Category Archives: PR

Hottest Summer on Record Globally…So Let’s Have Christmas in July!

Christmas in July!

Christmas in July!

I don’t know how many of you are sweltering in the July heat like me, but according to CNN it is a record number this year – at least in June and expected to be followed up by July. What’s a girl to do when it’s THIS HOT? Why SHOPPING of course~!!!

You may know I’m a member of Virtual Online Learning a place to learn and network online while making friends. This is an awesome community that is centered around selling on eBay, but covers, oh so much more! I have taken classes on email marketing, blogging, YouTube, Facebook, HTML and even taught a class on Twitter lists! @VirtualOnline is truly a place to take a class, then go right out the same day and make money! My friend, Danna Crawford @PowerSellingMom started it one year ago and the progress is just astounding! There are around 100 members so far and I was the very first! I’m very proud to hold that distinction and encourage everyone who wants to do marketing online to join us! Danna is the woman who told me when I met her that I would be a Powerseller -and WHAT MONTH it would happen! Guess what?! She NAILED it~! And I thought it was impossible!

So back to the topic at hand…. as I wipe my brow and adjust my laptop before it scorches my thighs. Again. THIS hot July is MUCH different than last hot July! Besides being much, much HOTTER, Louise from Herbs-Crafts-Gifts and a helper at Virtual Online, set up a “Christmas in July Sale” for  the members and their stores! What a wise woman! I am one of those that always gets to the Holiday stuff after it is sold out – so my customers miss out on all that good stuff. It always goes MUCH sooner than I think it will and already, things are selling OUT! Now we have all banded together to bring you the good stuff before it’s gone, let you get a leg up, give you the shopping edge! Please go check out the stores below! They all have different items and are separately owned. If you wish YOUR store was listed here, you should join us at  Virtual Online Learning please tell ’em Anita sent you! And don’t forget to dip your toes into the snow while you’re there!

Check out the original Holiday Bump

How To Handle Your Online Business In The Face of Personal Tragedy

Despair.

Despair.

These events unfolded in such a ridiculous way, my life is on hold until I can explain them. I looked for a guide to help me during this time and did not find one. This is not a typical blog post for me. Perhaps this can serve for someone in the future.

Despair. Ludicrous events. Unbelievable.

The customer service end of my online business is probably the most challenging. It can sometimes take up to 20 minutes to craft the proper response to a customer inquiry or complaint. It needs to be concise, very brief and to the point. Easier stated than crafted.

The beginning of this sounds like the segue for a joke: we just paid off our car a couple of days before and it wouldn’t start. It would start again if we left it alone for a few hours, sometimes overnight. I was convinced through my Googling that it had something to do with the car’s anti-theft system or electronic keys. As it was, the car couldn’t be trusted and, if it started, needed to be left on wherever it went – less than ideal. Since it was likely a security issue, it would need to be taken to the dealer. The dealer always means big bucks. We milked it until it stopped for good on Christmas Eve 2009.

Everything we were supposed to attend, forget it. We didn’t even have food in the house. The only thing there was to do was tweet. In my tweets, I did not want to bring others down, so barely mentioned my situation. We had to wait until Christmas was over to get the car into the dealer. And on December 26th, the car started to go to the dealer! Well, it saved us money for towing. It turned out to be the starter, something my husband could have fixed, instead it was over $400 at the dealer. While the car was in the dealer and during all of this, shipments were getting delayed and I got word that my father was in the hospital and it was pretty bad. I should find a way there. Shipments were delayed and stress was mounting.

The dealer remarked to my husband that the brakes were going to need work very soon and that we should plan on that or just get them done that day for an additional $1,200. He told them he would do them himself. We figured we had another month to get the parts and tools needed for that job. We were wrong. The brakes were quickly starting to fail and we had to consolidate shipping days.

I didn’t get to the hospital at all. That’s ok. It will be alright. Dad will be fine and I will get up there in a day or two.

By New Year’s Eve, the brakes failed completely. The car could not be driven at all. Both the front and rear brakes as well as the two rear wheel cylinders were out.

And we JUST paid the car off.

It was frigid in Michigan during this time, below zero with wind chills and in single digits without the help of the wind. We had blowing snow and no garage to shield the car or the man working on it who happened to be my husband.

