Most Amazon sellers know that when you run an FBA business there will always be periodic times when sales are slow. This is inevitable, no matter what your strategy is, but there are definitely a few practices and habits to employ that will help you keep sales more consistent, as well as be less emotionally affected by slower periods. We decided to dedicate today’s show to dealing with slow sales on Amazon.
In today’s episode, you will hear multiple success strategies of ways you can increase your sales. Some are easy fixes while a few other ideas might need a little more time and attention, but they are all totally worth the investment in comparison to the increased sales they will bring. Be sure to tune in for all this and listen all the way through because we have a special announcement in store for you at the end of the show!
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Key points from Episode 68:
- The impact of product categories on your sales totals.
- Assessing the sales velocity of a product before deciding to sell it and how to know if certain inventory items are slow-moving.
- The secret trick to making your products more visible in the Buy Box.
- How using the mindset of “set it and forget it” hurts your sales.
- How selling seasonal items can both speed up and slow down your sales, depending on how you’re doing it.
- A good reminder that no matter what you choose to sell, sometimes sales will just be slow.
- Zooming out and looking at the big picture of overall sales to deal with slow periods.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Full-Time FBA Facebook Group
- How to Better Understand the Buy Box
- How to Win the Buy Box
- How to Branch Out to New Categories
- Episode 9 – How to Avoid the Summer Sales Slow Down
- Next Level Amazon Course – This course is currently closed but you can click the link to sign up for the waitlist and be notified when the course opens back up to the public. You might even get a coupon code too
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If you’re looking for a step-by-step process on how to finally turn part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon, then check out our course, Next Level Amazon: Make a Full-Time Income With Only Part-Time Hours via Amazon FBA.
You see, successfully running an Amazon FBA business doesn’t just happen on accident. In fact, there are six proven steps to finally making a full-time income with only part-time hours via Amazon FBA. If you’re tired of not seeing the growth you expect in your Amazon business, then I highly recommend our book/video course, Next Level Amazon.
In Next Level Amazon, I outline everything you need to know in order to work less, but make more take-home pay. It’s a strategy that has helped so many people go from working 60-hour weeks just to make ends meet… to truly only working 20 or so hours each week, while still bringing home a full-time paycheck. Find out more here.
Episode 68 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.
[00:00:21] STEPHEN: Welcome to episode number 68 of The Full-Time FBA Show. Today, we’re going to be answering the question “why are my sales so slow?” No, I don’t mean my sales. I mean, your sales. Maybe you are –
[00:00:32] REBECCA: Me? My sales?
[00:00:33] STEPHEN: Oh, no, no, no. Not your sales. Your sales are great. If you’re listening to this, you might be asking yourself this question, why are my sales slow? With me to talk about that is Rebecca. How’s it going Rebecca?
[00:00:43] REBECCA: Good. My sales are not slow. Not that I’m aware of. I haven’t checked, so they might be.
[00:00:49] STEPHEN: No. We don’t check ourselves compulsively multiple times a day. Yeah, we do. But our sales are not slow, and we want to show you how you can make sure that your sales don’t end up slow. We’re going to talk about that on this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show.
Also, we have a big announcement at the end of the content, so stick around to the end of the show for a big announcement, as we get into in just a moment, why are sales so slow, on today’s episode of The Full-Time FBA Show.
[00:01:18] REBECCA: All right. This question that we’re discussing, why are my sales so slow, is one that comes up regularly that we hear from people, especially in our Facebook group. Every once in a while, somebody will chime in with the post of, “Is it just me, or our sales is slow right now?” Then inevitably, the comments start rolling in of other people, “Yeah, it’s not just you. It’s me. It’s me too. Me too.”
[00:01:43] STEPHEN: Then other people are like, “No, my sales are great today.”
[00:01:45] REBECCA: Right. I’m having my best day all year. Things like that. We wanted to discuss this, because it is something that comes up from time to time. We were joking at the beginning of the episode, it does happen to us too. We do have times where we’re looking at seller central thinking, what’s going on? Why are things this slow? Is there something that we need to do? Is there something going on that we’re not aware of?
[00:02:09] STEPHEN: Did we get suspended?
