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marciayudkin last won the day on July 24 2016

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About marciayudkin

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    Marketing Mentor

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    Maui and Massachusetts

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  1. Product descriptions that flummoxed you?

    >> PSI. I see PSI on all sorts of products, but it really means nothing to me without giving it some sort of perspective. For example, go look at power washers some time. Some have 1700 PSI. Some are 2000. Some are 2400. Some are more... but what does it mean for me. I get that the higher the number the stronger it is, but do I need 2400 or will 1700 be just fine to say clean some siding... what about my sidewalk? And how much of a difference is there between 1700 and 2000? << That's very similar to the example I ended up using in the article: This article will be published in September, and I'll try to remember to post the link here when it is. Thanks, everyone who contributed! Marcia Yudkin
  2. Eye Fatigue

    If you are thinking of having lasik surgery, do some thorough research on the risks first. For example, this website: One person I know who had lasik surgery, afterwards I literally did not recognize her. Her eyes had no sparkle any more. They looked dead, and to me it made her look unattractive. That's the only way I can describe it. It was really creepy to me. The other thing I remember is that there was a guy on the same Mt. Everest expedition as John Krakauer, who wrote the book "Into Thin Air" who had had laser surgery on his eyes and had severe problems seeing at high altitude. Those two stories/incidents were enough to convince me that messing with your eyes just to get rid of glasses isn't worth it.
  3. Eye Fatigue

    Hi Mike, About 15 years ago I went through a course of vision therapy based partly on the Bates method (used by Aldous Huxley to cure himself of near-blindness), and one of the (non-Bates) practices I learned was the set of acupressure eye exercises used by schoolchildren in China. They really prevent/relieve eyestrain-related headaches and help with migraines as well. They are supposed to be done in a certain order, and I strongly recommend them. On Youtube, if you look up "acupressure exercises for eyesight," you will find a bunch of videos that demonstrate the points that you stimulate briefly with your fingers. Or, you may be able to find a vision therapist in your area that can teach them to you along with a lot of additional non-drug methods to relieve eyestrain. As for migraines, I used to get them quite a lot and discovered that for me, the trigger was being dehydrated. Now I am careful to drink plenty of water, particularly in hot weather or when I am traveling, and I hardly ever get a full-blown migraine any more. But everyone's triggers are different and this may or may not apply to you. One more thing: You should look away from the computer screen to a greater distance at least once every hour for half a minute at least. This too will help with eyestrain. Marcia Yudkin
  4. Product descriptions that flummoxed you?

    Thanks for the examples. Could I have a few more?
  5. Hi friends, I am going to be writing a regular monthly column for Practical Ecommerce online magazine on topics related to copywriting for ecommerce. For an upcoming column, I'm wondering if any of you can remember a product description in an online store that used language you did not understand - maybe because it was too technical for your level of understanding or was industry jargon you were unfamiliar with? For example, if you aren't very domestic, you might be looking at buying bed sheets and don't know what the heck "thread count" means or why it matters. Thanks in advance for any real-life examples! Marcia Yudkin
  6. >>We generally do a cash business and an informal credit one at that. << And I assume there's a lot of under-the-table business transactions? (As in many other Mediterranean countries.) I.e., most people don't report their full income to the government.
  7. >>In fact, the mobile payments model will likely replace physical credit/debit cards in the not-too-distant future. << Don't be so sure. One of the takeaways from looking at payment preferences in different countries (described in a link earlier in this thread) is that cultural factors have a huge impact on which payment options become most popular where. I've read elsewhere that Sweden, for example, is becoming a nearly cashless economy, yet in, say, Germany, paying in cash is most popular. Marcia Yudkin
  8. >> It was my understanding there is a charge for credit. << Nope. Only if you do not pay your bills in full every month. And only if your credit card charges an annual fee - most do not.
  9. Update on my original question.. I found out that the person whose purchase triggered my question lives in Germany. So there probably is some international-related reason why he doesn't have credit cards. Here is a useful article on purchase preferences in a few different countries: Marcia Yudkin
  10. >>It might be handy, but you're being charged on your own money. << If you pay your credit card bill in full every month, in what way does the above statement apply? If your credit card has no annual fee and you pay all the bills promptly, there is no way that I can see that credit cards are taking advantage of the credit card holder. On the contrary, you get to pay all your bills 6-8 weeks later, possibly get bonus points and also have a handy record of how much you spent where every month - all advantages not true of paying cash. If someone doesn't want to use credit cards for personal reasons, that's one thing. But to call the system exploitative doesn't seem true even for those who have balances every month. They are being charged for a loan to them from the credit card company/bank. That is not "being charged on your own money." It is being charged on other people's money.
  11. >> So, out of curiosity, is there a particular reason why you only accept credit/debit cards? << Mainly because the shopping carts or other interface I was using did not integrate with Paypal. And because requests to use Paypal from my customer base were so rare. It's about two cases a year. I've always said yes to one-off requests but it creates extra work on my part. In the most recent case, my online course interface uses Stripe to process payments and did not allow Paypal payments. For me to accept payment in Paypal funds I had to go back and create a special coupon for that person to then get access to the course. The whole process was not automated, as with credit carts. However, in the case of a request this week, I took a second look and they now allow me to set up acceptance of Paypal with only a click or two. So I did set it up.
  12. Sorry, I should have been more precise. Since most debit cards I know of can also function as credit cards in buying things online, I was asking about people who do not have either credit cards OR debit cards.
  13. When a potential customer contacts me to say that they don't have credit cards, and can they buy a certain item or service with Paypal or a money order, I assume that they are living hand to mouth and can't really afford to pay $100 or $500 (sometimes more) for what I'm selling. But then they prove me wrong. I do also have one longtime client who makes many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year who, out of some sort of principle (or defense against overspending?) always wants to pay me in alternative ways besides credit cards.. What are your thoughts on this? Are there certain types of people who don't have credit cards, and is it possible to generalize about them? Or are there so many reasons why people don't have or don't use credit cards that it would be wrong to draw any inferences at all from this fact about them? Apart from clients, I can only think of one business owner I personally know who didn't have credit cards, and this was someone who had defaulted on her student loans and had horrible credit. It's just so hard to function in today's society without credit cards - isn't it? Marcia Yudkin
  14. Spanish Course Suggestions?

    I was actually in this situation a few years ago. I had been able to get by in Spanish in my twenties and wanted to recover what I knew and progress. I started with Duolingo, an excellent refresher, went through Volumes 2-5 of the Pimsleur audio courses (free through interlibrary loan), then discovered "News in Slow Spanish Latino," a podcast that I still listen to. Then I started watching telenovelas (Latino soap operas) on Telemundo, which offers Spanish subtitles. I'm still hooked on those. Then I was able to read Spanish newspapers (El Pais and the Spanish version of the NY Times) and tackle a couple of 450-page novels by Isabel Allende. I bought both the Spanish and the English versions and would read several paragraphs of the Spanish, then look through the English to make sure I didn't miss anything or misunderstand. What's next? I've vastly improved my listening and reading comprehension and will work on spoken Spanish. Then I'll start another language. For me, this is great fun and I also plan to travel all around Latin America next year or the year after.
  15. Conundrum

    Hi Sal, You may find this article helpful - it contrasts two partnerships I entered into, one of which cratered and the other of which worked out extremely well: A good question to ask yourself: What are the possible hidden reasons the other person wants you in this partnership - and that you are tempted to agree? Good luck, Marcia Yudkin