So I hopped on to the FBA Master Facebook group the other day and saw this post from one of our good friends Chris Anderson (If you click on it, you can see the whole thread and conversation):
After seeing this, I thought to myself
There are a few things like this that I wish someone would have told me when I started selling on Amazon.
And when you look at the majority of the blogs, books, and courses out there, you find that most people dance around these topics because they don’t want to give people bad advice (or something that is against the terms of service of Amazon).
So. Like Chris said above, this is most likely going to a controversial post.
All of the things you are going to read below are tactics I (or people close to me) have used in regards to Amazon FBA. Please use your own judgement when deciding to use any of these tactics for your own FBA business. I am in no way, shape, or form a tax, legal, sumo, or soccer professional.
1. Follow Chris Anderson’s advice and always overprice your items by 30% or more when sending them to an Amazon warehouse.
If you read through his post, you can see his logic. It’s better to be higher and move the prices down instead of being low and not having the chance to raise the price. If you use a repricer like Bqool, it’s a no brainer.
But there is another angle that needs to be taken into consideration and it is actually the reason I overprice my items all of the time. If you have your prices higher during the shipping process, you are hedging a bet that Amazon might actually lose your items. If that happens, sometimes they reimburse based upon a random policy they have. Other times they base it upon the current selling price. Other they base it upon your list price. Either way, it’s an easy and safe way to make a few extra bucks from Amazon if they happen to lose your item (and chose to reimburse on the list price). Take that with Chris Anderson’s reasoning and you should ALWAYS price 30% higher during the shipping process.
2. High sales numbers mean nothing.
Yeah. It’s cool to say you sold over $100k in products last month, but what does that actually mean?!?!
It means you sold a lot of stuff.
The real question will always be: What was your profit margin?
If it’s 10%, well $100k in sales only made you $10,000. If you sold $20k at a 50% margin you would have made $10,000. See the difference?
Don’t be fooled by “experts” that post high sales numbers to prove they know what they are talking about. Some might actually have a clue, others might not. Use some common sense before you fall into a trap of “I need to sell X amount this month to be something.”
Now please don’t take the statement the wrong way. High sales numbers are great (and exciting especially as a seller). I just don’t want you to be bamboozled by numbers without context.
3. You don’t need all the fancy tools/trainings to be a great seller.
Sure you see us write about awesome software like OAXRay or Tactical Arbitrage. You see new books, courses, etc being released every day. Even though these are freaking sweet tools, you don’t actually need them to be a great seller.
You really only need two things:
- Common Sense
That’s really it. But do realize the following:
You can start a fire with two sticks and a little muscle, but if you watch Naked and Afraid you realize that it is freaking hard. Technology (in the form of a lighter) saves time and makes your life easier.
You can be a great seller without all the cool tools, but you can be an even better seller if you use the tools you actually need (not just what everyone tells you that you need) and leverage the technology.
4. Sometimes it’s ok to play the system.
Yeah. This is going to be the one that people give me shit about. I’m literally sitting here saying it’s ok to game the system….sometimes.
Here me out before you jump to any radical conclusions.
How many times have you seen something like this?
Now some of you would respond to the customer and try to fix the issue even if you know that you would never send something like that into the Amazon warehouse.
If you are like me, I would look up the order number and notice that it has already been returned and the issue has been fixed. I would send the item back to me to examine it and then I would do this:
And I put down that the feedback was “about the product” and that was the reason for the review. And literally within seconds it was removed from my seller account.
So you can say that I worked the system a bit. The feedback could have been seen as feedback on the seller or the product. I decided to say the one that had the better chance of being removed.
If you take a look at this post (about getting ungated in shoes, clothing, and luggage), you will notice that I have selected specific answers to get through the process. These answers may or may not be actually valid for your business, but it works the system to get the desired result.
I have to say it like this: Never abuse the system, but in certain situations it is advantageous using it to your advantage.
I could literally spend all day writing down little tips, tricks, and hacks that I wish I would have known, but it’s time to get back to work.