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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, November 25, 2011

On the Fourth Week of Christmas, My Business Gave to Me...

…Four minutes offline/Three giveaways/Two gorgeous days/And a big rusty pail of fail.

My heart sank at 11:31 pm on Thanksgiving when MDD Hosting warned me of emergency server maintenance. With previous hosts, that might have meant being offline for the rest of this crucial weekend. But MDD had the server back online by 11:46. Kudos to them. OK, 15 minutes isn't four, but I’ve got nothing else for my gimmick this week. Maybe I’ll get a four-digit day.

This was the first real Christmas mega-week. A $750 cap sale on Thanksgiving Day 2010 created a huge holiday hill to climb, and unusually weak days this Sunday and Monday made it look impossible. Then things turned around on Tuesday and Wednesday. I needed to average $350/day this week; right now (in the midst of Black Friday, which is hobbled by all the hardcore shoppers out doing battle in stores) I’m running at $350/day. I started Week 4 neck-and-neck with LY; right now I’m running $19 ahead for the week and $161 behind the month-to-date. I need $528 by the end of tomorrow to catch up. It’s another nail-biter.

Last Saturday was downright depressing. Against a background of weak sales, I had to authorize a big nasty return ($140 worth of Panther caps) from somebody who simply changed his mind. Besides the obvious financial hit, returns are also a processing and inventory-management pain in the ass. I may have to put a restocking fee in place, as most stores do to discourage speculative purchases. On the same day, a Canadian customer claimed that his levitating globe arrived with a cosmetic blemish; he eventually settled for a partial refund, limiting what could have been an $84 refund to just $20. And then, just to ice the cake, somebody submitted a bad product review. It was well-written and -reasoned, so I had to publish it. Even though it’s a minor product that I wasn’t going to reorder anyway, it was another slap in the face that I just didn’t need.

Next week's target requires an insane $495/day. I don't know how I'm going to make that...but I've done it before. No reason it can't happen again.


  1. Matrix1:32 PM

    Congrats on good sales. Quick question, do you have search function on website? i tried to search for something but couldn't find search function. I would certainly put restocking fee.

  2. Yes, there is a search box at the bottom of every page. Maybe I'll move it up if I redesign next year. I don't think anybody ever uses the "sort by" dialog.

  3. Matrix11:23 PM

    Ya, i would certainly move it up. Because i was looking for specific item, and wanted to search, but couldn't find it, i finally found it in the list. But most people are either category searchers or Search searches, if its in the bottom, it will be never be used. I would certainly make it a top priority.

    If you use google analytics, you can select option in "content" section in page analytic, it will show you how many people use different links and landing pages visually. Amazing feature to tell the traffic flow. Will show you how how people click around website and etc.


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