Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are you ready for the holidays yet?

For some it may seem way too early to starting to create products for the holiday season but it really isn’t. That was one lesson we learned the hard way. The first year DM Production and Sales started creating Country Rustic and Primitive home décor items we found ourselves very poorly prepared for our first holiday season. As a result, we lost many sales that we should have had.

Wise merchants of all kinds usually start building their inventory by the middle of summer at the latest. I know for those of us that create our own products, this means more work than ever. The second problem that arises is deciding on what to create. It isn’t easy second guessing what shoppers are going to be looking for six months from now. Considering the economy and all the other factors that influence shopping trends it isn’t surprising if many crafters find themselves scratching their heads.

If you are a merchant that has been through a few holiday seasons, at least you have some experience to fall back on. If this is your first season, it can be even more frustrating. As if the holidays aren’t hectic enough, not having the right quantity or the right items to sell can really make you wonder if you wouldn’t be better off raising worms instead of what you are doing now.

Now if you have been in business a while and have the capital and a few previous holiday seasons behind you, you can make some decisions based on your experience. New merchants however don’t have these past experiences to fall upon so what do they do?

There is one line of thought that says that if you are caught in this circumstance, the best thing to do is create as many items similar to those you have been successfully selling since shoppers tend to buy things they like for friends and family gifts. Personally I think this is a logical line of thought under most circumstances but this year, from what I’m hearing and reading from the so called experts is going to be a difficult one for all merchants because of the economy.

Considering this fact, it would seem logical for a merchant to do their best to have a mix of items in several price ranges that shoppers can select from. Try to stock as much as possible on the supplies needed to make additional items of all price ranges so when you see that one price range starts looking like it is going to be the main seller, you can focus your production in on it without having to scramble for supplies.

Remember, history repeats itself and we have been through down times in the economy many times before and it always comes back. Because of this, what you don’t sell now, will probably sell later in the year. The key is to maximize your sales during the hot holiday buying season.

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