Allison’s Automotive Goes Live with New Stores on Simpsen

Allison’s Automotive launched their new online stores today using Simpsen’s easy-to-manage e-commerce framework.  Mark Allison, the owner of Allison’s Automotive has long been active in the classic car community, and is a widely acknowledged expert in Fiats, Lancias, Bertones and other European marques.  From his busy shop in Upland, California, where he has restored, repaired and upgraded countless classic Italian sportscars, Mark also sells a wide variety of restoration, repair and performance upgrade parts to car enthusiasts around the world.

With today’s launch, Allison’s Automotive has moved two existing stores onto the Simpsen framework, and is in the process of launching a third.

FiatSpiderParts.com offers replacement, restoration and performance parts for classic Fiats, Bertones, and Lancias.  Owners of the popular 124 Sport Spider, the X1/9 and the Scorpion are well acquainted with the quality  of products and services Mark provides, including an incredible selection of custom designed header and exhaust systems for these cars.

Fiat500Sped.com offers style and performance upgrade parts for the modern Fiat 500 in all its flavors.  From stylish wheels to ECU remaps, to performance improvements in breaking, airflow, and many others, Allison’s has brought their experience with the classic Fiat marque to the modern 500.

Allison’s Classic Alfa is Mark’s newest store, focused on parts and upgrades for classic Alfa Romeos.  This new store is still in the midst of the setup process, with new products and information being added regularly.

Posted in News and Announcements

Making Sure Your PayPal Account Is Ready For Your Simpsen Store

To be sure your PayPal account is ready to work with your Simpsen store, there just a few things you need to pay attention to.

1.  You must have a PayPal account that allows people to send you money for goods and services.

You will have to have either a Business Account or a personal Premier Account in order to accept credit card payments.  We recommend you sign up for a Business Account, as this type of account is designed for businesses accepting payments for goods and services, but ultimately, you should do some research and decide which account is best for you.

Here are some links to information about the different accounts that you might find helpful:

2.  You need to set up your PayPal account to correctly charge taxes.

After you sign in to PayPal, you can use the Tools menu to navigate to the Tax Calculator.  On this screen you can set up the tax rates that will be charged to customers that purchase in various states and countries.  Since tax laws differ from state to state, Simpsen does not give advice or recommendations on how you should set up taxes for your store.  You should do your homework and determine what rates you need to charge, and what to do with the taxes you collect from your customers.

3.  Set up the rest of your PayPal account according to your unique needs.

PayPal offers many options.  Depending on your particular situation, you may be able to link a bank account to your PayPal account, get a PayPal debit card to access money in your PayPal account, set up balance transfers, etc.  Please take some time to learn about your PayPal account and set it up to meet your needs accordingly.

3.a.  I’m adding this, because we highly recommend that you add a logo to your checkout page as part of your PayPal setup. Under the Tools menu, choose Business Setup.  On the right side of the page under “Other tools and settings”, select “Customize your buyers’ experience”.  This is where you’ll add your logo, and as a bonus, this page has links to things like the tax calculator and other settings.

Your PayPal email address

When you establish your PayPal account, you will associate an email address with the account.  This is the email address that you will provide when you set up your Simpsen store.  This email address is all we will ever need to know about your PayPal account.

Do not ever share your PayPal password with anyone.  

No one from Simpsen will ever ask for your PayPal password.

Posted in Help for Sellers

Simpsen has launched on Angel List

Today  we launched a  fundraising campaign on Angel List where we’ll be actively seeking a Seed round of investment.  Follow the link to review our profile, and get in touch if you have any questions.

angel_list_screenshot

Posted in News and Announcements

Your PayPal Email Address

The email address associated with your PayPal account allows customers to send payments for purchases.

This email address is not displayed to customers on your store site, however, sharing this email address with customers is not insecure, as that is how you would allow any third party to send you money via PayPal.

You should never reveal your PayPal password to anyone for any reason, including Simpsen Support or anyone claiming to work for Simpsen.

No one from Simpsen will ever ask for your PayPal password.

Posted in Help for Sellers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Simspen?  What is the difference between Simpsen and the seller that runs the store where I am shopping?

