I created this page because this site is a work-in-progress. I have been trying to leave e-bay since December 2016, which is 28 months as of the time I write. I had worked for several months on developing a site on a different platform - one that was not nearly as good as this one is. This website is the result of a completely new attempt to develop an information rich, resource packed site for all stamp collectors. Due to the amount of time that was wasted in developing the old website, I did not want to wait for every single aspect of this site to be perfect before bringing it live. So, it is a work in progress, and this page was created to keep you up to date with the changes that have been implemented.
Significant progress has been made since my last update in February:
- My comprehensive business plan to support an application for financing to enable the hiring of employees and the expansion of our stock was presented to a representative from the Business Development Bank of Canada on February 25, 2019. I expect to have a response from them in the next 2-3 weeks.
- I am now 2-3 weeks away from completing the design of an efficient workflow process for listing of inventory. Because of this, I am now in a position to lower my prices on most items in my inventory significantly.
- In accordance with #2 above, I have revised most all of my prices, lowering almost everything cataloguing over $3 by 30-50%. Accordingly I have updated my explanation of my pricing on the page titled "our pricing".
- I have completely re-vamped the navigation within the site, by building a series of dedicated landing pages to help guide visitors through the content and enable them to find pages quickly and easily.
- Due to the lack of compatibility between the language translation app and the app that I used to build the landing pages, and numerous other issues with Google and the fact that it was slowing down the site, I have made the difficult decision to remove the languages for now. I am currently investigating a more expensive, but better language translation app. However, it likely will not be feasible to offer more than French for quite some time into the future, as it is a very expensive app. I expect to be in a position to re-introduce French in May or June 2019.
All of the above developments are critical to enable me to list all of the tens of thousands of stamps that I have in my stock. The old saying goes "A stitch in time saves nine." Truer words were never spoken when it comes to listing stamps. Trying to get all of my inventory listed accurately has been the largest challenge facing me since I started this business. So, rather than list manually right now, I've been trying to develop an efficient way to do it, so that I can get more material up, more frequently, which will allow me to offer greater and greater selection. After nearly 2 months of work, I am close to having an excel CSV spreadsheet developed that will allow me to list thousands and thousands of items over the coming months. My hope is to have it finished by the end May, and to be in a position to start listing material in earnest over the summer months. Then, you should see many of the currently empty collections begin to swell with beautiful and appealing stamps.
The other aspect to all this is that I am now finally able to offer you a shopping experience that combines the flexibility and pleasure of retail, with the price structure of wholesale on most items (i.e. those cataloguing more than $3 each). However, you will still be able to save on the less expensive items when you redeem one of our discount coupons against your purchase. Because of the new pricing structure and the discount coupons, I have retired the "Make an Offer" button that was previously appearing on all listings. In addition, I have eliminated the popups that would appear on the pages during our users' first visits. I decided that they would be too annoying to users and so they are now gone.
I have streamlined the product tags and reduced their number in order to make the collection pages load faster. However, because the inventory is very large, it will take longer for the pages to load, than for some other websites which have less. Visitors should also be aware that this site is optimized for mobile, so that the load speeds there are much faster than on desktop. However, the site does use browser caching, so pages will always load much faster with the second and subsequent visits. I have included a section on the "Navigation Tips" page discussing the speed issue and how to find the items you are looking for most efficiently.
I have now connected Facebook messenger, so that you can contact me instantly on messenger and have connected the other social media channels as well.
I have continued to notice that there have been many searches for non-Canadian material, as I expected, and unfortunately due to time constraints, I do not yet have this portion of my inventory listed. I hope to be able list a significant amount of material over the coming months, as I am now ready to begin listing items in earnest within the next 2 weeks. But, it is important to remember that I cannot have all my inventory listed at any given time. So, if you are looking for something specific, and you do not see it here, I would always suggest sending me either a message over Facebook Messenger, or by e-mail. I will check my stock and get back to you within 24-48 hours.
Finally, I have accepted a contract to work in Toronto until the end of April 2019. The proceeds of this contract should enable me to proceed with many of my initiatives, even if BDC's response to my financing application is not favourable. I have brought my stock with me, so I will continue to fulfill orders as normal. However, I may not have time to write and publish my blog posts on quite as regular a schedule as I was doing before. However, I do anticipate that my publishing schedule will return to normal in May after I return to Saint John.
Enjoy your visit!