Let’s face it, this year will without doubt be the most challenging Q4 for Amazon sellers where if you don’t tackle it correctly, you’ll get burnt.
Historically you could buy a pallet of chocolates, send it in October and be golden. Unfortunately, the times have changed, and if that product is available at Sainsbury’s, there’s a HIGH percentage of Buy Box suppression if you don’t match their price.
Even if this did not exist, you have the issue with storage limits. If you allocate 5% of your inventory to that one product, you are not leaving much room for anything else.
The other massive challenge is the trucker and labour shortage. Check-in times at Amazon are historically slow over Q4. Pallets can take up to 2 months to check-in, and with the added trucker shortage this year, will the stock even arrive for Christmas if you send it in October?
So what can you do?!
1) Go WIDE on products. I strongly encourage you to send a wide range of small amounts to Amazon FBA.
2) Send in early. The added stress of waiting for Amazon to check your stock in is not pretty over Q4.
3) Do not send pallets (especially not Amazon Partner Carrier) from October and use 2D Barcodes for inbound shipments. This will rapidly increase the inbound time.
4) Check your prep center; are they understaffed? There’s a massive labour shortage right now, and you can’t afford to be let down by your prep center.
5) Roll your sleeves up and start Merchant Fulfilling yourself. Merchant Fulfilment gives you brilliant flexibility on product listings if they get suppressed and puts you in control of delivery.
6) Start using IOSS. Selling to the EU is back!
7) Get on eBay! Amazon MCF postage was reduced to a very competitive rate this year, so there’s no reason that you can’t go on eBay with your FBA listings. Inkfrog is a great option to link listings from Amazon and automate the MCF orders.
8) Keep an eye on those Product Compliance checks. More reason to go HARD on eBay.