Its Memorial Day 2015 and I’m winding down from our annual get together with family at our home. I want to thank all veterans who have protected us in this great country that we sometimes take for granted.
An hour or so ago I go on Facebook and start looking through some of the most recent FBA related posts like I do almost daily. Most of it is ‘How do I…’ and ‘How many should I buy…’ which I would expect to see and frankly this used to be me back in September of 2014 when I was just getting started doing FBA. Facebook is fantastic for discussion regarding basic sourcing and listing skills and all new FBAers should, no NEED, to get on the Facebook forums such as the ScanPower and Amazon FBA Newbies ones that I browse daily.
HOWEVER, here comes the bad part. I strongly dislike when people go on and post their personal sales figures using the Amazon widget that we all know. I don’t care what the rationale is and I’ve seen them all from ‘motivation’ to ‘expert validation’, the idea that posting your gross sales numbers is somehow useful is just dumb. Frankly anyone can have tremendous gross sales figures if they buy and sell popular, high priced items at minimal margins. Think in these terms: A seller looking to dump inventory because they made poor buying decisions could lower their prices and get a huge spike in sales. Would seeing their sales numbers ‘motivate’ you? Maybe some naive FBAers could get inspiration from seeing these numbers but how would they feel when they realize that seller lost 30% on those sales. My #1 pet peeve with Facebook FBA posts.
A close #2 in my pet peeve list on Facebook is the so-called experts and big talkers. Let me first start by saying that there are many fantastic successful FBAers on Facebook who actively post, my favorites being Bob Wiley, Chris Green, Andy Slamans, Charlene Anderson and Kat Simpson. I learned things from all 5 of those gurus that helped me grow along the way. They don’t BS you with ‘me me me’ stuff.
Now, I’m not going to name names here but lets just say there are 4-5 very active posters on Facebook who I ‘follow’ with no intention to learn from but follow to see where they are in their businesses. They all garner conversations and follows because a) they are good writers/talkers b) they appear to be selling piles of inventory with ease and c) they are always on Facebook. I don’t know any of these posters personally and have zero knowledge of what they sell or truly how much they sell but my antennae quickly become active looking for the BS and rhetoric they spew. Please don’t email me asking for the names of these folks as that’s not my reason for writing this. What I will say is that you need to be very cautious when reading anyone’s FB posts, especially the long-winded ones that appear to give advice but really are more self-boasting in some way. When they mention over and over stories of what they were extremely successful at previously, well, why aren’t they still doing that now? If I was a successful stock trader but am not doing it now, well, why stop?
One true story : Someone I trust greatly informed me that one of these gurus has started growing a paid FBA business using tools that were developed by others without their permission which is incredibly unprofessional and illegal. Practices like this are sadly what I expect from these types of people and they will eventually get whats coming to them either by Amazon, the law or both. People who regularly get orders cancelled from online retailers and are getting blacklisted from retail stores are ones I don’t want to follow the tactics of. Bottom line: If you think someone is too good to be true and talking out of their backside, they probably are and you need to be cautious in using their methods and means.
I approach FBA in the same way I did when search engine optimization (SEO) was the big thing 4-5 years ago. Everyone had these amazing tools and systems that would get your site ranked well but most of the methods were deemed black hat because they were basically tricking Google. We all know what happened to those websites: Bye bye rankings. If I were you I would take the same approach with advice on these Facebook FBA forums.
One extra note: I don’t mean this to be a Facebook-only warning. Twitter is an important platform for FBA information and you should be on there for both sourcing and information purposes with respect to FBA. However, there is one popular FBA ‘businessman’ who doesn’t understand the basics of how a platform like Twitter works which scares me and it should scare you as well. If you trust your money in the hands of someone like this, you’re a lot more tolerant than I am.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks again to all of our veterans.