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Can a marketplace seller ever really go on holiday?

By Dan Wilson July 7, 2017 - 8:29 am

The school holidays are coming up and everyone deserves a break. Even the most earnest marketplace seller can do with a week or two relaxation and respite. Not least to plot and plan the next steps of their business development. Holidays aren’t just about escape. They’re about reflection: it’s good to take time out to consider the year ahead.

That should be the purpose of a holiday: it’s time out to think. The everyday grind of fulfilment and keeping everything going is all consuming. An interlude to consider the future is very welcome. Whether it’s Bali, Bermuda, the Balearics or Bognor. Everyone needs a little time out to think. All work and no play, Jack etc.

The logistics do irk.

You can switch your eBay sales off, but the holiday settings aren’t perfect. There are options on Amazon too. But the simple fact is that taking time off on these marketplaces for a holiday can also affect your future prominence and sales. The “secret sauce” must be to be able to go on holiday and also keep trading trouble-free. How do you do that? It’s very hard if you have a small team. Specifically, if you sell as a couple or you’re flying solo.

Even if you preside over a bigger operation, with trusted minions, can you ever relax? I recently spoke to a business owner who sells high end items at a few grand a pop on Amazon and eBay and he confessed that even on hols he was checking in twice a day despite the fact he had complete and utter faith in his team: “I just can’t let go.” But many of you won’t have a team.

Help your fellow sellers?

So what do you do? What’s your tip and sage advice to fellow sellers? How do you manage to take time out and also keep the sales going? It will be interesting to hear from all sorts of sellers.

How do you manage as a couple team in contrast to a seller with a staff? We’d love to hear your insights.

  • 4 years ago

    Pump whatever you can into FBA and try and scratch a week off. Note that your customers will still find you, especially if there’s a problem. I spent 3 days of a 7 day holiday fending off one demanding caller and ended up beside the swimming pool with chest pains because she wouldn’t except that I didn’t happen to have a tracking number for an item that had been drop shipped for me from a supplier…

  • 4 years ago

    I work alone and I make sure to take one weekend a month off as time out. Customers don’t understand and will message on the weekend… I address their query and then go back to vacation. If it is something complicated I just save it for Monday. Soloprenuers need to make time for a life. Even if it’s just a little life on the weekend.

  • 4 years ago

    A local seller took on fulfilment for 10 days on one account but the worry was always there.

    They all go on fulfilment with Urban33 Retail Group in Wellingborough now, no problem, I answer messages from my tablet while sitting on a beach and Urban33 get on with the daily grind. Best thing to happen, not living in a warehouse and despatch is taken care of, I get the easy bit of listing and promotions etc 🙂

    • 4 years ago

      Great idea Jane. Urban 33 sounds amazing. We offer a similar service and I had forgotton how easily our clients slip into holiday mod. One of my fav customers popped in this morning and asked me to courier his suitcase along with his orders as he was off to Barbados (as you do!!) Enjoy yourself Sam

  • 4 years ago

    Absolutely they can and deserve to do so without the hassle and stress of worrying about their marketplace orders when spending quality time away from the business. The option to outsource fulfilment to a third party fulfilment house is the way to go.

  • David
    4 years ago

    Just a thought – I work with a few other sellers locally and we operate a “locum” style of cover for each other, we all use similar management systems Volo and Channel Advisor which enables us to care take each other’s business whist they are away.

    Last year we were able to cover successfully enabling each business owner to go away for at least a week, one went away for four weeks.
    There were of course a few operational problems but a call to the business owner resolved these fairly easily – I would recommend this approach, it certainly works for us .

  • Roger
    4 years ago

    We have a family business with 600 product lines which is operated from our home and we generally take breaks of no more than a week at a time. With ebay, which accounts for the bulk of our marketplace sales, we leave our shop open but change despatch timescale to 5 working days on everything. We do not use ebay holiday settings to advertise that we are away. Amazon is our secondary marketplace and we close it completely while we are away. We check and respond to messages on both marketplaces daily using smartphone and tablet.

  • Jennifer
    4 years ago

    Some interesting comments. Does anyone use a fulfillment centre that will pick / pack / label items to be sent to FBA? Each one i’ve contacted is happy to send single orders to Amazon and eBay etc but none of them offer the services of bulk labelling products to send to FBA.

    • 4 years ago

      Have you tried Trojan? They can do seller fulfilled Prime on your behalf (i.e. they hold your stock but Amazon treat it the same as if it was held in FBA and Trojan can still fulfil orders for other marketplaces or your website for you).

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

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