Dollars and Sense – Staying Profitable All Year Long
A Seller’s Guide to Year-Round Profits
The holiday season is here, and with it comes one of the busiest and most profitable times of the seller’s year. But what happens when the rush to buy holiday presents dies down and sellers are once again faced with sluggish sales and low profits? Well, believe it or not, there are ways to stay profitable ALL year long if you have the right products at the right times. In this article, we’ll touch on some of the most profitable ideas for each quarter, surprising sales facts and statistics, and why sometimes it’s best to hold onto those items that just aren’t selling anymore.
Some Surprising Facts
If you had to guess when toilet seat sales are at their peak, what would you say? Right after Christmas when sellers are trying to move items that typically don’t sell during the holiday season? Springtime when most people begin home renovations?
Neither. If you guessed right before the holiday season begins, you’re absolutely right. Why? Because old toilet seats are something most people can live with during the year. After all, they’re the only ones using it. But when the holidays hit and suddenly friends and family are coming to visit and possibly staying in your home? That’s the time to finally invest in that toilet seat!
Some peak sales times are obvious for certain items: lingerie, health/fitness products, and Super Bowl party decorations are going to be hot items in January and February. Backyard decorations and gardening tools will sell pretty easily in the spring and early summer. But what about items that may not be so obvious? If you do a little research, you’ll discover that with the right products selling at the right time, you can be profitable every quarter.
Look Beyond the Major Holidays
As discussed above, some selling times are apparent. You already know that your snow shovel sales in July are going to be nearly nonexistent, and your pool accessories aren’t going to sell like hotcakes in December. But what about all the gray area in between the major holidays? Consider the following smaller events and celebrations:
Franchise Film & Video Game Releases
Noticed that your Minions toys and apparel aren’t selling the way they used to? Do your Star Wars toy sales plummet right after Christmas? Don’t get discouraged! Hold onto those items and keep an eye out for major film releases. It can sometimes be several years in between movies within a franchise, and just when everyone’s forgotten about them or turned their attention to something else, a new trailer is released. Everyone gets excited all over again and starts buying up franchise merchandise. If you time it right, you can profit from that excitement!
Just like with franchise film releases, video game launches can be a huge deal to fans and money in your pocket. Is the latest Super Smash Bros. game getting a lot of press? How about the latest Pokemon bundle for Nintendo Switch? Even if you don’t sell the actual games, you can sell character driven merchandise to coincide with release dates.
Health & Fitness Trends
Keep an eye on social media and pay attention to what everyone is talking about. Does it seem like everywhere you turn you’re hearing more about the Ketogenic lifestyle or HIIT workouts? You can capitalize on what’s hot at the moment by following these trends and selling related health and fitness items accordingly.
Baby showers can occur any time of the year, making baby-themed gifts and party supplies a good way to offset the items that only sell at specific times. Gender reveal parties have also gained a ton of popularity over the past decade (see our bundle sales ideas below)!
Religious Coming of Age Ceremonies
These occasions are huge gift buying opportunities! Catholic First Communion and Confirmation ceremonies usually occur between the months of April and early June. Jewish Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs are year-long occurrences, as they typically take place a week after each child’s 13th birthday. So if you offer anything in the way of religious gifts or even party supplies, this is something to keep in mind as a steady source of sales.
Make a Bundle Off of Bundles
Selling merchandise bundles is a great way to get a leg up on your competitors during more popular holidays and seasons. It not only gives your customers the most bang for their buck, it can boost your profit margin and move items that might not sell as well on their own.
Here are some bundle ideas that you can try for every quarter:
1st Quarter – Health & Fitness, Romance, Super Bowl, Easter
2nd Quarter – Prom, Wedding, Gardening, Memorial Day, Summer Fun
3rd Quarter – 4th of July, Back to School, Vacation/Travel, Gender Reveal Party
4th Quarter – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Fun, New Year
By making some small but significant changes at the right time, you can boost your sales and reach a wider demographic. It could be as simple as changing key words and titles of the items you already sell. An example of this is selling Halloween and masquerade masks around the Jewish holiday of Purim, which is celebrated in early March and often includes dressing in costume and exchanging gifts. By thinking globally about what other countries and cultures celebrate throughout the year, you can provide valuable goods that are in demand and effectively tap into markets that you may not even have been aware of.
With the right information, a little extra research, and some careful planning, you can ensure you stay profitable all year round. It’s not only possible, it’s easier than you think!