Sometimes life gets in the way and throws your established routine out the door. Whether you just go with the flow and make the best of it or let it get you down is up to you. This is how I’m moving forward with my FBA business despite my loss of some important sourcing time.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I work full-time and Sundays are my main sourcing day. My usual routine is to head out for a few hours on Sunday morning and then spend the afternoon listing/prepping/shipping my products. I missed out on last Sunday because I was in Las Vegas. I’m not complaining about my Las Vegas trip because it was a much-needed vacation and I had a great time.
I flew home on Tuesday and my plan was to get back with FBA immediately by shopping after work every night and then spending most of today (Sunday) shopping as well. Well, that plan flew out the window because on Thursday morning I came down with a cold. This cold left me with no energy to go out shopping. I am starting to feel better but rather than push it today, I think it’ll be better for me to stay home and rest so that I can get back on track next week.
So, since I’m not having much luck in the retail sourcing department, what am I doing to move forward with my FBA Business?
Continuing to Learn
Before going to Las Vegas, I purchased The Reseller’s Guide to Board Games. I wasn’t planning on buying any more “learning” materials as I’m trying to cut expenses, but I had a few tweets with the author, Stephen Smotherman of Full-Time FBA on Twitter and he told me that his guide is 50% off (sale ends today, Sept 21). Since this was something that I was already interested in buying, I bought it that night to save money and so that I would have something to read on the airplane. Plus, games are something that I’m interested in pursuing because the easiest place for me to shop at is a thrift store on my way home from work. There is no extra driving out of my way to get there, it’s always full of games and it’s never crowded. I stop in there once or twice a week and always walk out with 2 or 3 factory sealed brand new games. Plus, they have 4 shelves full of used games. I especially bought his book so that I can learn more about processing the used ones.
I always recommend learning and please note that not all reading materials have to be purchased. I have learned a lot (for free) by following blogs, joining Amazon FBA Facebook groups and by getting on Twitter and Google+. Besides learning from others that are more experienced than me, I benefit from the coupon codes and sales notifications that everyone likes to share. It’s a win-win-win for everyone. The seller gets more sales, the buyer gets a discount and if an affiliate marketer is involved, they get a small commission.
Registering for Sales Tax
It’s been awhile since I last checked where my inventory is stored at. So, I logged into Seller Central and ran a Daily Inventory History report. In it, I found that I have a few products stored in South Carolina. This is the state that I’ve been putting off registering in because they charge a $50.00 registration fee. I figured that I would wait until I had nexus there first before registering. I have never shipped directly to South Carolina but apparently Amazon moved some of my products there. The specific products in South Carolina are ones that I sent to Amazon using Inventory Placement. I wonder if they would be in South Carolina if I didn’t use Inventory Placement…
Anyway, since I had extra computer time, I went ahead and registered for sales tax collection in South Carolina. Whenever I register for a state, I start by going to the TaxJar State Info page so that I can learn more about the specific state that I’m interested in. From there, I go to the State’s Department of Revenue’s website and fill out the registration form. In my opinion, South Carolina was one of the easiest states that I registered in. Either that or it’s because I’m more experienced in the whole process since I have done quite a few states already.
Applying for a Restricted Category
Last night I applied for the Health and Beauty Category. I chose that one because there are always health and beauty aid coupons in the Sunday paper and I may have a good chance of finding some good deals. Plus since I know I’ll have to buy products upfront to submit invoices to Amazon, I wanted to stick with things that I would use myself in case I didn’t get approved. I also chose this category over groceries because I don’t want to deal with food quite yet.
I started the process by going into Seller Central and searching for “categories” in the search box located at the top right corner. It brought up the page shown below and I selected “Categories and Products Requiring Approval”.
From there I was given a list of categories to choose from. After selecting Health & Personal Care, I read the seller and product requirements and then went on to request approval. It led me to a short form where they asked me to briefly describe the products that I wish to sell, my email address and my phone number. I am still waiting for a followup email from then explaining my next step in the process. I’ll let you know later if I get approved or not.
I believe that sourcing online will be my key to moving my Amazon FBA business to the next level because then I can source from home. This will give me more shopping opportunities as I can shop early in the morning while the retail stores are still closed and late at night when I don’t feel like going anywhere.
I did spend time yesterday sourcing online. The Reseller’s Guide to Board Games book has a chapter on how to search for games on eBay to sell on Amazon. I also tried a few of the tips that I learned from the online sourcing video from the Amazon Boot Camp. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck finding anything yesterday and will continue with it some more today. I genuinely enjoy shopping in person more than I do online, so it may take me some time before I find my online shopping flow.
I’ll also be missing out on a Sunday Sourcing Trip again on Sunday, Oct 4th. I’m going to Arizona to visit my dad earlier that week and I’ll be flying home on that Sunday. Hopefully by then I’ll be an online sourcing pro and will find lots of things to buy while I’m sitting at his house.
I wrote this post to keep you up to date on my progress and to point out that if your normal plans change, there are always other options. I may be a few weeks behind on sending in new inventory, but it’s ok because I found other areas to work on that will still move me forward in my business.
Good luck with your goals and I would love to hear how you are doing. Also, if you are on Twitter, please connect with me on there. I’m trying to get more active on that site and would like a few more friends on there. I’m 2ndhalfdreams and I often use the #AmazonFBA hashtag.
Featured Image Photo Credit: © thinglass – Fotolia.com.
Picture of Amazon Seller Central Screen Credit: Diana Poisson