Welcome to our first episode of the year! Listen today and you’ll hear us discuss how to start this year with a BANG! Q4 was a crazy awesome time for sellers with sourcing tons of inventory to cater to a time of gift-giving and holiday getaways, while also dealing with the holiday expectations for your family and friends.
One of the biggest challenges in starting a new year is the mindset shift, from a frenzied holiday period to a much quieter time in Q1. In our conversation today, we discuss our top tips for how to prepare for Q1, like why you need to keep up with returns and how to adjust your sourcing to more obscure suppliers. To learn how you can best prepare for the year and stay on Amazon’s good side, listen today!
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Key points from Episode 117:
- Our best tips for how to start the new year with a bang!
- Remember that Amazon rewards sellers that consistently send them new inventory.
- Make sure you keep up with your returns, especially after the extended holiday return window.
- Prepare yourself for the shift in sales that will happen after the holiday period in December.
- How to adjust your expectations for sourcing after the holiday period to keep your business sustainable.
- Why you need to keep looking ahead to maximize your profits in 2022.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- How to Handle Returns & Minimize Loss
- Steps to Take When an Item is Returned to Amazon
- Join our newsletter and never miss out on what’s going on in the Full-Time FBA world!
- The Full-Time FBA Facebook Group
- Full-Time FBA on Instagram
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Episode 117 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.
[0:00:21.2] REBECCA: Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first episode of 2022 of The Full-Time FBA Show. Today, we’re going to be talking about how to maximize your profits in the New Year with these five tips that we have for you and here today to talk with me about this, as always, my cohost. Stephen Smotherman. Welcome Stephen Smotherman, how is your 2022 so far?
[0:00:42.8] STEPHEN: It has started off with a bang, it’s awesome, well, we recorded this in late 2021.
[0:00:48.5] REBECCA: I hope it really is. I hope at the time, we can still say the same thing.
[0:00:51.2] STEPHEN: Right but you know what? I love the New Year, I love new beginnings, I love starting, I love creating goals, I love the optimism, I’m a very optimistic kind of person. I’m just really excited about sharing some of these ideas with you to help your 2022 be your best year ever. We’re going to talk about that on the episode today of The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:01:15.2] REBECCA: I think it’s funny that we’re going to start the New Year off with a bang and at the time that we’re recording this, we have some workers in our house helping us install some of the new flooring and they started pounding in the other room as soon as you said that so there was a banging noise, I don’t know that it came through at all on the microphones but it’s just funny for us on this end that the new year really is getting started with banging of a hammer.
[0:01:38.2] STEPHEN: Yes, you might hear that every now and then on the show but that’s okay, it’s on purpose.
[0:01:43.8] REBECCA: Okay, having gotten that out there, we’re going to be talking about tips for maximum profits in the New Year. Honestly, some of these tips are just general tips for maximum profits whenever but this is a great time of year to think through these specific tips. What’s the first one that you have for us, Stephen?
[0:01:59.9] STEPHEN: The first one is to continue feeding the beast. The beast is Amazon and the phrase “feed the beast” means to continue to send inventory to Amazon, keeping the beast happy, keep feeding the beast with more inventory that’s sellable, that’s going to sell quickly. Amazon loves that and rewards you. In fact, the faster you send inventory to Amazon that sells quickly, the more you get into the buy box, the more profits you get.
Just don’t let off the gas like we talked about a few weeks ago on the show, a lot of people try to cost from Q4 into the New Year and that’s really not a successful strategy to try. People have Amazon gift cards that they got for Christmas that they’re wanting to buy stuff and there’s lots of other opportunities to make some good money in January. Be sure you’re continuing to press on, keep feeding the beast to make that beast happy and your disbursements will be happy as well.
[0:02:54.2] REBECCA: All right, our next tip is that you need to make sure, during January, that you are keeping up with your returns. Sometimes Amazon sellers like to refer to January as “Returnuary” and this can be kind of a depressing topic to talk about. I know a lot of people returns personally and honestly, it’s really kind of stinky that this time of year, you’re going to get a lot more returns.
Percentage wise, you’re not going to getting more returns. You’re going to be getting more returns number wise because you had higher sales in Q4 and the extended holiday return period is going to end January 31st. You’re going to be needing to keep track of all of those returns that might be coming in at this time and what we mean by keeping track of it is that make sure you are getting actual items returned to your inventory for returns that customers have initiated.
They’ve got up until January 31st to – for that extended holiday return period that they need to send the item actually back to Amazon if that’s what Amazon has told them to do. You want to keep track of that so that you’re getting reimbursed for any items that are not actually returned. We’re going to post a few links, I think three different blog post that we have, we’re going to put those links to those blog post in the shownotes for these episodes so that you can find out more information about how to understand your returns.
Steps that you should be taking when you get a return initiated on an order and then also, how to get reimbursed for those nonreturned items that Amazon actually issued a return for so that you are not out that money. Be sure and check out the shownotes for these episodes at fulltimefba.com/117 in order to get all of that information about how to handle your returns.
[0:04:43.6] STEPHEN: Another thing that you need to be ready for when it comes to January is adjusting your sales expectations. Now again, this is another kind of a bummer of a thought but those who have the right mindset about this can really come out on top.
