Have you ever tried to drive in an unknown city without a map or GPS? How about going to Wal-Mart to find a mundane piece of non-skid rubber? (actually did this one recently) First, how in the hell are you going to find find that Dunkin’ Donuts without putting it into your “Donuts Near Me” menu in your GPS? Also, have you ever tried to find something in a Wal-Mart to where it could actually be in multiple categories without asking for an employee for help? Not a chance on either!
I’m not here to ramble on and tell you I get lost all the time and since this is a blog about online bookselling this has to relate to that somehow, right? I promise, it does. It’s all about our favorite topic, SKUs! For me, SKUs are so important they save my sanity when I’m looking for books that have sold.
When I first started selling books online I noticed that little SKU box that Amazon gives you and didn’t think much of it. I would simply let it go with that arcane combination of letters and numbers because Amazon would just let me go without messing with it. The easier, the better, right?
At first it was OK and I didn’t have to understand what a SKU was because I had a dozen books for sale. However, when I decided to really make some money at this and purchase a few THOUSAND, I was in a world of hurt because I was going back to my old habits of being SKU-less. I refuse to learn these “SKUs”!
The problem was I had a few hundreds books listed on Amazon and had no idea where I would shelve them and how I would find them once they sold. Maybe I should look at this SKU thing again. “Hmm..you know what, a SKU is actually a way to keep track of inventory. Maybe I should look into this.” was my thoughts. After some research on defining what a SKU was and what it’s historical significance was I thought I was really onto something.
Do you mean to tell me that with this simple combination of letters and numbers, I can, at the same time, tell where my books are at on the shelves, where I got the book at, how much I paid for the book, when I bought it and just about anything else that you can acronymnize? No way! Imagine the reporting possibilities! Do you want to run a report on what source is reaching the highest sales? Done. Do you want to tally up your total inventory cost for tax time? Done. All with a single little combination of letters and numbers.
If you are willing to dedicate the time to learning what a SKU is and how it can help you as an online bookseller, you will have a great system for not only being able to find a book on your bookshelf but a plethora of other great things such as tax reporting, sales analysis among a large number of other things.
Learn, in detail, how SKUs can help your business in my eBook, Used Books: Big Business – The Secrets to Selling Books Online for Big Profits.