With Q4 rapidly approaching, it may be time to start to build a strategy for how you want to approach your reselling business during the crazy holiday period.
In the e-commerce world, October to December is the best time to sell your inventory in most item categories. This is certainly true for Lego, as it is an incredibly popular holiday toy. But we want to highlight that Q4 should not only be about sales.
Q4 is also the best time of year to buy inventory!
For the first half of my reselling career I hardly purchased anything during Q4. Sure, I would take advantage of Black Friday and flash sales during the holiday season, but I never placed enough focus or attention on buying during that time. As many do, I’d purchase the bulk of my LEGO in January and February which is a great time to focus on acquiring sets that have recently retired.
That is still a great approach, but it’s important to bring more focus to buying inventory during Q4. You may be surprised at how much inventory the big box chains are practically giving away long before Black Friday comes around.
If you are serious about Lego investing and reselling, you should begin to prepare for Q4 during the summer. Below are some strategies I’ve used to have a very easy and enjoyable Q4 which allows me plenty of time to purchase more LEGO when the sales drop.
So how do we deal with all of the opportunity during Q4?
1. Have all your inventory ready to go
If you’ve been reselling LEGO for a while you have a good sense of your annual growth which should assist you in projecting what you’ll do during your next Q4. You will also have experienced the crazy sales spike during the holiday period, and you may even have had some late nights boxing up sets due to the speed that the sales are rolling in.
It’s crucial to prepare in advance!
What I like to do is have every set individually boxed in shipping boxes (with labels for identification), and ready to go NO LATER THAN September first.
This doesn’t mean you wont be still fulfilling orders in November. You may have that customer who wants three LEGO Eiffel Towers instead of one and you’ll need to make that accommodation.
Once you get into a rhythm with pre-boxing and setting up your inventory before Q4, you should find that the only thing you should be doing while the sales are coming in is printing off shipping labels, attaching them to your shipping box, and dealing with USPS for package pick-ups. Of course there will be customer service work required also, and as mentioned, a few items will need to be re-packaged if a customer orders multiple quantities.
This extra free time in November should also help you with listing damaged sets that you may have to they just wont be sitting in your space come February.
But more importantly, this time that you are freeing from having to work 12 hour days on order fulfillment should be put to great use on the other side of your business – buying!
2. List items in advance
The last thing you should be doing during Q4 is scrambling to list items.
Even if your situation makes it tricky to pre-box items and prepare them for shipment before Q4 (e.g. you don’t have the space), every Lego reseller should be doing this step.
List your items before Q4!
Whether you sell on eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Mercari, or elsewhere, you should get your items online before the busy period begins. Even if you don’t want to sell the item until closer to the holiday season, you should still list them.
Set a high price, and let the market catch up to that price as the sales start to peak.
3. Connect with your network
In a previous post I mentioned how everyone should have a network of resellers to collaborate with. September is a great time to reconnect with them and talk about what challenges or strategies you may have.
Every reseller has a different mentality and different approach to the busy holiday season. Learn from others!
Ask them how they are preparing their inventory. How do they handle busy shipping days? How do they balance buying and selling? Do they have any tricks for finding the best deals, when every retailer seems to have great deals?
Tap in to the knowledge and experience of others. There has never been a better time to build an online reselling business, because you can easily learn from others who have thriving successful businesses. This is even more important when preparing for a busy Q4.
A great place to connect with other Lego investors and resellers is in our free Facebook group.
4. Prepare to Buy!
Just as it is important to prepare for your sales in advance, you should also prepare for a surge in buying activity during Q4.
Do this early!
Black Friday has always been the day that draws discount buyers but in reality, big box chains start discounting LEGO as early as the second week of October. Make sure you’re active during that time!
The good news is you shouldn’t have to spend time checking every big box chains website everyday. Some will post their discounts on Sunday and those prices should remain the same throughout the week.
Create a target hit list, so you know specifically what sets you want to try to find before Q4 begins. Make sure it is a diverse list, as some items on the list may not be discounted to your liking, so you can then focus on others.
Set up price alerts for the items on your hist list, and be ready to jump in when the time comes.
There’s a lot more to know about buying and finding great deals, so we won’t cover it all here – look out for more content on that. The bottom line here is – make sure to prepare for buying big in Q4, and don’t leave it to the last minute.
5. Challenge yourself
To really double down on switching to a buying mindset during Q4, I want to ask you to set a challenge for yourself.
I understand that shipping out LEGO can get a little stressful during Q4. It can be easy to spend all your time on it, and forget to focus on buying at all.
Challenge yourself to bring in more LEGO during Q4 than what you shipped out. In fact challenge yourself to DOUBLE how much LEGO you’re bringing in, if you have the means.
This is a great way to make sure you hold yourself accountable to take advantage of great deals, and buy inventory with better margins.
If you take on the challenge, make sure to let us know in the Facebook group!
6. Identify what needs to change in your business model
Three years ago, during Q4 I learned a valuable lesson. I learned that large sets just were not the right fit for what I was attempting to accomplish.
The year before that I realized that there were opportunities to improve my efficiency.
Each year, you should have at least one major take away to improve your business. Also, do not be afraid to reach out to your network to have a post Q4 review to see what areas of opportunity they might have.
Go out there and get it!
The fourth quarter is when you will bring in the most revenue to your business each year, but it also creates a great opportunity to bring in the most inventory for your business as well. The last thing you want to do is miss high valued inventory because your business is not running at an optimal level.
Challenge yourself to prepare early, challenge yourself to accomplish more. You will find that after a few years of doing this your business will catapult to the next level which is what you should want it to be.
If you found this valuable, make sure to check out our YouTube channel, where we walk through our Lego investing and reselling strategies in detail.
If you have any other thoughts, tips, or questions about dealing with Q4 as an online reseller, or a Lego investor, comment below!