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I have had a drop in sales since Easter, which I assumed was due to the seasonal nature of my merchandise. (And also due to my desire to be out in the weather with my toddler, instead of chained to a computer, KWIM?)

My sales have started to creep back up in the past couple weeks, and that got me wondering when I could expect them to go back up to normal. Anyone have any ideas?
Original Post
Spring and Summer have traditionally been slow.

The list below is by no means set in stone..but it's a REAL GOOD gauge to go by.

This is a real good time of the year for you the seller to get your ducks in a row for the bigger selling months (looking around for items that are hot sellers for the coming months) and expanding your business outside of eBay.

Plus, with the lazy days of summer, isn't it sweet to just kick back some days and watch the grass grow? <smile>

My best,
Donna

What Sells When?

January

Toys-especially one time holiday items like Nutcracker Barbie
HOT toys are still HOT
Valentine themed clothing & stuff
Nascar Racing stuff
Video Games
College Textbooks

February

Transitional clothing
Easter and Spring clothing
Swimsuits
St. Patricks Day stuff

March

Easter Dresses & Accessories
Spring & Summer clothing

April

Summer clothing
Swimwear
Prom dresses
Spring sporting goods-baseball, tee-ball, softball, lacrosse
Mothers Day items

May

Summer clothing
Swimwear
Outdoor toys
Fathers Day stuff

June

Summer clothing
Outdoor toys
Video Games
4th of July clothing

July

Back to School everything
Transitional clothing
Fall clothing
School uniforms
Scouting uniforms
Homeschooling books

August

Fall & Winter clothing
Coats
School gear-backpacks, etc.
College textbooks

September

Fall & Winter clothing
Halloween stuff
NFL Stuff
Fall sporting goods-football, field hockey, soccer, cheerleading

October

Christmas toys-watch for HOT toy
Halloween costumes
Winter clothing
Thanksgiving Items

November

Winter clothing
Christmas outfits & stuff
Ski wear

December

NWT sells well
HOT toy
Skiwear
Winter sporting goods-basketball
Thanks for the input...

So, Donna and Magie - do you let your inventory dwindle down a bit during the slow season, or do you try to keep it up?

I've let my inventory dwindle and I haven't been running auctions or doing much promotion at all, so I know that contributes to my lag in sales to some extent. But I went through a few weeks of poor sales and so I figured "why fight it?" And that I might as well back off, save my time and money for the fall, etc.
That's a very cool list Donna.
Thanks for sharing! Smile Printing now.

quote:
and that got me wondering when I could expect them to go back up to normal. Anyone have any ideas?

I've been wondering myself as I had a bunch of summer dresses, skirts and such starting at 99 cents, but they flopped so bad, I nearly wept. I thought starting everything at 99 cents might entice bidding. I guess I was wrong. My victoria secret gown only went for $6.50. I thought it would have went for much more.
Would buy it now's do better? Or just screw the sale mentality and set the opening bid at what's acceptable for myself?
quote:
Originally posted by cakethings:
Thanks for the input...

So, Donna and Magie - do you let your inventory dwindle down a bit during the slow season, or do you try to keep it up?

I've let my inventory dwindle and I haven't been running auctions or doing much promotion at all, so I know that contributes to my lag in sales to some extent. But I went through a few weeks of poor sales and so I figured "why fight it?" And that I might as well back off, save my time and money for the fall, etc.


My everything has dwindled down but not by design. More from eBay Live and feeling lazy after eBay Live. I sell new and mostly preowned apparel. The store items with gallery list for .03 each. So every item will cost me .36 each over 12 months. I plan on loading my store up, up, up! If I can (which I should be able to do) I would like to have at least 500 store items up at any given time. That will cost $180 per year at .36 each times 12 months! That's nothing. Okay, it is an additional $15 per month added to the basic store subscription of $15.99. Heck, if I can't sell at least $30.99 to cover these costs then I should just close the darn thing. I found placing store items in slightly higher than you want for them and placing Best Offer on it works well. Most items I'm willing to accept $10 to $15 for each. I place them in at $19.95, $16.95, $14.95 and $12.95 with Best Offer. Sometimes, they just buy the item at cost. If you sell lower priced merchandise like I do it might work for you as well. I purchase almost everything at such a low cost I still make great money.

It all depends on what someone is selling.

