GOOD NEWS IS ALWAYS GOOD NEWS!… IS THIS NEWS BAD OR GOOD?

People have been waiting patiently, maybe for centuries, wondering if the CHESS BUTLER is going to put up an Online-chess store. Good question. I’ve wanted to because I am probably losing sales to those who just have to have a website or they won’t buy.

In my opinion, I have sold, using credit cards, info since 1987 without incident. My employees have always been good in that regard. No pilfering of funds, no screwing with my credit card, etc. Good to go.

WHAT HAVE I BEEN LOOKING AT?

A company called Weebly. Stupid name, reminds me of those little Weebles my kids used to have. But I like the way they put their website together. And I like what they can do for mine idea of a web site. It won’t (most likely) look as jazzy as Amazon.com but it will (and should be) easier to negotiate.

I have a couple questions. Can you help answer?

One of the first things I took a look at was the costs for shipping.

Some years ago the price USCF charged for shipping was so low they were literally getting killed on that alone! Honest to Pete, it was a sacrilege. Whoever set the parameters at the USCF at that time was a complete nincompoop, and what’s worse, I think I know who it was! (He’s still involved in chess.) They wanted ALL the business no matter what it cost to get it! The world IS changing at least with respect to shipping costs. It’s illegal to declare (or hide) a “profit” on shipping unless it is counterbalanced by more expensive shipping services, bags, boxes, etc. (bookkeeping, printer paper for invoices, labels and such).

Hence “Weebly” has as one of their shipping preferences defaulted to $7.50 for up to 10 pounds of stuff (such as books, sets. scorepads or whatever is being sold and to be sent PRIORITY first class). For the past 6-7 years my customers have been fine with MEDIA RATE. But DVDs and BOOKS are the only things that can be shipped at Media Rate. If you get caught trying to pull a fast one, you first get a warning. The second time they send a Postal Inspector after you and crush your nuts with a pair of Vicegrips! I do believe, however, there is a pulldown menu which gives you choices. They even have Fedex, next day, etc. but I am not getting exotic with all that unless I have accounts with those companies. I dropped all of them when I (the accounting dept.!) caught them overcharging me. Must have been an accident because, they told me it was. At any rate it means I will have to re-weigh again all my products. And somehow we are supposed to figure in with this extra weight, “packing materials.” So, I have a few questions to ask them.

STARTING OUT SMALL

Initially I am going to create a small online catalog to see how everything works. So please don’t ask where something is until I get it up there. Then, I have to figure out what to do if something is sold out because I don’t think the software handles inventory accounting (but I could be off about this). I have to deal with subscriptions and extra discounts for those who have the Morphy Card! If all this was easy, believe me, everyone would be doing it! It all looks fairly straightforward and will be a boon for some people who can’t figure discounts or percentages (I am not kidding). So all this is coming up and I am anxious to test it out. Those who live at their public library should have a field day with this.

LOTS MORE

My buddy Ed Yee in Dearborn, MI has lots of questions and comments which will be posted in the February Bob’s News Letter which will be coming out in a few weeks. Those who are Members of the Morphy Klub get this publication as part of their membership, otherwise it is $29.95, 12 issues per year. This next one, #1 for 2015 will be crammed with goodies and info. The magazine will also be downloadable but I haven’t gotten into all of that yet. Theoretically, if you have lost an issue, you will be able to get another one. You won’t have to communicate with me, just to the Weebly site to get another copy. And you can do it if I am on the road because you will go to the website, most likely chessbutler.com

BOARDS

Thank God I am getting Questions about Chess Boards. I have two fellows sending me quotes depending on sizes and wood. You will get a fair price and great boards because I know the workmanship and in effect, they are bidding against each other. I will be announcing more details soon but at the moment I have TWO confirmed buyers, and a possible third. But I can tell you this. The more orders I get, the bigger the discount. Prices (tentative) were announced in the 12th issue of 2014 of my NEWS LETTER (called BNL). Get your Christmas present early, birthday present, etc. and SAVE Big possibly $100-150 per board!

I’ll Be Answering Questions in BNL #189 About…

1. The October Chess Festival/Classic. I’ve already asked two celebs to come and heard from Andrew Martin. Trying to get Simon Williams the GM who is expert on The French, The Dutch, and the King’s Gambit and funny as they come. I may have one more. Probably a Friday-Saturday thing. Am taking $50 deposits right now and putting that into an escrow account. Details will be published in BNL, another reason to subscribe ($29.95). Don’t have a date or place set yet. Soon I’ll be doing that. My granddaughter Brianna (she’s 24 now!) will probably help me with this (I hope). Maybe Leslie and Maya too.

2. I should have several Purdy projects completed by then (I hope). Setting up the Festival will keep me running ragged. I would love to see 70 come this time. The more we get (over 50) you will be issued “credits” to do shopping with. I’m getting questions already so I think some have felt this has been long overdue.

3. The first issue of Morphy’s Times & Games (finally has a final name) will be released Feb. 15th and it looks to be 18-20 pages which is quite a bit more than originally planned. This will be the premier issue and let me tell you, I LIKE IT. Before I change my mind I have down-lowpriced it at $99 for 12 issues. I will publish a WARNING when I am about to change the price back (and I am sure some will miss it, so, do the right thing and get it now and you won’t have to worry about it!)

4. I will be finishing up the Nimzovich Defense book too.

Are you worn out yet? Sit in this chair.

A NOTE, in the first article of the Morphy publication, Louis Paulsen had something really COOL to say to some idiot who proclaimed AFTER Morphy died, that he could’ve beaten Morphy. Paulsen sounded the alarm when he said, “I’ve played you both and…” Well you will have to read the rest in the first issue which will be available in subscription form or per single issue at $9.95.

Well, I almost forgot the Biggie. My website will take major credit cards and PayPal. I have to check and see how much they will charge me but I think it will be less than what I am paying now. They will use a clearing house named STRIPE and the only thing I know about it is, I have heard of them.

Soon to be wonderful folks!

info@chessbutler.com or 563-271-6657

My best to you,

Bob Long

Editor, Publisher, Chief, Cook, and Bottle Washer.

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