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, March 10, 2017

Blame Canada

I mentioned last week that I'd given someone permission to return the nine blackbird kites that she had bought for a school play. They showed up on Wednesday along with the four Create-a-birds that she had said she was keeping, inflating the refund from $125 to $182 and pushing the week's sales to a negative $61. It subsequently clawed its way back into positive territory to avoid becoming my first-ever negative week. 

I've lost money on two international sales this month (different products). The product weights are set to 0.5 lb so that I can ship two widgets for the 1 lb rate. In my lightest possible packaging, the shipments each actually weighed 8.4 ounces -- no biggie for a domestic shipment, but First Class International rates jump from $13.75 for 8 oz to $22.75 for 12 oz with no steps in between. Four tenths of an ounce cost me $9 out of pocket. I gave away the product with the $10 markup and actually lost money filling the order with the $6 margin. 

Have I mentioned that it takes me a day and a half to earn $9? I'm resigned to not making any money until Curio City gets out of debt, but actually losing money is a different story, and this was definitely a losing week.

Aside from doing a slow burn about spending my time shipping money-losing orders, I'm cheesed off because I've spent 10+ years refining my product weights. Changing those weights from 0.5 to 0.6 lb will cover me against future international shipping losses while screwing over US customers who buy more than one piece. But I can't afford to lose $9 per shipment because the USPS decided to skip a 9-oz rate, so 0.6 lb those products shall henceforth be. Sorry, Americans. Blame Canada.

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