Monthly Archives: June 2017

We Earn Money, Shop Till Our Souls Get Tired

“Shopping and buying” in the layman’s perspective, “Purchasing” in the marketing parlance all means to give money for something we get. To be short, it is trade. Barter was one system those days to exchange goods against goods where no money and calculation came into action. For example a kg of rice was exchanged for a kg of wheat and so on. Those days have gone. Now it is all money. People started thinking big when they started earning more and more. The situation is like they purchase just because they have come to that status and sometimes just because it is possessed by their neighbors. I feel ownership of something is valued more than value of money. Books define market as, “A place where buyers and sellers meet and exchange their products and services”. Today, it has become a stage for earning money. People have become so much obsessed with shopping and exploring products. Well, it’s up to people how they look at it. Some buy just because they want to possess it, some do shopping as a hobby, relaxation, and some create a situation for them to shop and so on. It is endless.

Developing a craze towards shopping depends on the mindset as well as buying behavior of a person. Quality of goods, customer satisfaction, and seller’s attitude play a very important role in dragging customers to their shop. Generally discounts; good shopping environment, customer relationship management, value added services etc are some of the strategies/activities they perform to keep loyal customers. Well, product availability, services, variety of branded goods, assortment of products, store ambiance etc are considered very important.

Shopping is done by each one of us almost daily. We find some reason to buy something. Pens, pencils, groceries and so on. List is endless. I have seen people would write down a list do buy but when they get into the shop, they get carried away by the attractive displays, advertisements, and sometimes even the wrapper and buy the things which is not in their list. Finally they come home and say, “Oh my god, I have got this one. I forgot what I wanted. It is my mistake” and so on. In marketing parlance, it is impulse purchasing.

Well, shopping is always fun. Some plan to shop. To others, it just happens. There is one term “window shopping”. Defining it would be great. It is always cheapest way of obtaining satisfaction. It is the only shopping in which people do it with a lot of pleasure and happiness because no money gets out of the pocket. Window shopping is even more great if the shopping mall is air conditioned well perfumed with good fragrance and the store ambiance is colorful. Wow. I am sure everyone would have experienced this.

Festivals always begin with shopping. This is the only culture followed all over the world. What do we buy during festivals? Sweets, chocolates, gifts, clothes, stationeries, fruits, flowers, dress materials, junk foods etc. The list is surely endless. “Hey, come let us see what we find there, will this shop be okay for us?, where do we get branded clothes?”, are some of the questions we will be able to notice. Specialty stores earn a lot during this period. When I think of specialty stores, the word brand loyalty hits my mind. It is when a person uses only a particular brand. They do not compromise with other brands. “Somehow I want it” will be their attitude. In that case men have a lot of brands to stick on to whereas women don’t.

Basically I love shopping. I buy anything that is good and worth paying. People generally ask me, “Why did you take Retail management as an elective paper in your marketing” and this is my answer to them, “I love shopping and moreover retailing sector is coming up”. There is always one question that keeps coming in my mind. Why do people buy? The very true answer is because of the external appearance (packaging) and the considerable price. Packing plays a very important role in the sale of a product. The best example would be FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods) products. Shampoos, biscuits, chocolates, tooth pastes, cosmetics and many fall under the category. I feel impulse purchase is influenced by the packing.

I feel, targeting the kids would make any company successful. Kids are influencers in most of the families. Right from biscuits to clothes parents give them the choice. Those days the attitude towards shopping for a child was, “I have bought this for you”. Now it has changed entirely. It has now become, “see if this will suit you, if you don’t like it you choose”. Cartoons and animated wrapper does not matter. Pleasant color and good designs matter a lot.

As I mentioned earlier, I love shopping. I feel people should have the art of observing things that happen around them when they shop. Well, it is very interesting to see the product assortment, salesman’s way of responding, displays inside and outside the shop, promotion strategies followed to attract the customers, lights over the products, maintenance and so on. The joy of watching people enjoying and buying what they want cannot be expressed in short. Shopping itself is an endless topic. My idea of looking at shopping will not be the same as others. It need not be also.

I feel a salesman can create ‘n’ number of footfalls to his shop. Promotion, advertising, brand image and location contribute a lot externally but inside the shop, how the customer is treated matters a lot. In a shop, a section should not have too many salespersons. If the crowd is too much, it helps. If there are limited customers, then it irritates the customers. Clutters like repetition of requesting, delay in showing the products, lack of attention to one customer generally happen. I have seen people deciding if they should get back to the same shop or not in the billing counter itself. If they like it, they say, “This is the shop I was looking for, awesome service, great shopping experience and so on”. If they don’t like the service, even if everything is good there, “I have never had such a bad experience, they don’t have anything with them other than their salesmen and so on”. This reminds me of one saying, “One satisfied customer can bring ‘n’ number of customers”. This is “Word of mouth strategy”.

How To Find A Great Auto Repair Shop

Don’t choose a shop just because of convenience. Once you have determined that the shop is qualified, Convenience is a plus. But only after has a good reputation and backs up their work with a good warranty. Remember that a good shop may be convenient but the most convenient shop may not necessarily be the best shop for you.

