French language sites

rlm

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[notify]MapleDots[/notify] and [notify]aactive[/notify] or any other ecommerce guys, as well as all of the francophones:

I'm looking at renewals of some french language type domains, and I'm just curious about your opinions.

1. Do those of you with ecommerce sites have a french language version and if so, do you have a separate domain? or a FR/EN button? Or English only?

2. How much business do you think you gain or lose by having/not having a French language version?

3. For the francophones, what are your thoughts when visiting a site that is only in English? Annoying? When online shopping, do you normally gravitate to sites that are in French or at least have a french language option?
 

MapleDots

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I have the ability to add any language to my site in seconds, that feature is built into a lot of e-commerce sites so having multiple language domains does not come into play for me.

If I do implement it the domain would look like this.... domain.ca/ca or domain.ca/fr


All that said I had so much fraud on my site in the last 3 years that the credit card charge backs were getting out of hand. 90% of all my fraud came from Quebec and I dreaded getting an order from there because I had to call before shipping to verify and the thieves got more and more brazen. I gave the police the end delivery address and they said they do not have the time to allocate.

After thousands of dollars lost I decided to stop shipping to Quebec but then some legitimate customers got upset so I switched to e-transfer exclusively for payment and that worked. I now save $35,000 in yearly processing fees and about $10,000 in fraud and I can sell to Quebec with no fear of fraud.

I have not had a single case of fraud since switching to e-transfer and am happily selling to Quebec and not one customer has ever complained about the lack of french on the site.

So for me, I try to keep it as simple as possible, no second language and no second language domain, the market is just too small and even if I did it for me the fraud from Quebec is insane and I would never target that province on purpose.
 

Spex

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French-speaking Ontarian, but do have lots of French-only friends living in Quebec. While I don't think you would lose any sales by having an English only website because an overwhelming majority of francophones are bilingual or at least know enough English to get by, but you would probably make the experience a little easier for them

It all depends on numbers I guess. If you already have a store up and running, you could always take a look at your orders or feedback to see if it's worth the extra effort
 

MapleDots

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If I catch rlm's question properly he is probably looking at his french domains and considering what to renew.


I will just add this...

I have freewifi.ca which I purchased with wifigratis.ca and I tried to give the french version away on two different forums with no takers.

So I was basically not able to give away the domain and it ended up expiring so to me that shows there is very little demand for french .ca's. It is a tiny niche that I avoid because the chance of a return on such a small market is pretty slim.
 
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aactive

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For our e-commerce sites, which are n English, our sales from Quebec have always been very low. This has been consistent from the start. As Maple Leaf said, the fraud has been higher in Quebec than in any other province. Our experience has not been as bad as MapleDots with fraud, but still enough not to market to that province.
 

Eby

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Wow, very interesting to know and thank you for sharing your experience and the great question [notify]rlm[/notify]

I owned several French domains which I eventually dropped as they were not making any income or generating any inquiries. Only to find them getting picked up in TBR and heading for an auction and then getting dropped after a few years, again.

And even the offers received on domains like Bonjour. ca are not anywhere close to what they are valued at or even considering a conversation. Wishing Brent Oxley the very best to may be move the .COM to the right buyer, which can create value for what I have.
 
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Esdiel

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rlm said:
3. For the francophones, what are your thoughts when visiting a site that is only in English? Annoying? When online shopping, do you normally gravitate to sites that are in French or at least have a french language option?

Surprised to hear about so much fraud coming from Quebec but I would have assumed catering to the francophones could bring only bring extra business. Quebec had a population of 8,604,500 in 2021, which is about 23% of Canada's population (38,246,108).... so it's a pretty big chunk of the canadian market.

The greater Montreal area probably makes up nearly half of Quebec's population, and most people in that area are bilingual and probably care very little about the website's language options... however then there's the other half of Quebec who mostly only speak French and probably care a lot more.
 
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MapleDots

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Esdiel said:
Surprised to hear about so much fraud coming from Quebec


I used to run a Mercedes-Benz dealership and we NEVER bought cars from Quebec auctions because a lot of the speedometers were tampered with. We knew way back then that Quebec had a lot of shady characters and the car industry was the absolute worst.

