Spotlight on Simply Trendy Gifts
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Simply Trendy Gifts is an eBay store offering a variety of novelty kitchen & dining products, such as icicle shaped corkscrews, citrus infusing water bottles and spill defying coffee mugs. Cheryl attracts shoppers from all over the world who are looking for unique gift ideas, so she gravitates towards inventory with lots of character.
I break the ice in our conversation by recounting my experience flying in and out of Brisbane for the 2014 PeSA Internet Retailer Conference. While returning home I accidentally arrived at the domestic terminal instead of the international terminal and nearly missed my flight. We share some laughs about my near miss and I move onto asking about Cheryl's earliest selling experiences. She tells me that she first started using eBay to sell some toys that her children had outgrown. Online retail turned out to be a good fit for her lifestyle and in 2012, she started selling toys and educational products on a regular basis. Cheryl sourced second hand items in good condition and used her background in education to guide her inventory selections towards worthwhile toys and learning aides.
Eventually the opportunities in the educational product niche started to run out and Cheryl's sourcing strategy shifted. She gradually introduced new condition items and Home & Garden product categories and in 2013 she decided to re-brand her eBay store as Simply Trendy Gifts. These changes proved to be a smart direction and she reveals to me that November and December of 2014 produced the highest sales levels for her online business so far.
On a side note, Cheryl has been a regular participant in the free webinars I host at Terapeak, which is part of why I contacted her to appear in this month's spotlight. First I thank her for enduring hours upon hours of me talking, then I ask her what she thinks of our training program:
Terapeak webinars are really beneficial to sellers like me. There's so much data available and even though I'm experienced with following my own sales activity, it helps to hear an alternative viewpoint. Plus I've learned how to do some pretty cool stuff with eBay research.
I ask Cheryl to expand on what she finds useful about Terapeak and she explains, "My primary use for Terapeak is evaluating what inventory to carry. I scope out new products before I invest in sourcing. I regularly review my competitive landscape and keep an eye on saturation in certain categories I sell in. Sometimes I drill into more detailed research on specific competitors and take a look at their pricing strategy."
Cheryl continues, "Terapeak is also great for keyword suggestions. There is a wealth of popular search terms and other product details that I can use to build great titles. Making sure my listings are easily found by international shoppers makes all the difference."
Cheryl describes how she uses seasonality trends to schedule stock orders, "There can be a significant delay between ordering new stock and delivery, and knowing when my peak sales are going to happen helps me plan ahead so I'm not stuck with orders I can't fulfill. Between helping me steer towards the best sourcing opportunities, and refining my titles, I feel Terapeak has contributed to the significant increase I see in my sales in the last year."
It's clear to me that Cheryl has done her homework. She certainly knows how to put eBay analytics to good use.
As our conversation draws to a close, I ask what's in store for Simply Trendy Gifts this year. Cheryl replies, "Now that the Christmas season is over and things are quieter, I can find the time to start a couple of projects that will help me reach the next level. I intend to broaden my selection and push for higher sales volume. I'm also looking into launching an independent website for Simply Trendy Gifts. I have a lot of work ahead of me this year, and I expect the learning curve will be a little steep, but I'm looking forward to challenging myself."
Visit the Simply Trendy Gifts store on eBay.