As we get closer to the holidays, I am trying to plan ahead with how to run things while selling on eBay, Amazon and my website. This is my third year selling on eBay but my first on Amazon and my Website. I have been asked by some other sellers if I had a "list" of things that need to be done, or even how do I know what to sell at Christmas. My first answer is "I don't know what will be selling at Christmas until 3 weeks before Christmas". And even what may be hot right now may not be 2 days from now. It's ever changing on ebay so it's important to understand this so you don't drive yourself crazy driving all over the place looking for something that has lost profit. This is the honest truth!!
From now until around the end of November sales will steadily pick up...After December 1st, watch out and hold on to your butt because it's a WILD ride until December 23rd lol.
As for a list of how you can prepare ahead of time, here are some things off of the top of my head. As things progress, I'll come back and add to this to help you try to stay sane:)
- Order your shipping supplies NOW, especially if you order from the USPS. They will run out by Nov 30th, guaranteed. Stock up on tape, paper, labels, business cards, box cutters (there is a cool one you can buy from Lowes), TONS of newspaper and bubble wrap, large polymailers, and brown kraft paper. Most of these things can be found in bulk from you local Sam's Club, Walmart, BJ's or Costco or even eBay. (I will usually buy an extra "something" while I'm out shopping so that it's not a large cash outlay at one time.)
- Have cash available and/or a NO INTEREST credit card to use to purchase your toys on. I can not stress enough about how very easy it is to get into debt when using the credit card, so cash is a good choice if you are not structured enough to pay off the credit card right away.
- Stock up on food, make casseroles etc and freeze them starting around November so you have ready made meals and don't have to resort to fast food. Seriously, my first season selling that was all my daughter and I ate:( It got old real fast. I know some sellers will use places like http://www.supersuppers.com/ that are the meal planning places you go into and premake the meals to freeze for a month at a time. Make it a party and invite some friends to go with you.
- Hire a helper to help take pictures, do listings, watch the kids, stick a load of laundry in, pack up boxes for shipping etc. You can easily find a teenager to come in and help you a couple of hours a day and they love the extra cash:)
- Plan your holiday routine now. Shop for your friends and family now while you are not rushed, tired, cranky and hungry. Put up your holiday decorations EARLY, probably before Thanksgiving. Also, decide HOW you are wanting to spend the holiday with your family. Just the immediate family on a certain day, Family on one day etc. This way you can plan around it so that it sounds like FUN and NOT an obligation to you when the time comes.
This is all that I can think of right now...I know as time goes on I'll have more so be sure to mark this so that you'll be able to come back and read it. Also, if you all have any comments or suggestions, PLEASE make them, I'd love to hear from you.