UPDATE: Well, crap. I turned on the store, everything looked great, but the first three orders couldn't process because of some kind of communication problem with my bank for verification of funds. Bleh. Everything will be just fine soon... very soon...
In what can only be described as a miracle, the Artificial Duck Co. store is on-schedule for its grand opening tonight tomorrow.
Probably pretty late tonight around noon tomorrow, as there are still some things that need to be tested.
Getting to this point wasn't easy... I had no idea that setting up a "real" store for myself would be so hard. I've done it dozens of times for other people but, when it comes to making a store of your own, there's an unimaginable amount of work that has to happen. Honestly, it's too much work for something that's supposed to be just a hobby, but oh well. Soon it will all be over.
The best part of setting up shop has been designing various features I want the store to have. Some things aren't working quite right on Internet Explorer (surprise, surprise), but the "Build-A-DuckyButton-Set" page seems to be working just fine. Creating the "About Us Page" was also loads of fun (assuming I don't get sued by Paramount!).
By far the worst part of setting up shop has been the shipping charges. The US Postal Service is changing rates and eliminating services on May 14th, and so all of that has to be accounted for (since none of my orders will be shipping until early June). Shipping is always a tricky beast, because I want very much for what I charge to be accurate so I'm not ripping people off. I hate ordering a T-shirt on the internet and having shipping charges be $12 when I know the company is only going to pay $5. Rip-off! The problem is that if you goof up and accidentally charge too little, you stand to lose a horrendous amount of money very quickly. And it doesn't help that Yahoo!'s rate charts can't be calculated by shipping zone, which is kind of stupid because that's how all the carriers set their rates.
But other than the shipping rates and the aforementioned lack of inventory display, Yahoo! hasn't been that bad to work with. I don't know if I will be able to afford to stay with them because their rates are so incredibly high, but I'll wait it out a few months before deciding what to do about that. It sure would be nice if Yahoo! would just take a straight percentage though. Rather than the $100/month + 1% I'm paying now, it would be a lot better for me if they just took 3% or even 5% so I wouldn't be hit so hard on months where I'm not selling much. I didn't build my store to make money, but it would be nice not to lose money.
Anyway, it's been an adventure. Check in tomorrow when everything should be up-and-runnning (crossing my fingers) at Artificial Duck Co.!
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Wow! Looks like you’ve got one hell of a team over there at Artificial Duck Co! I can’t wait to see what’s in store!!
It REALLY sucks to live on the opposite coast – the time delay kills me, but I’m glad it is coming together. I’ve been checking all day and was hoping things were still “ducky”…
I’m going to stop saying how awesome you are after today….I swear. No really, I mean it ;).
Oh fuck it, you are always going to do something awesome, aren’t you?
I’m only first because I’m stalking your blog. Cafe Press charges $5.00 for shipping and I was complaining about that. One box of cards, $12.00. $17.00 with s+h. Amount of cards? 6. Sheesh.
sweet. the store returns. shibby!
Can’t wait to see what’s in the store !! 🙂
this is so exciting!
For the first time in a long while, chronically staying up until 1:00 AM and living on the West Coast might pay off for me. Not that I’ll get my t-shirt any quicker, but it would be cool to the first customer.
i dont think you will get sued, and if you do, jsut set your phasers on stun..
Well here’s hoping. Like the Mrs said… I got a little girl who would love that button of the duck with the key up his ass. Er…
Yeah. Well she’s old for her age.
Can I save money on shipping by just picking it up directly from your house?
Looking forward to it. When will the results for the 2nd T-shirt be in?
And just in case you havent heard it enough, You are GREAT. Dave the Great. Dave the Supreme Ruler of the Blogosphere and his side-kick badmonkey. Okay, I’m shutting up now.
I can’t wait to order some buttons! 🙂
Looking forward to this! Woot!!!
Doing the happy dance! Can’t wait to see it. You da bomb Dave!
sweet. I´ve got dollares to spend! 🙂
Dude, I feel for you. I work in e-Commerce and when we launched our new website, bank software and order entry system it was a fiasco of major proportions. And we are a big company that contracted with an experienced design firm. I can’t even imagine doing it on my own.
Dave: you so rock! 😀
I haven’t worked on e-commerce stuff for a couple years. Did so in the semi-early days of PayPal and it was a bit tricky. I do a lot of PHP coding and am going to get back into e-commerce soon(tm). Sorry to hear you’re having problems – wish I lived closer and could drop by to help you hammer it out. Getting everything to talk to each other is sometimes (read: always) frustrating.
It sure does look sweet though! I’ve been looking forward to swimming with the duckies ever since I first found your blog. Just the idea of it is like waking up and finding George Lucas made three really good prequel Star Wars movies.
Bleh is right…it’s always something, eh? Fortunately I’ve got jury duty today to keep me from checking back all day… even though I know you are 3 hours behind me I still keep checking in to see the progress.
I can’t stand the wait. I started driving last night around six and haven’t stopped. Well, I stopped to pick up a pack of adult diapers and some Slim Jims. Anyway, by my calculations I can get pretty close to your time zone by three this afternoon which is close to noon your time. I forgot my wallet at home so I may have to steal a car if I run out of gas. All the same I’ll be close for the opening. I just hope Starbucks will let me in. I’m overloaded if you know what I mean and not smelling very fresh. By the way, those little christmas tree air fresheners really don’t work! Will rush delivery be an option? I may need to change for the drive home.
Are you going to be offering the Artificial Duck tee shirt too? It appeals to the little kid in me.
Again, I cannot imagine the time and effort it took to do all of this – you rock!
Great ! I love your ideas ! 🙂
For this moment, I must wait 1h20min…
WOO HOO !!! 🙂
I can’t wait for the grand opening of the Artificial Duck store! In fact, I’ve been watching the countdown clock tick down and then back up as more delays creep up. It’s a cruel, cruel tease (not that I’m saying your cruelly teasing us, you’re not… right?). May the virtual doors open soon!
Oh no! No the time is going up!
Keep plugging away dude – you’ll get ‘er sussed.
Veronica Mars tonight.