Friday, August 18, 2006

Selling Advertising Space Must Suck

Ring Ring (I have a phone that does actually ring, wierd huh?)

ME (Polite) " Hello GlowGadgets, Doc Speaking"

CALLER " Hi can I speak with Chris Taylor please"

ME (Huh, Who's this?) " Speaking, How can I help you?

CALLER (Very Animated) " How are you Chris? I have been looking at your website and I am really impressed with the great gadgets you have there, I would like to order a few of those products myself"

ME (Maybe he's an over friendly customer)" Centainly, which products can I interest you in today?"

CALLER "I'm not too sure, I just need to ask you a few questions"

ME " Sure, fire away"

CALLER " How's business doing? Do you get many sales"

ME "We do alright thanks, how can I help you today?"

CALLER "You must advertise to get all your customers"

ME (Curious) " What are you selling?"

CALLER " I'm not selling anything, well not anything that wouldn't bring you a fantastic return on your investment. You would like to have more qualified customers visiting your website and spending more than they do now, wouldn't you?"

ME (Slightly annoyed) " Well there is only so much I can do and I don't want to be over run with customers, I am perfectly happy the way it is thanks"

CALLER " You do want your company to be sucessful don't you, we can help you grow and bring many more customers to your website"

ME " I'm not interested in doing any paper advertising thanks"

CALLER "Oh no, we have a the busiest and best Gadget website in the UK, we get 1000,s of visitors a week looking for your products. We could send them to and watch your profits grow"

ME (Slightly interested again) "Oh!"

CALLER " Are you sitting by a computer that's online at this moment?

ME (Duh!) "Yes"

CALLER " Visit our site www.******, see those links to shops on the left hand site of the page, those are the most clicked on links, aside from the image links on the right. The card rate for one of those is £200 a month, but I can do you deal and get it for half price of £100 per month for three months"

ME "£100 for one link, websites link to each other for free. You want me to pay for a link, are you mad?"

CALLER " Ah yes, but all our visitor are looking for your products and we can give you much better visability in the market place"

ME "£100 for one link, you are joking arn't you. What is your name anyway?"

CALLER " Marc, Marc Weather****"

ME "Well Marc Marc, I have never even heard of your website before and I don't think it would be worth my while. Now if you were calling from Engadget or Gizmodo then I would maybe consider talking with you longer, but I really am busy, sorry"

MARC "Oh but we have reveiws of all the latest gadgets and people come to us for our reviews. We could review your products when you advertise with us."

ME "So, if I had a link on your very busy website, what happens when I want a product of mine reviewed? Would you review it and give me editorial"

MARC " Oh yes, all you would do is send us the product, or products whatever you would like us to review for you"

ME (Sounds more interesting) " So you'd give an impartial review and link to my website for free. Would I get my gadgets back"

MARC " Yes if you really wanted them back we could do that. It's not free however, it costs only £250 per review"

ME (Choking)"What? I provide you with products for you to review, on your site, which is a review site. That I may or may not get back, and I have to pay you for the pleasure of providing you with content"

MARC "Yes, but you would get a lot of exposure"

ME "No really, I have a lot to do here, I have listened to you and I don't think that is something I want to do right now. I am adding new products to the website and I don't feel like I should be paying for advertising that may or may not work, thanks anyway. I really have to go, I have customers to look after and your call is hogging the line. By the way, which number did you call?"

MARC "Er, the 0800 number..."

ME "So this call is costing me money too. Thanks Marc, all the best with your site. I will carry on as I am"

MARC "Is it ok if I call you in a month and see how you are getting along"

ME "Yeah, whatever, I really have to go"

MARC "OK, Bye, I'll speak with you in a month"

ME "Right, bye then"

That was an edited and approximation of the conversation, it was no way verbatim, but pretty close

Every month he has called back and given me a different offer, last month I almost fell for this amazing package he offered which included "Home Page Ad Link" and "Shopping Partner" and possibly a review. I changed my mind last minute, I don't need their advertising.

Really I just wanted him to stop calling and if these other advertiser were doing it, it must be working for them. But there is only so much work I can handle. I am only one person, I do everthing. I don't want treble or even double the business I have now. I couldn't cope. I like it the way it is thankyou, working from home, seeing my little girls as much as I can and that is busy enough as it is.

