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Messages - WayOutWest

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101
* Web Site & Search Engines / eCommerce Hosting - Magento & Magemojo
« on: June 27, 2017, 02:36:19 AM »
So, as most of ya know, when I was selling ecig stuff, I examined a few different options, settled on Magento, and really liked it.  The only real problem I had with it was that my VPS host didn't have their server optimized for Magento, causing it to be slow at times (even kicking out some timeout errors) and any optimization of the server was up to me to deal with.  And, at the time I couldn't readily find a host that was focusing on Magento, except for a couple of very high priced ones.

My current host and software for jewelry site is no longer PCI compliant, due to the newer encryption and connection requirements and I've had it turned off for awhile until I could sit down and take the time to figure out what I wanted to do -- change software but keep host after getting host to update server, change hosts and get software patched, change both host and software, go to a fully managed ecommerce site such as shopify and move email hosting to godaddy, or what.

Well, I've done lots of looking and pricing and digging and finally settled on Magemojo for a host.  Their servers are configured to be fully PCI compliant, they focus specifically on hosting Magento stores, they will set up Magento for you and assist with your move from your current host, are reasonably priced (starter VPS packages are $58/month), include email server hosting, and so far I've had a good experience with their tech support.  They respond to all tickets promptly (claim 15 mins or less), 24/7.  On my current ticket they responded within 9 mins and their responses are in readable english!  They also have several Magento-related help pages available for their customers, saving both them and the customer many a headache.

While it's too early for me to give them a full review, if you're looking for a new host for an ecommerce site, you might consider Magemojo.

I'll try to remember to update this thread as my customer experience with them continues.
102
Came across this article when pondering how popular is it for people to spell the word jewellery with two l's and the extra e Vs. the Americanized spelling of jewelry.

http://grammarist.com/spelling/jewelry-jewellery/

What I found really interesting is in the comments area.  There's a poster that says that the number of searches for jewellery is higher than the number of searches for jewelry, even though the CPC for campaigns is higher for jewelry than for jewellery.

So it just goes to show that for SEO, one's first thought might not be the best one (in this case using the American spelling of the word jewelry on website).  It also makes me wonder what other similar instances there are that the alternative spelling or term might be better for SEO.
103
Surge protector is in the meter (behind it) and lighting hit secondary yard light that is on our side of the meter, thus on our side of the surge protector  :-(
104
I've been so distracted with various things (roof repair, things zapped by lightning strike incl. DSL modem, RV repairs, buying trip, etc.) that I had completely forgotten about Prime Day  :-[
105
* General Online Selling Questions & Issues / Re: Keeping Informed
« on: June 26, 2017, 01:27:49 AM »
Hmm.. having clickable links and such is an interesting aspect of it that I wasn't aware of and other aspects I hadnt considered, such as ad copy on the exterior of the mailpiece to get the consumer's attention when viewing the scanned piece.  I don't do direct mailings, though, so hadn't really thought about it.  Still, very interesting.
106
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon Seller Forum Thread: Thank you Amazon?
« on: June 26, 2017, 01:23:42 AM »
Thanks.  One aspect that seems to be overlooked, is that Amazon retail doesn't care if they are making a profit. All they care about is the stock price, which has many other aspects tied to it than just the profits of their retail site.  Heck, look at how long they sold diapers at a loss just to hurt Diapers.com, so that they could then buy them on the cheap.
107
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon Buys Whole Foods
« on: June 25, 2017, 11:08:15 PM »
^ ha!  Aint that the truth

I can't help but think next thing is that Amazon will be buying one of the big chain liquor stores such as Total Wine & More or Spec's.  Speaking of - I was floored when went into a Total Wine & More in New Mexico. We don't have any stores in my state that truly compare.  There's one shop in Tulsa that is close, but. . . 

The reasons? There's a few of them.

For starters, my state doesn't allow liquor stores to be owned by out of state businesses (must be a resident of the state for at least 10 yrs) and you can only own two locations.  Somehow Costco worked around that and opened a liquor store in Tulsa, but. . .   Our limits do well to protect local mom and pop shops, but it also results in stores that are small and that don't have a big selection, since most mom & pop shops don't have the funding for a huge store nor for the inventory.

That's not the only reason, though, it's also because of the distributors in my state.  There are only 6 companies that are allowed to sell wholesale, and they mostly carry the cheap brands at inflated prices or they carry a very limited selection of products.

And, of course, liquor retailers aren't currently allowed to ship liquor into the state, though that's about to change, but will still be heavily restricted with them having to buy expensive permits every year before they can ship into the state and from my understanding will only allow the shipping of wine.
108
Welcome. Hear ya. I've been needing to do updates myself. Going to change hosts in the next couple of days so that I can update to the newest security requirements. Switching over to Magemojo. They're PCI compliant and focus on hosting magento stores.
109
* Amazon Central / Re: Alexa app wont load
« on: June 25, 2017, 10:51:47 PM »
Guilty as charged *laf*
110
The most secure protocol for sharing information on the web today is Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.2. PayPal enabled support for TLS 1.2 for all secure connections and last year began requiring its use. If you haven't already done so, you will need to verify that your environment supports TLS 1.2 and if necessary make appropriate updates. PayPal is updating its services to require TLS v1.2 for all HTTPS connections by June 30th of this year (2017). After that time, all TLS v1.0 and TLS v1.1 API connections will be refused.

