Skip to main content

Given that I'm one of the least-shopping inclined people around, the irony of 3CM posting a diary about Small Business Saturday (SBS) is not lost on self.  The whole idea of SBS is a counter-reaction to Black Friday, of course, as noted by Widener University professor Ross Steinman in this USA Today article by Oliver St. John:

"There's so much negative attention in recent years on Black Friday and the rampant consumerism that's associated with it.  Small Business Saturday is a response to that."
So what did 3CM do today regarding SBS?  Well.....

Actually, very little, today, though a tad more yesterday.  Yesterday I did hit up a few record shops, as I usually do, where it was quite nice to see the first store I went to with decent traffic.  2nd one was early evening, just before the Symphony concert, so not so much business traffic there around dinner time.  Today, I went to this self-described 'upscale resale clothing' place to see if they had anything I might like, as I've gotten some nice pairs of pants there in the past.  Some things looked of interest, but then I saw that one pair of pants had one leg sleeve with a frayed edge.  So I thought better of it and walked out, purchasing nothing, except for going to the grocery store afterwards.  Teh kittehs did better on the latter than me, though they don't know it yet, but 3CM digresses, as usual.

Culling a few SBS-related articles, quoting from that USA Today article, there's this stat:

"Small Business Saturday is the most important shopping day of the season for 36% of independent retailers, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Only 24% say that day is Black Friday."
One would think, if one were rational, that small businesses would be the place to go on Black Friday, precisely to avoid the mass crowds at the big box stores and the mall.  However, that would require 'Amurrikans' to be smart about such things.  In one sense, Americans are rational, in terms of looking for the best price, which, unfortunately for too many, means the evil empire of Bentonville, AR, as noted yesterday on Marketplace in this feature:
"[Wal-Mart employee William Fletcher] he doesn't blame people who are shopping here today. He shops at Wal-Mart too.

'We're paid so little,' he says, 'in order to get by, if we're going to have any food that will last us a paycheck, we kind of have to shop here.'

That's the dilemma for Jesus Ponce, who works at a fast food restaurant, and makes minimum wage. He was wheeling out a flat screen TV he'd just bought on special. He watched the protests for a while. 'I support them,' he said. 'But I struggle too.'

Tony Yepez, a landscaper who was buying Christmas present for his daughter, said even though he shops at Wal-Mart, he doesn't like what he's read about how the company treats its employees.

'It's bad,' he said. 'But whatever's cheaper.'"

One irony about SBS is that it's backed by big corporate $, as Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel noted here:
"In its third year, the campaign is backed by American Express, FedEx, Google, Twitter, Facebook and dozens of others."
You may also note a common theme among these stories (emphasis mine):
USA Today header: "Small retailers may not be able to compete with the big guys on Black Friday, but they're hoping shoppers will respond to deals and to the call to support small, local stores."

Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal byline: "Retailers hope Small Business Saturday takes off"

Of course, whatever muscle is behind SBS, and the reality is that deep pockets are necessary to try to market the cause and get people to take it up, there is good reason for it, as noted in the same article:
"For every $100 spent at a local business, about $68 remains in the community, according to American Express."
In keeping with that, in a different article in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, reporter Tony Adams quoted a Columbus, GA retailer, Rick McKnight:
"My little slogan is if we don't 'buy' local, it's 'bye-bye' local".
As far as which small business are expected to get the most traffic, Barrett's article said:
"The top five places people plan to shop at are restaurants, bakeries, clothing stores, gift shops and book stores"
Kind of figures, so it's quite fitting that President Obama and his daughters Sasha and Malia went to One More Page Books in Arlington, VA today, per this blog post from The Hill by Justin Sink and Alicia M. Cohn:
'They stayed in the bookstore for just over half an hour, according to a White House pool report, and immediately returned to the White House.

Despite a lack of browsing, the president bought 15 children's books during the stop. The White House reported the purchases will be given as gifts to family this year for Christmas. Obama explained that he prepared ahead, apparently consulting a Christmas shopping list on his BlackBerry.

"Preparation," the president told shop owner Eileen McGervey, according to the report. "That's how I shop."'

If your business relies on impulse buyers, then such "strategery" isn't quite what you have in mind.  But the old Syms advert that I remember when I lived in NYC went:
"An educated consumer is our best customer."
Of course, ideally, every day should be a day for shopping at indie/small businesses.  Not the easiest thing to do in big-box/lowest-prices-no-matter-what nation.  It would be nice if we were also more informed consumers, where if nothing else, we'd eat a lot healthier and shop more healthy at the grocery.  But we don't.

