Welcome to Curious Business

Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, October 19, 2007

On the Enduring Appeal of Lighted Camouflage

In contrast to the 5-LED clip-on cap light that’s burning up the bestseller list, my Panther Vision lighted caps went into hibernation some weeks ago. Regular readers will remember that I once called these my “rescue products” and invested a lot of inventory dollars in them, with good initial results. When I found out last week that QVC and the Sharper Image are both selling Panther Vision caps, I figured that they’d gone mainstream and worn out their welcome at Curio City.

Tuesday morning I awoke to an order for five of my remaining six camouflage caps. Somebody bought the last one later that morning. Then I took two phone calls from people wanting more. One caller pre-ordered four caps. Nobody could quite tell me how they found Curio City or where they saw the caps advertised, but one customer said that QVC no longer sells them at all. Another mentioned that hunting season is starting. In the hope that I'm not closing the barn door after the horse is gone, I racked up more debt to order 48 of the camos at Panther Vision's second-most attractive price. (The best possible price requires an order of 144 pieces!).

I’m still using my American Express card for everything, btw. Ordinarily, I use my MC for merchandise and supplies, and my Amex card for operations. Some vendors won’t even take Amex because processing is so expensive (almost as bad as Discover). But the rewards programs are my main concern. Mastercard pays cash back. Amex pays card rebates. Since I’m ordering heavily right now, I’m racking up account credits (which help the business) instead of cash rebates (which go directly into my pocket). I hope the replacement MC gets here soon. I like cash.

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