Are you wondering whether selling Halloween-related stuff is even worth it this year? Well, Stephen and Rebecca are here to tell you that not only is it worth it, but it can also be a profitable opportunity! In today’s episode, Stephen and Rebecca talk about some spooky, exciting, and awesome things you can do to grow your Amazon FBA business in the days leading up to Halloween.
In today’s episode, they discuss the three main categories that are the most profitable and help you navigate pricing both before and after Halloween sales. With Halloween being a holiday that rakes in over 8.8 billion dollars a year, make sure you’re listening to find out ways you can get a slice of that pie!
Oh, and be sure to comment down below with what your greatest fear is when it comes to selling on Amazon. We’ll be doing an “overcoming your Amazon fears” series come October.
Listen on the podcast player below.
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Key points from episode 48:
- Halloween is one of the top five financially profitable holidays.
- Big profit makers for different types of costumes for kids, adults, and pets.
- When it comes to costumes, think about parts, not just the whole.
- Candy is the second biggest profit maker during Halloween.
- Making sure you have the right dates for sending your meltables.
- Why decorations and outdoor inflatables sell really well.
- Get your pricing right using the Keepa tool.
- After Halloween sales, what sells and what to get rid of.
- Why Halloween might look a little different this year, yet people are still buying.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Halloween stats
- Keepa Tutorial
- Pros and Cons of the “Buy and Hold” Strategy
- The Reseller’s Guide to Keepa
- The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA
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Episode 48 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.
[00:00:21] STEPHEN: Hello and welcome to episode number 48 of the Full-Time FBA Show, and we are looking forward to talking with you today about some Halloween profit ideas. We’re going to talk about some spooky, awesome, exciting things that you can grow your Amazon business during the month of September and October as we get closer to Halloween. With me, as always, is Rebecca. How are you doing, Rebecca?
[00:00:43] REBECCA: I’m doing great. I’m not very spooky right now though, I don’t think.
[00:00:46] STEPHEN: No, no.
[00:00:47] REBECCA: I’m trying to get into this spooky mood I guess.
[00:00:49] STEPHEN: Yes. We should have some ambience music or something.
[00:00:52] REBECCA: Yeah.
[00:00:52] STEPHEN: Yes. But, yeah, that’s what we’re talking about today, Halloween profits, so let’s get to the conversation.
[00:01:00] REBECCA: Okay. Well, before we get into our topic of profits at Halloween on Amazon FBA, I wanted to ask you a question, Stephen. What are you afraid of?
[00:01:10] STEPHEN: For the longest time in my life, I have been deathly afraid of cockroaches. I can’t stand cockroaches. When I see a cockroach, I scream like a little kid and in a pretty high note as well. I mean, it’s pretty bad. I just can’t stand those gross things.
[00:01:25] REBECCA: Yeah. I can testify to that. That is a true statement.
[00:01:28] STEPHEN: Yes. What about you, Rebecca? What is it that scares you or spooks you?
[00:01:32] REBECCA: Well, I’m afraid of heights, so I don’t like any type of rides that go up high. I don’t like elevators that go more than like two or three floors. I especially don’t like glass elevators. That’s the main thing that I think I’m the most afraid of that causes me the most panic. I’m also kind of afraid of the dark, which you’re aware of because I quite frequently make you go around the house at night and check for things in the dark. But, yeah, those are the two main things. Those are pretty standard things that people are usually afraid of I think though, so I’m not too ashamed to say that I’m afraid of heights and I’m afraid of the dark.
[00:02:06] STEPHEN: Yeah. I would think fear of cockroaches would be kind of normal for people, bugs or spiders maybe.
[00:02:10] REBECCA: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know about that though because I don’t like cockroaches but I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of cockroaches.
[00:02:18] STEPHEN: That’s true.
[00:02:18] REBECCA: I don’t freak out when I see them and start screaming. I just am like, “Ew, let’s take care of this.”
[00:02:23] STEPHEN: Yes. If someone comes to our door during Halloween in a cockroach costume, I might try to stomp on them. I don’t know. We’ll see.
