Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Plasmadocs! Feedback needed.


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
34 replies to this topic

#21 of 35 OFFLINE   Dr. Anthony Rosalia

Dr. Anthony Rosalia

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2004

Posted January 21 2005 - 06:26 AM

We are a small company but growing...Takes tremendous resources to do what they do (Crutchfield) and its a learning process. Also they charge a heck of a lot more than we do so they can afford it. Posted Image Thanks for your support. We are working right now on streamlining and putting up some 200 more products and making some great deals for the weekend and next week.

Thanks again HTF. We love you!

Anthony Rosalia
VP PlasmaDocs.com

Exclusive distributor of Onix Rocket, Ascend Acoustics, SVS
Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.

#22 of 35 OFFLINE   Kenneth Harden

Kenneth Harden

    Screenwriter



  • 1,365 posts
  • Join Date: May 13 2002

Posted January 21 2005 - 06:34 AM

I absolutly understand!

I would almost be for CUTTING content, not adding more. Seems there is a lot of 'stuff' on each page that could just be placed else where or cut all together.

It's all about curb appeal!

Yes, you pay list price for everything with Crutchfield, not many good deals. Great site as a teaching tool (I send HT newbies there to learn!)

#23 of 35 OFFLINE   Dr. Anthony Rosalia

Dr. Anthony Rosalia

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2004

Posted January 21 2005 - 06:41 AM

I think it's also the size of the content as well. Crutchfield has a ton of info on there as well but their fonts are very small. Not good on the eyes for people with problems. If we made the fonts 1-2 sizes smaller, it makes a tremendous world of difference. We didn't think we were going to put up so much stuff but when you are trying to provide as much info as possible its hard Posted Image.

I will modify a couple so you know what I mean.


I modified this page so you can see what I mean. http://www.plasmadoc....products_id=65

I also removed alot of the side boxes that were not necessary. We are going to do the front end shortly and then redo most of the existing pages for the items. It's a work in progress I like to say. Posted Image

Some manufacturers don't list their product infomation online and we have to hand type it in. Many do not have PDF files available in manuals so we need to post everything. Doing that for hundreds of products gets tiresome Posted Image but you understand what we mean.
Anthony Rosalia
VP PlasmaDocs.com

Exclusive distributor of Onix Rocket, Ascend Acoustics, SVS
Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.

#24 of 35 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,327 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted February 17 2005 - 05:45 AM

I'm not currently shopping, but I'm the sort of buyer you're targeting. My few thoughts, having glanced at your site a few times in the past, are:

- It's amateurish. Though appearance has nothing to do with price or service quality, it doesn't instill confidence towards a thousand dollar purchase. My immediate impression is that this is a Crazy Eddies and not an Amazon.

- Hard to read. Yellow text on black backgrounds is hard to read (further suggesting amateurism) and subsequently make it hard navigate and find the info I want.

- Deals require a phone call. There were some posts a while back about a front projector on sale at Costco. You (I believe) commented that the same price was available from your website. However, checking the website, the product was hard to find and it showed no special pricing. People asked about that, and the response was that it was necessary to call and request special pricing. Especially for a niche website, special deals can't be hidden, require special phone calls, or require reading internet forum threads. Moreover, I find the practice off-putting: "Call now for a limited-time offer!" suggests infomercials and annoying salespeople, not a quality shopping experience.

I don't mean to be offensive, but my glances at the plasmadocs website in the past totally put me off. My immediate impression was: ugly, hard to find product info and sales pricing, and I want to close this webpage and not bother with this company.

A redesign, using boring, conventional layouts and colors (such as Amazon and Crutchfield) and listing specials (no phone calls required) would dramatically improve my impression, and presumably others.

#25 of 35 OFFLINE   Dr. Anthony Rosalia

Dr. Anthony Rosalia

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2004

Posted February 17 2005 - 06:09 AM

Thanks. We appreciate your input. Unfortunately with the way that the manufactures have set us up to sell items over the Internet, they force us not to post pricing. That is their convention and not ours unfortunately. We would love to list a price that is less than what was posted as minimums, or even list a price but in order to be authorized we must comply or become a multi-million dollar store overnight. All the prices that you see out there that are listed lower are in violation of policy and more often than not, are unauthorized and even more often the company doesn't even have the merchandise for sale and does the bait and switch. It is because off all these fly by night companies that force manufacturers into making people like us have to jump through hoops just to start to sell items on-line. It is really a really sad business model if you ask me but we are forced to comply.

