Tag Archives: Competition

Is There Still Room for New Amazon FBA Sellers?

One question I am consistently asked since launching fulltimefba.com back in 2013 is this… Is there still room for new Amazon FBA sellers?

Most people ask this question out of two fears they are experiencing:

  1. The fear of not finding enough profitable inventory to sell on Amazon.
  2. The fear of too many competitors who will tank prices so I’m never able to get a sale.

I totally get it. When you’re new at selling on Amazon (or even still in your first year), you experience the pains of being a newbie.

You might laugh at me, but I thought some similar thoughts back in 2011 when I first started selling on Amazon. I thought, “Will I be able to find enough inventory to sell, or will I waste my time sourcing for inventory that just isn’t there anymore? Will I actually be able to sell the inventory I buy, or will my competitors tank the price and steal my sales?

And that was back in 2011…

If you think you’re too late for the Amazon FBA Profit Party, then I’ve got some great news for you:

I totally believe that the profit potential of Amazon FBA is still in its infancy. That’s right… still at the beginning. If you get started now, then you’re still joining in on the ground floor of what’s possible with Amazon and FBA.

You might be wondering how I’m thinking this when the Amazon FBA program started over 11 years ago. That’s like ancient, right? Well, to help you see things in the right light, you need to have the correct perspective. In the rest of this blog post I’ll share with you the reasons I think there is plenty of room for new Amazon FBA sellers:

1. Amazon is taking over the world – and needs your help!

Over and over again, it seems as if Amazon consistently does something that changes everything. From launching an online bookstore in 1994, to moving beyond books in 1998, to making free 2-day delivery everyone’s expectation starting in 2005, to opening FBA warehouses to 3rd party sellers in 2006, and so much more (CreateSpace on-demand book printing, Kindle tablets and ebooks, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Echo, Merch on-demand T-shirt printing, and so much more.).

Over and over again, Amazon continues to revolutionize online shopping and the expectations we have a shoppers. The more Amazon expands, the more Amazon will need you and I to sell on the Amazon platform.

2. Buyers are only just now starting to buy more items online.

You might buy many items on Amazon throughout the year, but you’re not the average person. It would shock you how many people in the US still think that Amazon.com is just an online bookstore. I still come across many people who have no idea that Amazon sells clothes, shoes, or groceries. Here are some eye-opening stats for you:

Right now, 62% of Americans buy on Amazon at least once a month, with the amount of time between purchases decreasing every day. As we look toward the future, 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer online shopping over in-store shopping; this leaves so much room for growth as more people start to buy on Amazon more often. Overall, Americans only spend about 36% of their monthly shopping budget online, and every year that number keeps getting bigger and bigger. Because more and more people are shopping online every day, Amazon is depending on 3rd party sellers (that’s you and me) to find the inventory to stock the FBA warehouses.

3. Without 3rd party sellers, Amazon would lose over 50% of their sales.

A huge benefit that only 3rd party sellers can bring to Amazon is the incredible amount of product selection and increase in customer choice. Third party sellers can find inventory to sell that Amazon can’t. This, combined with the fact that only 16% of manufacturers in the world sell their items directly on Amazon, means that 84% of manufacturers still don’t sell on Amazon – leaving a huge hole on Amazon that you and I can fill with inventory. In other words, our inventory sourcing efforts are vital to the continuation of Amazon’s success. In fact, if Amazon stopped 3rd party sellers from selling on Amazon, they would lose over half of their annual sales (which would equate to billions of dollars lost for Amazon).

4. Only recently did Amazon finally surpass Google as the starting point for online shoppers.

Before 2017, online shoppers would start on Google (or other search engines) in order to search for the items they wanted to buy online. Google could send these online shoppers almost anywhere… to Amazon, a specific brand’s website, eBay, a specific retail store, or to an unlimited number of possible store websites. Only just recently, starting in 2017, do a majority of online shoppers (over 50%) now start their online shopping experience on Amazon. This is huge for the future of Amazon and how much Amazon needs new sellers to find inventory to sell on Amazon.

