Coming into the Light with lanterns, e-commerce & stuff

Learning Curve

As I start adding my blog and website to the various directories, I am finding it difficult. It seems to be taking me more time then it should to just get the basics down.  I realize that I know very little about widgets, html codes, wiki, tags and the like.  In the last hour I have been able to semi-successfully add my blog and my website to one directory. How sad.

To all of you out there that are older, trying to break out in the e-commerce world. You are not alone. Be encouraged. Read the help files and the ‘getting started’ and any other tutorial the site has. It may have taken me a long time to get the first submission done but I sure learned a lot. With any luck, the next one will be easier and the next even easier. For now…I quit. I will begin the process again tomorrow.

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Hello all,

Well we got our first  lantern sale on our website, along with it some lessons learned.

First lesson learned was this: when you move, don’t just change your address on the website of your credit cards. Call them! We recently moved and I did everything like I was supposed to. I changed our address on all the website and put in a change of address card. But when I went to open our merchant account I found that there was a fraud alert on my cards. Needless to say, it has been an experience. Now because of the alert for the next six months my payments have to be held for 7-10 days before they post to my account.

Second lesson: Make sure you check your merchant account. My first customer got an error every time she tried to submit her order. After several phone calls to tech support and to the new customer, it finally went through. WOO HOO

Third lesson: if you are using a merchant account that you have to transfer your money, make sure you do it directly after the sale so it has time to reach your account before you have to pay your supplier.  

Fourth and final lesson: Make sure you double-check your entries into your builder for your costs including any drop ship fees. I knew I had a 10% drop ship fee but only entered my costs.  So when the order was placed and sent to my supplier, the amount I had calculated and the amount I actually owed my supplier for the lanterns, did not match.

Even with all the problems that popped up, I was very excited for our first order.  Not only did it give me a chance to fine tune some things but it WAS AN ORDER.  🙂

Tomorrow we will talk about our selection for product of the month.

Until then…

Hello world!

Hello and welcome to my new blog. Please take a moment to read the about us page and get to know me a little bit. As many of you will be able to tell, I am a newbie. So please bear with me and don’t be afraid to let me know when I have crossed a line. Let me tell you about the name of this blog “Into the Light.”

The tag line for our website is “Come out of the dark.” So the phrase “into the light” just seemed the natural choice for a blog that would talk about the website.

For this first blog I would like to tell you a little bit about why we decided to pursue an on-line business. If you read the about us page you know that my husband works for the US Postal service and we have 3 kids in college. The decision is really two-fold. If you know anyone that works at the post office you will understand when I say it is not a great place to work. I am sure there are some out there that are nice but I haven’t found any yet. So the first part of the decision was to create income so that John could leave the post office without having to worry about money.

The second reason is our girls. We want to be able to give them a helping hand as they start their own lives. Understand, we do NOT believe in giving hand outs. We have tried to teach our girls to be independent and self-sufficient. But it is really nice to go visit and take them shopping for the things that they cannot afford on a student salary. Not to mention our baby will be going to school 3000 miles away. I want to be able to bring her home occasionally, at least for the holidays.

So I lied, there is really three reasons. The last reason is kind of related to the second one. Our baby will be leaving soon. That will leave John and I by ourselves. Both John and I are veterans. As a matter of fact we met at the EM club while we were both serving in the Navy.  John was aircrew so he got to visit a lot of beautiful places in the world. I on the other hand stayed state side for my whole tour. There are many places that John would like to show me and I would love to see. If we have a successful on-line business we can travel all over the world and I can still ‘take care of business.’

So there you have it. That is why we chose to start an on-line business. Have a Blessed day.

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