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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, February 27, 2009

February Wrap-Up

February Wrap-up

This week was a little weaker, but not weak enough to sink the month. Here are the year-to-year numbers:

Total income: +29.9%
Total COGS: +5.3%
Payroll: +31% (yay me!)
Net Income (Profit): -29.9%

This year’s bigger loss is merely a bookkeeping artifact caused by taxes and fees. Taxes always push February into the red. My YTD loss is only $70 higher than LY, and that’s entirely attributable to higher payroll – meaning money in my pocket, which is not entirely a bad thing.

Even though February is meaningless, being up 30% in this disastrous economy is heartening – virtually every economic indicator is at historic lows and still free-falling. I choose to believe that changing my tagline from “Curious Gifts for Curious People” to “Unusual Gifts of Good Value” made all the difference. :)

Early this month I had $2,200 open to buy. As of today, I have (-$763). Half of the $3,900 that I spent this month replenished sold items; the other half is buying new merchandise. Since a lot of that won’t ship (and bill) until April, the red ink doesn't worry me. But my cash on hand + accounts receivable is technically below my accounts payable, maybe for the first time ever. I need to be very tight with a buck if I’m going to have anything to spend at next month’s Boston Gift Show.

Speaking of next month…March’s targets are much more challenging than February’s were.

Most of my smaller vendors are filling orders at warp speed. They must be sitting around with nothing to do. One of my newer large suppliers, however, froze me out of their initial spring product shipments. Maybe I ordered too late, or maybe they serviced their bigger accounts first. A lot of stuff that I thought would be arriving over the next few weeks is delayed until late April. That’s going to make March even more difficult.

Turnkey’s investigation into my site’s broken Wishlist feature came up blank. The bug was undoubtedly caused by some modification that Eric or I made in the indeterminate past. Removing one obsolete modification enabled me to toggle the feature off; previously, doing so screwed up my menu bar layout. And so I fall back upon a lesson that I learned in my software development career: If you can’t fix the bug, remove the feature. Fixing the Wishlist is now officially wishlisted.


  1. My order posted several hours after this, so I suppose it goes into March. I did want you to know that we really appreciated the microwave popcorn bowl. At last, we can throw out our dangerous 1970s vintage grease popper.

  2. Thanks for your comment (and purchase!). Yours would have fallen into the day-and-a-half dead zone between my wrap-up post and the actual end of February. You were part of a last-minute surge that improved all of those numbers a bit. The microwave popcorn bowl is one of those unfortunate products that sells too slowly and carries too little markup to justify its continued existence; objectively, I should discontinue it when current stock is gone. I'm reluctant because it was one of my original products, but the numbers are what they are (inbound freight from the West Coast kills the low markup). If anybody reading this wants a microwave popcorn bowl, order it NOW. They probably won't be around much longer.


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