Did you know there was a summer craze for pom-poms? According to Amazon’s latest market report, the UK site saw a 50% rise in sales of pom-pom makers – and there was me thinking all you needed was a couple of bits of cardboard, some wool and a pair of scissors!
Seriously, though, the report makes for interesting and entertaining reading. It’s a tale of an ever increasing dominance of Amazon in the UK retail market, making it a platform no craft business can ignore. Whatever your opinion of Amazon, they’re a force of nature and their customer service is excellent. During most of the year, their distribution centres operate efficiently, but we’ve found that every November, without fail, there’s a meltdown that results in our products going out of stock as they sit on a lorry waiting to be unloaded. The answer? Get stock up there early!
Amazon can also be a useful source of finance. Once you’ve had a seller account for a while, they’ll start offering six month loans for, typically, amounts between £1,000 and £3,000 at good interest rates. The money is paid into your SellerCentral account so you can draw it down and repayments come out of your receipts. You’re supposed to use the money to help finance new stock, and that’s what we’ve done a couple of times now. It’s much, much, more convenient than the bank and ideal if you’re happy to pay it off within the six months.
Enjoy the report, and prepare to be surprised at the top selling product of the year so far – it’s not an Amazon product, for a change! I appreciate that they’re blowing their own trumpet in this report but it’s good to see that Marketplace sellers support 74,000 jobs in the UK and that more and more of us are now trading abroad, especially with Europe. Let’s hope that doesn’t get jeopardised in the coming couple of years.