MARC called again today, wanting to know why I pulled out last time, I said that "I had come to my senses, and besides my site is on every gadget blog there is out there right now, thanks to the Dareway, it just means my site is busier, it doesn't mean that these people are going to buy anything"

MARC "What? your advertising on them?"

ME " No, they have decided to write about one of my products and it hasn't cost me penny"]

MARC " "

ME " Hello, are you there?....Hello?... The F***ers hung up on me"

Marc Weather**** from www.****** don't bother calling again. You have wasted enough of my time, even me writing all this may be a waste of time. But if it helps one person with a small business, it has been worth it. Cold callers and canvessers, how do you feel being rejected all the time? Why not try doing something useful and stop bothering people who are trying to get work done. You are time wasting Jerkoffs who should really take a good look at what you are doing with your pathetic life and Sort Yourself Out, and stop bugging me. And I mean that in a nice way of course.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Doc's Gadget Website Advice

I received an email at the weekend, not that unusual, this one was different:

Hi Doc,

Just a quick email, I'm currently in the process of starting my own gadgets website. I have been researching other gadget companies and came across yours tonight.

I was amused to read your story of how you got to where you are today because it's pretty much the same thing as me, babies!! our first is due today (but holding on still...) and my fiancée is hassling me about giving up work and focussing all of my sales and marketing experience into our website.

I would really appreciate any pointers you could give to help me avoid some of the common mistakes, I never anticipated just how much work this would take and I don't think anyone really understands, they all think I sit at my PC playing games all night lol!!

I really appreciate your time and hope you have continued success for many years to come and that neither of us ever need go near an office again!




Hi Martin,

Nice to hear from you, I will have to make this short as I have loads to do, but...

1/ Spend as much time with your family as possible, and make sure they know that when you are busy to be left alone. That way you can get whatever it is done quicker, to spend time with them.
Have a cut off point, like mine 7am get the girls washed, dressed, fed, out the door. 9am get to work, though if the girls are sorted, it can be as early as 8am to 5pm at the post office and finished. Time for family. Chat, play watch Cbeebies. Get them to bed, read stories, they're asleep. Get more work done, usually on the website, adding products, tweaking this, answering emails from the States, completing orders. This goes on till 10 or 11 every night. No one else is going to do it.

2/ Don't give anyone credit, and if they want samples, let them pay for it. You're not a charity. Useless you have very deep pockets or the backing of a friendly bank manager, then go for it..

3/ Conversely, try to be generous with needy causes, but without hurting your pocket.

4/ Prices wars, don't do it. You don't know how little your competition is paying for the product, or how much they are losing. Work out your bottom line and never go under it, unless you want to pay for it later.

5/ Content sells, the more information you can give, the more likely they will buy, you have answered all the questions.

6/ Transparency, let your customers know all about you, you are the business and they are giving you their money, let them know who you are.

7/ Be contactable, even when it is unreasonable. You will only get the odd weirdo calling you at 3am, but usually they have a big order and tell all their friends.

8/ Don't waste money on Paper Advertising, magazines etc.., or anyone who claims they can get you at the top of the search engine listings. Bollocks, they lie and you will pay through the nose for it. You need content, lots of information about the product will be picked up by the search engines. But do not Spam. (Think of the Python Song, how repetitive and annoying. That's what Web Spiders think of overused keywords and will cut you off in the blink of an eye)

9/ Sell what you love and know what you sell. Don't stock it just because someone says it's a winner, if you are not sure, forget it and move on. You will be stuck with it. If you love it, sell it. If you hate it, let your competition try to sell it.

10/ Be a man of your word (even though deep down you wish the complainers and moaners would just go away), if you said you will refund, replace, exchange whatever, just do it, and with a big smile, and sometimes give them extra. You will feel good doing it and they will spread the word. Even the ones who are taking the piss will be amazed.

11/ Always send by Recorded Delivery Or Special Delivery, NEVER just stick it in the post. It may get there, it may be abducted by aliens. The customer may forget to mention that it has arrived and may ask you to send another. You have no proof of delivery, you may as well bend over in the park at night time with your pants down.

