Hi everyone! I just wanted to give you quick updates on Merch by Amazon, using a prep center, selling shoes and Q4.
Last week I wrote a Merch by Amazon blog post. Since then, I’ve uploaded a few more designs and now have 18 listed. I have 7 more to upload from the design package that I ordered. I’m still at just one sale and am seriously hoping that I’ll get a few more sales soon.
Using a Prep Center for My OA Shoe Purchases
I joined FBA Prep & Ship a few weeks ago and they already processed one batch of 20 shoes. Yesterday I finished ordering 21 more shoes to send their way. I chose them because they are in sales tax-free Oregon and came highly recommended.
There are 2 online stores that I purchase from often and they charge sales tax when they ship to my Washington address. However, when I ship to the prep center, I’m not charged sales tax. I did the calculations and what I saved in sales tax more than paid for the prepping fees.
I did pay a little more for inbound shipping though as they used 2 more boxes than I would have. Some of that cost was cancelled out because I saved a little bit of money from not having to use my own prepping & shipping supplies. Plus, since I’m super-slow at filling up the shipping boxes, I saved a lot of time too.
I did have one incident yesterday. I ordered shoes from Boscov’s and they called and quizzed me on the prep center’s name and shipping address. They let the order go through but I hope that I don’t get banned in the future from them or any other online retailer. They never called me about any of my past orders that I had shipped to my home address or my UPS address.
The people at FBA Prep & Ship provide great customer service. I also have used Fulfillment Butler (now Illinois Pack and Ship) and they have great customer service too. I switched to FBA Prep & Ship for the sales tax savings.
When I joined Fulfillment Butler, I was hoping to save on inbound shipping fees as they’re closer to the Indiana warehouse where most of my shoe shipments go to. But the second I signed up with them, Amazon started sending my shoes to California. Go figure.
Here’s a list of Prep Centers courtesy of Jim Cockrum and the Proven Amazon Course Team.
Shoes & Last Item Shipped
For the year, shoes make up 63% of my sales. Here’s a recent shoe that I sold:
Product: Timberland Men’s Newmarket Boat Oxford, Size 9.5 Men
Store Purchased: Fisherman’s Marine (Retail Arbitrage)
Date Received at Amazon Warehouse: 07/20/16
Date Amazon Shipped to Customer: 09/18/16
Number Of Days at Amazon: 60
Buy Cost: $29.97
Selling Price: $63.04
Net Profit after Fees: $63.04 – $14.25 (fees) – $29.97 (buy cost) = $18.82
Ranking on 07/1/16 (purchase date): 31,110
Ranking on 9/18/16 (ship date): 32,569
Category % According to RevSeller: Top 5%
This shoe may not look like a “winner” as it has a lower ROI and profit.
However, if you look at the total picture, I purchased four Timberland shoes on that shopping trip. The first one (size 8) sold 10 days ago at a higher selling price of $75.90 which gave me a profit of $35.47.
For the first two sales, I made a combined profit of $54.29 with two more left to sell. Not bad for an unplanned RA trip to the fishing store with my husband.
Shoe Brand Restrictions
Several shoe brands have been restricted over the past few weeks and most people are stating that they are now restricted in Nike and Adidas. At this time, I’m still able to sell both of those brands.
Unfortunately, I did have trouble with Guess. I found a pair of Guess shoes online and checked to make sure that they were unrestricted by using “Add a Product” in Seller Central. On that day, I was unrestricted for Guess, so I ordered the shoes and sent them to the prep center. A week or so later when I went to list the shoe, it showed as being restricted. I contacted FBA Prep and Ship and they worked with me on returning the shoe back to the retailer.
Whether it’s a shoe or a product from a different category, it’s important that you check to see if it’s restricted before purchasing it. But keep in mind that it can still become restricted the next day. I know the new brand restrictions are a hassle and can cost you money, but it’s something that we all need to adjust to.
Despite the new restrictions, shoes are still my favorite category. In case you missed them, here are a few shoe blog posts:
I’m flying to Arizona this week to visit my dad for a few days. Once I get back, I’ll be in hustle-mode for the upcoming fourth quarter.
If you’re on Facebook, you’ll see a lot of talk about the Q4 coaching groups. This year, I’ll be in Robyn Johnson’s group because it’s included in her Unstoppable Amazon Academy that I joined after ASD. Here’s the link to that and links to other Q4 Coaching Groups:
This isn’t a coaching group, but it has plenty of Q4 tips:
I have past experience with products from all of the above people, so please feel free to ask me any questions in the comment form below or on my Facebook page!