Selling oversized items on Amazon is often overlooked, but in today’s episode we talk about the benefits, dispel some of the misconceptions, and provide some tips for selling oversized items for supersized profits. From saving on storage fees, knowing which oversized items are worth reselling, and finding the right packaging, to saving money on inbound shipping and branching out into a new category, this episode covers it all.
Spoiler alert from this episode: Don’t be afraid of sourcing and selling oversized items! Try it, test it out, and learn from the process, but you’ll never know how profitable it could be for you unless you try. Tune in today and we’ll share with you the right steps for making supersized profits with oversized items.
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Key points from Episode 51:
- Why most sellers ignore oversized items.
- Top misconceptions about buying and selling oversized items.
- Know which oversized items are worth reselling using the right tools.
- Some of Stephen and Rebecca’s favorite success stories for selling oversized items.
- Why oversized items have less competition.
- How to properly polybag oversized items.
- How to package oversized items when the boxes you have are too small.
- Franken-boxing. What it is and how it will help you save money.
- Tips on lowering the cost of inbound shipping for oversized items.
- Tips on overcoming your fears of branching out into oversized items.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Amazon Product Sizing
- Amazon FBA Fees
- Amazon Seller App
- Transparent Oversized Poly Bags
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Episode 51 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.
[0:00:21.3] REBECCA: Hello there and welcome to today’s episode of The Full-Time FBA Show, we’re glad you’re here with us, and we are going to be talking about selling oversized items on Amazon for supersized profits. With me today, as always is my wonderful cohost, Stephen Smotherman.
[0:00:40.3] STEPHEN: I think you deserve a raise.
[0:00:42.3] REBECCA: Well, I know I deserve a raise.
[0:00:43.4] STEPHEN: Yes, you do. I have a prediction about this episode.
[0:00:45.8] REBECCA: What is that.
[0:00:46.6] STEPHEN: It’s going to be big, it’s going to be monstrous, it’s going to be awesome, it’s going to be just huge episode, it’s going to be oversized.
[0:00:54.8] REBECCA: Is it going to be oversized?
[0:00:55.5] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:00:56.2] REBECCA: Okay. Enough dad jokes.
[0:01:00.9] STEPHEN: All right, let’s get to the conversation.
[0:01:06.3] REBECCA: All right, let’s get into it. We’re talking about selling oversized items for supersized profits on Amazon. Stephen, tell me, why do you think that some sellers ignore oversized items when they’re sourcing? Because not everybody gets excited. I mean, spoiler, we get excited about oversized items. But not everybody does. Some people are convinced they’re not worth it. Why do you think some sellers ignore them?
[0:01:27.9] STEPHEN: Well, there’s actually a lot of misconceptions about this and some of those misconceptions lead to people not liking to focus on selling oversized items. When it comes to the reasons why, there’s a lot of sellers who just think, okay, it’s going to be higher fees and it’s going to cost more, it’s going to cost more in shipping. They don’t like oversized items for that, but in reality, when you’re trying to sell oversized items on Amazon, some of the fees are actually smaller. From Q1 to Q3, a standard sized item for like the monthly storage fees, it’s 75 cents per cubic foot. But oversized items are only 48 cents for cubic foot.
You actually save on storage fees because you are paying less per cubic foot. The dollar amount might be higher because of the cubic footage but the overall percentage is actually lower, and the same thing with Q4 and Q4 is coming up soon. Monthly storage fees for a standard sized item during Q4 is $2.40 per cubic foot. But oversized is only $1.20 per cubic foot. Again, there’s opportunity for you with oversized items because those fees are actually a lot smaller percentage wise per cubic feet.
If you want to find out exactly what Amazon says is standard size versus oversize, you can go to , and Amazon will break it all down from low oversized, medium oversized, high oversized items and break all that down and if you’re curious about the actual fees, go to fulltimefba.com/fbafees to get a breakdown of the FBA fees in regards to sizing. Increased fees are not as scary. Yes, some of the fees are going to be more because it’s just a larger size and that’s the only reason, there’s not fees on top of that just because it’s an oversized item.