For me, I feel I need to list more both in auction (my best merchandise) and the rest (great stuff but not as much in demand) in the store. In fact, after eBay Live I'm pumped up to get on with it.

I say (it depends on what you're selling) list!
quote:
Originally posted by Magie Noire:
So, it depends on what you're selling, I guess. She's been a seller for years and has a steady customer base I'm sure. Still, she had to start someplace.

Six in one hand, half dozen in the other..right?

Sometimes its what you sell, sometimes it's the solid returning customer base. And sometimes it's the right item at the right time.

I'd sure be a nervous Nellie if I were that seller and lightened my selling load during the summer and found when I came back swinging in the fall that my steady customer base had flighted to another seller.

My best,
Donna
quote:
Originally posted by cakethings:
Thanks for the input...

So, Donna and Magie - do you let your inventory dwindle down a bit during the slow season, or do you try to keep it up?

I've let my inventory dwindle and I haven't been running auctions or doing much promotion at all, so I know that contributes to my lag in sales to some extent. But I went through a few weeks of poor sales and so I figured "why fight it?" And that I might as well back off, save my time and money for the fall, etc.


Under my other IDs...yep..I do retire those during the slower months. I used almost entirely take the summers off..so I could be with my children more. But they're older and we don't lay in the grass looking at the clouds as much as we used to when they were younger.

I digress...
With the exception of great finds. Olga nightgowns, camera lens, etc. I mostly have one ID going and work on the coming months.

I do alot of scouring during the summer months. Garage sales, Estate sales, thrift shops, etc.

I'm looking for items on the above list and packratting them away. (note there's a picture of my closets elsewhere on this forum...<swoon>Wink.

Now is an awfully good time to find items that are out of season and can be picked up for pennies. Stake out your Goodwill, Salvation Army on the half price, Penny, Quarter or Dollar Days!

I'm especially focused on the seasonal items, halloween costumes, christmas clothing, nwt items, vintage games etc.

Clean the items up if need be. Take pics, crop and get them ready.

Buy rubbermaid containers and mark them Fall, Back to School, Christmas, Halloween, Male, Female, Baby Etc. If you make hand crafted items, this is the time to be working on the upcoming holiday season items. You'll have them done, pics done and auctions designed and ready to go.

If sales are slow then this is a good time for you to get yourself organized.

During the down times with eBay, I'd advise....

Make a folder, name it...Halloween, Christmas, Fall, Back to School, Dime Day, Lots, etc.

Design your auctions and save them to the appropriate folder. When the day nears for launching or a sale then all you have to do is a small amt of research for pricing and wham! hit schedule and you're Good To Go.

Best of luck,
Donna
This totally depends on what you sell... I sell ceiling fans... so when I had my full ID going I would gross like $10K a month during the summer... this summer is slow since I am starting with zero feedback on a new account. Then my fall is okay... but then pick back up in November until Christmas. Then so so after Christmas until late April early May...

But it all is in what you sell Smile Steph
Donna...

Again, your advise leaves me in Awwwww (takin notes)

Just a great wealth of knowledge in your brunette head.. Donna!

When its slow... my two cents

Just keep it simple stupid... go back to the basics when its slow .... remember how you got there and having tons of technical junk and to much verbage can make your ads look un-appealing. When its slow it a good time to experiment with logo's for other IDs, Backgrounds, formats. Summer is excellent for research, hit the forums and like Donna said, scavage hunting for deals. Retail stores dump extra merchandise in June July August, so they can buy the Back to School merchandise and Christmas stock. You can find deals and make some future money in the Fall.

If your dependent on cash right now, then I think I can understand the urgency in your question. Been there and learned that business has its slow times, muscle through it, post some "Buy Now" deals, clear out some stuff, ask the neighbors if you can post some of their stuff, do a consignment for them. I have done well with a flyer on the door of neighbors. Had the kids put out 50 and got 10 calls and sold 1400.00 of stuff in a week. I was quiet surprised, they didnt know I did auctions and I took 25%, plus selling fees in commissions.

Hope that helps Big Grin
Thanks again for all the input. I'm still in my first year on eBay, so this discussion is really valuable to me.

quote:
Originally posted by eWonders:
If your dependent on cash right now, then I think I can understand the urgency in your question.


Nah, this is just a hobby to support another hobby. Okay, a few hobbies. Wink I have a "day job" that pays the bills.
quote:
Originally posted by megnsamsgrace:
This summer is slow since I am starting with zero feedback on a new account. Then my fall is okay... but then pick back up in November until Christmas. Then so so after Christmas until late April early May...

