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September 14, 2017

4th Quarter Strategies for Selling More on eBay This Holiday

Already? Can you believe it? Fourth quarter is upon us, so now is the time to crank up the volume on your holiday sales plan. A simple review of several elements in your eBay account can give you a lot of solid information to work with when preparing your end-of-the-year strategy.

Review Your Current Listings

Which product listings have performed the best? Break down the following information:

  1. Traffic levels
  2. Conversion rate
  3. Profit margin
  4. Turnaround time (not in any particular order)

You’ll find numbers one and two inside Seller Hub. Click to the Performance tab, then to Traffic. Set your dates, then scroll down to the Listings section. You’ll find the products you’ve sold with statistics that show traffic, click-throughs, conversions, and other useful data.

The products with a combination of the highest traffic levels and best conversion rates should be considered for holiday selling if restocking is an option and if the profit margin was acceptable. Even if you are not able to purchase more of the product, evaluating the listings can help you possibly recreate the success with other items.

Number three (profit margin) is a key performance indicator (KPI) that you will have to calculate from your own records. After all expenses were accounted for, was this product profitable to sell? You will want to include these (and other costs) in your evaluation: product cost, shipping to you (if any), shipping to customer (if any), supplies (boxes, packing tape, etc.) taxes, the value of your time, etc.

If the product is easy to get and the listing had plenty of traffic and lots of sales, but you made little to no money … what’s the point? It would be a waste of your time.

Number four encourages you to look at the amount of time it will take to order and get more of the products. Basically, do you have time to get these items in before November? If you have a local supplier it might not be an issue. If you order from overseas, it could likely take two or three months to place an order, have it shipped via freighter, clear Customs, and arrive at your business.

Review Your Inventory

Now that you’ve decided whether or not to continue selling items you currently offer, you’ll also want to take a look at what new items you’ll add for the holiday season. Obviously, toys are always hot, but not every seller is interested in (or equipped to) carry toys.

Other ideas for the gift-giving season include:

  • Gift Sets – From fancy bath salts to chocolate and everything in between, gift sets are wildly popular as Christmas gifts. Even if you keep some of your long-term, bestselling items, you can create a holiday-related bundle and call it a gift set. Everybody loves them because most shoppers have no idea what to buy anyone on their lists. J
  • Electronics Accessories – With all the sales going on during fourth quarter, lots of folks will get new game consoles, cell phones, and computers. That means headphones, cases, speakers, and computer supplies will also be flying off the virtual shelves.
  • Home/Kitchen – Last year, stand mixers, vacuum cleaners, and generators (yes, really) were top-selling gifts.

If you search online for “bestselling holiday gifts ebay {year}” you’ll find lots of other ideas.

Review Your Listings

Successes and failures can teach you a lot. If you have items that can sell across seasonal lines, rework the listings and leave them active through fourth quarter. If you’re creating new listings, take a cue from the top-performing product pages you’ve had throughout the year.

Do the various elements have common denominators? Are the titles all written the same (or in a similar) way? Did you optimize the description section using the same techniques? If yes, carry those strategies forward to the listings you’ll make for this holiday season.

Tips for Crafting eBay Listing Pages That Sell More

Titles

Basically, your titles need to be keyword-laced and info-packed with a bow on top!

With such a small number of characters to work with, you have to make every one count. Lace your titles with as many relevant keywords as will fit, but put them in a logical order and choose ones (or include additional words) that offer useful information to your shoppers.

Your title will be easier to read and more helpful if phrased something like this:

Tazo Zen Green Tea with Lemongrass & Mint, 24-Count Filter Bags (Pk of 6 Boxes)

Instead of this:

24-Count Lemongrass Tea, Mint Tea, Green Tea, 6 Boxes, Tea Bags, Tazo Zen

Look at high-volume keywords, but don’t neglect long-tail phrases that might bring in more qualified traffic. As shoppers begin to look for products, they use phrases that are very broad. When they begin to filter through the options and get a clearer picture of what they actually want, the search phrases they use get ever narrower. Long-tail keyphrases based on buyer intent are the result.

Yes, you could drive tons of traffic to your listing for a 15-inch lightweight laptop computer that shoppers may or may not buy. Or you can test a strategy of sending more qualified shoppers by incorporating a phrase like: HP 15-inch Envy touchscreen laptop. Less traffic. Fewer click-throughs. But typically a much higher conversion rate.

Description

Before you can communicate with your customers, you need some idea of what they are looking for and why. Instead of writing an eBay listing about your product, create one FOR your customers. Copy should be informative, but engaging.

Is there a story behind the item? Does it offer exclusive features? Have you put together a bundle that includes a primary product and several accessories? Does your product overcome issues that other brands suffer from? Communicate that to your shoppers.

To get a better understanding about what customers like and don’t like with regard to products like those you’re selling, read reviews. Check other sites, including Amazon.comWal-MartJet.com and more.

Are you seeing comments (or general ideas) that customers keep repeating? Use similar statements in your copy to connect with shoppers. For instance, if you’re selling a grilling tool set and find several reviews that mention the weight of the accessories (heavy-duty, beefy, strong) or that the tongs are extra-long and “saved my hands from burns,” use those words and phrases when you describe the set in your copy.

Yes, write in paragraph style, but also include at least one bullet list that highlights the features and benefits.

Most of all, answer the questions shoppers have so they can make a buying decision.

Hype doesn’t sell. Long-winded, useless copy doesn’t sell. Clarity sells. If your customer is confused or can’t easily find the details s/he needs to satisfy them, they will click away.

Keywords

Above All … Don’t Guess! Too many sellers literally take a flying leap when it comes to keyword research. I strongly encourage you to get detailed and accurate information from professional sources instead of guessing about what will work well.

You simply cannot make a confident decision about which keywords to target unless you have accurate data.

Once you’ve determined which keywords and phrases are best suited for your listing, include them in the title (most important term near the front) and in the first 100 characters of your description.

Get a move on now to evaluate and order products, and create stellar listings that will make this the most profitable holiday season yet.


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Karon Thackston is president of Marketing Words Copywriting Agency helping Amazon sellers, eCommerce site owners and content marketers rank higher, convert better and make more sales.

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