As I’ve stated before, the fourth quarter selling season on Amazon almost always brings your highest income possibilities of the year. Many Amazon sellers find that their sales sometimes multiply ten-fold from what they’re used to during the other three quarters. How you handle your increased profits can possibly help propel you into even more profits in the year to come.
In the rest of this blog post, I’m going to share some of my top ideas on how to wisely use your Q4 income. Please don’t assume I’m telling you to use your money on all of the following ideas; rather read them through and pick a few that most resonate with you and where your business is currently. Here are some ideas:
1. Invest in time-saving equipment
What are you doing now that can be done much faster with the help of some new equipment? Now is the time to research quality tools that can lessen your work load. In years past, I’ve purchased a 16 inch shrink-wrap machine and heat gun one year and purchased a box re-sizer (which was a life-changer) and a newer laptop another year. Think about what tools can help you speed up your current work process. Could you be in the market for a Bar Code Scanner or Opticon? Maybe you’d like to get a Dymo label printer… or maybe some Scotty Peelers to make price sticker removal easier. Click here and here for blog posts with even more equipment ideas. There are so many tools out there that help save time and money.
2. Invest in time-saving programs
Maybe you’ve been listing your items directly on Amazon and are ready to save some time by signing up for InventoryLab or other listing tools. Or maybe you want to cut your online arbitrage sourcing time dramatically with tools like OAXray or Tactical Arbitrage (use code FULLTIME10 to get an extended 10-day trial of TA for only $1). Perhaps your Amazon inventory is growing to the point that you want to outsource your Amazon backend activities with a service like Solutions4Ecommerce, or maybe you want to start using an automatic repricer, like BQool, or you want someone else to take care of protecting your feedback, like Feedback Genius. All of these programs can help save a lot of time and mental energy in so many areas of your business. Signing up for a year long subscription (which is usually less than paying monthly) might be a great way to use your Q4 profits.
3. Purchase more inventory
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, many stores start to put toys and other gift items on sale at really great prices. If you wait a little longer, right after Christmas, many stores start mega clearance sales. You’ll find sales in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online. If you don’t want to get out and source inventory in the cold weather, you can find many great sales at stores online. In store and online, there will probably be more items you can buy for resale than you have money for. Amazon sales in January are still really good as people have Amazon gift cards burning a hole in their pockets, so it’s wise to keep stocking up your inventory into the new year. Just be sure to look at the Keepa graphs to make the best sourcing decision possible.
4. Purchase supplies in bulk
What items do you buy for your business all year long? 3-inch Packing tape, shipping boxes, poly bags, Dymo labels, and printer ink are just a few of the items that I buy all year long. It would be wise to buy these items in bulk now (at much better prices per item) instead of spending more money to buy them later in smaller quantities. Click on the following links to see more about the supplies I use in my processing desk and shipping station.
5. Invest in Your Mind
Is there an Amazon FBA related book, course, or program that you have been interested in buying? This might be the best time to buy FBA training materials so that you can learn how to improve your current Amazon business. You are the number one asset to your business. Invest in yourself. The more you can learn, the more you can earn!
6. Treat yourself
Sometimes we can be so focused on work that we forget ourselves. Getting too wrapped up in work can lead to burnout. If you can, give yourself a Christmas bonus and treat yourself to something fun.
7. Pay off debt
As Jesse Mecham of YNAB says, “I have so much to say about debt, and yet, so very little. I can sum up everything you need to know about it in four words: Get rid of it.” If you have any debt, the wisest thing you can do is to pay it off as fast as you can. Imagine giving yourself a raise by doing the same amount of work you do now! When you are no longer paying debt interest fees, that’s money that you can use for your business. If you are in debt and looking for helpful information about getting rid of it, I highly recommend Jesse Mecham’s website You Need A Budget or his book by the same name.
8. Invest in your future
What if you could make 2023 your best year ever in FBA sales? You don’t have to spend another year frustrated that you haven’t achieved all you know you’re capable of. Instead, you can enter the new year with the clarity you need to reach your full potential and make this your best year ever in Amazon FBA. All you need is a plan. Find out how by checking out The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA: A Month by Month Guide to a Profitable Amazon FBA Business.
9. Give generously
If you have yet to discover the joy of giving, I challenge you to try it this holiday season. There are so many worthy causes and organizations that need your financial help. Remember to find out if the money you are giving is tax deductible or not. If it is, be sure to keep receipts for your tax records.
So what about you? How do you best use your Q4 income to help you and your business succeed? I’d love to hear your ideas, so leave a comment below.
* This post has been updated for 2022.
It’s not too early to start thinking about next year! In fact, if you wait until January to start planning for the new year then you’re setting yourself up to be left behind. I don’t want you to miss out on any opportunity for the new year, which is why I created The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA.
Right now is the best time to make next year your Best Amazon sales year ever!
Imagine knowing exactly what to expect in your Amazon FBA business every month of the year. Imagine what it would feel like knowing you were not missing out on any of the opportunities that will come your way in the new year. Imagine working on your Amazon business knowing exactly what your priorities are, what you need to avoid, and what you need to accomplish during each month to make progress toward making the new year your best sales year ever.
Find out more about The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA: A Month by Month Guide to a Profitable Amazon Business today. The package includes a 275+ page ebook, live webinar trainings throughout the year, and 4 special bonuses.
Daniel W says
What do you use your heat gun for?
