Fear. It’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it’s a vital, God-given response to both physical or emotional danger. If we didn’t feel fear, we wouldn’t be able properly protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But sometimes we can get to a point in our lives where we fear situations that are far from life or death. These kinds of fears have the potential of lowering our profit potential, limiting growth, and holding us back – many times for no good reason.
Most online resellers, including Rebecca and I, face fears, almost daily, about selling on Amazon. Overall, my wife and I have been able to conquer our fears and move forward in our online business, but it’s something that we have to be intentional about. Overcoming fears doesn’t “just happen.” It requires a plan… and that’s what we hope to provide for you.
Today, Rebecca and I are starting a brand new blog series called, “Overcoming Your Amazon FBA Fears.” It’s our goal to address the main fears that face online resellers on a daily basis. Since the root of fear is the unknown, we’ll do our best to replace these fears with truth and action. We’ll challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and face your fears head on, but with the tools and confidence you need to wisely overcome them.
Right now, there are many different fears facing online resellers. From small fears like selling used or oversized items on Amazon, to big fears like getting your Amazon sales account suspended, these fears can stop you from reaching your fullest potential. In fact, I’m a little bit hesitant to label some fears as small or large because I understand that everyone is different, and what might be a small fear to me might be a big fear to you. But, no matter what the fear is, there are ways to overcome them and set yourself up for success.
During this series, we’ll cover as many fears as we can using the following outline on how to overcome those specific fears:
1. Replace Fear With Truth – Most of our fears come from our perception, and many times our perception is not grounded in truth. People can confuse feelings with facts and end up making poor decisions based on their fears that are rooted in things that are simply not true. Having the right knowledge helps erase our fears. But I also understand that sometimes fears are signals of things we need to be careful with. Just because you want to overcome your fear of selling used items on Amazon doesn’t mean that you need to blindly send in all your used items without making sure you’re doing it the right way. But once you replace your fears with truth, then you can start to send in used items to Amazon the right way, and make more profits than if you only sold new items.
2. Take Action – Knowing the truth of a situation is not enough to overcome your fears. You need to take action. You need to set some goals and devise a plan. When you arm yourself with truth, your next step is to put your knowledge into action. If your fear is going too deep on a product and you’ve armed yourself with as much knowledge as you can to make a good decision, then it’s time to choose how many of an item you want to buy… and follow through and buy it! Most people let fear stop them because the desired outcome is not guaranteed. In all honesty, none of us can predict the future with 100% certainty. But what we can do is learn as much as we can, take action, and see what happens.
3. Assess the Outcome – Ask as many questions as you can to dissect the situation and see where things went right or wrong. If your experiment was a failure, it’s ok. There are lessons to be learned and ways to make better decisions next time. In fact, failure is one of the absolute best teachers! I remember when I first started sourcing grocery items. It was a new category for me and everyone online had different opinions on what the best sales rank parameters were for sourcing. I could have let fear stop me, but I didn’t. I learned all I could and then went shopping. I made some mistakes, but I learned a lot. Now, I’m much more confident in what I source for in grocery. Remember, there is almost always room for improvement, so find the things that need to be improved upon and make better decisions next time.
4. Grow – Again, just assessing the outcomes of your actions are meaningless if you don’t grow as a business-person (and as a human). Take what you have learned, tweak things as needed, and do even better next time. If your fear is asking a store manager for a big discount on a lot of toys you want to buy from his store, then after your first time, assess how things went, talk with someone you respect and get their opinions, and try again next time to see how things go the second time around. Even if you got a store manager to give you an additional 25% off items already clearance-priced, how could you grow and improve on even that? Keep at it and continue to improve.
Fear can be tricky. It can disguise itself as being rational, but many times it’s not. Fear is like a con-artist. It makes you feel like it’s real, but it’s only real when you give in to it. In this blog series, I’ll help you replace your fears with truth, equip you to take action, suggest questions to assess the outcome, and help you find growth in both yourself and your online business. Remember, as on online seller, you are the boss, so don’t let fear become the boss of you. You can take the steps above so as not to waste any of your precious time being fearful. You are capable of doing amazing things.
In this series, we’ll tackle some of the biggest fears facing online resellers today. Here are just a few of the fears we’ll be talking about in this new blog series:
Fear of having your Amazon seller account suspended
Fear of negotiating with a store manager
Fear of selling used items
Fear of selling groceries (and dealing with expiration dates)
Fear of other sellers tanking the price of an item you’re selling
Fear of going too deep on a product
and many more.
The above list is just the beginning. In fact, if you don’t see the fear you want addressed in this series, be sure to comment below about a fear you are struggling most with right now. If you don’t feel comfortable commenting, you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what your fears are in a more private setting. But I want to hear from you. I don’t want this series to be a list of fears that I think you have… but what I know you are experiencing and need help with. Together, we can overcome our fears and find success.
Stephan, knowing approximately how many items I need to buy. In other words, I am afraid that I will purchase too many of a certain product and have to “eat” the ones that I don’t sell. This may be what you mean by “going too deep on a product”. Tom Rogers
Tom, check out the blog post I just posted on Overcoming your Fears of Tanking Prices. It might help you with what you fear.
I LOVE this series idea! It is very timely for me. I am a new seller (about 2 months). I think this will be very helpful for me. 🙂
One thing I fear is TAXES. What’s the right way? Where do you actually have nexus? What’s the best company to use to assist? This one might be too intricate for you to tackle (I know that are a lot of differing opinions on this topic), but thought I would throw it out, as it weighs heavy on my mind. Fear of Uncle Sam is real!
Oh, yes! Taxes are a mess for many people. I highly suggest checking out taxjar.com to get some help with understanding what you need to do when it comes to taxes. It’s the place I get all my info!
Good article thanks Stephen. I think the main reason FBA sellers are afraid and confused is because Amazon seems completely incapable of providing clear cut rules and standards. Even when they do, they seem to change their mind every few weeks. A good example is the recent title length regulation. Amazon actually contradict themselves in their documentation and style guides.
Accessing help through Seller Support used to be simple 12 months ago, now they take several days to respond. If you ask the same question 5 times, you will get 5 different answers.
So fear of FBA for me is fear of the unknown, lack of clear directions and support that leaves people guessing.
So true, Wendy. It can be really frustrating when Amazon has vague guidelines, or changes their guidelines… and the people who work with seller support don’t seem to know the guidelines. The issue is real. Amazon is working on it, but it’s a long road ahead. All we can focus on is doing our best to stay in the guidelines and make good choices.
One more tip: If you get an answer from Amazon on a question you ask them, be sure to save that email in case the seller rep is wrong. Then you can have proof that you were given inaccurate info and the broken guideline is not your fault.
Good advice! Thanks Stephen.
You’re welcome, Wendy. 🙂
Viet Bui says
Hello One of my biggest fear is selecting a product to start selling on amazon. I have product selection paralysis I’m terrified of making a decision. Is there anyway someone can overcome that ?
Are you talking about picking a product to sell as a private label, or just picking any product from a retail store to resell on Amazon?
My fear is selling used and it not sell, what then?
The same thing you would do if a new item didn’t sell. After trying to lower your price to get the sale, decide if you want to remove it or destroy it.
Hi. My question is regarding product quality. If I find a product at a thrift store like a board game or toy that is still in its original packaging and looks brand new, can I sell it as “new”?
That’s what I do. 🙂