Learn more about tips and tricks to increase your social following on my guest blog: How to Increase Your Social Followers – Guaranteed! I will continue to write as a guest blogger for Advokate on digital marketing.
For local digital marketing enthusiasts in the BTV area, join me at the ThoughtFaucet headquarters on Wednesday, December 12th for Web Analytics Wednesday where @tylermachado will be presenting on MailChimp. This is not exclusively for a data crowd, but for anyone who wants to talk about marketing challenges with a network of smart people. These meetups are where I get a lot of my inspiration from. I hope to see you there!
When it comes to shopping for the holidays, I usually wait until the last minute. But this year I got a jump on things by browsing online for items on my shopping list so that I could purchase them in person on the Black Friday weekend.
I took my list to the mall on Saturday (to avoid the Friday crowd) and in the first store I went to I wasn’t able to find any of the items on my list. Where is the search bar in this store that tells me where to find these items?! A clerk told me that they did not have the inventory in the store which I had found online. In another store, I had found what I was looking for but I was surprised to see that the deal which was active online (Buy One Get One 50% Off) wasn’t anywhere to be found in the store.
I went home empty handed and did what I should’ve done in the first place: bought online. I don’t understand how Black Friday could possibly still be as big of an event as it has been with the convenience of e-commerce.
Update: After I published this post, I had called one of the stores I had purchased online with since I missed their promotional offer when I placed the order and forgot that I had a $10 discount. They didn’t ask for the discount code (so I could use it again) and my total order ended up being half, still eligible for free shipping from only a 5 minute call.
This isn’t a slam on all retail business, as I had an entirely different experience shopping with small local businesses at the Shirt Factory Open House in Glens Falls, and in Burlington on Small Business Saturday. All the local vendors made the experience personable by greeting me, helping me find what I was looking for, and even letting me sample the products! I had posted on the Facebook page of one of the businesses asking for their store hours and received a prompt reply. Later, when I went to the store, they recognized my name, thanked me for liking their Facebook page, and even gave me a 15% discount!
In the future, I will only be shopping online for the convenience and local for the experience.
Learn more on how to use Google for local businesses on my guest blog post: Google+ Local and Google Places on Advokate. Please ask questions, I am always looking for inspiration for future blog posts!
This post doesn’t fit in with the general theme of my blog but it’s been a while since I’ve written anything and I need to rant. My boyfriend is moving in and to make room I decided to go through my closet and clean out clothes that I never wear or no longer fit me. All of these clothes are well known brands: Express, Theory, Ann Taylor, Talbots, Old Navy, and more!
I stuffed all of the clothes in a trash bag because my first instinct was to throw it away so I didn’t have to deal with it. Instead wanted to recycle and give to others in need.
My first stop at a consignment shop which was fairly painless, it was a trendy place only looking for very specific things so they told me within seconds that they would give me $3 for a shirt. Without hesitation I said yes because I want to get rid of these clothes. I only wished that they would’ve taken more.
My second stop consignment shop which was more invasive. It was a humiliating experience to watch her size up my clothes and put them into different piles: Yes, No, Maybe. I watched her put every bit of my clothing in the No or Maybe pile. My feelings were hurt, these are the clothes that I wore, they are almost a part of me in a way and she tore me apart by driving a hard bargain. She rejected a few clothes because they had some cat hair. I understand the argument that the owner wants to be able to sell it without having to do the work of cleaning it, but honestly these clothes would’ve been in the trash and I am helping your business out by donating clothes to you at a fraction of their actual cost, JUST TAKE IT. She suggested I clean one of the jackets and bring it back tomorrow. After I received $7 for 5 items of good quality clothes, that might’ve covered the gas of driving there, I was not planning to come back tomorrow or ever.
After 2 hours and 20 miles I received a combined total of $11 for 6 items of like new name brand clothing. I drove to Goodwill to donate the rest which I guessed about a $65 contribution that I could deduct on my taxes. Definitely a better deal.
I’m not writing this rant to tear down local businesses, recommending that people do not recycle or use consignment shops. This was a limited experience I had, but I will never sell to a consignment shop again. Don’t let greed run your business, because YOU will lose in the long run (because some weirdo will blog about it).
Last week Google announced Google Analytics Premium.
Google Analytics has been a free service since it was acquired by Google in 2005. This is a powerful tool to analyze your website’s data and optimize. Since it is it a heavily supported program, at first it seemed strange that Google would provide this FREE service. One of the most important lessons in marketing (and in life) is that nothing is free.