I’ve been running my The Sticker Monster blogshop for a year and a half now.
It’s not too bad really. Just passed my 650th customer mark.
I’m not actually earning enough to go on leisure trips or to buy a spanking new gadget. But it’s definitely enough to tide me over before mum banks in my monthly allowance. Enough to cover my petrol and my handphone bills (I’ve got a postpaid Maxis line and an unlimited data line from Celcom to feed my internet addiction..so i need the extra cash.)
Why am I not earning more? Because I use the money to buy more stickers that’s why.
Why do I keep buying the stickers? Because I like doing this, it’s a hobby of sorts. If you knew my profits, you would not be bothered to get into this business. Too low. I enjoy it though. I love stickers.
But some people don’t get it.
Customers will always ask for discounts.
If you’re buying over a hundred ringgit worth of stuff, of course it is negotiable.
But when they say something like, “Oh if I buy two, got cheaper ah?”
I’ll just sit there, looking at my gmail, stunned, at how people can still ask for discount for something that comes up to RM8.
“I’m too poor to buy this. Please discount!”
Then, please.. for goodness sake, PLEASE, save both of us our time and sell some things/get a part time job instead of whining to me about why I should sell it to you cheaper just because you can’t afford it.
I myself am too poor to buy somethings that I really want. You don’t see me crying to Sony or Machine’s salespeople going, “Please give me a discount for this laptop I’m too poor.”
I really try to be nice to some of the extremely stupid requests i get over the months. But like when my period hits me, hormones and all, I can’t be arsed to be nice.
I really don’t think I’m hurting my business. I’m nice to people who have their two whole brain halves when dealing with me.
This Sticker Business is not my life line. It will all be over in a year’s time. I’ll either have a massive sale in July 2010 or sell the business off. I don’t have a boss whom I need to fear if I’m ‘rude to customers’. I really try my best not to be…. though sometimes, I really feel like letting go a multitude of insults, but to maintain a slight level of professionalism, I have to hold back. it really sucks. I really feel like vomiting blood sometimes.
Best is when some of them ask, “Can give me your suppliers’ contact number?”
… I will roll on the floor and laugh for awhile, call Lie Yuen over to check out the latest Stupid Email I Get From Customers before replying, “No.”
I used to be nicer by saying things like, “Sorry dear (obligatory term to use in the blogshop world when dealing with each other), but I can’t. ”
But over the months, the emails just become stupider and stupider until I either can’t be arsed to reply them or just type a one word reply, “no.”
My favourite would be this:
“Hi! I think it’ll be more convenient for me to buy straight from your supplier. Give me your suppliers’ contacts. Thanks ya.”
I mean seriously, do these people think I was born yesterday?? Why would I want competitors for? Healthy for the niche market and all that economy mumbo jumbo but I intend to keep it this way for as long as I can. If another person starts selling stickers, that’s fine by me. If you can find the supplier, go ahead.
Dirty tactics are such as promoting their own sticker business on my blog.
Damn clever. Damn fucking clever.
Over the months, I’ve invested in quite a sum on advertising. I’d say the total comes up to about RM500? On Xiaxue’s alone was about RM300+. And all those effort into building my network, some just come to leach it. That really infuriates me.
Again, my returns are not as high as I want it to be. But I get so pissed off when some people come to my blog to steal traffic back to theirs after all the effort and money I’ve put in to get it out there. But true, I have no control over it. It’s a free market. (haha, is this how the term is used? I never studied econs okay)
Most recent one is this person claiming that my blings are too expensive and putting a link to some other webstore which sells the pearl blings for a cheaper price. I’ve seen those, they are branded craft supplies from the US, but at most, only 30 pieces of pearls. The price was RM5. I’m selling a sheet of 180 pieces of pearl stickers for RM5. How is it more expensive?! They are two different items and furthermore, mine has more value for money. Sheesh.
On a side note, I think I’m quite an honest seller. Customers who don’t receive their items will either get a full refund from me or have their items sent over again. Most would opt for the latter. I encourage them to use Pos Ekpres, but some insist on the free postage which is by using stamps only. And there have been a few times when these items go missing in the mail. Kleptomaniacs for postmen perhaps? Thankfully it’s mostly for items below RM50. I had this one customer who made me send her RM20 worth of blings THREE times because it got lost THREE times. That’s a total of RM60 worth of stickers floating somewhere in Pos Malaysia. Then after that she laughed, “Hahaha, things usually go missing at this address one.” -__________- I never want to send the thing to the same address if it gets lost the first time. I usually ask for a different address.
One or two people whom I have met up with to sell stickers to treat me like I’m beneath them. As hard as I try to make conversation I’ll still remain as the sticker seller who is not worthy enough to be talked to like an equal. Wow, feeling the plight of a foreign worker.
There are some other more stupid things to write about but perhaps I’ll do so in the future. Too fresh to write about it now.
And if anyone wants to say that I don’t know to do business by bitching, YEA SO WHAT? This is just for fun. I don’t owe anybody anything.
On the flip side, I’ve also met many kind customers and made a few good friends (Paul, Mei..you guys rock. :)). A sweetheart named Veronica even designed a button for me! I’ll be putting it up on the sticker blog real soon.
Meet-ups are usually fun because it’s like I’m showing off my babies to a bunch of like minded people who will ooh and aah and pick up things that catch their fancy.
Just needed to get this off my chest. Feels great to write about my ‘job’ and not get fired for it. Can’t blog about the clinics due to professional ethics reasons. Almost bursting with PMS today. Hate periods, HATE.