5 Ecommerce Grinches Out to Steal Your Holiday Profits!

by Lisa Suttora on November 21, 2013

You thought the Grinch was bad when he tried to steal Christmas? Well he’s got nothing on these 5 “Ecommerce Grinches”.

They’re lurking around the marketplaces , hiding on your website, and trying to steal your sales!

Fortunately, it’s not too late to learn how to recognize them and thwart their profit stealing moves!

Lowball Larry. Lowball Larry is going to get that sale, even if it means undercutting your prices (and everyone elses) on the Amazon product page. He has an Amazon repricer and he’s not afraid to use it!

While Lowball can certainly be frustrating, you can beat him at his own game!

Let Lowball “limbo on down” with his prices and find out “just how low can he go?”

You keep your prices steady and let Lowball sell out first at razor thing margins.  Contrary to popular belief Amazon customers don’t always buy from the lowest priced seller.

With a late Thanksgiving this year, pent up buyer demand is projected to drive a $1.8 Billion dollar sales day on CyberMonday (Dec 2nd). Additionally 25% of  “late to the game holiday sales” are projected to happen the week before Christmas. (Source: comScore)

So don’t let Lowball Larry scare you into early, drastic price reductions.

If the time comes where a price reduction is in order, consider competition, market supply, product sales rank and customer demand in your pricing strategy.

Invisible Ingrid. Shy and retiring,  Invisible Ingrid probably wasn’t the best candidate for marketing manager.

It seems she does everything possible to make SURE no one finds your products!

When you ask Ingrid what marketing she’s done lately, she scoffs!

  • “Why bother marketing” Ingrid says with a yawn. “Amazon and Ebay will do it all for me. I can just set it and forget it…”
  • Search engine optimize product titles and eBay items specific…  “So cliche.”, huffs Ingrid.

Unfortunately, thanks to Invisible Ingrid, no one can find your products online!

The key to getting your products found online this holiday season is to send Invisible Ingrid packing and bring in Empowered Ellen!

Empowered Ellen has keywords and a Pinterest business account and she knows how to use them!

Just a few keyword tweaks to your listings and pinning your products a few times a day and Ellen has your best holiday items front and center!

No Free Shipping Nolan. “There IS no free shipping!” Nolan shouts. “Gas isn’t free, boxes aren’t free, labor to ship ISN’T FREE.”

And while No Free Shipping Nolan DOES have a valid point (UPS and FedEx still charge to deliver packages!) a 2013 online holiday survey shows that 85% of today’s online holiday shoppers expect free shipping with NO minimum order requirement.

This doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm, but it does mean that to be in the holiday game, you do need to offer free shipping on at least some of your holiday items.

The benefit will be increased sales and happy holiday customers!

Market Saturation Margaret.  Market Saturation Margaret has flooded the market with your products at the very last minute. (In fact, she’s one of the reasons that Lowball Larry goes crazy with repricing.)

And frankly, she IS a problem. Too many sellers on an item, not enough demand, and you want these products sold by Christmas!

When Market Saturation Margaret rears her ugly head, you have three choices:

  • Hold ‘em. Keep prices steady and be willing to wait it out
  • “Promotion” ‘em. If you want OUT of this product, it’s time to run a short term promotion.
  • Market ‘em. Give Empowered Emma a call and have her market your products on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, via Email, Blog, Craigslist – whatever it takes to get that inventory sold.

Depending on your investment in this inventory, only you can make the decision on what your next move should be.

And if you decide that this product’s a keeper into 2014 – buy up the rest of Lowball Larry’s stock at dirt cheap prices and resell it for higher profits next year! :)


Stale Inventory Sam. The opposite of Lowball Larry, Stale Inventory Sam wants you to hang on to that aged and stale inventory and hold out for the highest profit for as long as possible.

“Storage is cheap!” argues Sam.  But what Sam’s not telling you is that inventory you sell for a $40 profit today can be turned into another $40 profit on a new item next month, instead of waiting indefinitely for a 60 dollar profit.

Most people wait to clear out old inventory until the end of the year.

Instead, do it now while shoppers are looking for that unique gift and they’re in the mood to spend money.

If an items been sitting there for more than three months, give it a small price adjustment to refresh your listing page.

If it’s been sitting there for most of 2012, run a holiday promotion on it and move it on out!

A Few Simple Changes Will Result in a Lot More Sales!

Even if you’re dealing with just one of these mean Ecommerce Grinches, making the changes above can mean the difference between a good holiday selling season and a great one!

How about you?

Have you encountered some friends of our “Ecommerce 5?”

-Lisa

 

 

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