My self-imposed embargo is officially over!

Well the summer holidays are over and I’m well and truly back in the country so I feel that it’s only right that I am now officially entitled to mention Christmas again. I have managed to abstain from the ‘C’ word since I sneaked it in back in June so I do think it’s only fair!

A friend of mine always buys her Christmas crackers immediately after Christmas is over and she stores them ready for the next year. It’s extremely impressive organization on her part and means that she can get hold of those beautiful luxury crackers that come complete with nice pens and packs of playing cards for the same price as the Supermarket ‘Value’ option whose best prize is usually a little red plastic fish that curls up in your hand!

It’s a funny little example, but it does represent the huge ups and downs in price that you see when it comes to seasonal products. If my friend were to save those crackers with the aim of selling them near Christmas the following year rather than using them, chances are she would make some profit doing so.

But Christmas isn’t the only season that you can take advantage of for selling seasonal goods.

There are Halloween costumes to sell in October, school uniforms to sell in the summer holidays before the kids return to their classes and even an extra rush on bikinis and other swimwear in late spring / early summer as shoppers prepare for their holidays abroad. Many sellers don’t bother selling seasonal goods due to their limited periods of success and the peaks and troughs that come with seasonal goods, but if storage isn’t too much of a problem for you then this can be an incredibly profitable niche for you to consider.

So why sell seasonal products?

There are several benefits to selling seasonal goods that you can enjoy if you do choose to go down this route:

The price difference between on and off peak for a seasonal item is likely to be far higher than any normal item of stock. Summer clothes are provided with massive discounts in winter and vice versa, while the prices of Christmas decorations are slashed to next to nothing as early as Boxing Day! So this can lead to great big profits if you can pick up items when they’re off peak.

As some sellers don’t bother looking at seasonal goods and instead concentrate on year round sellers (which is of course also a good plan) you may find that competition is lower, especially if you can find a niche market within a seasonal time. This can lead to a greater reward for less effort on your part.

Seasonal products can be purchased anywhere, not just specifically from wholesale suppliers. The high street is often a great place to go off season when shops are desperate to get rid of their stock to make room for the next clothing line or the next big event.

The only thing you need to think carefully about is your budget over the year as a whole as you’re likely to have some months with higher earnings and then some without. So the profits that you could make through selling at key times of the year with seasonal stock will need it be replaced with other profits during the quiet times.

One way around this is to ensure you are always selling a seasonal product throughout different times of the year so that you always have products that are in-demand in stock. The other way is to combine the sale of seasonal products with a few year round sellers too. This way you’ll have the best of both.

How to find the best seasonal goods

The real trick when it comes to making money selling seasonal hot products is simply knowing when to buy and when to sell.

Ideally you’ll need some storage space for this because you may need to do your purchasing and your selling at opposite ends of the year. One of the difficulties with this type of selling is that there’s a real temptation to go crazy and purchase anything and everything that you can get for a discount as soon as the peak season is over. But don’t be tempted. Instead of giving in to that impulse, spend time coming up with a proper plan in advance.

Keep your eyes on useful tools such as Amazon’s Bestseller lists – particularly the ‘Movers and Shakers’ lists during the time that you’ll want to sell specific items next year and you should have a good idea as to the best products to buy. And of course you’ll find my own suggestions for seasonal and year round sellers right here on The Source Report

Don’t limit yourself to one selling avenue either. If Christmas is your big selling time then the January sales could yield bargains both online and on the high street.

You may even find that wholesale suppliers will run sales on their excess Christmas stock. This can be a great way to buy items in bulk that you know will sell well when they come back into their peak season. You’ll need to be quick to snap up a deal though, as other seasonal sellers will be sniffing out the same deals!

Selling your seasonal products for a profit

Once you’ve sourced your stock, selling it is then all a matter of timing. Depending on which season you’re targeting, you’ll need to learn exactly when you’re likely to make the most sales. This will get easier over time as you’ll be able to look at the statistics within your eBay or Amazon accounts to verify how many of which product you sold at what time.

New school uniforms for example; you might think that September would be the best time to catch the rush just before the kids return to school, but actually June through to August are much better selling months.

Christmas preparations also start so early these days that October and November are better months to ensure you catch the rush, than December itself. Romantics at heart looking to surprise their sweethearts with Valentine’s Day gifts also consider their purchases far earlier than the start of February so think about starting to advertise your products in early January.

Maximising your profits through each season is going to be a learning curve for you, but with experience you’ll soon get the hang of it and understand how to bring in excellent profits year on year purely with seasonal items.

My recommendation for anyone just starting out with seasonal selling is to take this strategy on alongside products that will provide a more regular income. This will help you manage your finances throughout the year, as the regular sales will cover those off-peak periods when you may struggle to shift your seasonal stock. The vast majority of items do have natural peaks and troughs throughout the year so by diversifying the stock that you sell you’ll keep yourself in a good financial position the whole year round.

So, Christmas here we come!

As always I wish you the best of success.