Selling on Amazon FBA during the 4th Quarter is one of our FAVORITE topics! When people start talking to us about strategies to get ready to sell on Amazon FBA for their first year we can just go on and on about how fun it is and how rewarding it is.
As The Selling Family most people know us for making six figures on Amazon FBA (fulfillment by amazon) while working VERY part time! One of the ways that we are able to accomplish this is by really hustling during the fourth quarter. This is the one time during the year where we are spending more than 20 hours a week on our Amazon business.
The reason that we spend so much more time on the Amazon business between October and December is because we are able to bring in more than half of our yearly income during these few months. In 2013 we sold over $100,000 in December alone. You can see our 4th quarter income report here.
How are we preparing?
October is the time where we are really preparing for the season. We don't start doing big shopping until the end of the month. So, right now, we are focused on keeping up with the trends, watching new items that are coming out and making our Hot Lists of items that we are watching. Towards the end of the month we will start placing some online orders and taking advantage of in store deals.
In November we are the busiest where we tend to rotate days of shopping/shipping. Most of the shopping days are 8-10 hours and we do about 3 a week. The other 3 days we ship items out of the house from what was purchased the day before. With one full day off to rest/relax. There is not much online shopping done in November, but we will do some if a really hard to find item comes back into stock that we haven't been able to find in stores.
For December, we are usually doing a lot of Merchant Fulfilled items as well as still sending in items to FBA. We actually went to Disneyland around the 15th of the month last year so that we could just “end” the season and not keep trying to “go go go”. This year, we will probably go a bit longer 🙂
How much money do you need?
One of the questions that we get the most is: “How much do you have to spend to sell $150,000 in the 4th quarter?” Our answer really works for any amount of money that you want to sell. So, if your goal is to sell $20,000 the math will be similar.
During the “normal” year, we try to always make at least a 100% ROI, during Q4, we will take a little less than that. For ease of math we will just use 100% in the example. Meaning that if we sold $150,000 we spent at least $50,000 on that sold inventory. If you want to sell $5,000 worth of products during Q4, you should spend at least $1,666. If you want to sell $12,000 you should spend at least $4,000.
If your ROI is going to be less than 100% you will need to spend more than 1/3 of your goal. We think it is really important to be realistic with setting your goals for the 4th quarter because the amount of money that you have to invest will play a big part in helping you reach those goals. If you have $500 to invest right now, it isn't realistic to set your goal for $10,000 in sales. There just isn't enough time for your money to turn over.
How can you prepare?
For those of you who just have no idea what you should be doing right now or how you should be preparing for such a whirlwind of a selling period, we wanted to take a minute to give you some of our favorite resources that are available. These will help you get prepared for selling on Amazon during your first (or second or third) 4th quarter.
1. FREE - Q4 Hot Toy List Tracking Spreadsheet - Full spreadsheet started with 4 major retailers already filled in for you, so you can easily fill in the current prices at the stores and on Amazon. This is the template that we use to track the toys that major retailers put out during Q4. By updating the spreadsheet periodically we are able to quickly see any drastic price changes on Amazon. This shows us if we should start paying attention to a particular product line that we may have not thought twice about before. You can download the spreadsheet for free here, and keep it updated yourself, or you can purchase our weekly updates here.
2. Christmas Hot Toy List Strategy Guide - this is a guide that Jessica and her business partner Beth created as an ebook for 2013 and has been updated for 2014 by recording a video together that shows you the process of using the Hot Toy Lists to find alternative products to sell that are not as talked about. You get both the video and the ebook so you have plenty of training to make sure you are prepared to not only buy off of the Hot Toy Lists, but to make your OWN Hot Toy Lists! You can see all of the details here.
3. FREE - Thrifting For Profit Episode 82 - Keep Your Life Under Control During Q4 - In this episode Debra talks about how to keep life in control during the busiest season for us sellers. She talks about Freezer Meals, with Lori from WhoNeedsACape.com, which is one of the things Jessica loves to do during the busy seasons (or preparing for a baby) to make sure there is good food to eat no matter what is happening in life. There are lots of Q4 tips in the episode so make sure to take a listen here.
4. FREE – How to Create Holiday Bundles Video Series - This is a 4 part video series that will help you start thinking about creating your own unique bundles that can be sold during the holidays. Find out how to find your target market, making regular bundles holiday specific, creating gift bundles and most important…what to skip all together! There is also a free Bundle Evaluation Worksheet to test your ideas with. You can watch all 4 videos and get the cheat sheet here.
5. FREE - 57 Amazon Keywords For Forth Quarter - This is a cool list we came across that has some terms that may help your items come up in holiday searches. Remember to never keyword spam! But, if the keyword fits your product, then go for it!
6. FREE - Amazon Holiday Selling Guidelines. We know this seems kind of weird to be listed as a resource, but we feel like it is important to know if you are “qualified” to sell toys merchant fulfilled during Q4 or not. If you aren't then you want to make sure you are taking full advantage of the FBA program and getting as much product in as you can before it's “too late” to get them checked in and sold. Yes, sales will continue even after Christmas Day, but the highest prices are going to be right before!
Thanks for reading!
We hope that this post has you excited for the whirlwind of sales that is just around the corner! If you have any other resources that would be helpful for Amazon FBA Sellers this Q4, please feel free to share them with us in the comments below.
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