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Sales Slow in the Summer

My online retail sales slow down every summer.  Summer is a big vacation time, so it isn’t surprising there are fewer people surfing Amazon or Etsy looking for things to buy.  It’s a bit unnerving, since I worry that the slower sales are caused by something else rather than just the season, like competition.  And to be sure, sometimes there are other causes as well.  But for the most part things pick up again after mid-summer.  So if you’re new to retail and worrying about why your sales have slowed, do check on external factors, but most likely it’s just the season.

The week heading into July 4th was particularly slow for me this year, though now that the weekend has passed sales have rebounded quite a bit to a more normal ‘summer time’ level.  Of course your mileage will vary.

I’ve written about how to mitigate a summer sales slump before, and I came across this article which has some good suggestions on how to use the extra time.

So how should you use this time?  I have two suggestions.  First, Fall is the busiest sales time of the year, so if your inventory is light this is a good time to stock up.  It will seem counter-intuitive to commit to a big inventory spend now, since revenue is at its lowest for the year.  But to capture the full potential of the Christmas season you have to be stocked up before Fall buying kicks into gear.

I’ll take a moment here to mention, as I have many times, that that doesn’t mean you should borrow money to buy inventory. Especially if you’re relatively new to selling online and don’t have enough experience to know how well your products will sell, borrowing money to buy inventory can leave you with a lot of unsold merchandise, a big debt load, and no way to pay for it.

My other suggestion on how to use this slow sales time is to spend more time looking for new products to sell.  You need to be doing this all the time, but do take any opportunity to spend more time on it whenever you can.

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  1. Tracey Gordon
    July 13, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I am a new seller online following this a while now and find everything you have written to be very helpful. Looking forward to future articles.

  2. July 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks Tracey! If there are any topics you’d like to see covered please let me know.

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