Increased shipping cost is also sometimes a worry but that’s because you are shipping an oversized items to a different fulfillment center. Standard size items will go to one fulfillment center, oversized items will go to a different fulfillment center. Also, oversized items are usually bigger and heavier, so of course those fees are going to add up, we’ll come back in a minute and talk about how you can lower those fees, but that’s why some sellers ignore oversized items and why they’re scared of selling them?
[0:03:53.7] REBECCA: All right, if that is the case, I mean, the whole reason why we’re doing this episode, obviously, is that we think that it is worth it to sell oversized items. How do you know then, which oversized items are worth reselling versus which ones are really not worth it?
[0:04:08.8] STEPHEN: Yeah, the cool thing about this question is that there is no special difference between sourcing an oversized items versus sourcing a standard sized item. You know, if you’re using the right tools, we use Scoutify to source our inventory to be able to sell on Amazon, and Scoutify will tell you if it’s a small oversized, medium oversized, or large oversized item right there. They’ll do all the calculations of the fees for you to tell you if your item sells, what your profits are going to be after all those fees. Scoutify takes of that for you. Now, if you’re using the Amazon Seller app, Amazon doesn’t warn you if an item is oversized.
They will still calculate the fees for this, but they’re not going to tell you that it’s oversized. We like to use Scoutify and just go through our regular sourcing parameters, making sure it has a good average sales rank over time, making sure that it’s priced at a place which will give us a nice profit, and give us some wiggle room in case we need to change the price, and that there aren’t too many competitors that are competitively priced to be our competition and make a decision like normal.
[0:05:09.0] REBECCA: Okay. We have sold oversized items in the past and we enjoy that. In fact, we continue to do that right now, it’s not like something we’ve done in the past and we don’t do anymore. We currently like to sell oversized items. What are some of our favorite success stories that come to mind? I have a couple, I want to see if that’s what you say first though.
[0:05:28.1] STEPHEN: Cool, I look forward to hearing yours.
[0:05:29.1] REBECCA: Well, it might be the same as what you thinking.
[0:05:32.8] STEPHEN: One of the item was just a little piece of plastic with a sticker on it and it was just a really big item. It was in the toys and games category, it was plastic and it was molded in such a way that you can play using other toys in that piece of plastic. I still look for this when I’m outsourcing so I’m not giving it away, I’m sorry, no spoilers.
But I was able to buy it anywhere between $2 and $4, and it was selling between $40 and $50. Yes, it was an oversized item and yes, it took big boxes to send it in to Amazon but I would buy that all day long to get that kind of profit, it has a really great sales rank ad I continue to look for those. That’s one of mine, another one that I have was a special children’s ride on toy.
[0:06:15.8] REBECCA: That was the one I was thinking of.
[0:06:17.1] STEPHEN: Okay, yes. I was able to buy it anywhere between $30, $40 or $50 and it was selling on Amazon for over $600 and after fees, we would net about $400.
[0:06:28.1] REBECCA: No joke. $400, it was incredible.
[0:06:31.4] STEPHEN: It was awesome and –
[0:06:33.0] REBECCA: RIP that sale because we haven’t sold that in a long time.
[0:06:36.4] STEPHEN: Yeah, it’s been a while since we found that, but it’s one of my favorites. You know, like ride on toys, don’t be – that’s a huge item, don’t be scared of that those type of stuff.
[0:06:44.8] REBECCA: Well, you say don’t be scared of it, when I would walk in to the garage and it would be staring at me and I forgot that it was in there, it was a little bit unnerving.
[0:06:53.0] STEPHEN: Yes, it was a ride on toy that was an animal. When she said it was staring at her that, that animal is staring right at her and yes.
[0:06:59.4] REBECCA: In the garage.
[0:07:00.2] STEPHEN: Yes. It made noises but, you know, not on its own, they had to push buttons for that. Anyway.
[0:07:07.2] REBECCA: Okay, that’s a tangent. But even today, I mean, now that we’re selling wholesale and, you know, we have repeat items that we are replenishing on a yearly basis, some of those even are oversized. I’m convinced that part of the reason why we do so well with them is that other people are intimidated by them.
[0:07:27.0] STEPHEN: Yeah, that’s a lot of where the opportunity of oversized comes is that a lot of Amazon sellers are just too scared to do it and that means less competition, so it’s a really great opportunity. Yeah, we sell oversized stuff all the time. I mean, you know, selling light sabers on Amazon, thanks to all the Star Wars movies and stuff, light sabers, if packaged a certain way, can be oversized, and so yeah, don’t be scared of oversized stuff.
