I have seen pictures in eBay seller groups of packages stacked high. It appears as though with so many people at home that hopping on eBay and doing some binge shopping online is a thing. I've certainly seen my sales spike as I've been running sales this week in all my stores to help spark some action. I am as frustrated as anyone that our TORs are cancelled but at least the online community for our hobby is strong.
Vintage Scouting Memorabilia On eBay
I have seen more traffic on the Patch-L list serve than I have in years. That is to say 5-10 emails some days when honestly that many per week prior to this was the norm. On Facebook in the Scout Patch Collectors we have had 1,793 posts this month which is a 9% increase. So far this month 10,529 of the members have visited the group. Someone selling a collection in the group earlier in March had 315 comments on his post.
All this to say that unlike traditional Scouting where zoom meetings are a poor substitute for the real thing in our hobby online interaction works. Now I am a champion of in person trading and there is nothing like throwing down a blanket and shaking hands (will that still be our tradition?). But our hobby will weather this Corona Storm just fine because we have the infrastructure (eBay, Facebook, email, websites) to stay connected and keep playing with our patches. It's during times like this that hobbies help keep you sane in my opinion!
On the business end of things I am not taking out an SBA loan but I have had a couple of breaks that will soften the blow. My supplier for Best Hobby Pages relaxed a rule and gave me some flexibility to reorder two of my products (they have never done that before). On eBay store subscribers got 50k free listings that will save me on fees next month. I have another manufacturer reaching out to me about a product that they are pricing very reasonably all things considered.
So yes April is going to suck in some ways. I had to postpone the Charlotte TOR while the Cardinal Conclave and Dixie Fellowship suffered the same fate. But maybe we use this time to discover what a different reality could look like? For the first time in forever I read a magazine last night. Today when I get home me and the kids are going to do something outside whether it's side walk chalk art (somehow now popular in my neighborhood) or riding bikes. Turn off the news and do something you haven't done in a long time is my advice.
Who knows later this week I might even jump on and do a live video sale from my new office. Everyone's at home so I guess I don't have to worry about doing it during the work day!
Keep Calm And Scout On,
Jason Spangler Hot Finds Newsletter
In Charlotte, North Carolina I have an antique mall booth that is filled with nothing but Scouting stuff. I call this location my clearance center because I've marked down everything to move. A lot of what you will find there are items that are too bulky to easily ship from an Internet store. The booth is located in The Sleepy Poet which is a well established antique mall on South Blvd in Charlotte. The mall is open 7-days/week year round. So the next time you are in the area come check it out.