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Old June 14th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #1
GateKeeper
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Auction Site Ready - Need "Re-list" Terribly

In anticipation of a much needed enhancement, i.e. relisting auctions, I have put together a site focused completely on timeshare auctions using Photopost Classifieds. I added a mod to the category intro section to pull static data from the ReviewPost data on the same site. This mod gives me the ability to tweak the format of the intro by making single changes to one template and applying the template to the site. This mod wouldn't have broad appeal for most, so I won't put any information about it here. But I would very much appreciate feedback on the new rollout. WE ARE NOT LIVE YET! So if you put anything online, it may get deleted once we do go live. No feedback, bad! Any feedback, good!
Thanks,
GateKeeper

Last edited by GateKeeper; June 15th, 2006 at 03:46 AM.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 01:35 AM   #2
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I had to click about 8 different links just to see one timeshare and even that was hard because you can't tell the difference from google ads and the real site.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. I had to take a hard look at how to lay out over 2000 categories (6K if you consider that each resort is now also a category), and it turned out to be 4 levels deep. What's nice about the way the category display works, though, is two fold:
1. The recent ads are "relative" to the current category. So if you select U.S. Resorts as the first level, the results in the "Recent Ads" show all recents ads in the U.S. As you drill into the second level, the "Recent Ads" is filtered by that category, i.e. State, and then City, etc. This is a really cool feature as it will provide a "short cut" to recent ads for a particular category. And of course, there's always the insatiable search!
2. Each category also gives a count of total ads in that category, so you won't waste a lot of time looking at empty categories.
The only users having to drill down to each category will probably end up being those placing an ad, but that's the problem with a large site.

I am very open to suggestions on how to lay this out better. We're not live yet, so any thoughts are welcome thoughts!

-GateKeeper

p.s. Google keeps bread on my table, man!
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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:00 AM   #4
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Question Any possible way to include "categories" in searches?

Considering the manner in which the timeshare resorts are organized, a search result that included categories would be a real plus. For example, I am looking for a resort name Orange Lake Country Club in Kissimmee, Florida. There are two ways to get to that category currently:
1. Browse to it, i.e. U.S. resorts, Florida, Kissimmee, and finally on to the category for Orange Lake.
2. Start an auction, and from the 4500 choices, find the option for this resort.
What would be really cool would be to return categories that match a keyword search, based on the category name and/or description. This might offer a more direct way for someone to find the category of their choice. I think right now, the search only looks for ads, correct?
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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:16 AM   #5
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Hmm yea i agree with rcsmith, your site is very nice look great profesional and well presented, It made me want to go look at an auction to see what it was all about.

It tool literaly 5 mins for me to navigate to an auction i liked the look of twice i tried clicking an image above a google adsense add thinking it would take me to one.

To be honest if i were a serious buyer i may indeed take the time to look round but more likely i would have a few more sites in mind and go to one of them because of the sheer effort required to get to the auction itself.

But fix that and i reckon you could be onto a winner because the site is great otherwise.....
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Old June 26th, 2006, 10:14 AM   #6
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Great Feedback!

Thank you for the excellent comments. I believe the confusion over Google Ads may dissipate with a couple of changes to the layout. One, once enough ads get online, there will be other means of presenting them, i.e. the recent ads is category specific, so there will be links to ads directly from each category page which should save a lot of clicking. Two, moving the frequent ads to the top of each category will also help with any confusion over the Google Ads. I'll experiment with this, but the whole project is on hold until I can relist an auction, so I imagine I have a little time to look in to this.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #7
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I just move recent ads to the top of the page. Your comments would be appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #8
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Looks better, it still takes a lot of clicks to narrow down the search, But as i am not looking for a specific section it may just be my perception, If indeed i were looking for a timeshare in Dogwood Hills at Alpine Bay then i may take the time to look.

However to my mind your being to specific and having all the auctions for alpine bay in one place and getting your viewers to look at them all would to me be easier and less fussy.

Also you get the added bonus that if somone wants a timeshare in say 'East Pines at Alpine Bay ' and they go into a generic alpine bay section they may find something else that suits right there instead of having to come out of one alpine bay section and enter another.

Oh and if you ask me having the 'Recent auctions' block on every page you traverse is a bit much, it looks nice on the front page but to be honest i think it could be done away with the further in the site you get.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #9
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How to slice this pie!

Quote:
Oh and if you ask me having the 'Recent auctions' block on every page you traverse is a bit much, it looks nice on the front page but to be honest i think it could be done away with the further in the site you get.
Oddly enough, the recent auctions narrow as you go to each sub-category. As such, and to your point about broader selections, as you drill down, you would actually see recent auctions for "Alpine, Alabama", in that category, and it would include ads for all resorts in Alpine.
I had the same impression you did about the recent ads showing up on each page, but they actually become category specific as you drill down (check out the title of the recent ads section, it actually shows the category of the recent ads.
Great feedback. Thank you very much!
-GateKeeper

Last edited by GateKeeper; June 26th, 2006 at 01:23 PM.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #10
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Its true they do go down with each cat but i stopped looking after a while and it just became a pain having to scroll past them to get to the catagory listing?

