New Wholesale Products from The ASD Wholesale Trade Show
The Online Seller's News, April, 2014, Volume 14, Issue No. 6
Tips, Tools, News and Resources for eBay, Amazon and Independent Online Sellers
In the last issue I told you we found a new printer and with the money we saved we can now go back to offering free shipping on The Complete Amazon Marketing System. We have now also moved The Wholesale Buying System to that same printer and we are once again offering that book with free shipping. REMEMBER - If you have already purchased either the Complete Amazon System or The Complete eBay System then you already have the Wholesale Buying System. So please don't buy it if you already do.
The Wholesale Buying System is a printed training course that comes with lifetime membership to my wholesale sourcing member's site where we are constantly researching, listing and updating new wholesale sources that will work with eBay and Amazon sellers.
This is our annual ASD sourcing issue. Each year in March I attend the ASD Wholesale Trade show in Las Vegas. This year there were over 2600 wholesale vendors exhibiting. See the first article below.
I did a presentation at ASD on growing your Amazon business. I converted my Power Point presentation into a PDF file so anyone can download it. You won't have the words I said that went with the presentation, but I think you can still get something from it. Here is the link to download. It's free.
The Amazon original FBA shipment workflow in Seller Central was phased out on March 31, 2014. Starting that day the new workflow took its place. I have tried the new workflow in Beta, and although it's a little confusing at first it does seem to work well. As with anything it will take using it a few times to get used to it. When you do your first shipment to FBA, just take your time and be patient and it will go well.
One issue for my readers who bought the Complete Amazon Marketing System is that our workflow videos will be obsolete. But no worry, we are working on new videos to replace them now. The new videos should be ready within a few days.
If you recall about two months ago I told you about a private Facebook Group I was recommending for those who are interested in selling grocery and gourmet food items. Well the group filled up overnight and members have really been learning a lot. In the meantime I heard from Jessica Larrew who has just come out with a training course called Grocery Goldmine. I had a look at it and it's a really excellent way to get started in this really profitable niche.
Since the Grocery & Gourmet Foods group has been so successful, Jenni has started a new group in the Home and Garden Category. You can click here to read about the group. The group will be limited to 100 members and will last for 3 months. There are seven experts in the group who will be contributing and answering questions. I am not one of them but I will be dropping into the group from time to time. Don't wait, the last group filled up in 3 or 4 days.
One of the real pains related to creating Amazon shipments to FBA is that Amazon will often split your shipments up between several warehouses -
essentially doubling your workload and shipping cost. Well when I was having dinner in Las Vegas with John Bullard and his Mastermind group, I learned a
little trick to avoid this without paying Amazon the 30¢ per item fee to elect just one warehouse.
It turns out that when you select case-packed items instead of individual items Amazon almost always sends the entire case to one warehouse. So
lets say you have 24 of item X, 12 of item Y and 16 of item Z. If you pack each item in its own box and ship that way, Amazon usually sends the cases to
one warehouse. The key is you must only have one of each type item in a box -you cannot put X and Y in the same box or it does not qualify for case pack.
Last year, Amazon announced a change to the variable closing fee for Music, Video, and DVD products from $0.80 to $1.35 per unit. This change went into
effect for seller-fulfilled orders on April 24, 2013, and takes effect as scheduled on April 24, 2014, for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) orders of Music, Video, and DVD products.
Lets get started with this monthís articles:
This year's ASD Trade show did not seem as busy as last year, yet there were actually more vendors. I didn't mind that as it made it easier to get around
and the vendors were available to chat.
Please note: All of the websites listed are real wholesale sources, but sometimes you cannot tell that from the website. Some companies have a wholesale-only website and some have retail websites. When you get to the website, look for a link that says wholesale information, or register an account. If you don't see that, just use the contact form. Tell the supplier you heard about them through ASD Show and you would like wholesale information. Unless I mention it specifically don't ask these sources if they drop ship because they don't.
Clothing, handbags and jewelry make up a big part of the show. I know that Jewelry is closed on Amazon and you have to be approved for clothing and handbags, so I am only going to list a few of those, as some of you are approved and many of you also sell on eBay where it is not a problem.
There are literally dozens of liquidation and surplus dealers at the show. I am not covering very many of them in here as I plan to come up with a special issue on liquidation and surplus buying in a few weeks and I will list them at that time.
Sol Clothing carries a very nice and stylish line of women's and clothing for young girls.
The Yelete Group sells a large line of leggings, body stockings, fishnet stockings, arm and leg warmers and socks.
Mellow World is a handbag supplier that sells a large variety of handbags ranging from top-of-the-line fabric bags to crossbody bags to shoulder bags.
Pretty Angel LLC had some really nice women's fashions - very stylish and current designs.
FTH Wholesale sells a line of jewelry and sunglasses and accessories licensed with College themes.
