Thursday, December 27, 2007

Grandma Money

The day after Christmas is the beginning of Grandma Money. This is when my regular customer base comes back with holiday cash and gift certificates. It's always odd watching a gamer who has to spend money. It's completely lacking in the justification, self-effacement, and the warnings of how their spouse is going to kill them when they get home. The return of my customers also means most of the actual selling work is over for me, as regular customers know what they want for the most part. The muggles are finished with me for another eleven months. Now it's a matter of having the gamer items in stock after the distributor warehouses have been emptied.

The post-Christmas seasons lasts about two weeks, finishing up at the end of the first week of January. That's right, we're still in the midst of holiday sales for another two weeks. Then begins the first quarter malaise, a period of scraping by, using eBay, pimping at conventions, and general hard work with little reward. It's when I start to lament that nobody is ever coming back to my store, a condition described by one of my mentors as being on the ledge. The new store should smooth this out, with new releases turbocharged with in-store events. We've got auctions, mini-conventions, and various painting events to get all those people who bought models for Christmas actually assembling and painting their armies.

Tomorrow will be our first big Christmas re-stock, with 15 boxes scheduled for arrival from UPS. This will tide us over through grandma money time. After that we'll be burning down our inventory levels, hopefully making room in the budget for new general releases starting in February. I'll likely be going to the GTS tradeshow in April to see what's new and the San Francisco Gift Show in February to check out toys.

The bottom line for us is that our sales are up 44% and we'll be able to pay off the invoices for our added inventory from our expansion.

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