[00:02:31] REBECCA: Well, I just wanted to ask that as kind of a little intro here into this episode. We’re talking about stuff related to Halloween. It’s spooky. We’re trying to build a theme here. We’re going to be leading into a series of questions that we’re going to be covering in future weeks related to FBA fears and we’re going to get started though today in a more generic Halloween type conversation about how to build up your profits for your Amazon FBA business centered around Halloween. We still got ways to go before we get to Halloween, so we’ve got some time to work on this for our business. But is it really a big deal in the FBA world or for resellers this holiday? Obviously, it’s not the gift giving holidays that come later in the year, but is Halloween a big deal, Stephen?
[00:03:21] STEPHEN: Halloween is a huge deal, and I feel like for a lot of different reasons, I feel like each year it gets bigger and bigger, and the stats an actually back this up. In fact, last year, over $8.8 billion, billion with a B, was spent for something related to Halloween, and online sales just continue to grow, and so more and more people are buying stuff online. More and more people are buying stuff on Amazon, and they’re getting their Halloween stuff on Amazon. It’s like one of the top five financially profitable holidays, and so you can take advantage of that but you do want to act quickly. We’re dropping this episode at the beginning of September, so you have about two months to start to find stuff that’s profitable, send it to Amazon, and sell it. But, yes, Halloween is a big deal. You can get a nice little chunk of that $8.8 billion pie.
[00:04:12] REBECCA: Yeah. That’s a pretty big pie.
[00:04:13] STEPHEN: Is it a pumpkin pie?
[00:04:16] REBECCA: I don’t know if it’s a –
[00:04:16] STEPHEN: Sorry.
[00:04:18] REBECCA: I think for Halloween it’s probably more chocolate and –
[00:04:21] STEPHEN: Chocolate candy corn.
[00:04:22] REBECCA: Chocolate candy corn, yeah. That sounds like a great pie. I don’t know where we’re going with this but like anyway pumpkins make me think of more like Thanksgiving and Christmas and whatnot. But I get where you’re going there with the whole jack-o’-lantern thing. So if anybody knows of a good Halloween pie, let us know because that –
[00:04:37] STEPHEN: Yes, post it in the comments for the show notes.
[00:04:40] REBECCA: Our kids love pie. That’s one of their favorite desserts, so they would be thrilled if I came up with a new pie to make for them.
[00:04:46] STEPHEN: Yes.
[00:04:47] REBECCA: Well, if that is the case that Halloween is such a big moneymaker, can you break it down for us and give us some more specifics about what exactly is it about Halloween that is a big profit maker for resellers?
[00:05:01] STEPHEN: Yeah. There’s three main categories of items that sell really well leading up to Halloween, and there’s other categories that sell well, but these are the top three. Number one obviously being costumes, and so costumes can be bought and sold on Amazon for a really nice profit but just a few things to consider when looking into costumes. Some costumes will be in the toys and games category. Other costumes will be in the clothing category. So when you’re searching costumes to resell, you want to make sure that you’re looking at the right sales rank number for the right category because they do break those up.
Then there’s different types of costumes that are out there. Kids’ costumes are really profitable. I think most years, superhero costumes and princess costumes are like the biggest money makers, the most sold for kids. For adults, vampires and witches are the two big categories that have sold the most. Then I just learned this. The fastest growing Halloween profit maker right now are pet costumes.
[00:06:00] REBECCA: Like for pets. Not dressing up as a pet but for your pet.
[00:06:04] STEPHEN: A costume for your pet.
[00:06:06] REBECCA: That does not surprise me one little bit based on the isle at PetSmart where I’ve seen these.
[00:06:12] STEPHEN: Yes, and the number one type of costume for the pet these past couple years has been as a pumpkin.
[00:06:18] REBECCA: That’s cute.
[00:06:19] STEPHEN: That’s why it’s profitable right now and gaining profitability because, yeah, it’s adorable. Don’t just think about kids’ costumes. Think about adult costumes as well, pet costumes. I think this year – We’re or recording this in 2020. I think revolutionary war era costumes are probably going to be –
[00:06:37] REBECCA: Alexander Hamilton. Is that what you’re thinking?
[00:06:39] STEPHEN: Yeah. What’s your name? Yeah, exactly. Revolutionary war, Alexander Hamilton, King George costumes I really think maybe mostly for adults. I don’t know. Maybe kids are going to be dressing up like –
[00:06:50] REBECCA: Kids will too, yes.
