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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 23, 2011

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

...An eighth week of Christmas!

Christmas ended on the 21st this year, a full four days later than I had expected. I more than recovered Week 7’s shortfall and averted my first-ever year-over-year sales decline (2011 will finish about 2% over 2010, assuming that next week is merely average). These “extra” days amounted to an unexpected extra week of Christmas. I am incredibly glad that it’s finally over for another year, apart from the enjoyable massaging of numbers. Nice, black numbers. I’m going to miss the big daily bank deposits, though.

Reasons to hate UPS (redux): Yet another Credit Card Billing Adjustment, this time increasing a charge by $11 with no explanation. Ever notice that these adjustments are never downward? 

Well, at least I can take some small revenge: I finally discontinued UPS Standard after reading multiple complaints about it being a scam. UPS tempts Canadians with a reasonable-looking rate. Then, after the package crosses the border, UPS holds it hostage for brokerage fees that approach 100% of the shipment’s value. If the recipient declines to pay it, they offer to return it to the shipper – me – if I will pay the fees. When neither party wants to pay the ransom, UPS gets free merchandise. Virtually every international complaint I’ve had over the years has come from a Canadian, and the majority of those were UPS Standard shipments. Customers usually think that I’m in on the scam. No more.

For the time being I’m leaving Worldwide Expedited and Worldwide Express in place because they’re so expensive that nobody ever chooses them. But I might ultimately remove those, too, if they employ the same “brokerage” trick.

Reasons to hate Google (redux): I ended last week not knowing whether or not Google Product Search was going to exempt my site from their item identification requirement. On Monday they suspended my products. On Tuesday they told me that my exemption had been approved, but not whether my items reinstated or not. On Wednesday I was invited to rate their responses. Hee hee.


Born yesterday? I was not. A suspicious email asking about international shipping led to somebody wanting to buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff to be picked up by his private courier (after he pays with a stolen credit card, obviously). There was some creative aspect involving shipping to Cyprus and prepaying customs duties and whatnot, too. It was probably just meant to confuse me, or maybe to make him look like a legit businessman. Bzzt! Sorry, find another sucker. 

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