Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin – FOCUS!
I received a comment on one of my previous FBA Sales figure posts from Ola PK who was asking some questions about what I do in my Amazon FBA business and how I do it. I started writing the response but figured it would be better putting my response into a separate article. Here is Ola’s questions…
My name is Ola. Thanks for posting your impressive mid year Amazon results on your blog page, I found your page through You tube. I am just about to sign-up for Jim’s course and also Amazon FBA
If you don’t mind I have a few questions
- Are you working on mostly UK Sales, or Amazon US, would you recommend one starts with the UK, and the gradually move to US Amazon.
- Also it seems like with Jim’s course, he recommends one goes to town looking for solid bargains, to prize up on Amazon, have you found this approach profitable or easy, or would you recommend the private label??, have use sometimes had to really dig around hard to find great bargains
- Do you have any tools / software that you can recommend which I can use to query Amazons top-selling products above the 100 listed??, it will be great to find out what is in demand, may be Jim course may recommend such software
- Do you only sell products within the top 100 category
- Within Amazon itself, have you had to do lots of optimisation, get reviews etc…to rank high and be found
I am so keen to hear from you, I believe selling on Amazon is what I would be doing FROM THIS Dec and all next year
Thanks, Ola PK
First off…. Thanks for stopping by the site Ola. I hope this answers some of your questions.
1) I’m working mostly on Amazon UK. I do have a US account but I hardly put any time into it right now. I live in the UK so at the moment, that is where my focus is. I was all set to do the US alongside the UK and did start sending items into the US but quickly realised I needed to focus on one site. As the new year comes around I do intend on revisiting the US market again, just not right now.
2) Jim’s course is the one I chose to teach me the FBA process. The route I went down was to do retail arbitrage. After sending in goods from around my house and seeing them sell, I went to the local shops, bought some items, sent them into Amazon and saw them sell too. RESULT! So I started increasing this type of buying but quickly realised I get so bored doing the physical shopping and didn’t really enjoy the shopping process (driving, scanning, checkout queues etc..). Plus I don’t have the best selection of shops near me. So I focused on on-line shopping pretty quickly and this is still what I do.
I have stuck with retail-arb because… it works! but also added to it by buying wholesale and direct from manufacturer. With private label – I’d have to spend time designing / find products to sell that ‘may not sell’. The big brand companies have already done all the marketing for me… I just see their products, find out if they sell, work out if I can buy low and sell high (that’s all there is to it) and if the figures are in my favour, that’s good enough for me 🙂
Now don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have my own products so I own the buy-box etc… but my brain tells me … there is more time and more risk in the ‘private label’ business model to get a successful product selling well. I will try it out, but focus is the name of the game. I don’t want to spread myself too thin and make what is working for me now to suffer. Once I can automate my retail arbitrage model as much as possible, I will then focus selling on other market places and other models/techniques.
You mentioned you find it difficult to find great bargains and I would totally agree. When starting out it seems everyone in Facebook groups and other on-line communities make it sound so easy to find well priced products to resell. For me… I leant it does get easier with time and experience but do not think it gets super easy. It’s all about putting in the effort and time to find good profit margins. Hope that doesn’t deflate your enthusiasm bubble a little too much but it is true.
I guess it comes back down to focus again. Work at it, work hard and you will find those great items. This is what I am working on automating at the moment. I have a strong background in technology and I’ve produced various tools for my business that help scour the internet looking for profitable items to resell.
For those that sell in the US, you can get hold of some profitable products to buy in the Facebook group I linked to above – free. I have teamed up with James Rugg who runs the popular FBA product sourcing list in order to help automate his team’s product sourcing process and we are having great success. We are finding more items than he can use on his lists right now. I keep the UK stuff for myself for now.
Sourcing popular items to resell for good profit is the name of the game and if it was easy everyone would do it. Then again if everyone did it, those opportunities wouldn’t exist 🙂
3) It’s real easy to find popular items on Amazon above the top 100 listed. Follow these steps:
- Go to Amazon
- Select a category
- Enter  into the search box and press enter
- Choose the drop-down on the top-right to sort by popularity.
- You will now be able to see 400 pages of the most popular products.
Not only will this show you all products in Rank order but you will see how many products there are in the category…. just look at the figures near the top left of the screen.
4) I rarely sell items in the top 100. Not because I don’t want to. I’d love to. It’s just those opportunities don’t come up very often. I sell items that are ranked all over the place, from 1 to 1 million. May be higher sometimes.
Sales rank is not the be-all and end-all. It is a great statistic to follow but all it really gives you is an indication of how popular the item is compared to others in the same category. Make sure to look at sales rank in combination with sales data on camelcamelcamel.com. That site will give you an indication of how often an item sells and will help you get a feel of how quickly sales rank can change on a daily basis. Meaning…. an item can seem very popular now, but it may look just average in 5 hours from now.
Here’s a bit more on sales rank… Remember, Sales Rank changes on an hourly basis for each item. To figure out if an item sells:
- If the item has a rank, that means it has sold at least once.
- Goto camelcamelcamel.com and key in the product ASIN code, then look at the Sales Rank chart.
The sales rank chart is really useful because it tells us if a product consistently sells. Each rise in the chart (drop in sales rank) = at least 1 sale. If there are long stretches where a products rank increases, showing a long drop in the chart it tells you there were no sales.
5) Regarding the optimization of product listings, I do hardly any of that stuff. I do try to improve a listing if it looks poor, but because I sell what already sells I focus on those items and don’t spend my time on things like that. I guess if I was doing the private label stuff, I would have to be all over this. Making sure to optimize everything I can, get reviews, adjust price for promotional purposes etc…
Remember though… this is what I do, not what should be done 🙂 for best results
Thanks again for the questions Ola and I really appreciate you stopping by the website.