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Monday, October 31, 2016

October Ends With $3,400 in Sales, Massive New Listings of Material And Blog Traffic Soars

We have just under a month to go now before we move from Toronto to New Brunswick. I have been in a mad rush to get as much material listed as possible leading up to the move, so that we can continue our sales growth in the months after we arrive. Steph has been busy looking after everything to do with the move: acquiring boxes, packing, booking the truck, picking up harnesses and temporary litter boxes for the cats, acquiring furniture pieces for the new house, while getting rid of old ones that don't fit. I've said before how amazing Steph is at economizing, but she has completely blown my mind with what she has managed to do for the house. She has designed and decorated all the rooms and has managed to furnish it almost for FREE! One of the great things about living in a city like Toronto is that people get rid of perfectly good furniture all the time. Usually they just want it gone, so they just put it on Kijiji for free rather than trying to sell it. Sometimes the stuff is crap, but most of the time it is really good. What Steph has done is review the Kijiji listings every day looking for pieces that fit the style of the house and are well constructed. We have picked them up and then she has bought paint or stain and has refinished them. So instead of moving into a mostly empty new house, it will be fully furnished and nicely decorated. I just cannot get over how talented Steph is at this! It's just amazing.

I have been working very hard on the new listings. I still have about 6,000 items to go until I catch up to the modern period in 1952 and right now I am at 1932. I have been finding faster and faster ways to scan and list material and right now I seem to be able to get about 300 lots up each week when the scanning has been done before. It takes about a month to get through a box of 1,000 102 cards. I have about six boxes to go for this period, so I figure about six months more work. Then I can step back and assess what needs to be bought to strengthen the stock and then I can go about buying and listing in a controlled manner. This should take about 2 months. Then after that I can move on to listing Nigeria in earnest, while Steph works on the modern. We just got a large modern collection in last week, which has all the material from the 1990's and 2000's that we didn't have before, so that will help our inventory considerably. This week I am going to push hard to get the 1932-1935 Medallion issue completely listed, so that all I will have left to do before 1935 are the commemorative issues, which I may be able to get done before we go, or at very least will be scanned and ready to list when we arrive.

Overall sales are beginning to show both consistency and momentum. The number of new customers each month is growing, while the amount of repeat business from established customers is growing. Together, these two trends are pushing monthly sales in an upward direction. I am now fairly certain that at least some of this growth is coming either from word of mouth or social media, as the Canadian blog now regularly gets close to 200 visits a day. Many of these visits are now coming from organic Google searches or people accessing the blog by name, rather than just viewing it through Facebook. Only a few months ago, all the traffic came from Facebook and the number of visits was just over 100 per day. At the very least, these statistics indicate that there are plenty of people who are interested in collecting or at least reading about Canadian stamps, and that the blog is doing a fairly good job of reaching them. I believe that establishing that following will be critical to our long-term success.

My first US stamps arrived last week for my new collection and I was very pleased with them. I cannot believe that they are as inexpensive as they are and that more people don't collect them. The only criticism that I have about them is that they tend to use the same colours over and over again. But the stamp designs themselves are generally really appealing - especially on the commemorative issues. Even the very simple stamps, like the 1938-54 Presidential Issues have a certain charm that pulls you in. I'm not sure what it is, but I am looking forward to seeing where this takes me. I have never even considered collecting US before - I've always been a British Commonwealth guy. But it is fun to venture into something completely new.

Anyway, I'd better get back to updating my other blogs so that I can move on with the listings. 


  1. I think US stamps is a good move. Lots more people down here collecting.

    1. Thanks Dale. I was actually thinking of collecting this personally, just for fun.