Most Amazon sellers I meet fall into one of two categories:
- Total software junkies who have to try every new product and tool on the market (no matter the cost)
- DIY 'til you die Amazon sellers who refuse to spend money on anything that they could do on their own
Which one are you?
Although I am a confessed product addict, I try to split the difference in my Amazon business.
Sometimes, especially for new FBA sellers, there's just not enough money in the budget to buy all of the amazing tools out there for Amazon sellers. But at some point, you do have to take the plunge and invest in business tools that can make you more profitable.
Of course, there's a difference between paying for unnecessary tools or gadgets just to have them and smartly spending money on products that help you save time and money.
Because I like to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest developments for Amazon sellers, I am constantly trying and evaluating new products, apps, and software solutions.
I'm happy to be a guinea pig so that I can only share the best solutions with you all 🙂
I recently tested out some cloud-based software called sellerboard.
Sellerboard is all about profit. They offer some of the most detailed reports and profit breakdowns I've ever seen! I feel like every time I clicked something, it was drilling down to show me even more data.
But sellerboard does more than just crunch the numbers on your biz. They actually offer three unique solutions that can help Amazon sellers run their businesses more efficiently.
I'll break down the basics for you here and then you can see for yourself by starting a free sellerboard trial.
1. Know Your Numbers
Sellerboard's most robust feature is its Profitability Analytics Dashboard. Sellerboard will help you know your numbers by tracking lots of data.
Most sellers could benefit from having a more accurate (and current) sense of their profitability. Because sellerboard tracks so much data, you can use this tool to get a really exact look at your numbers.
You can open up sellerboard, glance at your Dashboard, and get a pretty decent picture of how your Amazon FBA business is doing.
Most of sellerboard's data is pulled directly from Amazon. That means you don't have to do anything – it's synced automatically once your account is set up. This includes information like:
- Number of orders (and what items were ordered)
- Amazon fees (FBA fees, storage fees, FBA inbound fees, MF shipping costs, disposal/removal costs, subscription fees, etc)
- Advertising/PPC costs
But for sellerboard to provide even more valuable information about the financial health of your business, you'll need to enter some information manually:
- Cost of Goods (your purchase price for each item in your inventory)
- Fixed Expenses (things like accounting software, supplies, education expenses, listing software, etc)
You can enter your Cost of Goods manually for each item or you can download their bulk import template to import all of your costs at once.
Once sellerboard can see all of Amazon's data plus your expenses, they can return information like Cost of Good Sold, Gross Profit, Net Profit, ROI, and Profit Margins.
You can look at this data for the current day, current month, previous months, or almost any custom date range. You can also view this information at a per-item level so that you can see which products have the best sales and margins.
As long as you enter your Cost of Goods and Expenses, sellerboard can generate an accurate Profit & Loss statement for your business. This can really come in handy at tax time!
It would be really helpful to reference this report alongside your 1099-k from Amazon because sellerboard is tracking your gross sales (which is what Amazon reports to the IRS).
You can also use sellerboard to monitor your inventory levels and get notified when you should ship more inventory to an Amazon Fulfillment Center.
This would be especially helpful for Online Arbitrage, Private Label, and Wholesale sellers who have a known lead time on ordering new inventory. But even for RA sellers with replenishable items, it never hurts to get a reminder to ship in more inventory!
Sellerboard will estimate the number of days' stock remaining at Amazon warehouses. Then it alerts you with a simple Yes/No when you're running out of stock. If you've entered your costs already, then this section will also display a product's ROI (which will help you decide if it's worth reordering!).
You can easily add and view all of your business expenses in sellerboard's “Expenses” tab. When you add an expense, you can set it up as a Monthly expense (like a software subscription) or a One-Time expense (like buying a course or a new laser printer).
If you have an expense that's specific to one item in your inventory (like maybe a small box for packing up a coffee mug), you can even assign an expense to a particular ASIN.
sellerboard will take any of your entered expenses into account when generating your Net Profit in any of their reports.
2. Contact Your Customers
If you're trying to simplify buyer messaging, you'll want to check out sellerboard's Autoresponder.
Autoresponder automatically generates messages to your customers based on certain event triggers. You can create multiple email campaigns based on different products or scenarios.
For example, say you're a Private Label seller looking to get more reviews on your new product. You can have sellerboard automatically email buyers 2 days after their product arrives. You can even customize the template to tell them more about the product or provide some helpful tips.
Everything can be customized and automated so that the messages are sending fully behind the scenes. If you don't need product reviews, you could still send automated messages with tracking information or estimated arrival date.
3. Get Your Money Back
Damaged and lost goods are an inevitable part of any product-based business. And it even happens at companies as big as Amazon.
Sometimes your FBA inventory will be damaged or lost while it is at an Amazon Fulfillment Center. Amazon will always make an effort to look for missing items, but sometimes they're just lost for good.
Sellerboard's “Money Back” feature specifically looks for reimbursement opportunities.
Per Amazon policy, Amazon has 30 days to locate your item(s) and put it back in your sellable inventory. If the item is deemed missing for 30 consecutive days, they have to reimburse your account.
In theory, this should happen automatically. But the reality is that these reimbursements don't always get generated.
In other words, Amazon almost certainly owes you money for damaged or missing FBA inventory.
For years, I did my own Amazon reimbursements manually. This involved downloading a series of reports, analyzing the data in Google Sheets, and then submitting cases to Amazon. I even taught a course on how to follow this system.
But these days, more and more services exist that can do the tedious parts for you. As part of your monthly subscription, sellerboard will automatically generate reports and spreadsheet data that identify missing or damaged inventory.
With the information from the spreadsheets, you can then open a case with Seller Central just by copy and pasting the data.
Although sellerboard does the hard part (the spreadsheets), it is up to you to actually open a case. Now you might be thinking that that's a bad thing, but it's actually really good. It's against Amazon's TOS to use a service that automatically submits reimbursement requests without any work from the seller.
Basically, sellerboard alerts you to potential reimbursement opportunities. Then you make sure that you haven't already been reimbursed by Amazon and open your own case. By using sellerboard's “Money Back” service, you get easy reimbursements while still being compliant with Amazon's terms of service.
Sellerboard puts a truly impressive amount of reports and data right at your fingertips. There are even a few fun tools that I didn't describe here like Cashflow forecasting and some unique reports.
As with any feature-packed tool, the best way to explore sellerboard is to start using it with your own Amazon account.
I had fun entering data like Cost of Goods and some monthly expenses and seeing how that changed my overall profitability. When you do the same, it might open your eyes to some ways to cut costs and grow your profits.
Sellerboard offers a 30-day trial (no credit card required). But for The Selling Family community (that's you!), they've generously doubled the length of the trial.
You can give sellerboard a test drive for a full 60-days if you join using this link. With pricing starting at just $19/month the cost is very competitive (and actually lower than most similar services).
Once you've created your account, setting up sellerboard is really easy. Like any third-party service, it does require a professional selling account so that you can grant them MWS access. This is what allows sellerboard to access your sales reports and other Amazon data.
There are even video tutorials inside of sellerboard in case you want to learn more about a particular feature.
Give sellerboard a shot and see if it can help you run a more profitable business.
Speaking of profit, I have a tough question for you. Do you know if your Amazon business is currently profitable? Or is it something you don't find out until you're frantically preparing your taxes?
I know that running your numbers isn't exactly the fun side of building your Amazon business, but it's essential for long-term growth. Let me know in the comments if you need help.
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