Here’s a question that comes up frequently when I’m talking to online sellers about selling on multiple venues:
How do you decide which site is best to list certain items?
This is a great question, and it’s part of the reason why I sold exclusively on eBay for several years. I just didn’t have the time to learn how other sites worked and what their customers were looking for.
Last year I dove into selling on Amazon. When I started, I went through all of my eBay items that were already listed and listed what was in the Amazon catalog on Amazon. Pretty much, that’s still what I do. I don’t go out of my way to find specific items for Amazon or eBay, I look for items to sell online and list the same item on both sites if I’m able to list it on Amazon.
Some items go quickly on eBay, other items go quick on Amazon and sit around on eBay.
Using this method of having items listed on both sites means that I have to stay on top of my inventory. As soon as it sells on Amazon, I have to take it off of eBay if it’s the only one I have, or update the quantity on eBay if I have multiples of the item.
It also means that as items sell on eBay, I have to go through my Amazon inventory and make sure it’s not still available there. (I do that about once a week since my Amazon inventory is a lot smaller than my eBay inventory.)
Using this method has been an inexpensive way for me to learn more about Amazon and what types of items sell best there. I’m not spending any extra money for inventory, it’s all items that I would spend money on for eBay anyway.
One item that I’ve done well with on Amazon is Starbucks Bearista Bears. I pick these bears up and list them on eBay and Amazon. They’re not a super fast seller, they tend to sell in spurts on both eBay and Amazon, but they are a good “fill in the blanks” sale. (Meaning, they’re not a fast turn around and they’re not consistent, but they’re a good surprise sale once in awhile.)
Another item that has been selling well for me on Amazon is Wilton cake pans. I’ve experimented with Wilton cake pans on eBay and some have sold, others have sat there and ended up in my rummage sale. Recently, I found four Wilton cake pans, new with their inserts at a garage sale for $1 each. I decided to try listing Wilton pans again. For some reason when I started listing them, I thought to myself: “I wonder if I can list these on Amazon?”
I checked and sure enough, I could sell them. I list all of my Wilton cake pans on both eBay and Amazon at $29.99+ shipping. So far, this summer, I’ve sold 4 out of the 7 cake pans I’ve listed on Amazon, and none of them have sold on eBay.
So I’m taking the same approach that I took to learn eBay to learn Amazon. Experiment and learn a little bit more each day.
Never stop learning.
This is something that every seller, new or experienced struggles with at some point in their online selling career. If I had the answer to how to make your sales consistent 100% of t the time, I’d be a millionaire. (Which I’m not.) There are a few things that I’ve observed in my years of selling online that I believe contributes to having the dollar amount of your sales being consistent from month to month.
1. Stock a variety of items in your store.
If you decide that you’re going to sell backpacks online, most likely you will see a spike in sales from August – October, which is great but certain months out of the year when your product isn’t in demand, your sales will be low.
Try to think of things that will sell each month of the year and start stocking those items in your store so you’ve got it listed and ready to go when the items are in demand. That way, you’ve got items listed in your store that will be popular sellers each month or “season” of the year.
Here’s the types of items that I carry so that I’m ready for different times of the year: (You’ll probably have some ideas to add too.)
2. List new items consistently.
This has always been a core belief of mine when it comes to selling online. I built my store on this principle, and recently proved it again.
I had maintained my store at close to 1200 items for nearly the last year when I decided to move across the country and liquidate the majority of my inventory. I ended some listings and put them in my yard sale. I ran sales in my store, I auctioned items off and in the end, I went for a period of nearly six weeks without listing new items.
During that time, my inventory went from 1200 items to 400 items. While I made some good money in those six weeks of liquidating, my sales were almost non-existent for almost three weeks after that. I was finding some fantastic items and listing as much as I could every day. But, I was lucky to have $15 in sales.
Because of the fact that I hadn’t been listing any new items for six weeks, even my existing listings suffered. As soon as I got my inventory back up to 500 listings, I saw a HUGE increase in sales, and it wasn’t just my new listings selling. Previous listings were selling just as much as new listings. The work you do in your store today equals the sales you’ll see in your store over the next few weeks. So if you’re listings an item or two a day, you can expect to sell about an item or two a day. At one point last year, I was listing (with the help of my assistant) nearly 100 items a week, and selling an average of 60-75 items a week.
Even if you have items listed already, if you’re not listing anything new this week, you probably won’t be making very many sales next week, that’s just how it has always been in my 7+ years of selling on eBay.
3. Set realistic goals and actively work toward them.
I can’t say enough about this one. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll never reach it. A goal can be how many items you want to list, a dollar amount of sales, or a goal of how many new feedback you want to work for that month. You could even set a goal to stop shopping until everything in your to be listed bin (for some of us, bins) is listed, OR your goal could be to stop reading about it and thinking about it and start selling online this month.
Whatever your goal is, make a decision and then take steps to reach that goal. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Work on it little by little. Do a little bit to build your business each day and the results will come in.
It’s been a GREAT week on eBay for me I’ve been busy finding all kinds of great items to restock my store. Some of them are selling pretty quickly too, which is a huge encouragement to me.
This has been the first week since the move that I’ve had sales anywhere near where they used to be. It took about three weeks of consistent listing after a six week listing break before my sales picked up. I still have a way to go, but I’m thrilled to be headed in the right direction again.
I took a day and did a lot of revising in my store. I added several categories to help customers find my items easier. I also gave my store front a face lift. The next few days after my revisions, I noticed that my sales were quite a bit higher than they were the previous week.
By Friday, I had listed everything that I had purchased during the week so I spent some time getting items listed on Amazon again. I’m excited to get this venue up and running again.
Twice this week I made sales on Bonanza.com I haven’t made a sale on there in a couple of months, but I also haven’t been trying to get things going there right now, my main focus has been on eBay.
I’m working on auctioning off the inventory that my friend is storing and shipping for me so that I didn’t have to move it all with me. That’s coming along quite nicely. She’s been a huge help to me.
I’m focusing in right now on listing items that will be a quick sale so I can get my income back up to where I need it to be and then I plan on working toward stocking up my store again. I’m nearly back up to 600, hopefully I can get it there this coming week.