I didn’t get to the hospital at all. No shipments were going out.

This process took days. And the days became longer and longer. There was little I could do to actually help. My husband literally walked a mile to the parts store to make sure he would get the right parts.

You’re probably wondering why someone didn’t drive us, etc. In Michigan, during the winter, people really do not see each other much. If we needed to ask for a favor, it better be a big favor. From what my sister said, that favor was going to need to be a ride 60 miles to the hospital. My husband assured me that I would not need to ask anyone for that favor. Shipments were delayed. I can still feel the stress.

I like to ship same to next day. I wanted to see my dad.

I began to realize that I was very behind and put my eBay and Etsy stores on vacation, putting the reasons in the space provided for notes to customers. I also noted my situation on my Me Page at eBay and tweeted it for good measure. I wasn’t sure anyone would see anything. Orders still came in, God Bless them.

Finally! On January 8th, 2010, we got to the hospital to see my dad, shipping just before going.

My dad was far worse than I imagined. He couldn’t even look at me, speak or anything except an almost imperceptible hand squeeze. I held his hand the whole time I was there. I wasn’t sure we should leave, but my husband had been under a car in horrific weather conditions for days. We needed to rest. The stress had been exhausting, too.

I never thought that would be the last time I would see my father alive.

The next day, January 9th, 2010, my dad let go at 6:30 am. I had been planning to go see him later that day, but he was already gone. Everyone said he held on to see me.

In this blur of emotion, this raw suffering, I still had to think about what to do with my business. I wasn’t sure what to do. I knew this would delay or further delay shipments and that I needed to address the public. I updated my vacation store status on eBay and Etsy, changed my Me Page and finally sent each person a copy and paste note about what was going on. It took a long time to write the note, but the copy and paste was therapeutic in some way. It was something I could manage in between helping with the funeral service and arrangements.

Talking to my friends was especially helpful during this time. Kelly (not on Twitter 😉 reminded me what I would do in a situation like this – I would contact everyone, of course. @PowerSellingMom listened to me and advised me on the morning of the funeral. She calmed me down for 20 minutes, allowing me to go over my checklist of things I needed to do for the business. I am eternally grateful to Danna for that time. She also suggested I do this blog post.

I made sure I emailed or messaged everyone personally. I gave the option in the note to simply request a refund. I think that was pivotal. Of all the orders, only one opted for a refund and I was able to do that swiftly and without any hard feelings. Here is the note:

Hi,
My father passed away yesterday after struggling through the holidays. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. All shipments are delayed. Please request a refund through eBay messaging if you cannot wait. Talk to you soon. Your patience is BEYOND appreciated.

Thank you again for your order.
Anita @ModelSupplies & DNAshopper

So far, no one has left me negative, neutral or nasty comment. My customers are truly the best.

It is my hope this information will be useful to someone during a time when they find it difficult to think. It may sound strange that I would be so worried about my business during such personal tragedy, but there is not much separation between my personal and business life and I love it that way. I am still grappling with the loss of my father and still get delayed a couple days here and there. I cannot predict when it will happen, but knowing my customers care for me like I care for them has kept me going. Grateful cannot begin to describe my feelings for you. Thank you so much for standing by me during this time.
x0x
Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies

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Guesting on Warren Whitlock and Ed Philipp’s “Will Your Brand Survive in the Social Media Age?”

TweetIt from HubSpot

Open in your Default Player

Will Your Brand Survive in the Social Media Age?

Tonight, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation from Ed Philipp @EdLovesSumo to be on @WarrenWhitlock and his BlogTalkRadio show, TwitcastRadio.com Use the tag #TCR on Twitter to follow the tweets!

For more information about the webinar I presented via Danna Crawford @PowerSellingMom on @VirtualOnline

Virtual Online Learning: Understanding Twitter Lists http://bit.ly/3mDBZ1 #edu

Joining Virtual Online Learning ? Please say “Anita sent you”! Thank you for listening! Feel free to post questions & I will follow up here or ModelSuppliesBlog.com

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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A Twitter Guide – The Art of the DM

TweetIt from HubSpot

Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

I have done a lot of writing about spam DMs or Direct Messages on Twitter recently and it may sound as if I don’t like to get DMs at all. Nothing could be further from the truth! I just adore DMs and prefer them to email, truth be told. Surprised? Don’t be!

