Amazon Slow Sales: It Sucks, and How I’m Coping

I haven’t posted here in a while. I realized last night, though I’ve had “Post to blog” on my to-do list for a while, that I’ve been avoiding it. Because Amazon slow sales suck and I don’t want to think about it or talk about it even. It feels like nothing is happening, nothing is flowing. Are you feeling it, too? [Please tell me I’m not the only one.]

Ebay sales suck, too, and I’ve had some big returns and postage dues there and I’m just tired of reselling at this point in the year. Wanting to feel that rush of happiness that comes when you check your orders and there’s 5 new orders. Or 10. Haven’t had that in a while.

I’m a big believer in positive thinking and in the law of attraction – that what you think about comes to you. But lately I’ve definitely been falling into the trap of just mulling over sales and checking my [lack of] orders repeatedly.

Now that I’ve got my whining out of the way here, I do feel better. Trying to remind myself that I am the effort, not the outcome helps. I have a new private label bundle I hope to order within the next week (and again, things are moving SO SLOWLY on that front. Aargh), and thinking about that helps. Reminding myself that when I add items to inventory, things do sell. So what am I doing to cope?

I am culling old inventory hard. I have books in my inventory from when I started this Amazon FBA thing in earnest, in early 2014. Now competitors have the same books at .01. Perhaps I made the wrong buying choice, perhaps my ranking parameters were too loose. All I know is those books have been through several semester selling cycles and haven’t sold. Time to dump ’em.

I am repricing old inventory aggressively. Again, for books put into inventory in 2014, I am dropping prices to get as much capital as I can prior to the 2014 season. For a while, I was reading a great blog called FBA Mastery. I learned a lot from the writer, but maybe it was my pie in the sky FBA goggles [I hadn’t been through the slow season at that time], but I was under the impression that everything sold. Today, I still believe that, with the exception of penny books. And I have a lot of those that have dropped to that status.

I am making listings for new items I find, especially Merchant Fulfilled grocery items. I am testing new products by buying a couple, setting up a new listing, and seeing if they sell. As one person and short shelf-life dates, I have to be careful about wasting money here, but I have found a couple winners that bring in some extra cash.

I am adding product lines and getting ungated in several categories. Within the past week, I’ve ungated myself in Clothing and Accessories. I used Christina Blum’s SharedVA service, with detailed webinars for how to create a Clothing flat file. At only 39.99, it’s a lot cheaper to DIY this (though I did pay $150 for Shoe ungating early in the year, and felt it was worthwhile).

That’s what I’m doing, even though sales suck. And reminding myself that the real selling season is just a few weeks away. By streamlining my inventory and adding new products, my hope is get the Amazon FBA faucet streaming again. Chin up, friends.