I received a question from a blog reader, Paul, on a recent Q&A post which I had initially planned to answer in the upcoming Questions and Answers #37. However as it turned out to be a more substantial answer, I’ve instead decided to give it a dedicated post.
Here is Paul’s original comment, so you can see what questions he had:
I was only just thinking today, I need to start planning for Christmas, and that I feel a few related questions needed asking, and there you go and mention it in this week’s Q&A!
My first question you already answered: When do you start planning for Christmas? (Now it seems! Or earlier…) I am currently doing the same, but I can feel September/October becoming a very busy period.
Second: I know this is a very open “length of string” question, but how much do you think your sales increase during this period? Yes, it depends on the type of product I guess. It’s my first year, so I don’t have previous years to look back on, and I’m fumbling in the dark really. I have two accounts, one selling gift packing and boxes which will obviously have a big increase, and the 2nd selling men’s shaving products, and the gift set side of this should find an increase too.
Ultimately, I’m not in a position where I’ll have Christmas excess stock hanging around as it sells all year round anyway, so my current strategy is pretty much to order as much as I can afford, taking into account cashflow, in readiness. It’s a bit of a dumb strategy but I don’t have much else to go on.
Finally, when do you see orders pick up in retail? October/November/December? I originally thought I had loads of time, but now realise December probably isn’t the best point to be aiming for, as many people will have purchased something before, especially taking into account delivery time scales.
Feel free to put this as a Q&A for next time, although I’d love some brief thoughts if you had some time.
Firstly, while some products are of course more seasonal than others, sales do pick up for nearly every niche before Christmas.
When exactly does this increase start?
Well there is no specific date where suddenly there is a huge jump in sales… it is actually a much more gradual and sustained increase which starts from late August/early September.
Summer is generally a very quiet period for a lot of eBay sellers (I’ve touched upon this topic in the past: http://andrewminalto.com/ebay-sales-going-down/) and as summer comes to an end sales will start to build up again before reaching their peak a little before Christmas. [Read more…]