12/ Stick your company name and your address on everything you send.

13/ What, there is more? Yep...

14/ Freephone numbers are great, customers are very happy to call you and chat all day long about lots of interesting things. Try to be sweet, and keep it as short as possible, the call costs YOU money, and time is defiantly not free.

15/ Damned Excuses, I hate them with a passion. I am not interested in why you are late, why the product is damaged, who is to blame, JUST FIX IT. NOW. If you think an excuse is about to fall from your gob, stop it and say: "I am at Fault here, what would you like me to do to correct the situation?" OR "I'm wrong, I will make this right, and fast. Please forgive me, I am a Pleb"

16/ Get as much sleep as you can, but never more than 8 hours, or you will get stressed that there are not enough hours in the day to do what you need to do.

17/ Make sure everyone can see your website, not just users of a certain browser. And Keep It Simple Stupid K.I.S.S

and there is much more, but I will save the juicy stuff for my book.

Thinking of starting a business? Do your research & learn from the professionals and be prepared to work VERY, VERY Long Hours.

Good luck, Doc.

It's a Dareway, it's not a Segway!

The Dareway is available Worldwide from

3 Day Shipping to Europe - 4 Day Shipping to the USA

Dareway is Nothing Like a Segway and No Relation Whatsoever.

It is Loads of Fun and Cheaper than we first expected £129.99 ($240)
That's unless you shop at Amazon, they are Charging £229 for the same thing, cheeky.

Jane on the DarewayKerry on the DarewayRosie on the Dareway

Full Write Up and Instructions Below (Scroll Down)

Notice the sleek, silver lines, the futuristic style. This is not a Segway, nothing like it,

but if you havn't got £4k to spend, the Dareway is a lot of fun for a little money.

This is no ordinary Christmas gift, this thing is a riot in a box.

Everyone who casts their eyes upon it, wants a go.

Even my Postman wanted a spin, but I had to refuse him. He's a big lad and the Dareway is for Kids, and maybe petite adults.

Once you have ordered the Dareway, it arrives the Next Day looking like this

Dareway Boxed


It weighs 15kgs, so please bend you knees when picking it up, or you might hurt yourself.

As you open the Dareway box you are greeted with this sight

Dareway Box Open


It is at this point you may think "Oh heck, it needs assembling" Yep, you gotta build it!

Worry not, it's a piece of cake, let me show you

Dareway box contents


Lets just get everything out so you can have a look at the parts, there's 10 or so plus screws and bolts, plus a very easy to understand instruction leaflet. All you need to assemble is a Phillips Screwdriver and a little patience.

Here is the base, it has the motor, wheels, battery and big GO button. Not much good like this, but wait...

Dareway Base


Here they all are, just aching to be assembled. I must point out that even when you build it, it needs to be charged overnight. So wait until the kids are in bed, then get to work. It took me 45 minutes with little helpers getting in the way!

Dareway in pieces


The first part to screw on was the castor. Fours screws later it was on, sorted. This is easy...

Dareway Castor


What next? Oh, here we go. Hang on, that was quick. OK, I told you I had little helpers. I forgot to take a couple of pictures and I wasn't going to go back a couple of steps just to show you. Sorry. All you missed is the bit where I took the side "poles" don't know what else to call them. Pushed them through the holes and bolted them on underneath the Dareway base. This meant I had to have the Dareway on it's side for each of the two poles.

Dareway taking shape


Once the poles are in place then get the Silver control unit, the one with the two big orange buttons and fastened it to the poles. The wires are hanging down waiting to be hidden, ate this point I thought they would be visible, but they're not.

Dareway with handles


The black handles are a little fiddily, and you have to make sure they go on the right way round. Screw holes on the inside. This hides the top part of the cables.

Yes, I know, this is one of the pictures I missed. Here I fastened on the "Mudguards" and the attached the front and back panels. You will find that it is bet to put a screw through the top left (or right) of the front and back panel just so you can keep it in place when lining it all up so the screws will go in the holes. Put all the screws in lightly at first, so that you can get them all in. Then once in place, tighten up. Do not over tighten, why? Because that may be a bad thing to do. I went carefully.

