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Do you think the RS Club store is a good idea?

  • It about time! I'd love to see all Subaru products in one place!

    Votes: 51 50.5%
  • Yeah, I'd check it out, and probably buy something

    Votes: 38 37.6%
  • I'd probably drop by every once in a while

    Votes: 10 9.9%
  • I might look at it if I had to...

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • I would never use it

    Votes: 1 1.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
Okay everyone, you may of heard the rumors that I am planning on putting together a store for the RS Club. My thought is that this will be a nice place for everyone to buy and sell their Subaru stuff. This is a very rough draft of some of the concepts I have thought up.

Take a few minutes and go over it, and think about things, and post other ideas you might have. If you see something that you think might be a bad idea, let me know.

As you can see, I'm pretty open about the whole process. I do intend (at some point) to charge the vendors a small fee to be able to sell, but I think that is reasonable considering the time and costs that I encounter just running the site. My hopes are that the costs are low enough that the buyers will not adversly be affected and see higher prices in the products.

What will probably happen in that I will start building the store in the next month or so, and then I will put out another thread asking for beta testers - both customers and vendors - to play with the system and give me feedback. If you are interested, I'll tell you when I want to get names.

Okay, enough chat, here's the ideas:

Purpose:
The goal of the RS Club store is to create a single location which caters to ALL of the Subaru cars. To that end, by enticing multiple vendors to advertise in one high-traffic, high-profile, and low cost environment, the enthusiasts and vendors can both benefit. In essence, while there are many vendors, each individual vendor may not have significant traffic to their web site (if they have one at all), so this allows a vendor to get into business with an established customer base quickly and easily. In addition, there will be several administrative pieces that will allow vendors to capture statistics on products, buyers, and traffic to help them better target products and sales.

The buyers will benefit by being able to browse a large selection of products in one place, as well as comparison shop for products and prices. While the lowest prices are not necessarily the goal of the RS Club store, hopefully the prices will be competitive enough to attract buyers and sellers. The buyers will also benefit from a large variety of tools and services that will be provided at no cost to them.

Features:
  • Custom user profiles and memorization of current cars (to allow searching for compatible parts in the store)
  • Large selection of products, all which can be categorized by car year, make, and model, and searched easily.
  • Ability for vendors to upload multiple images for each product
  • Searches that are sent to vendors if no matching products are found. This allows vendors to quickly fulfill a special or customized need for a product, especially if they may have the part but have not listed it on the store
  • Feedback system allowing users to rate each other upon completion of transactions, complete with scoring, to aid all users in completing successful transactions
  • Product view statistics to help vendors determine which products appear to be attracting more attention
  • Product comments and feedback – probably tied into the RS Club forum – to allow vendors to address questions related specifically to the products and allow other users to review previously addressed issued.
  • Products can easily be entered by sellers using custom text-to-HTML interface, which allows sellers to make nice looking ads without computer training
  • SSL Secure ordering process, complete with “Express Lane” checkout that allows buyers to quickly buy a product if they are a registered user.
  • All items are linked via a master items page, which will increase visibility to search engines which can only follow hyperlinks. If there is no index, a search engine may not be able to get past your search engine and then your products are not visible to the search engine, lowering your chances of people finding products via portals such as Yahoo! or AltaVista.
  • Vendor sponsored “Give Aways” – in exchange for giving away valuable products or services to members, vendors will receive heightened advertising or placement on the web site.
  • Smart Cart – this system will keep track of where a user last was by using a Cookie. When the user comes back, they will be returned to the same place they were last visiting on the site
  • Wish List – a place where customers can add “Wanted” items to keep track of later. This information will be anonymously shared with vendors so they can keep track of high profile items. In addition, customers can select notification if the price goes up/down
  • Payment options to include credit cards and PayPal.
  • Vendors without a merchant account may be qualified to use the RS Club merchant account at an additional per month and per transaction fee.
  • Low cost for vendors is anticipated at around $20/mo (or $200 if pre-paid for a year) and/or roughly 3% - 9% per-transaction fees, whichever is greater. Cost is TO BE DETERMINED at a later date.
  • No cost to buyers
  • No cost for vendors to join or drop out of the program, but there are no monthly fee refunds. Therefore, if you cancel before the end of the month, your monthly fee is not pro-rated, and no refund is given. However, If you are pre-paid for a year, a refund will be processed for the remaining full months of your contract.
  • Vendor accounts can be paid with either a credit card or PayPal account, and must be paid in full by the 20th of the preceding month. Failure to pay monthly fee will immediately deactivate user account unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the RS Club.
  • Vendors will be asked to provide various business related documents and information to verify their authenticity.
  • Vendors will be strictly required to charge customers ONLY if the products are in stock. If a product is not in stock, vendors agree they will only AUTHORIZE a customers credit card to verify that the buyer has the funds available. Once the product is in stock, the vendor will complete the sale with the same authorization number used (not a second authorization) once the product is ready to be shipped
  • Under no circumstances will vendors collect deposits or charge customers accounts for products that are not in stock.
  • Statistics will not reveal any personal, private, or user-specific financial data of customers at any time. However, statistics may be given in an anonymous form to allow tracking of sales which can be used to improve product selection and customer service.


