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Fads, Trends, & Seasonal Items: A Quick Guide

By Bill Carlin

Bill Carlin is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has experience selling on every major eCommerce platform including Amazon, Ebay, Walmart.com, and more. Contact Bill today to learn more about Shipmate Fulfillment.

Fads, trends, and seasonal items are great opportunities for any business owner, however, each comes with its own challenges and risks.

Follow my 3 tips below so you can navigate fads, trends, and seasonal items to profits with ease!

 

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Tip #1: First Mover Advantage

If you are going to enter into a trend or fad, make sure that you do it in a timely manner. Fads tend to appear overnight and they also tend to disappear almost as quickly. The earlier you can enter a fad the better the odds are that you will be able to sell through your inventory before popularity declines and the market becomes saturated. It is important to establish market share early and get your reviews and orders before others jump on the trend. Entering in the middle also comes with added risks as you are competing with established offerings and the trend could end at any moment. Secure first mover advantage by adopting the trend early if you are going to explore trends or fads.

Tip #2: Order Less Inventory More Often

As discussed above, trends always come to an end and often that end is abrupt. The winners and losers in the trend market are often decided at the end of the trend or fad. At this point fad or trend inventory is no longer desired and it has saturated the market. This results in tons of sellers dumping a whole lot of inventory often for a loss. Due to the inevitable end of all trends I recommend that you order less inventory in more frequent intervals to make sure that you are both able to meet demand and to keep minimal inventory. Instead of ordering a 40' container why not order a 20' container twice? Instead of a whole truckload, why not order a pallet or two every week? Ordering less inventory more frequently is the best way to make sure that when a trend ends you are not stuck with a ton of excess inventory.

Tip #3: Don't Build Your Business On A Trend

Building a business around a trend or fad can leave your business on shaky ground surrounded by uncertainty. I recommend having a more standard selection of products as your foundation and using fads and trends as ways to expand and branch out your business. If you don't have the space or money to invest in a ton of products then I would recommend being very careful if you choose to invest in a trend or fad item. Trend and fad items carry with them more risk than other items so it is important to make sure they are not your primary source of revenue.

Seasonal Products:

Seasonal products carry with them many of the properties and principles as fad or trend items and that is why I choose to include them in this article. These items should be treated similar to how you treat trend and fad items, however they carry slightly less risk. This is because you often know when they will end. You know that Halloween is October 31st and Christmas is December 25th so you can be better informed when making business decisions. Another reason they are less risky is that unlike trends, seasons always come back. If you don't sell all your Halloween costumes this year, for example, there is always next year, however it it's important to note that there are expenses associated with storing and managing these items for long periods of time with no sales volume. Seasonal items can be a great way to make money, but still carry many of the risks associated with trends and fad items.

 

Topics: profitability, scaling, listing, seasonality

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