Sometimes we humans can be a stubborn lot. Many times, we hard-headedly try to fix things ourselves as they keep snowballing downwards until it’s too late. Amazon FBA sellers are particularly susceptible as it’s so easy to isolate yourself. In this article, we want to help you identify warning signs that it’s time to get help with your Amazon FBA venture.
You haven’t been seeing profits for over 2-3 months
For many brick-and-mortar businesses out in the real world, not being profitable for months on end when they are new is pretty normal. Even chain stores can expect a new branch to run at a loss for some time.
However, brick-and-mortar stores face a lot of extra challenges compared to someone that sells on Amazon. For one, they have a much higher overhead.
Physical stores have to pay huge amounts of rent, people need to be informed of their existence, and they have a lot more staff to run the establishment. As a seller on Amazon, you have none of that. You only pay for your merchandise when you buy it and get it to an Amazon FBA warehouse.
You might have some warehousing fees and in certain instances, you will have to pay some of the fulfillment fees yourself, but in general, these are nothing compared to the expenses physical stores face.
However, if you look at other success and experiment, most people started seeing a profit within their second month. This is because they chose products that they could sell at high margins to quickly cover their costs and burst into profitability.
Of course, sales volume plays a huge role in profitability too and we will look at that next.
Where to get help
Your first recourse here should be to rethink your business yourself. Most people who made a success with their Amazon FBA venture hit a few bumps in the road before hitting the jackpot. In fact, many successful Amazon sellers still make mistakes whenever they take on something new. The key is to learn from it and do better next time.
The best places to get help is at blogs like the Online Selling Experiment where you can get tips from real-life individuals who have tried their luck selling on Amazon.
You aren’t seeing higher sales volumes
If your sales numbers aren’t growing, your business likely isn’t going anywhere soon. No matter at what profit margin you operate, eventually you need to get those sales ticking over faster and faster if you want to grow your business and fulfill your lofty ambitions.
There could be a number of reasons why your sales volumes have gone stagnant:
- Negative reviews and ratings: Online customers put a lot of trust in product reviews and ratings. If you have a low rating or a lot of negative feedback, it will put customers off and Amazon will punish you with lower search visibility.
- Your niche is too competitive: If there are too many sellers with the same product, it might simply be too hard to get noticed and rise above the rest.
- Your niche is too obscure: If you have a very niche-specific product, the problem might be that not enough people know it exists. In this case, the onus will be on you to create awareness.
- Poor product descriptions: If you don’t sell your product well, you can’t expect to make a lot of sales. A professional and high-quality product page helps you convert interested browsers into actual customers.
- Your product pages aren’t SEO-friendly: Search Engine Optimization is what puts you higher up the rankings in search results. You will need to use keywords and niche-related jargon to make your products more visible on Google and Amazon alike.
Where to get help
- Customer reviews: Invest in customer review management tool. AMZFinder is a popular option and on this list they also provide alternatives.
- Hire an SEO expert: On freelancing sites like Upwork and Freelancer.com, you can find people to do your SEO and product content writing for you. This will save a lot of your time and hopefully improve your quality.
You are overwhelmed by bookkeeping
Once your business grows, you will need to start keeping better and better track of your financials. Not only will this help you make smart business decisions, but you will need accurate numbers to legally and efficiently deal with the complicated tax requirements for online sales. The latter could land you in legal trouble or sink your business once the tax man catches up to you.
Staying on top of your business figures will also help you realize when you are in trouble in terms of your profits or stagnating sales volumes. If you sell multiple products, it could be hard keeping track of each products FBA and seller fees.
In your Amazon Seller Central dashboard, Amazon does provide some handy tools for you to manage inventory, view sales reports, etc, but even with these tools, it’s not a simple task. Add on to this the fact that you will need to do your taxes at some point which comes with a whole grocery list of caveats and considerations, like tax that varies per state you sell in, and it might just become impossible for one person to do while focusing on their business.
Where to find help
There are agencies online dedicated to helping online retailers (or Amazon sellers) to do their taxes correctly and above board. They also provide advice on what’s the best way forward if you have been non-compliant and now want to go compliant.
There are plenty of tools available online to help you track and report on your sales and income. Tools like Taxjar and Taxify or consultancies like Catching Clouds or Bench could be the answer for you.
Amazon FBA Training Courses or Seminars
If you need intensive help with one, or all, of these typical problem areas for Amazon FBA sellers, you might want to look for Amazon FBA training courses or seminars near you. If nothing else, these events are great places to meet like-minded people and to share ideas, stories of success or failure, and make connections.
The Sellers Playbook offers obligation-free seats to seminars where you can gain invaluable insight and accounts from within the Amazon FBA industry from knowledgeable experts.
Don’t delay, get the help you need!
We hope that this article has helped you identify the biggest warning signs that your Amazon FBA business might be in serious trouble. Swallow your pride and get some help if you recognize any of these issues. It might just save your business!