So unlike me, did anyone else here shop their small businesses today?  Feel free to share your stories if you did, and if you didn't, 'tis time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.....

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  don't look now, but this tip jar is in real time (9+ / 0-)

    Not that anyone's around to notice, of course.  Given that I am actually here, for once, to watch over SNLC this evening, that will have to do for the loser story from me ;-P .

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:30:54 PM PST

  •  did small business saturday! (6+ / 0-)

    need to eat right now.  

    and i am writng the OND.  

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:40:26 PM PST

    •  long time no hear (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, cfk, Dumbo, jlms qkw, Youffraita

      Dinner here was a can of soup, which I guess qualifies as loser.  Obviously the Salt Lake paper's endorsement of PBO didn't do much good in the end, although maybe it shaved a hair off the percentage difference.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:45:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  lol (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, cfk

        i had bean soup (made in crockpot wednesday) and green beans (leftover from last night).

        thinking a bit of salmon w/ cream cheese for a sandwich would be tasty now.  

        Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

        by jlms qkw on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:02:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  for Thursday, a colleague and her bf..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Youffraita, cfk, jlms qkw

          ......prepared the food, so I didn't have to deal with leftovers :) .  Actually, I think we all made a pretty decent dent that evening, so hopefully they're not overloaded with leftovers.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:16:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  heh... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chingchongchinaman, cfk, jlms qkw

            Had to work all weekend, 10-hour shifts as usual, so Wed. I went to the farmers market & got the stuff for a good "poor man's Jambalaya" (no seafood, just Andouille sausage, ham, and chicken).

            Then I went to the stand where they sell spices.

            No jambalaya seasoning mix.  Oh noez!  What to do?

            Well, I knew I didn't have all the right seasonings to make my own jambalaya seasoning (and I couldn't remember what all I'd need, either), so...

            Loser I, I made "Jambalaya by way of Cuba" and put Sazon Goya con Achiote into it.

            It actually turned out very well...if not quite authentic.  The andouille sausage has a very nice kick.

            Oh, and I didn't actually eat my jambalaya on Turkey Day b/c another employee brought in a bunch of food for those of us who were working.

            To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

            by Youffraita on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:58:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, as long as it tastes good :) (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Youffraita, cfk, jlms qkw

              Nice also that you would up with food on T-day, presumably including turkey.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:13:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chingchongchinaman, cfk, jlms qkw

                well...I don't actually like turkey that much, and it was (as usual) on the dry side -- and I didn't want to hog all the gravy, lol.  But it was a very sweet thing to do, and of course it's always interesting to taste what other people make for Thanksgiving.

                But when I lived in NYC and my friend David and I had Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together, we always ate duckling.  It was traditional for Thanksgiving in my father's family, and from the first taste as a child, I was hooked.

                My mother hated duck -- said it was too greasy.  So I had to wait until I was an adult to buy and cook it -- but it's pretty easy to degrease if you know what you're doing.

                I think I might roast a duckling for Christmas.  The poultry stand at market has a sign up to order one for the holidays...and I think I just might do so.

                To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

                by Youffraita on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:29:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes, duck is a treat (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cfk, jlms qkw

                  We normally wouldn't have it growing up, unless we went to Chinatown or the Asian market.  Likewise, I'd only have it when eating out, or maybe a 1 in a million shot when I'm with the folks (which isn't often).

                  My colleague did omit the gravy on T-day, but obviously we weren't complaining :) .

                  "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                  by chingchongchinaman on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:48:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  For years when our kids were in college (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jlms qkw, chingchongchinaman

                  hubby's friend would go duck hunting and not want to clean them so he gave a bunch to hubby and we would freeze them and eat them all winter.

                  They were good and helped a lot with groceries at the time, but now I am not really that excited.  Too many, I guess.  

                  Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

                  by cfk on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:54:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  jlms qkw (3+ / 0-)

      I am not going to make it to OND...too tired.  :)

      Sending my best wishes to you and to all there.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:40:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a small business owner, I had a lousy day. (5+ / 0-)

    Did half what I usually do on a very slow Saturday.

    Most of the local stores had little traffic today. Not a very hopeful outlook for our economy and my business.

