Usually, we recommend selling evergreen products because it results in steady sales over the long term. But seasonal products can mean quick, easy profits, especially if you time things right on the high-selling holidays like Christmas, Prime Day, U.S. Independence Day and more. eDesk will show you how to take advantage of those high-volume and last-minute purchases that can be a big spike in the plus column.
Seasonal Products Can Be High Reward, But Also High Risk
The great thing about selling seasonal products is that you can capitalize on huge buying booms. Last year, Amazon broke sales records for the Christmas holiday season, shipping more than a billion items in the U.S. via Prime (compared to more than a billion Prime shipments globally just two years earlier).
That’s a lot of shoppers and a big pie for you to get a piece of.
But the potential of high sales doesn’t come risk-free. While initial investments can be lower than at other times and returns can be lower, it’s not a sustainable business model for the entire year and predicting and stocking inventory properly can be difficult.
Seasonal fads can be notoriously fickle, with their inevitable downturns hard to predict (see: fidget spinners, Tickle-Me-Elmo, Angry Birds and more). Even if you stay off the fad bandwagon, seasonal items are still tough to predict how much to stock for, and when to replenish your inventory.
Some items have a longer calendar life, like winter outerwear, gloves, swimwear, watersports toys, outdoor exercise gear, etc., which means their risks also tend to be lower (but sales might not be as high because they’re more spread out).
It also depends on where you’re selling to. Items like ice skates or hockey sticks could be a huge seller in places like Canada or Scandinavia, but you also have to take into account the amount of competition, rising participation costs, seasonal weather and more.
If you’re looking at warmer-weather seasonal items, where you’re selling also factors in. Inflatable water toys can be great lower-risk items in warm climates and super hot sellers in colder climates, but the latter has a much shorter window for you to capitalize on.
Seasonal Sales Come Down to Meticulous Planning
One of the biggest factors of success when it comes to selling seasonal products on Amazon is how thoroughly, carefully and intelligently you plan for it. You’ve got a relatively short window to take advantage of those sales, and therefore have less margin of error for planning mistakes.
Luckily, seasonal products tend to show general themes year after year, with a lot of data available for you to go over. Arm yourself with tools like Google Trends or AMZScout to see what past trends and peaks were and how you’d apply them to your own inventory.
For example, if you’re planning on selling winter mittens, the high season would be something like October/November to February/March, with definitely December and possibly January potentially being the months where you could increase your prices the most. From April to September, you’d have to heavily discount your mittens to keep them moving.
Again, take a look at past trends to see how your ideas have generally performed, then map it against your budget to come up with an idea of how much to invest, the prices to set them at, and the shape and breadth of your marketing and advertising strategies.
Bonus Tips for Selling Seasonal Products on Amazon
Lastly, keep these tips printed out somewhere and refer to them constantly to keep on track.
- Plan for the worst (e.g. having a lot of leftover inventory or running out of stock prematurely) and have backup plans to deal with it. If you end up with leftover inventory, some options are to sell at a discount to avoid long-term storage fees or stash the inventory someplace else to sell again next year/on the next holiday. If you run out of stock prematurely, that’s a tougher problem, but pausing the listing should at least buy you a bit of time.
- Have your listing ready to go before the season or holiday begins. If you’re thinking about putting something up a couple of weeks before the season or holiday begins, you’re too late. You should start your planning months in advance so your listing is ready to go at the drop of a hat.
- Have a good supply of products already at an Amazon warehouse so they can get shipped out as soon as demand starts to increase. Perhaps your earliest shoppers won’t mind a bit longer of a shipment time as they started well in advance to beat the seasonal crush, but your last-minute shoppers are looking for speed and timeliness.
- Stay on top of getting reviews so you can snowball demand into more sales and higher profit margins. It might be tempting to slack off on the feedback front when you’ve got so many sales to deal with, but ignoring reviews can mean losing out on an even higher sales volume.
- If you’re just starting out, seasonal products can be way too risky a venture to undertake. These items generally require being familiar with Amazon and having some experience, as the learning curve is much steeper.