But it all is in what you sell Smile Steph

I'm rooting for you. I hate to hear you had to start with a new ID. And the attorney? Is that fight going anywhere? If you'd rather answer by email..you know my email.

I can't believe you had to start again from scratch...whatta buncha bovine feces!

Take care, Donna
quote:
Originally posted by eWonders:
Just a great wealth of knowledge in your brunette head.. Donna!

When its slow... my two cents

When its slow it a good time to experiment with logo's for other IDs, Backgrounds, formats.

If your dependent on cash right now, then I think I can understand the urgency in your question. Been there and learned that business has its slow times, muscle through it, post some "Buy Now" deals, clear out some stuff, ask the neighbors if you can post some of their stuff, do a consignment for them. I have done well with a flyer on the door of neighbors. Had the kids put out 50 and got 10 calls and sold 1400.00 of stuff in a week. I was quiet surprised, they didnt know I did auctions and I took 25%, plus selling fees in commissions.

Hope that helps Big Grin

Gosh, Thanks for the compliments. When I say something ditzy to the hubster (which is often) I smile real big at him and say...Aren't you lucky? You have a wife that's got brains and beauty. The TOTAL Package! HA!

Anyhooooo...You're nicer on consigning than I am. I hit them with 50%. It covers my eBay/Paypal fee's and more. Plus, most of the time, I have them take the pictures, too. (Bad Donna, Bad)

I don't like consigning all that much, but I do it at times to help my families pocketbook, weekends off and such.

50% scares off those that aren't serious about having me do it.

Most of the time, I end up having EBAY 101 at my house with them, teach them how to do the basics and then they fly on there own. (with many phone calls back and forth for advice)

If anyone else is consigning for others..be sure to sign up with eBay as a Traders Assistant. It places you on a roster with eBay thats searchable by zip codes.

I have a friend that approached me in February to sell her items. I then went to her house and she had 1/3 of her family room all set up and organized with her items for me to sell. I went WHOA Momma, I thought you meant like 5 items. We looked up Traders Assistants on eBay, she emailed 5. Five came by and gave her (us) a quote and then we researched who we wanted to give the business to. The Trading Assistants husband came by and picked up all the items, the TA photo'd them, put them up for auction, they sold and my girlfriend gotta check.

Sweet! Not my cup of tea, but there are those that enjoy doing this.

This is a great time too to get a working website up, ecrater, or whatever else you can. And to work on meta tags and key words to bring the search engines and sales.

Gotta run, Life is calling!
Donna
I learned long time ago it's not worth the time and fees for me to list in the summer. I sell clothing. I do great Sept- April, sometimes even May. When I sold in the summer out of 20 items a day maybe 1 or 2 would sell at starting bid. My profit was spent on the fees of everything tht didn't sell. PLUS I soon realized that I could sell that same shirt in Sept for 4X what it sold for in the summer. So I stopped listing in the summer.

I have my website stores and I keep them open and make sales there but I don't ebay in the summer.

The plan when I first started taking summers off was to write the listings so come Septemeber I could list 100+ items a day. Well, before you know it summer is over and I don't have anything done, lol. So I just play alot in the summer! lol!
Donna... its okay, nothing to hide. The attorney felt it was just going to be a waste of time. He did do some talking with the rep from the NCAA but they were firm in their position. So I sell NCAA off my website. Why they never bothered to google that is beyond me! But whatever.... Yes, starting at zero is a pain... but a lot of newer buyers are buying... guess they understand more everyone starts somewhere!
Since I can see aggregate sales data I've always noticed a slowdown starting at the first signs of good weather, usually very late March to early April.

The trend continues down until about early to mid July, then flattens out through the first week of August.

Then back to school hits and things trend up pretty good, and really heat up in September and get better through about Dec 15th.

About January 7th through the end of March are again pretty good months. Then the good weather hits again and it repeats.

June and July are pretty much always the slowest months.
Great advise found here from everyone. I have been selling on Ebay for awhile, but haven't really hit the "big time" yet as some of you have but I'm still hopeful. I have been advertising around town to sell on consignment and I have found a couple of people looking for my help, but with sales down I have felt like I have failed them which doesn't look good for referral sales. Reading the comments here has really given me a new boost and I'm ready to gear up for the busy season to start again. Thanks to all!

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