We’re starting to get into the thick of the busiest time of the year for an Amazon FBA seller – Q4, or the last quarter of the year. For the rest of the world, Q4 is typically October, November, and December, but for an Amazon FBA seller the busiest months are typically November, December, and January.
Q4 can be a magical time of faster sales and higher profits, but it can also be a time of great confusion and unmet expectations if you’re not careful. Many folks will try to tell you all the things you should be doing as an Amazon seller during Q4, but today I want to talk about the things you DON’T want to do during Q4.
If you do these things, you might end up hurting yourself and your business. If you avoid the things on this list, it should be easier for you to grow your sales, make more money, and be successful in your business and life.
Obsessively check your pending sales
Sure, it’s fun to check your sales during Q4 and see the pending sales adding up quicker than they do in other times of the year. Our brains are probably getting a dopamine hit of some sort every time we check sales and see new orders in our pending list – but is it the best use of our time? There are many more profitable ways to spend your time during Q4, so try to only check on your sales a reasonable number of times a day, not obsessively every five minutes. (This first item on the list is in honor of my wife, Rebecca. She is the first to admit this is her biggest downfall during Q4. Step away from the Amazon Seller app, Rebecca!)
Implement a brand new strategy
Learning how to implement a brand new strategy or sell in a new category is always a fun challenge for an Amazon FBA seller, but Q4 is not the time to start experimenting. You have nine months during the first three quarters of the year to play around with new concepts, tools, categories, or brands, but Q4 is when you need to double down on the things you already know well. You have so much more potential to make huge profits if you take what you know and just do more of it during Q4. You don’t want to get stuck trying to figure out something difficult about a new concept and waste time that you could be maximizing your profits by sourcing and sending in to FBA items that are low-hanging fruit for your business.
Stop sending inventory to the FBA warehouse
Some people get caught up in dates and deadlines too early in the season, and they stop sending inventory by late November or early December. Some sellers might stop sending anything at all to the warehouse, overlooking the fact that sales in January can continue to be fantastic – IF you have inventory in stock. Buyers might want to buy what they really wanted for Christmas (but didn’t receive as a gift), or they might want to use up all the Amazon gift cards they received. Keep sending in inventory, so you’ll have stuff to sell well into January.
Blindly lower your prices
There comes a point in the Q4 selling season where some sellers might start to panic and wonder if their prices are too high. Blindly lowering prices, however, isn’t the best way to handle that fear of missing out on sales. In many cases, supply will go down on the Amazon website, which means prices will go up – you don’t want to start lowering your prices just as other sellers are selling out and you can get a higher price for your inventory. Always check the stock levels of your competitors and check Keepa for sales rank and price history in previous Q4s, whenever possible. You can see our tutorials for checking stock levels at this link and for learning Keepa at this link.
If you’re wanting to update your prices by following a predetermined plan, then I highly recommend using the automatic repricer tool called BQool. With the right settings, BQool can save you tons of time, make you more profits, and even improve your IPI by getting faster sales. If you want to try BQool free for 14 days, then click here. And if you want my own personal repricing rules that literally doubled my sales during the first month of using it, then click here.
Spend time comparing yourself to others
If you’re in any Facebook groups for Amazon sellers, you’ll probably see other sellers posting photos of their latest retail arbitrage trips with several carts full of toys to sell, or you might see screen shots of crazy high numbers of daily sales on Amazon. It can be tempting to start comparing yourself to those sellers and wondering why you aren’t having as much success as they are. Don’t do that. Just don’t.
Comparing your business to someone else’s business isn’t a fair comparison, and it isn’t a good use of your time. You can’t compare your chapter 4 to someone else’s chapter 10. If you can’t help it, maybe consider stepping away from Facebook for a while. Keep pressing forward on your own goals, and don’t get bogged down in thinking how much greater someone else’s business might be. (On a related note, if you want to join our Full-Time FBA Facebook group, here’s the link.)
Chase all the hot toys
The catalogs and magazines tell you what’s hot, so all you have to do is go out there, chase it down, and resell it, right? But chasing hot toys can quickly become the fast track to frustration with large numbers of competitors and ever lowering prices. Very rarely does a hot toy lead to great profit margins. The stores and manufacturers typically do the research to know what’s going to be hot, and they’re usually well prepared and fully stocked.Instead of buying hot toys, you want to be looking for lesser known items that are selling really well with fewer competitors, or you want to look for accessories for the hot toys – those smaller items that buyers will need to add to their cart to go along with the hot toy, like refills or cases.
Neglect your family and friends
I would imagine none of us do this last one consciously, but it does end up happening at times if we’re not careful. The Q4 selling season is also the busiest time of the year for holidays involving spending time with family and friends. It could be so easy to get caught up in the idea of all the profits to be made on Amazon during November and December, and we can lose sight of the people in our lives who are the most important.
Please don’t let your Amazon FBA business take over every waking moment so that you miss out on making memories with your family and friends. You need to take the time to savor the holidays and focus on the most important relationships in your life. Businesses can be here today and gone tomorrow, but your family and friends are lasting – don’t let this holiday season go by without making sure they know how important they are to you.
I’ve found in my own life and business that when I stay away from these 7 things, I have a healthier work-life balance and more success in the long term at my Amazon FBA business. I hope this Q4 you find tremendous success and amazing profits!
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Now, I’d love to hear from you. Can you relate to any of these non-helpful actions that can take away from having a successful Q4? What other things do you try to avoid this time of year? Comment below with aspects of life and business that you try to stay away from in order to make the most of this amazing Q4 opportunity.
*Updated for 2020