With all that’s going on in the world right now during the spread of Coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19, we at Full-Time FBA want to take a moment to check in with our readers and let you know how we are handling this worldwide emergency as it relates to our Amazon FBA business.
Usually we focus our blog content on ways you can improve your FBA business and increase your profits, but right now we want to expand our focus to cover the broader impact your actions can have on both your business and the world in general. Not everything in life is about making money, especially during a time of unprecedented public health emergency unlike anything seen in our lifetime – but at the same time, we need to keep our FBA businesses going and feed our families and pay our bills. So how should we respond?
Here are 7 ways we are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic in our Amazon FBA business:
- We are stopping all retail arbitrage for the time being. Scientists, doctors, and public health experts are saying that one of the most important ways we can prevent further spread of the disease (along with washing our hands well and frequently) is to practice social distancing. Even if you don’t currently have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, you could be unwittingly spreading the virus to the people around you. The only way to stop the spread is to drastically limit your contact with other people. For this reason, we personally will not be doing retail arbitrage until experts say it is safe to resume normal social activities. We are limiting our shopping in brick-and-mortar retail stores to only what is necessary for our family’s daily life. This decision comes at a cost for us because it means Stephen has to cancel the two RA days he had planned for the rest of March, and we don’t know when in April or May it will be safe to resume. But the cost of us sitting out on RA for now is nothing compared to the cost of lives that will be affected if we as a community do not take the experts seriously and JUST STAY HOME whenever possible.
- Since we’re not able to keep to our normal RA schedule for the time being, we are going to focus on other streams of income or other methods of sourcing. Stephen is going to focus all of his sourcing attention on wholesale, and I will continue my usual online arbitrage schedule. We’re also going to work on all those tasks that build up around the office that we tend not to prioritize, but they could be a way to find some extra income to make up for the lack of income from RA. For instance, I will go through our stack of shoe returns and OA damaged shipments to take pictures and list shoes for sale on Poshmark. Another idea is to use some of this time to go through your FBA inventory and request reimbursements or work on inventory tasks that will improve your IPI.
- We’re asking that everyone in our Facebook group be mindful of not spreading misinformation about COVID-19, in particular misinformation about how the pandemic will affect Amazon as a company or FBA selling. If you don’t know the source of some tidbit of info you’ve read, please don’t share it. Spreading rumors is not at all helpful in the best of times, but we are dealing with a situation where calmness needs to prevail. (Side note: We can control the type of information that’s posted in our group, but we also recommend you use this practice on your own personal social media posts outside our group. Please stop sharing unverified information from questionable or unidentifiable sources.)
- We all need to adjust our expectations for how things will work in the world for the time being. This includes how things will work in the Amazon FBA world. We are going through a time period unlike anything any of us have ever seen. How will this affect our FBA sales? No one knows. How will this affect the FBA warehouses? No one knows. How will this affect when our shipments are checked in? No one knows. We need to expect the unexpected and show a lot of grace and kindness to everyone we interact with in the FBA world, including the folks we communicate with at Seller Support.
- Everyone who uses a repricer should check that they aren’t accidentally letting their inventory be repriced upward into ranges that would qualify as price gouging. If you sell any items that could be considered medical supplies, cleaning supplies, disinfectant, anything that is necessary for the public to use in dealing with the pandemic, absolutely do not consider raising your prices excessively to make money off of other people’s suffering. Don’t be a jerk on purpose, and don’t be a jerk unintentionally by letting your Amazon repricer go wild right now. Price gouging is both unethical and illegal, and you could lose your Amazon account and be prosecuted for using such practices in times of emergency.
- Now is a great time to focus on learning and self-improvement. Maybe you’re stuck at home from your regular 9-to-5 job, or maybe you’ve got a lot of extra time on your hands because all of your social activities are canceled. Rather than binging Netflix for hours on end, take the time to work through any courses you have purchased for growing your Amazon business, or read any business books you’ve had on your to-read list for a while now. You can see some of our favorite business books that we featured in the Amazon Reseller Book Club, and you can download the Libby app to check out materials from your public library (Libby requires a library card to register and check out materials.). Watch a few episodes of your favorite shows, but make the most of this time and invest in yourself as a person and as a business owner.
- Most importantly, take care of yourself and take care of the people around you. Be sure you’re taking all the precautions recommended by the CDC and other experts to avoid contamination and spreading the disease. Be sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise on a daily basis. Since Stephen and I can’t go to the gym every day like we usually do, we are getting outside in the fresh air to walk or run on neighborhood paths. We all have to do what we can to protect our physical and emotional health right now.
We sincerely hope that all of our readers are doing well in this time of crisis and are able to take measures to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community. We are grateful for all of you and wish you health and success.