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The Pros and Cons of Buying Webkins from Amazon.com

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If you are the parent of a child, there is a good chance that you have heard of Webkins before, also commonly spelled Webkinz. When you buy a Webkins stuffed animal for your child, you also get a secret code. That secret code can be used online to unlock loads of fun and games for your child. As for how Webkinz pets work, your child essentially gets to adopt an online version of their pet. This is a pet that they will be responsible for caring for.

When it comes to Webkins, many children do not want to stop with just one pet. Some want to have multiple pets or as many as they possibly can. If your child is one of those children, you may be concerned with the cost. Although Webkinz pets are reasonably priced, their costs can add up over time. That is why many parents turn to Amazon.com to make their purchases. Amazon.com is a trusted website that is known for their great prices and amazing deals, but should you buy Webkins pets for your child through the website?

One of the best ways to help you determine if you should buy Webkins animals for your child on Amazon.com is to examine the pros and cons of doing so. This is important, as Amazon.com is just one of the many places that you can find Webkinz pets available for sale, both locally and online. For your convenience, a few of the most influential pros and cons to buying Webkins pets online through Amazon.com are highlighted below.

The biggest pro or plus side to using Amazon.com is the options that you have. Amazon is an online marketplace that lists products that are sold through major retailers, like Target, but they also allow other internet users to sell online as well. What this it means that you are likely to gain access to a large number of Webkins pets. A quick search on Amazon.com will let you know that are typically around three hundred different listings for Webkins pets. Regardless of what type of pet your child is looking for, you should be able to find it on the website.

Another pro or plus side to buying Webkinz pets for your child online through Amazon.com is the prices that you gain access to. As it was previously stated, there are multiple retailers and individual sellers who list products on Amazon. Not everyone charges the same amount of money, therefore, you should be able to price compare and find the best deals. In fact, that is what is nice about using the Amazon.com website, you can click on a product and the website will show you all of the sellers that have them for sale, as well as what they charge. It couldn’t be easier to compare the prices of Webkins pets.

Although there are a number of pros or plus sides to buying Webkinz pets on Amazon.com, it is also important to examine the cons of doing so. One of those cons is that Amazon allows internet users to sell used merchandise. Used merchandise must be clearly marked as used, but it isn’t always a good idea to purchased used Webkins for your child. If you do, just make sure that the Webkinz secret code hasn’t been used before. If the code has been used before, it might not work for your child. If you do decide to buy used and don’t care about gaining access to the website, don’t pay full price.

As you can see, there are a number of pros and cons to buying Webkins on Amazon.com. The above mentioned points also apply to eBay.com and other similar websites. If your child is interested in getting a Webkins pet for the sole purpose of caring for their virtual pet online, it may be in your best interest to make your purchase through a website, other than Amazon.com and eBay.com, as you are guaranteed to get a new pet with codes that work and are valid.

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How To Start A Profitable Online Business

How To Start A Profitable Online Business

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Before you rush out to register a domain name, set up a website and declare that you are in business online, do you know where your revenue come from? Can the profit sustain the business and more importantly, giving you, the business owner, the rewards you wanted. In other words, what is the Business Model of your business? Is it profitable?
You may said, “Why do I need to know my business model? I just want to make money.” Then I would ask you “How do you generate revenues? What are your costs? Who are your customers?” Or you may have a great idea that you know everybody will be crazy over it. Then the next step you need to do is to find a suitable business model to start your business.
Basically the business model shows how a business will generate revenue by identifying its product offering, value-added services, revenue sources and target customers. Some business models will fit naturally for a particular type of business. But with creativity and planning, you can add multiple new streams of revenue by combining several different models as part of your overall Internet business strategy. For example, a commonly seen strategy is for a content driven businesses to blend advertising with a subscription model.
Here are some of the successful business models found on Internet.
Affiliate Model
This model allow the merchant website to offer financial incentives for affiliated websites when they provide purchase-point click-through to the merchant.
Example: Amazon.com
Brokerage Model
Brokers bring buyers and sellers together and facilitate transactions in exchange for a fee.
Example: eBay, Amazon.com, ClickBank
Advertising Model
Web advertising model is an extension of the traditional media broadcast model. The website provide content or service (like e-mail, chat, forums, newsletters, search results) mixed with advertising messages.
Example: Yahoo!, Google, Overture, Hotmail
Merchant Model
Online wholesalers and retailers of goods and services, just like those in the offline world.
Example: Amazon.com, Victoria’s Secret, Lands’ End
Direct Sales Model
This model let the product or service creator to reach buyers directly and thereby compress the distribution channel.
Example: Dell Computer
Subscription Model
Users are charged a periodic fee (eg. daily, monthly or annual) to subscribe to a service or product
Example: America Online
The above models are not exhaustive or definitive.
Internet business models continue to evolve. Expect to see new and interesting variations in the future.