Jane Envy sells a really nice line of inexpensive fashion jewelry aimed at the younger set and they also sell religious jewelry.
Jankuo Jewelry sells higher end fashion jewelry including wedding jewelry.
G-Cor Automotive (formerly Nu-Cor) is a closeout and surplus dealer in the automotive products category. Their website gives very little information so email them for stock on hand and prices.
Platinum Eyewear is the licensed source for Duck Dynasty sunglasses.
Leather Links is an importer of General Merchandise in the Washington D.C. area. They offer a wide range of products such as Blankets, Work Shoes, Boots, Luggage/Bags, Work Gloves, and Accessories etc. from various manufacturers.
Cajole sells a very clever line of fun cell phone accessories and cases and several non-cell phone products as well.
GachaBalls sells toys and figures from Minecraft, Hello Kitty, Mario, Zelda and The Nightmare before Christmas. Their website isn't working very well, but click on the link that says "Retailers" to contact them for catalog and pricing.
KBW Global sells a wide range of masks including Mardi Gras, Halloween wedding and fashion masks.
Cala Beauty Care Products offers a large line of beauty salon type products, hair care, skin care and tools.
Four Seasons is an importer of low cost general merchandise. None of these items do well to sell on their own, but these are great products to create bundles and multi-paks with.
Body Candy sells a large line of sterling silver and 14KT gold body jewelry as well as a line of earrings and pendants.
SJT Enterprises sells a large line of fan sports signs for all the teams. They also sells whimsical signs and other non-sports signs.
Sweet Wholesalers sells a full line of candy products and offers flat rate shipping everywhere in the US.
RC Variety sells a line of remote control helicopters and other remote controlled toys.
Indus Linens carries a full line of bed linen products in several quality ranges.
Garden Sunlight is a company I have mentioned before. We saw them again at ASD and the reason I bring them up is that they have a lot of new products and they also drop ship (read the next article before ordering). They are also one of the few companies that will label and ship goods to Amazon for you. When you contact them ask for Alex, as he is the most knowledgeable about working with eBay and Amazon sellers.
Amglo is an importer of seasonal decorations. Go to their website and get their catalog and price lists for Christmas and Halloween and their year round catalog that covers Valentines Day, July 4th and Easter.
Dicapac America sells a complete line of waterproof cases of iPhones, smart phones, cameras (from small to large SLRs) There is a lot of competition in this space, but this is one of the best products I have seen. With there case you can actually use the touch screen and take photos underwater with an iPhone or almost any smart phone.
Super Pest Products sells a line of DEET-free wristbands that repel mosquitoes. The bands are non-toxic and can even be use on your dog. (Mosquitoes transmit heartworm, which is why you put them on dogs).
In The Breeze sells a large line of kites and wind driven novelties including items licensed by the various branches of the US Military.
NMR Distribution carries a line of lunch boxes, games, puzzles, cards and other items related to American Pop culture.
CG Novelties sells a complete line of party novelties and lots of glow lighter items and toys. Individually these items are too low in price to sell individually, but you can create great bundles and multi-paks.
CYB Wear is a really clever product. It is a t-shirt that lights up in time to music or clapping.
Shelter Distributing sells a large line of knives, swords, boxing and judo equipment, soccer balls, binoculars and personal security devices.
Door Jammer is a very clever device that you carry with you when you travel to put under your hotel door at night. You could also use it on your home doors when you travel.
American International Electric sells a complete line of impulse sealers, shrink-wrap kits and various other electrical tools used in the packing and shipping industry - all made in the USA.
Party Essentials sells a complete line of party supplies - plates, glasses, trays, bowls etc. These are great products to create product bundles.
Fesco Distributors is a large distributor of brand name consumer electronics products and accessories.
Messermeister is a German manufacturer of fine cutlery. They were not exhibiting directly at the show, but several of their distributors were there. However you can deal direct with them at better prices. Use the contact form on the website to request wholesale information. They have manufacturer's sales reps in several locations around the country. You go through one of them and you are buying directly.
Flashing Blinky Lights sells a large line of blinking novelty lights. Right now they are offering a show special - Enter the code ASDLV14 and you will get a one-time 10% discount.
Well there you go. I just listed 32 new sources. But there were over 2500 at the show, so if you are serious about building a large eBay/Amazon business, you might plan to attend next year. I will have a few more sources from ASD in my next issue.
Not quite -but its on life-support. I am sure everyone knows what dropshipping is, but just in case -here is a simple explanation: Dropshipping is a business technique where you list at item on eBay, Amazon or a website that you do not yet own or posses. When it sells, you order the item from the supplier who drop ships it directly to your customer. You get the retail price from the customer but pay the drop shipper his wholesale price. Notice I said his wholesale price not the wholesale price. It's expensive to drop ship and they cannot make any money selling at the price you would get if you ordered the same items by the case lot.