Simpsen is a company that makes software that sellers can use to open a store on the internet.  We provide a platform which anyone with a PayPal account can use to sell products and services online.

Simpsen actually has no involvement with the content, products, services, logos, people, customer service, etc. that is provided by the seller/store.  Simpsen just makes a way for someone else to open a store and provide products and services to their customers.

What are differences between issues I would contact Simpson for, and those for which I would contact a seller/store?

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or problems with the products or services for sale, or if you have a problem with a purchase you have made, you should contact the seller/store.  If you have a financial dispute regarding a purchase, you should contact the seller.

If there seems to be a problem with the functioning of the website, you can contact either the seller/store, or Simpsen.  Sometimes these problems are related to the store’s content, which would be the responsibility of the seller to resolve.  Other times these problems are related to the software, which would be our responsibility to resolve.  Since it may be difficult for a shopper/user to tell whether it’s a seller problem or a Simpsen problem, feel free to report the issue to either of us.

All sellers are required to follow a certain set of rules and guidelines for selling on the Simpsen platform.  If you feel a seller has violated any of these guidelines, you can report that to us via email, or by phone, or by using our online contact form, or by clicking the “Need Help?” menu at the top left of the screen on any store page, and select “Report this store” from the dropdown menu.  This will open a form that you can fill out to provide us with information about your concerns.

How can I open a store using Simpsen?

Answer coming soon!

 

Posted in General Simpsen Help

Questions About Sellers on Simpsen

How do I contact a seller that runs an online store on the Simpsen platform?

To find a seller’s contact information, click the “Contact Us” link at the top-right of the screen when you are in their store.  Most sellers include a phone number and a physical/mailing address, but at minimum, every seller is required to provide an email address where they can be contacted.

What do I do if I try to contact a seller at their main email address, and I get a bounce-back or an error indicating that the email address is invalid?

Every seller is required to provide an email address where they can be contacted.  If the email address bounces back, or returns an error, or if the seller does not respond to messages sent to their address, please be proactive and let us know.  You can let us know by contacting Simpsen via email, or by phone, or by using our online contact form, or you can fill out a Report by clicking the Need Help? menu at the top left of the screen on any store page, and select “Report this store” from the dropdown menu.  This will open a form that you can fill out to provide us with information about your concerns.

Posted in Help for Shoppers

Questions about PayPal at Simpsen

Why do I have to use PayPal to pay for purchases?

Simpsen allows sellers to build an online store as simply and easily as possible.  Often, one of the most difficult and complicated parts of opening a store is setting up the necessary accounts to accept credit and debit card payments.  By using PayPal, sellers can easily accept credit and debit card payments on their stores without the complications associated with a traditional merchant account.

I don’t have a PayPal account.  Do I have to sign up in order to purchase items from a store that uses the Simpsen platform?

No.  You do not have to sign up for a PayPal account to use PayPal for your purchases.  You will have to provide your payment information to PayPal, just as you would for any online purchase, but you do not have to register for a PayPal account.

Posted in Help for Shoppers Tagged with:

Kickstarter strategy development is underway

We just started research and strategic planning for an upcoming Kickstarter campaign.  Whether the campaign successfully funds or not, this is a great opportunity for us to layout our framework in concrete terms, put the plans out in front of a real audience and get some solid feedback.

Of course, successful funding will open a lot of doors for the ongoing development of the Simpsen platform, so that is definately the goal.  We’ll provide updates as the campaign comes together, so stay tuned.

Posted in News and Announcements, Roadmap

Giving Thanks

In honor of Thanksgiving 2015, I would like to take a minute to share some thoughts of gratitude.  For life, health and the many comforts I enjoy, I am grateful.  For the love of family and friends, I am grateful. For the blessings of freedom and liberty, I am grateful.  For the grace of God, I am grateful.

I know some of that might sound a bit corny or cliché, but there’s an important truth in there.  Even though I work hard and feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in the things that I ‘earn’ along the way, I know there is much that I enjoy in life that is unearned.  I enjoy many priveleges and advantages simply as a result of where I grew up, the family I was born into, and the color of my skin.  I have resources available to me that many people around the world will never see. I have the support of people that love me, simply because they choose to, and not because I have anything of value to offer them.