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Who is Alexa and what does she have to do with me?

Who is Alexa and what does she have to do with me?

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Traffic is the most important thing to any web based entrepreneur. And Alexa pretty much has a monopoly on that data. Ignore her at your own peril.

Alexa reminds the Computer Man Website Design Team of the teaching of Jesus Christ speaking of the rulers and powers of His time as recorded in the Holy Bible, Matthew 23:4, New American Standard Bible, “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger”.

Sure sounds like the few who control internet content to the old Tennessee Mountain Man.

Want to get an Alexa ranking that matters for your website? You should because all other directories, indexes and search engines stop by their website to see who you are and whether or not you are a mover and shaker in your internet niche.

Alexa may well be the world wide web’s Dunn and Bradstreet. If you know anything about business, business finances, the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce or have had to deal with your broker or banker on business matters you know the importance and the drill. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Sure it does, and what makes it worse is Alexa’s hypocrisy. Like the credit bureaus, Alexa collects, keeps and reports information about you and your website, but it keeps no data on its’ own traffic.

The first question asked by your prospective partners, marketers, and promoters is what is your Dunn and Bradstreet… oops sorry, Alexa rating.

Alexa, located at the Presidio of San Francisco, CA, was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. It offered a toolbar that gave Internet users guidance on where to go next, based on the traffic patterns of its user community. Say what? Yes, this cousin of Big Brother thinks it knows better what you want or need than you do. And, they select who best provides that for you. Based on what? Based on their user traffic.

Who do they think they are, and how do I become a part of this crucial community of the web elite?

They are the people who offer context for each site visited: to whom it was registered, how many pages it had, how many other sites pointed to it, and how frequently it is updated. Engineers at Alexa, in cooperation with the Internet Archive, created the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The nonprofit organization established to preserve Web sites by taking regular “snapshots”. The Wayback Machine provides links to older versions of a webpage. Alexa also supplies the Internet Archive with web crawls.

Amazon dot com acquired Alexa in 1999 for approximately $250 million in Amazon stock.

Alexa entered a partnership with Google in 2002, and with the Open Directory Project about a year later in 2003. Live Search replaced Google as their provider of search results in the summer of 2006. Then in the autumn of that same year they began using their own Search Platform. Then in December they released Alexa Image Search. Built in-house, it is the first major application to be built on their Web Platform. Today, Alexa is primarily a search engine, an Open Directory based web directory, and a general supplier of site information to all suitors.

In late 2005, Alexa opened its extensive search index and web-crawling facilities to third party programs through a comprehensive set of web services and APIs. These could be used, for instance, to construct vertical search engines that could run on Alexa’s own servers or elsewhere. Unique to the internet, Alexa’s Web Search Platform gives developers access to their raw crawl data reinforcing their comparison with Dunn and Bradstreet. Alexa, like every other web based endeavor feeling the bandwidth pinch changed their API to require comparisons be limited to 3 sites, reduced size embedded graphs be shown using Flash, and mandatory embedded BritePic ads in the early summer of 2007.

So who is Alexa and what does she have to do with me? Alexa is the ultimate remote helpdesk. Accessible only as a self help desk, she is the real gatekeeper. Her stats help determine your Google Page Rank, and Firefox’s About This Site are all Alexa metadata. Everyone else also pretty much reports what is in her data base. You know those stats you depend so much on? Irrespective of who supplies them to you… chances are they got them from Alexa.

To join the club browse to Alexa dot com and follow the webmaster instructions. Don’t forget the Alexa Tool Bar! It matters! Alexa averages your raw traffic over a three month period to determine your traffic flow and where you rate. Under 100,000 visitors a month over any consecutive three month period and you drop off the radar.

