Three giveaways/Two gorgeous days/And a big rusty pail of fail.
I wrote off three relics from the 2005 founding of Curio City and donated them to my wife’s art studio fundraising sale. These products were way out of step with the kind of merchandise that I eventually learned would succeed. Good riddance! I only wish her studio was a registered nonprofit so that I could take a charity deduction.
Quick numbers: This week I need to average $236/day, and the week started out very good before falling into the doldrums on Tuesday. So far I’m running at $267. The moving average that I need for the month to date is $224/day; I’m currently at $218. November began this week down $300 and ended it down $131. So I gained a bit of ground but I’m still a tad behind LY.
You might have noticed that I am merely trying to match LY now. I’ve given up on beating it. Next week brings the first of the really obscene sales targets.
I am reluctantly coming around to the view that this recession is never going to end – or rather that it really did end when economists tell us that it did, and we are now living in the new normal. I am told that this makes me a “Declinist”. Statistically, the economy has been in recovery for years. The wealthy and the big corporations are certainly prospering. But this time the rising tide is only lifting yachts while a sea of dinghies are still bailing.
When’s the last time I wrote about kicking Curio City out of the house (or “taking it to the next level”, as my wife likes to say)? I stopped thinking about Curio City’s future and went into survival mode when the depth of the Great Decline became apparent. But now experts are saying that the job market won’t return to normal until the second half of 2014. It might never recover entirely for the lower classes, so I need to start thinking about how I can cope with that.
Of course, if I knew how to increase sales in a declining economy I’d already be doing it. But I’ll figure something out. That’s what I’ve done since the beginning: Figure stuff out.
On this week’s Tuesday in 2010, a big Switchables return wiped out most of the day’s sales. It looked like an easy day to gain some ground this year…until (you guessed it) a big, unauthorized Panther Vision cap return showed up. I was so pissed that I flirted with invoking my published policy of refusing unauthorized returns. Shoppers who buy “on spec” are a pain in the ass and a blight on the bottom line, so I don’t want any repeat business from this lady. I’d have been within my rights to keep the merchandise and her money…but that undoubtedly would have created a bigger headache than it was worth. So I took the path of least resistance. The $17 that she paid in two-way shipping costs is consolation enough.
Ordinarily the Outlook new-message chime makes me happy; yesterday it was just annoying. The six sales that came in are below average for this stage of Christmas. I also had to authorize another $55 return, had someone ask for a large charitable contribution, got the usual spam, and received a bitchy email from a would-be customer who couldn’t figure out how to use the shipping calculator (“Why is it impossible for me to find out your shipping cost? I'm very wary of shipping chgs and cannot get an answer about your's”). Yeah…it’s a big secret. I know that it’s bad form to badmouth customers…but, coming at the end of a lousy day, that extraneous apostrophe sent me over the edge. And since she never did buy anything she’s not a customer anyway, and my integrity is intact.
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.