The healthiest business is never completely reliant on any one service or tool, which is why you’ll always want to be selling client items on a variety of platforms. There are many advantages of selling through multiple channels, from having increased exposure for your items to diversifying your selling so you’ll never be so dependent on a single marketplace that you’ll live and die by its changes. Multi-channel selling can mean spreading a client’s items out across several platforms or double listing the same items in multiple locations simultaneously to reach several types of buyer at once.
Of course, selling across multiple sites means more to keep track of and more potential to mess things up. You’ll need to be very organized to pull it off, keeping sales and sites separate while still keeping track of which items belong to which client contract. But when you free yourself from the idea that you can only sell on a single platform, you’ll open yourself up to a variety of selling opportunities.
Having good inventory synchronization, preferably automated, is key. The same items listed on multiple sites is a great way to expand the item’s reach and get it in front of as many potential buyers as possible. But what happens if you forget to delist and accidentally sell it twice? Trying to keep your inventory synchronized manually is challenging enough on a single platform, and the problem increases exponentially with additional sites in the mix. Luckily, there are a variety of third-party tools that offer automated synchronization between the most popular selling sites so that when your client’s book sells on Amazon, it’s automatically marked out of stock on both eBay and your webstore. Automated inventory management is an additional expense, but the cross-promotional benefits to your client’s items may make it worth it.
Reporting for a contract where items were sold on multiple sites can also be a challenge. You may need to consolidate fees from multiple invoices on a single reconciliation spreadsheet, and that data entry can be time-consuming. Personally, I just copy the relevant lines exactly from the selling invoices from each site and paste them directly onto the spreadsheet I give my client. Not only does this allow me to use the spreadsheet itself to calculate the fees and totals, it shows the client exactly what I received from the platform, keeping things completely transparent. Add a column simply to indicate which site each transaction refers to and you’re done.