As the holiday season comes to an end, many online sellers like to take a step back and breathe a huge sigh of relief. For big retailers like Walmart and Target, however, it’s not time to take a break or rest on their laurels. Instead, they begin planning for the next event or holiday (Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day!) and start restocking their shelves.
While you may think that this is because they are trying to rake in extra profits (which is partially true), the bigger reason is that these types of stores buy from wholesalers. Since there is usually a longer lead time required for wholesale purchases, retailers typically must buy on a very different type of calendar than other sellers normally do. Once that merchandise starts trickling in, the standard rule of thumb has become to go ahead and get it out on the floor in front of the customers.
Although you may not want to invest in a lot of inventory too far ahead of the next holiday, bringing in a little here and there on the retailer’s schedule can help you stay in step with the big dogs. Here’s some key buying periods to consider:
Early January: As mentioned above, two big events are just around the corner, so retailers typically start purchasing and stocking items that are Super Bowl party and Valentine’s Day related either on New Year’s Day or just a few days into the new year. Easter also comes a bit earlier this year (March), so Easter items won’t be far behind the Valentine’s Day orders.
Early Spring: One of the next bigger buying periods generally comes between mid-March to early April. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation may not occur until May and June, but retailers generally begin getting in items that will appeal to buyers for each of these holidays. Online sellers may not want to go too heavy with purchases, but buying a few items in small quantities can have your online store ready for some sales that you might otherwise miss out on.
Late Spring: Depending on what type of items you sell; the beginning of May is generally the time to purchase the products you want to carry for summer— or winter. Although it may seem strange to be searching for heavy sweaters when the thermostat is pushing into the 80s and 90s, a lot of online sellers have found that since winter is just starting “down under” in places like Australia, winter wear can be a good seller for those who are doing their research and identifying international buyer’s needs.
Late Summer/Fall: It may seem strange to be thinking Christmas in August, but wholesale buying on Christmas items generally begins around this time of year with orders by retailers picking up in the months of September and early October.
Late Fall: By the time late fall rolls around, most retailers have the majority of their holiday items ordered, but may continue to get a few additional items in. For online sellers, this can be a good time to study projections for hot selling items and bring in a little more stock before the big holiday season starts all over again.
Do you purchase inventory by the seasons? Leave a comment below.