[00:02:10] REBECCA: Is the website down? All of those things. Let’s get into it. I think, one of the first things we should talk about is the impact of the categories that you sell in and how that will affect your sales, if you think that they’re slow at the time being. What do you have to say about that, Stephen?
[00:02:27] STEPHEN: Well, I know when most Amazon sellers start selling on Amazon, usually, they fixate and focus on one or two categories, which is a good strategy. It’s a good idea to focus on one or two categories when it comes to the products that you’re selling, because each different product category has their own personality and they also have their own different types of sales cycles. If you’re still in that spot where you’re just focusing on one or two product categories, that might be why your sales are slow.
If you’re still just focusing on books, or toys, or something like that. Maybe it’s time to branch out to other categories. The more product categories you can sell, the more opportunities you have to have consistent sales throughout the day. We even have a resource we’ll put in the show notes about how to branch out to new categories. I will put that in our show notes page, fulltimefba.com/68.
[00:03:15] REBECCA: Also, as we’re getting started with this, we’re releasing this podcast episode towards the beginning of the year. This really applies to any time of the year. Another time of the year that we get this question a lot is during the summer, that people will wonder, why have my sales slowed down?
This isn’t just necessarily a January problem, or a February problem, which it is typically something that we observe in January and February that your sales can slow way down, especially compared to what they were like in early December.
[00:03:46] STEPHEN: Yeah, because you experienced Q4 in December and awesome sales. Then, maybe even normal days sales might seem slow in January compared to December. We’ll get into that a little bit later in the show.
[00:03:59] REBECCA: Okay. What about the sales velocity of your inventory? How does that impact what you might be seeing on a slow sales day, or a slow sales week?
[00:04:09] STEPHEN: Yeah, one of the reasons why you might be experiencing slow sales is because your inventory is slow-moving. Maybe it’s got a higher sales rank. Maybe it had a good sales rank when you purchased it, but that sales rank is not as good anymore and that inventory is just slower-moving. A lot of times when people buy an inventory to resell, they just look at the ROI. Can I make money? And the sales rank. Is it a good enough sales rank to give me a fast sale?
As we all know, the prices that things sell for change all the time, the sales rank changes all the time. That’s why we recommend people use Keepa, Keepa the program that tracks every price change and sales rank change on almost every Amazon item, so that you can look into the past, see how things have been in the past to better predict the future. Slow-moving inventory, it impacts your IPI score. Learning how to buy faster-moving inventory is key to making sure that your sales don’t slow down.
[00:05:04] REBECCA: Right. Again, some of that goes back to categories as well that some categories are going to sell faster than others. Some categories just in general, have what we call long-tail items; what you think of books, or shoes. Those are categories where you might have inventory that you’re sending in on a regular basis, but it’s not necessarily going to sell just as soon as it hits the warehouse. That could lead to slower sales as well.
Okay, so speaking of sending in inventory, there’s a phrase that we hear a lot of time in the FBA world called ‘feeding the beast’. What does that mean and how does feeding the beast relate to whether or not your sales might be slow?
[00:05:43] STEPHEN: Yeah. People use that phrase, feed the beast, referring to feeding Amazon with more inventory. Continually sending in inventory to Amazon, feeding the beast makes the beast happy and the beast rewards you. The more you send inventory to Amazon, obviously, the more opportunities you have to sell items, because you have more inventory going in. Even as part of Amazon’s buy box algorithm, the buy box is that little box in the corner of a product page that most people, over 80% of customers buy from that little box. Well, Amazon, the more inventory you send in on a consistent basis, it helps you get more time in the buy box. It’s part of their algorithm.
Their algorithm is huge. It’s crazy. There’s a lot of different factors. One of those factors is continuing to send inventory to Amazon. If you want to improve your sales, get faster sales, continue to feed the beast.
[00:06:33] REBECCA: Yeah, that’s good advice. It’s hard to understand how that works with the algorithm, but it really does work somehow.
[00:06:40] STEPHEN: Yeah, and we’ll put in the show notes a little thing about how you can better understand how the buy box works as well.
[00:06:45] REBECCA: Yep. Okay, this next one that I’m thinking of, it’s contradictory, because one of the benefits of doing FBA is that it’s almost in some ways, a set it and forget it type model, where you’re sending in your inventory and then it’s there. It’s at the Amazon warehouse and basically, you’re just waiting for it to sell and you don’t have to deal with it anymore. Then how it works, set it, forget it.
