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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our First Stamp Show, Auctiva Templates Go Live, Listing of Modern Begins and Business Cards Are Ordered!

Back in December last year I decided that it would be a good idea to try and raise awareness for the blogs by contacting the president of each chapter of the Royal Philatelic Society in Canada. There are a total of 69 chapters of the RPSC, each operating a stamp club that meets once a month. My thinking was that the president could inform members about the existence of the blog and interested members could check out and read the posts.  Out of 69 e-mails that I sent, I got about 6 responses, which is a 10% response rate. While that sounds dismal, it is actually very good, given the fact that the e-mails were unsolicited. Some of the clubs were kind enough to place links to the blog on their web-pages, while others mentioned us in their newsletters. However, one club in Saugeen, Ontario invited us to attend their April meeting, on April 5, and their dealer show on April 30, 2016. 

Of course, there was no way that I was going to pass up an opportunity to promote the business for a mere $40 table fee. So we accepted and will pack up our stock and drive it up to Hanover, Ontario on April 30. Last week we attended the monthly meeting of the Saugeen stamp club and had a fantastic time. It was a very well attended meeting and we were very well received. I even managed to pick up a copy of the old 1983 Lyman's Canadian stamp catalogue, which I had not seen in over 30 years. We were asked repeatedly for business cards while we were there and unfortunately we did not have any to hand out, but we assured everyone that we would have them at the show. Steph promptly designed our business card and we ordered 1,000 of them. We should be receiving them next week. So exciting!

After much consternation about the changes at E-bay and having received no answers from E-bay to our queries, we decided to go ahead and start using the Auctiva templates that I had designed a week earlier. I must say that the listings look amazing now, and I read that Auctiva and E-bay work pretty closely together, so hopefully Auctiva will stay on top of e-bay's changes and offer us tools to help us manage the changes. If you want to see what I mean about the listings, click on the following link to see an example:

In designing these listings, we have attempted to follow all the rules we read about how to produce effective listings designed to inspire buyer confidence and trust. I'd be very interested to see what you all think: would you trust us based on what you see?

In terms of listings, we have reached some important milestones this week, with Steph beginning her listings of the modern, post 1951 commemorative issues, and with me finishing the back-of-the-book material associated with the Admiral period (1911-1928). I have also managed to almost completely organize and price the Confederation, Historical and Scroll Issues of 1927-1929. This will comprise about 500 lots of quality mint material from these beautiful and popular sets. 

Sales are a bit below target so far this month, but are not bad, being just over $1,000 so far, a third of the way into the month. To supplement revenue, I am helping out at my old firm on weekends preparing tax returns for a per-diem rate. That will help cover another month's rent without cutting too much into the time spent on the business.

That about brings us up to date. Steph will be writing the next post, about what I am not sure since she won't tell me, saying that it is a surprise. 

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