In this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show, we discuss three Amazon seller truths that nobody else will tell you. We first unpack how integrity is crucial for us and how we always aim to be honest with our audience, before revealing the three truths that Amazon sellers need to know, including helpful resources to help you along your Amazon seller journey. We share our experiences and encourage listeners to view these hard truths as opportunities to learn and grow. Through this candid conversation, you will hear valuable insights and advice to help turn part-time hours into a full-time income. Listen today!
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Key points from Episode 189:
- Prioritizing honesty and integrity in our business approach.
- Why you should expect unsellable returns and unwanted inventory.
- Reasons why sourcing is hard work.
- Common misconceptions around sourcing profitable inventory.
- Hear strategies to improve your inventory sourcing efficiency.
- Learn why you should only focus on what you can control.
- Examples of how some customers might try to “cheat” you.
- The value of honesty and integrity in the Amazon seller community.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Episode 96: Why We Don’t Private Label (And What We Do Instead)
- The Latest Amazon Seller Headlines
- The Full-Time FBA Show Podcast
- Full-Time FBA on Twitter
- Full-Time FBA on Facebook
Let’s be honest. If you really want to turn part-time hours into a full-time income, the sourcing activities of clearance aisles, liquidation lots, products on sale, garage sales, and thrifting are not the strategies that will make a full-time income.
The most efficient and profitable way to make a full-time income is to focus on replenishables (or “replens” for short).
In the Amazon reselling world, a replen is an inventory item you can buy multiples of, send to Amazon, sell quickly, and then replenish your stock so that you never sell out.
If you’ve been frustrated with your current sourcing strategies, and if you’d like to learn more about how to source inventory that you can buy multiples of, sells consistently, and rarely ever runs out of stock, then our new course, The Reseller’s Guide to Replenishables: Find Profitable Amazon Inventory to Sell Again and Again, is for you.
With this course, you’ll finally have the skills to source for inventory that you can buy multiples of, you’ll grow your Amazon business to the next level by selling your inventory faster and at higher prices!
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Episode 189 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:21.5] STEPHEN: Welcome to episode number 189 of The Full-Time FBA Show. Today, we’re talking about three Amazon seller truths that nobody else is going to tell you and we’ll talk about this with us today is my wife, Rebecca. What’s up, Rebecca?
[0:00:34.9] REBECCA: Hey there, I am excited for a new episode and looking forward to getting into this episode in particular, it’s a difficult topic because it’s going to bring up some things that are not fun to talk about but I think that it’s actually a really good one to cover so I’m really glad that we’re getting into it.
[0:00:52.9] STEPHEN: yeah, me too. Have you ever played the game three truths and a lie?
[0:00:56.5] REBECCA: Oh no, it’s two truths and a lie
[0:00:57.0] STEPHEN: Is it two truths and a lie? Okay.
[0:00:58.3] REBECCA: I can’t remember.
[0:00:59.2] STEPHEN: Okay, okay, it’s a couple of truths and a lie and you have to pick out what the lie is. Well, the good thing about this episode is we’re not going to lie to you. We’re just going to bring you the three Amazon seller truths and we’ll do that in today’s episode of The Full-Time FBA show.
[0:01:11.3] REBECCA: Three truths and no lies.
[0:01:16.7] REBECCA: One of the things that we take most seriously here on The Full-Time FBA show and in the Full-Time FBA coaching business is our integrity and simply put we’re always going to be honest with you, even if that means missing out on possible ways to make affiliate commissions.
For example, we are approached often by reseller-focused loan companies, offering us big commissions if we would tell our tens of thousands of followers to borrow money through their company but we simply can’t do that while at the same time, telling you that we don’t ever suggest using debt to grow your Amazon business or there are times when private label gurus want us to promote their courses that cost $10,000 or more and we would get a huge commission.
But we simply can’t do that and tell you that private label is not a strategy we suggest for beginner Amazon sellers, which is something we’ve done in the past, especially in episode number 96. You can go back and listen to that if you want to check it out. We don’t think their private label is bad, it’s just not a great strategy if you’re a beginner, and especially if somebody’s telling you, “You should pay $10,000 and I will make it all easy for you.”
So integrity means a lot to us and hopefully, it means a lot to you as well. With that in mind, we’re going to talk today about three Amazon seller truths that nobody else is going to be telling you.
