Today, we will be showing you how to ruin your Q4, so that you can avoid doing just that! There are a few key actions, both when it comes to sourcing and with your behind-the-scenes Amazon activities that you want to avoid in order to have a successful Q4 this year. Some mistakes are recoverable, but the ones we’ll share with you have the potential to ruin your Q4 profit potential.
In this episode we’ll talk about how making the wrong moves when it comes to sourcing, pricing, grading, and mindset could possibly cost you thousands in Q4 profits… or for some, even get your seller account suspended indefinitely. Finally, we have an amazing masterclass we want to invite you to join, focused on helping you earn your way to a six-figure Q4. For all this and more listen now!
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Key points from Episode 152:
- A quick intro to what Q4 is and how amazing it can be for Amazon sellers.
- Why some sellers are tempted to bend the guidelines and how you should respond.
- How comparing yourself to other FBA businesses can ruin your Q4.
- The fact that not everything you see online is true.
- Why it’s problematic to source Q4 inventory based only on hope.
- Searching for inventories that have good listings and use all the keywords in the right places.
- Trying new strategies in the middle of the season is one way you can sabotage your Q4.
- A reminder of the Q4 snowball (from last week’s show).
- How getting outsider help and using online tools can aid your Q4 snowball.
- Why you should not be reckless in cutting your prices and how to avoid it.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
The Ultimate Q4 Masterclass
How to Have a 6-Figure Q4 in 2022
Fourth quarter (Q4) is the absolute best time of the year to sell on Amazon, and with the huge spike in sales velocity, the profit potential for 3rd-party Amazon sellers (like you and me) is almost limitless.
Here’s the deal… Q4 in 2022 will be unlike any Q4 that the Amazon selling world has ever seen, and I can’t wait to tell you how you can maximize your profits and earnings throughout the holiday selling season. In this masterclass, I’ll be pulling back the curtains on exactly how you can accomplish six-figures in the final 3 months of 2022.
In this live Q4 masterclass, you’ll learn:
- How Q4 in 2022 offers us a unique opportunity for some amazing sales and profits unlike any other year in the past
- How exactly to calculate what you need to do to eclipse the six-figure mark
- How to know what items sell the best during Q4 (and how to find them)
- How your understanding of Amazon sourcing and selling should drastically change during Q4
- How inventory pricing and repricing strategies need to be tweaked to make even more profits during Q4
- How to find the “hard to find” items that every customer is looking for (and willing to pay high dollar for)
- How your January sales can be almost as large as your December sales (really!)
- How to feel more confident in your Q4 sourcing decisions
- And so much more!
The way I see it, you have two options: You can either continue what you’re doing now and have a decent Q4, or you can follow the suggestions in this upcoming masterclass and experience an amazingly incredible Q4. The choice is up to you.
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Episode 152 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:21.3] REBECCA: Hello there and welcome to this week’s episode of the Full-Time FBA Show. We are on episode number 152 this week and we’re going to be talking about how to ruin your Q4. We don’t want that to happen, we don’t want you to ruin your Q4 that’s why we’re going to tell you how to do it so that you don’t do it and okay, and on that note, Stephen, are you ready to join me?
[0:00:46.6] STEPHEN: I think so.
[0:00:46.1] REBECCA: I think you already did.
[0:00:47.4] STEPHEN: I think so, I think this is an awesome podcast episode. I hope you we don’t ruin our podcast with this episode but we’re going to talk about ruining your Q4.
[0:00:57.6] REBECCA: So before we get started on our conversation about Q4 today, don’t forget, if you haven’t already, to sign up for The Full-Time FBA newsletter. You can signup at fulltimefba.com, we send out a newsletter once a week and it has great information for how to turn part-time hours into a full-time income, lots of blog links, videos, other tutorials for how to run a Full-Time FBA business using only part-time hours.
Again, just a reminder about what Q4 is, the last quarter of the year is called Q4. It is the months of October, November, December and for an Amazon seller, this can be a real amazing time to be selling. Some sellers though, end up sabotaging their Q4 success and we want to help you avoid that. We want you to make really great profits during Q4 and avoid these common mistakes that can really end up ruining this three-month period for you, if you’re not careful.
