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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, December 10, 2010

The Christmas Curse

Week 5 staggered to its knees with 19 sales on Friday, but could still only reach 60% of last year’s corresponding day. Saturday finally broke the small-purchase curse with a whopping 26 sales amounting to 115% of LY. One stellar day couldn’t staunch the bleeding and Week Five ended up at only 60% of LY.

Week 6 took off like a rocket with 27 sales on Sunday; I’d already beaten LY’s total by 5 pm. I spent five hours boxing and labeling shipments and completely failed at my normal Sunday priority: Planning the week’s menu, clipping coupons, returning bottles, buying groceries, and making dinner. This was obviously no normal Sunday. Was the panicked desperation of Christmas finally here?

Sadly, no. I’ll spare you the daily blow-by-blow, but Christmas gradually sputtered out as the curse of the small orders returned. I’m working flat out to ship about 20 orders a day, but the boxes are too small and the dollars too few. Last year, Panther Vision ran out of caps in Week 5 and I sold out in Week 6. With no corresponding inventory shortages yet this year, I had hoped that Week 6 would recoup some of Week 5’s epic loss. Until today I did indeed have a tiny lead over LY. But on this day in 2009 the Boston Globe Gift Guide unexpectedly featured Whisky Stones on the same day that my last reorder arrived; I sold all 36 sets in one day. This year’s Globe guide had only typical mainstream crap. Today’s target number is impossible – I’m currently at $160 vs. $1200+ LY -- so this week will surely finish behind LY again, although not as dramatically as Week 5 did.

In another one of those random acts of media that I mentioned last week, Fuzz Scarves mounted a bizarre run of 13 sales in one hour on Sunday. I had no idea why until one customer added a note explaining that a character in some football game wore one on television.

Just one more week to go before Christmas sputters out. Maybe Week 7 will surprise me…it was comparatively slow LY. This year hasn’t been any fun at all – it went from frenzied buying to whining and complaining in just days, rather than the usual two weeks. Ordinarily people don’t sink into bad humor until next week.


  1. stessier11:24 AM

    Things like the Fuzz Scarf would seem tailor made for college kids. It seems many of your items would sell well to that crowd and they have a large disposable income for quirky stuff.

    Unfortunately I don't know how you'd go about targeting them, but if you could, I think you'd see a nice little bump.

  2. That's how I'm trying to use Facebook. My average customer is a woman aged 50-60 years. My average FB "follower" is considerably younger.


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