Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don’t Panic! It is Just the July Slump!

Have your sales been slow this month? Excruciatingly slow? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. July is notoriously the slowest month for online sales. It is important to understand that sales occur in cycles. Right now we are in a valley. Everything comes to a screeching halt in July – home sales, car sale, and retail sales. It is the nature of the beast. Understand that this too shall pass and avoid going into panic mode.

I see many sellers panicking right now. They are drastically marking down their inventory as if buyers will never come back. They have stopped shopping for inventory. Some have even contemplated quitting their online business altogether. This is not necessary! Take a deep breath and repeat, “This too shall pass.”

Your panic is understandable if you rely on eBay and Amazon to earn your living. The best course of action right now is to regroup and get ready for fall and holiday sales. Also, remember this time so that next July you will be prepared and know that the slowdown in sales is only temporary. There is really nothing we can do to make buyers purchase our items. But, we can use this time wisely to grow our businesses and prepare for the busy fall season. Here are some suggestions on how to pass the time while you are waiting for those “Your item has sold!” emails:

1. Organize your inventory. Are your shelves and bins a mess? Use this time to get organized so that when you start shipping 10-20 packages a day, everything will be in order.

2. Stock up on supplies. Go to USPS.com and order free Priority supplies, look on Craigslist for ads for free bubble wrap and boxes, make sure you have plenty of shipping labels and printer ink. Take an inventory of your supplies and restock for the busy months ahead.

3. Investigate or read about something new you have wanted to try. Maybe you have been thinking about selling on Amazon but don’t know where to start. (Now is a great time to learn about selling on Amazon – come join my Facebook group and chat with us!) Maybe you have wanted to try international shipping but need to learn how it works. Expand your horizons. Take this slow time to learn and grow, rather than waste energy worrying and fretting about not getting sales.

4. Explore consignment arrangements. There are many benefits to selling on consignment. The most appealing (to me) is the fact that you don’t have to buy inventory. You sell things for other people for a commission. You put in the time and work, but it doesn’t cost money out of your pocket. Click here for a complete course on how to expand your online business to include consignment clients.

5. Shop for inventory. Stock up on items to sell whether you are selling on eBay or Amazon. Regardless of if people are buying now, you are going to need inventory to sell in the coming months.

6. Read books that will improve your business skills. I recommend:

  1. How to Sell at Margins Higher than Your Competitors
  2. Why we Buy
  3. Barcode Booty

Keep yourself busy doing productive tasks over the next 2-3 weeks and don’t worry! Back to school and holiday shopping time is just around the corner.

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