6 ways you can recover from a ‘sales slump’

Help! My eBay items aren’t selling… 

Well I’ve had a very exciting few days! This week I welcomed my brand new eSeller Mastery students; and what a lovely bunch they are. I’m so looking forward to working with each of them over the next few months.

Now, as you would expect, with new students come lots of questions – in fact a veritable flurry arrived in my inbox this week – and quite rightly so – it’s great to be in touch with so many motivated people and to be part of their online selling journey.

My eSeller Mastery Programme always has a great mix of students whenever I open the doors – some are complete newbies who have never sold on eBay before, some may have dabbled with a bit of buying and some have attempted to launch a business but for one reason or another have not yet succeeded and need some extra guidance.

And so, one of the first questions I received from a new student this week was all to do with the fact that their items listed on eBay are simply not selling.

Yep – been there and done that! I can absolutely empathise, because unfortunately without the right product, a proper strategy, tried and tested methods and bucket-loads of determination you can easily get extremely frustrated, lose hope and give up.

But look, there are so many reasons why your products may not be selling as well as you initially hoped and thankfully they are all pretty straight-forward to put right, so today I’m going to run through six main points that you should take note of if you’re struggling with sales.

Can potential buyers find your product?

You might think they can because you know what your title keywords are! But what you think are the most relevant keywords, and the keywords that potential buyers are actually using to search for your product may be completely different.

Always remember that eBay is a ‘giant search engine’ and so the keywords you use in your listing title will affect how, when and if your product appears in the search results. Let’s take an easy example.

If I have for sale a new pair of size 10 mens lace up work boots in black, if I don’t include all of these keywords in my title then my product won’t be returned in the search results to potential buyers when they search for size 10 black lace up work boots!

You need to directly target the potential customer who is searching for those specifics – so ‘work boots’ or ‘mens black work boots’ isn’t enough to appear high up in the search results. All relevant keywords MUST be included – so check your title first.

Have you listed in the correct category?

This may seem to be a small point, but the category you list your item in could make the difference between selling a product…and not selling it!

Going back to your keywords just for a moment, a strategy that works well is to look at the top seller of the same or similar product to yours and use the same keywords as the top seller.

These keywords are already deemed ‘successful’ by eBay and you will find that your search ranking can improve, however, if you have tried this method but are in a really crowded niche and it hasn’t improved your ranking by a huge amount, then the next best thing to do is to list your product in a different category entirely.

For almost every product there are usually several different categories that will suit. For example, if you are selling ‘foam padded garden kneelers’ and are listing in the ‘Garden & Outdoors’ niche, try listing in the ‘Car Parts & Accessories’ niche instead and rather than targeting gardeners, target DIY mechanics who want to save their knees when they are tinkering with their cars!

Sometimes it’s about out-thinking and out-smarting the competition in order to get the sales.

Are your gallery images sharp?

Your gallery image is the first picture of your product that a potential buyer sees BEFORE they click through to your main listing. So, with this in mind you certainly don’t want a poor quality photograph taken from a point so far away that the product can’t be seen clearly.

Use a plain background, make sure your image is in focus and shows it off to it’s top potential. Many people will click through based on your image alone and whether they like the look of the product. 

Is your main product description informative and compelling?

eBay buyers don’t get the opportunity to touch, feel, hold or get close up to your products and so it’s your responsibility to make sure that you give them as much information as possible to help them make the decision to purchase.

Contrary to popular belief, a long listing description with lots of images won’t put a potential buyer off. Make sure you include features, benefits, FAQ’s and any other information that you would want to know if you were the buyer. Take the time to compose a great listing as a poorly put together listing can have a negative impact on sales. 

Are you utilizing eBay Analytics?

You can glean a lot of helpful information from reports created for you by eBay themselves and then use this data to analyse the performance of your listings. For example, you can see how many people have viewed your products, how many people have watched your items, see the ranking of your products, look at your sell through rates and so on.

It’s all very useful stuff and is absolutely free! More information is available here

Are your products ‘off season’?

This final point may seem quite obvious, but frankly, if you are trying to sell paddling pools in December and hand warmers in July then you are unlikely to be making significant sales!

You would be surprised at the number of sellers who don’t replace ‘seasonal products’ as the months pass and then wonder why they see a dip in profits.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with selling seasonal items, in fact if you get them listed at the right time you can make some serious additional money alongside your usual inventory, but it’s always a good strategy to mix those in with products that sell all year round so that you don’t experience huge peaks and troughs in profits.

This is not a definitive list, I’ve simply covered some of the main factors that can influence your sales, so if you are experiencing a sales slump, check the points I’ve outlined here first and then tweak as required!

As always I wish you the best of success,

Amanda

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