Season items do sell year round on Amazon, however in Season sells for some items explode. Dawn and I first start seriously devoting some time testing the Amazon FBA business model in August of 2013.
At that time retailers were drastically reducing their price of all their Summer items. We found great deals everywhere on pool toys.
We bought a lot of items, and were shocked at how many dive mask, floats, and armbands we sold through September. We had about 25 sets of Dive Sticks we decided not to send, because are competitors were drastically dropping their prices daily and we had the space to just store them until Spring. We watch the price drop from our original $10 selling price to $2.00 which means they were losing money. Eventually our competitors sold out of all their inventory and we sent in 3 sets at a time, selling a few units throughout the Winter months at our original $10 price.
At the end of March we sent our remaining inventory to Amazon. Getting seasonal items to an FBA warehouse as soon as possible is the smart and profitable thing to do. You don’t make any money with products sitting in your garage. Thinking through your pricing strategy is something you need to do with Season Items. If your business can tie up the cash for a few months, and you have the storage space, buying off season items can provide 5 – 10 times your ROI, instead of the normal 3 – 1 ratio we look for.
After Christmas last year we saw 7 pallets of Christmas items, trees and large outdoor decorations go at one of the auctions we regularly attend for $300.00. There were thousands of dollars in items, but at the time, we simply didn’t have the space to store 7 pallets of merchandise, and renting a storage unit didn’t enter my mind, Duh!
If the goal of your business is to have super fast turnaround with your items selling very quickly after arriving at the FBA warehouse, then you will probably just want to price your item like you usually do. However if you want to make the most ROI from your seasonal product, you’ll need to gather all the pricing information to pick the best price possible. With this info in mind, you want to price your seasonal item as if you were going to sell in season and keep them there. Try to keep a few items at Amazon at all times, and get the bulk of your inventory them early in the season.
CamelCamelCamel.com is a free to use website that tracks the price changes on millions of Amazon products. Multiple times a day, CamelCamelCamel.com records the current low new price, current low used price, and current Amazon price of items.
Searching for price history is easy. Just enter the UPC number, ISBN, AISN, or even the Amazon URL in the search box and click “Find Products.”
Since Amazon adds hundreds of new product pages a day, not all of the items on Amazon are currently tracked by this website. If your search results on CamelCamelCamel.com return a message stating, “We don’t have enough data to chart. Please check back later.” — then you are the first to search their site for that product. From this point, CamelCamelCamel.com will now start tracking the product and will have pricing data for it within a day or two.
CamelCamelCamel.com does not tell you the price that an item sells for, but what price was the lowest. Most of the time we can assume that when the price changes on a CamelCamelCamel.com report, it’s because either a sale occurred or someone is now offering it at a lower price. If you are an experienced FBA seller, then the value this data can provide you is obvious.
For now, let’s see how to best use CamelCamelCamel.com data for pricing seasonal items. As we have already mentioned, seasonal items sell for higher prices during their season. Check out the price history of the dive sticks (pictured below). The blue line indicates the lowest new price at each point in time.
As you can see, the selling price for this item has fluctuated from a low of $1.63 to a high of $10.00. I like to have a few season items in stock at Amazon at all times and get the bulk of my inventory to them early in the season. I don’t mind paying FBA storage fees of a few pennies a month while I wait for the price to go up so my item can sell at its most profitable price.
If you have any summer seasonal items sitting around the house, send them in to FBA today. Check out CamelCamelCamel.com and find the best price for your item. The crazy thing is that sometimes when you price an item for the season it’s “supposed” to sell in, it still might actually sell at the higher price out of season. This happens all the time for us and it will for you as well.
When you are sourcing items, don’t immediately disregard out of season items. At the time of this post we have a great deal on quality ladies Winter Gloves for our members. We got a great deal, bought a lot of them and are passing the savings on to our members. Obviously you don’t want to fill your garage with off season products, but then again they do offer you some of the best returns on your money, and Christmas will be here before we know it!