This was quite the year for reselling. I think many folks would agree that there is a whole lot to talk about!
Highlighting Amazon’s Changes
Amazon has made a ton of changes over the past year. For starters, Amazon enhanced the Amazon Seller App (in late 2015), and then made further upgrades to include support for business pricing. They’ve also opened 18 new Fulfillment Centers in 2016, but it still wasn’t enough to to stave off the fact that warehouses are more full than ever. In March, Amazon restricted how many units of some Amazon Stock Index Numbers (ASIN), you could send in. If that was not enough, Amazon restricted new sellers from utilizing Fulfillment by Amazon for Q4. The fact of the matter is, that those were not the only changes for FBA in Q4!
- Amazon increased Monthly Inventory Fees.
- But that wasn’t enough, Amazon followed it up with more storage fee changes, including no longer having 1 single unit of inventory free.
Amazon has continued its path toward being the Infrastructure and Supply Chain provider of choice. In fact, they unveiled Amazon One, and continue to expand Prime Air. In my opinion, Amazon has been a market disruptor in tons of infrastructure areas, just look at Amazon.com, Prime Air, Amazon Web Services. This is where Amazon truly flourishes.
In October Amazon changed their Customer Review Policy. This particular change was painful for Private Label, but I suspect that this hurt third party service providers more than anyone else.
In November, Amazon added Fedex as a discounted shipping partner. I’ve never been a huge fan of Fedex, so this wasn’t really a big deal for me, but I’m sure for many, it was a welcome change. I personally, am a big fan of Big Brown. Their folks have been awesome over the year, even wearing Santa Hats in the last week before Christmas.
In December, Amazon announced yet more bad fee changes for Q4 2017.
My Own Reselling Evolution
Well, we’ve continued the holding ResellingDO conferences, and I’ve partnered with Phil Hall on the Mile High Reselling Club Facebook Group. These two components have led to significant growth, for my business, and for me personally. Reselling can be a lonely gig, so networking is huge. In fact, the interpersonal contacts from the DO and the Facebook Group have been absolutely huge. Yes, I still have my full time job, and I do reselling for fun, but the social aspect really is the most fulfilling aspect.
As far as the business, well, this is the first year we haven’t done 300% growth. It was bound to happen, as you get to a certain size, you either have to go all in, or accept the fact that you cannot maintain such growth. I will admit though that at a certain point in the year, I also learned a valuable lesson that Matt shared a week or so ago. Before that, I had gone after every single opportunity I saw that met my revenue targets, and it stressed me out. It stressed my wife out. It even stressed our dog out (because, after all, he has to inspect every package that enters the house). There was a point where I looked at some of those “great deals” and saw the return was just not worth the craziness that I was going through every day after work. Since that point, my revenues dropped temporarily, but my profit margin actually increased, but most importantly, my quality of life increased.
I’ve been very happy with reselling. Its a fun mental challenge. Trying to work out the math–with the help of the Amazon Seller app–to determine if something is profitable. The calculated risk involved. The occasional adrenaline rush when you happen to pull up the Amazon Seller App and see that you’ve beaten a previous one day, one week, or one month sales record. But like I said, most of all, I’ve enjoyed the social aspect this year of reselling. I need to figure out how to grow that aspect, not just personally, but I think as a community, we should grow that, because in today’s age of electronics, it is far too easy to lull ourselves into a solitude-like environment.
But yeah, overall, its been a very interesting year. I think when I look at all of Amazon’s changes, they feel a lot like frequent flyer changes, but, yet, despite a lot of the bad news, it seems to have worked out pretty well for me, and so far as I’ve been able to tell, also for you all.
So with that, Here’s to a Great New Year of Reselling in 2017!
Please, share your experiences from 2016 in the comments.