Can marketplace sellers really go on holiday?

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BeachWith the summer holidays fast approaching it’s reasonable to expect many small businesses to close down for a few days while those that run the businesses enjoy a few well deserved days off. What’s the best approach however? One Tamebay reader tells us what went wrong with their strategy at Easter with a warning to other sellers not to do the same.

Our reader tells us that they have been suffering from a drop off in sales since April. No matter what they have done they’ve been unable get sales to increase. They’re an experienced eBay seller so know all the normal tricks like checking listings are still up to date with great images, item specifics completed and checking they’re in the correct category etc.

However they turned to eBay for help today who told them that because they went away on holiday at Easter and instead of closing their shop down they pushed out the despatch time to 5 days, then counted down each day. This tactic of offering slower shipping has a negative affect on their Best Match placement for the past three months.

Having just passed the 3 month phase 2 days ago sales are starting to rise again so it would appear that it’s the Easter holiday period that is the culprit. Any sales which were impacted by the slower shipping and Easter holiday break are now outside the period that the seller is assessed on.

With the holidays coming up fast it would appear that the best advice is to close your eBay shop if you don’t have the staff to man the warehouse and keep shipments going out while you’re away. Whilst it might be tempting to try and retain income streams it’s better to have a week with no sale than suffer a slow down for the next three months.

When I was a full time seller on eBay I used to stop selling around a week before I went away, but would put auctions live to run for seven days ending the day before I returned and schedule fixed price listings to go live two days before my return. That meant there was time to get payments in and sales shipped before I went away but ensured I have more orders ready to ship (and money in PayPal!) for when I returned.

Amazon do of course make things easier – if you have stock in FBA you can quite happily go away for a week or more without a care in the world knowing that Amazon will take care of shipping orders on your behalf. All you need do is make sure you monitor any messages and respond within 24 hours (or find someone to do it on your behalf).

What are your top tips for going on holiday as a small business owner? Do you have the staff to run the business in your absence, or does a holiday mean shutting down your eBay and Amazon businesses while you’re away?

7 Responses

  1. 99p auctions. That’s how to kick start it. I’ve had a great few days of buy it now sales after a week of 99p auctions on some
    unique items that I wanted to move on.

    I had 2.5 weeks of in June abroad, and now I’m working my backside off to try make up the lost income. I’m lucky I have physical cabinets at managed retro/antique centres so I’ve had some income from them but being self employed is hard sometimes! I just turned the shop off while I was away, its not worth the stress or the risk of a negative numpty.

  2. “All you need do is make sure you monitor any messages and respond within 24 hours (or find someone to do it on your behalf).”

    So unless you find someone else to monitor messages, Amazon sellers cannot escape fully, especially to remote non mobile reception places, not even on on xmas or new yrs day.

    now the “after 2 day” late posting metrics are integrated, low feedback / low sales… its very easy to have your metrics hammered quickly

  3. I normally shut up shop in november ad open the followkng April to avoid going over the dreaded vat limit, no problem getting sales going again like the earlier poster said kick off with 99p auctins for ebay and aggressive pricing to get the buy buttons on amazon. Roll on Tenerife

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