[Archive] What do you look for when you shop online?

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Hi everyone!

I’m just curious as to what kinds of things you look for when you shop for mini’s and models online.

Do you like a web site that’s informative on their products?

(…i have to rush off, I’ll be back later with some more thoughts.)


Pictures are a must, there are so many versions of things that I wouldn’t buy something unless I know exactly what it is. Something like “GW 6th edition Night Goblins” could mean several things, a good photo will tell me immediately what it is, or at least enough that I can find out more details from another source.

Postage costs is also important, often they wipe out the savings from buying in-store so I like to know as upfront as possible (before you’ve taken my name and address and made me sign up to your website).

These aren’t reflections on your site, I don’t know how well you’ve implemented the above, just my general opinions.

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Thank you Cornixt.

I do have those ideas implimented in my web site with pictures and some shipping, but I was actually thinking more of the Ethics" of what you like in the way of web shopping. I was reading a book on web marketing and I was trying to remeber some thoughts from the book. I was rushed out the door as I was typing up my thoughts, so I guess I didn’t really get a good run at my idea there.

Basically, now that I have had 11, 000+ views on my web site, I was thinking that it might be time to re-think some of the way I am “Selling” things in this changing global economy where every day more and more of the sales are turning “Online”. Also, with the European Debt Crisis and the “recession” and all that other stuff, a lot of the hobby shops are going out of business. I just refuse to be a casuality of it all and was hoping for some new ideas as the old ones of “Aggressive Sales” are no longer resulting in closure of the “deal”.


Postage costs are a must.

Pictures as well unless you’re selling to a market that has a very clear understanding of what a product listing refers to (most wargamers probably actually do fit into this category).

Also good to have things sorted into logical categories.

A good search function is a necessity.


My issue is a really nice looking website. I judge the business/online shop based on the “quality” of their website. If the website looks like it was built on the cheap, then I don’t spend any money at the website and quickly leave.

I remember a few years ago, a neighbour of mine, who worked exclusively from home, had a professionally built website which allowed him to sell plant seeds online, he did very well. I think it was bacause people thought he had a professional setup on his end.

So bascially, above and beyond any prices, or images or things like that. The OVERALL site needs to look professional.

Hashut’s Blessing:

Photo and price, plus name, linking to its own page with a little information.


I agree with the pictures and price comments. Additionally, I always look for I could convert. Sometimes I just don’t find what I’m looking for but a good deal can pay dividends in trade.


Reliability, i’ve lost count of the number of times i’ve been let down by online stores, not necessarily there own fault. I place an order they order from their wholesaler get let down then i find out 2/3weeks later that my stuff is out of stock. I’d be fine with that if I had an email letting me know

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Good points!

This message was automatically appended because it was too short.


Also - MUST have paypal.

Many times I’ve gone to ‘check out’, and found that I need to rummage around to find my wallet, get my c/c info… and honestly, that kills it for me - I go to another site that has paypal (as my paypal account is my ‘for fun’ account).


Also - MUST have paypal.

Many times I've gone to 'check out', and found that I need to rummage around to find my wallet, get my c/c info... and honestly, that kills it for me - I go to another site that has paypal (as my paypal account is my 'for fun' account).

I agree with this point, an online store should have paypal support

Hashut’s Blessing:

Definitely - so many places have it and those of us that are lazy are so prominent that it’s truly detrimental to your business to not have it, lol.


Also - if you are selling things online, it’s important to know that your online prices need to compete with online retailers - not that your online prices are the same as your ‘in-store’ prices.

For example, I looked at some miniatures at an online retailer yesterday, and then went up to a (non-affiliated) store in a nearby town that sells the same miniatures. I was expecting them to be 20 - 30% more expensive when purchased ‘in-store’… but they were more than DOUBLE the price.

Hence, I didn’t purchase anything from them, and will be placing an order online - which it sort of pains me to do, but if I can get them same thing for half the price, why wouldn’t I?


I second all of the points raised here. I also think it’s very important (to me) to have some sort of ‘FAQ’, especially regarding delivery times, refund policies, expected time of shipping from when order is processed etc. This can make a big difference in the overall feel of ‘professionalism’ on a website also.

A few of my clients have online businesses so online selling is very interesting to me. One cousin actually designs websites and other runs an online business (fetchabargain.com, cheap plug) so it’s a topic quite dear to me.

Probably not relevant for you, but i’d like to say that I personally hate popups of any sort, and I will not buy from any site which hits me with them. There are more than a few people who likewise hate the things and they raise warning ‘flags’ about the legitimacy of the site you are on.

With regards to paypal (which you should have as stated above). If you have it, it has an inbuilt currency converter so then you wouldn’t need to include a second one on the site.

Finally, a transparent/highly visible ‘contact me/us’ can actually be a deciding factor with getting the sale or not which is why you’ll find ALL (possibly not quite all) successful online sites have it very clear that they are easy to contact etc. With out this, even with a brilliant site it’s hard to be seen as legit


Postage costs is usually clincher for me. Then if they prove themselves reliable and friendly in their emails Im loyal even if they’re not the cheapest.

Hashut’s Blessing:

Something raised by zobo: don’t make the prices in-store too much higher than online because it’ll damage your bricks and mortar business (people will go home and order it - they do it with GW as well if the item’s not in stock, even though you can get it ordered there and then!).

Something to consider is having postage be slightly proftiable and to have it be free or at least cheaper to pick it up (if you charge for the pick up, it’s a reservation fee).

Tarrakk Blackhand:

ThanX everyone!

Well, I don’t have PayPal, but I do have Secure Pay, which Sears and Best-Buy use. I’m not sure I want to pay two “Service Providers” for essentually the same service. For now, I will stick with the Secure-Pay buttons. People have used them, and it works out well.

I have also discovered that I need to make some radical changes to my web page. The shipping information that you guys mentioned is one of these things that needs to be addressed. Basically a description of “How we do things” is in order.

We deal with Canada Post as our trusted “Shipper”. The post office provides a tracking number and it is only a city block away from our store. I have included some basic shipping prices on the items in our “Add To Cart” buttons and if there’s any discrepencies, these can be resolved between the customer and myself at the time of purchace/shipping.

All this info I need to add to our web page…soon! :smiley:

But I have been re-designing the Rapid Fire web page in the last few months. I am trying to make it more “User Friendly” than it was before, as well as more informative. I’m also trying to get away from the “You MUST buy this item NOW!” approach and going for more of a “Here’s the item, here’s how to use it, and if you like, you can buy it.” approach.

If you guys want to see how it looks on my web site, please do the following:

1.) Go to the home page (www.monster-hobbies.com) and click on “Products”.

2.) Scroll down to the section entitled “History In the Making - Past and Present Days Of Military Glory” and click on the green text that says “Rapid-Fire WW2 Mini Game”.

3.) On this page (After you read the green text) click on “The Armies” in red letters.

4.) Click on “German Army” and have a look at that page.

5.) Tell me what you think of the new format. (Feel free to brouse around using your “Back” button and look at the other Rapid-Fire entries. Keep in mind that not all armies are updated yet, as there are a ton of models in my physical store that haven’t made it to the web yet. I plan to do this between now and New Years Day.)

Anyway, I thank you for your continued support on this question.