|Thu June 26 2014 17:29:39|
Five Ways to Get Through the Summer Sales Slump
By: Julia Wilkinson
It's summer, only a few days in, and already many sellers are making noises about sales slowing down, as they usually do this time of year. People are on vacation, or just not focused on buying things, or right now maybe they're glued to the World Cup and the only things they're buying are chips and beer.
But this time of year doesn't have to mean a big sales slump for you. It can be an opportunity to get out inventory you hadn't thought about, and to get other things done. Also, there are some things not to do. Here are five suggestions:
1. List Well-Known Brands at Lower Prices than Your Usual, and/or Run Sales. These can attract more attention to all your items and be something like a "loss leader," though hopefully in this case they'll just be "leaders" and not a "loss."
For example, I know Coach is a very hot keyword on eBay, and I've been sitting on (not literally, though they are a bit squished) a pair of cute Coach sneakers that show some scuffing on their white sides. Well, I just listed them, scuffing or not. I put 'em at a low starting price for a Coach item, pointed out their wear, and hopefully they'll still draw more views to my other shoes and clothing.
2. List Sports and Recreation Items. This may be a "duh," but this is something people are doing more of now, and you probably have things in your basement, garage, under your porch, or even in a closet you don't use anymore. For example, I have at least a couple pairs of shin guards and a pair of soccer cleats I can list, which my son has outgrown. Everyone else's sons and daughters are outgrowing their sports gear too. Skip McGrath, in his latest newsletter, also discusses "Coping with the Summer Slowdown," as he puts it...one of the things he says is selling well for him is kids' sunglasses. In fact, I would recommend any kids' clothing, even early back-to school stuff like jeans. (And oh yeah, all those gorgeous shirts that were Christmas gifts which my son refused to wear. This also reminds me, home-schooling stuff and summer packet-type educational materials can sell well now).
3. Use Any Extra Time to Sort through Inventory You Have on Hand. If you're like me, there may be several bags of stuff that you haven't gone through in months. (Some aren't even in my "eBay room"...shhhh! ;) I have a whole bag of doll clothes I haven't thought about since March.
Speaking of which...
4. Ship as Much Stuff Out to Amazon FBA as You Can. Free up space in the house by not only getting the stuff out of there but also giving it more of a fighting chance to sell, as it will be made available to all of Amazon's many "Prime" customers. (This, of course, will only work for stuff in categories for which you have any needed approval. Need approval? Use this time to request it).
But for heaven's sake...
5. Don't Panic! Just because you haven't had a sale in a week, doesn't mean you should accept that lowball offer for your new designer item. My sales have slowed down a bit, but I got an offer for a Chanel jacket the other day that was one of those "take a deep breath before you respond" things.
I've had some designer items sit for months and months, and in some cases over a year, and then up and sell at full price. But, you can also do research to make sure your price is indeed realistic. If it is, stand firm.
How do you ride out the summer slump? Or is summer actually a time when your type of inventory sells well? Post a comment here!