How to Make Extra Holiday Sales Without Planning Ahead

By Aron Hsiao  on October 12, 2016

For most people in the modern world, there is a lot to do on and for any given holiday. More importantly for sellers, there is a lot to buy. This is true even of holidays that aren't centered around gift-giving.

Don't assume that just because you don't specialize in holiday goods and you didn't specifically prepare your inventory for holiday sales, you can't drive a little bit of extra revenue with some holiday keywording and holiday-focused listing practices.

Let's be simple about things. Those fashion-disaster hoodies you've been trying to sell are—for a couple of weeks at least—"Halloween costume" parts or "trick-or-treat hoodies." (Image: © csproductions23 / Fotolia)

What to Look For in Your Inventory

To make hay with Halloween, Thanksgiving, or any other holiday on the radar, go over your inventory looking for things that share one of these four properties with the next holiday on the calendar:

  • Colors. For Halloween, red, black, purple, bright greens, and orange. For Thanksgiving, yellow, red, orange, and earth tones in general. Whatever you have in your inventory that matches the season's colors well is now a holiday-themed item, so throw in the name of the holiday as a keyword and try to catch some extra traffic.

  • Motifs. If you're a vintage, second-hand, or antiques seller, look for items that are rusty, dirty, decrepit, or even just vaguely creepy and market them as halloween items. If you sell new items, think cats, spiders, or whatever else you have on hand that matches the season. For thanksgiving, remember that straw or hay of any kind, images of fall vegetables (especially corn and/or especially in the right colors), or anything to do with cooking or poultry are fair game.

  • Functions. Ask yourself what people do on a given holiday. On Halloween, they dress up in costumes and the kids go trick-or-treating. That means that any apparel item or accessory can potentially be part of a costume and any container can potentially be a trick-or-treat bucket. For Thanksgiving, anything to do with cooking in particular, from aprons to pots and pans to small appliances that have traditional meal uses might benefit from a holiday keyword.

    The vintage TV set in your inventory is now a part of someone's horror-themed Halloween decor, on which they can loop old black-and-white Frankenstein films. (Image: © smiltena /Fotolia)
  • Time periods. Products that evoke memories of another time—whether because they're old themselves or because they hearken back to or represent something from another era—are holiday staples. Most any antique, for example, can be either creepy or cozy depending on the lighting, and can echo popular artwork and sentiments about the holidays. Look at anything in your inventory that's either antique or vintage or that recalls or represents the past and ask yourself whether it either has a creepy or cozy vibe (or both) that some shoppers might buy as a holiday item.

What to Do in Your Listings

Having identified inventory items that might see increased sales with a little extra holiday love, take the following easy steps with listings that you create for them leading up to the holiday:

And your earth-toned crockware is now Thanksgiving servingware. It may not be convincing here, but add a holiday-theemed listing template and some holiday-themed keywords and you're set to sell into each holiday. (Image: © Maksim Shebeko / Fotolia)
  • Add holiday keywords. Make space in your title and description for the name of the holiday, of course, and for one or two of the most important related keywords ("costume," "scary," "creepy," and so on for Halloween; "turkey," "harvest," "farm," "dinner," and so on for Thanksgiving).

  • Change your template. Use listing software to select a holiday-themed template for appropriate items, or just change the colors as you type to match holiday colors. Find a bit of holiday clip-art and include it as your final product image. Even though the product is the same, changing the window dressing on your listing is a good way to convincingly transform a regular inventory item into a holiday one.

  • Add a greeting. Finish of your item description with some set-apart text (larger, bold, separated by a couple of lines, preferably italic) that gives the appropriate holiday greeting. Think "Boo! Do the Monnnnster Mash!" or "Happy Halloween!" for Halloween and "Happy Thanksgiving!" for Thanksgiving.

Even if you don't spent extra time or make extra investments preparing for most holidays, with careful eyes, a talent for putting yourself in shoppers' shoes, and a few minutes invested in listing strategies, you can gain a little edge and drive a few extra sales each time a holiday comes and goes—and have fun in the process.

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