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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 15, 2013

Christmas Week 2: In Which I Dodge a Bullet

I raised my Corn-n-Tater price by a buck and shut down my ads in anticipation of the big Dr. Oz promo that was scheduled for this Wednesday. Nothing happened. Minutes ago I learned that the appearance is never going to take place. Lawyers are involved, so I’ll restrict myself to saying that Steve was scammed by Dr. Oz’s production people. After traveling to their headquarters and sitting in the producer’s office for two hours, he got sent away empty handed. To make matters worse, Steve had told QVC about the Oz thing; when they found out that it was canceled QVC pushed his November spot into next spring.

So he is out thousands of dollars and his media plans are in ruins. As you might recall, a few weeks ago I mulled over making a bet-the-company investment in expanding to handle acceptance and distribution. If I had reached for that star I’d be looking at bankruptcy right now.

If my aversion to risk keeps me from success, it also saves me from failure.


I went into this week $566 ahead of LY. Right now I’m down by -$1,400. I needed a stellar week; I got a mildly good one. Veterans Day weekend was surprisingly slow -- one order on Monday, seriously? It’s like shoppers didn’t get the memo that they’re supposed to start frenzying over Christmas this week. They’re going to be in for a rude awakening if they try to cram it all into the three weeks after Thanksgiving.

I’ve pulled out the budget stops on my Google ads; paying $40 per day for 250 clicks that produce just two or three sales is disturbing, to put it mildly. I’ve been hammering Facebook with at least one post a day and sometimes as many as three, but those only ever reach about 30 people (out of nearly 200 “likes”). Even my own wife never sees Curio City’s posts. I assume it’s because I won’t pay Facebook’s “boost” fee. 

Rushing in where angels fear to tread, I just dropped another $1,200 this morning to replenish MetalEarth (formerly Metalworks) models and add a few new designs. Last year one customer bought up nearly half of my stock and I never quite found the money to replace it, making it very difficult to judge the real demand. This might turn out to be a stupid mistake.  

At least I was able to carve out 5.5 hours for raking. Another couple of hours ought to finish it off. So far, I’ve filled 14 bags, two barrels, and two compost bins…after running the leaves through the mower. The mower gave up the ghost this morning, though. The internet says that I can replace the pull cord myself. Just what I need: another project. The fall yard cleanup is on hold until I can fix my mower.


  1. Matrix10:03 PM

    Gah, that would suck. When its not 100% and only, just a maybe then it would hurt. I thought it was sure thing, now it seems the main guy thought it was main thing. By the way corrections to link that i mentioned on his site (main link to your site, on his site is broken). I think you would see a lot more sales. I am dealing with similar issue this year, unpredictable demand, for what ever reason sales are slooow this year. And nothing i can do about, not for lack of trying though. I can process at least 3 times as many clients as i do right now with my current infrastructure. Alas, it is not needed.

  2. He was sure it was a done deal. I don't know what he had in writing and what he had in verbal agreements -- he does favor the telephone over email -- but he traveled ready to record, complete with samples for the studio audience. I did pass along your suggestions for changing his links; he chose not to implement them.

  3. Matrix4:51 PM

    Ya, i hate when that happens. For us its usually when somebody wants to do tv show, spend time filming us , etc and then nothing happens. Waster of time and often money.
    Just got a call from groupon, this should be interesting. Since this could be excellent way to get exposure if handled correctly. We like their idea and potentially opens up a lot of avenues.


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