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Need some constructive help

Topic closed. 17 replies. Last post 12 years ago by BobP.

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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23352 Posts
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Posted: September 29, 2004, 10:37 pm - IP Logged

I just checked my sales reports for the LP gift shop, and disturbingly there are practically no sales.  I'm really scratching my head on this, because with all the regular visitors here every day, and frankly a lot of people saying this is their favorite web site, I would think there would be at least a few buyers.

For me personally, if I'm really into something, and it's a part of my everyday life, then I would (and have) bought things that "tout" my interests (as well as providing financial support to the organization).  Whether it's buying a Yankees hat because they're my favorite team, or a Corvette Forum shirt because I love their web site, I've always bought things like that.

The reason I am posting this message is to find out why there appears to be zero interest in the LP items/gift shop.  Even people who previously said that they were looking forward to buying some stuff never did.

Although I can't figure it out, I tried to come up with some possible reasons.  The only things I could come up with are:


  • Prices too high

  • People don't like to buy things like this in general

  • People don't like the merchandise offered

Let me just say right now that if you don't have something constructive to say here, then please don't say anything.  I am only looking for responses from people who have looked at the store and decided not to buy anything.

Or, if you didn't know the store was there, I would be interested in knowing that too.

It would help everyone (including yourself) if you could add a reply and let me know your thoughts.  I did not make this a poll because I am looking for thoughtful answers, and not just one canned answer.

This has me somewhat bummed, so I'd like to understand why.

Thanks!

 

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    San Diego
    United States
    Member #4520
    May 1, 2004
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    Posted: September 29, 2004, 11:16 pm - IP Logged

    I have come to this site  for the information it provides for about 5 months now. I remember checking into the shop ONE TIME, looked around, found advertising-type stuff, decided that I don't want such things, and never went back. Actually, I completely forgot about it being there. It's not real obvious and not obtrusive, so it does not get into your way. I have a pet peeve with advertising. When I need a hat, I hate it that every hat in every  store has some logo on it.  I do not want  to pay $15 for a hat so I can be an Adidas billboard. They should pay ME for that.

    Regarding your comment about sponsoring things -- I don't think people naturally sponsor anything unless there is something in it for them. They may like the site very much, really believe in it, but not buy a hat for it. The two just don't work together.

      Lottery_Analyst's avatar - Batman
      Georgia
      United States
      Member #1039
      January 15, 2003
      260 Posts
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      Posted: September 29, 2004, 11:30 pm - IP Logged

      Todd,

      For me personally, the prices are too high.  I don't wear hats and I would not pay more than $10.00 for a T-Shirt.  You can usually get them much cheaper than that if you look on the sale or clearance rack at your local Department or value store.

      But, I think you have a great website and I want to support it  So, I will purchase your Tile Coaster, one because it is reasonably priced, and two, it is really the only thing currently in the gift shop that I could use.  I can set my glass of Pepsi there while I surf The Post.  I get paid Friday so I will purchase it this week end.

      Hope that helps.

      Thanks,

      John - LA

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
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        Posted: September 29, 2004, 11:43 pm - IP Logged

        Dragon,  thank you for your honest answer.  I guess we just look at the concept of advertising differently.  For example, when I wear a Yankees shirt, I consider it a "badge of honor", rather than advertising for the team.  Also, since Lottery Post is a free site, I don't really see it as an advertisement, I look at it as more of a fan thing.  I respect your opinion, and it confrims one of possible reasons that I had come up with.

        LA,  I thought there would be some people who felt the prices were too high, so that kind of confirms it.  Since I don't make & sell thousands of shirts, I don't have the clout to get big price breaks, and I have to rely on services like Cafe Press to package everything together for me.  That adds a few extra bucks for every shirt, mug, etc.  If you're going to buy a coaster, that's terrific, but I hope my message above didn't come across as begging for people to buy things.  That's definitely not my intention.  This message was started because of my surprise that people have not had any desire to buy anything, like a fan would.

         

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          United States
          Member #89
          January 18, 2002
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          Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:07 am - IP Logged

          Hello Todd,

          yes, you need some thoughts to make a go in the gift shop department. For starters, I am associated with the "Big Three" automakers. They each have much the same items for sale and then some with their logos or union items with their logos also. The difference that I see is: they have a unity associated with their products and the people see one another on a daily basis and they work day in and day out with the product. This website is great but it is still a loose association of mostly 'unseen faces.' The psychology behind the company wares being sold is an "in your face daily" program plus human intervention or face to face sales. The one way that I can see out of this delimma is some kind of gimmick that will give something for nothing when an item is up for grabs. You don't have to give away the store but there is a need for the ego to be recognized in a way that will draw more people to this area. Perhaps with the gimmick, you could open this website starting by having to go thru the gift shop to access the forum rather than having it ignored as a come in if you want to setup. I personally, don't like pushy sales people so just let them periferally browse as they access the forum. Your prices are comparably in the like price area, I don't find this troubling at all.

