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Tips & Tricks to Increase Cycle Time


“If at first you can’t succeed, try, try again” – it’s something we tell ourselves to stay motivated when the sales cycle time isn’t as quick as we’d like. Time is money, and when merchandise sits, you lose money. And sometimes motivation.

Depending on the volume of merchandise you sell, you may simply relist items that don’t sell on the first go and hope the second time around sells. However, if the item continues not to sell, you’ll need to make some changes to give your listing a boost. As with all companies, when metrics or sales worsen it’s time to look at what you’ve been doing to see if the problem is glaring back at you. If not, answer these questions:

Are you asking too much? What are others charging for the same item?
How accessible are your listings to potential buyers?
Are you providing enough description or photos of the item in your listing?
Are others able to move the product, or are you the only one?

UPDATE LISTING: Optimizing your listing is always a good first step when the sales cycle begins to lengthen. Review your listing in full detail and see how it compares to other sellers on that channel. Do they provide more information, more photos, a better price? If you see areas where you could boost your listings from what your competition is doing – do it.

Provided your listing is the highest price, and you’re able to readjust to become the lowest priced item without losing much gross profit, then when customers search from “Price Low – High”, your listing will appear first, thus increasing your traffic and chances of selling.

CREATE URGENCY: It’s a marketing technique that’s been used to tap into the fear of missing out. By stating something is a ‘Limited Time Offer’ or ‘1 Item Remaining’, it informs the potential buyer that if this do not act now to purchase they won’t have the opportunity again. This shouldn’t be used all the time, but use it when absolutely needed to ensure your customers take action.

GET CREATIVE: If competing with similar listings, make yours stand out from all the rest. Give a prospective buyer a reason to purchase from you over the others. Undercutting the price may help, but it won’t be enough; buyers want to feel like they are getting a great deal. Bundle your listing with a complimentary item and sell for the lowest price possible.

For example, if you have a Hamilton Beach Blender you’re unable to sell, add in a set of 4 colored glass and market the listing as the perfect summer treat – frozen smoothies, or better yet, frozen cocktails!

Not only will this attract customers, but it will also give them motivation for buying it as they’ll imagine that frozen drink and wish they had one.

BE MORE VISABLE: Offers, urgency, and photos will only get you so much traffic. By using the right keywords in your title or listing can ensure when customers search eBay, Amazon, Poshmark, etc. they can find your listing. Be description in your title by identifying how your customers may be searching.

For instance, rather than listing a women’s large dress as ‘Women’s Dress – Large”, add some context to the description with keywords women may use to find the dress they want. Think about the dress style, mini, maxi, midi, short sleeve, strapless, sleeveless, ruffled bottom, floral print, silk, etc. Using these descriptions, a new, more descriptive title with common keywords buyers use to find items can be crafted, giving you a title of “Women’s Green Midi Dress with Ruffled Bottom – Size L”.

TAKE A PAUSE: If after making modifications, or if none of the above applies, perhaps your item is just not currently in demand. Instead of leaving your listing up, remove it and try another channel or simply try again at a later time. It could be that the item is not currently in demand because it’s out of season, the market is currently saturated with the product, or it could be something completely out of your control.


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