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cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:01 pm    Post subject: Traders who aren't online?  Reply with quote    

Thought I'd ask you lot this.

I know several small, reliable, ethical traders who just don't do computers. I just stood and talked with one of them for half an hour in the pouring rain, hearing how she's really interested in preserving old and hard to find garden plants, listening to her talking about how she's been trying to source local hazel hurdles, etc. She and her husband have a small plant nursery and sell excellent stuff.

Just round the corner from there is another market stall, again selling home raised plants and, in summer, vegetable seedlings and vegetables. Bang on for a lot of what we do.

Yesterday I was talking with a lass who has a stall dealing in fair trade goods, expecially clothing.

So these guys, and so many others, seem bang on for what we do here, they're good, reliable traders, many of whom I've dealt with for years. But there's no obvious way to help them publicise their activities if they're not online themselves.

Any ideas, chaps?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26629
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No reason why we can't write articles about them in the trading section.

But online IS the way it is all going, the nature of evolution for small traders is adapt or die....

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
No reason why we can't write articles about them in the trading section.

But online IS the way it is all going, the nature of evolution for small traders is adapt or die....


All three of them are doing rather well on our local market. Online is a great way to go for many small traders, but not all of them. Its hard for some of them to justify the time needed.

But getting an article about them (even just typing up the blurb they already have) might not be a bad plan. That said, getting the same out of regular memebers who we know have a great business that could be plugged here can be hard enough. I'm going to work on Wildfood Junkie for both of her projects again soon.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
No reason why we can't write articles about them in the trading section.

But online IS the way it is all going, the nature of evolution for small traders is adapt or die....


I have to agree there- even with local sales, people now look for a web address, as they can purchase in person but they still have access to all the information that a website can provide. If they don't want a website themselves, then a web presence of somesort is vital. Once they get this, they will find that a website is worthwhile & will start to generate their own interest in it.

I was determined that a website was the way to go and since jema put together the new format for us, enquiries have been much better than with the old site.

Personally if I want something, the first place I will look is the web- even if I am looking to purchase locally. Also, with a list of companies to check out, the first ones I will check are those with websites (and in particular, those with full contact details ie postal address, landline telephone & own-domain e-mail). From my experience of the enquiries I receive, I'd also disagree that the internet is age related- I get just as many older people as younger folk enquiring online & the same with those who say they don't 'do' the internet, young & old.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

All well and good... But the three examples I picked don't have web access, and they don't have web sites. Yet they're small, interesting and ethical.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26629
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
All well and good... But the three examples I picked don't have web access, and they don't have web sites. Yet they're small, interesting and ethical.


Perhaps, but it is likely all the same that the publicity we could give them would not help too much.
We cater for people who are online and who's next port of call after reading about something here, is to look for the email or web address and not to pick up a phone or write a letter.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41950
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Is this something we could do? I know it's outside our original scheme, but.....
If there's a trader without an internet presence that one of our members (staff might be better than just members) will vouch for then we could offer them an ad, provided that they're happy to put up a phone number as a contact point. It could be a good way of helping small traders to dip their toes into the rolling ocean of the internet. Or not, if everyone hates the idea.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:

Perhaps, but it is likely all the same that the publicity we could give them would not help too much.
We cater for people who are online and who's next port of call after reading about something here, is to look for the email or web address and not to pick up a phone or write a letter.


Maybe, although as Rob said, people look online even for things that are local to them. I know I've looked shops up and then visited.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
Is this something we could do? I know it's outside our original scheme, but.....
If there's a trader without an internet presence that one of our members (staff might be better than just members) will vouch for then we could offer them an ad, provided that they're happy to put up a phone number as a contact point. It could be a good way of helping small traders to dip their toes into the rolling ocean of the internet. Or not, if everyone hates the idea.


Thats quite a nice idea.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
All well and good... But the three examples I picked don't have web access, and they don't have web sites. Yet they're small, interesting and ethical.


If they realised the potential of the internet, they would end up getting sites, if they don't, then is there really much point in bothering about them? You can lead a horse to water... What I mean is that I've tried to get through to some people the importance of the net as a trading platform, but it's only when they discover for themselves how good it is that they do anything about it. If they don't have the net at present, perhaps they don't need it? Perhaps they wouldn't have the resources to deal with added interest from the net either.

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7654
Location: France
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've helped people out in the past by simply creating a single-page website in a subdirectory of my own site. They have not had a website and had no interest in putting one together. It works as a kind of "online business card" with telephone and fax contact details. Better than nowt'?

I've just made one for my sister in the UK but it is not exactly the kind of site we would promote on here.
www.pontiacjeep.co.uk
Somebody slap my wrists.

It isn't a perfect example as I went a step further and registered the domain name for her, also she has a hotmail account so she can check emails. No reason why the same thing but without the email addresses wouldn't work. An online ad that could be pointed to from other sites such as Downsizer.

Of course you would have to be pretty supportive of these traders to want to make this kind of effort.

S

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've talked to a few local people without the net about the directory or shop on my site- it always seems like trying to eat soup with a fork. An online ad is certainly better than nothing, but how effective it is if the proprietor doesn't have access to the net (or does, but doesn't check it at all) is a problem.

E-mail is a prime example- some people thought an e-mail contact would improve their business, but it only does that if they actually check & respond regularly- if you don't, it can have the opposite effect.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

simon wrote:

Of course you would have to be pretty supportive of these traders to want to make this kind of effort.


An ad here accompanied by a phone number might be more the kind of effort I'd put in. If that works out it might bait them online.

Would that kind of thing be acceptable here on Downsizer? Would we be happy with staff-supported small traders having that kind of presence here?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26629
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
cab wrote:
All well and good... But the three examples I picked don't have web access, and they don't have web sites. Yet they're small, interesting and ethical.


If they realised the potential of the internet, they would end up getting sites, if they don't, then is there really much point in bothering about them? You can lead a horse to water... What I mean is that I've tried to get through to some people the importance of the net as a trading platform, but it's only when they discover for themselves how good it is that they do anything about it. If they don't have the net at present, perhaps they don't need it? Perhaps they wouldn't have the resources to deal with added interest from the net either.


I'd never suggest a totally hard and fast rule, but I agree with the basic sentiment.
There are loads of people we can help out who are in the process of trying to help themselves.
On the whole I'd rather be concentrating on those people, than people who don't want or think they need the internet.
That might seem a bit harsh, but time and resources are limited, so why chase those who don't want to play?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26629
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 06 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Would we be happy with staff-supported small traders having that kind of presence here?


Perfectly happy, as putting an article up costs us nothing.

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