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Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
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Tampa Bay business: This is what Prime Day is like as an Amazon seller

Amazon doesn’t even give its sellers a headsup on which July day the mega online retailer is selecting for its biggest sale of the year, Prime Day.

But out of her natural sponges workshop in Tarpon Springs, Theo Prodromitis knew to start getting ready more than a month ago.

Amazon launches its Prime Day every July to celebrate its birth month, but Prodromitis and other sellers across the globe didn’t know until recently the big day would actually be two days beginning Monday at 3 p.m. and ending just before midnight on Tuesday.

"In terms of excess of total sales," Prodromitis said, "you double your sales in one day."

After four years selling sea sponges and spa products through Spa Destinations on Amazon’s marketplace, Prodromitis has learned to be prepared.

"We started building our projected inventory a month in advance," she said. "You get your go-plan, what you are moving out the door. It’s a lot of prep and planning. It’s not for the faint of heart."

Amazon Prime Day pulls shoppers in with the promise of great deals on big tech items. The company is promoting saving $20 on its Fire TV Stick; $110 off a Toshiba 50-inch Fire TV edition; $100 off an Echo Look. This list goes on to include 50 percent off Amazon-branded apparel, 30 percent off bedding, cookware and electronics; 30 percent of 3D printers; and too much more to list.

It works like this: There’s a select amount of a sale item Amazon has which it’s willing to sell at a discounted price. The items are sold only for a limited amount of time at that price or until time runs out. Every time someone buys an item, they "claim" a percentage of that deal, which Amazon shows on its website and app. Each item shows how much of its inventory has been "claimed’’ and how much time is still left on its clock before the deal is over.

That’s a lot of items — but Prodromitis said that doesn’t keep smaller sellers like herself from cashing in. She said she worked with a team at Amazon that helped her determine the appropriate pricing and stock sizes to ensure she’s making a profit and not left with months worth of extra inventory.

"We like to focus on top-selling items," Prodromitis said. "It’s a two-fold approach. No. 1 is rewarding loyal customers and No. 2 is rewarding the Prime family."

There’s also the residual sales that come following Prime Day — after new customers are lured in by a good deal, they can easily become repeat shoppers who have fallen in love with a product.

Prodromitis said some of the best savings she’s offering this year are on her new argan and açaí body lotion, body wash and sunless tanner.

To kick-off Prime Day, Prodromitis said she traveled to D.C. Monday to speak to Congress about her success on Amazon with a group of other marketplace sellers.

She will be checking on her sales remotely — just to be sure everything is moving as planned.

"Now is the time we actually get to sit back and relax," she said.

More Amazon stories

The secret to Amazon Prime Day is buying only what you really, REALLY need

More on Theo’s Tarpon Springs business and selling on Amazon

What you need to know about Prime Day 2018 and its rivals

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.

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