I am not so arrogant as to assume that I have any of these things because I earned them, are owed them, or even deserve them. They are gifts, given freely, without expectation.

And particularly today, I take a moment to remember to give thanks.

Posted in Random

The Simpsen Trello Board is Live

The Trello board we use to track current tasks is now live and publicly viewable.

Simpsen Public Trello Board

Click through and take a look at what we’re working on right now.

Here’s a quick glance at what it looked like on November 19, 2015:

trello_board_11-19-15

Posted in Roadmap

Product Roadmap Update

As we near completion of our closed, private beta stage, the product development roadmap is beginning to take shape, at least at the 10,000 ft level.  Here’s where we are, where we’re going, and where we might be headed after that.

State of the Product

Currently, Simpsen is a working beta product in use by a small number of sellers who are actively giving feedback which is being rolled directly into the product on an ongoing basis.  There is no release schedule in this stage as changes are being made, tested and rolled into the beta product on a regular basis.  This creates an inherent lack of stability in the product, which is why it is still in closed, private beta.

What’s working?

  • Overall store design and structure is complete and stable
  • Seller, Product and Admin databases are established with stable structure and valid data
  • Shopper functions
    • Browse, search, add-to-cart and checkout are all complete, tested and functioning properly
  • Seller (admin) functions
    • Admin login, add item, edit item, delete item, view report, featured items, item status, inventory status, edit profile and change password are all complete, tested and functioning properly
  • Corporate content
    • The Simpsen website is complete
    • WordPress has been instantiated within the Simpsen website to manage informational content, blogs and help pages
    • Admin help pages have been created and linked to the Admin pages in the store framework

What’s on the Trello Board

These are tasks and punch-list items that we are currently working on

  • Build the seller’s “Contact Us” page
  • Tutorials for additional photo-hosting sites (other than imgur)
  • Support for other video hosting sites (other than youTube)
  • Analytics for sellers

What’s on the Roadmap?

These are larger-scope goals that we plan to address.  They range from things we want to accomplish in the next few weeks/months, to grand ideas that may be well out on the horizon.  They are loosely in priority order (with no guarantees).

  • Self-serve registration
  • Improved Shipping options (weight based, more rate options, etc.)
  • Improved design options (colors, fonts, headings, etc.)
  • Customer communication tools
Posted in News and Announcements, Roadmap

Adding Video to your Product Listing

All videos used in your store need to be uploaded to YouTube.  A small, viewable video will be embedded in your product listing along with a link to the full-size video on YouTube.

This video will walk you through the process of finding the correct code for your video from YouTube, and adding that code to your product listing.

TL;DR – in your product listing, enter only the unique identifier from your YouTube video, not the whole URL.  That’s the blue parts below.

  • example 1:  https://youtu.be/zGv7Za2lfrl
  • example 2:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGv7Za2lfrl
Posted in Help for Sellers, Video Tutorials

Images and Product Photos

All images used in your store need to be uploaded to a third-party image hosting/sharing website that allows direct-linking to the image.  This applies to product photos, as well as your store logo.

If you don’t already have a preferred service for hosting your images, we recommend using imgur.com.  The service is free, the interface is very easy to use, and it works seamlessly with the Simpsen store.

This video will walk you through the process of uploading an image to imgur, copying the URL of your image, and pasting that URL into your product listing.

TL;DR – upload your image to imgur.com and paste the Direct Link (email & IM) URL into the product listing form.

Other image hosting services work in a similar manner, but each has its individual quirks, so if you don’t want to use imgur, you may need to play around with a few different services until you find one that works well for you.

Self-Hosting Images

It is possible to host images yourself if you have a web host or a local web server. We don’t provide a tutorial on managing your self-hosted images, but if you are familiar with that process, you can simply use the URL of your self-hosted image in the product listing and it will work fine.

For example, if you have a basic web hosting package from someone like DreamHost, you might use FileZilla to transfer files to and from your host, in which case you could use a URL like this for your images:

http://mydomain.com/images/picture.jpg

If you don’t know what that last paragraph means, then we suggest you stick with an image sharing site like imgur.

