Every eBay seller’s year is different. For some, September is the month with most sales. For others, spring is the consistently successful. One trend is common though; a slump in sales during summer. Buyers are drawn away from browsing on eBay to instead spend time on the beach, in their garden or at yard sales. Here are a few ways to beat the slowdown and help boost sales this summer.
Embrace the season
Start thinking about what people buy in the summer and diversify your stock. If your mind goes blank, check newspaper advertising and social media. Take a good look at what the traditional stores in town are selling. People are busy outdoors but what kind of items are they buying and using? Gardening items, camping gear, travel luggage are all items that are regularly used during the summer months.
Time for a sale
A slower time of year, such as summer, is a great time to evaluate your stock and clean house. Items that barely sell or sell very slowly are ideal products to include in a summer sale. This will help to free up space (and money!) for newer, seasonal products that may sell better. Lowering prices may decrease profits but low performing items take up space and continuously lose money in the form of listing fees.
After clearing out low-performing items, take a good look at remaining listings. Consider whether your pricing remains competitive. Experienced sellers continuously check their competition but newer sellers may find that the market price for certain items has increased (or decreased) since first listing.
Sellers not comfortable with cutting prices too low over summer may want to consider offering more listings with Best Offer enabled. Allowing buyers to make an offer can attract some much-needed attention during slow seasons. More importantly, it opens the conversation between buyer and seller. Unlike other online stores, eBay offers a human-to-human interaction and Best Offer is a symbol of this.
Don’t forget about international sales! While some of eBay’s biggest markets (USA, UK) may be soaking up the summer sun, over in the southern hemisphere, it is the middle of winter. With a solid user base, eBay Australia offers good selling potential. For eBay sellers based in the USA, UK and Canada, there is no language barrier either. Sellers can either allow international shipping on regular listings or sell directly on the international eBay site.
Other selling channels
As much as this is an eBay selling guide, remember that eBay isn’t the only place to sell online! Certain types of items sell better on alternative online marketplaces than on eBay and vice versa. Diversifying income channels is never a bad thing and a slower sales period can be a good time to experiment.
Sellers experiencing a slow summer could use the extra time to plan ahead for the next season. Traditional retailers are usually a minimum of one season ahead and experienced sellers often use this tactic too. Selling summer items during summer makes sense but it could be even more lucrative to sell these items in spring. Think about how retailers start intensely selling Christmas items straight after Halloween; they don’t wait until December!
Aside from boosting sales, sellers can also help their summer profits by thinking about ways of saving money. When evaluating existing listings, consider whether those optional listing fees (extra photos, bold text etc) are worth it. These upgrades do not cost much per individual post but over hundreds of listings, they can really add up. Other cost-cutting ideas would be to reduce listing numbers in general or switch to auction-style over fixed price listings.
Making the most of a summer slowdown
Summer is vacation time for many and eBay sellers are no exception. Some sellers reduce time spent on eBay during the summer months to enjoy the sun and spend time outdoors. Of course, careful planning is required to do this (if eBay is the sole income channel) and not every seller will be able to switch off in this way. Other sellers go on as normal and try not to worry about reduced sales. Whatever kind of seller you are, the same advice still applies; work smart, prepare for the worst and don’t give up!
What are your summer selling tips for other eBay sellers?