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 Product lines, categories, splitting business ...

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Egg
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PostSubject: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:37 am

Moving a discussion from recruiting.

So how about Roby gets Grooming (Quest items), keeps Gifts and Sand? Gifts is a weak category, but has seasonal spikes (so I've heard). Grooming is good business. Is that enough to fund growth and still leave spending money? If he keeps Maps, will that be too many disconnected categories, and too much work?

If he drops Maps, and Meds get disconnected from the deal, we have to find a place for two limited but potentially profitable product lines. Both Maps and meds need someone to stay on top of them - prices are unstable and demand fluctuates with sudden shifts. Could they be put into a separate pairing, and wold this be enough for a new shop?

I was looking at our current line-up, and got tp thinking that Maps would look pretty fine in g4kki's/tsangpo's shop. It would break up the monotony of his first page with the wall-to-wall cards, and add some excitement to his restocking tasks. Wink Hey, g4kki!! Whatcha think?

Meds shouldn't go with food/drink - they would get buried. Anyone have some thoughts?

Also, I still have Concert. This isn't a real category itself - I just kinda made it up one day, because I can pick up a steady supply of tickets at cost if I stay up til midnight when the bands change. The markup is weak, but business is surprisingly steady. It comes with a nifty banner if anyone is interested in trying it out yet.

Or should we keep Grooming and Meds together like doyler had, and bring in a new shop to sell them?
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Roby



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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:12 am

I think I'd be happy with Gifts, Sand and Grooming. I'd like to hear how others find the income on grooming/air faerie quests as I know nothing about how they sell.

Regarding maps, they can be plunked into almost anyone's shop rather nicely as a result of their IDs being sequential, and as long as they don't disrupt anything in existence they generally work out nicely.

If we needed, I could take Meds into my shop as well, that said, I don't know how well they would stand out, but I am looking at doing some expansion on my shop and if I get rid of maps that means I'll have a lot more pure as I liquidate the stock, which I will put back into upgrades. If we do it that way (presuming Tsango or G4kki are interested in taking maps) we don't need to bring in a new shop.

those are my thoughts on this, really just moved over from the other board.

Edit: I noticed that a large number of the cures are sequential, so I could keep them together if I take on that category
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HR

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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:56 pm

If something works out where Pfizz does join the group, I would be willing to resurrect and take only Grooming. Maybe for once I would be doing the med hoarding for myself (instead of other people) Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:08 am

HR wrote:
I would be willing to resurrect and take only Grooming.

:coolsign:
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Egg
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:11 am

Here's another thought: would anybody be interested in specializing in Backgrounds?

I've been selling them since this wearable world began, and I can attest that people take their pets' appearance seriously. The markup is very good, the market is active, there is a dedicated Neopian Shop for them, they make the News. They are not a static market, as things change (tarla, key quest, advent), but they are a growing market.

I'm getting crowded with backgrounds, but will give them up to a good home - if not a current mall buddy, then maybe this will be enough to brig Pfizz in.

And, about specializing: Maybe there's a place for Species Wearable Clothes, too. There's no way in the universe that I can - or anyone can - stock all the wearable clothes now. This is a long-shot idea, but if someone has the time to keep up with the frequent new releases, and an interest in supplying a definite need, there might be a profitable future for this.

Meds might be a perfect stand-alone category for a semi-retired player. :innocent-whistling-icon here: The cures are limited, hoarding meds is a low-stress activity for the wealthy, the profit is good and the sales are steady, with unpredictable excitement when the wheel changes, or there's a new epidemic tied to something like Expellibox.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:24 pm

New product line splits - for discussion

Food (anything edible)

Drink (anything drinkable)

Neggs and maps

Magic, Potions, Paintbrushes

Training (light Q), Weapons

Grooming (air Q)

Clothes (fire Q)

Backgrounds and Species Wearables

Toys (dark Q)

Medicine (and gifts?)

Petpets

Books (water Q)

Cards (light Q), scratchcards

Furniture

Garden

Stamps

Other: WC pieces, Sand, petpet supplies, Concert


This is a list of everything we could sell, unless I've missed something. I've put a couple things together which might be split and recombined. If we were starting fresh, and our goals were (1) to get all small shops into at least Island within a year, (2) to make maximum NPs with minimum effort, (3) to have strong visibility in the Market, and (4) to have fun being in a mall, would this specialization meet our goals better?

