Maximizing Amazon FBA Holiday Sales

Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments

Amazon sellers all know that the holiday season (Q4) is by far the most productive time of the year for sales and moving inventory.  What can Amazon sellers do to take advantage of the customer buying frenzy that the holidays provide?  Let’s take a look at some ideas that can help all sellers plan for the upcoming holiday season.

 

Setting Up Your Inventory for the Holidays

There are many things that experienced FBA sellers learn just by experiencing several holiday seasons.  Many aspects of selling are very different during Q4, compared to the rest of the year.  Pricing and inventory management strategy should be tailored to buying activity during Q4.  Here are some FBA tips for selling more products in Q4.

  1. Don’t wait until the last second to send in holiday inventory.  Poor timing is the biggest mistake that many rookie FBA’ers make in their first couple of holiday seasons.  Many customers are done buying Christmas gifts by the first week in December.  Holiday decor items are often purchased 4-6 weeks BEFORE the holiday.  So, keep in mind that by the time you buy inventory, get it shipped to you if you buy online, list it and package it for sending in to Amazon, you could have 7-10 extra days before your holiday items are for sale on Amazon.  Start thinking about Christmas inventory in August and September, not November.
  2. Don’t forget about Halloween FBA sales and Thanksgiving FBA sales.  September and October are great times to sell holiday decor.  Halloween can really be a great time to sell FBA products and not many sellers think about the holiday.  Halloween decor consistently sells for higher prices than Christmas decor, due to availability.   These types of holiday items are great sources of inventory and you can find it CHEAP after the prior holiday season is over in department stores and thrift stores.  I recently found a dancing Frankenstein dude, that sang the song “Monster Mash”, with the tags still on it at a church sale for 25c and listed it on Amazon FBA for $45.
  3. Watch out for Long Term Storage (LTS) Fees, especially for large decor items.  Ideally, you want to sell 90% of your holiday inventory during Q4, so that you don’t pay LTS fees after the quarter is over.  Avoid sending in large volumes of single items, unless you know it will sell quickly.  You can always store part of a lot and ship it in later when inventory moves.  It’s also a great idea to save items bought on clearance after the prior holidays until the next September, in order to avoid paying LTS fees.
  4. Stay on top of your pricing.  Take advantage of the Amazon Buy Box, which is a huge advantage for Amazon FBA sellers.  Keep your prices competitive and price a good percentage of your items low enough, so that they are featured as the best price in the Buy Box.  Remember that pricing fluctuates much more during the holidays, as customers buy larger volumes of items and sellers try to move inventory.  If you do not use an automatic re-pricing program, you should manually adjust your prices routinely throughout Q4, in order to move inventory.
  5. Know what is HOT, especially with toys.  Toys are probably the most consistent sellers in Q4.   Every family with kids buys online these days.  Do your research online and figure out which toys are going to be in high demand during the holiday season.  When these items sell out at stores (and they always do), these items command premium pricing opportunities for those sellers that did their homework.  Even if you buy these hot toys at full price at department stores, you can still sell them at double that price if they start selling out!  I remember several years ago when the Frozen play sets were flying off the shelves.  I was finding them in my local Wal-Mart for $50 and selling them the same day Merchant Fulfilled for $150.  Sometimes, living in a small town can be a huge advantage.  Remember, just because an item is available in YOUR local Meijer, that does not mean that the item is available anywhere in big cities, where the toys are being bought as soon as they hit the shelves.

 

 

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