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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

July and Mega Desicion Making

Ok, fed up with lack of sales so time to go into action! For some time now I haven't been making ANY sales whatsoever on my own website Cathys Curios. I research all the right things to do as far as SEO is concerned but yet I'm still only graded No.1 (being the lowest) on Google search. Although when I look things up for my shop, I'm always on the 1st page. Just can't fathom it out. So after muchas humming & arrring I've decided to close it down. The problem is if you're a bit of a layman, like me, you really might be best to pay someone to provide a bit SEO support to your site. I considered myself pretty much ok on a basic level but clearly that isn't good enough. My website host didn't provide SEO support so hence the closure. Plus SEO support can range from £200-500 a month and that's a lot of money for a small business.

So --- what am I going to do about this hiccup?! Aswell as this disappointment, ebay sales have also gone down the plug hole. I think the world recession is most definitely kicking in for the little business people. I will continue with my ebay shop as the sales are at least trickling in. I also have one of my freebie shops still turning over at Groovy Cart. Whilst this shop can only have 30 items and limited sales, it's still free and I have had a couple of sales from it. Also opening up a shop on UK Etsy. This again has its limitations as you either need vintage or hand made. I'm only putting my really good stuff in this shop and I haven't opened it yet, as I need to build it up first. I'll report back at a later date on that one. I've also got the hubby surfing the net for an alternative for me. I would love to open a website with a company that has SEO support but just too expensive for my tiny budget.

Now then, on top of all the sales downturn issues, there are also stock issues. The UK has had nothing but rain this summer so the car boots or flea markets that are mostly outdoors have been very poor. This puts me back in the auction housess. Actually I love the auctions, gives me a bit of a buzz, all that haggling. With sales down then profits are down and therefore purchasing stock is down. Haven't quite hit rock bottom yet and hopefully will bounce enough not to get there, but time will tell. Any kind donations gladly accepted.

Ladies dresses still selling well. Jewellery not so good and as soon as stock is sold, I'll be dropping that category. If you can afford silver and gold then you would do well, but costume jewellery is just so widely available cheaply from China, and not just for wholesale but directly to the customer on a smaller order basis.

There you have it for now. Cathys Curios is closing down. I am also going to buy a new domain name that has more effective keywords in it. Still plugging my ebay items on Twitter & Pinterest, not sure it does any good but it's free marketing.

My dream when I started all this 3.5 years ago was that eventually I would have a tiny bricks and mortar shop. I would only open when I'm working there and capture the odd passer by.  My main customer will always be on the internet so it shouldn't matter about the bricks and mortar base being a great seller.  Plus I want to travel around the UK and maybe even France seeking those great treasures. I'm still working on the dream and haven't given up hope --- yet!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Just took the G out of Blooming June

Bloomin RAIN again! I really must complain to him up there or wherever s/he is, this rain is bad for business. No car boots mean that obtaining stock becomes a problem (much like during the winter months). I had really hoped to go from 350 items to around 500 items this summer in my ebay shop - but not to be. Also I suspect there are more little traders, like me, around now so lots of competition. Not that I'm trying to put anyone off but just be prepared. Actually I don't see a problem with competition in this trade as we all find different things. Maybe there's just not a lot of vintagey item left in the world, so that's causing the struggle, but I doubt it.

For a few years the older traders ie pre ebay days, complained that ebay was forcing the market down as they were getting less money for their wares. Well I'm not an 'oldey' trader so I wouldn't know about that but with the economy as it is, I do believe more families are seeking an extra income and they can now sell so easily online, as well as holding down a full time job. I don't blame them either, I would do the same to keep my head above water. In my day you had a full time job plus a little cleaning job to top your income up. Anyway, I'm rambling but basically I think the whole economic market's difficulties are being felt by us little people. Bills forever increasing, but not so with the incomes. It's ok for the few millionaires dodging their tax payments, they do not and will never understand the meaning of economical struggling. To the normal little person £5 is a lot of money. If I made this amount in profit for every sale I'd be happy. The richer don't even think is such little numbers. So, my purpose of this rhetoric is that building up stock, finding unique pieces, fantastic customer service is all ultra important in this business of vintage e-commerce to make that little bit of profit. My sales stats are ok but could be better. I suspect we're all in pretty much the same boat.

So bring out the SUNSHINE so those lovely people hording old things in their attic can come out to play. Plus the sun makes us feel happier and smile more. You lucky people living in the sun & heat all the time probably don't notice how happy you are every day. Come to the gloomy UK and you'll soon feel the misery of grey skies and cold air.

As usual I'm having a good moan in my update to the world. One day I'll come to update this blog and I may have made loads o money and then I'll have a happy tone in my words. Actually I am happy with life - this job beats working in an office, in a city 9-5, any day. Done that, been there, got the leaving pressy! Signing out for June seeya soon .....