All in all it was a good month, a little better than average, perhaps. Perhaps not. It was not as good as December or November, but on par with last January at least.
In fact the similarities between Jan 2012 & Jan 2011 are remarkable. Our net this month was less than $7.00 higher than our net in January 2011, but our expenses were also higher, so our gross in Jan 2012 was somewhat lower than a year ago.
In a remarkable co-incidence, our total number of transactions were exactly the same for both months. The types of transactions were distributed a little differently though - in Jan 2012 we sold fewer postcard "singles", and more photographs than we did in Jan 2011. That seems to be a trend for us, at least during the last 4 or 5 months, and I see no reason why it won't continue. Famous last words.
International sales continued to be a significant part of our business in January. We sent items to 13 countries (with Canada & the UK leading the way) and international sales accounted for about 20% of our total transactions and 21% or our net income. We sent a photograph to Jordan last month, a first for us, and received feedback for it a few days later. So cool.
Our net for December 2011 was significantly higher than Jan 2012, and our expenses were slightly lower, making our gross for the month quite a bit higher. Although we actually sold more postcard "singles" in Jan 2012 than we did in December 2011, we sold many, many more photographs in December. That more than made up for a slow postcard month.
The post office increased postage rates this month. We offer free shipping in the domestic USA, and that's not going to change. I've discovered that even though the post office increased 1st class domestic package rates, they've decided not to charge for delivery confirmation. As as result, 1st class postage has actually become cheaper for us after the change. Over the course of a year, that will add up. Everything else, however, has increased.
We do charge a flat rate shipping for international sales, and we've not changed our rates. It is a bit more expensive, but for the time being at least, we're not changing anything, international shipping wise.
So, January was a good but not a great month, perhaps slightly better (or not) than our monthly average for 2011. Business kind of slowed the 10 days of the month, and Feb has started off slowly, so we'll see how it goes.