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, August 14, 2015
Christmas in August
It's time to knuckle down; an LED Peace Sign Tree Topper sale this week kicked off Christmas already. I used to do a lot of business with that item's vendor -- so much, in fact, that my account got horribly bollixed up one year after they double-shipped one order that contained billing and picking errors. When the dust finally settled I had a free carton of 24 tree toppers. Ordinarily I'm honest to a fault, but reopening their reconciliation process was too painful a thought to entertain. Now I'm down to my last 14, which will almost surely sell out in the next few months. They stopped making tree toppers a couple of years ago and I'm going to miss it after selling 100 of them altogether.
That vendor keeps selling more and more of their stuff in assortment prepacks, which means I can't reorder the specific variant (color, size, etc) that people are buying without also buying the ones that they aren't. It's no big deal to bricks-and-mortar stores, where shoppers can only see what's in front of them. Online shoppers, however, can see the out-of-stock variants because I have to display them all together. Since this vendor openly disdains online retail, I disdain most of their products.
Meanwhile, it's the annual tax-free weekend for Massholes again. Sales tax is a small nuisance for Curio City so this policy doesn't help me in the slightest; if anything, it drives a few potential customers into bricks and mortar.
The Commonwealth will lose $25 million as shoppers mob stores to save a whopping 6.25% on crap that they already intended to buy anyway. But everyone likes to stick it to the taxman and it gives retailers another ginned-up "holiday" to market. There's no question that it produces heavy traffic, and I'll confess that I'll be doing my part; every year Anne and I save a few bucks on something that we needed anyway. This year we need to replace the dehumidifier that died a few weeks ago. Curio City's warehouse (i.e., my dank, unfinished cellar) will be noticeably drier for it. In fact, Curio City would pay for it if my cash flow were positive...which is isn't, alas.