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Thread: British Fencing Shop???

  1. #1
    Peter James
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    Default British Fencing Shop???

    Got pointed to this new site this morning.
    http://www.britishfencingshop.com
    Noticed they will be charging for advertised courses, removing the free advert on the BF website. Also advertising kit for Tempest
    Also noticed they missed off the West Midlands. Large area in the middle of the country

    Any views(should kick start something)

  2. #2
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    Last time we tried to advertise our course on BF, they didn't place the advert till after the course had finished.

  3. #3
    Initiate Springbank's Avatar
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    10% Admin fee ... and I thought Paypal was bad!

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    Member Penfold's Avatar
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    so... we run fencing courses and get charged a fortune to advertise via the BFA? surely this should be part of our fees- after all each club pays annual fees to the BFA.. should that not allow us to advertise our courses? how much does it really cost to put an ad on the internet.. we certainly cant afford to pay the asking fees to advertise courses at this time!!

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    I noticed fencing forum had added this http://www.fencingforum.com/forum/calendar.php although no one appears to be using it yet.

    I wonder whether this is something that could be used for courses as well as competitions?
    Edward Peck

  6. #6

    Default Calendar

    I started developing something a while ago as I was having trouble finding some competitions and camps.

    Really need to get on and finish this if there is interest.

    http://fencingcalendar.co.uk/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by itteacher View Post
    Got pointed to this new site this morning.
    http://www.britishfencingshop.com
    Noticed they will be charging for advertised courses, removing the free advert on the BF website. Also advertising kit for Tempest
    Also noticed they missed off the West Midlands. Large area in the middle of the country

    Any views(should kick start something)
    advertise your courses here.

    and use other social media, twitter, facebook. all clubs have a social media feed of some sort.

    and there are lots of ways to get the word out that are not conventional.

    #justsayin

  8. #8
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    Hi All

    The British Fencing Shop is a very new project and one which has been created very much with the intention of being a benefit to, and provide a service for, the fencing community and for British Fencing. It is going to be an ever evolving project so over the coming months we will add/change/remove some services as we get a chance to better evaluate what works and what doesn't.

    In terms of some specific points raised (here and by email)

    Club Course Listings: The aim is very much to provide a visible, easy to use and effective service which makes it possible for clubs to advertise their courses in one place, and provides a venue for new potential fencers to easily find courses that start in their area at a time that is convenient for them. BF simply does not have the resources to offer this service for free, and in comparison to say a local newspaper listing we feel that 35inc vat for a course listing is a fair balance between an affordable service and one that provides real value to the clubs advertising.
    We have decided however to extend our Launch Offer of a 1 course listing till the end of September, so now is an excellent chance to try out the service for a nominal fee.

    Administration Fees: The 10% fee only applies if a club asks us to process online payments for them and is a service which includes the payment processing fees from Paypal. This is not a service from which BF Shop aims to earn revenue, but the administration time needed to process, account for and manage multiple potential payments from multiple clubs and courses is high and the fee reflects that. The fee is very much in-line with the fees for selling items through ebay etc.

    Club Portals: This is a free service to set up and run for clubs. There are no fees charged for setting up club badge embroideries and there is no requirement for clubs to hold stock of any items or to buy any minimum amounts. The service is aimed at making it as simple as possible for clubs to be able to create and provide their own range of merchandise to club members with none of the hassle of having to actually manage the service. Some questions have been asked about the postage fee, unfortunately when sending out items to individual customers that is unavoidable (unless the spend over 100 in which case postage is free), however we are of course happy to deal with bulk or one off orders either through the site, by email or by phone, and we can dispatch all the orders to one address if it will be easier.
    Also it is worth noting that throughout the year we will be entering all clubs who take up a club portal into a free draw to win prizes such as a kit vouchers (this months is an incredible 500) and bespoke kit offers.

    As for what else is happening:

    Launch Offers: As well as the offers above, we are offering a free pair of BF Socks for all orders over 20 (while stocks/socks last) during September.