[0:07:50.8] REBECCA: All right, another thing that I think kind of holds people back is the actual packaging and shipping, right? When you think about an oversized item, I know this is a question we see from time to time come up in our Facebook group, even like, “Okay, I’ve got this item, how am I supposed to prep it?” On some of these really large items, how do you go about finding shipping boxes big enough to ship them and also, what about polybags?
[0:08:14.5] STEPHEN: All right, first, let’s go in order, we’ll go with polybags first an then the boxes because a lot of times, you want to polybag something but then you want to put it in a box to ship it somewhere. Some items, they are not going to need a polybag but a lot of times, when I’m looking for a polybag to polybag a large item, I want to make sure that, you know, obviously, the bag is big enough. I’ve looked online and I’ve tried to find polybags that are clear, that are big enough, but I’ve never been able to find something when I’m looking for a polybag.
But, when I look specifically for an oversized clear, transparent, trash bag, like a garden trash bag, or something that’s, you know – you can find stuff like this at Home Depot or Lowe’s. A lot of times they’ll have the transparent bags that are huge for like garden trash or things like that. That is an opportunity. I’ve been able to polybag items in those bags before, sometimes I take two bags and I put them together. So I have half of the item in one big transparent trash bag and the other half in another transparent and that’s the thing, one of the things about polybags, Amazon wants to be able to see what’s inside that item. Unless its adult item, they want to make sure that they can see what’s inside. So that’s why I say transparent trash bags.
[0:09:29.1] REBECCA: So you can’t just get a white kitchen bag.
[0:09:32.0] STEPHEN: Right, that would not work but yeah I would put a big, huge bag on one side of the item, put the other half of that item in another bag, and then tape it all together in the middle. So, I am like, you know putting these bags together. That is one of the ways that you can polybag an oversized item and be able to have it compliant with Amazon.
[0:09:54.1] REBECCA: And while you are doing this too, you are making sure that you are doing it neatly and professionally, and also that it is going to stay. It is not going to be something that is going to come apart.
[0:10:02.5] STEPHEN: Right, absolutely. All right, so now it is time to box up the item. There are certain boxes that you can buy at websites like ULine and that is the uline.com. They have a really large-sized boxes, but sometimes you might not want to buy a minimum of 50 or a 100 of these really large boxes to box some things up in. That is when we get to – and this is kind of – we are close to October and Halloween, that is where we get into the idea of Franken-boxing. So Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein built this monster of all of these different pieces.
[0:10:38.9] REBECCA: That monster’s name is not Frankenstein. I just needed to get that out. I was an English lit major, okay carry on.
[0:10:45.1] STEPHEN: So yeah, so you can do the same thing with trying to box up an item. You can get different pieces from different boxes and kind of Franken-box it together. Obviously, use a lot of tape, and it takes a lot of time, but remember, some of these oversized items, especially with the ride on toy that we sold in the past, yeah, it took about an hour to work on a Franken-box. I had to get a lot of different boxes together to be able to have the actual item that I was selling to be protected and be in the box.
But I was buying it for $40 to $50 and selling it for over $600, netting $400 profit that is worth an hour of my time working on this box. So, it is possible for you to create your own box with a lot of tape and scissors, but be careful.
[0:11:28.7] REBECCA: Okay, so on the same note of shipping, how can FBA sellers save money on those inbound shipping cost for some of these oversized items?
[0:11:39.3] STEPHEN: Right, so like I said before, oversized items will go to their own fulfillment center. That particular fulfillment center is ready to receive large boxes, heavy boxes, boxes of really strange long sizes. That’s why it all goes to a specific warehouse just for oversized, but a lot of times when Amazon sellers sell an item, maybe if they are just starting off with adding oversized, they might maybe have one or two oversized items.
And if you are only sending one or two of any type of item to an Amazon warehouse, then that really does cause higher shipping costs because those items is going to cost more to send it. You are able to save on the inbound shipping if you are increasing the quantity of the number of items that you are sending in to Amazon and so –
[0:12:31.0] REBECCA: If you are increasing the quantity that’s going to one particular warehouse.