I like the clarity of splitting food from drink. I'm coming around to a more relaxed attitude towards crossover. I think splitting furniture from garden could make two stronger shops. If each shop could concentrate on better stocking a more limited product line, there would be more time for hut-chasing, and just playing! It sucked to have to decide whether to replace my sold items, or finish the Games Master Challenge, you know? (The shop suffered.)

Part of my interest in looking more closely at our categories is that I'd really like to get Pfizzig and Heather to join us. I could see HR doing the meds and Pfizz doing Backgrounds. This would be a big change, so we need to be together, and make sure everyone is content with their own business.

I'd like to hear from everyone - how happy are you with your profits and progress? Have you any other ideas that you'd like to throw in? I'm especially interested in the Books and the Cards/Stamps shops.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:22 am

Sorry for the late reply, my internet has been playing up. At the moment my shop is actually pretty full with only about 50 free spots when I stock it back up because I like keeping enough of each quest card to make sure they don't sell out. With that in mind I don't think I'm really able to take up the map position.

If need be an option would be to make scratchcards and maps a new category.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:08 am

Since if sounds like there will be no objections, I'm going to pass the Grooming spot to Roby, and perhaps the Meds later.

Roby, you can drop Sand at will. You may be making steady sales, but your markup isn't what it could be for a Main shop. You can keep your best Gifts for the transition, but You'll want to concentrate on retooling to optimize your new product line.

Make sure you have all the Quest items (link in Phoenix Remix above). There is a large handful of popular non-quest items as well. I have an excel spreadsheet you can use.

Let's target Friday for official switch. I think Xaheras will have time to deal with changing the banner, and we'll catch the weekend shoppers.

* * *

This leaves us with Backgrounds, Meds, Maps, and Gifts, which we can offer to Pfizz and HR if they join.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:16 pm

This all sounds good to me. How would you split Backgrounds, Meds, Maps, and Gifts for the two potential mallers? Backgrounds + Maps, Meds + Gifts? That's just a guess, I'm outta my element here lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:54 pm

Unless someone else wants to take on the Maps or Meds, I think either Bkgrd/Gifts or Bkgd/Maps would work well, and there's fair synergy with Maps with either Gifts or *Meds. There's another factor here: Workload. For instance whoever takes Maps will want to monitor prices closely, which is a little harder as 9 pieces all show up on the same wiz search.

How about you food/drink people? Would you guys be interested in thinking about adjusting the split so that all Foods are covered by a single shop, all Drinks are separately represented? 'Course, if you're happy with what you're doing, there's no need to fix what ain't broken, but Amber's shop looks really unfocused, which probably isn't attracting clicks directly.

[edit] I take it back. Maps don't really go naturally with Meds. It might work, but it doesn't feel like a good mix.


Last edited by Egg on Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:31 pm

tsangpo wrote:
If need be an option would be to make scratchcards and maps a new category.
I really think that tsangpo makes a lot of sense with seperating scratchcards from light faerie quests. I would think a scratchcards/meds shop would offer a really nice category for a large shop.

I would definitely give Roby grooming. He's earned a quest shop. He's worked amazingly hard with a 2nd rate category.

Keeping our options open to offer scratchcards and meds to a decent sized shop makes a lot of sense to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:42 pm

My feeling is that Meds in itself is quite a strong, small category, fairly similar to scratchcards. I would be a lot more willing to give scratchcards up to someone also taking an unwieldy category such as maps as an incentive.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:51 pm

SillyJillyPrincess wrote:

I would definitely give Roby grooming. He's earned a quest shop. He's worked amazingly hard with a 2nd rate category.

Well said! Very Happy

Scratchies are sort of a plum. They're easy and cheap to obtain, and sought after by a broad range of players. From a seller's point of view, they can be added to almost any category to augment more speculative income. I know they were at one point my bread-and-butter, and still hold a place on my best sellers list, a year later! I won't let g4kki give them up unless he really wants to. heh heh. As for combining them with collectible cards, I think they look good there, and it's a fairly common mix. Cards/Stamps is another weak category that needs extra help, even though it's a quest area.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:58 pm

tsangpo wrote:
My feeling is that Meds in itself is quite a strong, small category, fairly similar to scratchcards. I would be a lot more willing to give scratchcards up to someone also taking an unwieldy category such as maps as an incentive.

