It’s interesting, however, that even with a website that can generously be described as close to useless, Darren is building a serious base of both fans and repeat customers because of what he delivers.
On the other hand, even the slickest “dot com” website won’t sustain a market forever if the experience you get once you get past the User Interface and place your order is poor. A great website doesn’t control quality. People, and intelligent processes, control quality.
Really great, well-intentioned, passionate people with non-intelligent processes don’t control quality.
There have been lots of studies of consumer preferences and satisfaction, and one key “factoid” always seems to show up. It’s one that Billy Joel actually summarized the best: “Get it right the first time, that’s the main thing. Get it right the next time, that’s not the same thing.”
I fear we’re nearing a tipping point here, which saddens me. I hope it’s not too late for Intelligent Process to fly in and save the day.
If you have a question about Bedford Unicycles,
the best thing to do is send me a e-mail.
At this time there is only a product and price list.
In the next few weeks I will be taking pictures
of each unicycle than pictures of each part will follow.
The site is way over due but will be updated on a ongoing basis from now on. I haven’t been able to do much in the last 6 weeks but will have time in the next few months.
The only major event in the next 2 months is the TOque games in Toronto. That is lots of work too.
If you noticed the site was just updated a few days ago.
As for pictures on Webshots, those were just new product shots that were taken by either Carl Hoyer or Pete Groves when I wanted to show others a new item. Those sites will be deleted as soon as the site is updated with that info.
Those guys have helped me out quite a bit but I will be getting my own digital photo equipment this month. They will be happy that I won’t have to bug them any longer.
Here are the three links:
What is shown in these links is a very small amount of what I have available.
I have been selling unicycle and parts since starting the Toronto Unicyclists in 1987.
The site will help those who are new to unicycling. There will be all kinds of info as well as the stuff for sale.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
P.S. Catboy, your Bedford HardCore MUni was built and will be shipped in the morning.
Its not an "either or" (website or service) situation. Its a “both.”
Everyone (including myself) that has dealt with Bedford knows that he has great customer service skills. Still, there has been one too many comments that mention the quality of the site.
Ideally, businesses should have a website where the customer can order an item without ever talking to a human.
Entreprenuer to entreprenuer - Darren outsource the job. You can get a customized quality site by posting the job on scriptlance.com. If you want, I can loan you my programmer to create a site to track US prices vs. Canadian, inventory, and have an easy to use interface (something like webshots) to upload and remove products. Such a site takes a week to complete - I`d guess it would be under 50 hours at $10 per hour.
Ultimately, I think that a good website, coupled with Darren`s people skills would boost sales enough to offset the cost of the website and reduce the amount of customer service he has to do.
Surely, you are tired of answering "How much is that in U.S.?
It cost a little bit more, however 90% of the webwork is done for you. If the shop owner had to pay me to make the site from the ground up and maintain it I’d break him…SmartEtailing creates a situation where my workload is very small.
You might want to look into it as an option Darren…here’s an example of a site sitting on the smartetailing backbone, this is the site I created and maintain(and walk behind the shop owner to fix everything he does)
I forgot to mention that.
You can download ready-made code for free, and then have a programmer modify it to meet your needs to save a lot of money.
For example, the code for THIS forum can probably be downloaded free. (If not this exact code, code that has all of the features and more).
Ok, thanks ppl. I’ll check the pictures in the webshots gallery.
Darren- I agree that a website like Uni.com would be a huge improvement. I went to the front page, and it was really well done. you’ve already got a color scheme, a mascot, and a cool logo, so now were you to get a slick website up, you would seriously have the best uni sales gig anywhere. Unicycle.com has usable interface, etc., but it doesn’t have the flair that even the front page that currently is bedfordunicycles.ca . I am no marketing guru, but I bet with a good website that allowed easier sales in the US, many more people here would buy your unis. Speaking from experience, I personally didn’t consider buying a “unicycle from canada” when I was getting my trials, and only started thinking about a bedford MUni after catboy suggested it.