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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, April 29, 2016

April Numbers: Another Red Sea

I never did figure out why this April opened with Curio City's worst week in five years. 2015's April was the best ever and its final week (corresponding to this week) was the best non-Christmas week of last year. 2016, OTOH, delivered the worst April since 2009, coming in 7th out of 11, and this week is running on the low side of average. A surge in Dove kite sales implies that Christians must be having another holiday.  

Read 'em and weep:


Total income: -27.7%
Total COGS: -27.7%
Payroll: -49.9%
Marketing: +7.5%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: -187.4% (-$230)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$107

Total income: -17.7%
Total COGS: -16.8%
Payroll: -22.1%
Marketing: +3.9%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: -107.7% (-$1,031)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$2,004

Falling another $1,400 behind LY isn't as bad as it looks if you squint sideways really hard. Watch this: Sometimes my weird whole-week accounting calendar gives April four weeks and sometimes five; this being a four-week year, a 20% decrease from LY would have been expected; 20% of last April is $800. If my most-expensive bestselling product (the eagle kite, duh) had been available I would have expected to sell at least four more of them than I did for another $280. Half of those orders probably would've included poles for another $150. Fourteen hundred dollars minus $800 minus $280 minus $150 = $170. If week one had been average instead of inexplicably and historically poor, it would have brought in $400 more than it did...so my hypothetical April is now $230 ahead of LY! Yay!

Of course, actual April was not hypothetical April, and these QuickBooks numbers don't know anything about four- vs. five-week months.  
Last May was average. The odds of beating it this year would be decent if those eagle kites were available. Without them, I'll probably lose another $500. I asked Jackite again for an anticipated restock date and was ignored again.    


A phishing snailmail from "Patent & Trademark Office" might have suckered me in had it not asked for an outrageous price. The letter is an exact copy of the government form; their envelope didn't have the legally required "not government business" disclaimer; and their URL only differs from that of the real trademark office in using ".org" instead of ".us" -- altogether, a fraud so polished that they almost deserve their laughable $1,690 to file my $400 renewal. Another, more obvious, scammer wants just $250 "to receive all documentation to renew your trademark." Hah! Said "documentation" is, of course, a free online form.

It does look like I am going to have to come up with $400 this year, though. So far I have been unable to determine the deadline. My first query yielded a link to someone else; the second attempt wasn't even acknowledged. Well, I can't afford it anyway.  
Speaking of scammers and thieves...I had a doozy of a chargeback this week. A supposed-customer complained to her credit card issuer that she didn't authorize the purchase of $180 worth of lighted caps. I was able to initiate a UPS intercept just hours before delivery for the low low price of $10.90. Of course I'm out the original $16.87 shipping cost, and PayPal's going to hit me up with a $25 chargeback fee, for a total anticipated loss of $52.77 on top of the $196 in revenue that they'll claw back. Lovely. Was it a stolen credit card? Did a family member place the order without the cardholder's knowledge? Did the customer merely change her mind, or forget what she had ordered, or not recognize my store name? I will probably never know. At least I'll get my merchandise back, so it could have been worse.

That $250 hit isn't reflected in April's numbers, btw, so May is going to start out that far in the hole.  

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