Now I don't want to pick on Quebecers and I can only report what I see in my online store today. The credit card fraud was 80% with addresses based in Quebec. Maybe its just a bad group, I really cannot say nor will I judge but I sure as heck want to avoid any more losses moving forward so unfortunately based on my loss History Quebec is on my watch list.
 

rlm

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Thanks for the great answers.

Yes, based on the population you'd think there's enough meat on the bone to make it worth putting up FR language options. Who wouldn't want a 20% increase in sales? You'd think that would be enough to justify setting up a FR language option, unless maybe you find yourself tweaking content so often that its a hassle.

But it is sad that any area of Canada can be easily identified as having significantly more fraud - so much so that businesses find it easier to just not market or want to do business with them. Large scale credit card fraud is often linked to organized crime, is it not? That makes me wonder if Montreal is a known hot spot for organized crime? More so than the other big cities?

I do like [notify]MapleDots[/notify] move to utilize E-transfers. However, I do know that some older people still refuse to do electronic banking, but do have a credit card. Have you noticed that as an issue with the retiree age group?

I have a simple contact form lander for many domains, but only in english. I do get the occasional query in french, and occasionally someone will even say "En français". But that is very rare.

If I looked only at my french language domain sales, I could conclude that francophones are cheap AF. But the reality is, I do sell english language domains to francophones, in fact I get quite a few inquiries from Quebec/Montreal area. So its not that they're cheap, they just seem to ignore the french language domains themselves as well.

When it comes to domains, I do notice in my research that there are quite a few french language websites that also have no english options. I'm sure they are small/local businesses, probably a ways out of Montreal. So I'm guessing they don't need to concern themselves with English either.

I'm looking at statcan: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-h...ges-bilingualism/publications/statistics.html

So, 22.8% of the population speaks french, but 17.9% is bilingual. So that leaves just 4.9% of the population as francophone only. Since it is easier to just have a EN/FR button to toggle language choice than to have separate websites, you can cover 95% of the population with one english language domain name. In theory, at most there would be about 5% of the population that might be interested in a french language domain name. But those would be businesses in strictly francophone territory. So its pretty clear why french language domains don't sell for much or often.

Does anyone have _any_ sales of french language domains they're willing to share as a reference point? I would assume that well known french words (like bonjour) would still be great brandable names for use in Canada.

And while we're on the topic, does anyone (ahem [notify]aactive[/notify]) have any interest in reglisse.ca ? I stumbled on that in my portfolio last night.
 

rlm

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MapleDots said:
I used to run a Mercedes-Benz dealership and we NEVER bought cars from Quebec auctions because a lot of the speedometers were tampered with. We knew way back then that Quebec had a lot of shady characters and the car industry was the absolute worst.

Now I don't want to pick on Quebecers and I can only report what I see in my online store today. The credit card fraud was 80% with addresses based in Quebec. Maybe its just a bad group, I really cannot say nor will I judge but I sure as heck want to avoid any more losses moving forward so unfortunately based on my loss History Quebec is on my watch list.

With experiences like that, who can blame you!
 

Esdiel

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rlm said:
Large scale credit card fraud is often linked to organized crime, is it not?  That makes me wonder if Montreal is a known hot spot for organized crime?  More so than the other big cities?

Montreal has always been known for their mafias and organized crime.

Our construction industry was corrupt like crazy until recently too, where politicians would take bribes for projects etc. Montreal had to oust a bunch of mayors and politicians over it, one after the other, after they had this big inquiry (i.e. called the "Charbonneau Commission").

This went on for so long that it became the norm, and I even here stories going as far back to the construction of infrastructure for the summer Olympics in 1976.

All that said, this is/was some high-level organized crime and I wouldn't have associated it with charge backs on credit cards.
 

rlm

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Esdiel said:
All that said, this is/was some high-level organized crime and I wouldn't have associated it with charge backs on credit cards.

[notify]MapleDots[/notify] - I'm curious how did the fraud happen and how does the liability work on ecommerce transactions? You would think that if you accept a credit card and do the basic fraud control checks, like verifying the name, address, expiry and cvv, that the issuing banks would guarantee those funds. Did they refuse to pay you despite that?