These updates are part of an industry-wide initiative to improve security standards. Some of these updates, like the TLS upgrade, are mandated by the PCI Security Council and are required by every website that transmits or processes cardholder data.

Merchants and developers may have to update their applications and integrations in order to be in compliance and ensure that their applications continue to function as expected.

Src: https://devblog.paypal.com/upcoming-security-changes-notice/

For more information please visit:
https://www.paypal-knowledge.com/infocenter/index?page=content&widgetview=true&id=FAQ1914&viewlocale=en_US

The deadline for all merchants to stop using SSL and TLS 1.0, and be fully switched to TLS1.1 (or higher), and still be PCI compliant, is June of 2018 (the original deadline was June of 2016) https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/pdfs/15_12_18_SSL_Webinar_Press_Release_FINAL_(002).pdf

In addition, the PCI Council has stated that web browsers will begin prohibiting SSL connections in the near future.

The other part of this is that there are tons of people out there still using older browsers, many of which can't even use TLS1.1, much less TLS1.2.  For example, IE versions prior to v11 either can't natively use  TLS1.1, or don't have it enabled.  All of the people still using XP and Vista?  Even if they update to IE9, they don't have TLS1.1 capability, much less TLS1.2.  IE in Windows 7 & 8 has access to both, but they're disabled by default unless the user updates to IEv11.   A complete chart of browsers and what versions of TLS they have can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security#Web_browsers

To enable TLS1.1 & 1.2 on your browsers, the U.S. State Dept. has easy to follow directions.  The directions are actually for enabling TLS1.0, but it gets you to the right spot for enabling 1.1 and 1.2.   https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/aa/pdfs/directions_for_enabling_tls.pdf

You can also check your browser's TLS capabilities by viewing the page at https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/viewMyClient.html

111
* Amazon Central / Re: Alexa app wont load
« on: June 16, 2017, 10:06:19 PM »
I'm too much of an internet addict *sigh*

112
Amazon granted a patent that prevents in-store shoppers from online price checking
Amazon’s long been a go-to for people to online price compare while shopping at brick-and-mortars. Now, a new patent granted to the company could prevent people from doing just that inside Amazon’s own stores.

The patent, titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” details a mechanism where a retailer can intercept network requests like URLs and search terms that happen on its in-store Wi-Fi, then act upon them in various ways.

The document details in great length how a retailer like Amazon would use this information to its benefit. If, for example, the retailer sees you’re trying to access a competitor’s website to price check an item, it could compare the requested content to what’s offered in-store and then send price comparison information or a coupon to your browser instead. Or it could suggest a complementary item, or even block content outright.
. . .
(continue reading at https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15812986/amazon-patent-online-price-checking )


Seems to me that it's not so much about preventing people from price comparing inside an Amazon owned shop (though it does have that aspect to it, which is a huge benefit for Amazon), but more so about preventing other businesses from implementing the same sort of tech in their own shops.
113
* Amazon Central / Re: Alexa app wont load
« on: June 13, 2017, 01:11:56 PM »
It supposedly doesn't actually record until it hears the trigger word (alexa, unless you set it up to respond to amazon, computer, or echo), and then records what's said immediately after.

From what I've observed, that is the case.  I haven't seen any network activity from it until the wake word has been said. 

However, it can be used to eavesdrop by someone with the correct tools (by NSA, hackers, etc).  But, so can your phone, your tablet, your laptop, your tv, and many other devices around you.  Not to mention the old fashioned ways of eavesdropping. Cell phones are probably the worst, since they can provide so much --  phone convos, messaging transcripts, email logs, recordings of everything said in vicinity of phone, logs of everywhere you went, logs of everything you looked at online, etc.

Anyway, I figure there's lots more interesting folks out there than me for them to listen in on ;) 
114
* Amazon Central / Alexa app wont load
« on: June 11, 2017, 11:56:17 AM »
Are you experiencing problems getting the Amazon Alexa app to load?  Does the circle just keep spinning around and around?  Are you just getting a blank screen?  If the app just sits there with the loading icon spinning, it's a cookie problem.  The same is true if you can't get the alexa webpage http://alexa.amazon.com to load.

 If you're experiencing this on the Alexa app, open the Amazon shopping app and logout.  If that doesn't fix it, open your other Amazon apps (Amazon Kindle app, Amazon music app, etc) and logout of those. 

If you're experiencing this on the website http://alexa.amazon.com, open the main Amazon webpage at http://www.amazon.com, hover your mouse over your name on the right hand side, wait for the menu to appear, and click the bottom line that says "Not <your name>? Sign out".  Once that's done, try again to get http://alexa.amazon.com to load.

This cookie bug appears to be very pervasive, so if you use the app or the webpage frequently, you'll find yourself needing to pretty much always stay logged out of the main Amazon website and app.

