Organization. Pre-planning. Repetitive Processes. (Have you fallen asleep yet?!)
Most people don’t like talking about these things because they are not very exciting or sexy. But here’s the thing: when you sell on Amazon, the more you organize, pay attention to prior planning and use repeating processes (instead of recreating them over and over again), the easier and more profitable your Amazon FBA business will be.
Now how do you feel about organization, pre-planning and repetitive processes? If you think they sound like Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you’re right!
I haven’t found another Amazon FBA selling pro who has a better handle on pre-planning for profits than Stephen Smotherman. And Stephen graciously agreed to an interview.
KARON: Most sellers think December 26th is a day to collapse, breathe a sigh of relief and take the next 30 days off. But you disagree. Why?
STEPHEN: Too many sellers are only focused on Christmastime sales during December and are missing out on an incredible opportunity for sales well into the new year. While Q4 profits are amazing, I’m sure most Amazon sellers would like to start off the new year on a strong note, so right now is the best time to continue to source for profitable inventory to sell in January and beyond!
KARON: What has changed with Amazon that will impact 2019 for most sellers?
STEPHEN: One of the biggest changes from late-2018 that will impact sellers every month of 2019 is the new rolling long-term storage fees. Instead of only being charged a long-term storage fee twice a year, any item stored in an Amazon warehouse over 6 months will now be changed a long-term storage fee each month of the year moving forward. This will impact the way people source for inventory knowing they need to sell it within 6 months or pay the fees.
KARON: There is some holiday, season or event in every month of the year. How far in advance do you recommend that sellers prepare for each of these?
STEPHEN: Think about when your local stores start putting out the holiday items for sale. They’ve already been planning this for months, so for Amazon sellers, it’s good to think that way as well. Always do your planning a few months ahead of when you start seeing them in the stores.
KARON: In the 2019 edition of your book, I see some clever little sections like “Weather-Related Sourcing Ideas,” “Cleaning up Your FBA Inventory with a Garage Sale” and others that many sellers might not think about. Tell me about these.
STEPHEN: Many Amazon sellers can easily get stuck in a rut with a certain number of activities that they keep doing the same way over and over again. They source at the same places, they source the same types of products, and they honestly miss out on so many other opportunities out there to make some serious profits. These sections help the Amazon seller think outside of the box for other ways they can use their time, energy, and resources. They can make money on Amazon if they reach outside of their norm, and still be very profitable.
KARON: Tell me the story behind this book. You wrote it years ago (and update it every year). Why? I picture this as the culmination of some hard-fought lessons you learned from past mistakes. Yes?
STEPHEN: Years ago, I was super frustrated with my Amazon business because I felt like I was missing out on so many profitable opportunities throughout the year. I’d show up to a clearance sale and all the good stuff was gone, I’d get charged a big fee on something I had no idea about, my sales in the summer slumped really bad, and I didn’t think I was buying the right stuff to sell during Q4. That year, I decided to write down and record (all year long) every single money making (and money saving) opportunity that came my way. All the sales, the fee changes, the best times to do everything in my Amazon business… I logged it all down.
The very next year, I used that info to finally break 6-figures in sales. Then I decided to put the year’s worth of info into a book for all Amazon sellers called, The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA. Each year since then my Amazon profits have increased substantially, and each year, the book keeps getting bigger and better as I add all the new stuff I’m applying to my Amazon FBA business. The book is now like an encyclopedia of what to do every month of the year to maximize profits.
KARON: In your best guess, what benefits do you believe sellers will receive from getting highly organized and being forward-thinking instead of reactionary? How much of a ROI increase do you think might be possible?
STEPHEN: Imagine knowing exactly what to expect in your Amazon FBA business every month of the year. Imagine what it would feel like knowing you were not missing out on any of the opportunities that will come your way in 2019. Imagine working on your Amazon business knowing exactly what your priorities are, what you need to avoid, and what you need to accomplish during each month to make progress toward making 2019 your best sales year ever. I know I personally doubled my sales the first year I used this information, and have increase my sales every year since.
KARON: Tell me how one instance of you being organized and planning ahead paid off big time.
STEPHEN: In the Amazon FBA world, there is a thing called the “Summer Slowdown” that most Amazon sellers experience. Sales just really slow down and it’s not a very fun time to sell on Amazon. I used to think this was just “part of the job” and there was nothing I could do to change it. Boy, was I wrong! In the course I outline multiple strategies to avoid the “Summer Slowdown” and how it’s possible that the summer months can actually be some of your most profitable.
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KARON: Over the next 30-60 days, what are 3 things every Amazon seller should do that most probably will not?
STEPHEN: Successfully go through Q4 detox, plan ahead for summertime inventory, and source for profitable inventory in a sale category that is new to you. I’ll break these three down a little for you.
- Q4 sales can be crazy awesome, but they can also mess with your expectations for how Q1 is going to be. Making the right decisions in Q1 is big because it really sets the tone for how the rest of the year will go.
- Like I mentioned before, summer is usually three months of slow sales for most Amazon sellers. There are things you can be doing over the next 3 months to make sure summer sales are hot!
- And the last is to branch out into a new category. Most Amazon sellers are stuck in a comfort zone of their favorite categories. Especially when coming out of Q4, many sellers are hooked only on toys. Branching out into a new category can open the seller’s eyes to so many profits out there that they had previously passed by.
KARON: You include the ebook plus monthly videos and access to your Facebook group. Do people have to pay monthly for this?
STEPHEN: Not at all. The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA is a one-time payment that includes everything! You get:
- the updated Year in FBA book
- live webinar videos throughout the year
- access to a secret “Year in FBA” Facebook group, and
- even more bonuses for one low price
No monthly payments at all.
KARON: If someone already has the Year in FBA book, do they need to buy the 2019 edition?
STEPHEN: No again. That’s actually the best part of this course. This course includes lifetime updates for free! Each year, you get the updated Year in FBA book, more live webinar videos throughout the year, continued access to a secret “Year in FBA” Facebook group, and any new/updated bonuses at no cost to you.
KARON: Any last words of motivation and/or wisdom?
STEPHEN: Look, selling on Amazon can be a hard and lonely business. But at the same time it’s also an incredible opportunity. You don’t have to do it all alone. And you especially don’t have to make all the same mistakes I have made in the past. Instead you can know exactly what to do, monthly by month, all year long!
With the Year in FBA book, live webinars, recorded video training, and Facebook group, you’ll find thousands of sellers just like you who are all helping each other be successful in selling on Amazon.
We can do this!
KARON: Stephen updates this course every year. Pick up his incredible course today. The organization, cleverness, continues monthly help and more can easily boost your profit levels in the next 12 months.