    It has been well said that a hungry man is more interested in four sandwiches than four freedoms. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

    by 4Freedom on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:56:00 PM PST

    •  was it better yesterday? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, 4Freedom, Dumbo, Youffraita

      Sorry about the slow business there.  Hope things pick up for the holidays.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:08:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Business has been falling off for the past couple (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, chingchongchinaman, Dumbo, Youffraita

        of years. But the last few months have seen a dramatic downturn in my particular retail business, a health food store.

        I haven't been able to afford adequate stocking, and banks won't loan. It has been a toxic combo! And with a poor weekend, I don't think there is much hope for the holidays for my business, unless I can think of something clever quickly.

        And I do not do my best thinking when stressed.

        It has been well said that a hungry man is more interested in four sandwiches than four freedoms. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

        by 4Freedom on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:35:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ouch, good grief (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dumbo, Youffraita, 4Freedom, cfk

          The double-whammy does sound sucky.  Most of us don't think well when stressed, unless it's a panic flight or fight situation, maybe.  The closest that I seem to get to your kind of situation is when I sell stuff on-line, which is kind of worth an SNLC in of itself.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:51:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Can you do more on-line business? (5+ / 0-)

          I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

          My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

          by pucklady on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:10:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm ADD as can be, and organization is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chingchongchinaman

            not an area where I have lots of competence. It is already difficult for me to manage a retail store. Adding another layer of complexity requiring quality attention probably won't fly right now.

            I'd need lots of help, and can't really afford that. What I have are some specific marketing ideas that haven't been addressed in the natural foods marketplace yet. The minute I'm out with them, they will be copied overnight and under-priced where I could afford to sell the products involved.

            Thus strategy and timing are key, and I don't have the pieces together yet. We will probably need a business partner to get the project off the ground.

            It has been well said that a hungry man is more interested in four sandwiches than four freedoms. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

            by 4Freedom on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:40:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  maybe FB marketing, if that's worth it? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom

              The fun of working with limited budget and resources, against competition with more of both than you, ain't it?

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:49:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The market I would have to reach would be (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chingchongchinaman

                more nationally visible than a FB effort to protect the concept. I would need to brand the approach so I was identified as the creator of the concept through something like Dr. Oz, or maybe work with him to refine the idea and let him present it as his own.

                Like the Dr. Atkins diet, inadequate as it was, that sort of branding of a concept like low carb high protein is still associated with his diet and his name.

                It has been well said that a hungry man is more interested in four sandwiches than four freedoms. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

                by 4Freedom on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:50:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  fingers crossed for down the line (0+ / 0-)

                  Of course, in many ways, I'm the world's worst salesman, so far be it from me to think about proffering advice.

                  "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                  by chingchongchinaman on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:26:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Some economists have been suggesting (4+ / 0-)

          that we might be lining up for a 1937 style second dip.  I don't know.  I know that I don't trust the optimists, though.

          •  I used to write for a financial magazine and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

            worked on a Wall Street trading floor. The signs and portents are pretty ominous, from what I'm seeing.

            Whether or not there's a double dip, there are plenty of soft spots in this economy and the markets it has spawned.

            It has been well said that a hungry man is more interested in four sandwiches than four freedoms. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

            by 4Freedom on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:43:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's probably somewhat...... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom, cfk

              ......cold comfort, in terms of just the economy, that President Obama won a 2nd term and we're not stuck with Romney.  It's hard to say exactly what PBO will do, but it's a no-brainer that 'Rmoney' and Lyin' Ryan would have made things much, much, much, much worse.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:51:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  maybe it's just me, but (6+ / 0-)

    who considers going to a restaurant or bakery as being holiday shopping?  

    I've done zero holiday shopping, BTW, loser that I am.  It's way to early, and I don't feel the muzzle of a revolver pressed to my temple yet.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:04:32 PM PST

  •  i didn't know (5+ / 0-)

    about sbs. i'm not much of a shopper.  way too overstimulating.

    but i do like to patronize local stores when i can. i didn't go to any places on friday, either.

    it was interesting to hear about Pres. Obama. He has his act together, even regarding shopping for books with his kids. I would love to know what he bought. Now that would stimulate the economy.

    eating leftovers over here which is the best part about the thanksgiving meal.

  •  Bought Half My Groceries at a Small Local Chain (5+ / 0-)

    and the other half at a modest sized regional chain.

