The big problem for me, is that my toy has been taken away from me.
The store functions very well on a basic level. I've already figured out how to ratchet down another level, and then another if need be, and then even another if, god forbid, the worst happens. (By that time, I will declare the Great Depression II, but you'll already know it.)
Putting in my preliminary orders, based on need, and then reordering the stuff that sells best, is relatively easy. Doesn't take a whole lot of time and thought.
The rest of the time, the store almost needs to be put into auto-pilot. Otherwise, Idle Hands Gets Into Mischief.
My wife has a habit of getting catalogs in the mail, going through them and marking off all the things she'd like to get, and then forgetting about it.
I'm the opposite; open up the possibility that I could order it, and more often than not, I will order it.
So every day I spend hours checking out new product, reading reviews, searching for hidden gems. Trying to find bargains. Looking for material I overlooked for some reason. Swayed and influenced by good reviews. Intrigued by ideas and concepts.
All of which aren't strictly necessary for the well-being and profitability of the store. Indeed, I probably pay a price in profitability by trying so hard to be a 'good' store. An adequate store would make me more money.
Like the old Hollywood moguls who felt the urge to make money-losing "Prestige" films, I bask in the compliments of out-of-towners who find my store better stocked than the big city stores they frequent. I get a satisfaction out of having every single copy of every major graphic novel series. I like sprinkling the store with intriguing, but off-beat material.
It's not all altruistic. There are good, solid reasons to order the slower selling but higher prestige material. It makes my store unique, it casts a wide web for possible sales, it leads to sales of more mainstream material. But strictly on a cost/risk ratio, I'd probably be better off doing mostly the better sellers.
The deciding factor has always been my own interest. I was willing to support the more off-beat stuff because I personally enjoyed having it.
I'm not giving that up. But the proportion will probably have to be shaved a bit. Not so much cutting back, but more slowing down the increase.
3 days ago