The two types of Amazon sellers: Micromanagers Vs Conductors, and why the most successful sellers keep it simple.
This is about a major error I see FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers making: Viewing their inventory as a collection of individual parts rather than a beating organism that pumps money into their bank account in a steady rhythm.
In other words, being a Micromanager vs a Conductor.
Two Types Of Amazon Sellers: Micromanagers vs Conductors
In talking to Amazon sellers (whether FBA or FBM, booksellers or “other” sellers), I’ve noticed a divide on a key approach to the business: Micromanagers vs Conductors.
A Micromanager is exactly what it sounds like: They treat every book in their Amazon inventory like a precious child that must be coddled and nurtured to a sale.
A Conductor has a completely different focus: Feeding inventory into the Amazon monster and obsessing over the fundamentals only. The Conductor looks at their Amazon business like a symphony that they are (you saw this coming…) conducting.
Here’s a closer look at each type (spoiler: I strongly advocate #2)…
Amazon Seller Type #1: The Micromanager
The Micromanger is the type of FBA seller who spends an inordinate amount of time on activities like:
- managing returns
- analyzing reimbursements
- cleaning books
- prepping books
- repricing many times a day
While some of these might translate into actual profits, they are on the losing end of the effort/yield ratio. The Micromanager focuses on things that don’t move the needle much on the actual Amazon FBA business.
The micromanager looks at their inventory as a fragmented mass of pieces, each of which much be nurtured and groomed to maturity (aka a sale).
This leads them down the road of obsessive maintenance, such as frantic repricing, undercutting their competition multiple times a day in frantic pursuit of the next sale.
To the Micromanager, every item matters, and turnover is God.
This is the more “zen” of the two.
The Conductor views their Amazon inventory as a symphony of profit, feeding a steady flow of money into their bank account.
The Conductor’s margins are so high, that to them, no single item matters. They knows it will all sell eventually.
They directs her focus to the quality of her inventory, and size of their profit margins. “Turnover” isn’t a big word in the Conductor’s vocabulary. To them, “inventory” functions as a collective, an ecosystem pulsing profit into their bank in a consistent stream – not a barreling tidal wave.
The focus of the Conductor is sourcing inventory and repricing it enough to keep the flow moving. They’re never desperate, and they’re never obsessive about small details.
More than anything, the Conductor knows that as long as they focus on buying quality inventory, and shipping it to Amazon consistently, the rest (mostly) takes care of itself. They can avoid getting distracted by extraneous aspects of their Amazon business, and triple-down on sourcing and shipping.
Which type of seller is best?
No surprise here: The pattern I’ve seen in Amazon sellers who are successful vs those who aren’t, is that successful sellers are Conductor’s. An obsessive focus on the fundamentals, and an almost negligent disinterest in the rest (chasing down every return reimbursement, etc).
If you have weeds in your garden, by all means clean them out.
But focus on sourcing quality inventory and let Amazon handle the rest.