          Hope that the insite helps,

          Teufellj...

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
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            May 31, 2000
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            Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:17 am - IP Logged

            Teufellj,

            if I'm reading this correctly, you're basically saying that people don't buy anything because it's not being advertised enough or effectively enough.  Perhaps you're right.  I always thought that people would be appreciative if I didn't put a lot of advertisements out there, and that appreciativeness would encourage people to support the site.  But there's a very good chance that I'm just too optomistic of a person, and that I should be doing more advertising.  Definitely something I should consider.

            Thanks very much for the comments!

             

            Check the State Lottery Report Card
            What grade did your lottery earn?

             

            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
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              San Diego
              United States
              Member #4520
              May 1, 2004
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              Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:17 am - IP Logged

              Todd, I think I know where the trouble is: It's not how we view advertising, you or I. There is also a difference  between Nike and Adidas, and the badge of honor for a ball team. Adidas does not deserve my endorsement, so I am not going to buy their hat. Harley Davidson, Jack Daniels and Corvette are icons, they convey another type of feeling, freedom, etc. So people will wear those shirts. Lottery Post is not in that league (yet). I do not know the statistics you your visitors, but I would guess that the majority of the people coming in are browsers that come, look around, find interesting stuff, and often never come back. There are those of us that for some reason or other are "addicted" to coming here. We're the regulars. I come about once a day for something or other, because I learn a tidbid or two. You must know how many of your users are such regulars, I am sure you can create statistics on it. But I would say the number is probably quite small compared to the number of  registered users (over 7000 last time I noticed). Your regulars come, go where they are interested and leave. I would not think about looking in the gift shop.  It's the "visitors" that you should attract, that (I would think) make up the volume, and therefore would have the money.

              I did some soul searching just now and wondered if I would pay if I HAD TO sign up to get in. All memberships cost something -- would I pay? Would it it be worth it? I haven't signed up for premium, because the incremental value isn't enough to make a difference to me. Also, I don't by Hotmail for $19.99 because I only need room for about 20 messages.

              People are going to hate me for this, because here is  my soul search results: I just decided I would pay $12 a year (a dollar a month) to come here for a "standard" membership. It would be worth it to me. I don't care for the hat or the T-shirt. But the value of what I am getting by coming here is sufficient. But I am not paying, because you're not asking.

              Here is  the trouble: You can't charge because nobody would ever come in and visit in the first place. So you can only charge when people want to start participating and posting. Perhaps you can  get away with giving access for free for 30 days, and then charge $12 a year. I would pay. Forget  the gift shop. It's not working. Try something else.

              Finally, I think you should advertise more. You have enough traction to attract advertisers. You should have ads with lottery related goods: books, programs (guru and apogeas should pay to hang around here), systems, etc. We buy this stuff, but we go elsewhere to do it, amazon.com, other places. Don't be ashamed about advertising.

              Your decision must be: (1) you charge for standard memberships or (2) you advertise more. I don't think you should  do both. Only one or the other  would work. I would do (2).

                San Diego
                United States
                Member #4520
                May 1, 2004
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                Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:21 am - IP Logged
                Quote: Originally posted by Todd on September 30, 2004



                Teufellj,

                if I'm reading this correctly, you're basically saying that people don't buy anything because it's not being advertised enough or effectively enough.  Perhaps you're right.  I always thought that people would be appreciative if I didn't put a lot of advertisements out there, and that appreciativeness would encourage people to support the site.  But there's a very good chance that I'm just too optomistic of a person, and that I should be doing more advertising.  Definitely something I should consider.

                Thanks very much for the comments!





                I agree with Teufellj. It's not advertised enough. I don't even see it right now, and I am looking  for it. It's not front-and-center enough.

                I think you have a thing about advertising -- let it go -- again, I hate advertising too, but I actually look for related products. I am about to buy a $100 package of photo image material for my psychic experiment. I had to ask a LP member, she told  me about the product, I went  out and found it. If I could  have found it here, I would have liked that. But all of us that are buying stuff are going elsewhere to do it, because you're so pristine here.