    BF Raffle: All purchases made from the BF Shop automatically enter you into that months Raffle draw with prizes including kit vouchers (this month you can win a 100 and a 50 kit voucher). You can also buy raffle tickets for 1 each.

    We of course welcome all feedback on the site (positive or negative) so feel free to drop us an email if you have any questions/suggestions

  9. #9

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    Personally, I wouldn't list our clubs courses and camps on the British Fencing Shop site, regardless of the cost involved.

    Firstly the site is not responsive, i.e. resizes to mobile devices. I find around 50% of the traffic to the website I manage is mobile, for the fencing club it the actual figure is 54% desktop, 33% mobile and 13% tablet.

    Secondly, it is not currently Google listed. Therefore, if I Google fencing course uk or British Fencing Shop it does not come up.

    Thirdly, there are no links to it in the menu or header on the British Fencing site. The only links I can find are an ad on the home page and the link in the annoucement in the news section.

    Therefore, as I see it, no point listing if it will not be found via Google and when it is 50% of the audience can't view it correctly.

  10. #10
    Retired Jelly Baby
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjoy View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't list our clubs courses and camps on the British Fencing Shop site, regardless of the cost involved.

    Firstly the site is not responsive, i.e. resizes to mobile devices. I find around 50% of the traffic to the website I manage is mobile, for the fencing club it the actual figure is 54% desktop, 33% mobile and 13% tablet.

    Secondly, it is not currently Google listed. Therefore, if I Google fencing course uk or British Fencing Shop it does not come up.

    Thirdly, there are no links to it in the menu or header on the British Fencing site. The only links I can find are an ad on the home page and the link in the annoucement in the news section.

    Therefore, as I see it, no point listing if it will not be found via Google and when it is 50% of the audience can't view it correctly.
    Wow. Glass half empty.

    Look at it from the other side. If a large number of clubs use it, it will climb the google rankings pretty quickly.

    The link from the BF site could be fixed in a matter of minutes.

    I agree with the point about responsiveness, so why not try to find out if this is being planned for future releases?

    Now that I am no longer actively involved in running the sport, one of the things I really don't miss is the relentless negativity and bashing of the NGB.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjoy View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't list our clubs courses and camps on the British Fencing Shop site, regardless of the cost involved.

    Firstly the site is not responsive, i.e. resizes to mobile devices. I find around 50% of the traffic to the website I manage is mobile, for the fencing club it the actual figure is 54% desktop, 33% mobile and 13% tablet.

    Secondly, it is not currently Google listed. Therefore, if I Google fencing course uk or British Fencing Shop it does not come up.

    Thirdly, there are no links to it in the menu or header on the British Fencing site. The only links I can find are an ad on the home page and the link in the annoucement in the news section.

    Therefore, as I see it, no point listing if it will not be found via Google and when it is 50% of the audience can't view it correctly.
    James you make some fair points and to answer those points:

    1) Responsive/Mobile Site: You are absolutely right, its down to a setting error at our end when we were launching the site and the problem has now been resolved so that the site displays correctly on mobile devices as well.

    2) The google listing will take a bit of time to kick in, but the requisite information is in place to make this happen. That said the Google listing isn't we feel the primary driver for this sites success. (see below)

    3) British Fencing Links, the British Fencing main site is being refreshed and worked on, it is very much the plan to have far more integrated links between the sites so that for example the 'find a course' in the 'Get Started' element of the British Fencing site will link directly to the relevant section of the BF Shop website. Likewise there will be link backs from certain parts of the shop back to the main BF website.

    The primary driver of all of this is that the Britishfencing.com website is very much the destination of choice for the majority of people looking to get into the sport, we aim to provide a service which will make at easy as possible for those coming to the Britishfencing site to actually find and enrol on a course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldric View Post
    Now that I am no longer actively involved in running the sport, one of the things I really don't miss is the relentless negativity and bashing of the NGB.
    Is this the NGB? Or is it a separate organisation? How are they going to drive traffic to the site? Why is it a separate site to BF? Who is running it?

