Time to get ready for holiday sales. What tips do you have for sales this time of year? Mine would be:
1) Build up your stock of items for sale, particularly your best sellers. For me that would be my neck warmers pictured below and my knitting patterns. I always have several patterns for sale in my Etsy shop and I occasionally renew my listings so my Cabled neck warmer pattern should be fairly close to the top of the items that come up in a search. I like to make some items especially for the holidays, such as my recycled sweater Christmas stockings and Christmas themed scrabble tiles. At the moment, I have a custom order for three stockings, but I hope to make a few more as well. The striped stocking pictured above is my favorite stocking creation which recently sold on Etsy.
2) Start early! I never seem to start early enough with creating new items and preparing for the holiday sales season and this year is no exception.
3) Decide if you will take custom orders during this busy time. More than once I have regretted a decision to agree to a custom order during the busy holiday season, but I hate to say no. I'd suggest thinking about this ahead of time and deciding whether you will or won't accept custom orders.
4) Check your pricing. Have you compensated yourself appropriately (This is a tough one, especially with hand knits or other products that take considerable time)? If you are participating in shows/craft fairs or selling online, be sure to include your fees in your consideration of prices.
5) Respond quickly to inquiries and ship orders promptly. Customer satisfaction means return customers. Communicate with your customers about any delays or issues promptly; let them know their item has been shipped and provide a tracking number. In the case of my knitting patterns, which I email as pdf files, I try to send them immediately, but no later than 8 hours after payment has been received.
6) Check on shipping deadlines and put these in your shop announcement or at least be aware of them for getting items delivered on time.
5) Offer gift wrapping or package your items in pretty tissue paper or unique packaging. All year long, I like to include a special Idaho recipe and Idaho potato pin with my mail orders. Red and green tissue paper are economical but add a nice holiday touch to your sold items.
I'd love to hear your ideas as well.
Let the Holiday season begin!