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Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have a quilting business. But one would hardly know.

I used to have a website, and an email connected to it. I'm currently having a disagreement with my web service provider, so they disabled the site. Fair enough. Once we get settled, I'll go to a new service provider and I'll be, as they say, "back in business."

Well... maybe.

The problem with web sites is, one has to develop it and maintain it. This means content.

Sigh. Content.

That means, for example, I have to list, and possibly show pictures of, what I sell. Everything I sell.

Well, I sell anything that Quilt Source Canada sells, since they sell wholesale to me and I sell retail!

But they don't do something called "drop-shipping", which means you have to come to me to buy what I sell.

Which kind of defeats the purpose of having my own web site! I mean, whoever you are, reading this, you might live in Botswana for all I know! You're not going to fly here to pick up ten needles! And I'm not flying over to you anytime soon!

Sure, I can place your order. Then they ship it to me, and then I'd ship it to you. And of course, if I'm going to make any money at all doing this, I have to charge you shipping, on top of the suggested retail price. And tax.

Making your order twice as expensive. It's easier and cheaper for you to go to a quilt store. Which defeats the whole purpose of me having a web site! So there I've gone and done all that work for nothing!

You see the problem.

Now, companies that sell directly to customers, like Amazon, have some kind of deal with their suppliers. Their suppliers ship the stuff to you, but send their bill to Amazon. Amazon bills you, over the internet. Amazon charges you the shipping costs and the taxes and exchange, if stuff is coming from the States. You get to pay all this first. Amazon gets to sit on your money. They pay their supplier for the article and for the shipping. They don't pay the same price you pay. That's how they make money.

But QuiltSource doesn't drop-ship. So there we are.

I live in the Montreal area. I'll sell you anything you want, and I can even deliver it to you if you're not too far from me. But I don't have thousands of dollars, nay, tens-of-thousands - to buy a huge stock of stuff and pay shipping and tax and have sitting around waiting for people to buy from me!

It's really hard to bring the quilting hobby into the 21st century! I don't know enough about business to know how to fix this problem... but I suspect there is a solution!

Any suggestions?

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