Monday, 18 June 2012

The Pro Shop on eBay - here we go again!

eBay - take two!

In their wisdom, eBay doesn't permit business partners to take over existing eBay shops if the shop is a single person's name, and in all honesty I can see why - just because business "X" has taken over business "Y" doesn't mean standards will remain the same, and the reputation and feedback built up over time by the original manager of the business wouldn't necessarily continue in the same vein, and wasn't necessarily earned by the new owner.

So it's back to square one for The Pro Shop on eBay, as it was in Andy's name, and now it's in mine.

To be fair, we only ever dabbled with eBay - listing no more than 70 items at it's peak - a real tiddler among eBay shops - but it was just to see if it was worthwhile, and in all honesty, I still don't think we can tell for sure. It's simply not enough product to make an informed decision, so starting today, it's back on, you can follow my trials and tribulations here...

...One word of warning though... We always added 10% to The Pro Shop's prices on eBay to cover their extortionate fees, and to encourage customers to buy from our own shop at where no such charges apply. So if you're looking for a bargain, forget our eBay shop - unless you are chasing extra feedback and are willing to pay for the privilege - or perhaps you prefer the security that eBay affords it's customers.

Actually, there IS something rather satisfying about running a shop on eBay, and it's the satisfaction you get from receiving the (albeit somewhat coerced by eBay) feedback from the customers - we'll see if I'm still saying that after receiving my first negative shall we?  hahaha... I hope I'm not tempting fate saying that!


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

"Web Master?" ...Don't make me laugh!

The trials and tribulations of...

I'm not sure that anyone really uses the "web master" monicker any more, and it's a good job too, as the depths of my ignorance seems to be virtually plummetless - I know, I just made up that word, but it seems appropriate, so I'm sticking with it.

Case in point, I've only just agreed to increase Pro9's monthly bandwidth transfer limit from a stupendously massive 80Gb per month, to a truly awe inspiring 100Gb monthly allowance (Pro9's just a website remember, not a blinking live streaming video channel) and already I'm receiving 80% limit warnings from our hosting company???

Sometimes I wish that it weren't so popular - ok, no I don't really, but seriously, you can hardly go up to a potential advertiser and say, "it uses loads and loads of bandwidth - honest". So what's it worth? Well, a fair few quid to our hosting company I suppose!


I shouldn't complain... I've submitted more than my fair share of Support Tickets to them already this year. Only yesterday I was unable to upload anything to the website at all - all day long. Apparently the problem was so serious that it needed to be... Oh... What was the word they used? Spiralled? Ascended? Promoted? "ESCALATED!" That was it. It was such a serious problem that it needed to be escalated to an S2 Engineer. Oh my goodness. Had I broken something? Hosting companies never tell you what the problem was, but I've a sneaking suspicion that they'd let the server get full... LOOOOOOL

Maybe I'm not so daft after all!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

An Ambition Fulfilled

The Pro Shop united as Big Dave becomes 100% owner!

In April I will become the 100% owner of The Pro Shop, a business formerly run in joint partnership with Andy Watts with a good deal of assistance from Ann Khan.

Keen eyed customers may have spotted that we've been running down our stock levels at The Pro Shop - I hope this hasn't been too inconvenient, but it has been necessary to facilitate an affordable transfer of ownership, and I'll start gradually increasing stock levels as soon as the the deal is done, please be patient while this process is completed.

On a personal note... I'm really looking forward to this new challenge - I've been wanting to consolidate the operation for a long time, and I see many benefits from conducting the business from a single, centralised location. I aim to continue the standard set by Andy and Ann for the high-speed delivery of smaller items, but there are many improvements I will be able to implement too!

I want to provide a much more personal level of customer service, especially for our most important cue buying customers - I will be able to devote much more time to being flexible for these higher value customers. I will be approachable, more readily contactable, and eager to answer all your questions.

I promise to investigate ways to drastically speed up delivery times of cues - this is a personal ambition of mine - and I am already in the process of increasing the range of cues available - and I have started massively increasing the number of cues held in stock, all this, while at the same time, continuing to provide unbeatable value for money for our pan-European customers.

We really are the best place in Europe to buy all your equipment, don't get tricked into thinking you can buy cheaper elsewhere, retailers in America often won't tell you about extra charges you'll have to pay before your items are released for delivery once they arrive in Europe, and don't accept a free delivery offer if it's restricted to a "if order value is over £xxx" clause. When you shop at The Pro Shop the price you see is the total price you pay, we offer genuinely free delivery, and you'll get no unpleasant surprise charges on arrival, just a speedy, hassle-free delivery of your order, anywhere in Europe.

Yes, just the same as previously, almost all items will continue to be delivered to ANYWHERE in Europe - ABSOLUTELY FREE* - NO HIDDEN CHARGES!!! *We are happy to deliver worldwide, but due to their size and weight, some of these items (like pool tables for instance) can only be delivered free in the UK.

Finally, I would like to thank Andy and Ann for their sterling efforts over the last 6 years - without their enthusiasm and tireless efforts The Pro Shop simply wouldn't have got off the ground. We will always remain the best of friends, and I wish the whole family all the best for the future.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Pro9 gets a nod of thanks from BWPPA

You've got to hand it to the bods at the BWPPA, Britain's superb pool association for wheelchair players... They really know how to knock out a final match video - once again there's some very nice production value added to the recording of the first final of the year from the BWPPA's Dynamic Northern 9 Ball Open - and if you keep your eyes peeled there's a nice plug for Pro9 at the end... Now that never hurts!

I won't spoil it for you if you want to watch the final between Fred Dinsmore and Danny Luton, I'll just say congratulations to the pair of them, and especially to "the winner".

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Google "pro9" and see!

It's always interesting to see which subcategory items get listed when you search for "pro9" on the mighty Google... We have no way of influencing these six items, it's just what happens to be trending at that particular time.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A massively productive day!

Today was one of those incredible days when you get a tonne of good work done, not everything done by all means, but a heck of a lot - if only all days could be like this.

I won't bore you with it all, I'll just bore you with this bit... I've gone mad, splurged on a Dymo Label Printer on eBay, nicked it with a last 3 seconds bid of £59.63 or something! Quite thrilling!

(Although afterwards, I checked the seller's product description, it said, "I've already got one of these and I received this one as a gift" - but it looks like he's sold three others already! There's a sucker born every minute eh? Still, I don't mind at all... The seller obviously has a bit of "character" but the price was right!

Next up, I need a super strong bicycle and a mid-sleeper bed!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Soft launch of Dynamic Billard Banner

Today we started the very soft launch of the Dynamic Billard banner... (that's right, there's only one "i" in Billard). This is just a stopgap banner until the main announcement at the start of next month, when I expect something more elaborate to appear (watch this space). Nevertheless, I'm really pleased to finally welcome Dynamic to the ever growing list of European pool billiard businesses who have come on board with Pro9 for 2012, and you can be sure we'll be keeping you informed with new opportunities coming your way from Dynamic for the rest of the year.

Just for posterity, here's what the top of the front page of Pro9 looked like today...

Sunday, 5 February 2012