It’s hard to believe we are already winding down the holiday selling season. Most online sellers are either feeling elated with their sales totals so far, or let down they didn’t get enough stuff listed. Remember there is still time to take advantage of the 42 million people (according to a survey by the National Retail Federation) who, as of the second week of December, have still not gotten their shopping done. It’s also important to remember there are thousands of people who don’t even celebrate Christmas and are shopping as usual. The selling season has only just hit its middle, not its end.
What I have found to be true year after year, is that the best selling months are January and February. I believe this happens for a couple reasons, first the big retailers stop carrying a lot of the things that they bring in specifically for the holidays. This makes for many hard-to-find products once they are sold out. Secondly, people who have been so focused on buying gifts for other people, now get to shop for themselves!
The brick and mortar stores have been driving their traffic with sales and specials, many of which even online sellers can take advantage of, with some savvy retail arbitrage. What a lot of eBay and Amazon sellers don’t realize is you can continue to take advantage of the holiday selling season. Many of the big retailers such as Target, Big Lots and Toys’R'Us really do have to consider their need to move merchandise off the shelves to make way for the next season. What this means for you as an online seller is there will be tremendous mark downs on popular items such as toys and games, household items such as small appliances and decor, baby items and just about everything else!
I start hitting the after Christmas sales for things that will sell all year long. I’m looking for products I can buy several of and keep a depth of inventory, which means working smarter not harder. One write up, and just keep raking in the profit over and over. I will also buy good quality Christmas items at 50-75% off. People buy Christmas stuff all year long, believe it or not! Buying at very low prices makes it of great benefit to hold onto that inventory if even until next season, because you will be the first one to have it listed and ready to sell.
Look for items that are add ons to special dolls, toys and games. Kids will be begging parents for the same widget that their best buddy on the block got. This tends to be a time of year for many a parent to cave in and spoil kids with extra goodies. Those kids also get Christmas money and are itching to spend it! I’ve found it isn’t only the kids either, dads may not have gotten that tool they were hankering for, or the new pair of shoes they needed for work. Just always be thinking while you are out sourcing of the types of items that would be great additions to the Christmas gift treasure trove.
This is a great time to utilize any discounts, points and membership perks you’ve been storing up as well. Many stores allow you to use these on top of already lowered prices. A store that is particularly good about this is Kohls. I’ve often walked out with them almost owing me some money back!
One of the biggest tips I want to share is to not sit on items purchased for resale. If you bring it home, be sure and either get it listed right away or sent into Amazon FBA to be made available for sale. It doesn’t do any good to save a bunch of money buying great inventory if you don’t get it up for sale. There will always be more “stuff” to buy, and we all know that buying is the fun part of this business! The great thing about the holiday shopping season is it comes back year after year and you get a second chance to do it all over again.
Danni Ackerman is the founder of The Danni App where she’s putting the fun into eBay. She is also the author of The Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store, Storage Lockers for Fun and Profit and organizer of the Las Vegas Online Sellers Meetup Group . Known as Udderly Good Stuff online, she’s been on eBay since 1998 and has grown up in the world of antiques and collectibles and reselling “stuff.” She hosts her own weekly podcast called Ask the Danni App , regularly appears on eBay Radio and is a speaker at eBay events and more. She is the mother of 4 including two youngsters she calls her shipping supervisors, and makes a lifestyle out of juggling business and family. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @theDanniApp.