[0:01:52.5] STEPHEN: So, the first way some Amazon sellers ruin their Q4 is by bending the guidelines just to make an extra buck and I know the temptation, I’ve been there. There’s been times when I’ve been out sourcing, I find an item that’s selling really well on Amazon, it’s got a great rank but the box is a little bit scuffed up but if you know what? If I sell this new, I could probably make an extra 40 bucks selling this item in new condition, even though the rest of the year, I might sell it as maybe, “Like new” or very good condition because the box is scuffed up and I just don’t want to lose that money, right?
That’s just not something we want to ever have anybody do. Don’t bend the guidelines, any of the guidelines, whether it’s condition guidelines, prep guidelines, anything like that just to make an extra buck or 40 bucks or a hundred bucks, whatever you’re tempted to do, you want to make sure you’re following Amazon’s guidelines at all time.
You can go to fulltimefba.com/conditionguidelines to actually get them right from Amazon themselves, what the condition guidelines are, but just because you might make an extra dollar or 40 by bending this, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth the possible return, the possible negative feedback, the ding on your seller account that Amazon might give you. It’s not worth the risk, you want to make sure that you are 100% above board in everything that you’re doing.
There’s some Amazon sellers who are like, “Oh, I’m gated in this one particular product. I’ll create a product page for that same product that I’m gated in.” That’s against Amazon’s policy too. So don’t take the risk, stay above board at all times, do what you can to be a good partner with the Amazon and they’ll reward you with really great sales during Q4.
[0:03:29.0] REBECCA: And it should go without saying that that is something that will just ruin your Amazon business year-round.
[0:03:34.3] STEPHEN: That’s right, yes.
[0:03:34.8] REBECCA: This isn’t just how to ruin your Q4 but it is something that we want to particularly pay attention to during Q4 because with that increase in sales velocity and profits, comes an increase in temptation for some sellers to see how they can bend the rules and you know, just make a little extra through means that are not above board with Amazon. Just don’t do it this time of year or any time of year.
All right and then the second thing that we want to point out to you as a way that you can ruin your Q4 and you shouldn’t do it, is to compare your Q4 numbers and your experience, your sales, your profits, anything related to Q4 with anybody else that’s selling on Amazon. This usually happens because of social media.
I mean, that’s one of the things that social media is so great at, is causing us all to have this comparison envy going on, where we see other people and instead of being happy with what we have, we suddenly are disappointed in ourselves or jealous of what somebody else has done or has and that is especially tempting for us as Amazon sellers, and if you’re spending a lot of time on social media, I would say in particular, Facebook and in Facebook groups, we know this because we have a Facebook group.
That it can be really tempting to see what other people are posting as either their sales numbers or they’re showing you pictures of sourcing that they’ve done or like a cart that’s all filled up with product that they’re going to buy at a retail store or they’ll show you a big, huge stack of shipping boxes all taped up and ready to go to Amazon for their next big Q4 haul and those are all great.
It can be inspiring to see those types of things and think, “Wow, I could do that to, I want to see that kind of success,” but it can also really drag you down if you’re not careful. It can really hurt you, especially as the beginner and ruin your experience at Q4 if you’re thinking, “Wow, I just have four boxes to send in” or “Two boxes to send in and that person has half a garage full of boxes that they’re sending in to Amazon. I must not be doing that well, I thought I was doing well but now I’m not so sure.”
There’s a quote that we have quoted and see going around on the Internet all the time, “Comparison is the thief of joy” and that is so true when it comes to your numbers on Amazon. You can have so much success stolen from you if you are looking at what somebody else is doing and comparing yourself to it. You really can only compare yourself to yourself. If this is not your first Q4, you can compare yourself to a previous Q4s.
If this is your first Q4, congratulations, you’re automatically having your best Q4 ever and so you want to make sure that you are not comparing what is your chapter one to somebody else’s chapter seven of their Q4 experience or you’re going to be really disappointed, and the other thing that you really need to be careful of is just because somebody posts something online, doesn’t mean that it’s true.
This should be abundantly clear to us in the year 2022 that not everything you see online is accurate or completely true and so you might see somebody’s sales posted a screenshot of their Amazon seller app or whatever showing, “I had so much in sales, isn’t this amazing?” There’s this thing called Photoshop and it’s not that hard to use. So that’s one of the reasons why we don’t post our numbers because we don’t want there to be any question over like, “Do you really sell that much?”
