My Top Eight Ways to Wisely Use Your Q4 Income

As I’ve stated before, the fourth quarter selling season on Amazon almost always brings your highest income possibilities of the year. Most Amazon sellers find that their sales sometimes multiply ten-fold from what they’re used to during the other three quarters. How you handle your increased profits can possibly help propel you into even more profits in the year to come. Here are some ideas:

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When buying a shrink-wrap machine, I recommend the 16 inch impulse sealer.

1.  Invest in time saving equipment – What are you doing now that can be done much faster with the help of some new equipment? Now is the time to research quality tools that can lessen your work load. Two years ago I purchased a 16 inch shrink-wrap machine and heat gun. Last year I purchased a box re-sizer and a newer laptop. Think about what tools can help you speed up your current work process. Could you be in the market for a Bar Code Scanner or Scan-Fob? Maybe you’d like to get a Dymo label printer. There are so many tools out there that help save time and money.

2. Invest in time saving programs – Maybe you’ve been listing your items directly on Amazon and are ready to save some time by signing up for  Inventory Lab, ScanPower or other listing tools. These programs help save a lot of time and help with many other areas of your business too (like repricing, financials, etc).

IMG_84833. Purchase more inventory – In the weeks leading up to Christmas, many stores start to put toys and other gift items on sale at really great prices. If you wait a little longer, right after Christmas, many stores start mega clearance sales. You’ll find sales in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online. If you don’t want to get out and source inventory in the cold weather, you can find many great sales at stores online. In store and online, there will probably be more items you can buy for resale than you have money for. Amazon sales in January are still really good as people have Christmas gift cards burning a hole in their pockets, so it’s wise to keep stocking up your inventory into the new year.

4. Purchase supplies in bulk – What items do you buy all year long? 3-inch Packing tape, shipping boxes, Dymo labels, and printer ink are just a few of the items that I buy all year long. It would be wise to buy these items in bulk now (at much better prices per item) instead of spending more money to buy them later in smaller quantities. Click on the following links to see more about the supplies I use in my processing desk and shipping station.

debt-picture5. Pay off debt – As Dave Ramsey says, “Debt is not a wealth building tool.” If you have any debt, the wisest thing you can do is to pay it off as fast as you can. Imagine giving yourself a raise by doing the same amount of work you do now! When you are no longer paying debt interest fees, that’s money that you can use for your business. If you are in debt, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. For more information on getting out of debt, check out his book, The Total Money Makeover and his program, Financial Peace University.

6. Treat yourself – Sometimes we can be so focused on work that we forget ourselves. Getting too wrapped up in work can lead to burnout. If you can, give yourself a Christmas bonus and treat yourself to something fun.

7. InvABC Affiliate Logo 250x250est in Your Mind – Is there an Amazon FBA related book, course, or program that you have been interested in buying? This might be the best time to buy FBA training materials so that you can learn how to improve your current Amazon business. You are the number one asset to your business. Invest in yourself. The more you can learn, the more you can earn!

8. Give generously – If you have yet to discover the joy of giving, I challenge you to try it this holiday season. There are so many worthy causes and organizations that need your financial help. Remember to find out if the money you are giving is tax deductible or not. If it is, be sure to keep receipts for your tax records.

Q4 GrowthSo what about you? How do you best use your Q4 income to help you and your business succeed? I’d love to hear your ideas, so leave a comment below.

*This article is an updated blog post from 2014.

22 responses to “My Top Eight Ways to Wisely Use Your Q4 Income

  1. Pingback: How to Handle FBA Returns & Minimize Loss | Full-Time FBA

  2. Pingback: 10 Things You Need to Know For A Profitable Q4 | Full-Time FBA

  3. What do you use your heat gun for?

    • I use the heat gun two ways. I use it on price stickers that don’t usually come off easily. The heat helps to make the price sticker come off much easier. I also use the heat gun for shrinking the plastic shrink wrap.

  4. My next purchase is going to be a dymo printer and the shrink wrap. I want a thermal printer that can do the fba barcodes as well as the address labels for merchant fulfilling and ebay.

  5. I am getting an LLC, business insurance and signing up for TaxJar. Not much fun but good for peace of mind!

    • Great plan, Jena… it might not be fun, but the peace of mind you’ll have will take a lot of stress away… and let you focus your energies on building your business.

  6. Great post, Stephen. I had a really great November. My best month yet since I started selling only seven months ago. I hit $1,787.71, which is light years ahead of any previous month.