The DM is a private conversation. It is ideal for people who have very little time and/or short attention span with its limited character set. A big “up side” to having limited characters is that it can force someone to get to the point, be concise and stay focused.

I used to write long, rambling emails. I used to enjoy reading them from others, too, but I simply do not have time for that luxury anymore. I spend most of my email time battling spam. It takes more time to sift email now and I do not enjoy sifting. It is my own fault since I should use a separate account for those purposes, but I digress.

TweetVisor makes me so happy, I could sing!

TweetVisor makes me so happy, I could sing!

I always have TweetVisor up, so I can usually see DMs as they come in and reply instantly whenever I am online. TweetVisor shows everything all at once on one page, so I see my public @replies, too. This saves a TON of energy and effort, plus it allows me to be very speedy in my communications. Most of the time, an @reply on Twitter is great for both parties, lending exposure for both parties and the chance for new followers, but sometimes the conversation goes deeper or gets more involved or personal. How do I know when to take it to DM?

  • When you send your email address or other private information, take it to DM.
  • When you’re in an involved conversation and exchanged multiple messages that really concern no one else, take it to DM.
  • When it would be impossible to follow or jump into the conversation, take it to DM.
  • When you want to flirt for real, take it to DM. (Caution, you may get blocked! But that’s the same as real life, isn’t it?)
  • When the information you’d like to impart is very specifically for that one person, take it to DM.
  • When the subject is private information, take it to DM.
  • When sending a link someone requests that you have already tweeted within the past 4 hours, send it via DM to avoid being thrown out of search. (see my article about search for more information)
  • When you feel the need to use off-color language, in general, take it to DM.
  • If you feel the need to say something negative, keep it out of your stream and take it to DM. (Avoid)
  • When contacting customer support or Twitter support about a sensitive subject or complaint, don’t be rude and embarrass the company in an @reply, take it to DM.
DMs are like whispers...

DMs are like whispers...

Basically, an @reply or tweet is a shout out and a DM is a whisper. Whatever is said in DM is not general knowledge and should never be shared with someone else. You should never post the contents of a DM or tell someone else the contents of a DM. That is a trust violator that is not easily, if ever, overcome. Don’t overuse the DM, either, or your important messages may not be seen due to an onslaught of automatic DMs, frivolous flirtations and True Twit DM messages clogging the column. Master the art of the DM and it will simplify many areas of your electronic life!

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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Holiday Shopping – Time to Start Saving for Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

TweetIt from HubSpot

Black Friday Shoppers rush from bargain to great deal~!

Black Friday Shoppers rush from bargain to great deal~!

Listen up, fellow laid-off unemployed people~! Are you looking for your blessings in disguise? You may have forgotten about this little shopping gem…

It’s time to start saving for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days! Black Friday is a shopping holiday in the United States that falls on the day after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is the Monday following the Thanksgiving weekend. Traditionally, Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday shopping season with wonderful sales!

Black Friday is the fourth Friday in November in the USA

Black Friday is the fourth Friday in November in the USA

For the past 8 years or more, I have stepped aside at the newspaper where I was employed, being “the one who works” on these holidays. As a result, I have missed the opportunity to buy things at great prices all over my community on Black Friday, the date so-called since that is when retailers are said to break even and begin to make a profit for that year. I have also worked through Cyber Mondays because they were only important to me, the date that online retailers hold amazing sales encouraging holiday shoppers. Mondays were deadline days, so I missed the opportunity to optimize my online sales. I stepped aside because I have no children, did not host Thanksgiving and any number of reasons my bosses and co-workers could dream up. Fair? You know it’s not!

Cyber Monday this year will be EPIC for ModelSupplies!

Cyber Monday this year will be EPIC for ModelSupplies!

This year will be different! I’ve got numbers to back me up! I will storm the marketplace! Be unbeatable in the grab for the greatest deal and prepare for my own customers like never before! I will be waiting in line at 5 am in front of an electronics store! I have even done my research, well, ok, eBillMe.com did the research FOR me, but here it is!

Based on the amount of people who know about Cyber Monday – very few are planning to do holiday shopping on that day–however most prefer online shopping over Black Friday’s in store shopping.