Sound great; right? You can make money without laying money up front for inventory. Well like many things in life -the Devil is in the details.
(I am not going to mention any of the big drop-shipping companies by name. I did that once and one of them threatened to sue me if I didn't remove my post. My lawyer said I could have easily won the lawsuit because my post was factual and mostly my opinion. The problem is it costs about $50,000 to defend a lawsuit even if you are successful, so I caved in and removed the post).
If you want to know the kind of drop shippers I am talking about, all you have to do is Google "drop shipping for eBay" and all the big players will come up.
There are several problems with most of these drop-shippers. First of all most of them do not own any inventory. They are what I call 'virtual dropshippers." When you place an order, then turn around and place an order with their supplier. Since they are buying at the true wholesale cost, they have to add something for themselves. This can be a small markup or a dropship-handling fee. A few of them I have dealt with also mark up the shipping. Since they are big UPS shippers they get pretty good discounts on shipping, but they rarely pass that on to you. So it may cost them $7.25 to ship something to your customer, but they charge you $9.95.
So, when all is said and done, there isn't really much room to make money on eBay. I worked with one of these companies and found that on over 90% of their merchandise, the sales price by other sellers on eBay was actually the same or lower than the drop shipper was charging as their supposed "wholesale" price.
The next issue is timing. Both eBay and Amazon encourage you to ship within one business day and you have to enter the tracking info into their system to prove you did that. eBay requires you to do that for 90% of your shipments in order to earn and keep top rated seller status.
The problem is that most of the drop shippers I have dealt with take 2 or even 3 days to ship and get me tracking info. That is because they don't own the product and have to go out and buy it first.
Another issue is counterfeit goods. If you read the fine print in some drop ship companies agreement it says they take no responsibility for the legitimacy of a product. One big drop shipper from Canada was selling all types of fakes and this was causing eBay and Amazon sellers to lose their accounts permanently. If you see a drop ship company advertising famous brand names such as Channel, Rolex, Gucci and so on, run the other way.
Lastly - there is the issue of running out of stock. If you are selling drop shipped merchandise you have to check the quantity on hand every day or you run the risk of the drop shipper running out and you have to cancel the order. Do that too many times and eBay and/or Amazon will cancel your account.
So what kind of drop shipper does work?
There are a few manufacturing companies in the US and Canada and the UK that actually have products in stock that they will drop ship. As long as you are dealing with a manufacturer or distributor that actually has products in their warehouse, then this can work if they can ship and provide tracking quickly. And since you are buying from the true wholesale source the price will be better than you get from the virtual dropshippers. But even these sources can run out, so you need to be able to check quantity on hand in real time.
When I was at the ASD show last month, I saw that Kole Imports who is a huge distributor of general merchandise was starting a drop ship program. I have not tried it and have no idea how it works, but Kole is a large and very respected company -and they actually have the products in stock. So the key is can they ship and supply tracking info in a timely manner.
What kind of products are best for drop shipping? If you think about it, why would a manufacturer that typically sells in case lots want to go to the trouble to drop ship their products? But products that are large and heavy, or products that have a lot of different models, lend themselves to this method. For example, we sell a line of steel firepits that weigh close to 50 pounds and there are over 50 different models. Any retailer would find it difficult to carry a complete line, so the company drop ships for us and many of their retailers. We have been so successful with them that we are now their exclusive seller on eBay. And I always get tracking within 24 hours. So this works fine.
So yes, drop shipping is not quite dead -but I would say its on life support. You can make it work if you can find the right supplier and work out the kinks. But forget these guys who claim to have thousands of products, and who have systems to auto-list the items on eBay or give you a website. Most (if not all) are a total waste of time and money. Again, just my humble opinion - there could be one lurking out there that actually works, but they could be easier to find an elephant with three tusks.
I never cease to be amazed at the things people collect. Fast food firms like McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell all sell a variation of the McDonalds Happy Meal that includes a toy. It may surprise you that you do not have to be a child, or have a child with you to buy a Happy Meal. Drive through or walk-in, ask for a Happy Meal and they will sell it to you.
You can often find Happy Meal toys at thrift shops. It seems there are some parents who buy the happy meals and hide the toy from the kid. A lot of them donate the toys to thrift shops.
Here are some notes on selling happy meal toys.
Here are a few listing of happy meal toys that sold.
When I was at ASD I had a chance to have dinner with John Bullard and his son, John Jr. John Jr. had a few members of his mastermind group with him that I also really enjoyed meeting. During dinner John Sr. and I discussed ways to work trade shows. I was so impressed with his strategy, I asked him to write an article for this issue about it. John decided to collaborate with Ryan Reger who he is currently working on a book with. Here is there article:
My Approach to Trade Shows
Trade shows can be intimidating with the rows upon rows of exhibitors selling every type of product under the sun. Unless you have a plan then it can become so overwhelming that you get nothing done. I want to share with you my approach on working a trade show.