    Amazon sales reports show that 79% of my November sales came from my own products. Building out my own product line is definitely the path I’m taking. It fits my personality and interests and seems to be where my profit is coming from.

    Thanks for all the great info you provide ~
    Ree

  7. Andrew Cassinelli

    Stephen, what shrink wrap and heat gun do you recommend?

  8. I struggle with investing in things that will make me more money vs save me time or make me more comfortable. For instance investing in a VA to help source is a direct way to make more money, but a zebra printer makes things more comfortable or reduces hassle, not sure that it makes money.

    • BVer, the fact that you are more comfortable and not dealing with hassle means that you will have more mental energy to work smarter. The smarter you work, the more you will make. There is no way to quantify this, but I know deep down in my bones that it’s true. At some point, we lose the desire to work at a high level of success because of all the little things that are eating away at our mental energy levels. I hope that makes sense. Both are great to invest your money in.

  9. Great post as usual Stephen. Thank you! I especially appreciated the link to this page http://www.fulltimefba.com/an-insiders-look-at-the-full-time-fba-processing-desk/ where I found the “thank you” and “hologram” stickers to cover up small blemishes. The Magic Eraser tip was also one I had not considered. Those things are awesome! Again, I always enjoy reading your posts and thank you for all your advice.

    Lastly, here is a reminder to remind us to be reading your material now on what to expect in January from your book. 🙂

  10. I have already bought most of the tools, courses, etc., that I think I’ll need for a while, so I’m going to invest in more inventory. I will also spend some money going to a trade show for wholesale sourcing. But I like your idea about treating yourself! And I whole-heartedly agree with paying down debt and following Dave Ramsey’s advice. I am thankful every day for what he has taught me.

    Great tips, Stephen!

  11. I have been reading post after post on your site and it is all so helpful. I have added about a dozen things to my Amazon wishlist to make this FBA venture easier like the Dymo and sticker removers etc so thanks for that!

    My question is, if you buy Christmas related stuff after Christmas, do you send it in to FBA right away or do you store it for a while before you send it in? I know you said the stuff can sell anytime of year, but I am just wondering if it would be worth the storage fees if it doesn’t sell until November.

    Thanks!

  12. 1. Don’t forget Scottypeelers. Either inspect and replace those chewed up or just put a piece of fine sandpaper on the table and lay the peeler flat on top and sand away the nicks. I start with the top of the peeler first and do the bottom last to make a nice flat, smooth surface to glide over the boxes. You DON’T want to mar a high-value item, do you? They don’t take long to get chewed up sometimes. I do this frequently to keep from scratching a box and making me very sad. 🙁

    2. We invested in the 20″ impulse sealer and appreciate the extra 4″ of width to do those oversized boxes. Remember that you can actually seal items larger than your impulse sealer, it just takes care and patience. If you wish to get larger than this, it does get VERY expensive. Also, be sure to order extra elements and the teflon tape for them. They do seem to burn through the tape at times.

    3. After having some issues with missing items on every other inbound, we did some research and discovered just how easy it is to pilfer from boxes that are sealed with packing tape. (search YouTube) We have always put a lot of tape on our boxes and filled with dunnage, but some resourceful scoundrel may be still accessing our inventory on the way to the warehouse. The videos reviewed show that the gummed paper tape actually bonds to the boxes and is very evident that someone would have gotten into them. It basically destroys the box. There is no sneaking into boxes sealed with this type of tape. This is the kind of tape that Amazon uses on the shipments that they send out to customers, fiber-reinforced gummed tape. The dispensers will wet and dispense the tape and you just apply it to your box. They are somewhat expensive, depending upon the type that you choose. There may be some used models come up on auctions, ebay or Craigslist, so look there. Some models are really nice, in that you push a button for the length required and it will dispense and cut that amount of pre-wetted tape for you to apply. Those are several hundred dollars. There are also cheaper, manual versions to get started. The post that I read indicated that after the author had employed this type of tape in his FBA business, he did not have any further loss of items in his inbound shipments. It is something to consider, as the reconciliation and refund process for items lost on inbound is a real labor cost to consider in your overhead. For us, we will be seriously considering a purchase of one of these items ASAP, YMMV.

    We wish you all to have your best year in business possible. Reach for the stars and grow. You can never win, if you don’t try. Commit to try something new this year. You can succeed!

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