If you desire a monthly guide to lead you through the different monthly holidays, selling opportunities and deadlines, then take a look at Stephen Smotherman’s book, The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA.
This is Stephen’s third book and for those that don’t know who Stephen is, he’s a full-time Amazon FBA seller and he shares his knowledge in his blog, Full-Time FBA. I tend to think of Stephen as the “tips” guy as his blog is full of Seller Central tips to help you navigate through Amazon’s system.
I “met” Stephen last year on Twitter after I tweeted about a used Operation Board Game that I sold. Stephen told me about his book, The Reseller’s Guide to Board Games and I bought it and read it all on a flight to Las Vegas. Since then, I’ve been reading his blog and learned a lot from it such as how to sign up for Global Export.
A Years Worth of Information – Presented in Monthly Chapters
Unlike a blog where topics are usually posted in random order, the Reseller’s Guide is divided into monthly chapters. This way, you’ll learn what’s important for a specific month in that month plus the month before.
For example, long-term storage fees come up in February and August, but in the guide, he’s going to help you with minimizing those fees in January & February and again in July & August. This way you’re able to take action early to sell long-standing inventory so you’re not hit with a large storage fee.
Another way to look at his monthly format is that you’re not just focusing on this month, but you’re also planning for next month. I completely missed Valentine’s Day 2015 because by the time that I realized it was coming up, it was already February and too late to source and send in Valentine’s Day products. In the guide, Stephen discusses Valentine’s Day in both January & February.
Don’t Read the Whole Book at One Time – Read it in Monthly Chunks
I received a complimentary copy of the book in late October 2015 and quickly glanced through the Table of Contents. There’s over 160 pages of valuable information covered, but I must admit that reading about the spring and summer months is on the bottom of my priority list while I’m busy concentrating on Q4.
So I read the introduction and was relieved when he gave two suggestions on how to read the book in smaller chunks rather than reading it all at once. I chose the monthly method where I’ll read the current & upcoming month’s chapter each month. This keeps the monthly information fresh as opposed to reading it all at once and then forgetting about it months later.
Now that it’s November, I have read the November and December chapters. Next month, I’ll read the December and January Chapters.
Since I started with November, here are the November topics:
- Thankful: This was a surprise section because it’s not about FBA selling tips, but it’s about Being Thankful and it’s an important message that’s easily forgotten. I’m very thankful that I have my health, my family, a home to live in, food on the table and much more that I’ll keep private. Plus, I’m thankful that I’ve been married 16 years and today’s my 16th wedding anniversary!
- Dollar General Toy Sale: If there’s a Dollar General store in your area, then you’ll want to learn about a great sale that usually starts on November 1.
- Post Halloween: A list of what to buy after Halloween and the best week to buy them.
- More Than Just Toys: Great reminder that there are other profitable items to source for besides toys!
- Baby It’s Cold Outside: A list of winter-related items to look for.
- Summer in November? Here he reminds you that some areas are still experiencing warm weather and people are still buying up summer items! He gives a list of warm-weather items to look for.
- Correct Q4 Expectations: Interesting information about Amazon warehouse workers plus inventory tips.
- Hot Toys: Hot Toy Selling Tip that you should do before Thanksgiving and what you can expect in December.
- Black Friday: Stephen avoids the Black Friday crowds but knows how to take advantage of the Black Friday specials at home. Here he gives you tips for online Black Friday shopping.
- Black Friday Preparation: He starts by telling you how to get the Black Friday ads in advance so you can start your research. Then for those that want to venture out to the stores, he helps you plan for the big day.
- Black Friday Shopping Day: List of things to bring with you to make your shopping day easier and more comfortable.
- Hiring Help for Black Friday: Examples on how hired help can save you time at the stores and suggestions on how to pay your helpers.
- Bonus Black Friday Tips: Great tips – there are a couple that I already do, but the one that I need to learn is the shopping cart trick.
- Better Prices Before AND After Black Friday: Black Friday sales may not be the absolute best price. The days where you may see better sales & better prices.
- Go At Your Own Pace: Good advice on what to do if the whole Black Friday thing overwhelms you.
- After Thanksgiving: After Thanksgiving sales to look for.
- Cyber Monday: What you need to do before Cyber Monday.
- Quick Q4 Tips for November: 5 Tips to guide you through November
- Final Thoughts About November: Why Stephen loves to source in November.
- Important Dates: Dollar General sale, Amazon dates important to Sellers, November holidays
- Recommended Resources: Links to items that were discussed in the November chapter. This way you don’t have to search for them.
Whew, there’s a lot of information presented in the November chapter. Don’t worry though, it’s a quick read as the entire chapter is just 14 pages long.
I’m not going to go through December like I did with November or else I’ll never get this blog post finished. Naturally, you’ll learn about Christmas but he moves beyond that and also discusses the year-end reports that you’ll need for taxes and setting goals for 2016.
Is this a book for New or Experienced Amazon FBA Sellers?
Before I answer that, here’s what you can expect to learn about (from the Sales Page):
- important deadlines
- what items to search for
- holidays to prepare for
- sales to take advantage of
- resources that will help you become an expert in many different aspects of online reselling
In my opinion, this book is beneficial for all Sellers because there’s a wide range of topics presented and many are about things that we all need to know about. For example, take the first bullet point – important deadlines.
A couple of important deadlines are long-term storage fees and federal income taxes. All Sellers need to take action before these two non-fun deadlines come up and if you’re not paying attention to them, you may be paying out more money than you need to in long term storage fees and tax penalties. So, this book is definitely for anyone that needs help with remembering deadlines.
One of my biggest challenges is finding enough inventory to send in and I often leave stores short of hitting my buying goal. So I’m very happy that Stephen gives sourcing suggestions based on the season, the holiday or the store sales that are going on. Not only that, he gives tips about sourcing in different places. The two that I’m interested in are garage sales and trade shows because so far, I haven’t sourced at either one.
For absolute beginners, keep in mind that this book isn’t going to show you how to list, label, prep and ship. For that, I recommend Jessica Larrew’s Amazon Boot Camp (see my review here).
It’s 2015 now. Will the book help me in 2016?
Some of you may be concerned that the book won’t be relevant for 2016 because as we know, things change. Don’t worry, I received an email from Stephen saying that he’s in the process of updating the book for 2016. Once you buy the book, you’ll be a life-time buyer which means that if you purchase the book in 2015, you’ll receive the updated 2016 edition.
I believe this book will help me in 2016 because I have the bad habit of jumping from idea to idea (shiny object syndrome). I’ve been pretty good at focusing on toys since Summer 2015, but just recently, I decided that next I’ll jump into shoes and then a few days later, I scratched that idea and decided to learn extreme couponing. While I always want to learn new niches and techniques, this book will help me stay aware of what’s important today so I don’t forget anything important while I’m chasing that new shiny object.
Bonuses & Money Back Guarantee
At this time, if you purchase the book, you’ll also receive access to a Year in the FBA Private Facebook Group, the Year in FBA Notebook and the Year in FBA Printable Calendar. If you join the Facebook group, let me know and I’ll look for you in there.
Click here to go to the sales page where you can purchase the book. Since it’s an ebook, you’ll get a link to download it to your computer. Don’t worry, if you’re not satisfied with it, you can request a refund within 60 days of purchase.
Since I have a copy of the book, please ask me any questions about what a specific section covers. Keep in mind though, I’m not going to give away any tips! 🙂