How To Keepa Camel
I was a beta tester for Stephen Smotherman’s new ebook/video course (How To Keepa Camel) on CamelCamelCamel and Keepa Charts.
I am going to be blunt. This is the most important training I have seen come out since Chris Green’s Online Arbitrage.
I choose to watch the videos instead of reading the ebook. Video fits my learning style the best and I just think you pick up way more by video than reading especially since you are looking at CCC and Keepa charts.
There are 34 videos for a total 3 ½ hours of video. ( I didn’t watch the last one because it was just an advertisement for his other products)
I basically watched them one after another. I watched about 20 before bed one night and got up to watch the rest the next morning.
Well I was learning so much.
I value my time and if it was just the same things I already knew, I would have turned it off.
I am not exactly a rookie, so I was actually surprised at what I was learning. Some of it was stuff I just hadn’t taken the time to think through and other things were concepts that I just didn’t know. (Yeah I am man enough to admit that I don’t know it all.)
Stephen has been selling way longer than me. I am sure he has forgotten more than I know.
I am good with that.
It Is All In The Charts
So you think you know how to read CCC or Keepa charts?
I thought I knew how to read them too.
So let’s talk about something besides Amazon.
Ever try stock trading?’
I sucked at it.
But…I am pretty anal about stuff. When I am interested in something, I AM INTERESTED IN SOMETHING. I read everything I can about it.
One of the things I learned was that people chart prices and they make buying decisions based on the charts. The charts showed a lot more than what the untrained eye would see.
One of the coolest was Candlestick charting. People can tell you exactly what happened, what people are going to do next and how they make all their decisions from what they see on the charts.
I knew about the charts and knew how to read them but I still thought that my decisions (ok freaking guesses) would do better.
Boy was I wrong. ( I don’t trade stock anymore)
If I had to do it over again, I would stick to using the charts. They worked but it took work to read them. It took time to read them and after making a bad buy, it is not the best time to do the research.
Fast forward to now and me selling on Amazon.
I am pretty good at sourcing but honestly, I have had times where some things have bit me in the ass.
I thought it was a great buy at the store and by the time I went to list it, I was like, WTF was I thinking?
Why does this happen?
Well I honestly never look at the charts when I am in the stores sourcing.
I have looked at them when I use to do a lot of OA (I don’t really do that anymore) but now I realize that when I was looking at the charts, I really wasn’t getting all the info I needed.
My Buying Mistake
I will admit that I almost never look at the charts while out sourcing and here is an example of a very recent mistake I made.
I bought a LOT of a shampoo while sourcing at a flea market for $2.50 each.
I went to list them (about a month later after taking this training) and they are selling for $4.97. WTF?
I hadn’t went through the training yet when I bought these but I was listing them after going through the training, so I pulled up the charts on my laptop.
If you saw the chart, you would see that I literally scanned and bought these when Amazon had just ran out of stock.
If you were look closer at the chart more, you would see that Amazon has only ran out of stock once in the last year (at the exact time I bought them ) and they are back in stock.
Basically it was terrible timing for me and if I had taken an extra minute to pull up the Keepa chart, I would have known not to buy them.
Anyone need shampoo?
What To Expect From This Training
If I had to sum it up, he teaches you what a full time, seasoned reseller knows. He teaches you how to think and make better sourcing decisions.
Stephen does show the basics but actually spends very little time on that. You don’t really need to spend a ton of time learning how to install Keepa or CCC extensions.
He mostly shows you charts of products. He goes through the charts and explains what is going on and shows you how you would make the decision to buy or not buy.
What Stood Out
Obviously I can’t just telling you everything that is in the training. Stephen worked hard to put it all together and should be compensated for all the time he put into it and the value he is bringing.
With that said, I will share a few things that really stood out to me.
Stephen actually did research on products and sales rank before CCC and Keepa were a thing.
He recorded the sales rank of products on a daily basis. He did this manually everyday.
From this, he was able to learn how the sales ranks changes due to sales.
You can do this yourself. While it would be a pain in the butt, I think you could learn a ton from this.
Look for a toy on Amazon and start recording the sales rank each day. Just make an Excel sheet like he did.
Now you have an advantage over him. You can actually compare Excel sheet to the CCC or Keepa chart. This should really help get the concept into you head, but it will require some effort.
Average Sales rank
When the sales rank is bouncing around all over the place, how do you decide if it is a buy or not?
Stephen shows how to come up with an average sales rank and how to use a sales rank chart to make your buying decisions.
What? What is this magic he is teaching?
Basically this technique can help you make a better buying decision when you might have just been confused. You may have scanned when the sales rank was great and cleared a shelf off when you shouldn’t have or you may have scanned when the sales rank was terrible and passed on buying. Both would be bad. But after you learn how to do this technique, you could make a better decision.
Learning To Project Sales ( Seasonal) Based On The Charts
When you are preparing to sell in say Q4 or a certain season, you need to know what kind of sales you can expect to decide how much product you should buy. This also holds true if you are buying clearance out of season.
When products are out of season, the sales ranks are going to be bad and the prices are going to be bad. That is pretty common knowledge (I hope you understand that).
So this is a problem.
Just how good is it likely to sell? And for how much?
Or maybe you just pass because “My buying rules say I never buy over 100k sales rank” .
Worse, you know that products out of season have bad sales ranks so you go ahead and buy it, but if you looked on the chart,you would find that even in season, it has a bad sales rank.
The simple answer is to check the charts to see if you can gather more information to help you make a better buying decision.
Toward the end of the training, Stephen moves into more advanced stuff.
Honestly there are a lot of lessons on how to think like an experienced, full-time FBA seller.
Besides learning how to read charts and get a lot more information out of them than you did before, Stephen takes it a step farther. You will honestly feel kind of like an amateur after you see how he thinks.
I almost feel like it is 2 different courses in one.
I could go on and on and show more examples of what he has in his course, but that just wouldn’t be right.
I honestly found a lot of value in it that I will be applying to my sourcing.
Will others see it that way?
I honestly don’t know.
It was something that I found value in and I understood it. Maybe others aren’t at the same place as me. Maybe others are more advanced than me, but I highly recommend taking the How To Keepa Camel training.