for telling like it is.

Comment by Crazy RxMan

October 13, 2012 @ 11:09 am

I used to sell handmade items on eBay years ago. I spent lots of time photographing each item and preparing nice little ads explaining the details of how each item was made and the extensive work involved. I used as much automation as possible, but it still took many hours to list items and then many more hours to pack and ship.

It was a lot of work and I made eBay a lot of money. LOL!!

Comment by Steph

October 14, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

Is the ITEM something you could sell on Amazon or Etsy? They do take a little bit of a fee for each item sold, but I feel like that would save you a lot of headache.

Comment by Jon

October 15, 2012 @ 10:08 am

I really hate it when other people make me look stupid. I can do a perfectly adequate job of that without help. It sounds like a long and hard battle so far. I agree. me too

Comment by Klee

October 20, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to sell items online… more and more people are trying to sell the same things, so it’s hard for the consumer to get enthusiastic about something they’ve seen numerous times before(unless it’s free.)

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