Don’t pick a shop based on “special offers”. OK, we all do it. It seems to be the market trend nowadays. You want your shop to be competitive, of course. But even more important you need to have the job done right. Unfortunately it is all too common for many shops to bring the car in the door with a loss leader and then charge a higher amount as the work progresses. This is due somewhat to the nature of the industry. But, if you see a price that seems unrealistically low it probably is. You will be better off going with a shop that gives you professional service and backs up their work. Quality will win out over low price every time. The savings will come with a longer lasting and more trouble free repair.

Don’t pick a shop just because they look like “good old boys”. Poor choice. Some of those good old boys are great. Others have never moved out of the past and can’t cope with today’s vehicles very well. Get recommendations and proof of qualifications rather than looking for a good old boy shop.

Choosing a shop based on a low “labor rate”. This is one of the worst ways to choose a shop. Price shopping for a service this way just does not make sense. There are just too many variables. Only one of those is the price. And the final price may not be even remotely related to the “labor rate”. If you need an idea of cost just ask for that and not the labor rate. If you base your buying decision on the “labor rate” you may find a shop that gives you a low rate, takes longer and charges you more for the job than you would have paid at a higher rate shop. The end result could be a shoddy job for about the same price as you could have paid for a professional one.

They can get me in right away! Oh really, then they must not be that busy. If that is so then maybe they are really not that good? Sometimes a good shop can get you in quickly. Often they are booked up for a day or two in advance due to their reputation though. This could really backfire on you if you end up in a shop that is never busy because they are doing terrible work. Getting your vehicle back soon is important. But, getting it fixed correctly is even more important. Wouldn’t you agree?

They can get it done right away. A good job takes some time. A good shop can reduce that time but they cannot eliminate it. Most people do not realize the amount of time their vehicles must be in the shop for certain jobs. Choosing a shop based primarily on this criteria is usually a mistake. Some shops will, unfortunately promise anything to get the job. That does not mean that they will necessarily deliver on that promise once the job has started.

They don’t have very many staff or support people so they can charge me less than a shop that does. Again, this reasoning is faulty. Most modern facilities have a ratio of almost one support person to each technician in the shop. This allows the technicians to do the maximum productive work without undue interruptions and distractions. Therefore the entire procedure is more efficient. With too few support people the production staff will spend way too much time doing tasks not directly related to the services or repairs on the vehicles. The end result will often be lower quality work due to interruptions and higher prices because of an inefficient business model.

My neighbor went there and he said they were great. Actually this is one part of a good plan to choose a good shop. However, before you buy into this recommendation ask a few more questions. What did your friend have done? How many times has he been there? If he had any problems how were they resolved? If he went in one time for an oil change and you need a transmission repair, there may be a problem here. Make sure the shop is qualified to do the type of work that you need. And try to find a shop where an acquaintance has been to more than once. Recommendations are an excellent way to find a good shop. Just make sure the recommendation is qualified.

They seem really nice and I feel that I can trust them. This is actually a very good sign. A feeling of trust is very important when dealing with a service or repair shop. Just be sure that this is one good component out of several. Some folks are very good at schmoozing you on the front counter. That, in itself does not mean they are a good shop. You need to take more into account than that. You need to find out if they are qualified and give you a good warranty as well as a good feeling.

A Guide To Shop Insurance

Owning and running a shop can be hard enough work in itself, often seven days a week, without the additional worry of what might happen to your livelihood should the worst happen. Fortunately there are many different shop insurance policies available today covering all the risks that a retailer might face in running a business from a premises that sells goods and services to the public.

A shop insurance policy will contain a variety of covers, packaged up for the convenience of the shopkeeper.

These include shop buildings and contents cover, stock in trade cover, business interruption and loss of profits, money cover and staff fidelity insurance, legal protection, window & glass cover for shop fronts, goods in transit, public liability, employers liability, and various options to cover shop specific risks. Shop insurance packages will include as standard most of the above risks, whilst some insurers allow the prospective policyholder to select the covers that are appropriate for their particular type of shop.

Shop Insurers use various basic rating factors to decide premiums and postcode and annual turnover are major factors.

The location of your shop will largely determine the price you pay for cover, in particular for shop stock and contents. A shop located in a run down housing estate with known propensity for theft and vandalism will command a much higher premium than one located in a modern shopping centre with street security and CCTV. Annual turnover is used to calculate cover levels such as the impact of a loss on a shops ability to trade.

Shop buildings insurance covers the costs of rebuilding the shop and the costs of replacing the shop front, which is invariably made of glass. All buildings insurance covers permanent fixtures and fittings such as toilets and doors. This cover is available for both shop owners and those who lease the property.

Shop contents insurance covers all the additional shop fittings and equipment that is used in the daily running of the business. Most insurance companies will require a breakdown of the contents of the shop into sums insured fo business equipment, fixtures and fittings, electrical and computer equipment, tenants improvements, refrigerated stock and all other stock.

