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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

January 2017 Was A Record Month And February Off To A Great Start!

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post, as I have been working flat out to get as much material listed for sale as possible. My progress has been good. Since Steph and I settled into the new house in mid-December, I have been able to list:

  • Most of the oversize blocks and covers 
  • All the Newfoundland material from 1931 to 1949.
  • The commemorative issues from 1933-1934. 
The above would have taken me 3 months in Toronto, and I have been able to do it here in just under 2 months. I have also made a significant amount of progress on the webstore, which is live now, and is not yet fully updated, but at least it is operational. The next step after I get all the pre-Elizabethan material listed will be to get the traffic feeds operating properly and to submit the site to Google. Then I should start to see traffic to the store. 

Sales for January 2017 were expected to be low, as January had been a slow month in 2016. However, such was not the case. We had a record-breaking month, with just over $5,800 in sales, getting us very close to the point where the business can completely sustain itself and pay the bills. All of this has taken a year and a half! February is off to a great start too - not quite as busy as January, but still we are making multiple sales every day. We are seeing a huge increase in US and international sales, and we notice that the majority of our blog traffic is from the US and around the world. This is the strongest evidence we have that the blog is driving sales. In the past, our largest customer base was in Quebec, but now that has shifted to the US. Quebec is still strong, but the growth of the US market has been huge. We have added 136 new customers overall since December. That is an average of 54 per month, which is about 10 more than we were getting in early 2016. 

Newfoundland has been an extremely popular seller. So much so, that I decided to take a gamble and spend $900 on more material from this area so that we don't run out. I hope it was not a bad decision, but I don't think it will turn out to be. 

The weather here in Saint John has been surprisingly mild compared to winter in other parts of the country, as well as the rest of the maritimes. We did have our first blizzard yesterday, which dumped an ungodly amount of snow on us. However, with the help of my neighbour this morning, I was able to shovel out the driveway and a pathway along the sidewalk that was about 4 feet deep in snow. Here are some pictures of what it looked like after just under 2 hours of shovelling:

This is looking from the garage down to the street corner - about 100 feet.

You can see that the snow was about 4-5 feet high in the driveway. Thank God for covered garages!

It wasn't bad work shoveling. I kind of like it here. For one thing, it is not usually too cold after a snowfall - maybe -4 or -5, which is not too cold, especially once you get going. Your body heat goes up with the activity, and the cold air prevents you from getting too hot. It's a nice workout too. I wouldn't want to do it more than a half dozen times a winter mind you. This is the third snowfall I have had to shovel in the two months that we have been in the house. The other two were only half to a third as much as this one was. My understanding is that we will get another one at the end of the week, but in March we start to get less and less snow until it is completely gone by May. So it is not that bad - certainly Toronto is no better, and the prairies where I have family is much worse. 

Anyway, I will close this week's post by saying that this was a fantastic move. We are happier, more relaxed and more productive here.