It doesn’t matter how much we sell. What matters is how much you are selling and whether or not that means your own expectations. So if you want to ruin your Q4, get on Facebook all the time and compare yourself to whoever is the latest person to post in a Facebook group but we don’t want you to do that, don’t do that. Don’t compare yourself to others and ruin your Q4.
[0:07:34.2] STEPHEN: Yeah, another thing about the sales screenshots that you can see people post online sometimes, they might say, “Oh, I had a $10,000 day.” It’s like, well, you might not know behind the scenes that they spent $20,000 in debt to get that and they’re actually going to be $10,000 in the hole.
So it’s like, you never know the full picture. Again, like Rebecca said, the only person you need to compare yourself to is who you were in the past and how you’re doing versus then. Are you learning, are you growing, are you reaching new heights? You know, do the best that you can and be happy with that.
So, the third way to ruin your Q4, this is kind of a gloomy episode, this is like kind of bringing me down. So anyway, the third way to ruin your Q4 is sourcing Q4 inventory based on hope. I’ve seen this a lot before and Facebook groups, maybe they’ll post a picture of something or a screenshot of a certain thing that they’re buying like, “I really think this is going to sell a lot during Q4. You know, it’s not really selling much right now but I think it’s going to sell a lot in Q4.”
Hope is not going to pay the bills. That’s not going to help you be able to make a lot of sales and make a lot of money. What’s really going to help you is the actual data. When you’re looking at an inventory item that you want to purchase, has it been selling in the past? What’s been the sales velocity, what has been the pricing structure, what’s it been like in the past? Can you look in the past and see what it did in last year’s Q4 to maybe see what it might experience this year?
You want to make sure you’re making your best decisions on the information and not just on hope and you’ve heard us talk about Keepa almost every other episode. Keepa tracks sales rank history, pricing history, it is one of the top tools that you need to be using when you are sourcing inventory.
You can find out more about it at fulltimefba.com/keepa and if you need a little training video on how to read it, fulltimefba.com/readkeepa but that data not only just helps you sell items that are going to be consistently selling and have a consistent price. It also gives you peace because a lot of times, we buy stuff on hope and then we start to get anxiety and stress out when it doesn’t sell.
So buying stuff with the data brings you peace and Q4 is an awesome time of peace, peace on earth and so I am trying to bring this up and make it more lighter and encouraging, but let’s focus on that, don’t buy your inventory based on hope. Buy it based on the data.
[0:09:50.3] REBECCA: Buy it based on the data and make it a season of peace.
[0:09:53.9] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:09:54.3] REBECCA: That’s what I took away from that point.
[0:09:56.2] STEPHEN: Yes, that’s where I was going, yes.
[0:09:57.6] REBECCA: Yeah, I want to add too that with the data not just the sales history and the pricing history, the sales rank history and the pricing history. Other data that you can be looking at and analyzing, as you’re making your purchases is keywords, and making sure that you’re buying things that have really good listings that have all the keywords in the right place.
So that people when they are searching for like, this is part of what when we say people buy things based on hope, they think like, “Oh this looks like some toy that’s going to be a really big deal this Christmas.” Well, if it doesn’t have a really good product page and people can’t find it, then it’s not going to be as good of a seller as you thought.
So there is ways to even get some traction going even if the sales rank history is not there, if it is in your item but you just got to make sure that the product page is really well done.
[0:10:50.1] STEPHEN: Yep.
[0:10:50.5] REBECCA: All right, so another point that we want to make is that you can ruin your Q4 by deciding, let’s say, around November 1st, November 5th, you know we’re in the middle of Q4, getting into the thick of it, “I think I am going to try a completely new strategy. I am going to make some major changes to my business.” That will really sabotage your Q4.
Making changes, trying new strategies are great, we highly encourage that during other times of the year. Q4 is not the time that you want to start experimenting but it is the time that you really want to focus on what you do best. We had talked last week about the whole speed and hustle that gets involved in sourcing and keeping your inventory turning over and over during Q4 in order to get that snowball going.
If you weren’t able to listen last week, that is episode 151 about the Q4 snowball, go back and listen to that, fulltimefba.com/151 and so, where that element of speed and hustle comes in is that you really want to be focusing that your time doing things as quickly as possible with that hustle attitude on the things that you know how to do best.
You are not going to be able to hustle at something that you don’t really know how to do, that is really new to you and you are still making lots of mistakes at it. So find people who can help you with those things. If you are wanting to implement something new, get a prep center to help you. Hire somebody else as a service to do those things that you don’t know how to do very well but you focus on what you knew how to do best and sourcing is one of those things.
