Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Transition from Storefront to Online

This is me, a deer in headlights, timidly walking across the Internet super highway...

When I started it was in response to closing my storefront bookstore. I HAD to do something. I couldn't just sit there and feel sorry for myself. When I looked in my email account and saw all these emails from customers saying good-bye and how much they will miss the store, I thought, why not give an online store a try? How different could it be?

Well, the differences are now abundantly clear. In the positive, I don't have to deal with as many crazies. I do get them, but they are not right in my face threatening to hit me. Actually, this reminds me of a — now — funny story: The very first day I opened the storefront, a woman the size of Andre the Giant practically had me against the wall because I didn't have her book in the store! (God, having this blog is going to be fun for dishing the dirt!)

In the negative, I have been subjected to credit card fraud. I never, ever, ever had a problem with charge-backs on credit cards in the storefront. I had plenty of other problems but not that one. With the online store it has been a major problem. Hence, the deer in headlights analogy. I'm currently putting in more security protocols to protect me from this kind of fraud. This is why the store is closed for now. I want to do it in a way that won't be a big pain so it is taking a little time. It makes me a bit sad to think of people just taking money and merchandise from me like this -- not to mention extremely angry. I've called the FBI and the police but there really is no protection for us online merchants. If a credit card is stolen, the customer gets their money back but the merchant just loses. Especially, if your merchant account is with Quicken. (If you are using this service, I would highly recommend that you move to another one. These guys were worse than horrible; they were deplorable!)

I hope to open up the online store again soon. I'm almost done with the updates. And I absolutely will not be taking orders from anyone from Tempe, AZ or Glendale, AZ. I'm afraid there is a thief-ring there and they stole a lot from me. Sad. Grrrr.


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