My EBay Life
(A series of essays about what it is like to sell stuff on EBay)
I have been hearing a lot lately about how sales slow down in the summer. My sales information from years past would also tend to support this phenomenon. Recently I listened to an EBay Radio segment with Lynn Dralle better known as The Queen of Auctions. Lynn was giving some of her tips on how to keep selling through the slower months. Happily for me I found that I was already doing some of those things.
This June ended with about 15% higher sales volume than last June and so far I am on track to be close to doubling my sales from last July. (Keeping fingers crossed since you never know what will happen.)
Anyway here are some of the things that I believe have helped me avoid the full impact of the summer slump.
1) Markdown Manager - First let me say that I can believe I only started using this tool a few months ago. It is a little embarrassing. Anyway I think that I avoided it for so long because I thought that my margins were already too tight and I couldn't take any less than my original price. But the truth is when I step back and look at all of my sales and the average profit instead of worrying about one item at a time I haven't really lost any ground on my total profit. It is a bit of a balancing act and you certainly don't want to just be giving stuff away but it is worth testing out if you haven't already.
2) List higher value items - I don't know how people sell items for thousands of dollars on Ebay. So far I just don't have the nerve or the financial resources for that kind of business but I have been purchasing higher cost items to resell at a higher sale price as with a better profit. Once again it is a balancing act but again worth testing.
3) Free Shipping. I resisted Free shipping for a long time. I just started listing items with Free shipping in May. But it has proved to be quite successful so much so that since I started testing it I haven't listed any new items with a shipping charge and I firmly believe that it is a contributing factor in easing the pain of slow summer sales.
4) Know that it is coming. - Planning for slower sales in the summer is helpful for a lot of reasons. Mostly it helps you to be able to sleep at night. But if you are prepared for the worst and working to alleviate some of that slump you will be two steps ahead of the game.
If all your efforts fail and you still have dismal summer sales there is a silver lining. The holidays are just around the corner and if you keep listing through the slower summer months you will have your store nicely stocked for the busier holiday season. Read this article for tips on for preparing for the holidays.