Okay, well then. April. Can’t say that I’m gonna miss you.
I really was prepared for the slow down…but I didn’t really expect that it would last the whole month.
April generally has some slow spots. It’s when income taxes are due so all the procrastinators (me! me! me!) are scrambling to finish up and if they suspect they owe anything, they may be a bit more careful with their spending.
Plus they are just distracted for awhile.
I know that happened with me. Even though I was pleasantly surprised with a refund…the act of doing my taxes took up my brain power for more than a week or so.
And my listing pace suffered as a result. It affected my sales as I explain in this post.
So, let’s look at the numbers of our main shops and then talk about how to cope.
In my main Etsy shop, The Recycleista’s Retro Shop, after such a stellar March (28 orders $717 in revenue), sales went down by more than half in April.
The Retro Shop: 17 orders $322 sales revenue.
In Hubby’s shop Metal and Tweed, we see a downturn but not as sharp. The reason for that is related though, to the reason I posted above. Hubby went from being an employee to starting his own business in January. Obviously, then, the time he has to dedicate to the online shops is limited. So in March, M & T had 10 orders with $312 in revenue. (higher price points in that shop :))
April was lower but not as dramatic.
Metal and Tweed: 8 orders $226 revenue
So yes…very painful to consider when you see it in black and white. Sales in our 2 main Etsy shops were HALF of what they were the previous month. And our secondary shops….it’s not even worth talking about them. lol. And eBay?? Ridiculous.
What to do? Here’s how I coped and continue to cope since things aren’t bouncing back miraculously.
How to Survive a Sales Slump
1) “Just keep swimming“. Don’t despair. Realize that these slumps are just that. Temporary downward swings and that they naturally have to swing back up. They won’t swing back up though, if you do nothing.
So keep listing. Keep promoting. Keep doing what you’re doing and when the peeps come back…you’ll be ready.
2) Hang with a like-minded selling community. I’m part of the Got Vintage Shops group and The Thrifting Board on Facebook. I don’t mean go to those groups and start complaining and whining about the lack of sales. That doesn’t help you or anybody. But you’ll get an overall feel if the sales slump is widespread or just your shop and you maybe need to fix a few things.
I personally was very comforted to read several threads in the GVS group that sales AND views were down overall in April. I knew I wasn’t alone and that there was a bigger issue going on that was out of my control.
3) Use the time during the Sales Slump to explore new sales venues. I’m a firm believer in not putting all your eggs in one basket. Because I have shops on Etsy and Ebay and a few items on Amazon….my trickle of sales this month at least added up to something. I also sold some items directly in Facebook groups. I could have worked those harder and that would have helped beef up my Paypal account. But I was busy…with taxes..did I mention that? lol. And this blog.
I also did some research on Poshmark. It’s a clothes selling app. I don’t sell a ton of clothing online anymore, but I have a few pieces leftover and find things occasionally. Plus I have some vintage jewelry that I could try listing on there. It’s worth a shot. I haven’t had time to list anything yet but I will report back how it goes. If you’d like to try it out, feel free to enter my referral code: JLDDH According to the app, you will get $10 for downloading the app and using my code. I will receive $10 only once you’ve made a purchase. (affiliate disclaimer)
4) If you have time between listing new items, you can also spiff up your older listings. Not satisfied with the photos you took 3 years ago? Just redo the main item photo. Quick fix. As you look over those listings, you’ll probably find some other little errors or oversights that you can fix. I find wrong tags all the time on my older Etsy listings. When I use the “Copy” feature to make a new listing for a similar item I’m listing…sometimes I forget to delete all the tags that are not relevant to the current item. It happens.
On eBay, I’ve been weeding out older items and adding Best Offer to some listings. Just whatever I can do to refresh things.
5) Set some goals. Despite my periodic moments of despair this month “OMG…NOTHING is selling!!! No one will buy anything from me ever again….” I almost immediately bounced back with determination to work harder. I have high hopes for May and hope to add at least 75 new items to my main Etsy shop. That’s a lofty goal considering the other venues I
want need to work on as well. But if I shoot high and miss…I’ll at least end up higher than if I hadn’t set a goal at all.
Okay, your turn! Please tell me how you deal with sales slumps? What philosophy keeps you grounded? What do you keep busy with when sales aren’t pouring in? Please comment below!