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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat

I love that title quote from Malcolm Forbes. I had a really crummy October. I've gotten negatives, neutrals, more returns than I can count. I've been feeling very defeated this week about selling on eBay in general. Because of that, the victory that I'm about to tell you about is extra sweet to me!
JulieJ asked on eBay Underground if having a sale in our eBay stores really works. I replied to that post saying that I've never had any luck with my week-long 10% off sales. I decided to go a little more drastic this weekend and see what happens. I put my entire store 25% off for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Then I realized that my friend's $4000 silver set was a part of that sale, and I panicked. So I deleted that storewide sale, breathed a sigh of relief, and started over again. I didn't do completely storewide the second time, but I ended up putting about 650 out of my 750 items on sale.

The very first sale that came in was for a listing I had just listed the night before. And it was free shipping. D'oh. The point of a sale is to clear out the OLD stuff, not the brand new listings. But that's ok - I decided I wasn't going to worry about the profit margin on each individual item. I was going to focus on quantity over quality this weekend. Generally speaking, I prefer to work smarter, not harder. I prefer to sell fewer items for higher prices. But for just 3 days, I was going to throw that rule out the window and take as many sales as I could get.

Well ... let me tell you, ladies and gents. It worked. It worked in an amazingly awesome way. During the 3 days of my sale, I sold 56 items! Yes, I said FIFTY-SIX! In THREE days! How insane is that?!

  • Day One: Sold 14 items for $155.11
  • Day Two: Sold 20 items for $176.46
  • Day Three: Sold 22 items for $421.93

So I'm convinced. Next time I have a sales slump, I'm definitely doing a 2 or 3 day 25% off sale. I strongly urge you to give it a shot next time YOU are having a sales slump. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised. I sure was!


  1. That's great!!! I don't have a store yet, but when I do I will remember this tip!

  2. Hi J,

    I read all of your blog posts (and Leslie's).

    My store has been experimenting with sales, but never a 25%! I think that's very genderous and a big profit cutter.

    As you can see from the ebug board posts, almost any percentage will do. The key is to do it occassionally and when time to clear.

    Good post

    Dj in PHX

  3. Dj - yes, 25% really cut into my profits. But since it was only for 2 1/2 days, I didn't mind it so much. I sold more than enough to make up for it. And my profit margins are generally so huge that it wasn't a big deal. When I can buy something for $2 and sell it for $30, it's ok to let it go for $22.50 occasionally.

    I think next time I run a 25% off sale, I'll be more selective in what all I include in the sale. I sold way too much of my newer stock at older stock clearance prices.

  4. I do this with my store all the time as well and it really helps move out dead inventory and get the sales going during the slow time (always have an "after Christmas sale" because January is so slow). I run it for more than a few days however (usually 30 days) and go through and pick out the "dead weight" that's been in my store for a year+. It takes more time, but it really clears out the clutter (I have 450+ items in my store) and increases sales and traffic to your store (people see "Sale" and flock to it!). I'm glad it was so positive for you!

  5. That is fantastic! Now on to happy packaging and shipping (the not so fun part, right?) I haven't tried sales yet, but my store is pretty small (only around 180-190 items most of the time) But I should try it for sure after Christmas!