As of today we are 57 days away from Black Friday, November 26th, traditionally the day in which retail stores hope to make enough sales to put them “in the black” for the season.
Bearing in mind that online seasonal sales often start to pick up in October, ideally you should be well into preparations for the (hopefully) busiest season of the year.
I like to target September 30th as my completion date, This gives me time for corrections, fix-its for omissions and fine tuning my listings. This year I am behind, but working on it.
Check your inventory! Be sure to physically locate old stock items you have listed. It does you no good to make a sale and have to refund your buyer because you can’t find it.
Check your inventory of packing supplies: labels, tape, bubble wrap, padded envelopes, business cards, any enclosures used, boxes (free from USPS) and envelopes, ink etc. Your suppliers are keeping stocks at lower levels than normal, due to the economy, just like you are. Make sure you have enough to get you through the season.
If you need to place a top up order on seasonal items, do not dally. Choice is already limited and inevitably there will be shipping delays.
Revise your pricing, make at least four searches, Google, Google Shopping, (these give different results because Google Shopping results are from submitted feeds) Bing and eBay. Note comparable prices, including shipping, and also the number of returns you get for the different search terms you use. Apply this knowledge to your titles and the first 150 characters and spaces of your item description. Remember prices may need to move up as well as down.
If you sell on your own website, for maximum SEO, you should suspend listings you are reworking from your feeds for at least 24 hours. Most search engines give preference to fresh listings, merely duplicating does not work as well as rewriting everything from the title down.
I like to work from the oldest listings to the newest. On Bonanza you can do this very easily by selecting ‘display newest’ and going to the last page.
Bonanza has improved the ‘duplicate listing’ function in the ‘edit your listings’ screen since last year. The traits, tags and attributes now duplicate also, this is a good thing! Another improvement is that the duplicate listing becomes the newest listing, so once you have checked that it actually has duplicated (don’t ask how I know this) you may delete the old one and go to work on the new one.
Google is enforcing their “no duplicate listings in feeds from one merchant on multiple venues” rule. Giving your items different titles, prices and descriptions will not fool them. They will suspend you. Pick which items you want to sell on each specific venue that submits feeds and do not duplicate.
Any additions to the checklist will be welcomed in the comments!
Y’all come back!