[0:02:40.6] STEPHEN: When we say nobody else, we mean we’ve never heard anybody else share these truths. So I mean, has someone actually said what we’re going to say? Maybe but we think this might be the first time that someone is sharing these hard truths with you and it’s some truths that you simply need to know. So let’s jump right into it with Amazon reseller truth number one, you’re not going to sell everything that you try to sell.
Most Amazon sellers don’t even think about this. It’s a reality that many of us need to know and understand and accept. Now, with the right education and training, you’re going to be able to sell almost all of the things that you want to sell but not everything. The truth is, there’s going to be unsellable returns, you especially as a newbie, you’re going to buy inventory that’s never going to sell and you just end up having to do a removal order and sometimes you know, it gets so bad that you find out that you can’t even sell the item at a garage sale.
You thought you could sell on Amazon and you can’t even give it away. You can ask me how I know this, from experience. Yup, that’s right. So there are other examples of times when Amazon sellers you know, don’t actually sell the items that they think they’re going to sell. It is something that is going to happen. Now, I’m not telling you this to discourage you but rather, to encourage you.
You see, it’s normal for there to be situations where you don’t sell something that you assumed you were going to sell. Some Amazon sellers, especially newbies can get really discouraged when they don’t sell something and they’re now stuck with unwanted inventory, and if you let it, that discouragement can steal your joy of being an Amazon seller and so if you happen to have inventory that you’re not able to sell, guess what? You’re normal.
Just ask yourself, “Okay, what can I learn from this situation? Where did things go wrong, how could I have avoided this? What can I do to avoid this situation from repeating itself in the future?” and those lessons from those situations can help you reach the success that you’re looking for in the long run and how you should not repeat those mistakes and the Amazon seller that learns from their mistakes, they’re going to be a successful Amazon seller.
[0:04:37.1] REBECCA: The second Amazon reseller truth that we wanted to bring before you today is that Amazon is going to change or add a rule at some time or another that could potentially impact your bottom line. Amazon updates their rules or updates their fees all the time and for each rule or fee update, there’s a potential of upsetting your normal patterns for running your Amazon business.
Not many Amazon sellers come into this business expecting these changes, so when a rule change or a fee increase occurs, those are the sellers who are just going to freak out, and freaking out is something that we just never encourage that you do here at Full-Time FBA. You’ve probably heard us say that dozens of times but number one, don’t freak out.
Instead of freaking out, what we really encourage is finding out more about the guidelines or the fee updates to out what’s really going on. We do this a lot in our Full-Time FBA Facebook group and we’ll also share our perspective on why things are not as bad as people think they are.
We always try to find the approach that shows how Amazon is doing things in a way that will help us all in the long run because that’s really what’s going on. We pride ourselves on always finding the silver lining and even the profits that come with that silver lining. Amazon wants us to succeed so that they will succeed and so that is generally what it comes down to when you see these rule changes and fee changes.
One of the things that we teach in our coaching program is that anytime “bad happens” there’s always an opportunity that we can find to improve our skills. So if a fulfillment fee goes up 10%, then we need to improve our sourcing skills by at least 10% and that will make us better at sourcing profitable inventory that’s not impacted by that fee or if a brand all of a sudden becomes gated.
Then we just need to pivot and find, one, another platform that we can use to sell that existing inventory, or two, find other profitable brands to sell on Amazon so that gating of the brand is not the end of our business. Are these solutions easy? Sometimes they are and sometimes they’re not. These things really do impact your business but this is a business and things are not always going to be easy.
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it and you’d be making a lot more money than you are right now. We would be making a lot more money than we are right now, it’s hard. It’s hard work but it is profitable and successful if you’re able to pivot if you’re able to work to find those silver linings.
So if there are any rule updates or fee changes that really impact you, come check out our take on the updates, they’ll be posted in the Facebook group, fulltimefba.com/facebook is where you’ll find that. Most of the time, we’ll show you that silver lining or share how we’re making a pivot to come out on top.
[0:07:36.3] STEPHEN: Another good thing about selling on Amazon, Amazon usually does not shock you and surprises you with these changes. They announce their fee changes you know, four to six months in advance. They update you on different guidelines or rule changes very far in advance so that you can kind of make the changes or necessary pivots in your business to – you’ll be able to take care of those changes and not be devastated by them.
