On the business front- there's been no real change of late. I visit businesses all the time and people aren't complaining as much that they're slow. They're not blowing the doors off (the exception being in the various manufacturing businesses that for lack of a better word, I'll call 'machine shops' though this includes tool and die shops, etc), but they're doing okay. Even the construction people are generally doing okay (there are outliers of course- Friday was a beautiful day. I had an appointment set up with a roofer. I expected him NOT to be there...and was surprised when he was. Not only was he, but I woke him up when I got to his house- that's how slow he was. He's an outlier though as most are at least doing something.
HOWEVER, my online business has taken a dive. And I've been in contact with others who do the same thing, and they all tell me they've not seen it this slow in a long time. It seems to be international sales that are down to nothing (though I question whether this is due to buyers not wanting to buy, the high cost of postage after the recent increases, or due to something in the eBay search- they could be hiding American results in various searches or making it more difficult for foreigners to access the American site- perhaps they want to increase the Austrailian numbers to show the shareholders a given percentage of growth- who knows what shenanigans they may be up to).
Of course the post office doesn't help as there is one buyer who has been waiting TWO MONTHS for an order to get to Canada, another in Germany who has been waiting over a month, and two people in Mexico (who got their shipments sent priority) who have been waiting over a month. It's tough selling online as you're relying on the government to properly do its job...and we see how well that's working.
My sales for last week were HALF of what they historically have been. And this Friday, there's a big auction coming up (last time Zjabs went to this auction house, he dropped $2000+. Generally he spends between 800 to 1500 at this auction. Good thing Zjabs has spent years building up good credit as he may need it- there certainly isn't the cashflow coming in currently to cover a few thousand dollar buying spree!)
Zjabs can only hope that the slump is hitting everyone, and that Zjabs has deeper pockets than his competitors at the auction....maybe Zjabs can win things for a song (I asked Deep if he knew any, but got a blank look). Oddly though, the slower things get, the higher prices go at public auction. I've never figured that out- my theory is that people feel they need to get some 'good stuff' to jump-start their sales and thus end up buying stuff for close to selling price as they panic. Let's hope that isn't the case this Friday!
-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)
© 2012 Zjabs - 5/14/12