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Please quit. Now.

This post is a bit of a brain dump as I'm watching a healthy fraction of Amazon sellers quitting for no valid reason. If they're not quitting, they're panicking and pulling back on everything, virtually hiding under the covers.

See, some sellers - including me - see their online sales fluctuate wildly. There are some likely reasons for this, and they're cyclical and controllable, as I'll explain in a minute.

Here's some points, encouragement and help:

1.) If you're going to win at Amazon, you accept the lumps and find a way to adapt. Quitting is for losers. I love quitters. It helps clear the deck. This happened repeatedly over the years with eBay sellers. eBay would increase their fees ever so slightly, and some sellers threw a fit, stomped out of the sandbox and went to sell elsewhere (that didn't work out to well for them, with the exception of the folks who left for Amazon).

2.) If there is indeed a dip overall, it's temporary. Online product sales can tend to match a dip in the stock market. The stock market can be wonky, and when there's uncertainty, consumers tightening their belt and not buying as much. It's human nature. When things stabilize, their spending habits continue as if nothing happened.

3.) The time to buy inventory is RIGHTNOW. You're freaking out and guess what? Retailers (online and stores) are freaking out too and slashing prices. Are you or your virtual assistants checking clearance deals online daily? Physical retailers are clearing their shelves, too - have you been scouting at your local stores (do more than just follow the herd to the retail stores closing this year)?

4.) FREE inventory abounds. Do you look? Do you ask your local store managers' for extra discounts? Do you make the stuff come to you? Getting free/cheap inventory - especially books and media - help 'fill in the revenue holes' when sales are down.

5.) Your risk is incredibly low. Many independent 'mom-and-pop' online sellers like myself are very privileged to have Amazon/eBay for revenue. We start selling with nearly nothing, and we earn $10K - $100K+ per year with minimal overhead and sunk costs. Some of those who are considering quitting Amazon are also considering getting a $200K loan to open up a Chipotle franchise, where they pay it back over 30 years and have to show up to work every day for the first 5 years. I'm being serious - quitters panic and then they think the higher the dollar outlay for their next venture, the better chances for their success.

6.) Buy when no one else wants the stuff. If you're stumped at your low sales, are you getting more 'risk-tolerant' by sourcing products off-season for future holidays  (next Halloween, next Christmas, etc.) where consumers lose their minds and buy everything under the sun? The time to do that is right now. Every year, I spend $5K to $10K in major name-brand Christmas merchandise via online and retail stores, and put it in a spare room. This nets me at least 100% return on investment when I sell it in the future respective holiday. The deals are there, you have to use elbow grease and be patient.

7.) Out of sourcing/product ideas? That's impossible. The amount of free/inexpensive information to help with (say) selling your own private label product  has never been more abundant than now. So if you're convinced sourcing locally or via online arbitrage isn't helping you, try something different without losing a fortune (or your mind):

  • Free: Scott Voelker of TheAmazingSeller gives away free advise in his podcast episodes that cover EVERY aspect of private label under the sun.

Things will turn around. Remember that Amazon keeps grabbing a larger share of consumer's online spending. You just need a little elbow grease, determination and less 'following the herd' to win.


BONUS: Revisit this post, and take action. Don't be a quitter!



{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Anthony May 16, 2016, 4:28 pm

    I was happy to discover you are still doing podcasts. I love your very positive
    attitude at all times. You are so sure of yourself and prove it all the time that it is
    a very welcome anchor to hang onto in listening to you speak on your podcasts.
    I have hit an all time low in trying to be an informed seller and it still isn’t working that well. However, knowing it is time to dig in helps. Unfortunately, I
    didn’t take advantage of Q4 in 2015 and I missed the boat. I’m trying to get a
    handle on exactly how to learn how to spot good buys. I recently bought your
    Cleer Platinum and I’m still studying it to give me an edge on selling Thank you
    for your vast wisdom and I’m glad, as a Nevadan, to welcome you as a neighbor, from Reno.
    Regards and thanks,

    • Jordan Malik May 18, 2016, 11:23 am

      Thanks Anthony! Hang in there persistence pays off. If I can do it you can too!

  • Mike February 20, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Thanks you Jordan.. You share some very valuable information and we appreciate it.

  • Diane February 9, 2016, 9:45 pm

    Is there a way for any of us to know who is quitting or cutting back, or is this based on your personal contacts/information? Thanks for the information you make available to us … you are extremely encouraging!

  • Regina February 9, 2016, 6:34 pm

    Thanks Jordan…this post was exactly what I needed to hear today. It gave me a little shot in the arm to keep going!!! As always I love receiving and reading your emails. Thanks again!

  • Burnis Tuck February 9, 2016, 12:29 am

    Welcome to the West, Jordan! As a central Californian I have to say you just didn’t go quite far enough…;-) I’m really sorry for you loss and hope you get settled in quickly–your family has suffered some serious stressful “life-events” this new year. Your post today really hit home and inspired me to dig in and not get discouraged. I’ve just about finished my 2015 tax return and I’m down a few thou from 2014 but I don’t think I’m out of the game yet. I’m 77+ and sell mostly books on Amazon (the last 12 years) but it’s still fun and a great supplement to my civil service pension. Thanks for you nuts and bolts and fun blogs and emails. Have a great New Year!

    • Jordan Malik February 9, 2016, 11:31 am

      Burnis I love the fact that you’ve been selling books for 12 years, that’s no small accomplishment! Keep going!

  • Nancy February 8, 2016, 6:27 pm

    I agree with Eleanor, being a seller on Amazon allows me the freedom to work when and if I want while looking after an elderly parent.

  • Eleanor February 8, 2016, 6:12 pm

    You always make me laugh… Those morons are hilarious! Great points I love selling on Amazon and the freedom it gives me as a single mom. ?

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