Problems:
  • TBD – Your feedback is important, please list any ideas or issues you feel can help the store, or any thoughts on items that might be troubling to buyers, sellers, or the RS Club in general.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #2
Oh yeah, here are some other ideas I would like to implement:

  • Who's logged on to the store
  • Who's looking at a product (if you are, too)
  • Who's looking at what
  • Integration with your RS Club profile (so username and password stays the same)

More to come... :biggest:
 

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2001 2.5 RS BRP
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330 Posts
James, looks like you put a lot of thought to this. I like the way it looks for both the vendor and the buyer. Looking through the design of the page I don't see any problems that stand out. Keep up the good work.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Come on folks - hit the poll, gimme some feedback (good and bad!) - 243 views and only 8 votes! :lol:

:p
 

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just don't have pirce matching or fixing or price floors ...or whatever the PC wording of the day is about that topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No, I'm not going to have anything to do with pricing. That's up to each vendor to set their own prices. I'm basically just going to let vendors do as they please with their sales, since it's really none of my concern how they run their business, you know?

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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'00 2.5RS coupe (9/01-1/04)
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Here's a suggestion that I made on "that other club" , but I don't think anyone read it. I hate when that happens.


-----------cut&paste---------------
I have an idea that would be very fair, yet difficult to implement. Make EVERYONE (private seller, vendor, big vendor, basement vendor) pay a $1.00 per transaction advertising fee for everything sold on i-club. Or maybe a percentage of each transaction, but that's more difficult to calculate. A dollar is easy, and could add up really quickly. Ten dollars a day (actual numbers could easily be double this amount) would make 300 dollars a month, and that should help out a lot.


If you charge vendors a monthly fee, they will pass the expense on to their customers via higher prices. Also, this could cause companies to think twice about making new products for Subaru. I know there are a lot of bandwagon jumpers out there, and people complain about it, but would you rather have an abundance or a lack of aftermarket support?

Think about it, it costs money to advertise. All you're doing is making the i-club classifieds more like the newspaper classifieds, only cheaper. I-club ads don't cost anything per day, are easily searchable, and are as descriptive as you want them to be.


The idea of seperate vendor 'store-fronts' is a good idea too, but I don't think it should use i-club server space. Make a thread full of links to vendor's websites, somewhat like the links section at www.imprezars.com , and vendors would have to pay a small monthly fee to have a banner link to their site included in the list.

I've gotta run to class now, but I'll think more about the logistics of this, and post more later tonight or tomorrow. I think the implementation would be the toughest part of this idea, but the end result would be better than any of the suggestions I've read.


-scott-

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It's not a GC
07 WRX Wag0nz
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9,387 Posts
Hey this is awesome and I think it will be great to have all of it in one place but one suggestion and I mean nothing but good intentions here can we just concentrate on perfomance parts for the RS and not the WRX, seems to me there are more available parts for the WRX rather than the RS but at any rate this is a great Idea...Now Please don't let my comment get out proportion meaning don't let this turn into a bitchin session instead of what it really supposed to be....Thanks
--Frank--

Awesome Idea!!
 

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how affiliated with the RS club would this be?

overall, i think its a great idea. sorry i can't give you any technical feedback since i don't know jack about website construction.
 

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'01 RSTi - Aspen White
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Sounds great! Do you think the prices will be competetive?:biggest:
 

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RSTi, STi V6, BRZ Turbo
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3-9% is not good. Sometimes that is all the available margin in a product. Don't forget that paypal and credit card companies already take at least 3%. I like Scotty's idea on the simple $1 per transaction. It makes more sense, and will more than pay James's costs. Other than that, I'm in with mine and wop's new venture.
Kevin
pkZero inc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like it's gonna be a "Dollar Store" like in the mall, huh?!?!?! :lol:

Keep the ideas coming guys, I really appreciate the alternate point of view(s). :D
 

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I think we should pay 100.00 per month like the other club :).
I could see my window decals going from $10.00 to $110.00.:boxer:
:stupid: :barf:
 

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MY95 Impreza L Wagon
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Time frame

This sounds great what's the time frame on getting this system up and running? I am a couple months away from building up my car and will need a bunch of stuff this system will be helpful.
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hopefully within a couple of months as well. However, I am sure it will take some time for vendors to start posting their products *if* they are interested.

I hope they are! :D
 
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