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Re: Pay Pal - explained

chick wrote:
RE:>>4 million members is a lot, but when you balance that against all the people who
can't buy from you unless they sign up for Pay Pal, I would have a problem offering that
as the only option.

Hi Chick,
This has been an interesting discussion.  What we are talking about with Paypal.com is
whether the internet is really changing the way that the world does business.   For some
it most definitely is, for others it definitely is not.   This is neither good nor bad,
it just is.   (I have a question.  Can you tell me your Credit Card number, from memory?
How about your email address?  Which is EASIER for you?  Me, I have some cards and I'm
hard pressed to remember even the last four digits of just one of them, let alone the
whole set of 16 numbers.  My email address, though, I've got that puppy down pat.  All of
my customers know their's by heart, too).

I don't have any problems taking checks, but then I sell 97% of my business via the
internet.  Most of my customers are very web-savvy, having already purchased the products
over the internet.    I would imagine that few people are that fortunate (or unfortunate,
dependent on your perspective 8<)).     I went from 0 to 230 varieties in stock in one
year.  I expect to have 400 varieties at the end of this season, and from 500-600 next
year.  I intend in three years to be at a business volume where many are after ten or
20.  Not many people want to operate at this breakneck speed of a growth rate, nor can
they.  Growing a business this quickly can get quite complicated.   I don't have that
option--I HAVE to learn what it takes to grow the business quickly.  What I have to do is
examine the best practices of those who are successful and then determine whether I want
to adopt those practices.  I don't have to invent many, I just have to determine whether
I want to adopt best practices that are already in existence.

A lot of vendors (particulary in the nursery trades) don't see the need to do bar coding
either.  If it weren't for the fact that the only polystyrene plant pot tag that I can
find (that is 1" wide and 15mils thick) is also 1/4" too long for my printer, I would
have been printing bar coded plant pot tags my first year in business.  As it is, it
looks like I'll have to print my labels in a 4-up x 10" long format in order to get them
to work in my printer.  I could, 1) throw out the printer (bad plan--$2,000+ invested),
2) print on a 1/2" x 3" plant pot tag (very small), 3) try to cut the .25" off with a
razor blade or hacksaw (this option simply will not work), or 4) print to tags that are
really made for trees and woody perennials.   I can't get the Economy Labels people to
make a different die (because they want to sell their wide format printers?) so I am
choosing the last option because it is the only practical option for me.  NOT figuring
out how to have a computer print tags and to put on barcodes is just NOT one of the
options I am willing to consider.

And that is kind of how it is with this Paypal.com thing.  People like me eat up this
technology because they find it helpful.  Others say that this is not for them--too much
high-tech or they don't see the need.  No big deal.  If your market doesn't require
paypal.com type services, then I wouldn't worry about it either.  But for me, I am
planning to add international sales to my market target this year and without paypal.com,
I would have to deal with up to 16 different currency conversions and oh what a pain that
would be.  There are already enough business problems without that one, too.

Whether that is a good idea or not, now THERE is where a guy like you or Bob Kuk could
help.  Last time I checked, though, Bob didn't like computers much either so I don't
believe I can email him to ask.  But I suppose there are few on the planet that grow
better Hostas than you and he, and the world is already beating a path to your door.  But
what about little ol' Pandy out here in Des Moines?  I've got some great Hostas (because
many of us have the same suppliers) but until last year, there was NO HostaHaven.com, so
how could people have even heard of me?  (Remember that this discussion started because
Pat was wondering about easy ways to conduct transactions OVER THE INTERNET).

Maybe you can see why I HAVE TO make it easy for folks to buy from me over the
Internet--I don't have a legacy of 25 years of experience to fall back on.  I simply HAVE
to be great with customer service in any way that I can or I won't achieve my
objectives.  There are lots of formulas for success that will work.  Having great Hostas
is certainly part of the equation.  But we all have great Hostas so we have to have
something else that differentiates us.  For those who don't like Paypal.com, they either
send a check or money order, or they buy from you or someone else.  I just happen to
think it's the greatest thing since Al Gore invented the Internet and I know that most of
my credit card buyers are already paypal.com members. The ones that are not soon will be
because they are web-savvy.

For the other customers, we are more than glad to take a personal check just like you and
Bob Axmear, but I still prefer Paypal.com...That's okay, isn't it?

