The Magical Science of eBay and Christmas

It’s no secret that the holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means… holiday specials, turkey, and Wal-Mart opening earlier on Thanksgiving night every damn year.  As an eBay seller, you should be excited about the prospects – as no matter what frivolous crap you’re wanting to unload, this is the one part of the year that people will actual want to pay for it.

A Santa stackable doll complete with mini-elfs… “What I’ve always wanted!”

AUGUST – NOVEMBER is high season.

This should be blatantly obvious, but with Christmas around the corner, it’s big business, and if you have the merchandise than you certainly have a chance to get your cut in on the action.  There are plenty of potential eBay buyers as not everyone wants to go out in the wind and cold for Expensive Sunday, or whatever the media is calling it these days.

Take good pictures, and on most items, this will give a buyer more than enough information for what they need.  More to come in the future on the importance of pictures; definitely think this is becoming more prevalent.

eBay Sales Momentum is looking up.

In effort to not break off into a full-on economics discussion, when people make money, they are going to spend some of it.  For the last few years, most of the money that’s been spent (in a general sense) has been on living expenses and the like.  What you probably already know, is in good times, people are more willing to branch out and spend money on discretionary type things.  Unless you’ve been in a coma, you’ve probably noticed some of this discretionary type of spending decreasing at a macroeconomic level for the last couple of years, and as a small eBay seller I have definitely felt the effects.

With that said, I would say this holiday season is looking more promising, at least from some of my research so far.  Car sales in the US were at the highest level in September 2012 in over 60 months, and obscure small niche items on eBay are starting to sell and for more than they did at this time the last couple of years.  If you think these two things are completely unrelated, I would say you’re wrong, but what I’m just one guy.

Fact (my opinion) is that, in general, better times at the macroeconomic view of things are going to translate to better times for me as an eBay seller, everything else constant.  Just one myopic example of this is if anyone recalls the TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) action figures that I bought and resold a couple years ago – now they are only a couple years more “VINTAGE” – that’s eBay lingo for old – and generally worth more than double what I sold them for in 2009.  An extreme example?  Possibly.  But hopefully you get where I am going.

Be ready for the Spring (aka Anti-Spring)

When I think of the word Spring, I think of happy and bouncy.  When I think of Spring-time, especially the January – March timeframe on eBay, I think of cold, windy, and sad.  Think about it, who wants to buy a Super Nintendo or some Legos in January?  They just blew up their bank accounts getting little Johnny a pony for Christmas.  The volume of the market in the Spring cannot come close to rivalling the time leading up the Holidays, especially in toys, video games, board games, books, etc.  Moral of the story?  Just be ready and be careful with pricing in the Spring;  Christmas does come back you know.  Reload, restock, and get ready for one of the most exciting times of the year – spring cleaning, also known as, amazing deals at tons of garage sales.

Maybe it’s not rocket science, but I truly do believe that there is a little bit of an art to eBay and you have to take advantage of the holidays.  You have stuff and people are especially willing to pay for it – NOW!  Push the seasonal items especially, it’s the only time of the year that more than 3 crazy cat ladies are willing to pay 20 bucks for a Santa ornament.

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