• shops and stores
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Time to burn off some stock!

Time to burn off some stock!

So that might be the longest title I have ever used in this blog but I wanted somehow to get a link in to bonfire night given that it’s November the 5th, however tenuous it might be. But in my mind the link is that instead of burning unwanted stock – let’s sell it for a discount.

If you have ever wondered exactly why, how or when to discount items online, particularly on eBay, then this blog should be of interest to you.

Create an eBay sale in 9 easy steps with Karl B

Create an eBay sale in 9 easy steps with Karl B

Why should I discount items?

Well, if you need to stimulate your business you will find that holding a sale is a really great way to promote the items you have in your eBay Shop. For example, you may find that your overall sales are down – you don’t need to discount everything, but discounting some items will draw more attention to all of the goods you have so consider holding a sale of a particular line and see whether you generate more interest in all of your other products.

If you have a line that isn’t doing particularly well at its price point or has become unfashionable, or if you need to clear room so that you can buy in and store more stock then it’s a good idea to hold a sale and discount heavily. Get rid. It’s no use to you if it’s taking up room and not earning its keep.

When should I hold a sale?

You can create sales that are seasonal, for specific holidays or for specific categories or just because you want to. There’s no right or wrong answer. Given the time of year we’re currently at bear in mind what I heard from a reputable source from a large national chain. They reckon that the bulk of purchases for Christmas are made in November and the first two weeks of December. After that people impulse buy, so a good time to have a pre-Christmas sale is in those two weeks before Christmas.

Alternatively you can hang out a little longer and have a post-Christmas sale. It’s entirely up to you and you can hold a sale now if you want!

How much discount are you willing to give?

How much discount are you willing to give?

How do I hold a sale?

First of all decide how much of a discount you want to put in place. If you want to get rid of the stock and don’t mind too much about the profit simply take the price you paid and add on eBay and PayPal fees, VAT and postage costs and discount it to that price. If you simply want to create some interest you can discount by 5%, 10%, 20% or whatever you feel like. In fact you can discount up to 50% if your mark-up really has been that good in the first place.

When you hold a sale, the discount will only apply to your fixed price listings NOT your auction listings.

Once the sale is created potential buyers will see the discount and the original price. This also appears in the listings, in your cross promotions, in your shop, in the list of items potential buyers are watching and also in email marketing campaigns if you use those.

What do I actually do?

You create your sale in Markdown Manager.

You can create and view scheduled, active, and inactive sales within your eBay Shop in Markdown Manager. Sales can be scheduled for a later date or rescheduled once they’re over.

To create sales in Markdown Manager:

1. Go to My eBay (Top of the page towards the right)
2. Run (but don’t click!) your clicky arrow pointer thingy over the Account tab and then select (click on) Marketing Tools (on mine that’s second from bottom)
3. On the left hand side under Item Promotion you’ll see the Markdown Manager link. Click on it.
4. On the centre of that page you’ll now have a grey Create Sale button. Click on that.
5. Choose a sale title (Christmas Sale for example), a start date and time and a finish date and time. Note: you need to start a few hours in the future so that the software can catch up, and there is a MAXIMUM amount of time you can run a sale for. About two weeks I think. But you can always restart it afterwards.
6. Choose a discount – so that can be 20% off or £2 off all the items regardless of cost. That’s up to you.
7. Choose your listings. You can either select a whole category (Children’s dummies or whatever) or you can opt to go manually through your listings and select what you want to put on sale. Remember to save after each page.
8. You then have the option to send an email newsletter to any subscribers you may have to your shop. This will help to promote your sale and you never know, it may drum up some business.
9. Once a sale is created, you’ll receive a success message and can gloat about how easy the whole process was. At this stage you say “Thanks Karl”.

Things to note
If you subsequently revise the item price, the postage cost or both – then the item will be removed from your sale.

Wheeeeeee! All done - SALE ON NOW!

Wheeeeeee! All done – SALE ON NOW!

Sales can be scheduled up to 6 months in advance although I’m really not sure how useful that is! More useful is that fact that eBay keeps sale information for up to 15 months after the end date so you can simply run the same sale.

The item must have been listed, without any change to price or item description, for 28 days before it can be included in your sale.

Have a go and good luck :-)

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