Originally, we were going to use Amazon for product links, but now our means of making an “advertising fee” is going away by July 24th. In researching various other places to buy from, we see a lot of variation in product ads, and difficulty in implementing some “aggregator” systems because the links they want to give us don’t fit the spaces that we want to provide for them. Some places take days to reply to even to the simplest of questions, and we don’t have that kind of time!
Also, through these “aggregators” (ad agencies that handle the affiliate links for the individual suppliers), we still have to apply to each store. Sometimes we get accepted immediately, and some declined immediately. Others take several days (or longer) to even get back to us. Again, we don’t have that kind of time!
The third issue is that we picked just one random product to use as an example. It was available from one of the suppliers that accepted us into their program immediately. I researched that particular product and found that the price was right, but the reviews on the product on other sites said that one of the components of the product was too light, and did not perform up to its advertising hype! I assure you, that’s NOT the kind of quality that we want to provide for our customers! I am very particular about the products we provide, and I don’t want to provide a bunch of imported junk to my customers just because it’s cheap! There has to be a good balance between quality and price.
And speaking of price, we saw one site that advertised this same $7 product for over $63! I don’t know if it was a typo, or whether they only “hoped” to sell one at that price, but all I can say to them is “Good luck with that!”
We have been in online sales for twelve years and built three different product lines to the largest in the world. We did that by providing quality products with the best shipping rates we could provide, backed by quality customer service. We do NOT settle for suppliers taking days to get back to us, or charging too much, and we do NOT accept their inferior products just because they are the only supplier we could set up an account with on short notice!
But the reality for now is that we are under a tremendous time crunch, we DO have the Amazon links, and we need to have “something” available online for those wanting to build their minivan camper conversion. We have to provide the products they need, even if we make absolutely nothing from selling them. As we have time, we will check the reviews on all of these products, as well as many new ones, and narrow our offerings down to the BEST product of each type. As we find those products from other suppliers, we will gradually change out the links to those products.
We also have to see about having the components manufactured for our specially designed couch/bed platform with a recliner built in. There is also the cabinet that goes behind the front seat to be built yet.
Let’s face it, this is a new site, and it will have some growing pains for the first year. We know it is very “simple” right now, lacks important content, and many other things. We still don’t have analytics installed on it yet, nor do we have any meta-tags installed. But it is functional, and people can buy the Amazon products. Little by little, we will make the site better, and make it something that people will WANT to come to for all kinds of information in regards to traveling for less, and doing it more safely.
We have to finish editing the full version of the book yet, to make it available online. We know there will be people wanting it. So we are shifting focus to that right now, and will come back to the products later, when we will have more time to work on them.
I have to say, I don’t like having to go through these “aggregators” to be able to carry a store’s products. I will continue to search for suitable individual suppliers for all of the products we want to recommend, and will also be searching the reviews for all of those products to assure our customers that we only recommend quality products.
Thanks for being patient!