[00:07:08] STEPHEN: Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. There’s opportunities where you send it to Amazon and it sells. If it seems like it’s taking forever to sell, maybe it’s time to update that listing. A lot of times, ignoring that inventory and forgetting about it might cause you to have some slow sales. Maybe the price needs to be adjusted. Maybe the item went to stranded and you need to rescue it from stranded inventory. Maybe you got some old inventory that’s never going to sell that you just need to remove. Maybe the listings need to be updated with better pictures, better keywords, things like that. There’s a lot of ways that you can help boost some sales by spending a little bit more time, showing a little bit more love to the inventory that you have in stock at the time, that’s not selling as fast as you first thought it would.
[00:07:54] REBECCA: Yeah. That’s something that I like to try to pay attention to. If I haven’t had an opportunity to do some sourcing during the week, or for whatever reason, I’m not finding as many things to buy, then one good way to generate some sales if you’re not able to send inventory in is to go and take care of that inventory that’s already listed, that’s already in your inventory view in seller central.
[00:08:19] STEPHEN: Yeah. Something, even as repricing your item by one penny. There’s no proof of this, but there’s been so many people reporting back that just changing the price of their item by a penny seems to have signified some type of thing within Amazon that causes them to get a little bit more buy box action and helps them to get more sales. Now, if you’re priced far above the current low prices, that’s not going to do anything. Something just as simple as that might help you get some sales.
[00:08:48] REBECCA: I would go even further than that. This may be superstitious. I don’t know. This may not actually be a thing. I swear, there have been times, I don’t even change the price. I’m just I’m going through my inventory and I click through from my inventory listing in seller central, my list of current inventory. I’ll click through on an item to see the Amazon product page and that will make it sell. I have no idea how that works. I don’t know why that happens. I don’t change anything on it. I’m looking to see, should I change the price? Should I update the listing somehow? I look at it and I see, no. I think it looks good. Sure enough, later that day, the item sells.
[00:09:24] STEPHEN: It’s crazy.
[00:09:24] REBECCA: I have no idea that this is not a one-time thing. This has happened multiple times. It may just be a total coincidence. Anyway, I’m not saying you should just go through and click on every item in your listing, but it might not hurt. Oh, please. Don’t take that advice too seriously, but I swear it happens.
[00:09:41] STEPHEN: Right. Definitely, don’t search for your item, click on it and then close the search box, because that’s actually going to tell Amazon that that item wasn’t worth the search. Do all those clicks straight from your seller central page.
[00:09:52] REBECCA: Right. All right. Okay, that might not have been our best advice ever, but that’s just observations that I’ve made over time. Okay, so something that we alluded to at the beginning is when you have seasonal inventory, when you’re heavy on certain seasons, that might impact your sales at different times.
[00:10:10] STEPHEN: Yeah. I mean, if you think about it, when it’s cold weather outside, you’re not going to sell very many sandals. Sandals are not going to be flying off the shelves when it’s cold weather outside.
[00:10:20] REBECCA: They might sell a little bit, but not like they would in summer.
[00:10:23] STEPHEN: Right. The flip side is the same thing with boots. You still might be selling boots a little bit during the summer time, but the main sales are going to come during the winter. If you are stocked up on a lot of boots, then it might not be a good time for summer sales. We mentioned earlier about that a lot of times, during the summer, people experience a summer sales slowdown. That’s hard to say. It’s possible because of the seasonal items that you have in your inventory.
You might be focusing too much on seasonal inventory. On the flip side, you also might not be focusing enough. I mean, sometimes things sell the best when they are in season and we want to try to be stocked up for those items when they are in season too. We actually did a whole podcast episode about this. Fulltimefba.com/9, our ninth episode was all about avoiding the summer sales slowdown. Since summer is going to come eventually, this might be a good time to listen to it, so you can be prepared to avoid that.
[00:11:15] REBECCA: Yeah. I think, now is a good time to be listening to that, so that you’re prepared, because sometimes right in the middle of summer is not the time to be thinking about how to prevent that sale slowdown.
[00:11:25] STEPHEN: Exactly. I don’t know how many times I have stumbled on sales slowdown.
[00:11:29] STEPHEN: It’s a tongue twister.
