Guest post by FBA Seller Jeff Roth

It’s that time of year we all get a little crazy!

No, not a full moon. Yes, it’s Q4 2018 and that means big things for us FBA sellers.

If it’s your first Q4 you will soon see what all of the fuss is about. Nervous about what you should be doing or what to expect?

My best advice is to go back through our previous blog posts (links at the end) and take down notes. But for those looking for a few tips and hacks to get through this period, hopefully, you can benefit from the rest of the post.

Not getting the sales you’ve heard everyone rave about just yet? Don’t worry, the REAL Q4 starts around Black Friday and extends beyond Christmas for another two or three weeks so it’s not panic time just yet.

However, it’s time to get in gear and start buying things to sell. Remember, you’ve got to spend (lots of) money to make money in FBA. You’re not going to get 10 x returns on every item doing FBA so get ready to spend, spend, spend from now until 2019.

Hack 1 – Reprice some things and not others

It’s a common theme but I’ll keep beating the repricing drum until everyone gets on board. There are so many new sellers in Q4 that pricing sometimes goes out of whack and you simply can’t keep up to date on your entire inventory.

If you’re onto an extremely well-ranked toy that you found at a good margin, do not reprice it. Simply set it at a price where you are happy with your margin and sit on it. You can bet it will sell so crack open a cold one and smile.

On the other hand, if you’re selling some clothing or items that have a bunch of sellers and the ranking is so-so, I would suggest repricing to be the lowest seller while making sure your floor price (min) setting keeps you in the black as far as net profit is concerned.

Bottom line: Don’t miss out on sales simply because you forgot to reprice and compete!

Hack 2 – Use Keepa to check for last year’s winners

Toys sell like CRAZY during Q4. No kidding.

Problem is, where do you find toys at low enough prices to sell and make margins? We’ll get to that in Hack #3 but make sure you become familiar with using the Keepa extension to look at Amazon prices.

Why? Because Keepa shows you historical prices back to last Q4. This is SO IMPORTANT I can’t emphasise that enough. Please don’t ignore this step.

A toy that normally sells for $20 in August might sell for $50+ on December 10.

Does that make you smile? It should.

Remember, Amazon doesn’t sell every toy themselves and even if they do, they run out of stock often during Q4. Desperate buyers with Prime are willing to pay two-three times more for an item because they simply don’t know Amazon sells it at a lower price, when in stock.

See a popular toy at Target? Scan it with Profit Bandit (or your favourite scanning app), scroll to Keepa and see what that toy sold for last year during Q4. Chances are it will be better than that this coming year.

If you can buy a toy ranked 10,000 for $20 and last year it sold for $55 in December, you should be buying every one you can possibly get your hands on.

Related: How to Use Keepa and CamelCamelCamel for FBA

Hack 3 – Finding those high-ranked toys

Ah, the Holy Grail of Q4 FBA: Those tough to find toys. So, where does one go (either online or in-store) to find such toys?

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Big Box Retailers – Target, Toys R Us, Walmart and Kmart are in most cities. Why start here? Because many of the toys here rank well. Some may even be in the Top 100 for Toys which will sell thousands of units per day leading up to Christmas. Scan, scan and scan some more and use Keepa for projected price changes.
  • Online – Amazon itself (yes, you can flip toys!) is not only the easiest place to find toys for Q4 but also the least amount of work. Throw in any of the above stores .com and you have hundreds of online retailers to scour for good toy margins.
  • Discount Retailers – Ollies, Aldi, Big Lots and Gabe’s are just some of the major discount stores offering toys at lower costs. Plus, most cities have their own local discount stores for you to scour.

Bottom line: Stick with the major toy brands, scan them all and see where you get.

Hack #4 – Plan way ahead

Don’t go buying all of your items to sell only to come home and have no way to get them out to Amazon in a timely manner. Have tons of prep material on hand in order to fulfil the demand.

Think ahead and buy three times the amount that you normally do for Q4. Have all different sized polybags on hand for all possible items. Markers, labels, boxes, tape and packing material should be on-hand in bulk.

Hack #5 – Outsource

So you don’t have time to do online sourcing after your full-time job and retail arbitrage sourcing. Understood. There are FBA groups and paid sourcing groups on Facebook that hand-deliver deals to you for online arbitrage. Use these wisely and pay the money to get those deals as it will be well worth your time.

Don’t have time to pack boxes and prep your items? Hire a local teenager to do it and use the saved time to do more sourcing.

Still hand-delivering your boxes to the local UPS store? Save yourself that hour of transit, pay the extra $5 and have your UPS man pick up the items at your door. Do this from now on.

Here’s to sales galore for your FBA business in Q4!

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