After going live with my Community 68 Classifieds site, I noticed that for some reason I was getting a number of abandoned listings. An abandoned listing is when someone clicks on the “Place and ad” link and starts the process to post a classified ad, but never finishes the process. You end up with a listing that is set to inactive.
This was driving me crazy and I couldn’t understand why this was happening. I couldn’t discover any reasoning as to why in my investigation. This trend continued for several months. One day there was around 12 of them in a row and then I received a “Contact Us” email from a user. The content of this contact was a request for a “Price List”. It said that she looked and looked and couldn’t find one. Because of this, she said that she went to Place an ad several times, because that was the only way to find out the prices for our ads.
I was astounded. I went into the Admin of the site and looked and looked for an answer to this dilemma, but alas. I couldn’t find one. I thought to myself, “I can’t believe that this isn’t built in!” So, now my new quest was to try to put together a price list as quickly as I could to send to this potential seller.
Again, I went to the Admin of the site and of course went into the “Manage Products” which sorta, kinda gives you a list of your packages, however the information is quite limited. In fact it doesn’t even show a price.
What I finally did was go into the phpMyAdmin for my hosting service and did a data dump into an Excel spreadsheet. I cut out all the unnecessary columns then copied and pasted the list into an email and sent it out to my inquirer.
Now, I was on a new quest to find out how I might be able to provide a price list right on my site. I searched the 68 forums, the documentation, etc., but alas I came up empty handed.
In the end, I ended up creating a page within the Admin that I simply called Price list. To make that page, was an exercise in futility. I know that it sounds simple, but when you actually try to do it, it becomes quite complex. I developed the page offline in an HTML editor. This literally took me ten hours worth of work. Once I was finally done with it, I copied the source code from my editor and pasted it in my Price list page in my Admin. I thought all was well.
A couple of months later as my wife and I were discussing how we might be able to increase our marketing efforts and our number of listings, we decided to re-think our whole pricing structure and the listing packages. We ended up revamping the whole thing. That was all fine and dandy until I then realized that now I have to update the price list!
Because of our new strategy, we had over three times as many listing packages. The process of updating my price list page ended up taking me twice as long as before. I thought, there has to be a better way!
Well, I never found that better way. I wondered how many other people want to have a price list. I again searched the 68 forums and did indeed find posts about this very thing. Unfortunately, there was never any definitive answer other than doing what I did which was to manually create a page.
I thought to myself, “you know, this would be a great module!” I’m still learning php myself and I started trying to create this. Somewhere along the line, I let this project go by the wayside after much frustration.
I just recently decided to work on this project again and I am proud to release my first official 68 Classifieds module. It is called Prices. I will be submitting my Prices Module to the official 68 Staff for approval and then it will be listed on the Classifiedmods.com website and for sale here in my store.
The Prices Module is actually pretty basic. It simply provides a way to make a link on your site to the module which generates a list of your listing packages in a table. It lists the Package Name, List Price, Price, Description and Duration.
While I was developing this, I started thinking about a number of different ways that this could be enhanced. The module suddenly started to get quite complex. What I finally decided to do, was the following.
- Cut the module down to just a basic Price List
- Decided to offer it at an introductory price of $9.95 for a limited time (Regular price of $14.95)
- Get input from early users to update the basic module
- Offer the updated module at the regular price and free update to existing users
- Develop a Prices Pro version with many more options and an upgrade path to any Prices customer
So, there you have it.
To see a demo of the Prices Module Click Me!