Time just fly’s by doesn’t it? So here is where I am in my Amazon selling journey. I killed it in the first two months then BAM! The bottom fell out, and it’s all my fault. I saw the gold ring and could not resist reaching for it. All I can say is you have to crawl before you can walk. I saw all the big profits that the Privet label guys were making, so I got sidetracked and instead of following my original plan I got into things like building a website, sending away to China for samples. I even became affiliated with a global book distributor so here’s the bottom line. I ordered coloring books that I got from the book dealer at a 35% discount only to find I could have bought them from Amazon cheaper yea dumb huh? During all this time of reaching for the gold ring, my inventory dwindled to about 37 books with a very low selling price, so cheap I even lost twenty-five cents on one of them due to Amazon’s fees so I re-priced my little inventory so I would not get burned again. My last check was only fifty-one dollars, and some change which was what woke me up to what I had been doing was getting greedy. So now I have all this inventory that is six dollars an item that is on page two and three where no one ever looks resulting in no sales. What do I do to fix this mess? I still have to pay thirty-nine dollars a month and sell forty-one items each month or drop down to a non-pro account and pay another dollar to Amazon in selling fees for each item sold.
Here is what I discovered. I took the books that I had started selling them as Merchant Fulfilled. I built a spreadsheet that had six charts with each weight break down for mailing media, and I found I could make money on postage. Take a look at the table below as I explain how the finer details of merchant fulfilled work.
|Up to 1 Pound $2.61|
|Book Cost||$ 0.20|
|Postage on sale||$ 3.99|
|Actual Postage to Mail||$ 2.61|
|15% Amazon Referral Fee||$ 0.60|
|Variable Closing Fee||$ 1.35|
|Mailing Supplies||$ 0.02|
|Selling Price||$ 4.00|
|Left after Amazon Fee’s||$ 3.21|
The last batch of books I bought was over one thousand and was two hundred dollars that break down to about twenty cents per book. When I sold this book in the example on Amazon as FBA Fulfilled By Amazon I lost a quarter because of fees (If you want to know leave a comment, and I will post it). In this FBM example, you can see, I made a little over three dollars on the four-dollar book. I also figured out that if I made the mailing boxes, I would be able to save even more. So Combining that and the fact I was also saving fifty cents per book by not sending it to amazons warehouse not to mention they sometimes transfer your stuff to other stores which, you guessed it they charge a fee. Even though it shows three dollars and twenty-one cents, on average in this selling sincere I could be as high as four dollars in my pocket instead of losing twenty-five cents.
If you have noticed the “mailing supplies” are only two-cents that is for the tape to close the boxes. I found a way to make my boxes for free “free is good” Everywhere you look people are throwing away cardboard of all kinds and sizes I did some experimenting and came up with standard sizes that I could pre-make and have ready for shipping. I made a sheet metal template I put down on two sheets of cardboard and just trace it with a razor knife. I can make two at once turning out about forty boxes in a few hours or less. If I was one of the big booksellers, I could get mailers for about fifteen cents each. I would have to be mailing over one hundred books a day to get discounts like that, for now, I have not found any boxes for less than a dollar or two so for me that’s a significant saving.