    I would very happily support something like this - but would like to know more. I understand the need to charge for things that used to be provided free.

    I think that there is reason to be relentlessly negative at the moment. It isn't in truth one way.

    So I would like to trump your "relentless negativity" with "overwhelming need for BF to communicate".
    Edward Peck

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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    Is this the NGB? Or is it a separate organisation? How are they going to drive traffic to the site? Why is it a separate site to BF? Who is running it?

    I would very happily support something like this - but would like to know more. I understand the need to charge for things that used to be provided free.

    I think that there is reason to be relentlessly negative at the moment. It isn't in truth one way.

    So I would like to trump your "relentless negativity" with "overwhelming need for BF to communicate".
    Dear Ed

    Some of your questions are answered on the 'about us' section on the BF Shop website already with the two most relevant sections probably being:

    Does British Fencing run the Shop?

    The shop has been developed in partnership with the Tempest Sports Group who will be managing the shop on British Fencing's behalf. Tempest will act as a point of contact for any enquiries and will be responsible for taking, processing and fulfilling all orders placed on the site.

    Does British Fencing benefit from the Shop?

    Of course, a*significant percentage*of every sale made through the shop goes directly to British Fencing to help support and hopefully enhance the services we provide to our members.

    As to why the site/organisation is separate to britishfencing.com, due to the lack of in-house resource at BF to be able to set up and run such a site, a tender process was announced by BF earlier this year to find a partner to help address this gap and Tempest were selected as the preferred partner at the end of that process.
    The site itself is distinctly separate, as it has been developed as a purely commercial website, but as alluded to previously, as time goes on it will become increasingly integrated through links, advertising etc with the main Britishfencing.com site.

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    Thanks - I didnt see the top page in the about us section - something to do with the drop down.

    Now you said it its obvious.
    Edward Peck

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    Retired Jelly Baby
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    I think that there is reason to be relentlessly negative at the moment. It isn't in truth one way.

    So I would like to trump your "relentless negativity" with "overwhelming need for BF to communicate".
    Hi Ed

    I used to think much the same thing. I notice that I have been a member of this forum for over 13 years now, and I suspect that my early posts are filled with rants about the "overwhelming need for BF to communicate".

    The problem is that this sentence sits somewhere between "motherhood and apple pie" and "pie in the sky".

    (Forgive my mixed pastry-centred metaphors)

    "We need more and better communication". Since no-one is ever going to argue that we need less or poorer communication, the sentence adds nothing to the situation, as it is universally true of virtually all organisations, all of the time.

    My experience within the NGB is that you simply can't win. Every piece of information communicated simply leads to more requests for more information - a bit like a kid asking "but why" after every answer.

    I would bet good money that the number of complaints about poor communication remains constant, ABSOLUTELY REGARDLESS of the actual volume and quality of communication.

    The conclusion that I came to is that I would try my best to communicate the information that I thought was relevant, and proportionately to the resources at my disposal, and to answer politely worded questions within reason. I gave up on achieving anything more than that.

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    I recognise all that you are saying as being generally true. I used to ask people in businesses I went into what was the single biggest problem and in every single company, employees said better communication was needed.

    However.... (and i recognise that this is not about the shop)

    The talent program has stopped. The young are waiting to be told what will happen - told to expect communication in July but there has been no communication, and no update on when we will know. The lack of information is very frustrating.

    The main characters around all the selection for epee seem to have disappeared and yet the selection process seems to be being move inexorably towards a process which requires having people study fencers performance in order to make subjective decisions.

    Senior selection is now similar. But epee is referred to as non performance pathway weapon. Does that mean that a decision has been made to drop the weapon entirely from the pathway? What of the people already in the pathway process? What will happen to the juniors in their final year?

    The selection standard seems to be rising for epee, as in other weapons, but those other weapons will get a training program and assistance and funding so their fencers can achieve the higher bar which is being set.