I use the heat gun two ways. I use it on price stickers that don’t usually come off easily. The heat helps to make the price sticker come off much easier. I also use the heat gun for shrinking the plastic shrink wrap.
My next purchase is going to be a dymo printer and the shrink wrap. I want a thermal printer that can do the fba barcodes as well as the address labels for merchant fulfilling and ebay.
Those are awesome items to get! Glad you’ll be able to!
I am getting an LLC, business insurance and signing up for TaxJar. Not much fun but good for peace of mind!
Great plan, Jena… it might not be fun, but the peace of mind you’ll have will take a lot of stress away… and let you focus your energies on building your business.
Ree Klein says
Great post, Stephen. I had a really great November. My best month yet since I started selling only seven months ago. I hit $1,787.71, which is light years ahead of any previous month.
Amazon sales reports show that 79% of my November sales came from my own products. Building out my own product line is definitely the path I’m taking. It fits my personality and interests and seems to be where my profit is coming from.
Thanks for all the great info you provide ~
That’s awesome, Ree! I currently have only one product on Amazon that is solely mine, but may expand in 2015.
Andrew Cassinelli says
Stephen, what shrink wrap and heat gun do you recommend?
Andrew, if you scroll up and check out Tip #1, I include links to the impulse sealer and heat gun I use. As for Shrink Wrap, I usually buy from PaperMart here: http://www.papermart.com/pvc-centerfold-shrink-film-short-rolls/id=4926?SearchItemNumber=3635514 Hope this helps!
I struggle with investing in things that will make me more money vs save me time or make me more comfortable. For instance investing in a VA to help source is a direct way to make more money, but a zebra printer makes things more comfortable or reduces hassle, not sure that it makes money.
BVer, the fact that you are more comfortable and not dealing with hassle means that you will have more mental energy to work smarter. The smarter you work, the more you will make. There is no way to quantify this, but I know deep down in my bones that it’s true. At some point, we lose the desire to work at a high level of success because of all the little things that are eating away at our mental energy levels. I hope that makes sense. Both are great to invest your money in.
Great post as usual Stephen. Thank you! I especially appreciated the link to this page https://www.fulltimefba.com/an-insiders-look-at-the-full-time-fba-processing-desk/ where I found the “thank you” and “hologram” stickers to cover up small blemishes. The Magic Eraser tip was also one I had not considered. Those things are awesome! Again, I always enjoy reading your posts and thank you for all your advice.
Lastly, here is a reminder to remind us to be reading your material now on what to expect in January from your book. 🙂
Glad you found this post, and the post we linked to, helpful!
I have already bought most of the tools, courses, etc., that I think I’ll need for a while, so I’m going to invest in more inventory. I will also spend some money going to a trade show for wholesale sourcing. But I like your idea about treating yourself! And I whole-heartedly agree with paying down debt and following Dave Ramsey’s advice. I am thankful every day for what he has taught me.
Great tips, Stephen!
Thank you, Elizabeth! Good luck on the trade show wholesale sourcing! I’d love to heard how things went after you get back.
1. Don’t forget Scottypeelers. Either inspect and replace those chewed up or just put a piece of fine sandpaper on the table and lay the peeler flat on top and sand away the nicks. I start with the top of the peeler first and do the bottom last to make a nice flat, smooth surface to glide over the boxes. You DON’T want to mar a high-value item, do you? They don’t take long to get chewed up sometimes. I do this frequently to keep from scratching a box and making me very sad. 🙁
2. We invested in the 20″ impulse sealer and appreciate the extra 4″ of width to do those oversized boxes. Remember that you can actually seal items larger than your impulse sealer, it just takes care and patience. If you wish to get larger than this, it does get VERY expensive. Also, be sure to order extra elements and the teflon tape for them. They do seem to burn through the tape at times.
3. After having some issues with missing items on every other inbound, we did some research and discovered just how easy it is to pilfer from boxes that are sealed with packing tape. (search YouTube) We have always put a lot of tape on our boxes and filled with dunnage, but some resourceful scoundrel may be still accessing our inventory on the way to the warehouse. The videos reviewed show that the gummed paper tape actually bonds to the boxes and is very evident that someone would have gotten into them. It basically destroys the box. There is no sneaking into boxes sealed with this type of tape. This is the kind of tape that Amazon uses on the shipments that they send out to customers, fiber-reinforced gummed tape. The dispensers will wet and dispense the tape and you just apply it to your box. They are somewhat expensive, depending upon the type that you choose. There may be some used models come up on auctions, ebay or Craigslist, so look there. Some models are really nice, in that you push a button for the length required and it will dispense and cut that amount of pre-wetted tape for you to apply. Those are several hundred dollars. There are also cheaper, manual versions to get started. The post that I read indicated that after the author had employed this type of tape in his FBA business, he did not have any further loss of items in his inbound shipments. It is something to consider, as the reconciliation and refund process for items lost on inbound is a real labor cost to consider in your overhead. For us, we will be seriously considering a purchase of one of these items ASAP, YMMV.
We wish you all to have your best year in business possible. Reach for the stars and grow. You can never win, if you don’t try. Commit to try something new this year. You can succeed!
We are doing the Dave Ramsey program, and we are hoping to throw a big chunk of change at our debt snowball at the end of December!
Janice Kaye says
My suggestion is to pay into your pension plan – in my country we need to do this by 31 December of each year to get tax benefits from doing this