Shops that require protection for high risk goods held on the premises will usually need to declare the total values of each stock item. High risk shop stock and goods are those that attract thieves and are expensive to replace. Examples of high risk stock items are electronic equipment, cigarettes, and tobacco, designer clothing, computers and digital equipment, software, computer games and consoles, drugs pharmacy and medicines, watches and jewellery, mobile phones and radios, photographic equipment, power tools, TVs, DVDs, CDs and Wines and Spirits.

If your shop has high risk stock you can reduce the cost of your premiums by having adequate security in place. This includes an insurance company approved burglar and fire alarm, window grills, shutters and bars, CCTV and sprinklers. Many shop insurers will only offer stock cover if the minimum levels of security are in place for all shops, regardless of the stock contents held. A lot of insurers may offer further large discounts to the premium if the shop owner lives on or above the premises and is there at night.

Shops by their very nature deal with members of the public and a good insurance policy will usually contain liability cover as standard. This should include Public Liability of up to £2,000,000 for any one claim by a member of the public who may suffer loss or injury visiting the shop.

If you employ staff all policies will offer Employers Liability cover of up to £10,000,000 one event and because shops sell goods and services, Products Liability cover of £2,000,000 for any one period of insurance.

Other standard features of a shop insurance policy are various levels of cover for Legal expenses and Legal protection, Employers, Public and Products Liability, Loss of profits, Glass and Sanitary Ware, Money cover and staff Personal Accident assault, Business Interruption, Goods in Transit, Loss of Licence, Treatment Risks and Seasonal increases in stock contents value.

Mystery Shopping Fakes and Finds

The times in my life where, for one reason or another, I was looking for a job, I always found the lure of work at home jobs tempting. The work at home jobs that were most readily available were either scams or they cost more to do than you could make. The best work at home jobs were hard to find or they required skills that I just did not have.

My true passion and calling is church ministry, which in my case has moved me across the country a couple of times. It also, until recently, did not pay at all. That meant I had to find some regular paying job that was flexible enough to let me do my church ministry.

My last move was from California back to my home state of Missouri. That left me in a position where I was not yet being paid by the church, and I still didn’t have a secular job. After a short time of filling out applications, I got tired of it and just looked up the city’s business directory and started calling. I didn’t get very far down the list before I was asked to come in for an interview. After the interview process I was hired. The job I landed was a hourly position at a mystery shopping company.

I have learned a lot about the mystery shopping industry and the problems they face with fake mystery shopping companies. These fake mystery shopping companies will often use the real mystery shopping companies name. They ofter refer to the real companies website to enhance their legitimacy. They sometimes even use the names of the employees at the real mystery shopping company.

This article’s purpose is to teach you how to avoid the fakes and take advantage of the finds by; showing you what to look for in the fakes, where to look for the finds, and the best way to make the real deal profitable. This article should give the person looking for a work at home job with flexible hours the information they need to make mystery shopping a profitable venture.

Beware of checks in the mail! If you receive checks in the mail from a mystery shopping company before you have done anything, chances are they are a fake. They may email you or even call, but if they send you money that has not yet been earned, be afraid. Be very afraid! Some unsuspecting people have called our office asking where their money is. They followed the instructions carefully. They deposited the checks and wired the money, but now their bank account is overdrawn and they are demanding answers. My only answer is they have been duped and we had nothing to do with it. It breaks my heart to tell them that they will probably never see any of that money again. If you have lost money due to one of these scams, you should contact any companies involved and the FBI as well as alert local authorities. Don’t expect any of them to be too reasuring though. Your money is probably in another country right now.

If the checks or money orders are fake, why doesn’t the bank catch them right away? The evil doers that make these fakes are really good at what they do. The only way the banks can know for sure that the checks or money order are real, is to run the transaction. That takes a couple days. Meanwhile your bank account if full of imaginary money. When you pay for something or use money out of your bank account, that money is real. If you wired money to these people or where ever they told you to wire it, that money was real as well. When the imaginary money disappears, the bank holds you responsible for the difference.

There are a plethora of other schemes out there designed to make money off anyone who might be a little to trusting. The general rule is, you don’t give or use money that you couldn’t afford to lose. If you are given money in the form of a check, money order, or even cash, give the bank time to verify it is real. Do not spend the money or send the money until it is verified. Open a separate account so as not to mix the potentially fake money with your real money. Be very careful about giving out personal information.

You might be thinking that you should just avoid everything that comes along with the words “mystery shopping” attached. Please don’t come to the conclusion that mystery shopping is always illegitimate. There are opportunities out there for those that want to shop businesses for money. Businesses rely on mystery shopping to make sure their front line employees are meeting their standard of customer service. Sometimes they do the shops internally, sending in upper management undercover. Sometimes they ask their regular customers to evaluate their service. The most common and most effective mystery shopping programs are done by third party businesses.

Mystery shopping by its very nature is secretive. Companies do not want people or other companies to know about their mystery shopping program and shoppers do not want people to know that they are mystery shoppers. Mystery shopping companies have to be very careful about how they promote their business. They can’t go around saying, “we have shops at McDonalds” to the whole world. They have to be somewhat generic. “We have fast food shops in this city” they might say. These generic advertisements rouse suspicion among those who mystery shopping companies would most like to reach. It is a catch 22.