Posted in Help for Sellers, Video Tutorials

Seller Profile

When you set up your store, you will create a Seller Profile, which you can edit at any time by clicking on the “Edit Your Account Info” button on the Admin Dashboard page.

admin_main_page_pointing_at_edit_account

Clicking on the Edit Your Account Info button will open the Edit Profile form, which looks like this:

edit_profile_form

The Seller Profile has a number of elements and since the Edit Profile form covers all of them, we will work our way through the sections of the form to cover each of the elements in the Seller Profile.

Header

edit_profile_form_header

There is nothing to edit in the header, but there is some important information to point out.

Seller ID:  You will be assigned a Seller ID Number which cannot be edited.  The database uses this unique number to identify you and keep your profile data correctly associated with your item data.  If there is any reason you feel that your Seller ID needs to be changed, please contact Simpsen Support and we’ll assist you.

Seller Name:  Your seller name is the name of your store.  It can be changed, but please do so with care as changing your store identity can be confusing to your shoppers.

Phone and Email Addresses

edit_profile_form_section_1

Main Phone Number:  This phone number is displayed with your company information at the bottom of each page in your store, and on the Contact Us page.  If you have entered a Customer Service Phone Number, that phone number will be displayed at the bottom of the store pages instead of the main number.

Customer Service Phone Number:  If you have a separate phone number for customer services, we will display this number at the bottom of each page instead of the main number.  On the Contact Us page we will display both numbers and will identify which is which.

Both phone numbers are optional, so if no number is entered, no phone numbers will be displayed.

Main Email Address:  This email address is displayed with your company information at the bottom of each page in your store, and on the Contact Us page.  If you have entered a Customer Service Email Address, that email address will be displayed at the bottom of the store pages instead of the main email address.  We require that you have a Main Email Address for your store so that shoppers and or Simpsen Support can contact you if necessary.

Customer Service Email Address:  If you have a separate email address for customer services, we will display this email address at the bottom of each page instead of the main email address.  On the Contact Us page we will display both email addresses and will identify which is which.  The Customer Service Email address is optional.  If you don’t have a separate email address for customer service, the main email address will be used.

PayPal Service Email Address:  This is the email address you use for receiving payments at your PayPal account.  This address is never revealed to your shoppers, though even if your shoppers should discover what this email address is, that would not be a security breach to be concerned about.  This is an email address that you would normally provide to anyone from whom you wanted to receive a payment via PayPal.  However, you should never reveal your PayPal password to anyone for any reason, including Simpsen Support or anyone claiming to work for Simpsen.  No one from Simpsen will ever ask for your PayPal password.

Mailing Address and Main Website

edit_profile_form_section_2

Mailing Address:  This address is displayed at the bottom of each page of your store, and on your Contact Us page.  Since doing business online sometimes makes a physical mailing address a moot point, this information is optional.  If a mailing address is not provided, nothing is displayed.

Mail Website URL:  In addition to the online store you run via Simpsen, you may have a separate website with other kinds of information about you, your company or your products.  This is optional, and if a URL is provided here, a link to your website is displayed at the top of each page of your store, and on the Contact Us page.

Company Description and Tagline  |  Return Policy  |  Copyright Year

edit_profile_form_section_3

Company Description:  The description you enter here will appear in the header, next to your logo image, at the top of each page of your store.  This information is optional, and can be left blank.

Tagline:  This should be a brief headline-style description of your store or company.  It will appear above your company description in the header at the top of each page of your store.  This information is optional, and can be left blank.

Return Policy:  This description of your return policy will be displayed at the bottom of each page of your store.  This information is optional, and can be left blank.

Copyright Year:  This year will appear in the copyright declaration that appears at the bottom of each page of your store.  If left blank, it will default to the current year.

Logo URL and Color Scheme

edit_profile_form_section_4

Logo URL:  Your logo image is managed in the same way that item photos are managed.  You will need to upload your logo image to an image hosting site like imgur, and enter the URL for your image here.  We recommend an image size of 700 x 200 pixels.  Any size will technically work, but you may have problems with the image being stretched, squashed, or pixelated.  See the Images Help pages for more information.

