A trick to purge & profit from unsold Amazon inventory that didn’t sell over Christmas
Video: Weird trick to liquidate old Amazon inventory
A trick to liquidate unsold Amazon inventory after Christmas
This is a tactic for Amazon book and media sellers to turn inventory that didn’t see sales during Christmas, into cash.
This will work for you when these conditions apply:
- You sell books
- You’re an FBA seller
- You have New condition books in your inventory (or may in the future)
- You are consistent about repricing your inventory
If you check all four of those boxes, read on….
This trick will work two times a year:
- After Christmas
- Before Christmas
(Yes that’s 365 days a year. So whenever you’re reading this, this will be relevant.)
Understanding why this unsold Amazon inventory trick works
Before I get into it, you’ll have to accept four facts:
- Sales go crazy during the holidays.
- Most of what sells are items in New condition (more on this here).
- Amazon is the biggest store in the world, and having an item for sale on Amazon is like having shelf space in the world’s biggest shopping destination. I.e. there’s no excuse for it not selling if it has a decent Amazon sales rank.
- Used condition books sell more than New condition books (I cover this extensively here)
Spoiler: This trick involves taking New condition books and relisting as Used. So this next section is important to understand…
Wait, Used condition books sell more than New condition?
The #4 item above needs to be highlighted, because its key to understanding why this works. If this is a new concept, here’s the outline:
People buy more used condition books from third party sellers than new condition books.
They key detail is “from third party sellers.” New books sell more overall, but only factoring sales direct from Amazon. Third party sellers will always find that used books sell more than books in New condition.
Several factors create this phenomenon, such as:
- Amazon owning the New condition Buy Box
- Used books are usually cheaper (which means buyers often don’t even look at New condition books to compare)
- Used books are functionally the same as Used (unlike other Amazon categories, which carry greater buying risk)
If you have two copies of the same book listed on Amazon, the used book will sell faster most of the time.
That’s the basic premise of the trick that follows….
Bad sign: You have unsold Amazon inventory after Christmas
If you have any books in New condition, that also have reasonably strong demand, and they did not sell over Christmas… that’s a bad sign.
If anyone wants your book, assuming you’re the lowest priced copy, your New items should fly out the door during the holidays.
If you have a New book that does not sell during Christmas, what conclusions can we draw?
Basically, it means hundreds (or thousands) of Amazon customers looked at a product you had for sale, and didn’t buy yours. And assuming your offer was competitively priced, this almost definitely means that they didn’t buy because your book was in New condition.
Which means that not a lot of people even looked at your offer. They just bought Amazon’s.
My post-Christmas unsold Amazon inventory liquidation formula
I take the last few days of every year to do some purging.
I go through and look at any unsold Amazon inventory for which the following apply:
- In New condition.
- Been in my FBA inventory longer than six months.
- Didn’t sell during Christmas.
- That will get me at least a $5 Amazon payout (this part is subjective – pick your minimum payout and factor in removal fees).
- The price difference from New to Used isn’t more than 70%.
Then I create a removal order in Amazon Seller Central, and have these books returned to me.
Then I relist them as Used, and ship them back in to Amazon.
The logic behind this inventory liquidation trick
If you have a New item that didn’t sell over the holidays, that’s a sign you need to step up and bring it back to life.
Basically, this inventory needs the Buy Box.
The Buy Box isn’t everything. But if you have any unsold Amazon inventory with reasonable demand that is 1. Older than 6 months, and 2. Didn’t sell over Christmas,, and 3. In New condition – that’s inventory that needs a push.
And relisting as Used is often the push that brings old FBA inventory back to life.
Guess what I’m doing tonight? Creating fulfillment orders. Lots of them.