[00:06:51] STEPHEN: King George III. There probably will be branded costumes. There might be some generic that just say revolutionary war. But just if you see those, know that those might be big profit makers for costume profits.
[00:07:04] REBECCA: Yeah. Just going back to what you said about costumes for adults and like generic stuff, like one year we sold a ton of vampire capes, just the cape. It wasn’t even an entire costume. It was just a cape that was geared for a vampire costume and it was awesome. We sold a ton of them. So you don’t even have like a specific character listed on the costume or it’d even be the entire costume. As always, think about parts, not just the whole, that you can find a part that other people are going to overlook that somebody might need. They might have the rest of the costume. They only need that one part.
[00:07:40] STEPHEN: Exactly, yeah. Another year, we sold a bunch of beards.
[00:07:42] REBECCA: Yes, we have sold a lot of beards, which is random but we’ve sold a lot of beards.
[00:07:46] STEPHEN: Yes. Some of you might be thinking, “Okay. How many people actually –”
[00:07:49] REBECCA: Not for vampires, sorry. I just wanted to clarify. Not vampire beards.
[00:07:53] STEPHEN: Bearded vampires. That is a new niche.
[00:07:57] REBECCA: Sorry. I did not mean to interrupt your train of thought there.
[00:07:58] STEPHEN: That’s fine. I know a lot of people out there might be thinking, “Okay, how many people are actually buying costumes online?” I mean, I think most people would want to try it on and see what they look like. With the stats – In the show notes of this episode, I will give you where I found all these statistics. I’ll put a link to the stats I found, but one-third of all costumes purchased last year were online purchased.
[00:08:19] REBECCA: It’s going to be higher this year.
[00:08:20] STEPHEN: Yeah. It’s going to be a lot higher this year, and so just know that those costumes could be very profitable.
[00:08:26] REBECCA: Yeah. And speaking as a mom who has had to buy costumes for kids before, online is the way to go sometimes. There is a lot to be said for just, I don’t have time. I just need to go get it online.
[00:08:38] STEPHEN: Exactly. Who wants to be in a supermarket with a kid trying on different costumes? No, just pick one. That’s what you get. You’re stuck with it, happy Halloween.
[00:08:46] REBECCA: As long as it will go on your body.
[00:08:48] STEPHEN: Yes, exactly.
[00:08:51] REBECCA: Anyway.
[00:08:52] STEPHEN: Costumes are huge. The second thing that’s a huge profit maker during Halloween, again probably no surprise, is candy, and there’s a lot of different types of candy that is profitable. Candy corn and all its variations are profitable during this time. There’s different types of gimmick type candies. There’s like the Reese’s peanut butter cups in the shape of a pumpkin or Hershey kisses in the shape of a pumpkin. There’s all sorts of stuff in different shapes that are Halloween-related that sell really well this time of year, and so just also know the difference between something that’s meltable and something that’s not. Amazon does not open up meltable items to be sent to an Amazon warehouse until after the end of September. So October 1st, you can start to send in meltable items. Just use your best judgment on if you think it could actually survive the trip in a truck. You don’t want your customer to get melted items or maybe if you want to merge and fulfill these chocolate items yourself when it gets closer to Halloween.
But candy can be really profitable type of item to resell. There’s a lot of people just looking for cheap candy that they can give out to the people coming to their house, and there’s also people who just like to get the really cool candy. For some reason, I think people think Reese’s peanut butter cups taste better in the shape of a pumpkin. I don’t know. That’s just –
[00:10:07] REBECCA: Any shape of Reese’s peanut butter cup is a good shape for –
[00:10:10] STEPHEN: Absolutely. Then finally, of the three main categories that really work well with Halloween, we talked about costumes, we talked about candy, decorations, and especially outdoor inflatables. I think every year our street has one house, like it adds a new house of how many people are just like tons of inflatables Halloween-related and decorated. So any type of decorations Halloween-related can sell really well. If there’s a certain movie character or a cartoon character that has a Halloween theme. I see Snoopy dressed up as a character and then I see other things from kids’ shows and even mainstream movies like an adventurous theme but they have Halloween costume on. I think it’s crazy stuff like that can be really profitable because a lot of people just love decorating for Halloween, and there is new and interesting things that come out each year, and it’s just something that people like to spend a lot of money on for some reason.