Color Scheme:  You have the option of changing the color used (along with white) for your store’s display.  Click on the colored square to open a color-picker and select a color for your site.  We recommend light colors at this time, but feel free to play with different options to see how they look.

edit_profile_form_footer

After your changes are finalized, the effective date for your profile information will be updated in the database.  To submit your changes, click the “Submit Form” button.  This will open a confirmation page where you will review and confirm your changes before making them final.

edit_profile_final_confirm

After confirming your changes, click the “Confirm and Update Profile in the Database” button.  This will open a final confirmation screen to inform you that the final change was made.

Posted in Help for Sellers

Shipping: Types and Prices

When you Add an Item or Edit an Item, you have the opportunity to set shipping types and prices for that item.

add_new_item_section_4

Simpsen currently accommodates a flat shipping price for each item, and gives you the opportunity to set a US shipping price, an International shipping price, and one custom-defined shipping method and price.

Shipping to US Addresses – Every item must have a shipping amount specified for shipping to US addresses.  You can enter “0” as the amount for Shipping to US Addresses, and in your store it will say “Free Shipping to US Addresses”.

Shipping to International Addresses – You are not required to enter an amount for international shipping, but there are some details to consider as you decide what to put in this box – especially related to what you choose for International Shipping Policy.

  • If you choose “International shipping available”, then shoppers will be able to choose international shipping, and will be charged whatever amount you enter in the Shipping to International Addresses box.  If that amount is “0”, or if you do not enter an amount in the box, it will say “Free Shipping to International Addresses”.
  • If you choose “International shipping not available”, then shoppers will not be able to choose international shipping, and it will not matter what you put (if anything) in the Shipping to International Addresses box.
  • If you choose “Contact us for information”, shoppers will see a note in the item’s listing informing them that they need to contact you directly for information about international orders.  Again, in this case, it will not matter what you put (if anything) in the Shipping to International Addresses box.  The “Contact us” statement contains a link to the main email address that you provided in your Seller Profile.

Alternate Shipping – You are able to define one additional shipping option for each item.  For instance, if you want to offer expedited shipping, or local pickup, etc., you can do so.

In the Alternate Shipping box, enter a name for the type of shipping that you want to define.  For example, “Local Pickup”.

In the Alt Ship Price box, enter the cost for this type of shipping.  If you leave the box empty, or enter “0”, then your store will indicate that this shipping option is free.

The shipping prices appear in the price section of the item listing in your store.  A variety of shipping scenarios is shown below.

shipping_scenarios

 

Posted in Help for Sellers

Item Categories

“How do I create categories for my items?”

When you add an item using the Add New Item form, or edit it using the Edit Item form, you have an opportunity to set the item’s category.

add_new_item_section_2

You do not have to create categories in advance.  Categories for your store are created dynamically based on the categories you assigned to each item.  So if you create three items, and you give two of them the category “Toys”, and three of them the category “Tools”, then your store will contain two categories:  Toys and Tools.

Each time you Add or Edit an item, you have the opportunity to create a new category, or to change the category an item is in to another existing category.

If you Delete an item, and it is the only item in a particular category, then that category will no longer appear in your store.

Posted in Help for Sellers

Item Status and Inventory Status

Item Status:  An item can be Active or Inactive.

Inventory Status:  An item can be In Stock or Out of Stock.

These statuses are set on the Add New Item form and the Edit Item form.

Item Status

An Active item will be displayed in your online store.

An Inactive item will not be displayed in your online store.

You might want to set an item to Inactive status if you know it is not going to be available for purchase for a period of time.  This will retain all of the item information in the database so that you don’t have to re-enter it later, but will prevent the item from being displayed in the store.

Inventory Status

An In Stock item will be displayed in your online store, and will be available for purchase by shoppers.

An Out of Stock item will be displayed in your online store, but the Add To Cart button will be replaced by an “Out of Stock” indicator, and shoppers will not be able to purchase the item.

You might set an item to Out of Stock rather than Inactive if it frequently goes in and out of stock and you want your shoppers to be aware that you sell the item, but that it is temporarily unavailable.

