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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rethinking My Pricing Strategy

I'm a believe in the Saks vs. Dollar Store mentality. I want those buyers who have money to spend. I don't want the buyers that are looking for a bargain. The majority of the time that I've had an eBay store, I have catered to those buyers. I try to take nice pictures, write an appealing description, and I price my items HIGH with best offer. If we price our items too low, potential buyers will assume there is something wrong with the item.

In the past, this has worked well for me. Yes, I have to deal with low ball offers, but sometimes I get my full asking price! But lately, I've been rethinking this. My goal is to reach and maintain around a thousand listings in my store. I am nearly to 800. I have enough inventory here to get me to 1000 once I get it all listed. That's a lot of stuff, folks. A thousand items requires a lot of storage space! So I want to start focusing on a higher inventory turnover rate. I want to get these items in and out quickly.

My niche is shoes. Shoes are easy to pack and ship, so I would rather ship more of them at slightly lower prices, rather than just a couple pairs for higher prices. I decided to run a little experiment. It wasn't even a week before I realized that was definitely the way to go. Previously, I had been pricing my Clarks and Borns at $39.99 (sometimes even $44.99!) with the best offer option. My minimum acceptance price on those brands is $20-25, but mostly $25. Sure, they were selling eventually. But I need to move 'em out faster than "eventually"!

So what I've been doing recently is this: Any new Clarks and Borns listings that I put up are going straight to $25 plus shipping, no Best Offer option. Also, as my current listings are coming up for renewal, I'm clicking on "Sell Similar" and relisting them at $25 plus shipping, no Best Offer (then ending the original listing, of course). In the first 2 days, I sold more shoes than I've sold in the past 2 weeks! I am SOLD.  I am thrilled with $25 for them, and my buyers are too. They don't have to haggle to get that price. They can just buy it and be done with it.

Similarly, I'm rethinking my Gymboree listings. I've got a massive amount of Gymboree clothes. Same thing here. My investment was very minimal on them, so it's time to get them moving quickly. I had originally priced them at about half of retail or best offer. I was willing to accept as low as half my asking price, or 1/4 of retail. I've sold quite a lot, but not as quickly as I expected. So I raised my prices a couple dollars and tacked on free shipping. That didn't do much of anything. In fact, my sales SLOWED. So now, as my current listings come up for renewal, I'm relisting them at 1/3 of retail, with the best offer option, plus shipping. I think my prices are much more reasonable now, but it's only been 2 days, so I haven't sold any of those listings yet. Time will tell, but I can hardly go wrong by lowering those prices.

I'm just writing this as food for thought. It was hard for me to make that first step of lowering my prices so drastically. I dragged my feet about it for a long time - mulled it over for weeks, and even once I made the decision to do it, that first listing sat open on my screen for about 10 minutes because I just couldn't bring myself to do it. But I am so glad I did. I am all about a faster sale, turning over my inventory so I can go out and buy more!


  1. I have only tried best offer on a few things and I hate it! So I am doing what you are doing. Putting the price I am happy with, listing at that, and waiting for the right person to come along. No haggling, no checking for offer messages, no dealing with ridiculous offers.

    On the items I have BO on, I set the price auto-reject price. Still no dealing with low-ball offers.

    Now if may sales would just pick up, I would be happy!

  2. I do a similar pricing structure af far as listing higher with a best offer. My "new" thing is anything that hasn't turned over in a while I run one of those store sale campaigns and use 20% off. It has worked well for me. Have a good day!

  3. I have been considering doing this as well. I will have to do more research on my items because I just price high with BO i have almost no idea what to price anything at ~sigh~

  4. Becky, I know what you mean. That's part of why it took me so long to do this. OBO pricing is so lazy! You just slap a price on and let someone else offer you something. Dropping the best offer requires a lot more research, because the price really needs to be dead-on. Tricky, tricky.

    Deana, I have never had luck with store sales, even when I went as low as 50% off.