just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Friday, September 30, 2005

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas ...

The catalog company that I work for sells many personalized items. For example, Treat Bags for Halloween. We sold out of them about a week and a half ago. The company transferred stock from the retail store inventory, so now we'll have two of the three styles for a couple of days.

The newest catalog was delivered about a week ago. It has a Halloween cover, but starting around page seven are some Christmas items ~ the ever-popular personalized quilted Christmas stockings!!

On Monday I was told that we sold over 800 Xmas stockings over the weekend. Then a supervisor said "oh, that was just one day's total!!" All week about every third call that I got indeed included at least one stocking, many have more than one stocking in the order.

So, now when people call in their orders, I jokingly say, "and nothing for Christmas?" People laugh and say that they're not ready for that yet. Then I tell them that we sold over 800 last weekend. Sometimes they'll talk about how crazy that is (and I'll agree with them) but others will take it more seriously - "You're kidding! Ohmigosh, maybe I should think about this ..."

Well, to be honest, it does help my RPC (revenue per call). Normally I don't think about trying to push the RPC. If customers want to hear about phone specials, then fine, but I certainly understand if they don't and I don't push. I'm not going to get fired over a low RPC. I'm a polite and helpful sales associate and many of my customers tell me so.

But I have to admit that after the first customer reacted to my "800" story and bought a stocking that I have continued with it. Is that bad? After all, not everyone buys. No one is forced into buying them. Part of my thinks it's funny. Part of me is feeling a tad naughty.

I had another take on this "story" today. A woman called to get a Treat Bag for her son. I asked if she had thought ahead to Xmas. She had not. I told her my little "we sold so many..." story. She said that she really wasn't thinking about stockings and such yet (ah, a practical woman...) but then she said that her son's birthday was coming up, would I mind letting her flip thru the catalog.

Well, of course not.

Then she found the train bedding. Ordered a full/queen size quilt and two matching shams for her son who will be three in December. So a $25 order became a $235 order. I can just hear my supervisor now "... now THAT's the way to increase sales!!!"

Okay, now I AM feeling evil ....

DON'T FORGET to vote for tanlucypez to be Doug's Wednesday Guest! See the blogspot poll to the right.


At 8:55 PM, Blogger actonbell said...

Yay!!! for 3D! It's cool to increase sales in a nonpushy manner:)
And thank you for the tip about the marathon story at the happy capitalist. I did respond. Most distressing.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

I am just getting ready for Halloween!

The holidays keep creeping up on us eariler and eariler.

Hope your mother and father feel better soon!!

At 11:56 PM, Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Nothing wrong with helping rich folks spend their money. The economy is in a slump now.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Capitalism is great, isn't it?

At 9:13 PM, Blogger still life said...

Oh this is so funny. First of all it doesn't surprise me one bit as to how fast the holidays come around, or rather the holiday shopping. Coming from a retail background I am used to it. Yes my poor sales associates used to have to up their UPS (units per sale) rate as well. Especially around the holidays...

At 1:51 PM, Blogger The Mushroom said...

First, I have no problem with Christmas promotion in the other three seasons because I love the holiday and I collect antique Christmas clutter. (And there are five strings of lights hanging behind me as I type this, which stay up all year.) I do admit being a little squicked out by how some brick-and-mortar retailers start moving the Christmas stuff in right as the Back To School stuff gets put away -- heck, in September you could walk into Big!Lots and find school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas stuff (and I wouldn't be surprised if there was New Years stuff tucked into a corner) concurrently. But as for catalogs and e-tailers, it's fine with me if they offer goodies year-round, I'll likely buy them. I get the best holiday stuff in summer, it seems.

And nothing wrong with suggestive sales and upselling. If it's something they would be back for anyway, or never considered until that moment and have a use for, you're doing them a favor. (former RadioShack sales rep here...) How else would those 800 people know to pounce on those stockings? :)

And thanks for the note on my site!


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