Are you holding a reverse January sale? In this article we’re going to look at eBay bundles and how they are seriously boost your bottom line and mark you apart from the competition.

Christmas is over and many of us are struggling to get back into the routine of work, school and normal life. A life without tinsel, baubles, champagne for breakfast and copious amounts of brandy butter, but a life with, in some cases, a rather expanded waistline!

On top of this, the January sales started even earlier this year – around about Christmas Eve to be precise – and for me I find this to be just another example of what has become a kind of mad rush through life. We are constantly being ushered on to the next thing before the previous thing has actually finished. Christmas starts in October and by Christmas Eve it’s all over, the sales have started and Easter Eggs are being loaded onto the shelves!

Of course it’s good to think ahead, to be prepared and to be in control of ‘what’s happening next’, that’s called good planning, but it’s also a little bit sad that sometimes we can’t sit back, chill out and enjoy the present without having the future rammed in our faces.

For retailers, both online and offline, forward planning is an absolute priority – the key to profiting, staying ahead of the game and keeping up with the competition – and that’s why the January sales are no longer actually ‘January’ sales.

All it takes is for one retailer to jump the gun and that’s it, all the others are forced to do the same to avoid an impact on their businesses. But hang-on, before you too jump the gun and watch your own profits ebb away as you leap on the sales band-wagon and start discounting your prices just because everyone else is doing it, think about this.

But hang-on, before you too jump the gun and watch your own profits ebb away as you leap on the sales band-wagon and start discounting your prices just because everyone else is doing it, think about this.

What if there was another way?

What if you could implement a kind of ‘reverse sale’ that allows you to maintain and even increase your current prices but still upturn your orders and so make more money in the process?

You know, the term ‘January Sale’ doesn’t actually have to mean that you offer a product at a lower price, particularly if you use a very simple strategy. It’s called ‘bundling’ and is a topic I’ve talked about before – and with good reason. It’s a highly effective way of not giving away your profits but still offering a good deal to entice customers. It also makes you unique.

This strategy works best with products that often need other components that go with them but which are usually purchased separately. A very simple example of this that you can see pretty much everyday is used by McDonalds. Yes, that well known fast food franchise.

Their value meals are simply multiple products combined into one complete meal! A bundle of burger, fries and a drink. These three components can all be purchased separately, but the ‘deal’ is better if you order as a ‘value meal’. The result is more products sold at a minimally discounted price. It’s convenient, tempting and doesn’t impact on your profit margins.

Another example are beauty products such as shampoos and conditioners. These can be purchased separately, but consumers usually require both, so a bundle containing shampoo and conditioner and sold with a small incentive discount is perceived as a better deal.

To put it another way, you are creating eBay bundles by adding more products to an offer and ‘discounting upwards’.

When you position products together and create eBay bundles, it’s exactly like a type of up-selling, except you are not trying to up-sell people by directing them to separate listings for your other, and possibly discounted products.

Instead you are offering them one of your unique eBay bundles in which the buyer can receive related products at a small discount, compared with if they were to purchase them separately. And they are getting a great deal from this! It’s just like offering a ‘sale’ price – only it doesn’t hurt your profits because your order value will go up, not down, due to a higher priced bundle and more products sold.

And you don’t even have to create eBay bundles in the true sense of the word if you don’t want to. Consider including money off vouchers towards a repeat purchase, a free gift or offer free delivery for a limited period or for orders over a certain price threshold – this has been proven to be a real incentive for buyers to add just one more item to their shopping basket!

So many businesses are slashing their prices at the moment, but they are also slashing their profits. Selling eBay bundles is a way of thinking smarter and discounting upwards, rather than downwards. Picking products that naturally go together isn’t difficult:

  • Handbag and Shoes
  • Camera and Case
  • Lunchbox and Drinks Bottle
  • Sports Shoes and Sports Socks
  • Necklace and Earrings
  • Shirt and Cufflinks
  • Teapot and Mugs
  • Drill and Screwdriver
  • Dog Collar and Lead

These are just a small selection of eBay bundles off the top of my head that I came up with in about two minutes. Think about the products you are selling, try putting your creative head on and consider grouping relevant products together to make a specific offer that buyers can’t resist.

And don’t forget my tip…

I gave you this research tip back in October last year and it will really help you with this reverse sale strategy. To get some excellent ideas for eBay bundles take a look at the Amazon UK website. You’ll see that often (but not always) when you look at a product page, if you scroll down the page and look close to the reviews section, there is a box headed ‘Frequently Bought Together’.

Here, Amazon tell you exactly what products people are buying that are related to each other. So for example this could be a protein powder and a protein shaker or an enamel camping mug and a set of mess tins, or a mini paint roller, a decorating kit and a roller set. All of these are actual examples taken from Amazon’s ‘Frequently Bought Together’ lists right now.

These items are often purchased together, but sometimes from two or three different sellers, so an idea for a bundle would be for you to offer all the products together – for example an enamel camping mug (or perhaps two) along with two mess tins – four items in one convenient bundle.

Get the idea? Remember – add value then discount upwards, never downwards!