                 

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
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                  May 31, 2000
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                  Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:35 am - IP Logged

                  Dragon,

                  No, I don't have "a thing about advertising" as you say.  I do not include a lot of advertising because I don't think people like to see it.

                  My 4-year experiment with not showing a lot of ads is probably illustrating that I was overly optimistic.  When I built this site I did it on the presumption that people would be supportive of a Web site that did not kill them with ads.

                  I guess at this point that I was wrong, and it does no good to try to be a "good citizen" by not showing a lot of ads.

                  Maybe I should be doing:


                  • Pop-up ads

                  • Ads that randomly take up the whole page when you click a link (intersital ads)

                  • More and larger graphical ads

                  • Interweave ads within all the messages and news articles

                  • Put link exchanges on the pages

                  • Put more animated (flashing, etc.) ads to draw attention on pages

                  • Put those ads on the page that make you click the little "close" icon to get rid of them

                  I have been turning away LITERALLY hundreds of dollars every month by not doing those things, and I guess that was pretty stupid.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                    Yinzer Country, PA
                    United States
                    Member #4067
                    March 18, 2004
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                    Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:37 am - IP Logged

                    it isn't the gift shop in particular. it's just that i don't like buying things online (read my blog entry on buying things online).

                    I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

                      DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                      Yinzer Country, PA
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                      Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:47 am - IP Logged

                      but seriously, i took a look at the prices. they do seem a little high. also, it looks like you're only carrying a select few items, with color changes. changing the color does not make it a different item. perhaps some different items (possibly a few lottery-related items?) would be nice, such as a ticket holder that you can fit into your wallet.

                      I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

                        DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                        Yinzer Country, PA
                        United States
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                        Posted: September 30, 2004, 12:47 am - IP Logged

                        also, take a look at what types of clothing the catelogues are selling, and try to think of how you can put the lottery post name on it.

                        I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

                          San Diego
                          United States
                          Member #4520
                          May 1, 2004
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                          Posted: September 30, 2004, 2:26 am - IP Logged
                          Quote: Originally posted by Todd on September 30, 2004



                          Dragon,

                          No, I don't have "a thing about advertising" as you say.  I do not include a lot of advertising because I don't think people like to see it.




                          Todd, with "thing about" I meant exactly what you stated in the remainder of your message. I think it is a perfectly fine means of revenue for your business. I would say, as long as you stay within context -- loosely -- few of the regulars will leave because there are ads that relate to what we're interested in.
                            ayenowitall's avatar - rod serling4.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #4416
                            April 22, 2004
                            1075 Posts
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                            Posted: September 30, 2004, 4:49 am - IP Logged

                            Todd,

                            I've looked at the Lottery Post gift shop several times, but I've never seen anything that I really wanted. I don't mind paying a higher price if there's something that I want. I think you might have more sales if you focused more on lottery-related items like books, charts, software, etc. I can recall years ago seeing a little horserace handicapping calculator that was quite popular. If you could develop and bring something like that to market for lottery play, I'm sure you'd sell quite a few.

                            You probably want the items you offer to have some advertising value, but most people don't want to merely be a walking billboard unless it's for a well known brand that might confer status upon them. I think you should come up with a line of items that has witty/humorous/catchy images or sayings related to lottery play. You could put the Lottery Post logo on the items along with that. With a little imagination, I'm sure that you could come up with the sorts of things that are used to appeal to Bingo and slot players. I hope you get the idea of what I mean. If not, let me know and I'll try to explain further. I hope this has helped.

                            Good luck,

                            aye'

                              Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
                              FEMA Region V Camp #21
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                              July 27, 2002
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                              Posted: September 30, 2004, 9:39 am - IP Logged

                              Todd,

                              You have a lot of room for "passive" advertising in the margin on your pages. Intrusive ads are very annoying and I appreciate the fact that you don't use them   But the left margin of my post right now is blank and could be advertising lottery / gaming related products and services and I don't think the users would mind at all, unless it was distracting from the content of the site.

                              Also the suggestion for more lottery related products (systems, books, pocket-sized random number generators, ticket holders, scratch-off devices, etc.)  in your own store would get more traffic.

                              An 'advertisers click here' link might help too.  When they click on it tell them LP is only interested in lottery-related ads.  Some of your users might have lottery-related things for you to sell in your store (I know of one already) and you just take your "cut" and they have 7000 potential customers.

                              Good luck and thank you for sparing us the pop-ups, flashing banners, etc.  You have a great site!

                              Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).