September finally broke our 2011 sales pattern, where (with the exception of June, and maybe August, but not by much), every month was not quite as good as the month before. September exceeded August, both in Gross & Net. To a person like me, who really knows nothing about the finer points of business, the most important number is the net - what is left over after expenses. In September our expenses were higher than in August, so as a result even though we grossed quite a bit more in September than August, our net was just barely higher. But still, it counts.
September was also the end of the 3rd quarter of 2011, which can lead to a lot of comparisons. 3rd quarter of 2010 was much better, 3rd quarter of 2009 was about the same, both in gross and net. However, up to this point in 2011, we're doing quite a bit better for the year than we did in 2010, and are about even for the year with 2009.
In 2009 we were still doing a fair amount of consignment sales. We did a lot more before that, and while it's profitable, there's a lot more work involved record keeping wise and especially dealing with people. People, as you know, can sometimes be difficult. If I wanted difficulties I could have a REAL job, sitting in a cube sweating drops of blood & jumping thru hoops to meet deadlines and such. So we decided we didn't want to do consignment anymore & by 2010 we were pretty much out of it. As a result our sales dipped mightily for the year. Well I think we've finally recovered and compensated for the lack of consignment, and in 2011 we're back on a 2009 pace.
September started out pretty slow, but it began to pick up during the 2nd week - maybe because school started, who knows. As usual, what seems to determine if we have a good month or not are our photo sales - and photo sales were better than usual for the month. Postcard & trade card sales were about average for us.
We had a jump in international sales also. We sold more internationally in September than any month this year since January, and that was very welcome. October has started with an international sale (a trade card to Malta) so hopefully it will continue.
July was an absolutely dismal month sales wise, we've had two pretty good months since then, and we'll just have to see how it goes. This eBay stuff seems to be boom or bust for us with not much middle ground. All I know to do is keep plugging away at it. It's the optimist in me I suppose.