[00:11:30] REBECCA: This is a difficult episode.
[00:11:32] STEPHEN: Some of our sales, slow [inaudible 00:11:33]. I don’t know.
[00:11:36] REBECCA: Okay. Where we wanted to wrap things up and land on for the end of this episode is that there’s just going to be times that sales are slow. That just happens.
[00:11:46] STEPHEN: Yeah. It happens to everybody. It’s normal. Everything in life, there is an ebb and a flow. The main point though is to just look at the big picture. When we’re just focused in on a single day of sales, yeah, it can be disappointing or frustrating. When we zoom out and look at the big picture, it gives you a better idea of how healthy your inventory is, how healthy your sales are. Don’t get discouraged. Zoom out, take a big picture look and you will get a better idea of what’s going on with your business and your inventory.
[00:12:16] REBECCA: Yeah. That’s why in general for most of the year, with the exception of those really peak Q4 days, it’s probably not a good idea to get on multiple times a day checking your sales. I mean, we can’t stop you and you can’t stop me either, but it’s probably not the best use of your time.
[00:12:34] STEPHEN: I’ve tried. I’ve tried to stop her.
[00:12:36] REBECCA: He has. He’s tried. You can’t stop me. It’s probably not the best use of your time, or mental effort to be on constantly checking to see what has sold and worrying over, “Oh, how is today compared to yesterday?” Unless, there’s some good reason why. If you’ve just had something checked in that you’re wanting to sell quickly, or something like that. Otherwise, yeah, looking at on a week-by-week basis is probably – or even a day-by-day, checking in once in the evening or something like that to see how things have gone throughout the day. I know when I check our sales at night, I feel a lot better than when I check in the morning. I see the lower numbers in the morning. It’s like, just why do I do that to myself?
[00:13:16] STEPHEN: Yep. It happens with everybody.
[00:13:17] REBECCA: Yes. Okay, so I think that’s a good place to wrap it up, that sales can be slow and that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong. It just may be the wrong time of day, wrong time of week. Make it a priority to fix what you can and then just accept that sometimes, it’s just not going to be as great of a day as other days.
[00:13:34] STEPHEN: Yep. Definitely. Hopefully, that’s answered the question for you, why are your sales so slow? Giving you some hope for tomorrow.
[00:13:46] REBECCA: All right. As always, we just wanted to remind you that if you heard about any links in this episode, or you want to see the transcript for this episode, you can find all of that information at the show notes at fulltimefba.com/68, the number 68. This is episode 68.
[00:14:03] STEPHEN: Yes. That’s right. We got a big announcement for you. Want to make sure that you know about this. Our course, Next Level Amazon is about to close down for 2021. We are closing the doors. This will be the last time that you can enroll in Next Level Amazon. It is our next level course. I mean, we have our course, JumpStart Amazon about how to get started. If you want more advanced techniques and strategies on how you can finally turn part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon, then we suggest enrolling in Next Level Amazon.
We’ve got a coupon code. We’ll be sure to put that on the show notes page for you. It’s a pretty big coupon code. I think, one of the biggest ones that we’ve had for this course, dollar-wise. Be sure to look into that. The reason why we’re closing it down for 2021 is because we are going to totally revamp the course and open it up again in 2022. It’s going to be wildly updated and well, the price will be, I don’t know, wildly. Is that the right way to say it?
[00:15:00] REBECCA: I mean, it’s going to be pretty calm, but it’ll be a big update.
[00:15:03] STEPHEN: Yeah, it’s going to be a big update. The price is going to be going up when that – but the cool thing about it, if you get Next Level Amazon now, you are locked into the lifetime ownership program. You get the updated 2021 edition and you will get lifetime updates, so you’ll get the 2022 editions and so on, every time we update it.
Find out more about that, fulltimefba.com/nextlevel. If you do want the coupon code, fulltimefba.com/68 for our show notes page to get that coupon. We want to make sure you are aware of this opportunity before it closes down for the year.
[00:15:35] REBECCA: All right. Well, this has been a great episode for us. We hope you have enjoyed it and gotten a lot out of it. We are looking forward to being back with you next week. We’re going to be talking about how to turn your returned items into profits. You don’t have to just get those returns back and eat the cost of the item. We’ll talk about that more next week on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[00:15:57] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. 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.