New Store, New Sale

Image contains a photo of a small smartphone in the centre of the screen. On the smartphone, an online store is being viewed and there is a magazine cover with several buttons below it. The phone is laying on a background of faded orange.

In many instances, consistency can be a great thing, whether it’s in regard to a person or a business. Since T.O.F.U. started well over a decade ago, I’d like to think the magazine has been consistent in a number of ways. Unfortunately, there’s one in which I know things should have changed a long time ago:

The online store.

When it comes to being consistent, the digital world is not one where a company should remain static. Sure, the original platform was great (and continued to improve for a number of years) when I first shifted the magazine over to it from the open source platform I had hacked and cobbled together myself, but eventually it became a roadblock for lots of folks.

Given that I’m trying to make a living from selling the magazine, and I specifically offer it through a pay-what-you-can (PWYC) pricing model to limit financial restrictions, having a platform that isn’t mobile-friendly in a world that very much is doesn’t work for anyone involved

Of course, I had my reasons to stick with the platform for so long. The major one was the fact that the company hosting my store, Limited Run, had been kind enough to grandfather me along for years despite the fact that I signed-up for $0/month as part of a promotion. Not only that, but one of the owners personally wrote to inform me what they were going to do and also identified as vegan. Plus, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise to most of you, I also have am interest in working with the underdogs and those who seem to have their heart in the right place, and Limited Run’s focus on independent musicians and labels was a big win for me as someone who would have loved to have the things they offered back when I was running a music label.

However, eventually I had to recognize the writing on the wall (especially since it wasn’t showing up properly on anyone’s tablet or phone), and I began searching for an alternative. Needless to say, finding an online eCommerce platform that wasn’t going to cost me anything to operate while also allowing me to offer a pay-what-you-can model was not easy. Most of the familiar ones all have monthly fees and/or they take a percentage of sales, and I honestly couldn’t afford to have either of those things added to my expenses. Luckily, similar to the independent music community, the web development community likes to help the underdogs as well and that’s where Woocommerce came in.

Granted, it took some time to get things up and running, and I will have to pay an annual fee to continue offering the PWYC model, but feedback from the newsletter readers that have checked it out over the last week and a bit has been good. So, now it’s time to make it public and see what people such as yourself think about it.

To entice you to check it out, I’m offering a 25% discount on the Complete T.O.F.U. for the next week, and all you have to do is use the code NEWSTORE25 at checkout. So, head over to the store, poke around on whatever platform you want, and check out any of the past issues you may have missed while the store was busy living in the past itself.

Visit the store here.

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