Make sure that you are doing as much sourcing as possible, in the categories that you are comfortable with that you know a lot about and you can really see some great progress there but if you want to ruin your Q4, go wild with some new ideas that you’ve never tested out and you’re not really sure if they’re going to work.
[0:12:38.3] STEPHEN: So the fifth way that we’re going to talk about of how to ruin your Q4, this will be the last Q4 ruining strategy that we are going to talk about is recklessly cutting your prices. A lot of times, usually around maybe after Black Friday, Cyber Monday, you know, December comes around and some people start freaking out like, “My stuff hasn’t sold yet and all my competitors are cutting their prices.”
While that might be a good idea to cut your prices on some of those items, there is a lot of items that you do not need to cut your prices on at all. You want to make a smart decision. Recklessly, just blindly cutting your prices, lowering your prices to match the competition is not the best strategy and could easily ruin your Q4 because some sellers, yeah, they freak out and they cut their prices because their competition is cutting their prices and there is items that haven’t sold yet.
But really, the first two weeks of December are going to be some of the fastest selling days to expect during Q4. People are buying their items, they are getting stuff for last minutes and there is just a lot of opportunity there for those who wait, for those who are patient. I talked about Keepa before, you can look at the Keepa data also to kind of see where the pricing trends are going but you can also on a Keepa graph look at the number of competitors who are selling that particular item.
A lot of times, when the competitor number start to go down, the prices go up. I mean, that is supply and demand. When the supply goes down, the prices go up and so you can kind of see for yourself that if you can wait, there might be a reward in that waiting. So yes, some of your items, you might/should lower. Some of them, you might/should keep the same. Some of them, you might need to rise.
We actually use an automatic repricer to take care of all of that for us automatically. So we use BQool. It is an awesome repricer. You can find out more about it at fulltimefba.com/bqool and it helps take care of our pricing for us, so we don’t have to worry about it, so we can, again, focus more on sourcing like what Rebecca was talking about a moment ago, but make sure your pricing decisions are smart so that you can grow your Amazon business really well in Q4.
[0:14:43.4] REBECCA: Yeah and along with that, with people starting to cut their prices because the competition is cutting their price and then it just starts this, you know, everybody is cutting their prices, freaking out situation. If you hang on, those other people are going to sell out. That is what is going on there whenever you are waiting and you’re looking at that data and knowing how long to wait before you realize, “Oh, this isn’t really going to sell.”
But if you are looking at the number of competitors dwindling, you’re going to see that those people ruining their Q4 is actually going to benefit you, that you know how to look at that supply and demand, how to look at that data to see when the number of competitors, the number of items in stock on a product page are going down and your price can hold or even raise and you’ll make a lot more profit.
[0:15:31.4] STEPHEN: So now you know how to ruin your Q4, so don’t do those things but we do want to help you have your best Q4 ever. In fact, we want to help you have a six-figure Q4 and coming up, we’ve got a master class focused completely on that topic, how to have a six-figure Q4 in 2022. Go check it out, fulltimefba.com/q4masterclass, that will help you and give you an opportunity to sign up for this master class.
It is coming up soon, if you happen to be listening to this in the future, if you go to that link, you can sign up to watch the replay but this is a master class that can really revolutionize your Q4. I have experienced many Q4s about ten or so and I have some secrets, some experiences, some things to avoid, some things to make sure that you do. I want to help you find the hard to find items that everyone is looking for.
I’ll walk you through some strategies on how to do that, know which items to buy, know which items to avoid. It is going to be an awesome time talking through those things. So fulltimefba.com/q4masterclass. I hope to see you there.
[0:16:32.8] REBECCA: Thank you so much for joining us for this episode, we’re so glad you’re here. This is episode number 152 and if you are interested in seeing the shownotes, you can find them at fulltimefba.com/152, you’ll find all of the links we mentioned in this episode as well as the transcript if you want to go back over anything that you heard in this episode.
[0:16:51.3] STEPHEN: Next week on the show, we’re going to talk about sales rank and specifically, what does a sales rank of zero mean. It doesn’t always mean no sales, there is a lot of nuance with this. We are going to walk you through that next week on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:17:07.1] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the shownotes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you have learned today so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.