Thinking of Opening a Shop on Ruby Lane? There is No Better Time than Now!
inAugust 20, 2011 - 11:51am
Recently, Ruby Lane made a fabulous offer: sign up for a Ruby Lane shop by October 15 and you won’t have to pay the usual $75 set-up fee. Well, let me tell you as a 3-year “veteran” at Ruby Lane, there’s no better time to join than right now ... and here’s why:
All around me over summer I’ve heard complaints about slow selling, no selling, what am I doing wrong selling ... on and on. And yes, I have to agree: this summer has been rather sluggish, maybe even more so than in past years. Let’s face it: the economy is far from healthy. But honestly, once summer sets in, I resign myself to the expected sales slump. After all, half the continent is away on holidays! Others have family weddings to attend or family coming to visit. It’s also a great time to browse fairs, flea markets and other places where folks love to bargain hunt. And if nothing else, in North America at least, summer is too short to be glued to a computer all day: the great outdoors is infinitely more appealing, isn’t it!
But now, as we get ready to send the kids back to school, I already see the usual signs of buyers dribbling back online and poking around our shop to see what’s been added over summer. The additions to wish lists are increasing; enquiries are coming in and we’ve started selling again. And you know what? This is normal for this time of year. The good news is that it’s only the beginning of the next 3 busiest months in a Ruby Lane seller’s life. If you’re smart, you won’t think twice about taking up Ruby Lane’s offer to waive the $75 set-up fee: you’ll be making the right move at the right time if you really want to sell online.
According to our statistics over the past 3 years, the next 3-4 months are the busiest and most lucrative ones of our entire selling year. What a time to start! And for those who already have shops on Ruby Lane but are nearly ready to throw in the towel after this deadly slow summer, just hold on a second and consider this: in all selling, there are hills and valleys, good seasons and bad. Selling is not like a job where you collect a pay cheque at the end of the week. To survive in sales, you need to look at what you average over the year as opposed to what you make each week. If you don't, you drive yourself nuts. So while it may have looked over summer like you were finished, what sales you make over the next 3-4 months as we head into Christmas buying season will mostly even out that slump and on an emotional and mental level, it will restore your faith in yourself and what you committed yourself to when you first opened that Ruby Lane shop.
Now if there’s one thing I see asked over and over again it’s “how do you manage fees?” especially I guess in the slower times. Well I think if I were on eBay, I’d drown beneath them, even over the next 3 months! On Ruby Lane however, $35 a month to list up to 50 items is a great deal. Think about it: if all you ever have in your shop is 50 items, it's costing you $420 a year for your shop! We've spent that in two weeks listing on ebay! Even with 100 items in your shop, it's only costing you $600 a year. Again, dirt cheap compared to eBay. And best of all, no commissions: whatever you get for an item stays in your pocket. Honestly, how can anyone feel this is expensive? Yes, if you only look at it month to month and each month is costing you $35 and you don't sell anything for 2-3 months in a row, you get nervous. But then, Christmas approaches and sales soar. So again over several months or a year, it all balances out.
How do we afford our own fees at Divine Finds Jewelry? I take advantage of the wonderful op Ruby Lane gives us to "earn" our fees. I blog and I do videos. Sound like a lot of work? Well if I don't want to pay the fees, the work is worth it. Do nothing, earn nothing. That's how it is in any job. All jobs require work. I see blogging, doing videos as part of necessary promotion and lo and behold, Ruby Lane is willing to pay me $35 for each blog and video up to a total of 2 of each per month. Ladies/gentleman, just do one blog a month and you've covered your fees for 50 items. Do 2 of each and you've earned yourself $140 a month. For me, that's quite an incentive to invest a few hours each month to put into promoting our shop and being paid for it. What other site anywhere on the net offers this? Etsy? Ebay? Tias?
Sometimes I get lazy, or too busy, or just am down about what's happening in my life and I can't get inspired. Well I have to pay the fees during that time. But looking back, we've only had to top up our Ruby Lane account 2-3 times this year. Not bad, and we're carrying, on average, 150 items in our shop. That's $65 a month or $780 a year. Even if Ruby Lane didn't pay us to blog or do videos, that's a really small fee for having an online shop that draws customers worldwide.
One last thing: obviously there are several choices when it comes to selling online so you need to research carefully which venue will work best for you. Study the others. See what they sell most. Is it what you will be selling? Also consider this very important question: why do you want to sell online? If you’re looking at selling quickly, need a fast turnover and are desperate for dollars, Ruby Lane may not be your best venue. Ditto the newer, Ruby Plaza. Ruby Lane sellers need to have faith in themselves and believe that what they offer a buyer is not what they find everywhere else and is worth the asking price. They need to know it can take months sometimes for that one person to come along who falls in love with that ring or bracelet or vase or antique that only YOU have. And when they do, the sale will be made.
All good things take time. And opening a shop at Ruby Lane is a good thing ... especially right now! And by the way, when they ask who referred you when you register, if no-one else referred you tell them I did: after all, Ruby Lane even pays you for referrals! No wonder I love Ruby Lane LOL!
By Viga Boland