A few weeks ago, I saw a post in the Scanner Monkey Facebook group that really struck a cord with me. I asked the poster, Cordelia, if she would like to share her story with you guys because I think it will really resonate with you as well.
One thing that happens very often in the Amazon selling world is sharing of “numbers”. It is done in a way that is supposed to be encouraging to others, to show what is possible. That is why I have done my income reports in the past. One thing I noticed was that it is very hard for people to see the big numbers and understand what actually goes into them.
I have spent years building our business, so I know that what we can do in 40 hours a month, is not the same as what someone just starting out can do in that same timeframe. I’ve gone back and forth with myself in the past about even sharing my numbers because of this.
I know I have been transparent with my readers since the beginning. But, I do not want people to feel like if their business doesn’t look like mine, then they are a failure! Because it isn’t true! We each have different goals and desires for our business.
I’ve even found myself ogling over other sellers payments from Amazon, and I have to check myself because my business is exactly where I want it to be right now. The possibilities are endless, and so are the amount of hours that could be spent on a business like this. I have chosen my desired work level and I stick with it to live a lifestyle that fits our needs for right now.
So, back to Cordelia’s story. I’ll let her share below 🙂
I recently became frustrated because I thought my Amazon payouts are not where I want them to be. I have only been an Amazon seller for six months but I have seen some amazing success stories and was feeling a bit down.
I took a cold, hard look at my numbers and strategy and actually discovered that I am doing well. I coincidentally started my Amazon business right at the best time of year, during the fourth quarter and so my payouts kept growing without too much thought power on my end.
This year began and I started the hard work of figuring out what to sell each week. Another big factor in my limited payouts was the fact that I did not have a huge chunk of seed capital and my husband and I have worked very hard to pay down our debt and are not willing to accrue more, so this is a cash only business.
I have one part time job in addition to Amazon and half my earnings from both are re-invested and the other half go to our family expenses. There are sellers who have the ability to invest 100% of their earnings back into inventory but for me and many others, this is just not realistic. While this does not kill growth, it does limit it.
Once I started to really get the hang of retail arbitrage, I actually spent my money pretty quickly. Even though I sometimes feel like I should be sourcing constantly, I really need to spend and ship and then focus on looking for the purchase opportunities with the highest ROI.
I’ve heard big spender after big spender say that they reached a “ceiling” and then had to start buying higher volume at a lower ROI and for a while, I figured that if I wanted to be like them, I should do the same. But the key to that is that they had reached a ceiling and I have not. Between thrifting and deal hunting, there is still plenty of inventory for me to purchase with a 100% ROI or better (i.e. sells for at least 3x the purchase price) and taking the time to find these deals is crucial.
There are still items that do not sell quickly, that I have to unexpectedly lower the price on or hold until Q4, so the higher ROI inventory is more important at this stage than the high volume, lower ROI products. Once I really took a hard look at my numbers, and did the work, I realized that I am succeeding slowly and steadily.
I also see in order to maximize growth at this stage of my business I need to focus on the following strategies:
- Find inventory with the highest ROI possible
- Reduce our family expenditures where possible to set aside more money for inventory
- Get another part time job to fund more inventory purchasing
- Expand into more categories so that I can maximize profit opportunities
- Share high volume, lower ROI opportunities that I find with those financially in a position to take advantage so that they can help me with the smaller volume, higher ROI items
- Continue to grow in ways that are BOTH profitable financially and personally fulfilling
Sometimes when looking at the sellers who post their high numbers it can be easy to get discouraged if you are not there yet. I hope you will look at where you are with an objective eye and keep growing at the pace that is aggressive for you, as I am.
Best wishes and happy hunting!
Cordelia Blake - Admin For Scanner Monkey
Thank you so much Cordelia for sharing this story with us! I know that many people have been in the same place that you are talking about and this is a great reminder that we are not alone in this business!
I hope that reading this has really helped you! If you have ever felt this way as well, I would love to hear how you were able to overcome it and get past comparison mode.
If you would like to see Cordelia talk more about this subject, she will be sharing on the Scanner Monkey Spreecast this Thursday, May 8th, at 9PM EST. If you don’t catch it live, you can see the replay at the same link. View Here.
I have been a member of the Scanner Monkey group since it started, and shared about it in this post (where you can see me on a spree cast as well): Talking Groceries With Scanner Monkey.
If you have a story that you would like to share, please contact us and we can talk about it further.