Thursday, February 19, 2015

What you MUST know about SHORYUDO Highway Bus Ticket

SHORYUDO Highway Bus Ticket
If you are travelling between Nagoya, Takayama, Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa, get the 3-day Shoryudo highway bus ticket at 6000 yen and it will save you a great deal (read on people). Alternatively, you can get the 4-day and 5-day pass at 7000 yen and 8000 yen. 

Shoryudo route

Here are some tips that you MUST know before you buy the ticket.

1) Do buy in advance because the tickets are limited. 
For my case, I tried my luck to buy it 2 days before my trip and it was unavailable for my first day in Nagoya. Hence, I couldn't use it for my transfer between Central Japan Airport to Nagoya. I think it would be pretty save if you buy 1 week ahead your trip (for low season). For peak, I guess you have to buy it as early as possible.

2) It's only available online.
Buy it at Japanican website and through travel agent outside of Japan. Here's the link for Japanican.

3) Please check the ticket pick-up point very carefully. 
You will need to collect the physical ticket in person (with your passport) at selected pick-up points in Nagoya. For example, if you are travelling from Tokyo to Takayama (without stopping at Nagoya), it might be impossible for you to pick up the ticket.

3) It does not cover the bus route between Takayama to Shin-Hotaka Ropeway or Okuhida.
I have no idea why I would assume that it covers the journey from Takayama to Okuhida and Shin-Hotaka Ropeway. My mistake, it doesn't. So if you are going to Okuhida or Shin-Hotaka Ropeway from Takayama and it will usually take a whole day, the ticket wouldn't be of any use that day.

4) It does not cover the bus in Shirakawa-go
So I tried my luck and again, the bus driver was not fooled.  I am referring to the bus in Shirakawa-go that takes you to the Shiroyama Viewpoint that costs about 200 yen if I remember correctly.

5) Make advance reservation
For my case, I tried to book for ticket from Takayama to Nagoya a day before, and it's fully booked! (I felt like punching someone). Hence, no choice I had to buy the train ticket instead of utilizing my Shoryudo ticket.

Throughout my trip, I only managed to use the ticket from Nagoya to Takayama *pull hair*. Instead of saving money, I was paying extra!

So, I hope that you've learnt through my mistakes. Happy travelling yo!

Traditional housing in Shirakawa-gō

Monday, February 16, 2015

What do you need to consider before selling your products on Groupon, Ensogo, etc

I have been buying a lot of these coupons for years because they are so darn cheap, like 40%-90% cheaper than the average price.

For the merchants, this kind of coupons sites can be fantastic because it can bring hundreds or even thousands customers to their doors.

These group discount sites is like a marriage of coupons and social networking.

However, they are many considerations that a merchant has to take before blindly joining the bandwagons, such as:

Set a limit if it is necessary

For one, consider if you need to set a limit of the numbers of coupons to be sold. Selling too much coupons that you can handle is going to be disastrous.

First, you are offering coupons at a very low price. Second, these discount sites take between 30% to 50% of revenue share from the selling price of the coupons. Hence, many merchants are actually selling at a lost - not only monetary wise but on the time spent in fulfilling the service or order. You will need to know how much expenses that you can afford.

Too many customers coming as the same time can also make your service level to drop.

Wrong type of customers

Because this type of deal is so darn cheap, a lot of these customers are actually addicts to coupons and they will keep buying on discount deal. This mean that they are not going to come to you when you are offering your normal price.

Customer comments can be harmful

I have seen some really good discount but only gaining on a few buyers. The reason is simple. Somebody left bad comments on the discount page. Instead of gaining new customers, your deal might amplify your weaknesses to a few thousand consumers who will be avoiding your service/product when they see those comments.

How to keep the customers loyal

Many times when I use the coupons, the merchants never try to upsell, or even ask for my contacts details. What are the chances that I will go back to them again? Very slim.
Remember, customers from group discount sites love discount. Sign them up with your packages or give them more coupons so that they will come back again.

Last but not least....

AVOID Ensogo / IBuy

I have recently joined Ensogo (previously known as Living Social) to sell my products and their sales person service was horrendous. The deal page that they did for my product is a joke and they refused to change it until I had to beg them to take it down. I was getting zero customers from their deal as expected. It was okay not to get sale, but the work, correspondence and our annoyance are all wasted. Best of all, they have been owing merchant money for up to a year.

Please avoid at all cost

If you are a customer, please don't buy through their sites too. Just imagine what kind of customer support that they would have if there is an issue with your purchase.

Related Posts with Thumbnails