    We have been told by hints only that funding is changing entirely. It feels to me as if the tectonic plates are shifting.

    The overall response to the selection changes in senior was one of doom and gloom. The overriding feeling is "what are they doing to the sport now?" or "its a sad day for the sport".

    I realise the people in charge have a difficut job when the news is bad - but the association is a membership organisation - and the news is not theirs, it is ours!

    Right now the gap between them (The NGB) and us (the members) seems to be wider than I have ever known it - which is a shame. Because I suspect now is the time when we should all be getting behind the association and helping them to battle through difficult changes.

    Instead it feels as if the portcullis has been lowered.

    This is not a time when members are just making run-of-the-mill requests for communication.
    Last edited by ED_R; -16th September 2016 at 13:05.
    Edward Peck

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    Senior Member JackSparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjoy View Post
    Firstly the site is not responsive, i.e. resizes to mobile devices. I find around 50% of the traffic to the website I manage is mobile, for the fencing club it the actual figure is 54% desktop, 33% mobile and 13% tablet.

    Secondly, it is not currently Google listed. Therefore, if I Google fencing course uk or British Fencing Shop it does not come up.

    Thirdly, there are no links to it in the menu or header on the British Fencing site. The only links I can find are an ad on the home page and the link in the annoucement in the news section.
    I agree with Baldric that two out of three of these things could be sorted in an evening and the other will no doubt get sorted in time. Also, selling BF branded merchandise, with some profits going to the NGB ... great idea. But then ...

    Quote Originally Posted by BF Shop View Post

    Club Course Listings: BF simply does not have the resources to offer this service for free
    Really? They put the membership fees up, do away with social memberships, but can't afford to keep a webpage updated ... like every single fencing club in the country manages to do. Isn't this the exact sort of thing BF should be doing, or have they got their hands full now all the rankings are meaningless and every selection has to be discretionary?
    Savvy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    The talent program has stopped. The young are waiting to be told what will happen - told to expect communication in July but there has been no communication, and no update on when we will know. The lack of information is very frustrating.
    Seconded.

    Regarding the shop, it's good to see some GBR branded kit available to all - the few overseas comps I've been too, the rest of the world all tend to look smart and by comparison we've looked a little lacklustre.

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    With regards the course listing fee's, like everything we will review the service on an ongoing basis, but for the entirety of September you can list a course for 1.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Cyranna's Father's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    But epee is referred to as non performance pathway weapon. Does that mean that a decision has been made to drop the weapon entirely from the pathway? What of the people already in the pathway process? What will happen to the juniors in their final year?

    The selection standard seems to be rising for epee, as in other weapons, but those other weapons will get a training program and assistance and funding so their fencers can achieve the higher bar which is being set..
    I think this may be the wrong thread and that possibly a thread should be created in regard to the future of epee as it is now a most serious matter.

    Epee is now seen as a charity case and unsupported however there are those who would like to see it succeed but IMHO such success will be created without the kind of support that the other two are getting and not because of it.

    It may be time for epee to pack it's things in it's little spotty hanky, tie that to it's blade protector over it's shoulder and walk off down the road to seek it's fortune, returning to it's family once that has been found.

    However the right road has to be chosen and there is no question that epee will have a much easier time if it seeks it's success with small groups on the road and not as individual explorers. The road that leads to the Euros as a band of 4 in the top 10 is a much easier road than the one that requires each fencer to make their own path.

    Once we have a group of Junior and Senior epee in and fighting at the top level we are far more likely to achieve the success that will lead to further support. We will also be harder and more able to deal with difficulty than some others who have been carried along and relied upon having their meals supplied on their journey.

    Of course people can still ignore this concept and try to make it on their own and good luck to them but if there is an easier path available that will bring greater good to epee why stick with the hard one? Epee doesn't need the NGB, it needs organisation and cross communication within itself - the NGB can catch up later when the job is done.


    *apologies for any thread diversion, I was just joining in - GAV, should we have an "epee future" thread?
    just a daddy...and chauffeur

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