Saturday, May 15, 2010

Holding off till Summer.

I haven't made a reorder in a Million Years. O.K. O.K. More like 3 weeks, but it feels like a Million Years.

When I start actually dreaming about reorders, I know that it's working on my subconscious.

I dreamed of reordering Garfields and Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts and Get Fuzzy and Far Side and Asterix and Tintin, all of which I stock up for during summer and Christmas.

But every week that goes by that I don't believe there has been a consequence to not reordering is permission to try to wait another week.

Same thing with games. I still have Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride, the Big Two, so I've held off.

Thing is, I have to be careful that when I finally DO make reorders -- either this coming week or the next-- that I don't completely blow the budget up in order to get back everything I sold. It's time for me to try to be selective -- pick the BEST 50 or 60% of what sold to be replaced.
Not just because I don't really need to replace every midlist title -- but because I really need to make room for newer titles.

It's very hard for me not to replace everything I sell. But there is a Peter Principle-like axiom at work here -- If you reorder everything that sells, you stop reordering when it stops selling. Or you will inevitably end up with an item you can't sell. So -- some judgment is required here.

Ideally, I should be tracking momentum -- how fast something sells, not just if it sells. But ordering and reordering are more an art than a science. If I don't feel the URGE to reorder, it probably means it doesn't NEED to be reordered.

Anyway, the back demand can blow up a budget pretty fast, so I have to be selective. I know it's been agonizing to be out of some material -- I've been out of Scott Pilgrim for a week, now, with the movie coming out.

I'm going to order the evergreen stuff, this week -- which will probably be enough for now. I'm coming to realize that the graphic novel world and boardgame world have gotten so big that it simply isn't possible to carry very single thing that comes out. It may not be possible to carry every single GOOD thing that comes out. (Much like books, which is a larger world than I can possibly encompass.)

The job for me, will be to have a steady supply of the evergreen material, to carry the best of the midlist product, to carry as much of the new stuff as I can fit, and to carry a sampling of everything else.

The 'sampling' part will be the real art. Getting just enough to entice the discriminating customer back, without blowing the budget on worthy but slower moving titles.

No comments: