21 Successful Sale Strategies
Here are 21 tips for successful selling:
1. carefully select items you want to sell
2. location, location, location:
◦ pick suitable sales areas – – whether it’s your web site, garage, front or backyard, a store, auction, festival, flea market or parking lot
3. sell only items attractive enough to buy. Repair, restore or refinish if necessary
4. schedule the sale at an appropriate time:
◦ will your sale compete against “big” events, holidays or other “major” sales?
◦ is it timely and seasonal?
◦ is it convenient for buyers?
◦ is it convenient for you?
5. set prices ahead of time:
◦ if you have trouble determining price check the Internet, your local public library (pricing books), auctions, resale & antique shops, boutiques, flea markets, etc.
◦ make the asking price high enough to cover all your costs and expenses with a little extra for pure profit
◦ reserve room to cut a “deal” with customers
6. make it easy to for people buy from you
◦Accept multiple forms of payment: cash, money order, barter, swap & exchange, in-kind agreements, credit cards, check, e-commerce and the new way. Eliminate excuses not to buy.
7. sell more:
◦ offer “bulk” discounts, repeat buyer incentives, customer referral rewards, affiliate programs
◦ combine different types of sales both online and off
◦ have bags, boxes & wraps for customers (easy carry)
◦ have plenty of change (bills, coins) for face to face sales (see #17)
◦ consider using price tags and giving out receipts
8. price negotiating tips:
◦give yourself some “wiggle” room. Have room to negotiate price and terms. Customers expect it. Plus when you make “deals” they buy more and tell everyone they know (more customers and sales for you!)
◦ WARNING: negotiate only if asked and don’t give in too quickly. Remember you must make a fair profit
◦ give in less in the early part of the sale. Become more generous as time expires
◦ hold out for an attractive price, especially if you have time and a limited amount of items to sell
◦ don’t get greedy. Don’t waste time haggling over a few cents or dollars. If you have a buyer at an equitable price sell the item and move on to the next one
9. target your market. Know exactly who is most interested in buying what you have and what they’ll pay to get it. See customer database for more
10. let people know you are having a sale: Publicize, Promote, Market and Advertise. Get the word out to those most likely to buy:
◦ announce your sale at least 2 weeks in advance. Advanced notice gives people time to make plans to come
◦ contact the most likely buyers directly (friends, relatives, current customers, etc.). Start with people, companies and groups in your address book. See customer database for more
◦ repetition is key. The more your target audience hears your message the more likely they’ll come
◦ use the media (online, newspapers, periodicals, radio, TV, newsgroups, etc.) to help you spread the word
◦ use news releases, classified ads, posters, letters, newsgroups, flyers, web sites, e-mail, phone calls and whatever you can think of to publicize your sale
◦ tie-ins with worthy causes and charities usually get lots of attention
◦ encourage customers to spread the word. Offer some sort of perk, discount or cash reward as an incentive for them
◦ start in your neighborhood, where people gather: community centers, clubs, chat rooms, grocery stores, apartment buildings, restaurants, churches, schools, chambers of commerce, businesses, block clubs, libraries, etc.
11. create a Customer Database
◦capture customer and hot prospect information (name, address, items bought, amount spent, preferences, phone number, e-mail, income, demographics, etc.)
◦ use your customer database (database marketing) to build, profile and maintain clients
12. build a loyal following. Give people reasons to continue buying from you. Stay in touch with them. This is important if you plan to have additional sales
13. visit competitors and other sellers. Check out what are others are doing:
◦ see how they fare
◦ steal their ideas
◦ get their advice
◦ avoid their mistakes
◦ team up with them
◦ find out what customers want
◦ learn the ropes
14. work out issues like set up, presentation, storage, delivery and guarantees before the sale
15. don’t forget about your costs: fees, expenses, rent, transportation, repair, etc.
16. protect yourself:
◦ have some type of security, especially if you use a cashbox
◦ set up restricted areas, especially your living quarters
◦ watch out for shoplifters
17. there’s strength in numbers and profits. Create scale or “super” sales and synergy:
◦ band together with friends, relatives, companies, community groups, churches, neighbors, colleagues, etc.
◦ use a variety of sales, online and off
18. check to see if you need any permits or licenses, especially local
19. review sale items again prior to the sale. You don’t want to accidentally mix in any family heirlooms, priceless antiques, one-of-a-kind items or necessities
20. know what you are getting yourself into before the sale. Step back and review the process
21. Don’t have time then donate items to a worthy cause. Check with your accountant about tax deductions/credits