Sales Worth the Wait

I wish everything I listed in my online stores sold within the first few months. Some things do. Some sell within days, hours even. But most don’t. Things may linger for years!

But I am willing to wait (and wait) because I believe in my items. They have been hand selected by me. Chosen because they have one or more of the following characteristics: great craftsmanship, uniqueness, quirkiness, desirability (on trend) and/or quality materials.

Is this slow-dime/wait-a-long-time selling strategy worth it? For me, it’s the only way to go. Because my stores don’t have high traffic and some of my items are fairly esoteric, it may take time for them to be discovered by the right person. I have to be patient! But having a greater quantity of listed inventory items certainly helps ensure a fairly steady monthly income. (On three selling platforms I have just over 600 items with about a third being jewelry.)


Here are four items that took a while to sell but did this past weekend for full price

Spinach jade bowl sold after 2 ½ years (PAID $28.45 on Etsy, SOLD for $130 with free shipping)

Alligator purse (missing handle and a bit worn) sold after 3 years (PAID $4.00 at garage sale, SOLD for $40 plus shipping)

Eight ‘70s dessert plates sold after 2 years (PAID $4-5 at Goodwill, SOLD for $50 plus shipping).

Vintage sterling silver heart vesta case sold after 1 ½ years (PAID $34 on eBay, SOLD for $100 with free shipping). The new owner will be using this to store some of her mother’s ashes.


But I don’t adhere to “list it and forget it” strategy of some resellers. Instead I “revisit and review” items periodically:

  • Evaluate the item. Is it hopelessly out of fashion? Is the market flooded with this type of item? Have there been current sales of similar items?
  • Check the listing. Could the photos or search tags be improved? Could the item title be punched up?
  • Review the price. Is it still competitive? Too high? Too low? (Yes, sometimes the item sold after I raised the price!)
  • Put it on sale. Putting items on sale also moves them higher in search queues increasing their visibility.
  • Post it on another platform. I sell on Etsy, Chairish and eBay and while I don’t cross post a lot between them, I do find that what doesn’t sell on one platform, may sell on another. A few of my higher priced items have sold on Chairish after languishing on Etsy.
  • Feature it on social media. Instagram and vlogs feature prominently for the success of many resellers.
  • Pay for promotion. I haven’t done this personally, but some folks swear by it.
  • Donate the item. This, of course, is a last resort. There have been items that I’ve decided are just not going to sell for me at a price that makes the transaction worthwhile and I let them go.
This is a vintage brass Chinese wall pocket with faux stones. I had it listed for over four years! It’s now at Goodwill.
This handmade ’60s wool jacket (an estate sale find) was expertly made and had no condition issues but just wouldn’t sell for me.

Here’s one “older” item I reviewed the other day that I’m surprised hasn’t sold in the 3+ years it’s been listed–a charming English-made wood puzzle set with images by artist Edwin Noble. But I’m sure it will find a buyer…someday!!!

I do need to improve the photos on this listing!

Question for those who sell: How long are you willing to wait for an item to sell??

Hope all is well with you in this difficult season,

Karen

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