Posted in Help for Sellers

Featured Items

Three items are prominently displayed on the front page of your online store.

store_main_page

These are called Featured Items.  You can change which three items appear on the front page at any time using the Featured Items Form.  Get to the form by clicking the link at the bottom section of the Admin Dashboard.

admin_dashboard_pointing_to_featured_items_link

This will open the Featured Items Form, which looks like this:

featured_items_form

To change a featured item, simply enter the item number for a different item into the box next to the item you want to change, and click the “Submit Change” button.  If necessary, you can look up an item’s Item Number using a Report from the Admin Dashboard page.

featured_items_form_change

After clicking the “Submit Change” button, a confirmation page will open so you can confirm that the change you are making is the change you really intend to make.  Click the “Confirm and Change” button to confirm and make the change.

featured_items_form_change_confirmation

The new item will now appear on the front page of your store.

new_store_main_page

 

Posted in Help for Sellers

How to Delete an Item

Before you delete an item, be sure you really want it permanently deleted.  There is no way to undo the deletion of an item from the database.  You can remove an item from your store without deleting it by Editing the Item, and selecting “Inactive”. select_inactive

If you are sure you want to permanently delete an item, start by going to your Admin Dashboard page, and view any report.

admin_main_page_select_report_for_editing_item

When the report opens in your browser, scroll (if necessary) until you find the item you want to delete, and click the “Delete” button.

basic_report_pointing_at_delete_button

After you click the “Delete” button, a confirmation screen will open, asking you to confirm that you want to permanently delete the item.

  • If the item you are trying to delete is a Featured Item on the front page of your store, you will need to change your featured items before you will be able to delete the item.  You will do this using the Featured Items Form.

To do complete the deletion process, click the “Confirm and Delete Item” button.

confirm_deletion

The item is now deleted.

Posted in Help for Sellers

How to Edit an Item

There are two ways to get to the Edit Item Form for a given item.

One option, if you know the item number, is to go straight to the Edit An Item section of the Admin Dashboard page.

admin_main_page_pointing_at_edit_item

Enter the Item Number in the box and click the “Go To Item Edit Screen” button.

edit_an_item_box_and_button

After clicking the “Go To Item Edit Screen” button, the Edit Item Form will open.


 

Another option, if you do not know the item number, is to open one of the reports from the Admin Dashboard page.  Any report will work, but in this example we will use the Basic Product Information report.  If you know what category the item is in, you can select that category before viewing the report, but you don’t have to.

admin_main_page_select_report_for_editing_item

Clicking the “View Report” button will open the report in your browser window.  Scroll (if necessary) until you find the item in the report, then click on the “Edit” button in the item listing.  In this case, we are going to edit the listing for the “Canvas Gym Bag (White)”.

basic_report_pointing_at_edit_button

After clicking the “Edit” button, the Edit Item Form will open.


At this point, whether you entered an Item Number to edit, or clicked the “Edit” button from a report, you will see the Edit Item Form, which looks like this:

edit_item_form

For the most part, the Edit Item form mirrors the Add New Item form, but pre-populates the form fields with the information that has already been entered for the item.  You can change or add to any information in the form, then submit and confirm the information just as you did with the Add New Item form.

However, there are a few unique elements to the Edit Item form.

Item Number cannot be edited.

edit_item_form_header

Because the database uses the item number as the unique identifier for each item, that item number cannot be edited.  If you are unhappy with an item’s item number for some reason, you will need to use the Add New Item form to re-enter the item and assign it a new number.  You can then deactivate the old item or delete it.

Image and Video Previews are Provided

edit_item_form_images_section

In the Edit Item form, you will see previews of any images or videos for that item.  If you see errors in the image previews, that means your shoppers will see errors in your store, and you should verify and correct the image or video information.

Effective Date – Each item has an Effective Date in the database which reflects the last date on which the item listing was changed.  This date will be updated when your edit is submitted.

edit_item_form_footer

Featured Items – The Edit Item form will let you know if the item you are editing is a featured item on the front page of your store.  This is just a courtesy to remind you that this item is featured.  To change which items are featured, you use the Featured Items Form.  The link to this form is located at the bottom of the Admin Dashboard page.

admin_dashboard_pointing_to_featured_items_link

Once you have entered all your changes, you will click the “Submit Form” button.  This will open a confirmation page where you will review and confirm that all your changes are correct before making them final.

