eBay offers resources for sellers on the topic of seasonal selling, including a guide (called a playbook) that includes a calendar that highlights holidays for sellers to keep in mind when sourcing and listing products for sale.
eBay devoted last week’s Weekly Chat session on the topic of seasonal selling, and one of the moderators shared the resources eBay makes available:
“We just published a playbook at www.ebay.com/seasonalplaybook that outlines some key seasonal moments in a calendar format. For each retail moment (as we call them here at eBay), we’ve outlined some of the categories that peak during that particular season.
“If you use seller hub (recommend), you can click on the growth tab and also check inventory seasonality based on real sales data from the site. eBay also sends inventory insights in email to sellers frequently selling in categories where we have insight to share. More of those to come that will be specific to retail moments.
“(But wait, there’s more…) The Selling on eBay podcast has a “What’s Hot” segment each week highlight inventory that is selling or expected to sell on site (for the upcoming season).”
Not surprisingly, eBay focuses on commodity items in the playbook. For example, in the section called “2019 Winter Selling Season” it lists Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. In the section for “What Buyers Want” on Valentine’s Day, eBay lists: “Fine Jewelry, Fashion, Engagement, Watches, Fragrances, Lingerie, Wine, Chocolate, Vintage Valentine’s, Bulk Party Favors, and Candies (in red, pink, and white).”
A seller commented about this during the weekly chat. “The stuff listed for each seasonal campaign – is that based on buyer search data? One thing seems to be missing: almost anything vintage (I do see vintage valentines, but we sold a lot of vintage Christmas decor etc. Vintage Halloween stuff is very collectible, too.”
An eBay employee responded. “Vintage items are definitely popular especially around Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas as you pointed out,” she said. “We started to see Vintage Valentine’s rising a couple of weeks ago as buyers were starting to plan for the big heart day. It’s a great call out. Let me look into pulling out more info about vintage items. Thank you for the feedback.”
We also found it interesting that while eBay hit the major holidays in the playbook, sellers pointed to others, such a seller who said they were already selling St Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras items.
Sellers debated the practice of tweaking listing titles to add specific holidays – like adding “Valentines Day” to titles of certain items.
The eBay playbook also includes “proven tips to get ready for selling success during peak selling periods,” though some of them link to paid services:
- Products and Trends: Dive deeper with Terapeak + eBay (paid service, but now included with Store subscriptions starting with Basic).
- Determine What to Sell: Plan what products to source and how to price them.
- Optimize Your Listings: From pictures to pricing, follow these best practices.
- Help Buyers Find Items: Match products with sellers’ search terms.
- Optimize for Mobile: More and more of your customers are mobile.
- Ship with eBay Supplies: Your buyers trust the eBay brand (paid products).
- Calculate Returns Costs: Estimate your costs for free returns.
- Do More with an eBay Store: Get more out of the eBay marketplace (paid service).
eBay also pitches Seller Hub, Promoted Listings (paid ads), and volume pricing, and encourages sellers to offer fast “free” shipping. You can find the full playbook on this page of the eBay website.
An eBay staff member also revealed that the “Send watcher an offer” feature available to some sellers was in high demand and indicated it would become available to additional sellers, though she didn’t say when.