5. Many Amazon sellers have no idea what they are doing, which can be to your benefit!

I can’t tell you how many times I see a listing on Amazon where there are 100 sellers, but only a few are actually competing for the sale. These other sellers are throwing their money away on storage fees for inventory they are not selling. If you take the right steps in your Amazon business, then you can set yourself up for long-term success. For info about how to start a successful Amazon FBA business from the beginning, then check out JumpStart Amazon.

Showrooming -the practice of visiting a store in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price.

6. Mobile sales are only now starting to generate momentum.

It’s amazing to see the growth of sales that are generating directly from their smartphones. The term showrooming (see image caption) wasn’t even a thing a few years ago, and now it’s a normal occurrence. In fact, over 50% of online shoppers use their smartphone to buy online… and over 60% use their tablets. These numbers are only going to increase the more people start to learn about shopping online via their smartphone and tablets.

Source: Business Insider (source link below)

7. Amazon keeps attracting more and more customers every day.

Here are just a few things Amazon does that almost every savvy online shopper has now come to expect: Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping, easy reordering, easy returns, and easy refunds. Why does Amazon do this? So that more and more people will come to Amazon to shop… and it’s working! I know my online shopping expectations have been influenced by Amazon. It’s annoying to me when I order something online elsewhere and it doesn’t arrive in 2 days. And that consistency by Amazon keeps me (and millions of others) coming back for more.

I’m not exaggerating when I say millions, because Amazon has over 300 million accounts. Back in 2015, 50 million people had a Prime account. In 2017, that number has grown to almost 70 million Prime members. Again, these numbers are growing every year. With more buyers, Amazon needs more sellers to stock the Amazon shelves with inventory.

Seriously, I could go on forever with even more reasons (see the source links at the end of this post for even more stats), but I hope by now you get my point. The growth of Amazon and their need for you to fill up their FBA warehouses with inventory is still at the very early stages.

If you start your Amazon FBA business now, I guarantee that in a few years, you’ll be so glad you started “way back in 2017.” There will seriously never be a better time to start.

If you’re ready to start your Amazon FBA business with a plan that will lead you toward long-term success, then I invite you to check out the JumpStart Amazon course.

In JumpStart Amazon, you will know exactly, step-by-step, how to build up a successful Amazon FBA business from scratch. From setting up your seller account to finding profitable inventory to knowing how to best use your profits, I’ll show you the proven strategies for how to start your Amazon FBA business off on the right foot.

After you experience JumpStart Amazon, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand multiple proven strategies to find profitable inventory that sells quickly on Amazon
  • Know the right steps that will help make your first Amazon paycheck a big one
  • Easily decipher the most misunderstood aspect of selling on Amazon
  • Recognize the right inventory items to sell and which ones you should avoid
  • Handle brand and category restrictions with ease so that you can sell even more products
  • Know the biggest problem with sourcing inventory (and how to overcome it)
  • Know the strategies to have your products sell more often than your competition.
  • and so much more!

So, now I’d love to hear from you. Are you excited about the huge growth potential of selling on Amazon? What fears do you still have about selling on Amazon? How have you tried to overcome these fears? What excites you most about selling on Amazon? Answer below in the comments.

Source Links: Invespcro, Bigcommerce, SellerLabs, BusinessInsider, SeekingAlpha.

How To Find Out How Much Inventory Your Competition Has in Stock

When you’re out sourcing, one of the things you need to consider is your competition. Say you’re out sourcing at Big Lots and come across an item with a great ROI. You research the item with your favorite scouting app and see that there are other FBA sellers selling this item. Do you join them? Or pass and look for other items with less competition? It’s something to consider when making reselling decisions.