Still, just my thoughts
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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:22 PM   #11
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Category list for vBulletin?

Didn't I see a thread on a module for vBulletin that did something with categories for Classifieds. I wonder if adding that to the front page of the forum and then tweaking it to only show categories with Auctions, if it would be a more direct link to those categories. If someone knows where to find the information for this module (if I'm not just dreaming), maybe this will give me something to work with.
We'll get this worked out.
Thanks again,
-GateKeeper
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #12
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Arrow How about a multi-level view?

Check out the new index pages on the timeshare auction site. I went 2 levels deep (setting = 1), and other than some long pages in popular areas, it gives Sybaris a bit more of what he/she was looking for. Now you can see all of the resorts in one State or County, separated by the city in which they are located.
I suspect the search engines (Google) will frown at the pages wth over 100 links, but it will sure make the browsers a lot happier. Now your only 2 clicks from the top index to any resort level category.
Thanks Sybaris for getting me to think about this a bit.
-GateKeeper

Last edited by GateKeeper; June 27th, 2006 at 01:08 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #13
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That is much better IMO, if i went to your site with the intention of purchasing, it is very easy to navigate to where the action is and see what cats i have to choose from.

Very good indeed, next perhaps is a featured auction feature that people pay to be listed on for the front page

[edit] Now all i need to do is save some money to buy one and my family will be very happy indeed
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Old June 27th, 2006, 06:43 AM   #14
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Featured Ad?

Quote:
Very good indeed, next perhaps is a featured auction feature that people pay to be listed on for the front page
I was wondering how you flag an ad as "Featured". I know you can do the italics, bold, highlight, but is that enough to be able to determine if the ad should be included in a featured block? How would you get featured ads to work as a chargeable item?
Thanks,
-GateKeeper
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Old June 27th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #15
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Well i presume there are things in the auction listing page that you have to pay extra for, if that is the case its just a matter of dupicating one of them, Or making an extra option in the listing page put it in the database and then flag anything in that part of the database to go to a featured auction part but only after they pay up/or it adds money to the end cost.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #16
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Thumbs up New and Improved Timeshare Auctions Page

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybaris
Hmm yea i agree with rcsmith, your site is very nice look great profesional and well presented, It made me want to go look at an auction to see what it was all about.

It tool literaly 5 mins for me to navigate to an auction i liked the look of twice i tried clicking an image above a google adsense add thinking it would take me to one.

To be honest if i were a serious buyer i may indeed take the time to look round but more likely i would have a few more sites in mind and go to one of them because of the sheer effort required to get to the auction itself.

But fix that and i reckon you could be onto a winner because the site is great otherwise.....
Sybaris:
Taking your feedback to heart, I created a page using vBAdvanced and added the inc_ads.php and inc_classifieds.php modules. In the header of each module, I added links to browse the full set of categories or only those with active auctions. Here is a link to the new timeshare auctions page. It then has links to the main index for PhotoPost Classifieds.
Very anxious to get your feedback on this.
Your feedback is very much appreciated.
-GateKeeper
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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #17
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To be honest mate that is great, It is super easy to find a resort with only one or two clicks (which most people expect) it looks fabulous, profesional and exciting.

I think with the right advertising this could go very well for you..

sybaris
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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #18
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Your opinion counts!

Thanks for the encouragement! I think the page can be embellished with some navigation links, but I'll try to keep it clean and simple. I think I read somewhere that the header logo should be linked, so I added a link to this page from all the internal pages for the PhotoPost Classified pages to make it easy for folks to get back to. When the auction section gets released, we'll add a menu item to the site, and, as you put it, ADVERTISE!
Thanks again,
-GateKeeper
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #19
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It get's better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybaris
To be honest mate that is great, It is super easy to find a resort with only one or two clicks (which most people expect) it looks fabulous, profesional and exciting.

I think with the right advertising this could go very well for you..

sybaris
Sybaris,
Check out this link:
http://www.timesharegateway.com/auct...ns.php/cat/128

then read this thread:
http://www.photopost.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125810
that last couple of posts from me are very revealing. I wasn't sure if your site qualified as having "many categories", but it sure helps TimeshareGateway. I'm hoping that the folks there will see this a real possibility for an enhancement, but I will work on something in the meanwhile. Either a cookie or global parameter might do it, but it is quite compelling for sites with a lot of categories.
-GateKeeper
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Old July 14th, 2006, 04:53 PM   #20
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Talking The winning one-two punch!

Sybaris:

I think this tops the whole enchilada with a pound of sour cream!
I didn't know what the heck I was doing, but I kept swinging until I got it right.
A combination of cookie setting and redirects using javascript and I was able to add the option in the header row of the categories to give the viewer the option to either show all resorts or only resorts with ads. I put it in production as soon as I got the kinks worked out, so you can check out the timeshare auction site and let me know what you think.
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