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.
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Friday, November 27, 2015

Halfway Through the 7-Week Slog

A serious surge after I posted here last week whittled the Week 3 gap down from $1,250 to just $350, and the month entered Week 4 running $200 ahead of LY. Business is solid.

As of right now, Week 4 is $900 ahead of LY and November will surpass LY by a comfortable $1,100. Far from becoming the Worst November Ever, it's now the 4th worst...or 7th best, for you annoying optimists, and likely to move up one more rank. However you slice it, it's been a very good month; even that notorious sourpuss Quickbooks agrees. 


Total income: +21.2%
Total COGS: +29.6%
Payroll: -0.2%
Marketing: +27.5%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: +75.4% (+$126)
Actual Profit/Loss: +$294

Year to Date

Total income: -4.7%
Total COGS: -2.1%
Payroll: -6.5%
Marketing: +5.0%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: -94.1% (-$1,218)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$2,512

I'm piling up the sales at great cost, especially in advertising; COGS jumped when I had to write off a pile of old dead merchandise with even deader batteries and $110 worth of stock got lost in transit (my fault for providing an incomplete address).  While this year has a shot at beating LY's top line, I don't foresee the bottom line turning black.

I'm sure that these numbers will increment substantially over the next day and a half. Today's Black Friday and we're in that sweet stretch where every day matters. Even though business is strong, inventory shortages are going to make December's targets tough. People aren't buying enough of what I've got and I can't get enough of what they want.

Metal Earth finally took off: Amount spent: $1,833; amount earned: $578. I wish it had come to live three or four weeks ago so that I could've reordered the hits, but a two-week turnaround makes it too late now. That's probably for the best since I've yet to recoup what I've already spent and my credit card balance is still hovering stubbornly over $5,000.


Package thieves are out in force; I've gotten two reports of missing packages. One was nearly a month after delivery, so that's easy to dismiss, but the other was a Priority Express package that was reported lost just hours after it was supposedly delivered. Theft is the most likely explanation. Throughout November and December, thieves trail after delivery vehicles and snatch packages from porches. "Nice neighborhoods" are especially vulnerable, since rich people get the best stuff, but opportunists will grab and run wherever they see parcels sitting unattended.


AOL decided last week that it doesn't like email from Curio City, leaving me unable to reach many of my elderly customers (if you're using an AOL address you're probably over 65). Their "postmaster" supposedly " added some protection for your IPs." Yeah, that didn't work. Naturally this would happen just as business is peaking. I think it's straightened out after more back-and-forth.

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