Category Archives: Readers’ Questions

Is Amazon Controlling My Sales? No Matter What I Do, They Stay Flat

Matthew Ferguson explains how following “the data brick road” and embracing change can prevent your Amazon sales from flatlining

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

Five years ago, we started selling kitchen products on Amazon.de. We started with about 500 SKUs and doubled this to 1,000. We then got rid of 500 SKUs that didn’t sell well, and listed new products. At the moment we are at about 800 SKUs, and always sell between 14,000 and 15,000 units a month.

We also have a top seller that sells 2,000 units every month. We had two months where we weren’t able to stock this product so didn’t sell a single unit, yet we still sold between 14,000 and 15,000 units overall those months.

If we have some weeks above average then the next few weeks are below average. We do not change prices much and we do not change our sponsored ads. This is really frustrating as we have the resources to grow, but no matter what we do, we always have the same amount of sales every month.

Do you know anything about Amazon controlling sales, to keep sellers on a certain level?

— Bernd M., Austria

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How Can I Put Multi-Channel Vendors on the Spot and Find the Right One for Me?

Channel and inventory management is one of the most competitive software niches. Matt Ferguson helps reader Seb find the best one for him.

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

I got into “multi-channel” selling a couple of years back, to increase sales and reduce the risk of all my income coming through one marketplace. It’s going well with sales on Amazon and eBay, including international sites, and my own store. If any one channel went down tomorrow it wouldn’t kill my whole business in a shot like it would have before.

This year I’ve hit a roadblock. There’s a lot of admin overhead from running all these channels, we are overselling more and more often, and keeping listings in sync is an absolute nightmare.

I know I need a multi-channel management system but the more I research it, the more my head hurts. It’s impossible to figure out exactly what features they have, how much they charge, what the setup and support is like, and how well they actually do what they are supposed to. There doesn’t seem to be any clear market leader and some of them charge way too much.

How can I sort the wheat from the chaff and find the right solution for me, at a reasonable price?

— Seb S., Toronto

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Should I Expand to Amazon USA or Other European Marketplaces?

Matthew Ferguson advises Loris to put the Caesar mentality of world domination on hold and focus on conquering local marketplaces first

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

I live in Italy and am currently selling on the five European Amazon marketplaces, but I want to expand further, to reach my goal of selling on all the markets served by Amazon. I think my next move should be to sell on Amazon in the U.S., because I think customers there are more used to buying products online than they are in Europe. I currently fulfill all of my orders using FBA and I would like to continue doing this for whichever marketplace I expand on to next.

My question is whether you think expanding to Amazon in the U.S. should be my next step, or if there is anything more I can be doing in Europe?

– Loris B., Italy

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I’m Bringing a New Brand to the US. What’s the Best Approach?

Matthew Ferguson helps another reader avoid the rough and stay on the fairway, this time with a plan to import high-end golf shoes from Italy

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

My business partner has a best friend in Italy who makes high-end golf shoes using top-notch materials. This golf shoe is already selling well in Italy’s retail stores, for between €300 and €450. We want to help him sell his golf shoes in the U.S. through Amazon and eBay. The wholesale price for these shoes is about $120 dollars. I checked other branded golf shoes on Amazon and the price ranges from $120-$190.

I have been an Amazon FBA seller for almost two years now, but I still consider myself to be new. So, I’d like to know whether this would be a good move financially, and if I should test the market online first. Also, is it unreasonable to have the golf shoe maker sign an exclusive contract with my company?

— Jean-Paul B., New Jersey

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Trying So Hard to Build a Multichannel Brand. What Should I Do Next?

Building a brand and selling on multiple channels is hard work. How do you pick the right channels? What about selling to bricks-and-mortar stores?

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

I’m a brand, selling workout accessories primarily on eBay but also in small amounts on Amazon and Groupon. I’ve been selling for two years now and I’m keen to expand onto further channels, I’m just not sure which marketplaces I should expand on to. Maybe Walmart?

My main goal is to sell more to customers in the long run. For the next few years I want to grow my brand and sell my products not only online but also in bricks-and-mortar stores. But should I focus on both, or just continue selling online for now?

At the moment, I feel like I’m trying very hard, but I’m currently a little lost about what to do next.

— Michael L., L.A.

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