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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, March 22, 2013

Time Not Wasted

Surprisingly, the New England Gift Show was not a complete waste of time this year. I found one product that hits all the right notes: It’s clever, it’s useful, it’s easy to explain, it’s unbreakable, it’s easy and cheap to ship, it’s a little over my $10 minimum price point, and there aren’t many online competitors. Its creator hates filling retail orders (“onesies”) and would love to steer all of his online business to me so that he can focus on manufacturing and wholesaling. That could be huge -- even game-changing -- if it really pans out. At the very least, the product ought to sell reasonably well and the opening investment was small. I’ll link you to it next week when my inventory arrives.

And speaking of wasting time...I apologize to my tiny cadre of loyal readers for skipping last week's blog update, but I really had nothing to say and decided not to waste my time and yours saying it. This is a decision I intend to repeat every now and again.

I got seven sales within 24 hours of blundering back through the deep dark Google bid-setting jungle and letting their algorithm spend as much as it wants. I had been fine with declining sales as long as costs and inventory declined in lockstep…but my paycheck is one of those costs. Unfortunately, I need a paycheck. Good beer isn’t free and there are no government vouchers.
That quick payoff was encouraging, but my spend also rose by a crippling $25 per day and sales didn’t increase by anything like the $250 that would justify that. In fact, they dropped back to the expected 2-3 per day, and those have all been in the $10-20 range. So I’m back where I started before I upset the advertising apple cart in the first place – spending way too much ($25-30 in ads) for way too little ($40-60 in sales). I liked it better when I was spending very little for next to nothing.


Minor milestone: Sunshop reached order number 110000, its 10,000th transaction. That includes test transactions, so it’s not meaningful. Quickbooks’ count of 9,731 is closer to the truth (albeit also slightly inflated).

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