While some online sellers may think it's too late in the holiday season to post items for sale, merchants still have time to woo buyers, according to experts.
"We all know there are people who wait until the last minute and go to the mall on Christmas Eve," says Auctiva Product Analyst and Top-rated Seller Rebecca Miller. "They can't do that online, but in the past I've had a lot of people wait until the week before Christmas to buy gifts."
So many people put off holiday shopping, in fact, that sales could increase as much as 50 percent the week before Christmas, says Simon Tong, chief executive of Paymark, an electronic payment provider in New Zealand.
Sales could increase as much as 50 percent the week before Christmas
eBay educator and Auctiva EDU contributor Janelle Elms expects people to shop heavily on Dec. 19 and 20. She also predicts the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas will be busy days for the post office.
Sellers should take advantage of this last-minute holiday rush, Miller notes. Timing listings to end about 10 days before Christmas allows merchants to catch those last-minute shoppers and get items to them before the holiday.
Fast delivery is crucial during this time of year, she adds. That's why sellers should offer fast shipping options and ensure they pack goods quickly and securely.
She also suggests sellers try out one- and three-day duration listings so buyers can purchase items quickly. Listing items as Fixed Price, or including a Buy It Now option is also a good option. "Buyers are in a crunch, too," she explains. "They want to make their purchases ASAP. They don't want to disappoint anyone."
And while millions of listings will be posted on eBay in the coming weeks, Miller has advice for catching buyers' attention: "Do your best to have a handling time of one to three days; buyers aren't going to look at a listing with a long handling time," she says.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.