    Black Friday I spent driving an hour to a far east of Cleveland lakeshore family owned local-fish restaurant for lunch.

    Otherwise I'm a small (micro) business person myself, work-at-home artisan, and I spent about 1/3 of my day in front of the football screen tweaking prototype designs.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:33:42 PM PST

  •  I am here (5+ / 0-)

    My daughter and sil and four little ones left at two o'clock after three days and two nights.

    We went up as a group to see three more grandbabies on Friday afternoon.

    We are still smiling a lot, but we are really tired, too.

    If you could see the packing my daughter has to do to come, you would understand how grateful we are that they are willing to do it.  

    We did get snow, but the roads stayed clear which I am thankful for, too.

    Hubby and I used to shop in our closest small town a lot when we were both working, but we don't spend that much money any more.  

    There is a craft building, a hardware, a self serve lumber, some antique stores, a couple of tiny grocery stores, two tiny banks and a credit union, a laundry, a convenience store, a gas station, a farm elevator, a pharmacy type store without a pharmacist, a bar, two tiny restaurants, a take out pizza place, a post office, a barber shop, an insurance place, a tax affairs, a beauty shop, a library, an eye doctor, a dentist, a community center, a fire and police station, six churches...one stoplight.  

    There are some satellite places just out of town in a couple of directions with an auto repair, car dealership, a sit down pizza place and bar, a doctor, a grocery, two gas stations one of which sells pizza items and Subways inside.   There is a produce stand which has a lot of items nine months of the year.  

    The school and the church school are probably the biggest employers.  

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:35:20 PM PST

    •  evocative picture there (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Dumbo, shari, Youffraita

      Good that you got in nice quality time with the grandkids.  BTW, may need your help SNLC-sitting next week.  I can post it early/early-ish, but then would have to head out.  Let me know what you think.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:49:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In a rural setting like that... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, cfk

      I imagine you're a rare voice of liberalism in your neighborhood.  Is it like that?

      •  It used to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

        It is getting better.  We do have GM Union people around which helps.  Once we were two of only a dozen or so who voted Democratic at our tiny township polling place, but that has grown.

        :)

        I did my best as a teacher to open minds.  I remember one of my night students who was fairly new himself saying (in a nice way) when another student commented on my views about Native Americans..."She is always like that."  I smiled.

        We have a great many neighbors and community people who are descendants of NA.  

        But there were definitely some trying times.

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:48:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hello, C-trip-M (5+ / 0-)

    I'm not much of a shopper, either. I won't be doing the gifts thing this year, but there are some electronics that I do need for myself, and the shoppers are keeping me from going out to get what I need.

    I suppose there is the Internet, but I always prefer to shop where people are actually employed. If people only shop over the Net, then more stores close down and that leads to ugly empty downtowns.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:09:10 PM PST

    •  not too big on the gifts things myself, at least.. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Dumbo, shari, Youffraita

      ....in terms of what I want (what I really want can't be bought, of course).  I've mentioned in the past that in our family, we just call each other and ask what the others want.  My mom usually gets me clothes, even at my age, for Xmas.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:26:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We WERE the small business today (5+ / 0-)

    and yesterday-Our little antique and gift store in central Texas had the best 2 days of its 18 month existence. We had at least 50 people over both days, and sold a bunch of things that they couldn't do without. We had both locals and travelers, and they were all amazed at the amount and variety of things we had, and were able to stuff into the space and have it still not feel claustrophobic. They'll come back and they'll tell their friends, and my only complaint is that we're all exhausted.

    Tomorrow: more stuff into the shelves and gift certificates!

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:06:32 PM PST

    •  Wow... (5+ / 0-)

      Let's hope that's a game changer for you.

      •  ditto (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, Dumbo, cfk

        we generally have 2-5 people per day with low level purchases, or 1 or 2 with big $$, some days none. But this, I think was worth a lot of advertising dollars I would never have, just in the range of reaching faraway people and also the locals telling their friends.

        The first customer was the owner of the local hardware store, trying to find vintage look clothing for the kids who'll be in her Christmas float for the parade next week. I had a tweed newsboy's cap and wool scarf, and a porkpie hat and plaid scarf, snd a vintage parkbench. Also referred her to a Koskatalogue dealer of vintage clothing. She walked out saying 'I'll be back- I had no idea y'all had so much'

        The last guy today was a Houston area African-American fellow who found a vintage Afro pick and a black Stetson; he was a dead ringer for Mr. Obama in that photo with the cowboy hat, and I complimented him and told him so.