The design layout unfortunately is part of this cart design. Until everything is migrated over to the new design, it will have to stay this way. People like Crutchfield have thousands upon thousands invested in their sites with teams of people going over everything. We are a small company division with limited funding, not a giant corporation making millions upon million of dollars each year. We are trying to target a niche market with service and expertise with some flair. We understand there is not enough navigation and not enough "pro" looking content and too much flair but it is a learning process. We are in the process of a revamp that I am sure everyone will like.

We really appreciate your opinions and thank you so much for your thoughts. Thanks again.

Anthony Rosalia
VP PlasmaDocs.com

Exclusive distributor of Onix Rocket, Ascend Acoustics, SVS
Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.

#26 of 35 OFFLINE   Kenneth Harden

Kenneth Harden

    Screenwriter



  • 1,365 posts
  • Join Date: May 13 2002

Posted February 17 2005 - 06:44 AM

...not a giant corporation making millions upon million of dollars each year.

Why not, you better get crackin' Posted Image Posted Image

It is very nice to get the actuall owners posting here - probably the best advertising you could ever hope to do.

#27 of 35 OFFLINE   Chuck_W

Chuck_W

    Second Unit



  • 397 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 07 2003

Posted February 17 2005 - 06:52 AM

Looking forward to what PlasmaDocs brings in the future!

#28 of 35 OFFLINE   Dr. Anthony Rosalia

Dr. Anthony Rosalia

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2004

Posted February 17 2005 - 08:05 AM

Kenneth,

All of us here are guys just like you who wanted something better at a good price with great support but didn't want to have to resort to going to Harvey's to get it. It's a learning process for us for sure. It's guys like you that make it worth while.

To me I would RATHER call someone and ask their opinion on high priced items, let them give me the pros and cons and help me decide rather than clicking blindly on a link for the "best price" and expecting their tv set to arrive in 3-5 days. How does a soft dome differ from a hard dome? Will that SVS be large enough for a 20x30 room? That personal attention is needed we feel as we save people thousands of dollars in not buying what they didn't need and make them save on accessories they didn't know they needed. All our customers are 100% happy and we follow up with them regularly. To date we have had only one return, and that was because the sub was TOO big. One TV was damaged in shipping that is being replaced. It's the repeat business and word of mouth that is really what makes us keep going. That's what sets us apart but if you look superficially...you will never see it. We are in the process of altering image and growing rapidly. We are also in the process of getting 50 state installation, partnering with LionAV for our calibration, getting our HTPC to market, getting our signature systems up, keeping up with the sales, updating the website and getting up all the products, etc. A daunting task for sure for a small company but we are determined. If there is anyone out there with skills in website setup and design and the like we would love to hear from you and see some samples Posted Image.

What started as a weekend thing now has become a major undertaking, making it hard for our staff to keep up, especially when everyone else are MD's and PhD's with other jobs as well. We are expecting to hire more staff.

It is with heartfelt thanks that we appreciate all this input. When people root for the underdog trying to do the impossible it is always nice. This is the spirit that embodies the HTF and why we like you guys so much. "Treat everyone like their are your first customer" has always been a motto of ours since the beginning and you guys have been proving us right.

Thanks again from the entire staff here.

Anthony Rosalia
VP PlasmaDocs.com

Exclusive distributor of Onix Rocket, Ascend Acoustics, SVS
Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.

#29 of 35 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,327 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted February 18 2005 - 06:03 AM

Quote:
Unfortunately with the way that the manufactures have set us up to sell items over the Internet, they force us not to post pricing.
That's unfortunate, since I think it only makes life more frustrating for the shopper. I don't mind that super deals take some effort (such as the Dell discounts posted on the HTF), but I expect to find "normal" sale prices listed. A prompt to make a phonecall, however, is my exit cue. I shop online so I don't have to bother with salespeople. Maybe it's not rational, but I don't think I'm alone in this behavior.