Yes, sales are going to be slower than December. It’s normal and it’s not the Christmas holiday selling season anymore so sales are going to be slower. Amazon sellers even say it’s like a Q4 detox. We need to get the Q4 out of our brain, out of our system and detox ourselves to kind of get back to normal Q1, Q2, Q3 type mindset where we are making the most of every opportunity and the numbers aren’t as big but they’re still big because we’re still able to find some opportunities and get you to focus on that.
When it comes to your sales, yeah, you’re not going to have the big numbers, you’re not going to have the multiple sales throughout the day as often as it was a month ago but you are going to continue to have sales as long as you continue to feed the beast. You’ll have inventory, still have inventory price competitively and it will help you not feel dejected or defeated but understand that you just need to look at it through a different lens, that the Q4 lens is totally different than the Q1 lens.
Looking at things the right way, right now, is going to help you succeed because it will keep you motivated and keep you working towards growing your Amazon business, finding more inventory so you can sell more inventory and make more money.
[0:06:11.5] REBECCA: Along those same lines, you’re going to want to also have a bit of a Q4 detox when it comes to sourcing. You’re going to need to adjust your sourcing expectations back to the rest of the year mode, not the Q4 mode that you were in for the last few months. A lot of times, it’s hard when we get into Q1 and we’re sourcing and we’ve adjusted our sales rank or ROI parameters or expectations for what we’re looking for when we’re sourcing inventory and it’s kind of hard to go back to that.
We have to adjust back to that and it might seem like there’s just not inventory to be found but that’s not true, there is inventory to be found, it’s just going to take the regular amount of time that it takes to find it as supposed to the super-fast way that you can find tons of really great buys during Q4.
Make sure that if you adjusted your sales rank parameters higher than normal because of the increased in sales velocity during Q4, that you adjusted back down for Q1. Also, if you adjusted your ROI expectations, take a look at that and see what does my business need to be sustainable going forward through the first three quarters of the year, make sure that you’re looking at those things and just keep at it.
You know, go back to looking for obscure places to source from if that’s what you’ve been doing because I know for us, we switch a lot of times to sourcing from more main stream popular sourcing locations during Q4 because there’s just so much low hanging fruit and so then we’ll go back in Q1 to looking at different places that are a little bit more obscure and harder to find inventory but super profitable.
Look into those kind of things if you’re feeling like, “Oh, there’s just not as much inventory to find, there aren’t as many great deals.” It’s not true, you’re just needing to adjust your expectations from the craziness that was going on in Q4.
[0:08:09.0] STEPHEN: Yeah, if you feel that frustration and you decide, “I’m just not going to go source” well, you’re just going to shoot yourself in the foot. Continue to source, continue to find profitable inventory and you will be rewarded. If you need ideas, we have a deal list page on our blog, fulltimefba.com/deallist to kind of maybe get you a jump start in for Q1, check that out, we’ll have that link in the show notes.
The final tip for maximum profits in the New Year is to always be looking ahead. A lot of times, in our Amazon business, we are reactionary. We see, “Oh my gosh, the storage had been on clearance sale, I’m dropping everything, I’m going to go source this clearance sale” and you’re not planning ahead. You’re missing out on opportunities to make some good money off of future holidays that are coming up that you can take the steps to prepare now to make the good sales when the time comes for that holiday to become profitable online and for the buyers to show up on Amazon.
Stop being reactionary, start planning ahead and one and one of the ways to plan ahead and really find success is with the help of our course, The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA. It’s a month-by-month guide to a profitable Amazon business that includes chapters for everyone for the year so you can read ahead, know exactly what to expect, what sells best in what months and it also comes with monthly limiters. It’s awesome, check it out, fulltimefba.com/yearinfba for the course to help you always be ready for every opportunity that comes your way.
Those are the five tips to help you with profits in the New Year to help you maximize your time, maximize your sourcing and help you start the year off with a bang. I kept hearing more banging while we’re recording this episode.
[0:09:43.2] REBECCA: Yeah, I don’t know if that came through or not but there’s been plenty of hammering going on in the background.
[0:09:47.6] STEPHEN: Yes, we just want to make sure that you have a really great sales as well, so follow these tips and more that you find on The Full-Time FBA Show and with our blog, fulltimefba.com be sure to sign up for the newsletter and all the good stuff that we send out every week on The Full-Time FBA blog.
[0:10:06.2] REBECCA: Thank you once again for joining us for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. As a reminder, we always have the transcript for you for these episodes, along with links from any of the resources that we are mentioned in any of the blog post that we were mentioning in this episode. You can find that fulltimefba.com/117 because this is episode 117 of The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:10:30.7] STEPHEN: Next week on The Full-Time FBA Show, Rebecca and I are going to put on our prognosticating hats, is that right?
[0:10:38.1] REBECCA: Sure.
[0:10:39.6] STEPHEN: We’re going to be looking into the future with some predictions to what to expect for 2022 so come back next week, we’re going to look into the future and see what we can best predict for opportunities when it comes to Amazon FBA, so we look forward to talking about that and how it impacts your Amazon business, next week on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:10:59.9] 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.