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5 Tips for Successful Holiday Selling on eBay

December 8th, 2010

suzanne-wells_1Here are five important tips for eBay shippers courtesy of Suzanne Wells, the eBay Selling Coach.

Selling on eBay during the holiday season presents its own unique challenges.  Not only is December the busiest selling season, but it can also be very busy in the personal lives of sellers with holiday travels and extra family commitments to take care of.  To make this time of year easier, here are some tips to streamline your operations, use eBay features, and stay organized.

Tip #1  – Maximize your sales with Best Offer

To maximize sales, add Best Offer to all store inventory listings where applicable.   Best Offer allows customers to offer to purchase your item at a price below your asking price.   You may get a higher price for your items than if you use Markdown Manager (a tool you can use to create discounts on your products) and slash your prices by a certain percentage.  Remember that times are tough and consumers are on a holiday budget.  Buyers may purchase more from you using Best Offer and taking advantage of shipping discounts.

Tip #2  – Let your customers “Buy it Now”

Add Buy it Now to all auctions.  Remember, time is of the essence in December.  Make sure you do your research and set your Buy It Now price high enough based on historical sales of the same item.  As December 25th approaches, buyers may not want to wait for an auction to end in order to get the item in time to give for the holidays.  Remember that buyers may be shipping the item to someone else as a gift.

Tip #3  – Know your deadlines

In this recent blog post on USPS holiday shipping deadlines, you will find a chart with shipping deadlines based on different services including domestic and international shipping options.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with these deadlines and message order deadline dates to your customers.

Tip #4 – Same day shipping

You may be tempted to spend your time listing more items — specially when the sales are rolling in —  but it is critical to provide good service to your customers who have already paid for their items to prevent harming future sales with   a neutral, negative, or low DSR rating.  If you have enough volume, you may even want to consider bringing in extra help for shipping during December.

Tip #5 – Know your limits and set boundaries

While you certainly want to make the most of the holiday selling season, don’t bite off more than you can chew.  If you are selling hot toys and going on 2 AM toy runs to Target and WalMart to buy popular toys as soon as they hit the shelves, remember that we all only have 24 hours in a day.  Choose a few hot products to sell and be careful not to take on too much.  You will have to pack and ship in addition to listing, operating your eBay business, and getting ready for your own family’s holiday.   The holidays are a special family time and you don’t want to be too stressed out trying to make a few hundred extra dollars online.  Set personal boundaries for how much time you will spend working on eBay and make sure you enjoy your own holiday season.

For more holiday shipping suggestions, be sure to check out these ten holiday shipping tips from Stamps.com.

About the Author
Selling on eBay since 2003, Suzanne Wells aka The eBay Selling Coach has sold over 17,000 items as a one person operation and has achieved the status of Silver Level Power Seller on eBay.   Suzanne’s book, The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Successful eBay Selling helps eBay sellers learn what products to sell, where to find them and how to successfully market on eBay.

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