So last week, I made a push to get all of the essential functions on the site working properly, and to edit enough listings that had been imported from E-bay, to at least make a start.
So I started with the item categories. Previously, I had designed a basic one-direction tree structure for product categories that listed all of the stamp issues from 1851 in order. This is better organization than one usually sees on most stamp websites. But I realized that it could still be made even better. I wanted a navigation system that would allow the customer to casually browse as many different categories as possible, without having to rely on search. So I spent the next few days adding catalogue numbers to the titles, creating additional layers of categories and adding entirely different classes of product, such as collections, year sets and complete sets. My goal was to ensure that no matter what a collector is interested in, they can find it easily. I am particularly proud of what I came up with. A collector can now browse:
- By issue.
- By condition and grade.
- By price range.
- By catalogue number - both Unitrade and Stanley Gibbons.
- By lot type - single stamps, FDC's Covers, Cancels, complete sets, year sets and revenues.
After completing the item categories, I verified that the other pages were all correctly set up and functioning, and then I re-directed my domain name to point to the website. We were now online and open for business.
Then I began setting up the Google product feeds, and the Adwords account. Of course there have been some hiccups, as there always are with these kinds of changes. But I haven't worried about E-bay now for well over a week. I still had some sales there this past week, but I am done with getting angry at them or worrying about what they are going to do next. It has been wonderful not having to care about them or think about them.
At present, there are only a modest number of stamps listed, but over the next 8-10 weeks, I will be transferring some 6,000 stamps from my E-bay store to the website. So lots of new items will be appearing continuously. After this is done, I will continue listing items until all my inventory is listed, which I expect will be about 2 years. When it is finished, this will be one of the largest, if not the largest online retail source of Canadian stamps in the world. I have also considered the possibility of expanding beyond Canada as well eventually. But for the moment, my focus will have to be on Canada.
I would encourage you to take a look at the site to get a feel for it. These sites are a lot of work to set up, but it is nothing that most people with a computer and the ability to follow instructions can't handle. It just takes a lot of patience.