Q4 2020: Local Selling, Seller Fulfillment on Amazon, and Other Tips to Maximize Your Reseller Profits

In 2019, Amazon’s net revenue for Q4 was $87.44 billion dollars.

Due to the rather strange conditions in 2020, they exceeded that figure in Q2 2020. This marks the first time in at least 15 years (and potentially ever) that Amazon’s Q2 revenue exceeded the most recent Q4.

Here’s what their revenue chart looks like:

Statistic: Net revenue of Amazon from 1st quarter 2007 to 2nd quarter 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars) | Statista

There is no sign of this growth slowing down for Q4. Prime Day has been moved to October 13-14, and the restrictions and concerns about in-person shopping this holiday season will likely mean more people than ever using the internet to complete their shopping.

And there’s something even more exciting about this growth for sellers like you and I. Here’s a quote from Jeff Bezos taken from a statement he made about their Q2 2020 results:

And third-party sales again grew faster this quarter than Amazon’s first-party sales.

Jeff Bezos

Third party sellers are cashing in on this growth.

But you don’t have to be an Amazon seller to enjoy the coming surge in online shopping. As we’ll discuss in this post, we’re expecting sales to be up across the board – including on local marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace.

Below you’ll find recommendations and predictions for making the most of this Q4.

If you have any of your own that you’d like to make, please share it via a comment on this page!

Q4 2020 Reseller Tips:

  1. Get inventory ready as early as possible.
  2. Use early season sales as sourcing opportunities.
  3. Plan to fulfill more of your own orders.
  4. Take advantage of local selling opportunities.

Get inventory ready early.

While everyone is anticipating an increased level of online shopping and the corresponding pressure on delivery and fulfillment systems, there is only so much that can be done in preparation. Delays are likely if not inevitable.

That’s why one of the strategies to deal with this is to spread out the deal season to encompass all of Q4.

This is starting in Mid October with Amazon’s Prime Day and Target’s Deal Days both taking place on October 13-14.

Consumer habits can only be shifted so much – demand is still likely to be much higher from Black Friday through Christmas. But with the top retailers investing big sums into getting more shopping done earlier in the season, it’s a good idea to get your inventory ready as early as possible.

This especially applies to any inventory that you want to send into Amazon warehouses for Prime shipping and fulfillment. On normal years my business aims to have our last shipment of items we want to have a chance to sell by Christmas on the way to Amazon warehouses by about December 7th. This year we are anticipating that the logistics industry we’ll be backed up, and it’s likely that we’ll want things shipped in quite a bit sooner. It’s difficult to say exactly but it will be something we’re going to monitor closely in November and December.

Keep in mind that the shipping and processing delays will also mean that inventory needs to be sent in earlier than ever even for late season shopping. Last year Amazon wanted Black Friday merchandise to be sent in by November 5. There are rumors that this year that date will be in early October.

Use early season sales as sourcing opportunities.

Big box retailers are especially under pressure to get more buying done outside Black Friday due to social distancing requirements.

Their strategy is to run the deals they’d normally save for Black Friday during the entire Q4 period.

There are specific stores that have announced their intention to do this, but it’s safe to assume that nearly all retailers will be doing this to some extent.

This is very good news for resellers, because these sales are good arbitrage opportunities. The fact that many will be available much earlier than usual will mean you have more time than usual to take advantage of these opportunities.

If you want an easy way to stay on top of all the best deals, check out our Arbitrage Finds BOLO group. This will get you access to a spreadsheet of all the best deals my team and I find, plus a community-driven Facebook BOLO group.

Plan to fulfill more of your own orders.

Shipping our own orders is something we regularly do in December.

This allows us to continue selling inventory with delivery in time for Christmas even after it is too late to do it via FBA. We’ve found this to be a very profitable strategy.

This year, we expect this to play a bigger role and may be necessary even earlier than usual due to the expected delays.

One reader has a good extension of this tip: stock up on supplies now.

Sharon says:

I’m stocking up on supplies to get ready for Q4: polybags, labels, boxes, bubble wrap, and shipping tape. I’m also making sure my office is clean and organized. I predict this will be my busiest Q4!

That’s a very good tip from Sharon. On one hand, it’s good to be ready. On the other, there’s a good chance that needed supplies become difficult to impossible to find late in the season as sellers scramble to get all their orders processed.

Stock up as much as possible now on the supplies you know you will need.

Take advantage of local selling opportunities.

We’re predicting that local selling is going to be an especially lucrative niche to fill for Q4 2020.

Craigslist listing from one of our Challenge participants.

With shipping delays making online shopping difficult and big box stores packed full of people, we think there will be a lot of people looking for an alternative shopping option this year.

Enter local selling.

The two big marketplaces to target for this are Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

We’ve been doing some tests on Facebook Marketplace and have already seen very promising results – and it’s not even Q4 yet.

When December rules around, we expect some significant profits to be had will be for sellers who take the time to sell in-demand inventory locally via these marketplaces. In particular this will apply on items that have a relatively high selling price, say over $100. When selling at or above these prices it allows for more profit, and makes it more worth the time to coordinate meeting up with someone to make the sale.

If you want an extra leg up, take the time to implement and emphasize procedures that keep things clean. Whether or not you think it is necessary, there will be consumers who will go out of their way to purchase from people that make them feel more comfortable. Offering no contact meetups via door drop off or pickup from your door are great ways to help keep everyone safe.

Here’s another great tip from a reader…

Kevin says:

There are a lot of empty commercial buildings, especially retail space. We are doing a short term lease for Q4. Its relatively cheap and in a great area. If anyone is familiar with Spirit Halloween Co. it is the same principal.

This is a great idea if you can find cheap space. This space could be used for storage, prep, meeting buyers, and even setting up a retail space like Kevin indicates if you have enough inventory.

As an added bonus, having a retail space is often a big help when approaching wholesale suppliers. So if you’ve been meaning to get started with wholesale, doing something like this could help you get your first account.

Any tips, questions, or predictions?

Please share any tips or predictions you have below!

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