Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gearing Up for the Holidays

It may still be August, but now is the time to get ready for the very busy holiday season.  The last thing you want to do is to run out of prime necessities when you have a large stack of orders to ship.

Make sure you have a large supply of the boxes in all sizes.  Order from USPS now if you use Priority Mail boxes. They can take 10 days to arrive during the holiday season, so stock up now!

If you ship clothing or soft goods, consider using a poly mailer instead of a box.  They are easy to store and come in a variety of sizes. Here's what a poly mailer looks like if you're not sure what I mean:

I buy my bags and poly mailers from The Paper Mart but you can find a lot of shipping supply sellers on eBay too.  Another popular place to get everything from tape to boxes is Uline.

Stock up on tape and bubble wrap or whatever padding materials you need.  I keep a large supply of packing peanuts, bubble wrap and blank newsprint so I have some options depending on what I am shipping.  I always make sure my item isn't banging around inside the box; it shows that you care about your buyer's item IMO.

I love the Scotch 3M packing tape, it's thick and I rarely have to "pick" at it to get it started if it ends up back on the roll.  BJ's Wholesale Club has a coupon right now for $5 off an 8 pack on 3M tape if you have or know someone that has a BJ's membership.   Last month Costco Wholesale Warehouse ran a similar deal and hopefully they will run it again before the holidays. Whatever tape you use, buy a large supply so you don't have to fight crowds during the busy shopping season.

I place a high percentage of my items in some sort of plastic bag for protection in case the box gets wet. I have a lot of different sizes of zip-top bags and cello bags.  I use these for everything from toys to shoes and believe me it's worth the money. If a mail carrier leaves something out in a huge water puddle doesn't mean the buyer isn't going to come screaming at you because the item is ruined.  It may not be your fault but it becomes your problem!

Finally, consider getting some of your personal holiday shopping, planning and chores done early so you can enjoy the season.  I try to write my Christmas cards and buy gift in advance so I'm ready and not stressing about everything I need to do to ensure a great Christmas for my family.

Happy Selling,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to School Sales

I'm happy to report that the buyers are back! Summer can be a slow time on eBay, but the end of July starts to heat up in more ways then one.  Back to school shoppers are looking for deals but people are still looking for summer gear too since the retail stores are sold out of summer merchandise.

For instance, these Ralph Lauren swim trunks just sold for $129.   Check out this Victoria's Secret swimsuit that just sold for $110.00.  The seller says "sold out in stores and online"!  I've used that line before even though I purchased the item the day before at a retail store.   Don't be fooled, you can often find "sold out" items in stores.

It's a great time to purchase summer merchandise on clearance. You can either hold it until spring of 2012 or if you have an eBay store, put it in there and hold out for your price. If you ship internationally your summer things may fly out of your store in the winter.

Hopefully while you're out hunting for summer bargains, your fall and winter stuff is selling out of your eBay store.  For me, I'm selling both winter and summer at the same time.  Last night someone bought these kid's boots:

The day before someone bought these summer shoes:

This is why I like to keep all seasons of merchandise in my store. You never know what will sell!

Back to school is a very busy time on eBay.  People are looking for a good deal or for a hottie that they can't find in stores.  If you have kids, you need to sort last year's outgrown clothing ASAP and get it listed. Personally, I like to list small lots of items; I find that Gap jeans are hot sellers in sets of 2 to 4 pairs.  Last year I was able to sell my son's jeans that he outgrew for $50 when I put them in a lot of 4.  Not bad for something that we can no longer use.
Obviously backpacks and school bags are popular sellers.  I listed this L.L. Bean backpack the other day and it sold in a few hours. I guess I should have listed it for more! I only paid $2 for it and sold it for $20.

Whatever the item, get it listed because it won't sell if it's not listed! I just purchased a large lot of items from a friend that was moving, so I'll be listing right along with you.

Happy selling,