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I learned a few things incident to chemo today.

First, the Benadryl® in the cocktail of stuff they give me before the main event is responsible for an annoying tendency I've noticed, while supine, of suddenly moving my legs in a manner that suggests, were I standing upright, that I'm standing on hot coals. (Understand, I don't feel any heat or discomfort, it's just that my leg suddenly moves, "lifting" my foot with respect to the rest of my body.)

Second, the young woman who was in charge of administering the chemo had a bit of a problem finding a suitable vein and suggested that I drink a bottle of water upon rising on chemo days to make that task easier for folks like her. That said, she nailed (so to speak) a vein in my hand on the very first try! (Yay!)

Third, my nurse-practitioner happened to mention that if one takes furosemide (a diuretic) on a regular basis, it gradually loses its efficacy. Since I only use the stuff on an as-needed basis, this is not a hazard for me.

I read the issues of the France and Colonies Philatelist while waiting for my clinical follow-up visit today, and came away impressed. The level of knowledge exhibited by the folks who wrote the all-too-few articles was pretty impressive, and impelled me to improve my own knowledge in the field. So I am a happy camper with regard to the F&CPS.

We lost Internet connectivity in the house sometime last night, due almost certainly to some electrical storms that passed through our area. (When I asked Alexa what time it was, the response was that the information was not available, which suggests the unit does not have an internal clock, but I digress...)

I tried the usual stuff—rebooting my computer, attempting to connect from multiple devices (none of which found joy), rebooting the AT&T hardware in my office—and then called tech support. They ran some tests and arranged for a tech come out to the house.

That happened around 5 pm, after Galina and I got back from downtown, and the problem was solved by the tech going out to the modem (which is stuck on the side of the garage) and doing a hard recycle (reboot) on the unit, i.e., disconnecting it from power and then reconnecting. The Internet came back, thank goodness.

I'm looking at Etsy as a potential place to set up shop selling "vintage" books (those over 20 years old). I've hit a few pages that discuss the pros and cons of selling on Etsy, and have come away unconvinced either way. Some people love Etsy; others don't.

So I just spent some time randomly picking five vintage booksellers (from a page showing vintage booksellers). I recorded the respective number of sales, the number of reviews, the year in which the store opened, the number of items currently on sale, and the price of the first 24 items displayed when the number of items is clicked.

The most immediate of my assumptions were as follows:
  1. The nature of a seller's inventory had not changed substantially since opening, i.e., if they sell a lot of multivolume sets now, they've always done so; if they sell erotica now, they've always done so, etc.
  2. Prices for inventory items have remained approximately even over time, i.e., a seller who sells books that average $100 per item did not previously sell inventory for $10 per item.
  3. The number of years a seller has been "in business" on Etsy could safely be calculated by subtracting the joining year from 2017 and adding one. This has a tendency to potentially skew results for businesses that joined Etsy in December, but the skew decreases over time.
  4. The 24 items I recorded were typical of the seller's inventory in terms of price.

The most immediate of my hypotheses were as follows:
  1. The greater percentage of reviews a seller receives, the greater the seller's annual revenue.
  2. The more items a seller has on sale, the greater the seller's annual revenue.
  3. The higher the median price of seller's items, the greater the seller's annual revenue.

Using this data, I calculated the annual revenue (linearized over time), the average price and the median price of the 24 items recorded, the average and median number of items sold per year, and the percent of sales that garnered reviews.

Based on my five picks, it would appear there was little correlation between the percentage of reviews a seller gets for sold items and the seller's annual revenue. In my group, sellers with the highest review percentages had the lowest annual sales revenue. In fact, two sellers with comparable annual unit sales but with significantly different review percentages saw the seller with the lower percentage (~20%) outperform the seller with the higher percentage (~30%) by a factor of 3 in terms of annual revenue. Hypothesis 1, suggesting a correlation between review percentage and revenue, would appear to not only not hold water, but the opposite may be true (the greater the percentage of sales that get reviews, the less revenue).

The difference between the average and median number of items on sale by members of this group appears significant (median, 311; average, 427). Not surprisingly, the four sellers with a median (or higher) quantity of books on sale had the highest revenue, but there did not seem to be a consistent correlation there.

The top-grossing seller had the median number of items on sale; the second highest seller, about three times the median value; the third, about one-quarter (!) of the median/average; the fourth, over twice the median value.

What I found surprising was that the fifth seller, who has sold an average of 19 items per year and had only about 30 items on sale (which amounts to a hair less than 10% of the median), still managed to pull in about 50% of the median value for annual sales (about $5,000) over the past two years, despite said sold items having a median unit price of ~$25. Calculating this seller's average unit price (about $300) and noting that he has one item currently on sale for nearly $5,000 suggests the proprietor may have scored a high-value sale since opening a shop on Etsy, and that barring another such sale, the store's numbers will fade and start to correlate with my hypothesis. However, that said, my Hypothesis 2, suggesting a correlation between number of items on sale and revenue appears to be wrong. There does not appear to be any such a correlation.

It's late, and I think the probability of anyone actually reading this post down to this point is fairly small. Trust me when I say Hypothesis 3 does not appear to hold up, either (the three top-grossers did have the top median prices, but then the model broke down). Then again, maybe my group is too small.

Thus, the three intuitive hypotheses I've tested appear to be dubious, if not outright wrong, which suggests shortcomings in my understanding of what I'd be stepping into should I open an Etsy store specializing in vintage books (it occurs to me I have quite a number of them, BTW).

I'd venture to save face by saying it's the chemo talking, but I won't. Seriously, I am doubtless not touching upon the important factors that looking at the Etsy site will not reveal and which were enumerated in those recollections of pros and cons I mentioned at the beginning of this rant. Chief among them will almost certainly be the effort required to promote one's Etsy enterprise and products.

But it's getting late. I plan to get a good night's rest and let my subconscious work the problem.



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