This week we spoke to FBA seller, Jeff Roth, from Scan on the Side about repricing, FBA and managing negative feedback. Check out the interview below which is well worth a read for new and experienced sellers alike.

All about Repricing

How did you decide to choose repricing software?

We decided to try out three popular repricers without any prior knowledge or experience with any of them. After testing out all three, RepricerExpress was a clear winner in terms of ease of use, customer service and workability. We knew nothing about any of the platforms which made our choice solely based on our experience.

Related reading: Which to choose—RepricerExpress or Appeagle?

How has RepricerExpress helped you?

Being able to compete with other sellers in terms of the Buy Box is something that all serious Amazon sellers need to do to get sales. Manually pricing is too time-consuming and ineffective for most sellers and the RepricerExpress software allows various settings depending on the listing, which was very helpful for us.

Was it easy to set up?

The set-up process was amazingly simple to get integrated with Amazon. The work each seller needs to do is determine how to reprice each listing. There’s a wide range of repricing options that can be used based upon each seller’s comfort level with their net profit.

Have sales increased since using RepricerExpress?

I would estimate our sales using RepricerExpress are more than double what they would have been without.

How much time do you save per week using RepricerExpress instead of manually repricing?

I can’t even guess how many hours it would take to compete for the Buy Box if we did not use RepricerExpress. It’s simply the number one required tool for our Amazon business.

What advice would you give to those who say that Amazon is all about selling for the cheapest price so you can’t make a profit?

I would tell those people to find better products to sell. Our minimum net profit per item we source is $5 and for those items, the Amazon Best Sellers Rank needs to be low and we need to find multiples of these items. With customer returns, fees and other costs you simply can’t make ends meet with $2-3 net profit margins.

How do you compete with sellers who seem to be prepared to lower their prices all the time?

There are two ways to approach these situations.

One is to hold and wait until the lower priced sellers are out of product and eventually the Buy Box price will rise back up to your set price. If you’re not willing to hold the items then you can simply match the lower Buy Box price and take a potential loss on the purchase. We have done both depending on the circumstances.

For example, there are plenty Facebook sourcing groups that post a ‘hot’ find at local big box stores. So hot that hundreds of sellers get in on the same item and ‘boom’ the price wars begin. You need to be smart in your sourcing and be prepared to zig when others zag.

How do you manage difficult customers who post negative feedback?

Luckily we haven’t had much negative feedback in our few years of selling. In cases where negative feedback is placed, Amazon is actually very receptive in helping sellers remove unwarranted feedback promptly.

Amazon understands that ultimately they are responsible for buyer satisfaction and unless there was a serious issue where blame lies solely on us the seller, Amazon will take responsibility for any issues that arise. This is another great aspect of selling on Amazon.

In terms of automated feedback tools, we use FeedbackExpress for our Amazon feedback management.

All about FBA

When did you first start selling using Amazon FBA?

We started selling on Amazon FBA in September 2014.

What did you first sell?

The first actual item we ever sold was a Wilton Cake Decorating Student Kit which we acquired for $15 and sold for $60. We learned these were very difficult items to find online.  We sourced five more of these at local stores with the same margins and thought “Hmm, this might work!”

We sold many other items including outdoor and pet supplies but mostly got started with new items found in thrift stores which we could sell at extremely high margins to build up our bankroll. I would highly suggest to new sellers to start this way.

Buy a Brand New $3 printer ink cartridge at a thrift store that sells for $30. Find ten of these and you’ve got money to work with. Thrift stores are not just full of junk, they are actually a goldmine for FBAers.

What products do you currently sell on Amazon?

We sell pretty much anything you can think of, all new items. I prefer higher priced items such as brand name small appliances and kitchen items as they are more likely to generate higher margins due to the FBA fee structure. Also, I’d rather get a $30 net profit for one sale rather than $2 net margin on 15 items due to the chance for returns.

Do you just use FBA or do you ship some goods yourself?

Only FBA.

What do you like about FBA?

FBA is unique in that we as sellers are not part of the buyer transaction, shipping, handling or returns process. In what other business is this even possible? Allowing Amazon to bring in the customers and handle the entire purchase is well worth the fees they charge for the chance to sell on their platform.

What don’t you like about selling on Amazon?

The only thing I can bring up on a negative side is the handling of returns. Amazon customers are free to return anything without question and it’s up to us as sellers to make sure those returned items are in conditions to be resold as new. This can be a tedious process however it’s simply part of doing business on Amazon.

Do you sell on any other channels aside from Amazon?

No, we do not currently, however, this is something we are currently looking into.

Do you prefer private label products or retail arbitrage?

We have gotten into the private label side of FBA within the past few months so we are just getting our feet wet in this realm. So far though, private label seems very promising although I would caution newer sellers to start in retail or online arbitrage in order to better understand how the Seller Central platform on Amazon works and the day to day interactions required to be a good seller. There are many smart sellers who crush it solely doing retail and online arbitrage tactics. Dealing with overseas suppliers has been quite the learning process for us in the past 3-4 months.

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