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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 :)

Rachel

How to Obtain Consistent Online Sales

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.)

*Backpacks

*Swimwear

*Athletic clothes

*Jeans

*Sandals

*Rainboots

*Sweaters

*Coats

*Plush

*Textbooks

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.

Rachel

5 Ways to Increase Your On-line Sales in November

#1 Learn about a new product

You know the old saying “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”

I think it’s a pretty true statement.  If you want something to change in your online business, you’re going to have to do something different than you’ve done before.  Sometimes, that means breaking into a new line of products.  Keep learning new brands, new types of products to sell, and don’t be scared to give it a try.  The sky’s the limit.

#2 Join an online selling forum

There are lots of great online selling forums out there, one of my faves is .  You can discuss everything about selling online (We talk about more than just eBay), bounce ideas off of each other, and get some new ideas.  If you’re not comfortable discussing, join anyway and read what other people are saying about selling online.

#3 Now is the time to list

I know that I talk about listing all the time, and sometimes I feel like a broken record, but right now is the time to get it listed.  If ever there was a time to take a break from listing, it’s not now.  During this time of the year, my items seem to sell just as fast as I can get them listed, so even if you have to put shopping on hold for now to list what you have waiting to be listed, go for it!

#4 If you have a premium store, automate emails and feedback

Here’s one of my favorite things about having a premium eBay store……I can automate feedback!

Every time a customer leaves a positive feedback for me, my store is set to randomly leave them one of five feedback statements that I’ve already chosen.  It’s a HUGE time saver for me, and is one less thing to think about.  You can also set your store to automatically send an email to customers when you ship out their item.   Love it, Love it, LOVE it!

#5 Increase your pricing

I know this might sound a little odd to some of you, but sometimes, if you don’t price your items high enough, they won’t sell.

If you can make a few more dollars per item, you’ll make more money and do less work.  Take a look at your inventory and consider increasing your pricing.  Sometimes an item marked $19.99 will sell better marked $21.99 or $24.99.

When I first started selling on eBay, yes my items sold, but they could have sold for a lot more money.  I felt like $14.99 or $19.99 was a lot to price an item at and I would price a lot of things at $9.99.  Now a few years older and wiser, my prices are much higher than $9.99, and instead of making a few hundred dollars of profit a month, I’m starting to make a few thousand dollars of profit a month.

Rachel


Online Selling Tip of the Week

October 3, 2011 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Selling Tips

Specialize in selling what you know–what you’re familiar with–what you like.

If you have children and know the latest toys, consider selling toys.

If you collect baseball, football cards or comic books, consider selling them online.

If you’re up on the latest trends and fashions, consider selling clothes.

If you like to sew or knit, consider selling your work or craft supplies.

When you sell items that you’re familiar with and items that you like, you’re more motivated to list them.

You don’t have to do much research and you’ll have a lot more fun selling online!

Rachel

Online Selling Tip of the Week

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet your sales or listing goal for the week.

Real life is what happens when we have other plans.

Try again next week.

Analyze what you could have done differently to be able to make higher sales or list more items, make a game plan and then implement it.  You know what works best for you, your family, and your schedule.

Rachel

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