Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sonic's Birthday Week Ends with a Bang! Sonic Store!

What a week.
Updating Gear every day proved to be harder than I'd expected. It pretty much took up every second of free time I had to make all the posts. Things were complicated by another mail flood and the anti-virus software going awry in the middle of the week.

However, much was accomplished.
The mail is finally almost under control. There's going to be a few more weeks of "Mail Bag" updates for sure, but the end of the klutter is in sight. After that it should be all right to catch up the mail each week and it won't rampage out of control again.
Which means...
More over-hauls, fixer-uppers and interesting new pages. If I'm not scrambling around trying to fix the mountains of mail, I'll be able to improve and add on to SonicGear with new and interesting sections, as well as better organization/layouts on the current ones.

Of course, the ending was a bang (as planned) with the debut of The Sonic Store!
So far, the store only consists of Amazon and it's partners. All the buttons say Amazon, however hardly any of them lead streight to it. Amazon has a whole mess of "Partner type stores" who's stuff they're allowed to sell. In that way, they are able to make buttons for SonicGear to place on pages.
This is actually really convenient for everyone. It lets SonicGear show items from all over the place really fast, without having to go to each individual place and pick up their button. It's also good for buyers because Amazon secures their stuff pretty well. The links are all 'live' in that Gear hosts none of it...which as it says in the disclaimer can vanish/break or whatever when the item supply runs out.

Hopefully the store will be a hit with everyone. Every week loads of requests come in for "How do I buy..." on things. When the store is larger hopefully a lot of these people won't just "Have to go to ebay" any more.
The one thing that really stood out as a helper here is actually a Sonic mask and hat. Yea the mask is a bit 'cheapo type', but the hat is wacky and fun. Every year tons of parents would write in around halloween desperately seeking a Sonic mask or something to help them make a costume for their kids who really wanted to be Sonic. They were specifically after the rather shabby vintage masks/costumes (from the 1990s) because that's about all there was. Hopefully this won't dissapoint!

What's in "Store" for the future?
Store expansion into more catagories. Well obviously 'keychains' and 'misc' can't be the only sections. More areas will continue to be trawled for linkable buttons at the lowest price. (yes there are various buttons some times for the SAME thing...I always pick the lowest cost one) Books and Games are guarenteed right now. I'm suspecting "clothes" and "dolls" should be able to get their own pages also.
I also want to get other non-amazon or amazon related stores onto the page as well. TopHeavy would be nice because not everyone can go to Sears. Also, places with some of the more exotic plush would do well to be corralled all into one place for easy shopping.

SonicGear may now actually have the pull to get in with stores like this, which is encouraging.
All in all, Sonic's birthday week really turned out to be a great help to SonicGear!