Yeah, maps need extra help. They also require a larger capital commitment, and despite enjoying a higher NP profit, the percentage markup is low. They're similar to PBs that way. Maps and Paintbrushes can be good secondary categories, but don't normally make great stand-alone shops.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:10 pm

If you ultimately do not have a specific place for SC to balance, why not allow all shops to stock them? Have everyone keep the same prices perhaps, but then have two options: allow each player to customize that button to their own shop, or collectively continue linking to one shop. Larger malls have commented that people still sell a fair amount of those items on impulse even while unlinked. Could give everyone some perks. Just a thought!

Edit: everyone would NOT have to stock them, just the shops that wanted to - in case workload/space is an issue!
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:12 pm

Egg wrote:
tsangpo wrote:
My feeling is that Meds in itself is quite a strong, small category, fairly similar to scratchcards. I would be a lot more willing to give scratchcards up to someone also taking an unwieldy category such as maps as an incentive.

Yeah, maps need extra help. They also require a larger capital commitment, and despite enjoying a higher NP profit, the percentage markup is low. They're similar to PBs that way. Maps and Paintbrushes can be good secondary categories, but don't normally make great stand-alone shops.

The strange, but sometimes desired, combination of odd-ball areas - Maps, PB, Neggs, Tokens - requires a huge outlay. However, to my surprise, I have seen in work in some circumstances. That said, I think it is ONLY well-suited for the high-risk, high-gain type of player. You don't sell things often, but when you do, hello markup!
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:38 pm

I've begun selling off my map stocks and transferring to gifts as Egg and I discussed. My shop will be a mess for the next couple of days, hopefully that won't be too much of an issue though as I'll try and get this change done as quickly as I can. If anyone wants to gamble, not something I would advise, but if you have the inkling to do so, I have some full Spooky Sets and a Faerieland 1.x that I'll sell at discounts.

I'm also getting rid of most of my gift stuff as well, at least the seasonal items. I'll hold onto the others in the mean time to see if the new patron for this category is interested in them (I'll probably just give them away to whomever is interested, a number of them are quite cheap)
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:13 pm

I've sold off almost all my stock (I have about 500k left to go in two sets) and I've put in all of the quest items for the Air Faerie at a quantity of 5 each with markups of either 1000 nps or 100%, whichever was greater. We'll see how they sell at those prices, some of the expensive ones might come down a bit. I'm going to try and nudge categories around and fill up the second page more. It's such a waste to have a 2 page store with 2 items on the second page I think. I'll try and get that pushed up to 40 and draw people back there by keeping some of my quest items there, hopefully that will lead to some impulse buying.

i'll work around quantities as I get a feel for what sells well and whats slower in sales.

At the moment, I have 410 items stocked with 365 free spots left. I'll try and get the shop up to full capacity soon.

The total cost of stocking up was about 510k, which means I have a good deal of capital left in the bank with more in equity. This will allow me to upgrade fairly ambitiously over the next few days. I think I'll try and let things settle out a bit first though. Optimistically, I plan to put in about 2.7 million to get me to size 225. Worse case scenario, I'll stop at a number between 215-220.

I've added ~25 non quest items to my shop that are non species specific, some are quite cheap, others are comparatively expensive. I've also lined up most of my categories now. There are 105 types of items now stocked and I've 280 spare spaces to devote to the fast sellers.

My pure reserve is now at 2.3 million, so I've spent about 600k stocking the shop.
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:55 am

Sorry I haven't been around for this discussion - just got home today.

I am happy with furny/garden as it is, but I would be willing to consider splitting and just keeping one or the other - preferably furn. I think it would make for nicer looking, simpler, and easier shops.

In my limited experience with cards/scratchies/stamps, scratchies and stamps were FAR more profitable than cards. And stamps are great for return business. I personally wouldn't want to have cards without them (or a suitable replacement).

Other than that, I really have little wisdom to offer!
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PostSubject: Re: Product lines, categories, splitting business ...   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:29 pm

Well, as per a discussion with Egg this am, I shall be covering Maps until/unless someone else wants them.

I'm thinking with my category of petpets/pbs, the petpet lab map and the lab map fit nicely. I have the petpets up and going now. And will shortly have lab map regular in and as well as some piece of maps up.

If anyone has a problem, just let me know.

Also, an updated banner will be up soon. Just have to fix the html!

Cheers!

Hera
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