edit_form_final_confirm_1

When you click the “Confirm and Update Item” button, you will get a final confirmation page indicating that the change has been made.  If there are any problems with the update, you will get an error message and additional instructions on the final confirmation page.

edit_item_form_complete

Posted in Help for Sellers

Reports

Reports give you detailed information on the items in your store in a convenient format for viewing online or printing if necessary.  To view reports, start on your Admin Dashboard page.  The Reports section is on the left side of the page.

admin_main_page_point_at_reports_section

Any report can be viewed with all items in your store, or by selecting a single category of items from the drop-down menu.

reports_section_select_category

Hovering over the title of a report will display a box that lists all of the pieces of information that are included in that particular report.

reports_section_hover_box_1           reports_section_hover_box_2

Click on a report title to choose that report, then click the “View Report” button to display the report.

reports_section_view_report

The report will open in your browser.  At this point you can view or print the report as needed.

You will notice that each item listing in each report includes an “Edit” button and a “Delete” button.  Please see the How to Edit an Item and How to Delete an Item help pages for a detailed discussion of how these buttons work.

In each that shows shipping information (Basic Product Information and Item Shipping Information), any items that show Free Shipping in the store are highlighted.  This means any item with $0 US Shipping, any item with both International Shipping Allowed and $0 or blank International Shipping Amount, and any item with an Alternate Shipping method defined and $0 or empty Alternate Shipping Amount.

basic_report

Posted in Help for Sellers

How to Add a New Item

To add a new item, start on your Store Administration dashboard page.  Click on the Add New Item button.

admin_main_page_point_at_new_item_button

 

This will open the Add New Item Form, which looks like this:

add_new_item_form

 

Fill out the form with information about an item you want to sell in your store.  Form fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required for every item listing – all of the other form fields are optional, but we suggest filling in as much detail as possible in order to maximize your sales potential.

We’ll walk through each section in greater detail.

Header

add_new_item_header

There’s nothing to fill out in this section, but it is important because of what it says.  If you have photos or videos that will be part of your product listing, you will be entering information about where they live on the internet when you fill out this form.  In order to do that, the photos and videos need to have a home on the internet before you fill out the form.  So please be sure you have uploaded your photos to an image sharing site like imgur and your videos to YouTube before you start filling out the form.  For help with photos and videos, you can check out the Photos Help Page and the Videos Help Page.

Section One

add_new_item_section_1

Item Name – enter the name of the item as you want it to appear in the item listing in your store.

Item Number – enter an identifying number for your item.  This can be anything you want, and can be useful if you sell many items or need to track things like inventory levels.  This number must be unique for each item because the database where information about your items is stored uses this number to tell items apart.

In Stock? – Choose a button to indicate whether the item is in stock.

Active? – Choose a button to indicate whether the item is active or inactive.  Inactive items are stored in the database, but are not displayed in the Store.

Section Two

add_new_item_section_2

Product Category – Click on the drop-down menu box and you will see a list of your existing categories.  You may choose one of these categories, or you can select New Category at the top of the list.  If you select New Category, you must enter a new category name in the next box.  If you choose an existing category, you do not need to enter anything into the second box.

Keywords – You can enter keywords that relate to your item in this box.  No commas or other punctuation are necessary (but they also won’t do any damage).  When a customer searches your store for items, the search process will look at keywords (if there are any) as part of the search, so this can be useful in helping your customers find items in your store.

List Order – Your store will always list items within their category.  If no List Order is specified, items will be listed in the order that they appear in the database, which can be somewhat random.  If you enter a number in the List Order box for each item, your items will be listed in the order indicated by those numbers.

Section Three

add_new_item_section_3

Product Description – This one is pretty obvious.  Enter a description of the item.  In addition to keywords, the search function will look at this text as well.

Price – Enter a price for the item in US dollars and cents.

Unit – Enter the unit that the price you entered applies to.  For example, if you are selling bowls and they come is a set of 6 for $10, then enter “10” for the price and “Set of 6” for the unit.  That way the shopper knows the bowls are not $10 each, but $10 for 6.  If the price is for one of whatever you are selling, the usual way to show the unit is by using “ea” or “each”.