As for whether one can grow their business more quickly because of Paypal.com, forget
that I said that.  Actually, I hate the service and you will, too, if you sign up.  Don't
give it another minute of thought  because it's simply not worth worrying about...  8<))

Hosta la Vista!

Andrew Lietzow

> I don't know much about Pay Pal, but it looked to me like a buyer could use their
> credit card with it, so I don't see anything wrong with it.  Frankly, until this
> discussion I had never heard of it.  None of our customers have ever inquired about
> it. My only problem with it is that I would not sign up for a service I had no other
> use for just so I could buy from a particular vendor unless it was the only place I
> could get what I wanted.  But that's just me and I don't have any problems with using
> a credit card on the net. Since virtually all sellers take credit cards and virtually
> all buyers have them, except for those who are afraid to use them over the web, I
> can't see any reason for us to use it.  We do have customers that don't like to use
> credit cards, but they always have the option of sending a check.
> Personally, we don't find bad checks a problem here.  Occasionally checks bounce, but
> it's almost always a mistake and is always made good.  I don't think too many people
> pass bad checks for plants.  In 25 years, I don't think we've lost $100 to bad
> checks.  It happens so infrequently that we don't wait for checks to clear and at our
> retail, we don't bother to ask for ID.  (Hope that doesn't give anyone any ideas.)  It
> could be that with all the fraud that goes on over the net that bad checks could
> become more of a problem, but so far we haven't had one in the three years our two
> sites have been up.
> I do have to question the statement that the advantages of Pay Pal over checks and
> credits cards is obvious, and the implication that your business will grow faster if
> you use Pay Pal.  4 million members is a lot, but when you balance that against all
> the people who can't buy from you unless they sign up for Pay Pal, I would have a
> problem offering that as the only option.
> Chick
> andrewl wrote:
> > bob wrote:
> > RE:>> I think it would be better to have a bad check or two along the way than to
> > impede everyone with
> > escrow accounts and paypal.
> >
> > Hi Bob,
> > I didn't raise the question of bad checks; Pat did that in a previous post,
> > possibly privately.  To not minimize this very real business risk is IMO a
> > mistake.  It can be done so easily.  Yes, most Hosta buyer's are wonderfully
> > reliable yet the reason I like paypal is because it is instanteous and you have no
> > question as to whether it is "good money".  Waiting for the buyer to send you a
> > check, however, creates uncertainty.  And for those who chose not to avail
> > themselves of this medium, then they are chosing a different rate of business
> > growth.  That is all I am saying.
> >
> > The advantage of paypal vs. checks or credit cards speaks for itself.  I'm just
> > sharing what techniques "I" feel are the best.  Whether someone else wants to be
> > on a track to grow their business as rapidly as I do is up to them.  Today's
> > high-tech, fast-growth businesses are about offering world class services as a
> > means of providing exemplary customer service.   IMHO, it doesn't get any better
> > than paypal.com and I believe this is substantiated by their 4,000,000 members in
> > 1-1/2 years.   It's good for the customer and that's why I use it.
> >
> > Once you're a member, financial transactions on the net just don't get any
> > simplier.   We all like simple yet I also happen to prefer "best practices".  My
> > brain tells me that Paypal.com is THE BEST in the industry and that their service
> > is extremely simple when you weigh the benefits.  Some have trouble getting signed
> > up and I don't understand why.  The process is a little elaborate, but it is
> > certainly doable.
> >
> > As for using an escrow agent, these services are not known by many and they also
> > address a unique business problem very efficiently.  Not using them is a business
> > owner's personal decision but not knowing that they even exist if/when you need
> > such may cause people grief which could have easily been avoided.   We both know
> > why you added this info to the Hosta Library auction page--it could save people
> > some financial losses and several people raised this concern last year.  Escrow
> > services eliminate that risk, if the buyer has any concerns.
> >
> > Once a company has done enough business on the net that a few deals have gone
> > south, the merit of such services becomes more evident.  I am simply trying to
> > save Pat some potential grief that you obviously feel is not of concern.   Thank
> > God that the human genome is indeed one complex set of molecules.
> >
> > Isn't it Josh Spece that says, "There are two ways of doing things; the easy way
> > and those who chose this method have their reward"?   You don't need to agree with
> > me--this is not a test about facts and neither of us will be graded.  8<))
> >
> > Andrew Lietzow, MBA
> > #1 Plantsman at http://hostahaven.com
> >
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