Monday, June 25, 2012

BNS and BNR Tutorial: Don't Understand How a BNR or BNS works? Let Me Tell You All About Them!

I can't tell you how many people I have encountered that were intimidated by a BNR or BNS.  I was too before I was involved in my first one.  I didn't buy in or choose to participate, but I was featured by a lovely woman on her BNR board.  I had no idea I was being featured, so when she sent me a message telling me I was in a BNR I thought I should go figure out what I had gotten into this time.

I had heard of them and looked at a few, but always lurking.  I never participated because I didn't understand the rules.  That was when I learned the most important thing you need to know about these boards and that is that they are run by the nicest and friendliest people you can find.  They don't mind questions.  They don't even mind a lot of questions!  They are there to assist you with whatever you need.  Remember that they are salespeople and you are the customer.  I can assure you that their behavior will prove that they understand this well.  Don't be afraid to ask a stupid question because there are no stupid questions when you are new to these.  We were all newbies once ourselves and we are happy to guide you through the process.  Once you start to participate you will get the hang out if quickly.  They aren't nearly as complicated as they appear.

So what are they?  They are, very simply, a treasury board that is moderated by a curator or other member of the team.  The curator runs the board.  They update features on the board, answer questions, and keep the chat lively and fun.  By chat, think early 90s chat room where you have to hit the refresh button to see what has been said.  The posts will not update automatically.  You must hit the refresh button on your browser to see any new posts.  A BNR has different rules from a BNS though, and this is what tends to get people confused, so let's go over how each one works.

What is a BNR?

A BNR simply means Buy and Replace.  This means that when you make a purchase from the board, you will immediately replace the shop you buy from.  Your shop will stay on the board until someone buys from you.  If no one buys from you in that round, most of the time you will go onto a carryover list to be featured in a future round, but this varies from board to board so ask the curator.  

So what do you do?  In a BNR, you will need to get approval before you shop.  This is because you will be taking that shop's place on the board.  Since there is only one spot up for grabs, there can only be one person shopping it.  Call out the shop you wish to buy from in caps.  Say I wanted to buy from Rocco's Country Spice.  My next message would be "ROCCO'S PLEASE?".  The curator will then say "Luci OK for ROCCO'S" if that shop is available.  To complete the transaction, there are a couple things I need to do.  First, I need to make a purchase from that shop that meets the boards minimum buy in amount.  That is usually somewhere between $2-5 and is posted at the top in the treasury description.  Once I complete the transaction, I will need the link to the transaction ID.  You can get this from the screen telling you your order is complete or from the order confirmation email you will receive.  I take it from the last screen of the order completing. I will need the amount the purchase was before shipping and after coupons or no coupon if you didn't use one.  There is almost always a list of coupon codes for every board.  If the shop you are looking in doesn't have one on the list, do not be afraid to ask.  Often it can be posted earlier in the thread, but not added to the list.  Or the curator may message them to see if they offer one or they may even be on the board to tell you themselves.  I will also need the link to the item from my shop that I want featured.  So after my purchase is done, my next post will look like this:

FROM ROCCO'S***(This is the link to the transaction)
$3.50 before shipping, after coupons
Please feature:***(This is the link to the item from my shop that I want featured)

If you forget to put a piece of information up there don't worry about it.  We have all forgotten to include something, even the most seasoned veterans.  If the curator needs to know anything they will ask.  And that is it.  You will be immediately featured and will stay on the board until someone buys from your shop.  Most BNRs will let you buy a max of 2 spots if you want more than one.  You will just need to purchase from 2 shops to get those 2 spots.

What is a BNS?

A BNS means to Buy and Stay.  These run on rounds.  There are a predetermined number of open spots that will need to be filled before moving onto the next round and the shops featured stay on the board until the list for the next round is full.  The board is then created for the next round and that round will feature the shops that bought onto the board from the previous round and any specialty spots they may have for the curator and spots for the carryover list and such.  All 16 spots on the board are always clearly marked.  There is complete transparency.  The number of open spots is usually posted in the title of the treasury, along with the cumulative sales that team has accumulated.  There is still a minimum buy in amount that will usually range from $2-5.  Unless it is down to the last spot or two, you do not need to get approval to shop, so you do not need to call out a shop in caps to get approval.  Just make a purchase that meets that boards minimum.  If it is one of the last couple spots on the board and you are calling out for approval, call it like you would on the BNR when requesting approval.  Once the curator approves you getting the last spot, go ahead and complete your transaction.  Either way, you will need to post the transaction once you are done.  Your post should look like:

FROM ROCCO'S***(This is the link to the transaction)
$3.50 before shipping, after coupons 

You do not need to add what you would like featured.  BNS boards are built on a theme and the curator will pick something from your shop that fits into the theme of that day's board.

Your shop is then added to a list that is kept and updated on the threads.  When all the spots are filled the round is full.  Then, usually the next day but sometimes the same day, a new board is made from shops that bought onto the previous round's list.  Your item will stay on that board until the round is full, even after someone buys from you.  Even if 3 people buy from you.  Nothing gets you off the board while that round is going.  In order to be included in the next round, you will need to buy onto the list again or win a spot.

Win a spot?  Why yes, that is common in both BNRs and BNSs.  There are many ways to win a round and it varies from board to board.  Some boards will give a free round with a purchase from a featured shop, the curator, or a featured row.  And some offer it as a prize for being the next buyer.  Others do trivia or referral games where you can win a free spot.  Referral games involve you getting people to favorite, commonly called faving, that board and leave a post saying that you had sent them.  As you participate, you will see some familiar faces pop up on the boards and you will get to know some very fun people.

It is also great exposure for your shop.  You will experience an immediate increase in views and favorites of your items and your shop.  I have received emails from people who read a thread of me helping another person.  Even though they might have found my shop otherwise, I may not have seemed as approachable to them if they hadn't seen me in action on a BNS or BNR thread.

I will be working on a series on how BNRs and BNSs can be beneficial for your shop and how they should be used for best results.  Until then, I hope that this has helped take some of the apprehension out of these boards and that you will visit one soon.  Feel welcome to lurk and watch the conversation until you are comfortable joining in if it will make you feel better.  And when you are ready, please say hello.  We can't wait to meet you.

Love and Peace,