        A very good day.

        Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

        by postmodernista on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:44:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  fingers crossed that today's customers..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      postmodernista, Youffraita, cfk

      ......tell all their friends.  BTW, did you note the quote by Alan Au in that USA Today article:

      ""The more full the store is, the harder it is to help anybody.  I function a lot better with a steady stream of customers."
      Still, better too much business than too little, especially now.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:23:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  true, both (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, cfk

        and this is hard, both because of the volume and diversity of our stock, and also because people come to us to find things that speak to them. It takes a little longer to establish what they're really looking for, or to have the conversations that give me enough info to make suggestions for gifts. It is as labor intensive as EMS, teaching, or grant projects ever were, but damn it is so much fun! and I often learn SO much from the customers themselves. The place is paid for, and we own the stock, so the risk is minimal at this point, but I would love many many more days like this.

        Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

        by postmodernista on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:49:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  good old fashioned customer service in the...... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          postmodernista, cfk

          ......internet age; it doesn't really go out of style, all the electronic distancing technology aside.  Glad to know that the place is paid for, which I imagine is so not the case just about everywhere else.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:16:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  btw (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

        need a gravy boat? we've got about 40 of them...or themed salt and pepper shakers? horse collars or clocks? heh.

        Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

        by postmodernista on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:01:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmm, eBay? :) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          postmodernista

          Not that I know about such things, mind you :) .  It's enough for me to try to sell stuff on Amazon, which again makes me wonder about doing an SNLC on that.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:17:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll stick with the live version (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chingchongchinaman

            and the Kos Katalogue. For this, it seems, the 'net is like trying to take a sip from the ocean. And my dad, one of the partners in this endeavor, says about some of the many really special things (a kerosene-fired copper coffee urn, a genuine Edison dictaphone, a lapdesk from 1927, or a silver chest from 1910, etc.) "Dear- you'd wear out 2 cars and the whole internet trying to find another one."

            But I'd still like to see an SNLC on that topic.

            Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

            by postmodernista on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:25:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it would be an SNLC of the..... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              postmodernista

              ....."moral dilemma" of being part of the Amazon system, which I indirectly addressed in this past SNLC.  But getting back to your business, is there some reasonably cheap way of displaying, or at least listing, your wares on-line?  (Don't know if you'd be concerned about security there, though.)

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:05:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  we have a facebook page (0+ / 0-)

                with pix of a lot of the stuff, though no one has said they want to buy something through that venue. A lot of this stuff is small, but I worry that shipping costs might be prohibitive on the larger pieces.

                Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

                by postmodernista on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:35:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  late reply; hmm, tough situation there (0+ / 0-)

                  Can understand why people would be reluctant to purchase by way of FB, but then one could almost say the same thing of the internets in general.

                  "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                  by chingchongchinaman on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:48:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I'm watching a Fringe marathon right now. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, shari, cfk

    I filled up the DVR with most of the first season, so I'm trying to clear up some space.  It's interesting.  It starts out as a kind of X-files clone, with John Noble as the central character, a comically mad scientist with one hell of a creepy, creepy voice.  But later on, the series takes a more interesting turn and morphs into a dystopian Earth-occupation series, where the earth is occupied by a mind-reading race that is modifying the atmosphere.  

    They killed off my favorite character in the new season, a beautiful Australian blonde actress, Georgina Haig.  Let's see if tumblr images are allowed here:

    Nope.  tumblr images aren't allowed here.  I had to copy it to imageshack.  What a shame.  Somebody needs to fix that.

    She's become a resistance martyr figure now with her posters being pasted on walls.  Georgina Haig was more striking than beautiful, depressed and serious.  I hated to see her go.

    I've started hanging out on philosophy forums lately.  I've taken my music as metaphysics as defining consciousness schtick on the road to get more feedback and criticism of it.

    I'm going to give everybody roasted coffee for the holidays.  That's my cheapskate approach to things.  That and pirated music CDs and DVDs.  Us po' folk gotsta wing it.

    ... Not so poor thought that I haven't selfishly picked out a gift for myself.  I put one of these on order.  25 key midi keyboard that weighs less than a pound and that plug'n'plays with a laptop.  I think it would make it easier to compose with the Sibelius app because right now I'm just putting in all the notes by hand, point and click.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site