Friday Q&A

Most recently I’ve asked some awesome Facebook group members what they had questions about, and how I could help. Because a lot of the questions are general- rather than make short posts, I thought it would be great to start a sort of Friday FBA Question and Answer.

How do you participate?

There are a few ways. You can 1)leave a comment in any Friday Q&A post, 2)send me an email using the contact form, or 3)join our FB group and ask on there!

Thanks Lei and Ken for asking your questions and keeping the post alive! So, without further ado…

What is the lag in the reports vs. actuals? Do you pay attention to the stats such as Page View and % of Buy Box besides conversion? 

I think this question is a great one, and you’ll end up with more questions than answers because of it! There is a minor delay in reports vs actuals based on the reports you are reviewing. I’m pretty sure depending on the report it will delay a few minutes.

As for the stats like Page Views and Buy Box Percentage, I don’t pay attention to this. For those who are not familiar, you can see this information by going to Reports >Business Reports>Detail Page Sales and Traffic. I did run the numbers for your knowledge and I run 3.83% over the last year (monthly) average. My page views have changed dramatically month after month. The only reason I will not pay attention to page views is based on my own numbers. as a clear example – in October I had 213000 views, and November 340000 views, the gross sales only varied by $100. Can you believe that? Even better? The higher grossing month was October.

I wish there were some consistency of name convention in the Amazon workflowi interface. For example, it seems that multiple terms are used interchangeably such as MSKU, SKU and Product. Another example is Quantity in Add a Product, Shipped in the Inventory Queue.

A baffling thing for someone new to FBA, even those who aren’t so new! MSKU refers to the merchant SKU that you create yourself (or the system creates for you.) SKU typically is used in a sentence like “I have 500 SKUs” same thing really but confusing I’m sure. Quantity in “Add a Product” workflow used to be differentiated in the workflow as Units. So even if you sold a 2 quantity as a bundle, it would be called 1 unit. I think the updated that as of late, which makes it all more confusing. All we can do at this point is trying and keep up with the craziness!

Is there a method in Amazon Seller Central to auto reprice items and if so how does it work and how to configure it?

There is not an auto-repricer built into Seller Central. I do not use any to date but will be trying out a few.

Is there a way to figure how fast something sells by the rank or something during planning what to buy?

There really is not an algorithm to try and make this easier. If it was easy, everyone would do it. I know there is software that has been discussed like FBAToolKit that is trying to perfect this system.

Friday Q& A

Most recently I’ve asked some awesome Facebook group members what they had questions about, and how I could help. Because a lot of the questions are general- rather than make short posts, I thought it would be great to start a sort of Friday FBA Question and Answer.

How do you participate?

There are a few ways. You can 1)leave a comment in any Friday Q&A post, 2)send me an email using the contact form, or 3)join our FB group and ask on there!

Thanks Rick for asking your questions and keeping the post alive! So, without further ado…

1. What is your price point for looking for clearance items to sell?

When I shop, I want my return to be at least three times the purchase price. The rank must be under 150,000 although at my discretion I’ll go higher. I don’t look for a price point, but you’ll find my average sale dollar is about $23. It is lower than I’d like, but its definitely something that is improving.

2. Do you sell a mix of products such as HBA, Grocery, Media or focus on specific category?

I definitely have a mix of products. This month in percent I have 36% in Kitchen, 17-18% in each HBA, and the rest is distributed from there. I’m trying to expand in Grocery, and as always HBA.

3. What rank do you try to hold to for your products?

I think I covered this earlier, but I like to look at 150,000 and lower. I use discretion based on return, and my own investment. If I find books at $1.00 with $50 profit, I’m certainly not going to say regardless of rank. This too will come with time. For now, I stay lower than 150,000 and I will buy more product based on the rank.

That’s all I have this week. Post your comments below to have them answered next Friday!

Friday FBA Q&A

Most recently I’ve asked some awesome Facebook group members what they had questions about, and how I could help. Because a lot of the questions are general- rather than make short posts, I thought it would be great to start a sort of Friday FBA Question and Answer.

How do you participate?

There are a few ways. You can 1)leave a comment in any Friday Q&A post, 2)send me an email using the contact form, or 3)join our FB group and ask on there!

Without further ado…

1. Have you ever lost money on an item?

Definitely. I have lost money on a few items in the beginning when I was just learning about FBA. Getting the hang of margins, what sells and what doesn’t is difficult. What I have learned very quickly is to “not buy deep”. What I mean by this phrase is that you should never by 50 of an item that has weak margins. If you are buying at a big box store, and Widget A just went on clearance – there is a strong possibility that the same Widget went on sale across the country.

Now, you have to take everything with a grain of salt because there are conditions where I would buy 50 of an item without hesitation. However, most often, I’ve tested the product in the past with a small quantity like 4-5, noticed they turned over quickly and went back for the remaining lot.

I will also buy large quantities when my budget can stand to do so and the ROI is very high. You want to give yourself enough room that if the sales price plummets, you can still get your money back. If you are on a budget of $50 and want to spend $100, let’s not do that. Don’t over extend yourself where you’re sweating every sale. Deals come around every day.

2. How do you price?

I like to price based on the product listing. Let’s go back to Widget A from earlier. If I notice there are 1-2 sellers in the same ball park, I will likely price myself middle or high end of the two. So if Bob were selling at $19.50, and Jim was at $20.00, I’d likely go $19.75 or $20. If Widget A suddenly went on clearance, and now there are 50 sellers, the price dropped from $19.50 down to $9.99- I will play the debate game.

You have to consider other factors. How much did you pay for the product? Is it a fast selling product likely to sell out quickly from other sellers? Can you afford to wait it out?  Was the $9.99 price drop caused by 2-3 sellers creating a pricing war? Most points tell me to wait it out, go middle of the pack. If it looks like all of the sellers are having a lot in inventory- I’ll likely drop to the bottom and get my money back to move on.

Whatever you do, don’t create a pricing war. Just because there are 5 sellers at $19.50, do not sell yourself short and drop down to $18, $17 or even lower. Be patient. Stay in the middle or high end. Everyone will sell out. Dropping the price only cuts your bottom line (and drives the rest of us nuts).

3. Do you adjust prices daily, weekly, or never?

During the holiday season, I adjust prices daily. During the first quarter, I look at it perhaps twice a week to clear out items before storage fees hit. The rest of the time, I try to look at it weekly or biweekly. I’m going to be honest- I’m not an agressive seller.

I don’t want to cut my bottom line down by undercutting everyone. I’m okay waiting on a sale. (reasonably of course). There are price gidgets and gadgets that reprice for you, but I’m only in the beginning stages of investigating these – so I have no recommendations as of yet. You’ll notice it tooke me ONE YEAR to finally say it was time to invest in repricing software. I’m a stickler for doing things manually. You should too.

That’s all I have this week. Post your comments below to have them answered next Friday!