Reselling in Turbulent Times

I think I have mentioned before that we were thinking of moving. We recently went on a trip to our moving destination of choice…Montana (see picture above! Hubby took that one on our trip) and things happened very quickly. (This post contains affiliate links. See our full policy page for details)

We have a duplex on hold for us and the idea is to get the keys and officially rent it by April 1st. Yes, THIS April 1st. We returned home with an overwhelming sense of how much work we had to do!!

When we left for that trip…talk of epidemics and viruses was just a murmur. But the whispers grew and in just the week since we’ve gotten home…have become a roar.

So what the future will bring…whether we will be able to get back over there on time…or if we get orders to shelter in place…it is what it is. It’s hard not to stress over the what ifs…that just seems to be human nature. All I can do is go forward. Any of the cleaning out or packing up I do, needs to be done anyway so at least it’s not wasted time.

Part of the just plain ol’ garden variety anxiety of moving is figuring out how to move a reselling business and its inventory. So many options! Adding to the complexity is the fact that it will take us a few trips to get everything moved over so I have to decide at what point the business gets moved to its new home.

The result of culling inventory. Two bins of ready to list flatware.

But no matter what process we end up going with (I’ll be sure to let you know) the first action I’ve been taking is culling old/stale/why did I buy that inventory. I’ve been trying to list things here and there to give them one last try before I donate. I may even throw some things on Facebook Marketplace…if people are even willing to meet up these days.

And its kind of hard because I will admit sales for me have slowed a bit. I’ve had a trickle. But there are some other non-pandemic factors that I think play a part: I had my Ebay and Etsy shops shut down for most of my vacation…that does slow momentum a bit. Plus I’m not listing steadily and consistently…I definitely have been caught up in the culling and sorting. Also, this is generally a slow time for me as we come up on Tax Day.

But these are turbulent times. No getting around it. People are distracted by panic shopping and lack of toilet paper. Worries about loved ones. Worries about jobs and economic security which will affect their spending. Which in turn, will affect us: small business owners and online resellers.

What can we do? Only what’s in our control. Here are a few things I thought of that we as resellers can do to get through these tough times.

  1. Keep listing. People are home and generally have a bit more time on their hands. There will be comfort buying. (I’ve actually sold more vintage jewelry than I expected).
  2. Attack your profit piles. They were made for times like these! lol. Now’s the time to work on that resolution to stop (or slow down) thrifting and work on your backlog of unlisted inventory.
  3. Change what you sell. Okay maybe not completely. But check those profit piles for things people can do at home. Books, puzzles, craft kits, sewing patterns…I’ve heard reports of an increase in sales in these niches from my fellow resellers.
  4. Use different platforms. Here’s your chance to try out a platform you’ve been hesitant about using. I’ve used Mercari off and on. As I’m culling things out (both personal and inventory) I’ve thrown some things on there. It works best for me if I think of it as a virtual yard sale. And I’ve sold 4 things! One was a mixed lot of stainless flatware that I just don’t have time or space to deal with. It sold within hours while my similar lots on Ebay are just sitting. I need to move more over there!! Here’s a link if you want to try Mercari out. (affiliate link -you’ll get $10 credit to try it out and I’ll get 10 bucks in credit too)
  5. Get organized. Here’s your chance to get that inventory where you want it. No more lost items! This week on Facebook I read about these labels that you can use with an App on your phone. You can scan the label on your inventory bin and it’ll tell you what’s inside. (of course you need to input that information to begin with, ha!) That could be a game changer! Even for moving! Hmmm…my wheels are turning.
  6. Don’t panic. Something I tell myself every morning when I wake up. Stay in, stay focused and just think about how this will be the year you’re finally ready for Quarter 4 on time!!

How about you? Any different steps you are taking to get through these times?

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