Saturday, October 23, 2010

Time to Prepare for eBay Holiday Selling!



Selling on eBay is always a challenge, but holidays are especially challenging. In order to have a successful season, it’s important to take advantage of all of eBay’s features. Here are a few tips to help make the holiday season easier and more productive.

Add the Buy It Now option to all of your listings. A lot of people procrastinate around the holidays and then panic when they realize that time is running short. By allowing them to purchase instantly and not deal with an auction, you can increase your sales. Do be sure to research your product and set your price high enough.

Also add the Best Offer option to your listings. This can be effective when you have people who just bought an item browsing in your store or when people are trying to use combined shipping. You certainly aren’t required to accept an offer, but it can give buyers are positive impression of you and open up more opportunities for sales.

Make sure you know when shipping deadlines are. You can find a chart for all the different services on the USPS website. (The 2010 Holiday Deadline schedule had not been posted at the time of this article.) While you’re there, go ahead and order all your Priority shipping supplies, such as envelopes and boxes. Furthermore, stock up now on other supplies you may need such as bubble wrap and tape. You are going to be busy in a few weeks and it will be inconvenient to run out of packing supplies.

Keep up with shipping orders. While it might be tempting to put shipping your orders off for a couple of days in order to list new items, shipping quickly is a customer courtesy, especially when the customer had already paid for their item. Plus, you’re already dealing with slower delivery times than normal. It’s not worth a neutral or negative feedback just so you can get items listed more quickly. In addition, you’re later stuck having to ship a lot of items at one time.

Focus on your business. It’s easy to get sidetracked with all the other holiday activities that you want to do, like baking cookies and wrapping presents. But you can’t let your business take a backseat if you want to have a successful season.

Learn from other sellers and meet other people that are doing what you are. By learning what did and didn’t work for them, you can save yourself time and money. If this is your first holiday season selling online, you may need support. Check out my Facebook group of eBay sellers. Many members are experienced sellers who can quickly answer questions and help you if you run into a problem. And the great thing about Facebook is that members live in all different time zones so someone may be online to help you when you need it - even if it is late at night.

Most importantly, set boundaries. If you’re doing major toy selling (complete with trips to Wal-Mart at 3 in the morning to grab the hot toy as soon as it is stocked), recognize that you can’t do everything else, too. Focus on a few hot items to keep from getting overwhelmed. Keep in mind that you’ll have to list and ship each item that you buy, plus keep up with your own family’s holiday activities. A little extra profit isn’t worth missing out on your family’s activities or losing your mind.



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