The economy is a mess, we all know this, and those of us with things to sell may be feeling the pinch.

When the going gets tough, the tough shake things up. Now is the time to try some different things to make your products sell. And no, eBay, free shipping isn’t the only way!

No matter where you sell, rethink your inventory and look at your store from a buyer’s perspective. It is possible to sell the items you have always sold, you just may need to rethink how you sell them. When you have been doing the same thing for a long time, taking a new look at your old inventory can be challenging but rewarding.

Here are a few suggestions that worked for us:

  • Create “combo” packs of similar items. Even if the only discount you offer off these items is the difference in fees by listing them together, your buyers will save on shipping costs while you will save on listing fees. Buyers get more value and you move more inventory and everyone wins!
  • Give extras for buying more than one item. Instead of giving free shipping right away, make it a bonus. Buy the first item and the second item will ship for free. Better yet, buy 3 items and the whole order will ship for free. If you have already built the cost of  shipping into your prices, this is a great way to move your inventory and give buyers a little extra for being a loyal customer. The same holds true for other extras. Buy a second item and get a free gift! Get creative! Once the wallets are already open, it only takes a little push more to get those buyers to buy a little more so sweeten the deal for them.
  • Reward past customers. Even when its less likely that anyone will by from you, it is still more likely that past customers will buy from you. The same bonuses suggested above could be exclusive to past customers. Or give them a coupon for a percentage off. People who have been happy with your service before are more likely to come back than a brand new customer and you buy yourself a little more customer loyalty with every new bonus you give them. Past customers have seen your stuff before and may have considered it so giving them an extra push will likely make them finally buy what they had their eyes on.
  • Rethink your item titles and descriptions. We all have that item that we have been selling for years with the same title, same description. Take a moment to rewrite both title and description as if this is a brand new item. Even if all you do is rearrange the words or take a new photo, even people who have looked at your stuff millions of times may see it in a new light. Or, with the inclusion of new keywords, your item may reach a new audience than before. Just because something worked before, doesn’t mean you can’t give it a good shake up. It might work even better!
  • Rethink your listing strategy. Sure, you may have always gotten your best price at fixed price before but maybe an auction might be a better choice right now so that you can take advantage of deal seekers and better search placement. Or if the auction prices are disappointing, try some fixed price items to test the market. We like to cover all our bases, auctions that link to store inventory items by saying “Why wait for this auction to end, buy this item now!” Whatever it is, take a moment to reevaluate what you are doing and try some new things. Even if they fail, you will learn from them.

Still want to give your business a kick in the pants? Take a look at our Five Ways to Tweak Your Marketing for the Sluggish Economy.