“I have heard of “Cyber Monday” as the start of the holiday online shopping season”

M–54%

F–51%

18-24 yr olds 35%

25-34 yr olds 61%

35-44 yr olds 58%

“I plan to do most of my holiday shopping on “Cyber Monday””

M-12%

F-10%

18-24 yr olds 12%

25-34 yr olds 15%

35-44 yr olds 16%

“I prefer to avoid shopping on “Black Friday” in favor of shopping online”

M-51%

F–46%

18-24 yr old 37%

25-34 yr old 50%

35-44 yr old 51%

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about Deals and Discounts…

“I will shop for deals or look for coupons. “

Male

Strongly Disagree–2%

Neither Agree or Disagree–20%

Strongly Agree–32%

Female

Strongly Disagree–2%

Neither Agree or Disagree–12%

Strongly Agree–46%

Poll by http://www.ebillme.com

This year Black Friday is Nov. 27, 2009 and Cyber Monday is Nov. 30, 2009.

So there you have it! I guess I will spend more time getting my online store in shape and ready for sales for Cyber Monday! (But I am still going to go out for my first Black Friday!) Either way, it’s time to start saving for that weekend now!

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies

Resources:

http://www.ebillme.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_%28shopping%29 s

http://tgiblackfriday.com/

http://shop.ebillme.com/occasions/black-friday/deals/

http://shop.ebillme.com/occasions/black-friday/coupons/

http://shop.ebillme.com/occasions/black-friday/tips/

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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Charity Turns Away Help

TweetIt from HubSpot

They say there’s a first time for everything, but I didn’t see this one coming. It’s no big deal to me, but I think it could hurt charities if they think the way North Shore Animal League did recently. This is an animal rescue charity that has long been dear to me and I have stuffed envelopes with cash and mailed them off to this cause during even the toughest of times for my family. I have made donations to them for well over 10 years.

As you probably know, I have an eBay store and very often, well, almost always have items listed for charity. The items vary, and the percentages are anywhere from 10% – 100% of the auction winnings. While most of my items are in the $10-$15 range, this adds up over time and I believe most of the charities I have chosen are grateful. I have even gotten a few “Thank you” emails! Very nice!

Most of my items are beauty related and I even have my own skin care line, but I try to offer a variety of items. I have recently begun listing an item for sexual health called “Healthy Sense Potent Passion

Healthy Sense Potent Passion with Horny Goat Weed

Healthy Sense Potent Passion with Horny Goat Weed

and was looking for my favorite charities at the same time as listing. I was just thrilled to see my old favorite charity, North Shore Animal League! I chose them for this listing, thinking how cute it would be for animal magnetism and wondering if I should up the anty for North Shore, perhaps throw in an extra bottle or do incentives. Maybe when I relist it, have to get going now… Well, good thing I didn’t. North Shore Animal League didn’t think my listing was cute at all. They canceled it. eBay sent a notice:

The nonprofit organization designated within your listing (North Shore Animal League America) has notified eBay that they do not wish to be affiliated with this listing; therefore, we have ended your item.”

North Shore said nothing to me at all. This is a supplement for sexual health. It is not presented as it could be. I relisted the item with a new charity, Prostate Cancer Foundation , and if they do not object to my item and me, I will relist it with incentives of additional bottles. I understand that this may not have been the ideal item to list for North Shore Animal League, but I would have probably changed it to Hyaluronic Acid powder next time out. I am not required to list for charities, but it is a wonderful thing I can do that Danna Crawford, aka @PowerSellingMom showed me how to do it with eBay Giving Works! I was THRILLED to discover that I could help charities without shelling out actual cash. I always have more product than cash as a seller! (If you’d like to learn from @PowerSellingMom join Virtual Online Learning Group and tell ’em Anita sent you! Lifetime Membership goes up November 1st~!)

I think it’s a little silly for North Shore to burn bridges in this economy. Would it really harm their PR campaign if I donated to them with this item? Have you ever heard of them before this post? What do you think?

Update:

By contrast & to put the positive spin back into my post! Here is a Thank you email from Susan G. Komen for the Cure:

Thank you for selling items on eBay and for choosing Susan G. Komen for the Cure as the beneficiary of your gift.  Our important work is made possible only because of the very generous support of individuals like you throughout the world.

