Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A little, of a lot.

I told this story to my wife, and we just started laughing.

When the guy said, "I'm going to shove these cards up your ass," I answered, "I was thinking of doing that myself."

Everyone in the store sort of hesitated. This really puzzled look came over the guys face, and I thought of trying to explain myself...

And then, the argument went on.

Capped by the customer's remark, "Well, that went well, considering..."

About 15 years ago, the card customers became so difficult to deal with, I stopped trading for singles. A couple years later, I stopped buying. Now....I'm going to stop selling the singles.

The comment I had back then was, "When a 'service' becomes a problem, it's no longer a service."

I haven't made money off singles for years. They are strictly an add on bonus service.

No more.

And yes, it is a way to avoid burn out. If I carried one product and devoted 100% of my attention to that product, I would be equal or in advance of any possible customer.

But by having 8 product lines, and devoting say, 20% to each product line, I'm still working 160% as hard, but probably don't know as much as the more hardcore customers in any single product line.

Most customers accept that. A few seem insulted that I'm making my living doing something they know so much more about.

But this broad, diverse product offering, but with a light touch on each product, is the method I've found to survive in Bend. Like a "General Pop-culture Store" I need to carry a little of a lot.

If Bend was bigger, or demographically different, I might be able to focus on one or two product lines. But it more than a little revealing that there aren't any full card, comic, game or pop culture toy stores in town. But one store who does all four.

5 comments:

tim said...

Apparently, when the bullies don't have the little old lady volunteers at The Mirror Pond Gallery to pick on, they go after Dunc. Bummer.

Duncan McGeary said...

I think I just need to get in the swing of things, again.

Hopefully, these two sports card incidents are isolated. Especially, if I remove the singles.

If I constantly have problems, I'll hire an employee to relieve the stress. But I'd rather try to pocket the difference for awhile.

bruce said...

In Business always go back to Robert Townsends question, the guy that rescued AVIS in the 1960's he said ...

"IF you ain't doing it for FUN or MONEY, what in the FUCK are you doing it for??"

You can apply that question to any human endeavor, it sounds to me like cards haven't been fun for you for a long time, and you sure as hell can't make money on them.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I am sorry to hear that happened to you. Can you conceal-carry in Oregon? Maybe if the bad people think you conceal-carry, they will behave and not come into your store. I think the fact that so many people here conceal-carry keeps the riffraff from acting up too much. We have a real strong sheriff, too. Here's hoping you have seen the last of the troublemakers about these cards you mention.

Jason said...

When the guy said, "I'm going to shove these cards up your ass," I answered, "I was thinking of doing that myself."

Oh dear. The things I miss.

Hiring an employee to fend them off ... bah, what you really need is to invest in a nice, shiny, high-quality cattle prod.