Adding Products

17 Sep

Currently, there are over 210 products on our website, Best Executive Pens.  When you add variations, such as nib size for the fountain pens, the number of distinct products is over 350!  About 12 of those products were added automatically from one of our suppliers, the rest were added manually.  So 350 isn’t a bad number for a web site that is a few days over 2 months old.

How does a product get added?  It starts with an SKU number, a unique identifying number for each product.  The SKU usually comes from the Distributor!  We are the Retailer.  We than need to name the product; we can call it anything we like, but it is usually a good idea to stick close to a name that describes the product, like Cross Fountain Pen.  The we add a description.  This usually comes from the pen manufacturer.  So, you do some searching on the Internet at the manufacturer’s website to get descriptions and pictures too.  The descriptions need to be edited some times to make them sound reasonable.  Oh, and the pictures need to be checked since not all styles are available in the US.  Speaking of descriptions and pictures, it is considered bad form to “steal” descriptions and pictures from your competition.  You won’t do that since you realize how much time and effort go into finding these descriptions and pictures, and besides, you wouldn’t want them “stolen” from your site.

OK, now we have to set the price.  We try to offer discounts when we can.  But, sometimes, discounts aren’t available as the pens are “fair traded”, meaning everyone is to sell them at the same price.  That usually works, but sometimes you will see a very, very low price, and you wonder how there is any profit left for the seller.  We think it may be someone just trying to unload a lot of inventory.  Who knows?

There is still work to be done before you can publish your new product offering to your web site.  You have to supply information that will aid your site being noticed in the search engines like Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc.  Then you need to categorize your product properly.  That isn’t hard once your site is set up to recognize products by manufacturer (Pelikan, Parker, etc.), type (ballpoint pen, fountain pen, etc.).  The last thing we do is then set up the product to be recognized under our shipping rules.  Again, an easy process once you know where to go and what to do.  If everything looks right, then you publish, and wait a few minutes and go to the site to see how it looks.

We are pretty good at this now, so it takes about 10 minutes per product.  And we only have about 2 or 3 thousand products to go!

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