But do you have enough of the right holiday inventory to maximize your sales?
If you’re like many ecommerce merchants staring at the face of September, the answer is no.
Unfortunately lack of inventory and poor inventory selection are two of the top causes of decreased profits during the holiday.
Whether you sell on Amazon, eBay or your own website, now is the time to beef up your inventory with the right product selection.
Fortunately, there’s still time to make good wholesale buys when you follow these seven tips:
7 Tips to Making Good Wholesale Inventory Buys Now
1. Leverage your existing supplier contacts. Before looking for new suppliers, make sure that you’ve sourced everything possible for the holidays from your existing suppliers. Talk to your suppliers about what items they project will be top sellers this holiday season. Look at the holiday hot sheets they provide. Your next best-selling holiday product may be in that stack of catalogs sitting on the corner of your desk!
2. Confirm delivery times. Because it’s getting late in the sourcing season, make sure that your inventory is located in the US (or your local country) and the supplier is not waiting on an overseas shipment. Customs backlogs are common this time of year, and the last thing you want is your critical holiday inventory sitting on a ship stuck in Customs on November 1st.
3. Stagger delivery of your wholesale products and stretch your budget. You don’t need to “buy deep” on that initial purchase. Place an order with a portion to be delivered in Sept., more in October and a final delivery November 1st., and pay your supplier as those orders are shipped.
4. Stick with the category you know. Everyone knows that toys sell well during the holidays. But not all toys sell well! If you know nothing about toys (and have no interest in the category) rushing out to buy random toys is not a recipe for success. There are products in most every category that see a bump in sales during the holidays. Home decor, apparel, auto-winterizing products, health and beauty categories all sell well during the holidays.
5. Look for holiday versions and limited editions. These products are snapped up by “unique gift” hungry buyers. Many manufacturers now produce an exclusive color or limited edition product for the Christmas season. If you source a limited edition color or style, be sure and advertise it that way!
6. Brush up on holiday trends. It’s never too late to put your finger on the pulse of what’s selling in your category. Whether you do market research on Amazon, read through the latest consumer magazines, or pour over a trade journal, make a point of reading up on what’s selling now in your category. Search Google for trend articles. This information is everywhere. You only need to tap into it!
7. Take in a last minute tradeshow. Last week I attended the Seattle Gift Show, a wholesale tradeshow that showcases a variety of products. There were many booths filled with holiday inventory, all in stock and ready for delivery in the next few weeks. To find a tradeshow near you, visit the free Tradeshow directory, TSNN.com. Tradeshows are a great way to see a lot of wholesale inventory in one setting, establish relationships with new vendors and come home with wholesale sourcing leads to last you throughout the year.
Start Sourcing Now, Don’t Wait!
The good news is, it’s not too late! There’s still good holiday inventory to be had!
But, with each passing day, the best wholesale holiday selection dwindles.
That, and poor inventory selection are two of the top causes of decreased profits during the holidays.
If you need help sourcing wholesale products for Amazon or eBay, I am doing Q&A Holiday Sourcing calls with students of my Amazon and eBay sourcing programs beginning in September.
Whatever you sell online and however you source it, make sure you have enough in-demand inventory for the increased volume of holiday sales.