Holiday Series: Stay Merry


All merchants love the holiday season! It’s hard to beat the winter gift-giving holidays when it comes to filling their cash registers. Online sellers are no different, but the hectic nature of the season provides you with some special challenges.

Have you found that during past holiday seasons, although your business hummed, your own fun slipped away, almost unnoticed? Bah humbug! We turned to some well-respected online merchants to see how they go about fitting happy holiday sales in with happy holiday celebrations.

Attend Events

Larry Phillips has watched what other sellers do to make it through the season. The stamps he sells aren’t seasonal purchases, and most of his customers shop for themselves.

“They purchase for their own collections, and they’re busy buying for others during the holiday season,” he notes.

Still, living among so many e-commerce merchants for all these years, Phillips has learned a trick or two. His advice is to reward yourself.

“Buy tickets now to at least one event per month, a show or a concert, something specific,” he says. “Make sure it involves someone you love or a best friend. Put the tickets where you can see them and make it a point to look at them once a day. It will give you something to look forward to.”

Kathy Terrill agrees about planning special events during the holidays. “I talk it over with my husband,” she says. “Is there a show or sporting event he wants to attend? Book the tickets now and put it on your calendar.”

Take Time Off

John Lawson goes even one step further. “Take a vacation for Thanksgiving,” he suggests. “That’s what I do. I take my vacation at Thanksgiving week and come back and work my butt off that Cyber Monday all the way through the New Year to keep me sane.”

Hitting the rush with some R&R just behind you sounds great. If your own schedule won’t allow that, Phillips recommends a nap. “It’s amazing what a 30-minute nap can do to increase your energy level,” he notes. “Take a nap every day. Thirty minutes is fine, but do it at the same time every day so it becomes a habit.”

Do What You Can Now

Donna MacMurray Klein went even further in her holiday plans.

“If gift giving is a part of your holidays, get your shopping done now,” she says. “Make a list and buy everything. Wrap and put it all in a closet. You’ll be able to pack and ship without the stress of doing your own shopping.”

It’s not only the shopping that can be done well in advance, either. Is it possible that despite the craziness of this time of year, your family still expects you to host that big holiday gathering?

For many sellers the answer is a resounding, “yes!” Well, you know what they say about giving the most immediate work to the busiest person, and MacMurray Klein has some advice for coping with that, too.

“Write menus now,” she recommends. “Assign some dishes to some of your guests. For things that can be frozen, make them now and freeze!” While you’re busy menu planning and prepping, don’t overlook the dishes and treats that can be ordered for carryout. Terrill agrees.

“Are there special things you love to do at the holidays?” she asks. “Cookie baking? Caroling? Decorating the holiday tree as a family? Put it on your calendar.”

In other words, make celebrating your holidays with your family as important as anything else you’ll do this busy selling season. And when the rush hits, turn on some holiday carols and listen along as you list and pack. That’s what Carrejo does.

With these little tips and tricks, here’s hoping this season will bring you lots of sales and lots of days that are merry and bright!

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