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Jockomofino

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Jan 22, 2018
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I am an amateur cardsharp. I have always loved learning about card manipulation. Two of the main businesses I order from are:


and


Feel free to look at both sites before continuing and see if you form an opinion of each and/or an initial preference for one over the other.

I have ordered several things from each site, and they are very similar in appearance, what they offer, and each even seem to be run by a duo of male partners. The truth is that, from my experience, Vanishing seems to offer a few things that Penguin does not, and the things each offers that are the same are almost always the same price.

But here is the difference:

When I order from Vanishing, I get a 'thank you' video from the two owners (i assume they own it) which has some humor, but it is the same video each time.

When I order from Penguin, I get an email with a link. When I click the link it takes me to a video of one of the owners holding up a sign which says 'Thanks, Michael!' Then, there is an overhead view of a pair of black-jacket-sleeved arms with white-gloved hands packing a box with the item I just ordered. The first time I saw this, I thought it was pretty neat but just thought it was a stock video of that item being packaged - UNTIL the box is sealed, the shipping label is attached, and then the box is lifted towards the camera...and I see my name and address on the label!

Now, Penguin might not have some things I want that Vanishing does, and when that is the case, I buy from Vanishing. But when I have a choice, I ALWAYS buy from Penguin just because of that extra little personal touch.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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The latter appears like it was designed in 1999 and hasn't been updated since, very "Craigslistian" - the other (Vanishing) looks more fresher.

UNTIL the box is sealed, the shipping label is attached, and then the box is lifted towards the camera...and I see my name and address on the label!

This might not be original, it sounds like an AI system that can superimpose a new label into the video with each customer.

I know there is technology that does this. In other words, if I ordered, I would get the same video, just with a different shipping label.
 

doster.zach

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This might not be original, it sounds like an AI system that can superimpose a new label into the video with each customer.

I know there is technology that does this. In other words, if I ordered, I would get the same video, just with a different shipping label
Definitely. Chances are if a company operates beyond a local scale, if you're not paying for personalizations, they are faking it.
 

Jockomofino

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Jan 22, 2018
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The latter appears like it was designed in 1999 and hasn't been updated since, very "Craigslistian" - the other (Vanishing) looks more fresher.



This might not be original, it sounds like an AI system that can superimpose a new label into the video with each customer.

I know there is technology that does this. In other words, if I ordered, I would get the same video, just with a different shipping label.

This includes my shipping info but I'm not really that concerned about it. Tell me what you think. Don't know how long the link will be viable.

 

MJ DeMarco

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This includes my shipping info but I'm not really that concerned about it. Tell me what you think. Don't know how long the link will be viable.


Interesting, if that's what you ordered, it looks legit. The first screen though, looks drop and render.
 

Cameraman

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We've established that you buy from Penguin rather than Vanishing because you like the neat personal touch with the video. I have seen something similar on another site, which I can't remember (I'm getting old) and thought it was impressive at the time. But it wouldn't get my repeat business just because of that.

Are you looking to adopt a similar approach for your own site?

The bigger point that we seem to be distracted from by your question (is this some sort of subliminal trick) is why would I buy from Penguin rather than Vanishing if I didn't know about the video? I probably wouldn't because of the way the site looks. Whilst I don't like the Vanishing site much either it looks better. You only have a preference for one supplier over the other because you've purchased from both.

There's much more money to be made by getting the site design right first. You can add the clever personal touches later to encourage repeat business but you need to get that first sale as the priority.
 
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Jockomofino

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Jan 22, 2018
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We've established that you buy from Penguin rather than Vanishing because you like the neat personal touch with the video. I have seen something similar on another site, which I can't remember (I'm getting old) and thought it was impressive at the time. But it wouldn't get my repeat business just because of that.

Are you looking to adopt a similar approach for your own site?

The bigger point that we seem to be distracted from by your question (is this some sort of subliminal trick) is why would I buy from Penguin rather than Vanishing if I didn't know about the video? I probably wouldn't because of the way the site looks. Whilst I don't like the Vanishing site much either it looks better. You only have a preference for one supplier over the other because you've purchased from both.

There's much more money to be made by getting the site design right first. You can add the clever personal touches later to encourage repeat business but you need to get that first sale as the priority.
I initially bought from both sites because they each had something I was looking for, which not many (if any) other places had. I didn't really care one way or the other about which site looked better. The bottom line is that, considering the video of the packaging of my product is legit from Penguin, if I am looking for something and both sites have it for the same price, I'm buying from Penguin because they make the extra little effort to show me my item has been carefully packaged and to assure me that my order has been received and has been processed neatly and with a personal touch.

I'm not looking to use that approach (though I would if/when we get to the point where we do our own fulfillment) - I just thought it was a nice little distinction between two relatively similar sites, where one small thing that one does represents a lot of value to me and will probably always be the deal-breaker when I am ready to buy something that both places offer.

I've thought about the logistics, and I figures if they are hand-packaging each item anyway, how difficult is it to mount a camera over the packing area, tape the packaging, and then email a link to you to show it being done?

When you Google a product (most of what I buy is books with a dvd thrown in here and there) and it only comes up on a few sites, the site designs don't really play a big part to me. If they have what I want, and hardly anyone else does, I'm not going to say, "I'm not doing business with you because you're page looks ancient." For my purposes with these kinds of products, it only matters that I can easily find what I'm looking for and easily pay for it. Both sites fill those functions in a perfectly acceptable manner.

I guess to each his own. Maybe it means more to me than it would to some others. But I am certain that there are plenty whose loyalty would be cemented with just that little extra personal touch.
 

Jockomofino

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Jan 22, 2018
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Interesting, if that's what you ordered, it looks legit. The first screen though, looks drop and render.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure they made a bunch of clips with the guy holding whiteboards saying "Thanks, (fill in name here)." But I do believe the rest is for real. When I get the package, I'll send a short vid of the unboxing and post it.
 

Jockomofino

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Jan 22, 2018
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Durham, NC
Interesting, if that's what you ordered, it looks legit. The first screen though, looks drop and render.
Here's the boxing up...

and here's me opening it...
View attachment IMG_5661.MOV
 
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