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.
Friday, February 08, 2013
The Storm Brings the Calm
This week came to a halt when the drumbeat over winter storm Nemo grew deafening. The weather’s just starting to degenerate at 1 pm on Friday. I managed to get in a little more than a mile of my customary four-mile morning walk before 30” of snow paralyzes Braintree for a couple of days. We escaped Hurricane Sandy, but I don’t think we’re going to get so lucky this time. I wish people would strip Curio City’s shelves the way they have pillaged the grocers…maybe they’ll shop out of boredom tonight.
I did implement my second big product gambit for 2013. As many as a third of my bird kite customers are interested in buying poles. I don’t sell them because they won’t fit inside the standard kite mailing tube and my years-ago experiment with carrying them as a standalone product didn’t work out. But I found out last fall that Jackite will package them together in a larger tube and dropship for me, and so yesterday I added the option to all of my product pages.
Dropshipping makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like putting my customers at the mercy of another company’s service. The hassle of generating and tracking special orders offsets the (admittedly welcome) labor savings from outsourcing the shipping. But a chance to double the price of a substantial fraction of one of my best products could put thousands of dollars on the table.
I’ll find out soon enough. Kite season starts in March.
I can take back part of last week’s reason to hate the USPS after they answered my question about international battery shipping clearly and accurately. They retain partial hatred for making me question their outdated online help in the first place, though.
The death of Saturday mail delivery is a big yawn since package delivery won’t be affected. The six-day week is one of USPS’s main advantages over UPS. I’m old enough to remember when getting the mail was a small daily treat, but, like everyone else, I get almost nothing but junk nowadays. Losing Saturday delivery will cut into Netflix deliveries and shave a disk or two from my usual monthly consumption, which I suppose is a win for Netflix. It gives me a weak reason to switch over to their streaming service someday.