I'm not sure Small Business Saturday is really catching on. Black Friday almost always does better for us. Besides, the next week is usually pretty horrible so I'm not sure how much help it really is.
That said, we did do 40% better than last year. Two days do not a pattern make, but better than being 40% down, no?
Bought 75 different enamel pins of famous books. The art is a little funky and I like that. They're a bit pricey at $10 each, but people seem to like them.
The thing is--they are extra and the fact that I can buy them at all is an indication that we are doing well. I also made my yearly purchase of standups, which are also extra.
A real sign that I'm feeling comfortable with the way things are going is that I bought a Harry Potter Golden Snitch for $75. This is the kind of thing I would have passed on in the past.
The point is--all these things will accrue to the benefit of the store in the long run. Or more bluntly--money makes money. I can fill in all the little holes. Right now, I'm trying to get a selection of mainstream games that make sense for us. Chess sets, backgammon, cribbage...it's harder than you think. I want something nice but not too expensive, and there doesn't seem to be many games that fit that description. Nothing fancy, just presentable.
I've decided to dedicate this month to the store. I can be there in case Sabrina needs help; and otherwise, I can prepare the basement for the moving of all the books and such out of the parts of the basement they need to be moved from.
Besides, it's fun to be around a fully functioning store.
I'm still not sure about jigsaw puzzles. I have about 50 in stock, but about 3/4ths of the people who ask, walk away without comment. It's puzzling, I tell you.
It's the same problem I have with posters and T-shirts and greeting cards. I can't figure out what art work people are going to like. My tastes don't rule here. In fact, the stuff I like never sells. I almost need to say to myself, "What is the most kitschy, least inspired art there is?" and then order that. I mean, people like what they like, so that's fine. But I can't figure it out.
Toys are also hard to figure. I get around the problem by ordering them when they are discounted. I use some judgement here, but mostly I look for the chance to carry something that "might" sell, but which if it doesn't sell, won't hurt us.
Anyway, the store is pretty cool right now. If people walk away without finding something they like--well, they just aren't my people. Again, nothing against them. It's just that there is probably no way I can win them over.