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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sunny September in the UK

Well I haven't missed my own website Cathys Curios one little bit so I'm quite pleased I made the decision to shut that shop down.

Although I must say e-bay has been a bit of a struggle this month. I know there is no known reason for this but as soon as the Olympics ended, sales started to go up again. Not quite got back to normal yet, but what a strange coincidence. Sales have most definitely slumped this year. This is my 4th year at e-commerce and so far each year has beaten the previous one in profits. It will hard pushed to happen this year. Anyhow I'll be reporting on that at the end of March 2013.

I've also struggled to pick up stock this year partly because of the rain stopping all the car boots (flea markets) and partly through events within my family. This month there have been some large car boots as the sun has finally decided to come out over the UK. I will start attending the auction houses again soon readying for winter. I'm not too worried though as I now accept these ups & downs as part & parcel of the retail business. At least through e-commerce I don't have the overheads of a bricks & mortar business so I'm not losing money on rent & rates etc.  I have had a bricks & mortar business prior to this and my overheads just got way over my head causing me to shut shop. E-commerce also gives you a much bigger audience of the whole world and you're not just relying on the odd passer-by. Some online shops don't like to ship overseas but they are halving their customer base. At least a third of my sales are overseas and only a couple have gone pear shaped.

Dresses have continued to sell well. Once the jewellery has sold out I don't think I'll be replacing it, not a good seller for me. But of course, ceramics are my love and I so enjoy collecting, researching and sending each one on to new homes. The wonderful feedback we get via ebay makes it all worthwhile and now I've started in this business I don't think I'll ever finish. I just wish I had found this love sooner in my life. Now in my 50s I consider myself semi-retired but I actually work longer hours self employed than I ever did in my paid full-time job. So life is not easier in this semi-retirement, but it is more enjoyable.

I would actually love a little antique shop whereby I would open when I felt like it but it would mainly be my place of storage and my main income will always be e-commerce.

Ah well, nearly Christmas.