Section Four

add_new_item_section_4

Shipping to US Addresses – Every item must have a shipping amount specified for shipping to US addresses.  At this time, Simpsen only supports flat shipping amounts per item.  We are working on a simple way to allow more complex shipping calculations and will roll that out when we can.

You can enter “0” as the amount for Shipping to US Addresses, and in your store it will say “Free Shipping to US Addresses”.

Shipping to International Addresses – You are not required to enter an amount for international shipping, but there are some details to consider as you decide what to put in this box – especially related to what you choose for International Shipping Policy.

  • If you choose “International shipping available”, then shoppers will be able to choose international shipping, and will be charged whatever amount you enter in the Shipping to International Addresses box.  If that amount is “0”, or if you do not enter an amount in the box, it will say “Free Shipping to International Addresses”.
  • If you choose “International shipping not available”, then shoppers will not be able to choose international shipping, and it will not matter what you put (if anything) in the Shipping to International Addresses box.
  • If you choose “Contact us for information”, shoppers will see a note in the item’s listing informing them that they need to contact you directly for information about international orders.  Again, in this case, it will not matter what you put (if anything) in the Shipping to International Addresses box.

Alternate Shipping – You are able to define one additional shipping option for each item.  For instance, if you want to offer expedited shipping, or local pickup, etc., you can do so.

In the Alternate Shipping box, enter a name for the type of shipping that you want to define.  For example, “Local Pickup”.

In the Alt Ship Price box, enter the cost for this type of shipping.  If you leave the box empty, or enter “0”, then your store will indicate that this shipping option is free.

Section Five

add_new_item_section_5

In this section you will enter the URLs for up to 8 images that will be included in your item listing.  Please see the Photo Help Page for assistance in how to upload photos and determine what to enter into these boxes.

Section Six

add_new_item_section_6

In this section you will enter the YouTube video identifying code for up to 3 videos that will be included in your item listing. Please see the Video Help Page for assistance in how to upload videos and determine what to enter into these boxes.

Section Seven

add_new_item_section_7

In this section you may enter additional notes that will appear at the bottom of the item listing.

Footer

add_new_item_footer

Once the form is filled out, click the “Submit Form” button in the footer.  This will open a new page that contains all of the information you just entered so that you can review and confirm it before adding it to the database.  The confirmation page will look like this:

add_new_item_confirm

After reviewing the new item information and confirming that it is all correct, click the button that says “Confirm and Add Item to Database” at the bottom of the table.

add_new_item_confirm_point_at_button

You will then get a confirmation screen indicating that your item was successfully inserted into the database, and you are done.  If there is any problem inserting the item into the database, you will get an error message and some instructions on this screen.

add_new_item_confirmation_screen

Posted in Help for Sellers

Signing In To Your Store Administration Page

Signing in to store administration is very easy.  Start on your store homepage.  It will look something like this, only with your unique colors, logo, etc.:

store_main_page

 

Next, find the Site Admin login boxes at the bottom of the page, as indicated here:

store_main_point_at_admin_signin

If you are have a problem at this point in the process, you can make your way back to the help pages, by clicking the Site Admin link.

admin_signin_click_for_help

In these boxes, you will enter your Admin Username, and your Admin Password.  You would have received a username and temporary password with your original confirmation email.  If this is the first time you are signing in, you will use the temporary password.  If you have already changed your temporary password to a permanent password, you will, of course, use that password.

admin_signin_entering_credentials

This will open your Store Administration main page, which will look something like this:

admin_main_page

 

As aways, if you are having a problem you can’t seem to get solved, please contact Simpsen Support and we’ll help you get it resolved.

Posted in Help for Sellers

What’s on the Simpsen Trello Board?

Here at Simpsen we use Trello for high-level work management.  Here’s a glimpse at what’s on our board as of November 9 (click the image for a larger, easier to read version).

Nov9TrelloBoard

Posted in Roadmap

Welcome to the Simpsen Blog

This will be the official source of information on what is happening at Simpsen.  Progress on development, release schedules, news and announcements will all show up here first.  And, you might also find the staff rambling a little on just about anything, so drop in as often as you like.

This will also be a great place for you to interact with us.  We’d love to get feedback and comments on posts, so feel free to jump right into the conversation.

— se

Posted in News and Announcements