115
I didn't notice it Friday or Saturday, but did nearly all of my shopping on Thursday. Talk about driving away customers, though.  Show them that sort of stuff and they'll move on to somewhere else. Not to mention all the ones that look at price and for the Prime logo, but never look closer and thus wont even notice a s/h fee stuck on there.  They'll be mad as all get out when/if they notice the charges. And good luck getting buyer support to fix their order total.

I hear ya; such things are almost always linked to some sort of *cough* improvement *cough* that does all sorts of fun stuff for the sellers.  :(
116
Our wonderful tax dollars going to Amazon. Go figure.
Speaking of such things - my state struck a deal with Amazon for Amazon to collect sales tax even though Amazon has no physical presence here. Well, guess what?  The details of the deal are being kept secret. You know what that means, that the state is letting them keep an undisclosed % of the sales tax monies. Irks me for two reasons, one the fact they're letting Amazon keep the tax money and secondly because they're keeping it a secret. 

More recently it was announced that Amazon is going to open a warehouse in my state, which means that the state is giving them an even bigger chunk than they might have given. Like many states, my state is known for giving monies (grants, tax credits, property tax waivers, etc) to big companies to entice them to open up a facility here. 

In the case of Amazon collecting sales tax, the state is taking the stance of not being able to publicly discuss specific information about an individual taxpayer.  That's not at all what that law was intended to protect.  And, Amazon isn't a taxpayer, they're a tax collector in this instance.  The retail customers are the tax payers and discussing the Amazon deal would be discussing information on a collective rather than an individual.

Idaho did the same thing, claiming they can't discuss an individual taxpayer.  Utah has done similarly, but did disclose that Amazon is getting to keep 1.31% of the sales tax revenue, the same deal they give other large retailers, but there are other details that Utah is refusing to disclose, saying that doing so would expose Amazon to competitive injury.

 
117
Rent to own rims?   Wow. Just wow.  smh.  Next you'll tell me you saw some rent to own teeth grillz. Lol

Amazon's ideas - I hear ya.  Heck, when they first started I questioned the whole business model. Would there really be enough people buying books from an online seller (Vs. a B&M one) to support the kind of expenses they were generating with all that warehouse building they were doing and the huge number of employees they were hiring?  After all, whenever I was in a bookstore, whether it be in Tulsa or a city like Houston, I was usually the only customer in sight.
118
Up to 70.  Dunno the when/if on getting 70% Vs. getting less. Didn't dig deeper.  Still, though, even if it's less, once you consider the fact that they do all the work of the photos, the listing, shipping, customer q/a, etc. . .  Keep in mind, though, that they set the price. 

Edit - did the digging.  They have a scale system that ranges from 55% to 70%, based on your net sales.  The more you sell, the higher the commission you get.  It looks like the first year of selling is the roughest.  https://www.therealreal.com/commission-chart

Items must be less than 10yrs old, even newer for some designers (like I mentioned in previous post about how some can only be 5yrs old).  List of designers whose goods they accept is at https://www.therealreal.com/designers

Saw on another page that for jewelry and watches you can get up to 80%, but couldn't find the details.  Did discover that their jewelry category is open to non-designer goods, as long as it's a good piece.  I'm not surprised that this non-designer piece was accepted https://www.therealreal.com/products/jewelry/rings/engagement-ring/platinum-diamond-engagement-ring-17?source=igodigital I'm a little surprised that this one was, though:  https://www.therealreal.com/products/jewelry/rings/band/ring-14k-emerald-and-diamond-stacking-bands

Handmaid's Tale - coincidentally, that's what I was watching when saw the ad  :)   That is a good show, eh?   :)
119
* Beyond eBay & Amazon / New Designer Goods Online Consignment Shop
« on: June 07, 2017, 01:11:49 AM »
Just saw a consumer orientated ad for this site on Hulu.  Got to looking at it and it's a consignment shop https://www.therealreal.com

The ad says every item is authenticated by their team of in house experts.  If you look at the site you find that they have restrictions on the goods, such as only certain designers, some designers the item can only be 5yrs old, etc.

Sellers get to keep up to 70% of the selling price.  They'll schedule a pick up or you can ship the goods to them.

General info for individual sellers at https://www.therealreal.com/consign
If you're a luxury goods vendor, the vendor page is at https://www.therealreal.com/business-sellers
120
I just wonder how effective it will be in attracting the walmart customer.  The monthly rate does make it seem cheap, but when you consider it's $72 over 12 months, it's not that cheap, especially for someone on assistance.  After all, it used to be $79 a yr. . .

Of course, having it listed at the monthly rate does help with the sales. If netflix advertised their plan at the per yr rate, they'd probably have fewer customers. Same reason places can rent washer and dryers, sofas, etc. for crazy prices; they tell you the weekly rate and make it look cheap.  Case in point, I used to know a person that was paying more per month for his washing machine (from one of those rental places) than I paid for a used one that was advertised in the local classifieds.  So, maybe it'll work.  :? I'm sure they spent quite a bit of time researching the optimal price point.

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