MARKETPLACE - Has business been really bad lately on your shop? Or are your
friends boasting about how much they earn by selling stuff? Or are people posting
the amounts in their tills on the chat boards depressing you? Maybe all of the
above is bugging you currently. Whatever the cause is, it might very well be
the content in your shop.
Some Neopians have shops that really make people feel like leaving immediately,
reasons, there are many. Here is a guide that I hope you might find useful in
planning the layout of your shop.
Firstly, never, never, never ever use an animated background, it hurts the
eye and make's it difficult for one to read the names of items. There are three
types of irritating animated backgrounds:
1) Those very small one that make the whole screen move with images.
2) Those quick looping ones. By this I mean that the animation is
short and rapid.
3) Those with light coloured objects pulsing on a dark background.
These attract the eye's attention away from the items and will annoy and might
even chase away your potential customer, maybe wanting to buy that cheap Hypno
Helmet of yours.
Still on the subject of backgrounds, using a fair amount of common sense,
one can deduce that you should never use clashing colours, for obvious reasons
mentioned before. And if you want to make the shop have a more pleasant 'ambience',
you might like to use a tiling backgrounds, which means that the images blend
into each other and do not stop and begin abruptly at their edges.
And if you seriously want a background, don't use dark coloured ones when
your text is black or dark coloured. It makes it nearly impossible to read anything.
And if you are in dire need of a dark background for whatever reason, try putting
a light coloured table behind your items, easily done with a quirk of HTML knowledge.
To put it simply, do not use any backgrounds.
And another thing that really annoys me is when people like top insert every
single doll slash online quiz result slash fan club images that they can find
in there shop description. These serve absolutely no purpose other than to retard
loading time. Especially in a shop with tons of items, this effect is worsened
by the time it takes all images to load. Most shoppers, especially those with
dial-up modems, will have already abandoned the shop before it has even shown
any vestiges of colour (read: the page hasn't even loaded yet), much less buy
Solution: Place a minimal amount of images in your shop description only if
absolutely necessary, and as for dolls, (I am pleading all those shopkeepers
with them) please try to put not more than three, not that they have any point
in them. For those quizzes that proudly proclaim "You are [insert random noun]",
these images, more often than not, have large file sizes, try not to place any
in your shop description. At all.
My third point, please shopkeepers, never, ever have a selling shop and a
display gallery in one shop! This makes the shop take a long time to load when
only one item is needed. Create another account strictly for gallery (and not
for the Wheel of Excitement and such) means instead! Besides, having a gallery-cum-shop
means you have a smaller amount of restock space to stock more items.
For shop descriptions, make sure you always check how your shop looks after
you've updated it. You'll never know, there might me a broken HTML tag that
connects your last link to the first item in your shop! Always remember to add
a at the end of links, and if that doesn't work, check the main section of the
It really bothers me especially when the shop has a really cheap item and when
I go to see, oh, wonders upon wonders, a broken HTML tag as usual. Then I have
to go to the next shop displayed in the Shop Wizard and buy an item worth 200
Not forgetting the first rule in shopkeeping, which I am displaying last for
no particular reason, never overprice your items. Firstly, it doesn't show up
on the Shop Wizard, secondly, no one would buy them. Self-explanatory.
To sum up, here is a list of do's and don'ts
Use images excessively
Have a gallery and a shop in one
Use irritating backgrounds
Appeal to your buyer(s)
Check your shop description frequently
Have reasonable prices
That's about all that I have for you now, and if by chance you should ever
meet any irritating shop, feel free to direct them to this articles and relieve
many shoppers of their agony.
Until my next article, signing off as chewing_dung!