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What Sold For Me This Christmas Season 2012

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I was a little bit nervous heading into the 2012 Christmas online buying season for a few reasons:

#1 I liquidated about 2/3 of my inventory this summer before my move, so my inventory went from 1,200 items to 400.  I was able to get it as high as 680 items before the Christmas selling season started.

#2 Usually I’m able to spend the entire summer listing and building up my store for Christmas.  This year, I did the opposite and didn’t feel like I was very well stocked up for the season.

#3 I didn’t have a lot of toys listed this year and toys are usually my big seller during the Christmas season.

Here was my game plan:

Find items that were the lowest investment with the highest profit and the quickest turn around.

I hate to tell you this, but that’s a whole lot easier said than done.

Believe me, I put a lot of thought into how to pull it off so that my sales were at least comparable to where they were last Christmas shopping season despite the fact that I had a whole lot less inventory available.

Here’s what I did:

I tried to keep a balance in my inventory purchases between items that were a good long term investment to work on stocking my store up and items that would be a quick turn around to create some quick sales.

I was surprised that I actually sold a lot of sweaters and clothes during this year’s Christmas shopping season.  Cashmere always does well for me, so I don’t hesitate to purchase it for inventory.  I also did well with “Nordic” style sweaters.  Not necessarily a certain brand, but the ones with the snowflakes and silver pretty buttons.

Long, stylish jean skirts and corduroy skirts are consistent sellers for me during this time of year typically, so I worked on stocking those in my store when I could find them.

I was shopping in thrift stores that were new to me, and even though I was exploring a lot and trying to find my new “favorite” thrift stores, I had a horrible time finding thrift stores that had a large supply of plush animals.  I did my best in that area, but most of the thrift stores here just have one bin of plush toys at any given time, so that was slim pickings.

One of the things I did was take a little bit more risk on items that I hadn’t tried selling in the past.

Here are some of the new things I sold:

* Candy Corn Oreos (Sold over 40 packs of them)

* Altoids mints

* Theraflu

* Sealed Floppy Disks

* Sealed blank cassette tapes

* Sealed blank VHS compact camcorder tapes

During the Christmas shopping season, I used markdown manager to strategically create 10% & 15% off sales during the week (I excluded weekends) to encourage customers to buy, and I also put some of my older inventory (that a friend of mine kept for me when I moved) on auction to get it moved out.

I believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Sometimes you just have to take a risk to find the way :)