Saturday, June 29, 2013

DVD Tower Benno - short review about the DVD Tower Benno which I bought at IKEA

DVD Tower Benno - from IKEA

I bought the DVD tower Benno in the color black-brown for my DVDs and Cd's at Ikea in Tampa, FL. It was a referral of a German friend who bought the same item at Ikea in Germany.
I was a little sceptic if I can put it together myself. But it was not a problem at all. The instructions that came with it were clear and easy to understand, everything was described simple, just easy to follow. I especially liked the fact that there were images which showed me where to put everything.
In the box I found everything I needed to put it together like panels, screws and the pins for the shelves. Nothing was missing. I only had to have two different screwdrivers and a hammer.
Parts are actually marked, so you can not miss anything at all.
A very good feature of the Tower Benno  is that you have a lot of options where to put the 10 single case boards and you can move them when you need different space heights at different times.
All together it is a nice and decorative piece of furniture of good quality, easy to put together and in my mind it looks like more  than I had payed for.
I think that the DVD Tower Benno will last me for a while and with all the media we have I even consider to buy another one like it. The price of 39.99 $ I believe is justified ( sales might apply, you can also get it online). Make sure, that you buy it through IKEA. I found prices for up to 119 $ for the exact same item at different online retailers. For measurements and other technical facts, please visit the official IKEA website.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Square - the best tool for small business or anyone to take credit card payments from customers - great Credit Card tool

The Square - the best gadget to take Credit Card Payments from your customers on the go. Period.

I operated several businesses for several years now and over the past years.While doing that I used many different service companies to accept credit cards.
At one point I found an article about a service which then was brand new.The Square. Ready the website in detail and then learning more through reviews, I decided to give it a try and signed up on their website.
It only took about 1 week or so and I received in the mail the little square which is the key to using this service with your Smartphone.

All you need to do is download the App for your phone and you are ready to go to take payments.
But before you do take your first payment, you should also make sure that you have connected a bank account with your Square account. If you are connected, you can send the money you made to your bank account where it will be within 24 hours ( weekend, holidays and after hours might add 24 hours).  

I used it for my Nutrition business, golf sales and even for web hosting and other services I provided over the years.It is extremely easy to use. When a customer wants to buy some products or services and pay for them with Credit Card simply open the App on the  smart phone (android or iphone), connect the square by plugging it into the  phone through the earphone plug , enter the amount to be charged, swipe the card, wait for approval and let the customer sign on the screen with his finger.

The next screen will ask  you how to send the receipt to the client, via text or email. Done.

I send an email receipt every time. No paper work at all. My customers love it.

When I got a call from a client to order a service or products I also took the credit card right over the phone. Mainly I do that with clients I already do business with to make sure I keep my charge backs low (to learn about the chargeback policies you need to go and read the terms and conditions on the official website).

Some customers will be hesitant in the beginning, but after explaining the system and mentioning the cancellation terms they are fine and satisfied. The fact that they can sign the transaction is also a great tool. This is good for the customer, myself and for the provider.

What I like most is the price of the the entire set up. It is free to sign up, free to get the square and you only pay a small fee (2.75 %), which is taken right out of the transaction. My money is in my bank account usually within 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours. Incredible. There is also no long term contract. So you can use it and then you stop or you start again. No problem. I carry my square in my wallet at all times. So when I am out and about and I meet someone who wants to buy something, let us say because of my car advertisement, I take his payment right on the parking lot. I never had a problem with a transaction yet. Once a card could not be read, so I had to type in the numbers which was no problem at all. We found out that the card was not working for different reasons.

When you think about security you do not have to worry. According to the website it is as secure as any other bank offered service. As a matter of fact, when you read in detail you will find, that the monitoring service this company uses is protecting you at all times. I never had a doubt in my mind about the safety and no problems . Last I would like to mention that in terms of battery usage I did not see any large increase. However, I did not have hundreds of transactions per day. For the purpose I used it, I did not feel an increase at all.

Customer by the way never had any problems in terms of security. It takes all major credit cards and you pay the same fee for all. To me, there is no better service out there right now for small businesses giving them the same edge like large companies. But even bigger shops can use it. Check our their website. Just do a search on Google. That is how I found it. There you can find in depth details about fees, time frames, news, features and much more. Without a doubt, The Square is a great tool for every business  who is on the go and who wants to save money every time a Credit Card is swiped through The Square.

Also read about the newest addition to this service. The Stand. This could replace a complete cash register. This you have to buy, but it might be beneficial for certain businesses.

2 thumbs up for The Square. In my mind this is one of the best innovations for business in years.

Update: We added some new business to our portfolio and needed a second person to have the ability to take cards. It is very easy to add on staff members. Just follow step on site. Takes only a few days and you have your reader for this person and they can take CC for the company.

Further I want to mention, that my reader broke. I contacted support and had a response in my email within 24 hours on how to deal with this situation. Great service and very fast.

Last I found out , that Square now has a market place where you can sell items. This is a great way to show your business off and guide potential customers to your website or blog.

I then proceeded to order some stickers for our laptops and car and for my desk. This was also free of charge. So I got readers, stickers and did not have to pay a dime. Now that is service.

Are you using a Square? Let me know what you think.

Welcome to reviews about anything by just a regular guy

I made it a point in my life to read reviews about items before I buy my next thing or before I stay at a hotel and so on.
What I found, that there is thousands of reviews out there which are biased, unclear, old and clearly not written by people who actually used the product or tried a service.
While I am also using Google and other sites to support my blog, all of the products and services I review I used and tried. Also I am writing updates if there is something to add. On top of that, you can communicate with me and actually ask questions or comment and you will receive an answer. I am always interested in learning. So if you have a productive comment you are welcome to post it. But I do monitor comments. Negative comments are only tolerated if they are also productive, which is at my discretion.
My goal is to write a short and simple review of all kinds of products and services. 1000 reviews will be my set goal on this blog alone. This will include products of all kinds, services, hotels, companies and much more. So enjoy and let me know if my reviews helped you to make a decision which had some positive impact.