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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April Winds Down as One Of The Slower Months But We Are Not Worried, Modern Is Selling Very Well And Our New Logo

It is now April 26, and Steph and I are getting ready to attend our first stamp show on the 30th of this month. My focus now has to shift over the remainder of this week from listing material on E-bay to getting the rest of my stock organized so that it can be viewed by people at the show. This is a necessary step in the lotting process anyway, so all I am really doing is shifting some back-end work up to the front of my schedule. At over 4,400 items listed on the site so far, we are both pretty happy with the rate at which we are adding new material. The time has come to investigate ways to promote this material more effectively.

Sales this month have been OK at just under $1,900, with 4 days to go this month. It's not a fantastic total, but it is not bad considering that there are very few items over $100 in this total, and the actual sales volume so far is over 150 items, which is consistent with other months. What is very striking though is the number of new customers this month: 38 - more than any other month so far. It is natural then, that the amount these people are going to spend is going to be quite low, as they are just trying us out. It would appear that many of our regular customers have been laying low this month, which could have something to do with the fact that April is tax month in Canada and many of these people are probably paying significant sums of money to Canada Revenue Agency. I don't expect that we will sell that much at the show. Our focus is really to try and meet as many new faces as possible, and raise awareness of our existence, and what our value proposition is. We hope that as a result of that show that we will get some blog readers and visitors to our store. We have yet to decide exactly how much stock to take with us, but I think we will take most of Canada for sure, and maybe some Nigeria.

One nice trend that we have noticed since Steph started listing the post 1951 Commemorative material is that is is selling very well. In just over a week, we have had no less than four orders for these stamps, which is excellent considering that only 100 items are listed and they have only been up for a week. We think that it may have something to do with the 99c price point. What is interesting is that most of these stamps list for less than 40c in the standard stamp catalogues. However, E-bay does not allow us to list anything for less than 99c. At first we thought we would group these stamps into lots that catalogued at least $2 and then price them at 99c. But then we just decided to list all of them at 99c or best offer. So far collectors are responding very well. I think they like the flexibility of being able to buy the stamps individually, knowing that they have been vetted for quality.

Below are some examples of the commemorative issues from 1952 and 1953 that we just started listing in our store:

The 1952 International Conference of the Red Cross Issue

The 3c Sir Joseph Caldwell Abbott - Prime Minister of Canada from 1891 to 1892. He succeeded Sir John A. Macdonald

4c Bighorn Sheep stamp of 1953. This was issued as part of a series of wildlife stamps over 5 years starting in 1953 and ending in 1957.

The 1953 Coronation commemorative issue for Queen Elizabeth II.

To view these listings, click on the following links:

Another exciting development is that we had our new business logo designed and are very happy with it:

So even though sales have been less than we had hoped for this month, the business has undergone some very productive changes this month, with the adoption of Auctiva and the opening of the Auctiva Commerce account so that we can eventally develop our own webstore that is completely independent of E-bay.

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