We have released the dinosaur-shaped burr puzzle Kumikisaurus yesterday. The burr offers a unique level 10-13 solution and reasonable difficulty. At the moment, we have only five in stock, so the puzzle may sell out soon.
Our 25th puzzle auction event ended on 17th September. We put up three 2nd grade Mittan and three Penta Cuboids.
The total sales amount reached a stunning AUD $3,645. As promised, we donated half of the sales, AUD $1,825, to the local food bank. We usually donate to animal welfare organizations, but under COVID-19 and high commodity prices, we decided to contribute to the local food bank this time.
Here is the receipt for the donations.
Usually, I would be delighted with the total sales, but this was different.
The winner, who was supposed to get two puzzles, suddenly said he didn't want to pay the amount he had bid. He entered the wrong amounts and didn't notice them until he received congratulatory notices. Although there must be chances to check his auction activities, he probably hadn't visited the auction pages until auctions ended. It was too late to receive his request to change or cancel his proxy (automatic) bidding amount.
We cannot sell puzzles to someone without the intention to pay for the winning bid, so we have cancelled his bids. After that, we thoroughly checked the bidding history for the auctions, including the one the man did not bid for, to find the reasonable winning amount not affected by the cancelled bidding. It was AUD $603 to guarantee fairness to all auction bidders.
Then, we offered two people in the second and third positions in the Mittan auctions if they wanted to buy the puzzle for AUD $603. Fortunately, both of them were happy with the proposal.
We also offered AUD $242 discount to the winner whose winning bid was AUD $845. Although those who made unintended high bids did not join this auction, it was reasonable to consider it was also affected by the other auction results since many bidders were chasing three (almost) identical puzzles.
Our actual auction sales amount was reduced to AUD $2,866. Our donation to the food bank was AUD $1,825, which is tax deductible, but we still pay a hefty tax on sales. Considering the transaction fee to the shop system cost for the auction App, and so on, our income through these auctions will be around AUD $800. Thankfully, the winning bids of three Penta Cuboids became quite high, but without that, we might have ended up in the red.
It's not only the money. We had to spend extra time solving this problem. If you have experience running an online shop, you may know it's not easy to handle something irregular.
Running a business isn't easy. It's the same as running in a grassy meadow; you cannot tell where the pit hole is.