As for the website, I think some trivial changes to the color scheme would really improve first-impressions. (white background, black text) Beyond that, look at NewEgg.com for ideas. They have problems, but are workable for a diverse inventory site. Perhaps most importantly: at the top are menu items for major shopping categories, and they are bold tabs that really standout. In contrast, your top-level menu items are, alas, useless for getting shopping: login, intro movie, about us, checkout, etc. And they are small, white text on a black background, and are easily missed.

I've got a Ph.D., work a full-time (and more) job, and when I shop online I want at least the illusion of dealing with an established, professional organization. If the website looks more like the randomness of AVS Forums than the coherent Dell, I'm likely to move along.

I hope I don't come across as harsh, that's not my intention -- my mom is trying to establish a niche used-bookstore and my dad recently gave up trying to run his independent accounting firm (and joined a partnership), so I've seen the challenges starting a small business.

And when it comes time to look for new speakers, I'll keep you folks in mind Posted Image

#30 of 35 OFFLINE   Kenneth Harden

Kenneth Harden

    Screenwriter



  • 1,365 posts
  • Join Date: May 13 2002

Posted February 18 2005 - 06:20 AM

Dave:

What a lot of camera stores do (B&H, for example) to is 'fake it' by having you enter your name into a window, and it gives you a 'custom quote' instantly, not even e-mail.

I don't know much about how difficult this would be for them to do, but is takes less than 5 seconds to do on your end (you can just type a random letter in, just needs SOMETHING)

Here, try it! Click on the "Give me a price" and follow the instructions. You can use a creative name, like Dhjgkahdff or 2222222222222222222222222222222222

http://www.bhphotovi....=339002&is=REG

#31 of 35 OFFLINE   Dr. Anthony Rosalia

Dr. Anthony Rosalia

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2004

Posted February 18 2005 - 06:58 AM

It is more so a limitation of the cart and needing badly custom work to the site than anything else actually. This system started out very simple but became very complex as time went on with need for navigation and the need to marry different programs together. I am partly to blame as this was my original design that they stuck too. These shopping carts have their limitation in what they can do without custom coding, which this cart is especially prone to burps and massaging when tinkered with. We should have gone with another package but decided on a piecemeal solution that is obviously not working for many.

Please don't worry about coming off as harsh as any and all critiques, if well thought and supported are not bad things by any means. Some people actually like our site (young people), some are indifferent, some want the more corporate look, some like the fun things we put in it, some dislike the color scheme, some think its a pediatrician on acid doing web design and they wouldn't be far off Posted Image. What it needs to be is more business and less flair. The problem is doing that without breaking the bank and our sanity in the process. You all make all valid points and they are well received and will be put into practice. We were attempting to be different but with different comes criticisms and to be expected. Some look at abstract art and think "who was drunk when they did that?" :-o Others pay thousands to have an original. The new format will be better by taking all of your ideas and melding it into one. So please blast away everyone! All it takes is time, money and patience.Posted Image

We want to be accessible and visible to our customers but many think we are intruding into the forum and we don't want that. Many have commented on the sticky posts that were originated by the HTF staff. In the beginning it was a good thing. In the end it was not. All things change. It's all in the information and presentation and a tidy package which we cannot really get with this cart and all this info for which it wasn't designed: namely for beauty rather than function. With the right tweaking and copy, it can be amazing. It's all relative as I like to say, a work in progress. We thank all of you who have suck by us in these beginning phases of morphism and growth and help to mold us to your need and wants in an HT company.

Good luck with your parents' endeavors. We understand all too well about the small business world of trial by fire. We hope we don't get burnt too crisp in the process and make some friends along the way. Thanks again for your thoughts.

Anthony Rosalia
VP PlasmaDocs.com

Exclusive distributor of Onix Rocket, Ascend Acoustics, SVS
Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.

