That’s a question I hear pretty often. Sometimes people ask me to look at their store to see why they’re not getting very many sales. Often the first thing I notice is that their inventory is fewer than 300 items.
Let me ask you a question.
If you went to a store, let’s say Macy’s, and they had 113 items in the store, what are the odds that you’d find something there you needed, wanted, or just had to have?
For me, the odds would be pretty slim. I bet they would be for you too.
Stores that sell a lot of inventory, have a lot of inventory in stock. You can’t sell it if you don’t have it in stock.
The same principles that apply to retail apply to selling online.
I try to keep my store at 900-1000 items. That way, if I’m out of town for a few days, sick, or just not able to list, I still have plenty of inventory listed.
This summer, I plan to increase my inventory numbers.
Everywhere you go, you need to be thinking “eBay” not just at yard sales and thrift stores. Think “eBay” when you’re at Wal-mart, Target, Macy’s, discount stores, sidewalk sales. Pretty soon, you’ll find that it’s not difficult to find inventory if you open your eyes and look around you.
If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your eBay business, then literally, look around you. Look in your closets, your garage, attic, storage sheds, anywhere you have belongings. Look on Craigslist and Freecycle too…..you never know what you’re going to find.
I highly doubt that a person can make a full time income by selling on eBay and having 100 items listed in their store. Not unless they are $1,000.00 items.
My advice to you: If you have fewer than 100 items in your store, set a goal to get to 100 items listed.
If you have at least 100 but not up to 300 items yet, then set a goal and work toward 300.
If you have at least 300 but not 500, set a goal and work toward having 500 items listed in your store.
If you have at least 500, but aren’t close to 1,000 items in your store, then set goals in 100 item increments to get your store up to 1,000 items listed.
I guarantee you that each time you get to the next 100 items listed in your store, you will see your sales increase. In my opinion, you can never have too many items listed.
“April showers bring May flowers”……..or maybe it could be “April Showers give you more time to work on your eBay store.”
April is a great month to kick things into high gear and have your highest sales to date.
#1 Clean out your closet
Spring cleaning is a great way find inventory to sell on eBay.
As you’re changing your closet over to summer clothes, take a minute to sort through your winter clothes that you’re pulling out. Anything you’re not keeping that’s in good condition, put it in your eBay pile. As you’re putting your summer clothes in the closet, anything that’s in good condition and doesn’t fit or you don’t want to keep, put it in your eBay pile.
Do the same with your kids closets too. Then start getting it listed, even the winter items can be listed in your store now. You never know what customers are looking for. I am always amazed at what sells out of my closet.
#2 Go on a road trip
If you’re tired of going to the same thrift stores, or you live in an area with limited thrift stores……it’s time to hit the road! Road trips are so much fun!!! Head to a neighboring area and scout out the thrift stores. Be sure to take plenty of money with you so you don’t have to leave behind any treasures. It’s fun to get out of town for the day and have a whole new store (or 2, or 3) to explore.
#3 Add some color to your listings
Look at your descriptions…..are they in a regular size black font? Make your font larger, use a color and change the font style. Do something to attract and keep the buyers attention. A boring listing conveys a boring item. Just a few simple things to jazz up your listing can make a big difference.
#4 Maximize your item titles
Take a look at your item titles. Are they short? (If yes, make them longer) Do they have punctuation in them? (If yes, take the punctuation out) Are they effective? Use every word you can think of that describes your item. Color, size, brand, who it’s for (men, women. boy, girl, baby) season, etc. Learn to prioritize your keywords if there’s not enough room to fit all of the words in that you want to use, make sure the most important words are used.
#5 Spring clean your store
Do you have items in your store that have been sitting there for awhile (and by awhile, I mean more than a year) that you’re tired of looking at? Clean your store out a little. Maybe you bought some inventory as an experiment to see if it would sell and it’s been sitting there. Clean out your store to make room for more
It’s important to make sure that you end the listings before you donate items to the thrift store or put them in your yard sale. There’s nothing more of a pain than selling an item and realizing that you donated it to the thrift store last week.
Here’s a great item that I’ve wondered about for some time, but never remembered to research:
Puzz 3-D Puzzles.
I see these all the time at the thrift store and I know that I LOVED putting these together when I was growing up. My friend, mentioned that these are a good seller, so I decided to give it a try.
The very next week, I found 2 Puzz 3-D Puzzles at the thrift store, a US Capitol Building and a Bavarian Mansion. Since the puzzles had been opened, I had to count the pieces, but I figured for $1.29, it was worth the risk.
My US Capitol Building had all it’s pieces, so I listed it an it sold the next day for Not bad for a $1.29 investment. Some Puzz 3-D Puzzles sell for a lot, it just depends on the puzzle and the year it was made. I still have to count my Bavarian Mansion to see if it’s all there.
Here’s an item that I can’t say enough about…..Dansko shoes, boots and clogs.
In the last month, I’ve sold a pair of Women’s Dansko clogs, and a pair of Men’s Dansko clogs.
The mens clogs needed a lot of TLC, but since they were black, it was easy to polish them up and get them ready to sell. They sold within a couple weeks of listing them for $53.48! Not too bad for a $6.99 investment.
I also have a pair of brown suede leather Dansko boots listed in my eBay store.
Dansko is one of those brands that you don’t even have to think about if you should buy it or not…..the answer is YES!
Time sure flies when you’re having fun!
I’ve been able to get quite a bit done in my eBay store this week. I revised the shipping on my lighter items of clothing and am offering FREE shipping on them. I’ve never really tried offering free shipping in the past, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this experiment goes.
Over the weekend, we took a little road trip and I found some GREAT items:
6 Cashmere Sweaters
Several great plush toys
Men’s Dansko clogs
Puzz 3D puzzles
I know there were more items, but I can’t remember them off hand.
I had a not-so-good buying experience this week. I purchased some music books for my students nearly a month ago, and they haven’t arrived. The seller emailed me stating that they ran out of the book and that if I’d agree to cancel the transaction, they’d promptly refund my money.
While that’s nice of them, I’m concerned that it took them a month to tell me this and that they want me to agree to canceling the transaction before they are willing to refund my money. In my opinion, they don’t have the item, so, they have to refund my money, even if I don’t agree to cancel the transaction.
I emailed them and told them that I don’t have a problem canceling the transaction, but that I’m confused because as a seller, if I ran out of an item or can’t find an item, I immediately refund their money, email them to explain and send them a request to cancel the transaction. I asked them to please help me understand their process.
I got a response back that they have had people not agree to cancel the transaction and leave them with the eBay fees, so they like to reach an agreement before refunding the customer’s money and that they hoped I would understand.
Um…….no, I don’t really understand. I mean, if I run out of an item and the customer doesn’t agree to complete the transaction, I still have to refund them. If I’m stuck with the eBay fees, that’s my problem for having an item listed that I ran out of. I’ve had this happen before, and as a seller I have to take full responsibility for my listing.
So, I emailed them back and told them that I would agree to cancel the transaction,but that they might want to consider changing their process because if they don’t have an item, they have to refund the customer 100% whether the customer agrees to canceling the transaction or not. I asked them what would happen if a customer didn’t agree to canceling the transaction.
They ended up agreeing to refund the transaction first and then I agreed to cancel it.
I love happy endings