So weʼve been over the history, what about the present day? This was supposed to be one piece, but I’ve broken it into three pieces on current PVybe technology: Money, the Site, and Communication. So… Show Me the Money!
Whatʼs the Point?
If I had to put my finger on one application that ushered in the new Era of PVybe, it would be thePoint. ThePoint.com is a crowdfunding source with a little bit of a twist. There is a goal, a tipping point, in the case of PVybe and Camps and Seminars, a dollar amount. People sign onto the campaign with a credit card, the card is charged a token sum, $1 or something, and if the campaign tips, meaning enough people sign up for the event, then everyoneʼs card is charged the full amount and a check is cut and sent to the event organizer.
Itʼs a very powerful tool for event hosts, and event instructors and presenters for booking events. ThePoint takes a 5% cut and cuts you a check. It allows you to craft a campaign, publicize it and give it a go without anyone being on the hook if something doesnʼt work out. It allows an event organizer or host to try to make it happen by ʻgiving it a shotʼ, itʼs a very empowering application.
These campaigns are also exciting for people who participate. Itʼs great fun being part of a group that brings a great dog sport event to your neck of the woods. I could not recommend ThePoint.com enough for event hosts and instructors in niche markets.
While we use thePoint.com for our Camps and Seminars, once the campaign is closed you have to handle event payments yourself, and if you have or want to have an online store presence, thePoint alone cannot save you.
Shops for Free?
A nice and efficient shopping cart application is a must. We use the free version of Ecwid for our online store. It is an ajax driven shopping cart that is hosted on Ecwidʼs servers and pushed out to your website and also out to Facebook as well. Click that facebook link to check it out.
I am thinking of upgrading to a subscription version of Ecwid, but have yet to pull the trigger on that $19.99/month obligation.
I have also dabbled with Wazala, another free shopping cart solution. This is pretty sweet, as it is a tabbed layer that pops out of your website. Itʼs super simple. I almost went for Wazala on our site, but was unhappy with the way it checked out via Paypal.
Show Me the Money!
Paypal… What can I say about Paypal… I couldnʼt live without it. Itʼs highly flexible and somewhat easy to understand and work with. Having a paypal debit card is a huge benefit as well. Itʼs also fairly well supported by the open source andapplication community, meaning you can just use paypal for collecting money with many different applications – it really simplifies things a great deal.
I have just started using Square and itʼs just about the coolest thing on the planet for a small retailer or anybody who does face to face sales. Square is hooked up right to your bank account and you just swipe the credit card with your phone, enter it manually and complete the transaction. After the transaction it allows you to send a text or email receipt to the customer. Itʼs really a slick, efficient and fun point of sale device.
That’s about it on the money front. It was a long journey to get this together If you have any questions or want to talk about online stores, payment options or crowdfunding, don’t be shy. Drop a comment below.