Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Shopaholic Chick interview

Amy Marie’s shop is called shopaholicchick:

1. What drew you to opening an online store? Were you in a related field?

I have a friend who had a store on CafePress - and I was always giving her ideas for shirts - she finally convinced me (after I got cable modem) to do it myself.
My mother is an art teacher and I have always been a creative person. Right now I am a full time student studying history & education to be a history teacher. I do not have much time or money so this is perfect. I can upload my designs with what little time I have (usually between 11pm-2am) and just let the store run itself!!!

2. When did you open your store?

Thanksgiving break 2005 the first design I put up sold within the first 24 hours - since then I have been hooked!!!

3. What is harder about doing this then you thought it would be?

Finding the time to upload the images, tag them, put descriptions on them and load them onto the product lines. One night I made 600 designs in 3 hours, but it took me 5 weeks to get them all onto my store!!

4. What do you like best about being an online shopkeeper?

Making money without doing any work. For the last 4 weeks I have been swamped with papers and finals - and I have made close to $200 - without any promotion or doing anything

5. During the very first month, what do you wish you had known then that you do now?

Volume bonus program, how many search engines there were to submit to, places to get free classified ads like Craigslist, and that I had to put good wordy descriptions on my products if I wanted google to find me. It is hard to go back and put descriptions on things.

6. Could you share some of the marketing you’ve tried so far (on or off line) and what has worked and what hasn’t?

Advertising on Craigslist works well. I am doing ok on hits from Definitely put good wordy descriptions on every product and if the whole line of products is similar put different words on them so you get more hits on search engines
Most of all I carry either business cards or post it notes with my business info on it - and wear your product!!! I have been stopped while walking thru the mall before and people asked where I got my shirt so I gave them my card - or a post it note with my web address on it - and told them the shirts are hand designed by me and that I am a starving student!!!! At least once within 24 hours I sold that same shirt I was wearing to someone in my home state so I believe it worked!!!
Coming this fall I will be printing shirts for my school’s history club as a private sale. I will donate the shirts to them with my web address on them for advertisement!!!!
I also have links on my aol and yahoo screenname profiles, I log my name into chat rooms on yahoo and aol and just leave them there while I do housework and so forth: people see my profile, check my store and buy!!!
I also post to message boards with my link in my signature
For Christmas last year I gave away journals from my store to everyone with my business card tucked inside!!!
I have an affiliate banners area on my store with the code there to go with it - this way anyone who wants to affiliate can just grab the code copy, paste it, add their PID and they are good to go!!!!
I have 3 MySpace accounts; 2 solely to advertise my store. I randomly add people to my friends list on them and send out weekly bulletins letting them know new products or when CafePress is having a sale!!

7. What other sites, blogs, etc. do you have if any? (this one is for real friends only) - a profile for a fan of my store to advertise my store - anyone can add this one as a friend!!!! specifically my store profile with links to other stores - anyone can add this one as a friend!!! everyone is welcome to join my webring I just started it at the end of April so it is still small, but growing fast I hope!!!!

I also use classifieds

Nancy’s comments - I got a little breathless reading all Amy does for marketing!! I told her that I thought I tried a lot, but she runs circles around me! I thank her for sharing her ideas and sites with us!

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