In the past, some scouting apps were able to tell you how many of an item a certain seller had in stock, but Amazon changed the way these scouting apps get their information, and now it’s a complete mystery. Or is it?

know-your-compeitionWhen a scouting app returns the current data for a particular product, it will usually show you current prices, some of your competition, sales rank, and other pieces of information. Wouldn’t you also like to know how many of an item one particular seller has in stock? It could make a big difference in whether or not you decide to buy an item for resale. It could be helpful information to know if a few of the lower priced sellers have 5 to 10 of an item in stock before you decide to add yourself as a seller of that item.

Even more critical is knowing how many of an item Amazon has in stock. With Amazon’s buying power, they could easily have hundreds or thousands of an item in stock at any given time. When Amazon has that many in stock, it’s often a good idea to pass on selling that item.

There are two main ways you can find out how many items your competition currently has in stock. One way is to use an app that will find the data for you, and the other way is to find out for yourself with a manual method. I’ll break down both of these methods for you here:

1. How Many Manually

Here are the steps to manually find out how many items someone has in their current FBA inventory:

1. Go to the Amazon sales page for the item in question.

2. Click on the link that shows all of the current product offers (new, used, collectible, etc).

Amazon-Add-to-Cart3. Choose one of the current sellers and add their item to your cart.

4. Click on the “edit your cart” link.

999 in AZ cart5. Click on the quantity and change it to 10+.

6. Type in 999 (the highest number allowed) and click update.

7. If that seller has under 999 items, then it will state, “This seller only has XX of these available.”

There ya go! You now know how many of that item that particular seller has in stock at a FBA warehouse. This method works with 3rd party sellers as well as with Amazon themselves. Note: These methods only work for seeing Amazon’s stock level when Amazon doesn’t have purchase quantity limits. Amazon sometimes limits purchases to 3 units, in which case they may have hundreds in stock, but you will only see 3 units available.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.37.39 AM8. I almost forgot! Don’t forget to remove these items from your cart. I once had almost $30,000 in my Amazon shopping cart when using this method. I wouldn’t want anyone to accidentally buy everything in their cart.

The pros of this method are that it’s free, and you can do it both on your desktop and on your smart phone with the Amazon buyer’s app. The main cons of this method are that you can only do this trick for one seller at a time, and if you have multiple sellers to research, it can take up a lot of time.

2. How Many? App

My favorite method to find out stock levels of my competitors is to use the How Many? app. When you sign up for How Many? you get access to both the Chrome extension and the smart phone app. The How Many? extension can be easily installed on the Chrome browser and be up and running in no time.  When you open up an Amazon sales page and click on the How Many? icon, you’ll see the inventory levels of every seller selling that item (both FBA and MF). To learn about many more features of How Many?, simply click here.

How Many? also has a mobile app that you can use anywhere you have a connection. Simply scan the item’s barcode or enter in the UPC or ASIN, and you’ll see immediately the stock levels every seller has for that item.

There is a monthly fee for How Many?, but for the time it saves, it’s well worth the cost for us. For that one monthly fee you get access to both the Chrome extension and the mobile app.

Knowing how many items your competitors have in stock is not only good for when you are out sourcing, but also when you are pricing your items. If the three lowest priced sellers all have just one item in stock, then depending on the rank, you might want to price your item higher then theirs, knowing they might sell out while your item is headed to a FBA warehouse. On the other hand, if you see that the lowest priced competitor has 100 in stock, you might want to price more competitively to get a quicker sale. It’s all about strategy and what works best for you.

Ok, now it’s time for you to put your new inventory research skills to the test! Here is an item that I want you to research. Take a look at the three lowest priced FBA sellers and let me know in the comments how many they each currently have in stock.

Product: Paw Patrol Chase’s Spy Cruiser, Vehicle and Figure 

 

Don’t peek below at what others are posting. In fact, others may have done this exercise at a completely different time than you and will have different results. In any case, you never know if someone bought this item on the same day as you are reading this blog post, and the inventory levels have changed. Comment below how many the three lowest priced FBA sellers have in stock.