[00:11:06] REBECCA: Yeah. I was thinking too, going back to what we were talking about with costumes and then thinking about just what I’ve observed in our neighbor, probably a large fraction of online sales for decorations for Halloween come from our neighborhood based on what I observed. But what we were talking about was like generic stuff too. There are a lot of houses in our neighbor that decorate, and some of them have the branded inflatables or whatever. But there’s also just a lot of generic scary stuff. There’s one house in our neighborhood that truly creeps me out, and I don’t like going past it in the day or the night during this time of year because there are really creepy stuff that they put in their yard every year. We’re talking of like headstones and a little girl on a swing, like a corpse looking girl swing from the tree in their front yard and spider webs on all the trees. Think of generic stuff too, just creepy stuff. Not just the inflatables.
[00:12:04] STEPHEN: Exactly. I remember the tombstone also has an arm coming out of the ground from right in front of the –
[00:12:08] REBECCA: Yes, a skeleton arm.
[00:12:09] STEPHEN: Yes. It looks like it’s trying to get out.
[00:12:12] REBECCA: Yeah. Our neighborhood really is serious about Halloween, so we’ve seen it all with like here.
[00:12:18] STEPHEN: Absolutely.
[00:12:19] REBECCA: All right. As we get close to – You were talking about with candy and making sure that you’ve got the right dates for sending in your meltable’s and always we’re thinking about like as time gets closer to Halloween, how do you handle pricing on these items because a lot of the stuff is going to be pretty seasonal I guess I should say. Some stuff is generic but is there much of the market for a skeleton arm after October 31st kind of deal or the pumpkins of the Reese’s peanut butter cups because there’s about to be turkey or Christmas-themed or whatever? What do you do as far as pricing goes when we get closer to Halloween?
[00:12:59] STEPHEN: It kind of takes a little bit of time to kind of get into a pattern of knowing what you should probably lower your prices on. But one of the best tools out there to use on this is looking at Keepa graphs, and Keepa is a tool that tracks sales rank history and pricing history of almost every item on Amazon. If your item happens to be at least a year old on Amazon that the product page was created over a year ago, you can actually go and look at the Keepa graph and for free you can look at the pricing history of that particular item. You can see, “Okay. Well, the prices started to be lowered around this time. Well, that’s probably a good time that I should lower my price too.” Or you can say, “Actually, it held its price pretty long. I can hold out even longer than I thought.”
But if you don’t have access to Keepa or just trying to make a blanket decision on what to do, I would say two weeks before Halloween would probably be a time that I would start to lower my prices. You can have automatic repricer set up that you can activate to start lowering your prices to be able to try to liquidate the stuff that you don’t think will sell after Halloween. But there are some things that will continue to sell after Halloween, and so you can see Keepa’s pricing graph history to make a good decision on that. If you have the paid version of Keepa, you can look at the sales rank history to see how the sales velocity continues or slows down after Halloween.
[00:14:18] REBECCA: That’s good advice. So then kind of to wrap things up, our last question we want to talk about is what are your thoughts about after Halloween sales? November 1st arrives and stuff starts to go on clearance that’s related to Halloween. What would you say to people who want to run out and just clear the shelves of Halloween clearance items? Good idea, bad idea? Send me all the candy.
[00:14:46] STEPHEN: Yes. Send all the candy to – Okay, I’m not going to give our address. But there are some really good things that you can look at that you can purchase after Halloween is over. That will continue to sell even after Halloween. I’m talking about certain costumes that will sell well. Sometimes, costumes make a really great Christmas present. Now, maybe not vampires or witches. That might not be a good after Halloween.
[00:15:09] REBECCA: You mean it might.
[00:15:10] STEPHEN: I mean, it might be a good Christmas gift for somebody. But when you’re looking at superhero costumes or princess costumes or things like that, those might be really good Christmas presents. So, again, you can take a look at a Keepa graph and look and see how well those costumes continue to sell throughout the rest of the year, and so you might actually – Maybe while other people are slashing their prices, you can decide I’m just going to hold onto it and wait for my item to sell two months later when it’s Christmas gift giving season. But costumes make a really good one.