[0:12:34.6] STEPHEN: Yes, so that will help lower the cost. So instead of just sending one or two oversized items in with a large batch of mostly standard sized items, I would save up my oversized items, or make sure that I have enough oversized items to be able to ship to an Amazon warehouse. It could be multiple boxes that you are sending in, but if there is multiple items involved, the shipping cost will be lower. So that is a good way to save some money on sending oversized items into Amazon. Just make sure that you’ve got multiples.
[0:13:01.4] REBECCA: So, then as we are wrapping this up, how would you give advice to an FBA seller who’s wanting to branch out into this category, wanting to become more comfortable, and try to sell oversized items?
[0:13:14.6] STEPHEN: I mean, I would say the same type of advice that I would give to anybody trying something new in their Amazon business, I would say try it out. Test it out. Don’t go crazy with it but you want to make sure that you have enough oversized items to have a decent shipment, but just try it. Just do it. Test it out, see how it feels, even if you end up not making money or losing money on fees, it is all part of the education process that you’re learning.
The more you source oversized items, the more you will become more comfortable with it, the better you will get. In the end, the more profits that you will get. There is going to be some mistakes that you are going to make but again, like everything else that’s how we learn. We learn from our mistakes.
So, just give it a shot, give it a try, learn from your mistakes, and grow from that, and that is how you become more comfortable.
[0:14:00.7] REBECCA: Yeah and also just keep in mind too that even though we talked about a lot of unique examples of oddly-shaped oversized items, not every oversized item is going to be a weird shape that you are going to have to go out of your way to find a polybag. There are plenty of oversized items that are just in a box. You’re really just putting boxes in another box, and you are not having the polybag, and you are not having to find weird shaped ways to tetris these things into a shipping box.
Don’t be afraid to try – when something scans either on your OA app or on a RA sourcing app that scans as an oversized item, don’t be intimated by it, just try it out. Just like any other type of item that you might be sourcing that you are not used to, oversized might become your niche, you never know, or you might try it and decide, “You know what? That is not for me,” and you leave those profits for somebody else and you go on and you find something else really great. But you’ll never going to know until you try.
[0:14:59.3] STEPHEN: Yeah, one of my favorite oversized items to purchase for resell is board games. Not every board game is oversized but there are some that are, and those oversized board games can be really profitable, and so yeah, it is not some weird shaped item but –
[0:15:13.0] REBECCA: I was thinking of Lego sets.
[0:15:14.7] STEPHEN: Oh Lego sets too. Yeah there is some of the bigger Lego sets that are oversized as well.
[0:15:18.5] REBECCA: All right, so as always be sure to check out the show notes for this episode. You’ll find all of the links and resources that we have talked about and also the transcript for this episode. You can find that at fulltimefba.com/51. The number 51 because this is episode number 51.
[0:15:40.6] STEPHEN: All right, before we tell you it’s going to be up with next week’s episode of The Full-Time FBA Show, I am going to read a quick review that was posted around the Apple review for podcasts, and it’s from New FBA Seller, that is their username. They said this, “Five stars. This is an absolutely fantastic podcast for FBA sellers. I really appreciate the content and how helpful it is. The information they have given has literally been life changing for my business. Thank you guys for a fantastic podcast.”
[0:16:09.7] REBECCA: Well, thank you for that review. We always appreciate hearing that kind of feedback and if you would like to leave us a review, we would love it wherever you listen to your podcast. Be sure and give us a review, give us a rating that helps other people to be able to find our show, and to get help for their FBA business as well.
[0:16:26.4] STEPHEN: Next week on The Full-Time FBA Show it is going to be October and for the month of October, we’ve got a theme for the podcast. We are going to be talking about overcoming your Amazon FBA fears. So, there’s been a lot of talk in our Full-Time FBA Facebook group and have different types of fears that they have been experiencing. So we are going to be talking about some really great fears that we will help you overcome so you can grow your Amazon business.
Next week, we’re going to be focusing on how to overcome your fear of tanking prices. When prices tank, profits tank, and I know it could be scary, but there is a way that you can overcome this fear and be able to still come out ahead with a really good profits. We will break all of that down next week on The Full-time FBA Show.
[0:17:12.5] 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.