Last April, I lost $24.00 on four Hello Kitty Personal CD Players that I sold. What happened was that I signed up for a repricer free trial and the repricer lowered the price of the CD Players so low that it didn’t even cover my buy price.
- Buy Price: $12.48
- Selling Price: $10.15
- Average Loss Per Item: $6.00
I take responsibility for this as the repricer did what I told it to do – adjust the price to 1.5% above Buy Box price . My mistake was allowing a price adjustment to go through that was too low. Mistakes happen but none of the CD Players would have been sold at that low price if I had told Amazon what my minimum price was first.
The Update Inventory with the Price & Quantity page explains how the “Your Minimum Price” field works:
How to Set Your Minimum Price
I just set mine in my Manage Inventory page. Go to the “Your Minimum Price” column in your inventory page and enter a price.
Here’s how it looks in the New Manage Inventory Page:
Tip: If you don’t see the column, check click on the “Preferences” button (not shown) and click in the box to enable the column.
Now, whenever the selling price goes under the minimum price, Amazon will stop the listing and send you an email. I know this works because I received two of those emails. To reactivate the listing, all you need to do is either raise your selling price or lower your minimum price.
For the Hello Kitty CD Players, a good minimum price is $17.60 because that gives a $1.00 profit after fees.
How to Calculate Your Minimum Price
Ever since I lost money on the CD Players, I’ve been adding minimum prices to my inventory listings. It takes a while to go though all them, but it’s well worth the time. Every few days, I pick a few items and calculate the minimum selling price using the FBA Revenue Calculator. I do this by entering my buy cost in the “Prep Service” field and then entering different selling prices until I find a minimum selling price that I can live with. Most give me a profit of between $1.00 and $3.00.
Keep in mind, the minimum price is not your selling price. It’s just the lowest price that you’re willing to go.
A Little Off Topic, But Another Mistake I Made
My other mistake was not watching the pricing on the CD players after listing them. I bought them in early January and listed them for $29.95 (or so) and then did nothing. If I paid better attention and saw that they were rapidly dropping in price, I would have priced more competitively to sell them before the selling price reached $17.60. Instead, I held onto them and sold them at a loss in April.
Two Reasons to Enter Your Minimum Price
- To protect yourself from pricing errors from either yourself or a repricer. As mentioned earlier, if your selling price gets set lower than your minimum price, then your listing becomes inactive so that you don’t accidentally sell your product at a loss. Like I said, mistakes happen. What if you typed in $0.99 instead of $9.99 and didn’t catch your typing mistake?
- To know how low you can go and still make a profit. Sometimes you just want to get rid of inventory that’s old and not moving. With the minimum price already calculated, it’s easy to go through your inventory list and lower your prices without worrying about going so low that you’ll lose money. If you do want to take a loss to move on, then that’s fine. But at least your loss won’t hit you by surprise.
By the way, I decided to not continue with the automatic repricer. But if you want to try one, I recommend entering your minimum prices on all of your inventory before starting your repricer free trial. This is so you don’t waste your free trial time figuring out your minimums.
p.s. I would love to hear your stories on losing money due to pricing errors. Hopefully though, it hasn’t happened to too many of you. Please share in the comment form below or on my Facebook page.
p.p.s. Beth Maus has a training program called Making BIG Profits with Toys Outside of Q4. Take a look at it if you’re interested in getting into toys. I bought the course and joined the coaching group and am learning a lot. In the past, I’ve been buying random toys and now it’s nice to have a few toys researched and a plan before hitting the stores.