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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 20, 2013

Christmas Week 7: Another One Bites the Dust

It’s finally over! Christmas bit the dust on Thursday. I wish a soft landing were possible, but it never works that way. The few last-gasp orders with next-day shipping that laggards might place over the weekend won’t add up to much. I’m always simultaneously elated at having survived and sad that the money’s stopped flowing. The elation’s on the weak side since this year never galloped out of control. I don’t think that one can be mildly elated, so I’m going to downgrade that to merely relieved.

Monday tied this year’s record of 20 sales and set the daily dollar high at $700 – mediocre by historical standards, but still nice to see. After I got those orders boxed and on their way, Tuesday finally gave me a little time to start paring back my $55-60 daily advertising bill. Google did very well indeed this year. As of today I’ve knocked that expense down to $45 on the way to its eventual rock-bottom $30. 

I peeked at my YTD profit-and-loss statement to see if I could afford to write off more stock for my wife’s holiday party favors. Quickbooks says I’m heading for a $750 loss…so: No, as much as I’d like to clear out more junk, I’m struggling to claw my way up to zero. Markdowns already account for half of that loss. But I’m getting ahead of myself; next week’s post will wrap up December and lay out the annual numbers.

In the disappointments department:

·         My 51-piece opening chrome auto emblems order found just three takers. I had hoped that this line might become a new gold mine.
·         Corn-n-Tater bags were supposed to ride a wave of media attention to stardom. When that tanked they died off completely – I sold all of two during the holiday season. Will they revive now that the holidays are over? The 117 that I still have in stock certainly hope so.
·         Over the past few years the Fuzz Scarf sold 155 pieces at $17; this year I sold exactly one at the new $21 retail.
·         I’ve mentioned Whiskey Stones before; that former wunderkind brought in over $14,000 in Christmases past. This year I didn’t sell a single set. It was killed by discounters and too many me-too competitors.
·         The LED Motherboard Christmas Tree blew out of here in the hundreds when it debuted at $10 a few years ago; they killed it stone cold dead by raising the price to $17 last year, and dropping it back to $15 this year didn’t revive it – I moved maybe half a dozen. At that pace the 24 that I’ve got left will last me another four years.
·         There’s a funny story behind the LED Peace Sign Tree Topper: Its notoriously error-prone vendor short-shipped my huge and bulky order during its heyday a few years ago. Then they double-shipped the replacement order, and now it’s out of production. The 21 out of the 24 free pieces that I’ve still got will trickle out of here in the next year or two. It’s a stretch to call this one disappointing since each sale is pure profit, but it did slow way down.  

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