With survivors and activists in 122 Affiliates representing almost every community and city in the country, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the most progressive grassroots organization fighting breast cancer today. I encourage you to get involved in your area.  Please visit our website at www.komen.org or call our National Toll-Free Helpline at 1-877-GO KOMEN to find a Komen Affiliate near you and for answers to your questions about breast health and breast cancer.

Together we will end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

View your special thank you card by clicking the link below.

Sincerely,

Hala Moddelmog

President and CEO

To be fair, I have listed all types of products for them, and I’m not sure if I listed the above product, but something tells me they would be just as grateful. It is something for charities to think about. There is a scene in “Gone With The Wind” where the “harlot” gives money to Scarlette’s gentle, sweet sister-in-law and she accepts their money, much to Scarlette’s surprise. Sometimes allowing others to give is a gift in itself.

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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Healthy Sense Potent Passion

Baltimore, MD Tonight – Funeral for Edgar Allan Poe

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"Quoth the raven, Nevermore."

"Quoth the raven, Nevermore."

Tonight, the city my cousin Edgar called home,  Baltimore, MD, will celebrate his 200th Anniversary of his birthday by holding the funeral he never had. Poe’s family, my relatives, his friends, his cousin, Neilson Poe did not release the information to the public that Edgar had died at age 40 in 1849. For that reason, cousin Edgar had modest attendance of about 10 people at a small memorial before his burial. I know I am only a distant cousin, but I feel somewhat responsible and guilty about that and indeed, have seen the tragic patterns of Poe’s life play out through the generations, including early deaths. My dear Grand Aunt Rosie was the last I knew to keep the family tree that has him listed as:

Poe, Edgar Allan: American author.

…though there are proud, rambling paragraphs written about land owners and soldiers. I asked my mother why they had only this to say of him? She looked embarrassed, turned her eyes down to her hands and said that no one wanted to talk about drinking and drugs and the other… They were ashamed. I could scarcely believe my ears and I was very young, just learning in school of Edgar Allan Poe as an author, though my big brother had already read all of his works and tried writing like him.

I asked my mother if she was ashamed of Edgar.

She said, “no, he was very troubled and his own parents didn’t take care of him.”

Really? What do you mean?

They adopted him to “The Allans”, they couldn’t care for him.

Why?

I’m not sure if they were dead or what happened, nobody is, but I think his father was dead and his mother went to England. They were stage actors.

(I wanted to be a stage actor. Gulp.)

There are lots of reasons, dear.

I did not have time to pursue. In keeping with family tradition, there were too many storms at the forefront to look at the aft. Cousin Edgar was a brilliant author. They could have at least injected an adjective besides American. One look at the Chronology of his life will show it is not an easy job to follow the life of the dearly departed Poe.

Baltimore is instead celebrating his birth with the wonderful gift of a proper funeral! The town is abuzz and it’s funny that Boston was supposed to be the warm home of his heart, when clearly it is Baltimore who loves and appreciates him, deserves him. And has all along. Regretfully and stereotypically of our family, I cannot be in attendance. I did have the decency to write, at least, and thank them for the wonderful events they have held and will hold this evening. I assured them that if cousin Edgar could attend, he will. I think he would like that I have conveyed that message. Hopefully, my brother will be able to attend with him. He was his biggest fan and followed in his footsteps to an early grave.

Please be there if you can – why would you miss this if you live nearby?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe’s Funeral – BE THERE!

By Anita Nelson, blood relative.

Sources & Resources:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=156&sid=8196816 <~ About tonight.

http://poebicentennial.com <- Visit for Poe’s Bicentennial~!

http://www.airtran.com <~ Official Airline of the Baltimore Edgar Allan Poe Bicentennial Celebration.

http://www.eapoe.org/geninfo/poechron.htm <~ Chronology of the Life of Edgar Allan Poe
by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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Help! I Don’t Show Up In Twitter Search!

Domestic Violence Takes Many Forms….

TwitBlocking – Shocking New Twitter Trend Brings Me To My Knees

What It’s Like To Be #TwitterSuspended

5 “Get Followed Fast” Finds!
My Twitter Mosaic – Fabulous Tweeps!

Careful What You Tweet
How to Become Instantly RT-able (A Twitter Guide)