[0:08:02.4] REBECCA: Now, they do that but they’re also very well-known for burying the lead in their emails. When they send out these notifications, they don’t always make it real clear what they’re talking about and so that’s why we like to go over these things in our newsletters, in our Facebook group, on our live videos.
So make sure you’re signed up at fulltimefba.com to the newsletter, make sure you’re in the Facebook group. When those updates come out, you can come to us and we’ll be able to help you walk through those notifications to see what are they actually talking about because it’s not always easy to tell.
[0:08:34.4] STEPHEN: That’s right. So the third Amazon reseller truth that other people are not going to tell you is that some of your customers are going to try and cheat you.
[0:08:44.3] REBECCA: Boo.
[0:08:45.8] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:08:45.7] REBECCA: It happens. It does happen.
[0:08:46.9] STEPHEN: It does, and we’re kind of weary of sharing this truth with you because some of you are going to hear, “Most of your customers are going to try and cheat you” and that’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying some and to be more precise, maybe one or two customers are going to try and cheat you and what do we mean by this?
Well, we live in a broken world and there are people who simply try to cheat the systems to their advantage and this is true with some Amazon customers as well. Some examples are customers who will buy something brand-new and then return a used item in its place. In Amazon lingo, this is called a switcheroo.
In other cases, customers will claim they never received a package that clearly had delivery confirmation and in order to get those items for free and in all these situations, there are ways that you can handle them so that you’re not cheated too badly. You know, you just need to follow up with these situations and make sure things are corrected.
Like in regards to the switcheroo, you can take pictures of their removal order and open up a ticket with seller support and explain the situation. Also, to be sure to use the word switcheroo as Amazon help will know exactly what that means, and in regards to customers claiming they never got their item, Amazon should either reimburse you if it was an FBA order after 45 days if the item was not ever returned to the warehouse or if was returned, it’s going to go back into your inventory so you’ll see it in your inventory.
Now, you’re not going to be able to fix all of the times a customer tries to cheat you, and as a side note, sometimes these things happen and the customer’s not actually trying to cheat you, they’ve just made a mistake or they’re just not informed in the understanding the situation correctly.
There are going to be times when a customer might try to cheat you but it’s so super rare and so it’s important to understand that even though it sucks, this retail theft is a normal part of doing business and I know that doesn’t take away the sting but it can at least let you let go and not take things personally. What you need to do is work these situations into your business model. All retail stores work this into their business models and we need to as well.
[0:10:45.0] REBECCA: So this wasn’t a fun episode, we do these from time to time but it’s an important one so that we can help you to understand these three truths, these three seller truths better. One, you’re not going to sell all your inventory but that’s normal and to be expected when you are in a business where you’re selling inventory.
Two, Amazon will update something, their guidelines or their fees and it will impact your regular business patterns but you can adjust and you can still come out on top and be successful and three, a few of your customers, a very few of them might try to cheat you but that’s super rare and it’s also to be expected.
Don’t worry about it though, it’s not going to be anything that will ruin you, you just need to work it into your business model. So on all of these just remember, none of these situations will kill your business if you are prepared the right way. Some of them might cause you to pivot slightly in your business or even have to make some big pivots but remember this: a bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.
I like that Stephen. Like Stephen said before, you can take these hard situations and see them as an opportunity for you to improve your skills and just get better as a seller, and again if you want to be the first to know how to interpret these rule changes or these guidelines as guideline updates, fee updates, as they come out, be sure you’re on our mailing list fulltimefba.com to get subscribed to that list.
We send out a newsletter once or twice a week and we try to make sure that you’re on top of all of these things and that you get other information you need to help grow your Amazon business, help you make a full-time income with part-time hours.
[0:12:31.6] REBECCA: Just a reminder as always, that you can find the show notes and the transcript for this episode at fulltimefba.com/189 because this is episode number 189. You’ll also find all of the links that we mentioned in this episode at that link.
[0:12:46.6] STEPHEN: Next week on the show, we are going to answer the question, “How much reseller competition is too much?” You’re outsourcing, you see that there’s a lot of competition, well, is it really a lot? Is it too much, should you move on, should you buy it, should you try to resell it? We’ll talk about that next week on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:13:06.4] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the show notes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you have learned today, so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.