CoffeeKid Store's a Bust?
Posted August 27, 2002 12:00pm
Well, it looks like the coffeekid store is a bust. It's been online for over a week now, and zero sales :)
Hey, before I launch into this, I'm not writing this to guilt trip people so please make sure you read the whole thing. Actually in a way I'm writing it to thank the visitors to this site. With that said...
So, I am a bit down that not a single item has been bought. Since I posted my last article announcing the store, the logs for this site show that some 7,442 loads of this page have taken place. None of those loaded pages produced a single sale.
Now it could be that you just don't like the products, or the designs I chose for them, or the prices, or a wide variety of reasons. Or it could just be the case of "well, I won't buy anything to help support the site, because I'm sure many others are doing so". I fall into that rut as well, more times than I can count.
Or it could be (and again, remember this isn't a guilt trip here - it's analysis) that people by and large just don't want to support a website when directly asked to do so.
I call this an analysis because, well, I gotta thank the readership of this site. Prior to launching this store, I had no clue as to whether or not a CoffeeGeek store (that other site), complete with custom-branded, high quality, high cost (to me) products - whether that store would do well or not. I was going on the thoughts of a vocal few who have emailed me in the past asking for branded items - not only for the CoffeeGeek site, but for this one. I was going on the thought that if people knew that the monies raised would help pay some of the costs I pay out of my own pocket each month, people would flock to it because they consider CoffeeGeek (and CoffeeKid) a worthwhile thing that entertains and informs them enough to want to give something back.
Okay... reading this over, it sounds like I'm guilt tripping you - I really don't want that feeling to exist. In fact, I'm shutting down the CK store, just in case a few people feel guilty enough to go buy something they don't really want or need.
I'm writing all of this because this was in many ways a test study of sorts. If the CK store I put online had really taken off, as in sold dozens and dozens of products in the first week, I would have been completely jacked and jazzed to start spending some serious coin on CoffeeGeek branded merch.
If people had bought even a few items, I'd see there was interest there, and while not totally convinced, I would still have a much firmer feel for investing in CoffeeGeek merch and setting up a store over on that website.
Since no one dropped a dime on the CK store, I think I'll have to put the CoffeeGeek store on hold, and well, it looks like I've saved a ton of money. Here's some of the research and products I've looked into and was considering:
- 100 branded high quality tampers (wood/steel/derlin), $1500USD plus shipping, taxes. Various sizes.
- 500 white porcelain Ancap extra thick bell shaped espresso cups (the best cups I think I've ever used) with saucers, featuring a full colour logo of the CoffeeGeek site, $2140USD plus duties and taxes.
- 500 white porcelain Ancap cappuccino cups with saucers, with colour logo, $2760USD plus expenses.
- 480 CoffeeGeek branded (and exclusive) spice mill shakers with that chocolate/sugar mix inside (very cool product), $2120Cdn, plus taxes
- 200 Black professional Barista aprons, branded with an embroidered colour CoffeeGeek logo, $1480USD.
- 200 CG branded grinder brushes, $384 USD
- 480 CG branded (two colour) 1.5oz shot glasses, precicely calibrated at .25 oz increments, $537USD plus expenses
- Amazing digital shot timer, best one I've ever seen (full featured, tiny, attaches to the non-magnetic surfaces of most espresso machines, as well as magnetic surfaces), 100 of them for $770 USD.
As well as a variety of books, some cupping supplies, and posters. I wasn't planning on buying all the items right away, but who knows - if the CoffeeKid store was a runaway success, I probably would have.
So even though you may think I'm guilt tripping you here, I'm not. I'm looking at this not in a cynical way, but in a "wow, I could have lost a mint" way. It's quite possible that the much higher grade stuff I had planned for CG would sell (vs the more generic merch in the CoffeeKid store I put online at CafePress), but since the lack of interest was so visible, I have serious doubts now that I could ever recoup any costs I pay out for the branded products I'd have to order, design for, pay for, and stock. So even though this rant is weird, I did want to say thanks! (although I'm a bit sad - I would have loved to have some branded CG cups in that Ancap design which rocks).
In the meantime, I have to find other ways to support these sites so I'm not paying a lot of money out of my own pocket and my company's not so deep pockets... at some point, it's gotta end - either some "scheme" works out that supports the sites enough that they are cost neutral, or I may have to consider shuttering one or both websites - something I'm totally not happy about considering, but must consider nonetheless. The quote "a victim of one's own success" comes to mind :)
Imagine if I quit my day job (which pays all the bills) to do the beyond-full time job that CG (and to a lesser extent, CK) take up in my life - I'd be bankrupt now and living in a van down by the river! :)
Actually, that doesn't sound half bad... I could fish...