Love, Joleen: How to Host a Successful Instagram Sale

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to Host a Successful Instagram Sale

You may not know this, but I have a tertiary Instagram account called @shopbenscloset (and I also like that word, "tertiary"- ha!). It's a "closet shop" where I [mostly] sell Benjamin's gently worn clothing, along with occasional new and pre-loved children's clothing found at my favorite consignment shops. Last year I shared our favorite Instagram shops on Life with Our Littles. Yesterday I posted our Summer sale, so I thought this was the perfect time to share how to host a successful IG sale yourself! 

Sorting - Just before a new season begins, I go through Benjamin's closet. I pull out everything that no longer fits him [from what's currently hanging, to what's being stored from the previous two years]. I sort out the items that are weather appropriate for the upcoming season. From there, I decide what we're holding onto for a potential future Pete babe and what we can part with. I find that every time I do this, I become more and more ruthless and less sentimental. I also look for any wear in the clothing that I'll need to mention in the listings.

Sneak Peeks - After I have everything in my "sell/sale" pile, I lay it out nicely and snap a quick photo with my iPhone. You can share peeks of everything you'll be selling or some of what you think will be best sellers. I basically give a peek of everything that will be in the sale and post them all over my social media to get the buzz going - my personal and shop IG accounts and Facebook.
Part of the Fall sale lot.
Part of the Summer sale lot.
Take Great Photos - Use a plain backdrop and good indirect sunlight, by setting up a white board near a window. I photograph + edit each item using my iPhone, to keep the images [fairly] consistent.
Create Consistent Graphics + Keep People Informed - Sometimes I post plain images with similar text to keep streamlined "marketing". This last time, I chose fun images of Benjamin and myself over the last week and playful fonts. You always want to keep people informed. I'll share an initial post letting folks from my personal account know that I'll be having a sale on the shop feed, and when it will be. I also give people the opportunity to request a "tag", which means I will send a reminder to them directly shortly before I begin. I post the rules for the sale. I post when the sale is about to begin. That's when I remind people to read the rules and I tag everyone who wanted the reminder. After the sale, I let people know that I'm done and thank them for shopping. I also let them know that I'll be answering any questions at that time. I go through and figure out who I am invoicing, for which items. After I've invoiced, I let everyone know that invoices are out, that way if I've missed someone, they can let me know then. I also post one last time to let buyers know once everything has been shipped!
Hosting an Instagram sale is a lot of work. Because I typically post just once each season, I'm sharing quite a few items at a time. From start [sorting, photographing, editing, making graphics, sharing, posting, invoicing] to finish [getting in the post], it typically takes me about 4-5 hours per sale. I almost always find it to be worth the time and effort!
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