5 Important things to Consider when selling in Q4 with Amazon
Updated: Aug 6, 2020
If you have been through a Q4 selling season with Amazon let this be a reminder for you as your reflect on past seasons. If you haven't you might want to make this a check list of things to study and make some decisions on. I remember last year, our first Q4 we sold out of inventory 3 times, each time killing our BSR and having to spend more in PPC to get it back where it should be. I thought I would share our top 5 things to consider as we approach Q4. It is NOT too early to start thinking about these things.
1. Manage your Inventory - This is the biggest and most difficult thing to do. I personally take the average of my sales across the 7 months leading up to the end of July and I plan on selling 3-4x that amount from November 10 - December 22. The other thing to consider if you manufacture in China, you are going to deal with Chinese New Year right after the Holiday Season, so just be aware of this. I usually place my order for the new year first quarter in mid December to get ahead of the Chinese New Year.
2. Increased storage fees with Amazon. This is a big one especially as you grow. Don't let this get hidden due to Sales Volume like I did last year. Amazon charges .48 per cubic foot for storage on standard size products and they use a Daily Average for the month and you are billed this the following month. From October through December this fee increases to $1.20 per cubic foot. As you can see timing your shipments into Amazon would be the best approach.
3. Longer Lead Times - Everything will have longer lead times
Starting real soon it will take manufacturing partners longer to manufacture your goods due to increased orders for Q4
Shipments will be delayed in ports due to increased volume
Amazon Load in times are typically a little longer, but considering where they are today with this, not sure how they could get any longer.
4. Consider your advertising Strategy. I usually have a volume of units I am trying to sell and know each week how many I want to move, therefore I budget my advertising spend to match my forecast. If I am not moving enough I may increase my spend and if they are moving faster I may back off my advertising spend. This is something you need to be comfortable with and get in your own rhythm.
5. Consider FBM or a fulfillment partner to help. Why you ask......
A fulfillment partner could keep your inventory that is NOT held at Amazon cheaper than letting Amazon hold the product.
Should you run out of inventory at Amazon for a number of reasons you could have your fulfillment partner fulfill direct to consumers by switching your listing to FBM instead of FBA and you would not loose your BSR ranking or any sales. As soon as Amazon is back in stock switch your listing back to FBA.
Reduce your Amazon Storage Fees during October through December.
While your shipping cost and per unit cost may increase by using a 3PL partner who can also fulfill FBM, if you do the research, you will find this will save you money and headaches in the long run.
This information has been provided by Amazonsellershelp.com, a logistics and warehouse company in the USA that helps Amazon FBA and FBM sellers. The company is actually owned and managed by a group who sells everyday on Amazon, ETSY and EBAY. We are here to help, just reach out. If interested check out their website.