The guest today is Coran Woodmass from The FBA Broker. Coran specialises in buying and selling FBA businesses. He has been involved in buying and selling online-based businesses for 4 years. Continue reading
Back on the show today is Steve Chou from MyWifeQuitHerJob.com. Continue reading
On the show today is somebody who is really a big name in the ecommerce and online training for the ecommerce world, Steve Chou from MyWifeQuitHerJob.com. Today he will be teaching us how to get started with ecommerce off Amazon. Continue reading
We have a special guest today, Augustas Kilgys, to help up with seller optimization. Augustas is from Lithuania and Germany which gives him a unique insight into selling. He is also running the Seller Optimization Summit which is going to be going on very soon. If you are interest, please sign up to get more information.
Today we have CJ Rosenbaum with us to do answer some listen submitted answers. I recently sent out a newsletter requesting the listeners to submit their Amazon questions. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss the next opportunity.
A lot of us sellers do while label existing products. It’s important that you don’t inadvertently break IP laws and get into Amazon legal issues. The best option is to hire a lawyer to run a search on that product. They will give you an opinion as to whether or not that product is likely to be problematic. To further protect yourself you want to add in a feature that no one else can deliver. For example, a membership program. If you’re selling a generic product, every quarter your members will get a newsletter where they can log into a system and get exclusive content. If you’re selling yoga pants, you can include a fitness routine. While the pants may be generic, that fitness routine is copyright.
There is a general rule that if you take a patented product, change something about it, it is no longer covered by the patent. For the most part that is true, at least for simple products. For more complex products, it may not hold up. An example is that Apple and Samsung have been battling for years over patented technology. While the phone was different, Samsung had used some patented technology in their phones. Be sure to consult an IP attorney on your products to avoid legal issues.
Having a Limited company in the UK offers protection against liabilities. It prevents your personal assets being used to compensate legal issues for your company. If you’re doing business in the US, you’ll want to register your company in at least one US state. This should offer you some legal protections for your UK based company.
It is highly recommended that you have a general liability policy to protect your company’s’ losses should your product hurt somebody. If your company is a legal entity, like a Limited company or a LLC in the US, this will protect your personal assets.
Product liability insurance is always a good idea to protect you from Amazon legal issues, but how vital it is depends on your product. If you’re selling t-shirts, the likelihood of somebody getting hurt is pretty low. However, if you’re selling those hoverboards that blew up, then the risk is much higher.
There is a new type of insurance that is coming onto the market that protects you in case you run into Amazon legal issues and are dealing with account suspension. There are three types of insurance dealing with the different types of Amazon sellers. That is private label, wholesale, and retail arbitrage. There are different rates for each type of seller. It helps cover money lost when your account is suspended. They give you $500 to pay for Amazon Sellers Lawyer or another attorney to help with your plan of action. If you don’t get reinstated in 120 hours, they start paying your lost profits.
One mistake people often make is that they don’t take the need of insurance seriously. The chances of your product injuring someone or of your getting sued is slim. However, if it were to happen, the reward for having insurance is astronomical. These insurance policy protect you in two ways. The first is that they cover the cost of the liability called indemnity. If your product were to burn someone’s house down like the hoverboard did, insurance would cover that payout. They will also provide a lawyer to defend you. These legal fees can become tens of thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye.
There are many things that you have to take into consideration. You have to think of your lead time and everything that goes into it. Also consider receiving time at Amazon. It might take awhile for them to check it in. When planning a strategy for your FBA inventory, you should plan for the worst case scenario. There could be issues with it getting backed up at port or issues with your supplier.
A great thing about using software for forecasting, is that they can keep track of that, whether it’s Jeremy’s Forecastly or another piece of software. It tracks inbound inventory, current inventory, what you have in manufacturing, and true sales velocity.
You also need to consider spikes in sales. You may have consistent sales every day, but a couple times a month your sales spike. This is why you need to build in a safety stock. That gives you a cushion so that if you get a surge in sales, you have enough stock to cover it until your next shipment gets there.
Forecastly has many business that use its service. The software can then use this anonymous data to make predictions about Amazon as a whole. It takes ASIN level data over the past 30, 60, and 90 days to makes prediction about future sales numbers.
Their main focus is demand forecasting. It considers your recent sales including stock out periods. If you were out of stock, it can determine what you would have sold had the product been available. It also tracks the variability of demand which is something you can’t do in a spreadsheet.
The main thing you have to be conscious of when managing your FBA inventory is, what do you need to replenish, when do you need to replenish it, and how many units do you need to replenish. Forecastly tracks all that while monitoring your inventory and will recommend your orders.
Many sellers want to use a 60 day trend to determine their sales velocity which is a bad idea. If you selling in an upward trend, meaning your sales are growing, then your sales were much lower 60 days ago. This will make your average too low. Forecastly uses a 30 day trend to get the most up to date projections.
We, here at Amazing FBA, love a rule of thumb. Unfortunately, when it comes to FBA inventory, many sellers follow a rule of thumb that won’t help them, and could hurt them. It’s the idea that you need to have X amount of days worth of inventory. Whenever they place their order, they bring it back to this magic number.
For example, if you wanted to maintain 90 days of inventory and you order monthly with a 30 lead time. When it’s time to make an order, you have 60 days of inventory. Based on this, you would order 30 days of inventory.
You don’t need that much inventory. You wouldn’t need to order for another month because you have a 30 day lead time and you’re tying up cash in stock you don’t need. The rationale behind this method is security. The attempt to avoid stock outs by keeping a large amount of stock on hand.
Amazon will continue growing their own private label brands. So Amazon is now your competitor. International markets are growing. The European markets are booming. If you’re having success in the US, you’ll want to take those products to the UK and the rest of Europe. That isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to come up with a separate replenishment strategy as well as deal with the tax regulations. There is an opportunity, though. Especially in Germany where 40% of the sellers are non-German, and very few are American. That means they are willing to buy from foreigners, but not many Americans are there yet.
As Amazon grows, the more warehouse space they will need. They are investing in new space, but they don’t want to overdo it. You will likely see seller-fulfilled-prime see some growth as a solution to this problem though will come with its own issues.
The inbound process is likely to change. It used to be that you would just slap on a UPS label. Then you had to also do the Amazon label. Now you have to do box contents. It’s going to get more and more complicated as Amazon continues handling more inventory.
If you want to receive a free tool for launching new products, head on over to Forecastly.