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Simple Ways To Make Your Site More Interactive

The best sites these days are the ones with the most interactive features. Taking cues from the larger sites, think of the interactive features that now bring in high numbers of customers. Using blogs, polls, forums, ratings, feedback, reviews, etc., a site can become more of a reflection of the people who use it, giving the users a reason to come back again and again to help shape the site.

Most of us have bought items from Amazon, that paragon of all affiliates. Think back to the first interactive features- the media reviews. Amazon lagged in the beginning, taking several years to even turn a profit. As they added more and more interactive features, the site became a community, and buyers stuck around both for content that they trusted and to leave content of their own. This includes not just the reviews, but now ranked review levels that reviewers try to attain. There are also now customer written lists of their favorite items, blogs, places for book authors to chime in about their books, interviews, and more. All of these features make the site feel less like a corporate sales machine and more like a hang out. Use a combination of features to achieve your own hang out status.

Polls are a good way to brig people in and keep them coming back. People love to vote for things, and you can bet they will come back to see how other people voted. Add to that a blog, comments that you can leave about the blog, and a place to talk to other users of the site, and you have an interactive meeting place, not just an ecommerce site.

Forums are one of the most popular parts of any interactive site. These can be very subject-focused forums that pertain only to the topic of the site, or anything-goes forums that allow users to talk about any topic they like. Many forums have a combination of both- places to discuss the products and keep people thinking about them, and places to discuss their private lives and meet up with friends. The most effective forums have both of these elements. When the readers are tired of talking about the given topic, they will still come back to ‘see’ people they know. This brings them back to your site again and again, creating the best environment for repeat sales.

One feature that has begun to be used more often is to give a rank to users based on their usage of the interactive features. Think of Amazon’s reviewer program, giving a special icon to their top reviewers. Many people strive to review as many items as they can in order to get those coveted titles, which cost nothing and don’t give them any special privileges. This type of program can actually be harnessed to greater benefit for larger sites. Yahoo now has an area where users can answer the questions of other users. Answering questions get the user points. Other users rate both the questions and answers, and getting good rating for your answers get the user more points. The points don’t mean a thing, but everyone seems to want them. There are likely much fewer questions being routed through the customer service channels now that the site’s users are willing to answer them in exchange for points. It also brings back customers in order to see how their answers and points are faring.

Taking a lesson from this model, think of ways to assign points or rankings to users of your site, and they will be back to improve those rankings. The rankings can be as simple as an icon, a number, or a special title. Giving the site’s users something, even a silly title, will show them that you appreciate them being and want them to keep coming back.

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Start A Home Business With Online Auctions

Start A Home Business With Online Auctions

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There are many ways that you can start your own home business and enjoy the rewards that come with it. This articles is going to discuss generating extra income by starting your own home business from online auctions.

Did you know that there are other places on the internet besides Ebay where you can sell your items. There are Yahoo and MSN auctions, as well as another site that gets a great deal of traffic and potential buyers-Amazon. Some of the great things about all of these sites is that they take very little experience to get started, very little money and not too much time. Additionally, and very important to sales is that these sites already have a great deal of built-in, targeted traffic. It’s hard to make a sale when no one knows where to find your items.

Finding products to sell isn’t that hard either. You can get started with some old CD’s or movies or books to get used to the process. Then you might start expanding by cleaning out your own garage or attic. If you don’t find much there… take it a step further and offer to clean or organize garages for your neighbors for a fee. If there’s anything they don’t want, tell them you will dispose of it for them. If it’s something you think you can sell, all the better. Then you can earn money from the service provided and the items that you come away with; not a bad home business.

When you get your auctions listed, be sure to have clear, detailed pictures of each item. You know the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But remember, a picture isn’t enough. You want to write a great description of each item that you list. Tell people things like how it looks (in case the picture doesn’t load or they just want to read about it) how old it is, any relevant history, what the current going rate is for a new item like yours and what the dimensions are. People like to know what they’re buying and will buy from the person who gives the most information for them to make their purchasing decision.

Make sure you have a descriptive title, not a flashy one. Flash doesn’t help you get found when someone is searching for you; good key words and descriptions do.

Do some research looking at other items similar to yours and see who has the most bids. Then, see what you think made that item more attractive, and apply that knowledge to your own auctions. With a little practice and effort, you could have a booming home business in no time. Happy selling!