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It’s Still the Season

Adding up the post-holiday pluses

If you’re the type to suffer a bit of post-holiday blues, don’t let it get you down. After you’ve filled the final orders just prior to the major calendar events, it’s understandable that you’re a bit tired and possibly even uncertain how to re-establish yourself after the gift-giving crunch has passed. The cure for what ails you is the simple knowledge that there is so much more opportunity in online marketing and selling even after the festive frenzy is over.

Not only are there plenty of sales still to be made, there are also plenty of inventory-boosting bargains to be had as you look to restock your potentially depleted storeroom. Simply put, other sellers like you are equally weary, but there’s still a motivated army of consumers to be served, and smart sellers realize this isn’t the time to begin a lengthy hibernation from their businesses.

So, grab that last bit of eggnog or fill up your cup with the remaining spiced cider—the holiday season still has a bit more joy in store for you online sellers, regardless what the calendar might suggest.

Fulfilling holiday wishes

Surely enough, someone out there will step forward to lament that he or she didn’t get what they really wanted this year. The good news is that these unfulfilled individuals now turn to the online market to quickly satisfy their desire for that special something they yearned for but never received. Post-holiday sales at e-commerce sites and auction venues have shown remarkable activity, and sellers have found there’s no need to slack off the posting and positioning of goods just because the core holiday season is ending.

Attract eager buyers with post-holiday promotions—sales, “bundled buys,” special shipping rates and the like—and continue to promote much of the same merchandise that appealed to the pre-holiday buyers (many of whom might not have gotten such goods at the earlier opportunity or were holding out for post-holiday promotions and offers). And don’t forget to rotate in other goods that you might have set aside while attending to the holiday crowd; you’re now looking to show off your other great wares that will hopefully have these post-season buyers coming back in the months to come.

Once the holiday is over, shoppers are still eager to traverse the cyber auction parlors for even more great items

A bid for more buyers

Each year, more and more folks have ventured online to the heavily hyped auction sites (namely, eBay) to experience an exciting new way to shop for holiday gifts. Once the holiday is over, those shoppers are still eager to traverse the cyber auction parlors for even more great items. They have discovered the excitement of online buying or bidding and are eager to continue in their newfound fun. Be sure to maintain an auction presence after the holiday to capture the attention and patronage of this new crop of end-of-year, wide-eyed shoppers. When you find you’re entertaining newcomers, help them learn the ropes of buying online while taking the opportunity to introduce them to your online store, Web space or auction items currently up for bid.

On the horizon: April 15th

Just as you might have ramped up to serve the gift-giving crowds, so too do you need to tend to the post-holiday shoppers who will be quite active in their discretionary purchasing right up until tax time rolls around. Still glowing from the fun and fulfillment of their recent online purchases, new online shoppers and collectors will continue to draw from the online pool of goods with enthusiasm& and then March rolls around. Faced with uncertain outcome of their looming income tax return, many buyers will unceremoniously suspend their online purchases until they know whether they’ll be giving or receiving during the tax season. As a seller, keep your goods flowing freely during January, February and into March, then expect a bit of a lull during the ominous month of April that, incidentally, is a great time for sellers to become active buyers while activity—and prices—take a dip.

Don’t forget that now is prime time to reinvest in your own inventory

Restocking and remarketing

Don’t forget that now is prime time to reinvest in your own inventory. You needn’t look too far to find many other online sellers as well as brick-and-mortar retailers actively cleaning out their inventories, some thinking that what didn’t sell isn’t of any appeal—not so! Some holiday leftovers are just as inviting when warmed up and presented in a new light. Often, goods that don’t sell are the result of a well- and sometimes over-served consumer pool.

Think of the last time you were stuffed full at the holiday table; the food was still tasty, but you couldn’t fit in another bite—not until later, anyway. The same holds true for goods that temporarily lose their immediate appeal with buyers but which will tempt them again at a later time. Grab up the deals from other sellers who have lost faith in these items and be ready to reintroduce them to the sure-to-be eager consumers at another time. Watch for finished goods and raw materials (such as fabric, notions or whatever) that might also be up for liquidation now, yet will woo the shoppers in the year to come.

Then, keep a sharp eye out for the unique sorts of items that perhaps you sell, being especially attentive at auction sites for item listings that will be closing within the next couple of days—and especially within the next couple of hours. Watch out for items that may have been overlooked by others during this end-of-year closeout flurry. They could be momentarily undervalued goods well suited to bear a profit for you in the coming weeks or months.

So even though the holidays have passed, the mobs have dispersed and it feels as if the opportunity for profits has similarly dissipated, remember there is plenty of good business to be done, even when the calendar tries to proclaim the party’s over. It isn’t.

About the author

Dennis L. Prince
Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay...and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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