I despise fraud so much that I wish that visa/mc/amex didn't even allow tap transactions for any amount. I don't mind the extra 10 seconds of punching in my pin for the sake of reducing fraud. I know they've run the numbers and have decided that smaller purchases can be tapped and that the inevitable losses due to it are acceptable, but if so, they should pay those merchants.
 

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free wifi in french would be 'wifi gratuit' or 'wifi gratuite', not sure if wifi is masculin or feminin.

MapleDots said:
If I catch rlm's question properly he is probably looking at his french domains and considering what to renew.

I will just add this...

I have freewifi.ca which I purchased with wifigratis.ca and I tried to give the french version away on two different forums with no takers.

So I was basically not able to give away the domain and it ended up expiring so to me that shows there is very little demand for french .ca's. It is a tiny niche that I avoid because the chance of a return on such a small market is pretty slim.
 

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I grew up in Quebec, so when I got into domaining I did often check for the french version of popular english words or terms, which were sometimes available or easier to pick up in TBR.

So I've owned a bunch of french words/terms in .ca since the 2000's and 2010's, words that in english would be very valuable, and can say have had very low interest in them, other than the odd lowball offer.

thinking harder there were a couple sales, namely:

santeplus.ca (health plus) in the $750 to $1000 range. I see it's parked now.

the equivalent of 'Free Dating' in french, sold a few of those related terms in the same range as above.

When I was doing mini-sites and checking popularity of french search terms to decide which areas to target, the most searched for french terms seemed to do with dating, games, recipes, and travel.
 

MapleDots

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rlm said:
[notify]MapleDots[/notify] - I'm curious how did the fraud happen and how does the liability work on ecommerce transactions? You would think that if you accept a credit card and do the basic fraud control checks, like verifying the name, address, expiry and cvv, that the issuing banks would guarantee those funds. Did they refuse to pay you despite that?

I despise fraud so much that I wish that visa/mc/amex didn't even allow tap transactions for any amount. I don't mind the extra 10 seconds of punching in my pin for the sake of reducing fraud. I know they've run the numbers and have decided that smaller purchases can be tapped and that the inevitable losses due to it are acceptable, but if so, they should pay those merchants.


I'm so glad you asked, I gave the credit card processors 35k yearly in fees and thought I was covered for fraud until I got the first charge backs.

So basically a stolen card gets used and is authorized when I make the transaction. A month later I get a notice the money is coming back out of my account because the card was stolen. The bill was $450 and I was fuming, I called the credit card company and they said at the time they authorized it the card had not been reported stolen but the transaction was not the owner. I asked them what the hell I was giving them 35k a year for if I have no insurance and they responded saying that was just the fees.

I was hit again and again and everytime I got an order from Quebec I even verified phone number and did a google street view of the house. I called the number and they said it was legit, then two weeks later I was notified of fraud. I had all the delivery information and called the cops. Ontario said it was a Quebec issue and Quebec said it was an Ontario issue. The mother fu**ers used their real address to receive the delivery and still I could do nothing.

Eventually I cancelled my merchant account and went all in on e-transfers. My volume dropped about 10% but after the third month was right back up to where it was before.

Now I pay about $20 a month for debit and e-transfer which adds up to about $240 a year as opposed to $35,000. The kicker is the 35k did not include the fraud, that cost me almost another 10k yearly. Now I have no fees and no fraud.... kinda like a little slice of heaven. *BRAVO*
 

rlm

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MapleDots said:
Eventually I cancelled my merchant account and went all in on e-transfers. My volume dropped about 10% but after the third month was right back up to where it was before.

I'm with ya 100%, sounds like complete bullshit, I would told them to go fuck themselves too. Its bs that retailers are expected to eat the fraud when the fraud is related to the CARD, not the retailer. And the fact that the cops wont investigate anything anymore is also bullshit. If they need to, increase the penalties so people aren't willing to risk it any more. Time to start cutting off fingers of thieves again, go middle eastern on these fucks.
 
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