It's February 1st. And, in truth, my heart is heavy. I suspect the majority of our 150,000 customers worldwide might not want to know much about what's behind the scenes at Period Paper. However, as the years of our business have passed, and we have evolved, and I have grown, I've learned from many of our long-time customers that the story behind the product, or collection, or business, has value. And so, I will share briefly.
If you follow our blog, you know we made major changes in the last quarter of 2015. We took a stand and removed 90% of our listings from eBay until they stop charging fees up front for listings, and implement a fee schedule that's fair like Amazon's. We want to see eBay charge fees only at the time of sales, aligning themselves with the success of a seller and buyer, defined in my mind as the time when a seller supports the needs and desires of a buyer by selling and delivering a product, exceptionally. This versus charging fees when products are launched into the marketplace.
In quarter 4 of 2015 we improved our presence on Amazon in their new collectibles and historical items marketplace and we are extremely pleased with our expanded relationship with Amazon. In addition, we launched PeriodPaper.com and we love that we can support our customers around the world with a site that delivers an exceptional browsing, viewing, and checkout experience.
However, even with our adaptations on Amazon and with our new website, the 40% decrease in eBay revenues for Period Paper in 2015 versus 2014 were devastating for us, and me. Needless to say, experiencing that sort of decrease, while paying eBay over $88,000 in fees, is unacceptable. And before I say why it's so personally devastating, yes, I believe there's a tremendous opportunity yet ahead for us to deliver what customers have asked us for, for years. And yes, I am on a mission to make it happen.
But, I feel loss right now. Members of our team—vital, critical, founding members of our team, and veterans of our business, are not currently present—people personally close to me. More than any other single event, the 40% decrease in eBay revenues is responsible for this situation—a situation I hope that can be remedied in 2016. I want these members back on our team.
So, I'm on a mission. For many years our customers have asked us for many things. We've had requests from universities, from historical decorators, from nostalgic gift-givers, and from interior designers to implement new ways to acquire and utilize our images—beyond the acquisition of originals. I am not able to share all the details right now as we are forging a new relationship to deliver what you have been asking for. This requires us to make some technological leaps, and secure the new relationships, and that requires investment, and cash.
My goal is to implement this new technology, and these new products, early in quarter 3, 2016. To make this happen we have to raise funds now. Since we don't feel it's best to go into debt to take on this mission, we are just going to focus on sales of our existing 100,000+ original items in order to invest in new technology, and ultimately replace revenues lost on eBay, so we can get our team back together, and be sustainable in this second decade of our business. We will then not only deliver the unsurpassed buyer experiences that have been a staple of our history in offering original items, but offer an entirely new catalog of related items that fulfill your requests we have received over the past decade.
While it took a host of paragraphs above to share a little of the current backstory, my focus now is really quite simple. Raise capital via sales to implement new technology and products that you, our customers, have asked about for over a decade. And, improve our company's financial position so that I can bring our team back together. I can hope for the moon and stars to align in order for this to happen, or, do my very best and hope that action, in the face of adversity, leads the way to this outcome. Likely it will take both.
I say it often, and I mean it every time—thank you.
Kindly, and gratefully,
Troy Ylitalo, President & CEO
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