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Seasonal Slowdown Article: Call for Responses!

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Some great answers here, hopefully they will help stop a lot of the post that have been cropping up lately with people feeling that there businesses are about to collapse.

My one tip would be enjoy the quiet times and don't let life pass you by!
One thing I forgot- Currently my business is made to order, I am trying to make a section of "ready to ship" items for customers who are in a hurry to get their items.
One good tip I picked up on in another thread. i forgot who said this. They do made to order items. Instead of making one of the item. They were making on to ship to their buyer and making a duplicate to store for the holidays that way they have some stock built up.
Great advice, Joanna. I find that some of my slower sellers are also some of the first items I listed - the photos aren't as great as my newer photos. I need to retake them.

When it slows down I work on listing new items and tweaking tags and titles.

And like Nathan mentioned, I take time to appreciate the breather! Spend time with my kids, catch up on the parts of life I have neglected when I've been busy, etc.
Nickey Skarstad from knickey says

newhopebeading says:

This year I am upping the stock piling so hopefully that will help. So many of my items are personalized though so many of them can NOT be made ahead of time OY! getting nervous thinking about it :)

+++

Truth! Custom orders add a hairy element to the "prepare ahead of time" mantra. That said, there are steps you can take and a process you can put in place to make fulfilling these orders as smooth as possible. Getting your packaging prepared and ready, prepping your materials, ordering and organizing your supplies, cutting chain, and the like are all great ways to stay on top of the ball. I'm sure you've got all of this worked down to a science already ;)

Thanks for sharing!
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LOL well definitely not a science BUT I am expanding my definition of what can be made ahead of time.... and it was like a lightbulb moment.

For example things with names and also initials where buyer gets to pick borders and fonts and shapes ... all these things definitely can't be made ahead of time

BUT i have several styles of initials where the only variable is what letter of the alphabet the person wants.... for these styles I plan to have several of each letter stock piled by the end of August (it is kind of like the game "hangman" you don't need as many X's but you need lots of M's and S's lol)

Anyhow what this will allow me to do is as we get close to the holidays have varied cut off dates.... like the buyer MIGHT be too late to get a necklace that says "Nickey" but there may still be time for them to get an "N" necklace. You would be surprised how many last minute panicked shoppers say "Ok that works... I'll get them the name for their birthday" lol

I did some of this last Christmas but had my light bulb moment too late in the season to really get ahead of the curve.... i'll be ahead of it this year (I hope )

This ties in Nickey with the shipping improvements dates (I am in that beta) which I am praying that by holiday time we will be able to batch edit different dates..... this way I can adjust dates "on the fly" at the holidays once we get past cut off dates on some categories of items in my shop but not on others.

Presently the shipping dates can only be edited individually OR all at once... neither of which is ideal....I'm holding out hope for the date batch edit (it's all I want for Christmas you might even say!!! LOL)
#1 thing - Don't worry. Heck, be happy and enjoy the sunshine just a bit more if you can... For me, those breaks really fuel my creativity.

I'm working on two types of products I've never sold before - so right now I'm researching online, comparing the options and costing everything out.

I'm adding new items to my shop as frequently as possible and will be weeding out less popular items from my shop soon. Tags, titles and descriptions will be getting a clean-up.

I'm making plans as to when I'd like to have new items done so that I can reach out to blogs and other publications with all the new work. Timing is really important in the fall so I'll be considering that carefully. It's a great time to seek out editorial and also pay for ads.

I'm having a work hard / play hard kind of summer. Pulling super long hours some days and then skipping out of work others. It's a routine that works really well for me as I feel like I'm enjoying my summer and also pushing my shop forward.

Great idea for an article - looking forward to reading and getting inspired by everyone!

Preparing for Christmas was something I was thinking about doing this summer, but I was especially inspired by Loopyboopy's recent post about Hallowe'en to really get serious about it.
Nickey Skarstad avatar Admin
gothicreations says:

I also find the slow time a good time to go back through stored items and older listings. As my shop is mostly ready to ship sometimes I end up with designs that were less than popular. It's a good time to figure out why? was it the fabric, the general design, does the listing need a makeover. Then I try to figure out if I can take it apart and make it into something that might be a better seller for me.

+++

Listing analysis, smart. I think taking a long hard look at items that aren't selling as much is a great way to learn from your own shop. Is it your title and tags, do the photos accurately represent the item, does the price reflect the quality of your work and your time, do you answer all the questions a buyer might be asking about this item, and so on and so forth. Finally, compare your under performers with your top performers and you're on the path to product enlightenment.
Hi Nickey,

I am using my seasonal slow down promoting my shop and creating new items. My biggest advice to any etsy seller: don't stop promoting during the slow times. The hearts, circles and views you receive now will, hopefully, translate into sales later.

Many of my prints sell well during the winter holidays, but I am currently adding items more Christmas specific like the super cute Christmas Tree Ornaments, which are my original paintings on mini stretched canvases. They did great last holiday season, so I am trying to have a good amount of them in stock.

I am also currently promoting my Christmas in July sale. There are a few things i do to promote this event. Here are my advertising tips:

- join CIJ etsy team where you can find information about this event
www.etsy.com/teams/12798/christmas-in-july
- start letting people know ahead of time
- create a CIJ banner for your shop, so buyers can clearly see your discount
- tag your items with "CIJ" or "Christmasinjuly"
- create a blog post about the event
- post your discount on your facebook page
- send out your newsletter announcing the event
- create treasuries promoting your CIJ team members
- tweet and create pinterest boards about the event

I think these tips can apply to any promotion, not just Christmas in July.



Note to self: "During slower times, clean your house!"
I use this time to create! Not new creations, but create new marketing! Mostly blog posts an articles for me, it does wonders to your SEO, thank you for the informative post Nickey.

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