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Business Bits - Etsy Sellers Plan Ahead for Holiday Shopping

Monday, July 12, 2010

Topic: Christmas in July - Planning Ahead

I nearly choked on my latte the first time I heard another Etsy shop suggest using the summer months to plan for the upcoming holiday rush. Moi? My little Quiltish shop? Surely not. How many bags could people possible order from little ol me?

Well, in short, a lot.

And you don't want to lose all that momentum by not being prepared.

I can tell you're not convinced. I mean, come on....it's July. I know, I know. And last December I was cursing myself for all those summer crafting opportunities I squandered.

So here's eight simple ways to get a sprinting head start into the purely exhilirating holiday madness:

1. Take inventory: of your items, supplies, & time. Make lists of what you've got & what you need.

2. Stock-up:  buy (in bulk) now...save you from making a late night trip 30 miles across town for that one item you just can't find anywhere else but need to complete your order. Oh, wait that was me.

3. Look Back: what were your top sellers last holiday season or what are they now? Start planning ahead to make/create/cut/prepare these items specifically

4. Fill Er Up:  Begin increasing your actual inventory now. More to sell in the coming months. 

5. Clean Sweep:  Whilst taking your inventory & planning which supplies need to be purchased...clean out your area for better efficiency. Sell extra supplies, donate scraps of fabric, create a more streamlined "production line"...get inspired!

6. Save the Date: Consider having an open house to show off (and sell!) your wares to friends, family, neighbors, and whomever else shows up! Check out my experience on the success I had last year creating a fun event.

7. Bust out the Holly: Plan on making specifically seasonal items. Get started now- gives you time to plan, experiment, revise, sell, & get noticed.

8. Wrap, Tie, Send:  Think now about adding wrapping or different packaging options for the holidays- in addition to your mailers, tissues, etc.   {thanks to Waterrose for reminding me this ultra important aspect}

Other pre-holiday posts:
Stockings in July from Rik Rak


Marci Girl said...

I swear, I was just thinking about this very topic yesterday! Thanks for another great post...I guess I better get busy!

Allisa Jacobs said...

Marci - great minds must think alike :)
Glad to hear this post gave you the little extra push...can't wait to see what you create!

live a colorful life said...

This is SUCH good advice! I keep saying I'm adding more different items to my shop. I need to stop saying it and start doing it.

lesley [smidgebox] said...

funny, allisa, i just got a fabric order in the mail today, half of which i picked out deliberately for starting my christmas inventory. after the rush last year [my first holiday with my biz] i swore that i wouldn't leave it so late again, and would start working ahead in the summer!!
a timely reminder from you + from the mailman. off to work i go!

Waterrose said...

Don't forget to get your packaging stock ready too! I've been trying to think like a retail store buyer and how far in advance they make purchases for stores...and thinking about future trends.

Marci Girl said...

Oh Thanks so much Waterrose for reminding me about packaging!!!!! Such a good point too! Thanks!

Allisa Jacobs said...

thanks for the reminder Rose! I've added packaging as another way to get a head start.

Looking for trends is also a fun way to think ahead. I'm ready to get past moustaches & owls...