Reselling is not quite as glamorous as it looks on a curated Instagram feed. The job is not as easy as it appears beneath the piles of pretty packages with the perfect preset filter. E-commerce selling is frankly a lot of work and involves a significant learning curve.
Here are the top five mistakes resellers make, and of course- how to avoid making them!
1. Inactivity & Inconsistency
Do you always do your best- do you always do… anything? You have to do the work to make the sales, and the work has to be consistent to keep the packages shipping!
Inactivity and inconsistency are inarguably the biggest mistakes that resellers make. Truly no selling marketplace is a “list-it-and-leave-it platform”, they all require a little time, love, care, and consistency! While some platforms are certainly higher maintenance than others, they all need you!
Selling platforms want you to be active- and they will reward you for it. Daily activity is the most important thing in terms of exposure, visibility, promotion, traffic, and ultimately sales across every selling platform! On each marketplace, the algorithmic sequence prioritizes active users by way of exposure. Take a few minutes daily to show love to your selling platforms!
Research which activities on each platform drive exposure and sales; generally, relisting, sharing, refreshing, promoting, engaging with other users and even scrolling the newsfeed are simple but effective ways to maximize exposure and effectuate sales. Of course, be sure to respond to offers and questions as well!
For hobby sellers and full-timers alike, it can be tough to be consistent. Reselling is overwhelming! Pro Reseller and Creator of the Clubhouse Reseller Club, Vashon - @mygirlmotherearth emphasizes the importance of building a networking community of resellers. She explains “it is sometimes difficult in the reselling space to stay consistently committed to our goals being that there is no one we really have to be accountable to. This is why our tribe of reselling BFFs is very important”. Vashon is an active member of the reselling community who is always sharing tips and tricks to increase productivity and profit!
2. Being Disorganized
Can you locate an item in just a few moments upon sale? Have you ever spent an hour looking for something after it has sold? Is your inventory entirely out of control? You are not alone. Failing to keep organized is among the worst mistakes made by e-commerce resellers.
With any volume of inventory, it is essential to have a system in place to record and allow for you to easily locate your items. Many hobbyists start in their own closet or small shelving units, and then begin to gather massive piles of stuff that accumulate everywhere- which is overwhelming and incredibly inefficient. As you continue to grow your business, it is imperative to keep organized business records.
Poshmark Top-Seller Rachael Brecher suggests to “create an inventory system early and don’t let your inventory get out of control.” Rachael, who just celebrated $100k in Poshmark sales recommends using a location system. She explains “I use a numbered bin system that makes it very simple for anyone to find my inventory when it sells.” Rachael uses Vendoo to take note of the bin number where her items can be found!
Whether you are using bins, bags, shelves, or hanging units- it is crucial that you keep inventory organized and create a log to detail where your items are located. Programs like Excel, Google Sheets and Quickbooks offer inventory management software to assist with the daunting task. Whether you use a software or a notebook and pencil, your records should be systematic and prudently maintained.
Reseller Tip: Resellers refer to accumulating piles of unlisted inventory as the “death pile”. More optimistic sellers refer to it as “the profit pile”. Either way, the pile of unphotographed and unlisted items is not making you money sitting there- do your best not to let that happen!
3. Failing to Maximize SEO
Are your listings not selling? Is your sell through rate astronomically high? Are you wondering why your desirable inventory just won’t sell- even when it is priced lower than everyone else’s? Many resellers make mistakes when it comes to SEO and pricing.
If your inventory is not selling, there is a good chance it is just because prospective buyers are not seeing it. Most purchases do not happen by chance or by frivolous newsfeed scrolling; many are a direct result of a search performed by the buyer. It is key to include all of the relevant, searchable words in your listing to ensure that your items appear near the top of search feed results! It is to your benefit to research trending hashtags and keywords, and to provide detailed descriptions.
