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eBay Holiday Marketing Tips

October 17th, 2009 by Skip McGrath

The holidays are fast approaching and this is the time of year when eBay sellers make the most money. For example, last year our sales for November thru January exceeded our sales for the prior 5 months. I just sent this out to my newsletter subscribers, but since some of my blog readerrs don’t subscribe I wanted to share it with you too. If you would like to subscribe to my FREE TWICE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER click here The eBay Seller’s News.

I wanted to give you three resources with this issue:

1. eBay Holiday Selling Tips:

  • The Thanksgiving selling season has already started. The Christmas selling starts the day after Halloween.
  • Free Shipping works best during the holiday season
  • People often buy more than one of the same item during the Christmas season. The best way to take advantage of this is with fixed price listings for multiple quantities. If you offer free shipping when someone buys more than one item this always works
  • This year people will be looking for bargains. eBay’s markdown manager is a great tool to find those buyers
  • People are shopping every day. Run shorter duration auctions and run them more often

2. Key Dates To Start Promotions

  • If you have any Thanksgiving related products or promotions you should be sending them out now and launching auctions next week.
  • Start your Christmas promotions the day after Halloween
  • The day after Thanksgiving is not only a big retail day it is also a big day on eBay. Make sure you have auctions ending on that day. Anytime from 8AM Pacific to 7PM Pacific is a good time. If you have identical products that sell well for Christmas, have an auction end once an hour starting at 8AM. This way your items will appear at the top of the search results on one of the biggest shopping days of the year. I did this for one of my products last year and 9 out of my 12 listings sold and over half of them went with the BIN price.
  • Start offering optional expedited on December 18th and keep it going right up to Christmas eve. Even if someone buys on Christmas eve with expedited shipping they will not get it in time, but people still do that as some of them are always a couple days late.
  • Run a post-Christmas sale with markdown manager starting December 28th and running through January 15th.

3. Holiday Toy Guide

Every year about this time, Jennie Hunt comes out with her Holiday Toy Guide. Even eBay sellers who don’t normally sell toys can make money in this category this time of year. Last year one of Jennie’s readers who had never sold toys before made over $4000 selling toys she bought retail from discount warehouses and outlets.

Jennie has just produced a great article about the toy market and what it will look like in this economy. Here is the article. After you read it, you can visit Holiday Toy Guide and get more free articles and read about Jennie’s service.  When it comes to the toy market Jennie is the acknowledged expert on the eBay Toy Market.

How Is The Economy Going To Effect Toy Sales On eBay This Year?
By Jennie Hunt

If you are an eBay seller, you probably can’t help but think about how the economy might affect the biggest selling season of the year… holiday toy sales.

First of all, I think it is important to note that nobody can predict how things are going to pan out this year (or any year for that matter)… no matter who says it or how they say it… until we are smack in the middle of the season, it is just a prediction.

Even so, it would be unwise if we ignored the status of the economy and didn’t take a closer look as to how this selling season COULD be affected. It is equally important to examine strategies we, as sellers, can put into place that will help ensure a profitable selling season regardless of how glum things may look today.

What We Can Rely On

  1. That children always come first.

    Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles… no matter what… will find a way to make their child’s holiday one to remember. Even if it means cutting the budget elsewhere, they will find a way to buy toys and gifts for the children in their lives.

  2. Even in a slow economy, the holidays still bring out good cheer.

    The holidays are known for being a time for hope and generosity. Although you wouldn’t always recognize this when customers fight over the last (latest and greatest) Elmo on the shelves… the motive is still to bring cheer to the loved ones in their lives during the holidays.

  3. Most people don’t know how to budget.

    Consumer debt in our country is through the roof… we don’t really understand how to control spending… and, although I can’t encourage getting into more debt, I think it is safe to assume that people will spend what they feel like they have to spend to make the people in their lives happy this year. This means people are going to be buying the hottest toys for the children in their lives… even if it means going into debt.

Okay, so we know people are still going to buy. In fact, Deloitte Research and Retail Forward are predicting sales to be flat this holiday season compared to a year ago when it dropped significantly. At the same time, the International Council of Shopping Centers has predicted a 1% increase in sales compared to last year’s sales.

The only thing we really know is that analysts are all over the board. No one really knows what will happen… But, we can assume that, although they may be forced to cut back from previous years (you do have to have food on the table), we are a society that is known for getting deeper and deeper into debt. But what if people do cut corners and aren’t interested in (or able to) buying the hot toys that are released for this holiday season?

They are still going to buy toys!

I’m confident that even if parents can’t afford to, they will find a way to buy toys for their children. And, if they can’t afford to get the newest toys for this year… they will buy used. Did you know that used toys sell well all year long – and they do quite well during the holiday season too? I can’t help but wonder if new toy sales slump a bit this year… only to find that used toy sales go through the roof!

We’ll have to wait and see to find out – but, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

One of the best strategies toy sellers can implement this holiday season is to offer both used and new toys to their customers.

Even though new toys traditionally skyrocket during the holidays… and that means sellers can buy them at full retail prices only to see them double or triple on eBay… there can be a much higher profit margin when selling used toys. You can pick up gently used toys at yard sales, consignment shops, estate sales and thrift stores for pennies on the dollar and turn them around for 100-200% profit on eBay!

But, it all comes down to knowing what sells…

The Holiday Toy Guide is created to help you make the most from your toy selling efforts on eBay… to help you know what is selling (and what isn’t!)… and in an unpredictable economy – this is MUST HAVE information.

Holiday Toy Guide

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