Back to Basics
November was profitable for us, but not as lucrative as it has been in the past. This Q4, our mission was to get back to basics. And by back to basics, I mean that instead of looking for the fast Black Friday flips, we chose to play it a little safer by sticking with our bread-and-butter products. By bread-and-butter products, I’m talking about items that consistently make us money from January through September. For us, these items include predominantly shoes and clothing, rather than merchandise from the categories of video games or toys and games.
We made this decision to get back to basics for a few reasons. First, I saw the handwriting on the wall that Amazon would be locking up the fast flip items. Second, I saw a massive upstock in products in Walmart, Target, and other major retailers that increased supply. Finally, I’m in my ‘young’ 60’s and looking closely at retirement. My days of riskier ventures are not as appealing to me as sticking with my tried-and-true clothing and shoes. My sister and I are partners in our Amazon business, and because of those varied reasons, we decided to rely on what has given us consistent profits month after month, year after year. We agreed that our business vehicle would remain traveling at a steady pace in the center of the lane.
Our business decisions are our own and made with a lot of thought and experience behind us. We won’t operate our business the way we would have in our 20s or 30s, but it’s the path we are going to take as we see our finish line in sight.
Here are our category buys:
Another thing I would like to discuss is the idea of product selection for RA sellers. When you are predominantly RA, you understand that it’s advantageous to stay shallow yet wide rather than go deep. That’s the way we play it too, although I want to point out two examples of how we recently did go deep.
We were lucky enough to get in touch with a liquidator. While there, we found the Mattel Spirit Doll. The BSR was not fantastic, but solid. My buy cost was $4.63 and while the sales price fluctuated, there were times when we made an incredible 367% ROI on this item.
Take a look:
Another deep buy was Micro Machines.
This is a great toy with a great BSR. Our buy cost was just $2.50 and it’s selling for $20 now but sold for as much as $100+.
Bottom line: While I believe in staying shallow and wide when doing RA, I also believe in jumping on a deep buy if you see all the right parameters.
Finally, we’ll look at my Inventory lab numbers for November. We made $112,974.32 in sales with a net profit of almost $15K. Again, not as impressive as some of our past Q4 profits, but still solid. We follow the same strategies Garry teaches in Tribe, and put procedures in place that will carry us through even when the unexpected happens. In addition, my sister helped us recoup our potential losses on Amazon returns by selling them on eBay. In November, Coleen pulled in $5K from eBay sales. This is money we would have lost had she not re-sold elsewhere. The extra work paid off.
There’s one more essential piece of information I’d like to give you. I don’t like to see anyone fail in this business, so if you are going into eCommerce selling, I would like you to understand how you can avoid some of the pitfalls that frequently take Amazon sellers out of the game for good.
Here are the three main reasons why I believe Amazon sellers fail:
- They co-mingle business and personal funds and credit
- They get hamstrung by debt
- They eat their seed – or take too much money out of their business for personal use rather than reinvesting their profits into buying inventory.
Hey everyone – I enjoyed being here with you all. Before I sign off today, I want to let you know that working with other Amazon sellers through the Amazon Seller Tribe is a real highlight for me. I love helping others; it’s what I live for. Merry Christmas, friends!