“As a Poshmark Closet Consultant, one of the biggest mistakes I see is weak descriptions. Sometimes, I will read a listing aloud, and my client cannot even guess which of their listings I am reading! The description should be so vividly detailed that your item could be fully portrayed without photographs. A mediocre description has the brand, size, and condition. A super star description has the actual title of the item, appropriate measurements, style name, style type, and descriptions of colors and patterns, rises and hems, and necklines and sleeve lengths- Most importantly, it includes the relevant keywords and search terms to maximize SEO” – Erynn, (author)
Many new resellers underestimate the importance of the title and description fields, all of which is valuable character space and should be maximized. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing traffic to your listing through organic search results. Do not forget to include all the words!
Photographs are important for SEO as well, both due to aesthetic appeal and image-searching. That is, not only will someone be more likely to click on your listing with a good cover photo, but image searches prioritize the rank of images in respect to pixel configuration, clarity, and contrast. For SEO purposes, clear and well-lit photos absent props before a lightly colored solid background are preferred. This is precisely why many resellers use the fairly boring solid white background- it is entirely proven that it works!
4. Poor Pricing
While detailed descriptions may maximize exposure and SEO, your pricing must be ideal to create the sales!
Many resellers make pricing mistakes, including both over-pricing and underpricing. Pricing is a science; a balance between pricing competitively enough to spark interest, but high enough to engage in negotiation and make a comfortable profit. Pricing mistakes can be detrimental to resellers. Over-pricing leads to a lack of sales, and underpricing devastates revenue.
Over-pricing is likely the number one reason why your item just will not sell. If the item is widely available at a significantly lower cost, your item will remain stale and unsold. It is important to research the retail value of an item and the range of resale value, by browsing the selling platforms to gauge pricing.
Top Reseller and upcycled DIY Enthusiast, Mandy Benson from Brick Road Co. explains the importance of researching comparables (“comps”) as a pricing strategy. Pricing consistently with the market effectuates quicker sales! Mandy shares this Reseller Tip:
“Many resellers make the mistake of pricing comps in the ‘for sale’ listings instead of the ‘sold’ section. Looking at sold comps provides a more accurate prediction of profit”.
While pricing competitively is an efficient strategy for quick sales, underpricing devalues your item, your business, and yourself! Be sure to do your research as to what an item is worth. While some pieces devalue rapidly and sell for only a fraction of retail value, others yield profits for ten times retail price! Top Vintage Reseller and Authenticator Breezy Von Breezy emphasizes that you should “ALWAYS research a vintage brand before listing. Many of them, such as Catalina fetch a much higher price. You never know when you may have struck gold!” Breezy models stunning vintage pieces with a premium price point on eBay, Depop and Etsy!
5. Slacking on Book-Keeping
Can you provide with certainty your revenue and profit from the first quarter of 2021? You need to keep profit first!
Paperwork and calculations just aren’t fun, but book-keeping and profit-calculation are among the most critical aspects of conducting business.
Book-keeping is a daunting task, especially if you let it accumulate. When this happens, you are less likely to recall transactions, structure a budget, and maximize tax exemptions and deductions. It is important to strictly monitor your spending to balance against your earnings. Financial planning is the key to increasing revenue.
More importantly, revenue and profit-tracking are essential to maximize profit and comply with tax requirements. It is crucial to record your current and sold inventory, dates of acquisition, costs of goods (COGS), sale prices, platform fees, shipping costs and total profit. Profit-calculation can become complex in consideration of acquisition costs, repair costs, listing costs, various platform fees, and shipping costs. Thankfully, there are many tools available to perform the intricate calculations streamline the process. Staying on top of your numbers is fundamental to financial success.
Take advantage of the seller reports available on various selling platforms such as eBay and Poshmark. Vendoo also offers a complete revenue and profit-tracking program which generates analytics and data reports. Tax preparation is a total nightmare when you fail to maintain business records- these mistakes may be costly and result in tax implications and legal consequences.
Nicole State, top Poshmark Seller and Reseller Mentor explains: “My Biggest reseller mistake was overcomplicating my processes- Keep it simple”! Nicole offers a course in streamlining the reselling process, from sourcing to book-keeping, to produce greater output. Check out Nicole’s Youtube Channel where she provides many tips and tricks to help resellers avoid common mistakes.
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