In the candy realm, candy corn is usually only available during Halloween, but it sells year-round. You can find candy corn which has a really long expiration date if you’re purchasing it new from the store and you can continue to sell some candy corns well into the New Year because people just still have that candy corn craving even though it’s not Halloween anymore. So there’s that option. I know there are some people that like to buy costumes and hold onto them until next Halloween or buy some decorations and hold onto them for next Halloween. That is an option for you. But recently, we had a podcast, episode number 46, about the whole buy and hold strategy. If you haven’t listened to that, just go take a listen. It’s fulltimefba.com/46 for that episode about buying and holding and what we think about that. But there are some really great stuff that buying it on November 1st during the Halloween clearance sale. You will probably be sold of that item by Christmas.
[00:16:33] REBECCA: My main takeaway from the last two points that you’ve made is you’ve got to look at Keepa. Keepa, Keepa, Keepa.
[00:16:41] STEPHEN: Yup, absolutely. Yeah, it’s a game changer. If you’ve never heard of Keepa and you want a quick little tutorial on how to actually read and understand Keepa, you can go to fulltimefba.com/readkeepa, and I’ll walk through how to read and understand it. Of course, all the links that we’ve talked about in this episode are going to be on our show notes page, fulltimefb.com/48.
And before we sign off on this episode, I just wanted to bring up the elephant in the room. A lot of people have been saying, “Well, is Halloween going to even happen? There’s COVID. There’s the whole uncertainty that’s in 2020. Are people still going to be going door-to-door to dressing up and all of that?” From the research that I looked into this, I mean there are stores that are already putting their Halloween advertisements out there. There are already sales in statistics that are showing that the people who are purchasing Halloween-related items are doing so at a similar if not increased rate as in years past, especially for online sales. While Halloween might look different in 2020, I really still believe it will be a really profitable opportunity for Amazon FBA sellers to take advantage of the fact that people can buy the stuff that we sell online and can have their gifts, their costumes, their candy, their decorations delivered right to their door. I just really think that it’s something that is still worth spending time with in trying to grow your Amazon FBA business.
[00:18:07] REBECCA: Yeah. I think the key is what you said. It’s going to look different this year and it’s going to look different from one area to another, just like everything else related to the pandemic. But people, they are looking for normalcy and Halloween is a normal thing this time of year, and so they might adjust their trick-or-treating habits. They might adjust their party habits or whatever, but they are still going to celebrate, they are still going to want to dress up, they are still going to want to have a lot of candy, and they will find a way to make it happen. Hopefully, everybody can do it in a safe way.
[00:18:39] STEPHEN: Yes, people need their pumpkin-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups.
[00:18:44] REBECCA: I need mine. I’m craving it right now. All right. On that note, let’s wrap this up.
[00:18:52] STEPHEN: Yes. We want to know what are you afraid of. We talked about being scared of cockroaches, scared of heights, scared of the dark, but we want to know how we can help you with your Amazon FBA fears. Throughout the month of October, we’re going to be doing a podcast series about overcoming your Amazon FBA fears and we want to be able to tackle the ones that you are most afraid of. In our Full-time FBA Facebook group, we opened up a poll and asked people to tell us what their biggest fears are. But we want to give you a chance to also tell us what your biggest fears are when it comes to selling on Amazon FBA. So if you go to the show notes page of this episode, fulltimefba.com/48, in the comments you can tell us what your biggest fears are, and we’ll look at all the fears, come up with the four biggest ones, and that will be our schedule podcast episodes for the month of October where we’ll help you overcome your biggest Amazon fears.
[00:19:45] REBECCA: All right. Well, we will be back with you next week for episode 49, our next one of the Full-time FBA Show. We’re going to be talking about the five big profit leaks For Amazon FBA sellers, so you’re not going to miss that one. You want to make sure that you are not losing out on any profits because of these reasons. Until then, have a great week.
[END OF EPISODE]
[00:20:07] ANNOUNCER: That’s all for this episode of the Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast where you’ll 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’ve learned today, so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.