Helping You with Your Amazon FBA Business

Toy and Shoe Numbers, Suspended Listings and a Buyer Complaint

Hello!  It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my “last items sold,” so it’s time to share my last 2 items that were sold and shipped.   Both are toys:

Toy #1: Paw Patrol – Hero Pup – Jungle Marshall

I bought this from Fred Meyer for $5.39.  It sold pretty quickly as it was received at the warehouse on Dec 7, 2016.  Here are the numbers:

Category: Toys
Ranking on 12/17/16: 93,699
Category Ranking %: Top 1.55%

Buy Cost: $5.39
Selling Price: $15.95
Net Profit after Fees: $15.95 – $5.30 (fees) – $5.39 (buy cost) = $5.26
ROI%: 97.59%

Toy #2: Breyer Tack & Blanket Set

Terrible Image.

I bought 5 of these from Bi-Mart for $8.99 each.  All of them sold pretty quickly as they were received at the Amazon warehouses on or after Dec 7, 2016.  Here are the numbers for the last one shipped:

Category: Arts, Crafts & Sewing (it’s also listed in toys).
Ranking on 12/17/16: 9,761
Category Ranking %: Top 0.29%

Buy Cost: $8.99
Selling Price: $18.49
Net Profit after Fees: $18.49 – $5.65 (fees) – $8.99 (buy cost) = $3.85
ROI%: 42.83%

After selling all 5 of them, I made about $20.00.

A Few Scary Messages

Earlier this week, I had a few scary messages.  First I received this email:

The ASIN in this email is for a Scooby Doo toy that I purchased at Toys R Us.

The next day I received the same email for a Lion Guard toy that I purchased at Walmart.

Both times the listings were suspended and the products were unavailable to purchase.  Then a few hours later, the suspensions were removed and they were up for sale again.

Then a couple of days ago, my morning was ruined because a customer emailed me through the buyer-seller messaging system complaining that the Paw Patrol toy that she bought from me was priced too high.

Naturally I marked up the price, but by no means was I gouging the customer.  I wasn’t sure what to do so I sent a message back to her and gave her a partial refund of $4.00 (my profit).

All of this kind of ruined my enthusiasm for toys.

*** Note: The same can happen with any product and in any category.

Toys vs Shoes

I actually stopped purchasing toys on Dec 1 (before the scary messages) because I checked my numbers and clearly saw that I make more money by selling shoes.

From Jan 1 to Nov 30, I sold 4 more toys than shoes, which is pretty even to me.

# Shoes Sold = # Toys Sold 

But my shoe sales are over 3x that of the toys:

Shoe Sales = Toy Sales x 3.2

Since I’m more concerned with profit than with sales, I checked my Category Profitability report in Inventory Lab.  I found that my average shoe profit is $30.00 and my average toy profit is $6.75.

Shoe Profits = Toy Profits x 4.44

Some people like Beth and Seth Maus (my Q4 toy coaches) do really well in toys and they sell toys all year long (not just in Q4!).  However, toys just aren’t my “thing” and moving forward, I’ll be focusing on shoes again as my primary category and books as my secondary category.

With that said, I’ll still sell toys and items from other categories, but they just won’t be at the top of my sourcing list.

Considering that I’m a one-woman operation, it’s easier for me to process 34 pairs of shoes to make a $1000 profit than it is to process 149 toys to make that same $1000 profit.

Thank You & What’s Your Favorite Category?

Thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to read this post.  If you have a few more minutes, I would love to hear about your favorite categories.  You can leave a quick note using the comment form below or on my Facebook page.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Olga December 17, 2016, 8:33 pm

    I agree about toys. My main focus is clothes & shoes, developing my PL products and books. The profit is better in shoes and clothing for sure

    • Diana December 17, 2016, 8:54 pm

      Sounds like we’re on the same page with shoes, clothing and books! I’m at the “thinking” stage of PL and will look into that more. Best of luck to you!

  • Charbel December 17, 2016, 9:21 pm

    Pet products

    • Diana December 17, 2016, 10:56 pm

      I just placed an order for pet products for my cockatiel right before I saw your comment! I only sold a few pet product so far…but believe that it’s a good category to get into as there are probably a lot of replenishables.

  • Kim December 17, 2016, 9:26 pm

    I’m starting with books in January. Then after a couple months planned to try toys but based on your calculations, toys don’t have the kind of profit shoes do. I’m going to be doing this mostly by myself with an infant to care for as well so I’d like to maximize my time (and profit) and focus on categories that are in line with that goal.

    • Diana December 17, 2016, 11:22 pm

      Hi Kim,

      I’m with you when it comes to maximizing time and profits by sourcing products with a higher profit margin.

      All categories are different and I do recommend scanning in many categories to learn about them and see what works for you. Even though toys didn’t work out for me, they may work out better for you.

      I started out with books and they are a great category as they’re inexpensive and typically have high ROI’s. Plus you don’t have to deal with brand restrictions in the book category like you have to with toys and shoes. I wish you the best of luck with Amazon!

  • Ree Klein December 17, 2016, 11:35 pm

    Hi Diana,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve bumped into some road blocks, but the lesson is valuable and it caused you to think about your strategy going forward. Perhaps it was a good thing after all.

    I have struggled with some jewelry I picked up earlier this year. I had to get approved in the jewelry category, which wasn’t too hard, but then I had to learn how to get images with pure white backgrounds. That’s required for the main image in jewelry…even fashion jewelry. Then, I learned that Amazon has stopped allowing newer sellers advertise their jewelry listings. ACK!

    It has taken me months to figure out the image issue so I’m not paying to get them done (I can now get awesome images myself) and I’ve cracked the code on finding keywords that get my products noticed.

    After months of holding onto this inventory and working through one road block after another, I’m finally selling some of the pieces. Yeah! While I would have like to avoid all this delay and the headache, I’m better off because I’ve learned a lot by not giving up.

    Looking forward to hearing how your year winds up. I bet that’s going to be a great post!

    Cheers ~

    • Diana December 18, 2016, 12:06 am

      Hey Ree,
      That’s great that you worked through your jewelry issues and have now sold a few pieces. I’m also approved in jewelry but haven’t done anything with that yet. I really haven’t heard about anyone selling in the jewelry category so maybe you won’t have to deal with the race-to-the-bottoms like with other categories and have very little competition.

      You are much better than me with the images. I can create the white backgrounds in Photoshop Elements but I’m very slow at it. Since I don’t make too many product listings, I finally just decided to outsource that task.

      I’m looking forward to hearing more about your plans for next year. I am starting to think about doing PL products like you do and may call on you for some advice.

      Take Care!


      • Ree Klein December 18, 2016, 5:07 am

        I’d love to talk about any private label ideas you have, Diana, just say the word and we can dig in!

        Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year 🙂

        • Diana December 18, 2016, 4:05 pm

          Thanks Ree! 🙂


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I am working towards creating a full-time income by selling on Amazon. It's a lot of work but very fun! If you're interested in selling on Amazon, be sure to follow my blog as I'll be providing you with lots of tips!

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