#32 of 35 OFFLINE   Dr. Anthony Rosalia

Dr. Anthony Rosalia

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2004

Posted February 18 2005 - 07:51 AM

Kenneth,

What companies like B&H do are what is know in the business and peekaboo pricing. Most manufacturers frown upon this type of advertising. This is much like "add to cart to see price" and still allows over the net sales. I suppose if your sales are big enough the manufacturer looks the other way or makes you an official "certified" retailer and put you up on the manufacturer's homepage if you crank out enough sales. BenQ for instance:the BenQ PE8700 and PE7800 say we must not list price and we must not allow on-line sales. You can email a customer a price and you can talk on the phone but cant list it on-line anywhere. That means we can never make up a combo price and list it on-line. We would have to list it as a "special pricing" or "special combo prices" The same goes for many Sony and Panasoinc sales. This puts people off and they go to another vendor who lists it illegally or get it from one of the very few "on-line certified" vendors or a brick and mortar store.

This is why we put up our new on-line chat feature that allows you to talk to us with a mouse click and get a quote but many people have not used this feature.

Brick and mortar stores don't have many of these rules and can advertise price at will and use print ads. An on-line retailer cannot advertise lower prices of restricted brands period! However, say Joe Blow emails a store and they quote him a way low price... he goes on the net, emails some buddies, goes on a forum and says I got this product at this price... There is no way a manufacturer can prevent this and is how some lower prices make the rounds. This however is a dangerous game. This is how the business works sometimes, you can't stifle freedom of speech. This is why it's good to get on site's private email lists as they can send you their lowest prices automatically. An on-line retailer can offer gift certificates for future purchases on-line which is allowed. Also vendors like us can offer combo pricing lower than the items bought separately but never lower than the more expensive item. We can also offer free equipment added into a sale, but can't discount an item directly. It's all a very complex web.

I have to look into the implementation of such "price exposure" device that you speak of as a viable selling tool. These are once again all the hoops they force us through in order to sell on-line. They can revoke your privileges at any time. Established places like Crutchfield had their foot in the door before it slammed because of all these poor net dealers with the bait and switch.

On a lighter note, I was wondering if there were any particular items that you guys would like to see us carry, specific brands we should work on, deals you would like to see us have?

Thanks again guys!

Anthony Rosalia
VP PlasmaDocs.com

Exclusive distributor of Onix Rocket, Ascend Acoustics, SVS
Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.

#33 of 35 OFFLINE   Kenneth Harden

Kenneth Harden

    Screenwriter



  • 1,365 posts
  • Join Date: May 13 2002

Posted February 18 2005 - 08:41 AM

I have absolutly no problem e-mailing for a price.

I don't know if you could get away with this, but what if I (I = anyone who e-mails you) requested a 'price list' and you just e-mailed me a list of all your prices with a cluase that ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE (because they will) and we can browse at our content.

I know you are probably going from some sort of a master price list, is there anything that says you cannot 'share' it with others?

#34 of 35 OFFLINE   Dr. Anthony Rosalia

Dr. Anthony Rosalia

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2004

Posted February 18 2005 - 09:21 AM

I do not know the legality of such a request but we have sent out master price sheets to people. If such a price sheet got published however somehow, I don't think that they would be looking at you funny rather they would be possibly pulling our authorized status. Even the implication possibly could get us in trouble. The reason why these prices are in effect is to protect brand integrity and keep prices constant. Every retailer wants to boost his sales but dropping them so low will kill normal profit margins and also single one out as a low price trouble maker. These stores get cut never to sell these products again. Once again this is frowned on in the business. I assume as long as someone is not directly associated with the company or gets any monetary or otherwise gain from the exchange of information or "acting as an agent or employee" it might be considered OK but is it ethical is another thing? Such things are taboo but I am sure it is done all the time as there is little ethnics in big business these days or even less in little business. We wanted to change that and adhere to higher standards.
Anthony Rosalia
VP PlasmaDocs.com

Exclusive distributor of Onix Rocket, Ascend Acoustics, SVS
Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.

#35 of 35 OFFLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,327 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted February 21 2005 - 05:52 AM

Quote:
Good luck with your parents' endeavors.
Thanks, and I hope your company goes well. The feedback around the HTF is positive, so you're on the right track Posted Image





Forum Nav Content I Follow