Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - A Long Tail Sale and Calculating Storage Fees

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Long Tail Sales


Long tail sales are when you are selling an item that doesn't have much demand and you don't expect sales to happen quickly.  Your turnover is much slower but that doesn't mean your profit has to be any worse.


We would all like to sell fast selling items but those can attract a lot of competition so profits often eventually erode.  So instead of (or in addition to) selling 20 a month of one item you can sell 20 a month between 200 SKUs with the same sales numbers and possibly higher profit numbers


The downside, especially on Amazon where they are storing the item for you, is that you are going to pay storage fees.  That's definitely true but that isn't always a significant factor.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Start Your Own Listings

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Keepa Charts


I know for myself that I sometimes get hyperfocused looking at Keepa charts to check out sales history and prices.  How many have sold in a week?  In a month?  At what price?

These are very important questions and it often influences how many of any particular item I will buy for my first purchase.

You can really learn a ton just by studying charts and your knowledge on what to look for on the charts will change over time as well as you read more charts



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Turnover Tuesday- Getting Around (or Happily Paying) Quarter 4 Storage Fees

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Quarter 4 Storage Fees


This year, Amazon has decided to implement a significant increase in storage fees during quarter 4.  I've talked about this before but now that Q4 is coming upon us rapidly (less than 30 days until the official start but we all know that the magic doesn't start in October) it is time to really get into the details of some strategies to help minimize storage fees.





Standard size storage fees are approximately 4x the regular monthly fee and oversized storage fees are a little less than 3x the normal monthly storage fee.

Ostensibly, the increased storage fees (and decreased fulfillment fees) are to encourage you to sell  inventory earlier in the season so Amazon's fulfillment centers aren't as overwhelmed or stuffed and prices remain lower for customers.  That being said, I think that will partially happen.  I'm not sure a ton of people will sell earlier but I do anticipate many sellers waiting longer to send inventory in to avoid/minimize the storage fees.  In the end I predict Amazon to make a ton of extra money due to the storage fees and to end up with some very unhappy sellers.  I'll explain that later.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Check Your Refunds To See If You Had Inventory Reimbursements

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Inventory Tracking



Without a doubt, the toughest part of selling on Amazon is keeping track of inventory.  As you build your inventory it becomes almost impossible to track everything without either great software or spreadsheets.  I've yet to find the great software but those who are coming to the Tagging Miles Reselling DO may find out about a company I use for inventory tracking (not from me) which I'll reveal publicly after the DO.

Unless your spreadsheets are great, you won't even realize that you are missing so many items.  Believe you me, the number of items that get lost, damaged and/or poof into the Amazon ether without reimbursement is frankly astounding.    The more I find out, the more I realize how easy it is to be selling very profitably and yet you have no idea that you could missing hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars of inventory that you didn't even know about.  It sounds impossible to be missing in so much stuff but you can get caught up in buying and sending in more and more items that you aren't paying enough attention to what's already there.  If you send in 57 of one item and you sold 53 of them and four are lost, without a spreadsheet there is no way you'd catch that, especially if it takes a few months to sell.  Even with a spreadsheet you may not catch that as you get larger and larger.

Remember, this is your money and your inventory, if you aren't doing what's necessary to protect it properly you may think you are profitable but you may actually not be.  It's really annoying to pay attention to it but if you aren't paying attention you'll be losing money you don't even know about.  So either pay attention or pay someone else to pay attention. If you think it's not worth it, just try it.  Where do you think all those inventory reimbursements are coming from?  Your stuff.  You will be astounded at what you find once you start looking.  I know I was.  More on that in a couple weeks.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Amazon Restrictions and the Future State of Amazon Selling

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.



Since I am a prophet, I decided to share my incite into the future direction of selling on Amazon.  Obviously I'm kidding, I wouldn't give away trade secrets like that.

On a more serious note, there have been some major (Minor? More on that later) changes for certain brands that a few people have noticed.  These brand restrictions may be the start of a serious negative trend for sellers that can vastly affect our bottom lines.


The Amazon Balancing Act - Sellers vs. Buyers


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - The Buy Box

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.





The Buy Box


What is the Buy Box?  The Buy Box is the main page for any particular item on Amazon that features only one seller with the current price.


Here is a picture:





The Buy Box is Really Important


The Amazon Buy Box is probably the single most important factor in making sales on Amazon.  You will commonly see on various websites that 82% of sales on Amazon go directly through the Buy Box.  I couldn't find extremely reputable sources that give out this research but the percentage is definitely high, but knowing the factors that go into whether you may may "win" the Buy Box can really affect your sales and increase your profit on those sales.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - The Classic Deal Curve

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of the post.





The Product - ZTE SPRO2





On March 30th, I bought 5 ZTE SPRO2s on eBay for $349.99.  They were going for about $450 at the time on Amazon.  That would have been about $415 after fees, which is $60-$65 after shipping.

Soon after buying from eBay the familiar Amazon race to the bottom started.  It wasn't too bad here, but prices bottomed out at about $380.  While not amazing, that would still be breakeven and if I had to settle for something like that to avoid long terms storage fess I would but that was only a couple of weeks later.

In this case, it wasn't an extremely popular deal and it was limited to 5 per customer on eBay so the number of sellers never went insane but it definitely increased.  You can see the Keepa chart below.  The top is the price and the bottom is the number of sellers.




It isn't quite as stark as the following Keepa chart on a different product I'm selling which came from a daily deals site.  I'll bet you can figure out what I think about those now.  It hasn't recovered yet but you can already see from the chart that the recovery has begun, though you wouldn't know it from the prices. Keepa charts can be an amazing pricing tool for that reason.


'

Already by June prices started to recover a bit so it took about 2 months for recovery.  I sold the first one for $499 which is actually even higher than the prices were before I purchased.  I saw the number of sellers continue to decrease and I took a chance and it worked.  


After I sold 2, I raised my price more.  I went to $539.99 and 3 days later it sold again.  That's incredible!  I still had 2 more left and I actually raised my price again.  Unfortunately prices didn't come with me, prices actually went down.  Eventually I sold the last 2 for $536.95.  I had one return that was in sellable condition and resold it again for $536.95.  

The return cost me $5 total since it was resold for the same price I only lost the return fee.  Had one of the earlier ones been returned I would have actually came out ahead since the price went up but I am not upset by this.  There are actually no more FBA sellers so I could have sold all of them for more but you never know what will happen when you go too high.


You can see from Inventory Lab that I earned between $109 and $140 per sale which is 30-40% return on investment.





The reason I did so well and I was able to raise my price even though I hadn't sold yet is because I had my eye on the charts.  Remember that prices lag behind the number of sellers.  There is often a lot of sellers around the lowest price so even though the number of sellers decreases until that glut of sellers is gone you won't see an increase in price.  If you are paying attention to the seller charts you can have a significant advantage over your competition.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Access to Capital During Quarter 4

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.