Dareway looking ready


Almost done, see it's not much to do and this is probably saving you money. If it came assembled I am sure it would cost a lot more. I know I would need a lot more storage space that's for sure!

Here is the final article. The opaque strips are screwed into the front, the stickers ore on. And that's it for now. All you have to do is put the Dareway on Charge for 10 hours (before bed) and voila. You have something to play with in the morning.

Dareway Assembled


Let me show you a couple of close ups.

First the tires, they look like sold plastic, but they are made of some kind of rubber/plastic composite. So they are hard, but when you press them, they squish in a little. So they do have grip for concrete, tiles and yet wont ruin the carpet (if you have a carpeted room big enough)

Dareway tires


The foot well is plastic, I am guessing it's the ABS type as it is pretty tough stuff, but I wouldn't have all your mates round lining up to jump on it, unless your mates are all 10 years olds.

Dareway from behind


The Orange rectangle you see is the Battery Charger Compartment. That clips open in inside you will find the charger socket, it looks like this close up

Dareway Charge Point


And the Charger itself has a European 2 pin Plug with a UK adaptor. So if you are in europe and you don't mind paying around 100 Euros for delivery, then go ahead and get one ;o)

Dareway Charger


10 Hours pass, the Dareway is Fully charged. Are you going to let your children to be the first to try it out?

or are you going to have a spin before they get their hands on it?

Dareway from the top


Just be warned, it is not meant for adults, or at least adults over 5ft and 8 stone Maximum. Though I have to admit, I tried it and I'm 5ft 7ins and 70kgs but I didn't do it for long. I was too busy laughing my head off.

Our friend Kerry came to visit, she is a lot smaller that me and a darn site prettier, so here is a picture of her trying out your new toy

Kerry trying out the Dareway


She is laughing too. The Dareway moves a lot quicker than you would expect and Kerry had her finger pressed down on the LEFT button. So she spinned around a couple of time and got the giggles. It's not just her, it's my missus Jane too

See the look of determination, she's not going to fall apart, Jane will keep a straight face..

Dareway Jane


Or maybe not. I suppose crashing into the bushes is slightly funny. I know, it's another picture I missed.

Jane Laughing


We are all to big, we need little people to try this out. Let Rosie have a go, she's only 2 and a bit, so technically she can't operate it, but she can stand on it

Dareway being ridden by Rosie, well kind of...


Then finally the puppies wanted to have a go...

Dareway Puppies


But they couldn't reach the controls.

What's that? How long does the battery last? Well we never ran to the shops on it or anything, but it lasted long enough for us all to have a good laugh and then some. I reckon you could get an hour or two out of it, maybe more. And that's a long way around the house.

That's it, 24 hours in the life of a Dareway, it looks non the worse for wear and we haven't broke it, yet!

Dareway after several hours of punishment



"DARE to choose, the WAY you move"

Dareway Boy

Dareway is a revolutionary concept vehicle come to life, and at an affordable price.

Dimensions: 620 x 600 x 870mm.

Delivery Weight: 15kgs

Suitable for Children 3 years and older.

Dareway is the 360 degree rotational, Upright Electronic Transporter.


NEXT DAY Delivery Throughout Mainland UK is £10

N Ireland, Scottish Highlands, Channel Islands etc.. Please expect to pay Extra for Delivery (Don't Blame Us!).


Box Dimensions are 65 x 71 x 39 cm Volumetric weight is 30kgs

The Power unit is European 2 pin plug with UK adaptor. Elsewhere will need suitable adaptor for your own country. UK 240V charge time is 10 hours - USA with 110v supply allow 15-20hrs charge time.

The 12V rechargeable Dareway vehicle allows full 360 degrees spins that make it suitable for limited spaces such as inside the home.

Dareway is equipped with soft tyres that allow maximum traction in all conditions and avoids scratching floors.

The Dareway's electronically

controlled motors provide a smooth and silent driving experience.

"For use indoors, or on private land (Tarmac, carparks, flat surfaces etc..) Not for use on Public Roads and Pavements "