TAS 156 : Update: December’s Income and Lessons Learned

It’s not uncommon for people who are thinking about starting an Amazon private label business to step into the ring expecting great things right away. It’s nice when that happens, but the truth is that it doesn’t happen very often. There’s lot of hard work required to get to the point that truly significant profit is coming in… that’s because most people don’t take into account the product costs, FBA fees, advertising costs, and other variables that bite into your profit margins. On this episode Scott reveals his December 2015 numbers, sales and costs, so you can get a realistic picture of what a successful Amazon business is really like.

The 4th quarter was not the outstanding success for Scott that some sellers experienced.

Most of the buzz in the Amazon sales community is that the 4th quarter is a time of incredible income and sales. The reason for the expectation is that Christmas (gift giving) is part of that time frame. While it is true that retail sales are generally much higher than normal, the 4th quarter is not that way for everyone. Scott’s one of those people. Why wasn’t it a big gain for him? The reason is very simple… and one Scott intended. What? Why would he intend to make less sales during the 4th quarter? Listen to this episode to find out his well reasoned purpose behind it.

One of the effects of competition in your niche.

When Scott first started his Amazon business in the fall of 2014, he got into a niche that didn’t have much competition. His products were seeing $10 to #12 margins regularly at that time. But as time has gone by more sellers have entered that niche area. As a result, the competition has become as much about pricing as anything else. What happens in that case? Everyone starts dropping their prices in an effort to get the lion’s share of the market, which isn’t really very good for anyone. Scott’s margins have dropped significantly since then. On this episode Scott talks for a good while about the dynamics of pricing wars and what you can do to protect yourself (and your private label products).

Why Scott believes it’s good to have a number of unique products for sale simultaneously.

It’s always better to NOT have all your eggs in one basket. Not only are you vulnerable to greater loss when your income is dependent on one product line, you’re also not enjoying the stability that can come from having multiple products. Why stability? Because the down trends in one niche will likely be offset by the “up” trends of products in another niche at any given time. That means your overall income is less of a roller coaster and more of a gentle incline. Scott’s got some intriguing thoughts on this subject and shares what he’s doing to expand his products on Amazon, so be sure you listen.

It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re selling private label on Amazon.

Almost every week in the TAS Facebook community somebody shares a screenshot of their product sales. It’s not uncommon to see $20K months, $30K months, and even more. It’s fine to have that as an ambition, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind so that you don’t become discouraged that your product sales are not at those levels. #1 – Those numbers don’t show all the fees and costs associated with making the sales. The actual profit is much less than those numbers. #2 – The people who are getting those kinds of sales have likely been working at it for a good deal of time. You can’t and shouldn’t expect your sales to match theirs right off the bat. And # 3 – well, you’ll have to listen to the episode to hear Scott’s other thoughts about this important issue.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:41] Why Scott shares the ups AND the downs of his business.
  • [3:10] Scott’s December numbers and product sales.
  • [4:20] What’s happened to Scott’s sales because of competition and pricing wars.
  • [5:24] Figuring in product costs, Pay per click, FBA fees, and other things.
  • [8:22] How to think of the profit numbers Scott is reporting, and things to keep in mind.
  • [10:00] Considering the unique products and the span of sales across them.
  • [11:12] Bundles that Scott is selling.
  • [13:90] A new product partnership Scott’s been working on, and how it’s going.
  • [17:45] There’s a variety of ways you can enter the Amazon marketplace.
  • [19:44] The impact price has on your income.
  • [20:40] Why more SKUs means more consistent income.
  • [23:47] Why the 4th quarter is not always good for every seller.
  • [25:35] Scott’s plans going forward.
  • [28:30] Why you need to be careful about discouragement.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 156

TAS 156 : Update: December’s Income and Lessons Learned

[00:00:03] KV: Hey hey everyone. You’re listening to The Amazing Seller Podcast posted by my dad Scott Voelker. One thing you might not know about my dad is we like to make funny noises and faces to embarrass my mom. Enjoy the show! Boublé oui oui, you know, we speak French, yes you know boublé oui oui.

[00:00:25] SV: Okay. There you go, right. There is myself and my daughter, my youngest daughter, eight year old Kayla just having a good time here. I asked her, “Hey, you want to record an intro for the podcast?” She said, “Oh yeah. That would be great.” She goes, “Can we say any of those funny things that we do?” I go, “Oh yeah, absolutely, I think everyone would enjoy that.” There’s a little sneak peek into Kayla and my world because we are the goofier ones in the family and we do tend to embarrass mom and do all those funny things.

[00:01:00] SV: Let me get the show started at least where you can actually know what episode this is if you’re following along. This is episode 156. Today what I want to do is I want to share with you December’s numbers and I also want to share with you some lessons learned throughout this whole process. This is a process, this is not just something you’re going to start in one day and then get results the next and look at it. It’s a journey. I do believe it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint…

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