Since my family and I run a distribution network with thousands of clients, we're constantly on the lookout for closeout and liquidation deals so we attend a lot of trade shows. We find the deals and then alert our network of buyers. Those buyers can buy directly from us and we'll even send it to Amazon for them. In fact, you can have all of your inventory sent to us for processing meaning you never have to touch it! For more information check out www.myinventoryteam.com
I never attend a trade show without doing some research in advance. Most trade shows give you a list of exhibitors before hand so you know who will be there and what types of products they sell. Many times there are even tools on the trade show websites like maps and planners that allow you to organize the booths you want to visit by their location. This is very helpful as some trade shows can be extremely large and the last thing you want to do is go from one end to the other all the time.
So you have your plan and list of booths you want to visit. What's next?
When approaching an exhibitor at a trade show always be confident. Go in with the attitude that they need you more than you need them because it's true.
They're the ones trying to sell you on their products.
So what do you say to an exhibitor?
Let me first answer this by telling you what not to say. It's true that more and more vendors are open to online only sellers. Years ago when we attended trade shows and vendors found out that we didn't have a brick and mortar store we immediately felt the cold shoulder or were just flat out told that they couldn't do business with us. A lot of that has changed now. They see the online trend and know that unless they jump in they're going to get left behind. However, even though the doors are more open than they were before doesn't mean I recommend the first words out of your mouth being "Do you work with dealers that sell on Amazon and eBay?" Here's why I don't say that. You immediately get put in a box as far as pricing is concerned. I've seen it happen over and over again. In fact we've tested this.
I have had a colleague go up to an exhibitor and ask for pricing on an item after mentioning he sells on Amazon. I then followed up on that exact same item and mentioned that I have many clients that I sell to (in other words going in as a distributor) and got a lower price on the same item. You might be thinking "Well you can say that because you have a network of online sellers that you sell to. I'm not a distributor." You may not be a distributor in the sense that I am, but you do have thousands of clients that you sell to. How many people buy on Amazon? That's a huge number, but you are certainly not fibbing when you say you have a lot of clients. I'm not telling you to say anything that is uncomfortable for you. If you're not comfortable then you won't come across as sincere. Be yourself.
Remember you make money when you buy an item so always ask what is the best price they can do. If they're selling items one at a time ask what the price is for a case. If the items are being sold by the case ask what the price is for a pallet. Then ask what the price is if you buy a whole trailer load. You may not be interested in buying a whole trailer load, but at least you now know what pricing you can get should you ever want to go that deep.
Another reason that I don't mention Amazon up front is that some exhibitors have a bad taste in their mouth in regard to Amazon. Maybe their products are already on Amazon and the price is lower than their Minimum Advertised Price (MAP). We see this all the time. The last thing they want is more sellers on Amazon devaluing their brand. This presents an opportunity, though, for you. You can offer to be their exclusive seller on Amazon. The advantages for them is they only have to deal with one business that sells on Amazon not ten and their brand will not be devalued because you'll keep the price where they want it to be. It's a win-win for both parties.
Even though I don't mention Amazon or eBay at the beginning doesn't mean I don't ever mention them. For me I work it into the conversation by asking them where they sell their products. If they don't mention anything online I then ask if they have an online presence. If they don't mention Amazon or eBay then I'll bring it up by saying something like "Are your products on Amazon and eBay?"
Judging by their response then I know how to direct the conversation (I always stay in control of the conversation).
There is so much more that can be written about planning for and working a trade show than I could possibly put in a short article like this. That's why I'm in the process of writing a book with Ryan Reger, author of Real Wholesale Sources, about wholesale sourcing. Be on the lookout for that within the next couple of months. If you're interested in finding out when we release this book please sign up to be notified here - http://forms.aweber.com/form/81/2115394781.htm
This year the eBay Spring Update is fairly short and sweet with only minor changes and none of them are huge negatives to sellers. The easier return policy is the one likely to have the most impact but we knew that was coming for a long time.
1. Top rated seller to be calculated differently - Starting with the regularly scheduled monthly seller evaluation on August 20, a new measurement, the transaction defect rate, will replace the current four detailed seller rating requirements used to evaluate your seller performance.
Your defect rate is simply the percentage of your transactions over the most recent evaluation period with one or more of the top predictors that a buyer will leave eBay or purchase less, such as an opened eBay Money Back Guarantee case, a return because the item wasn't as described, or negative or neutral feedback.
2. Track TRS status on your seller dashboard - Starting the week of April 16, you'll get an up-to-date preview of how you're tracking toward the new standards in your new seller dashboard. Your dashboard will be fully updated with the new standards on August 20.
3. Easier return policy - eBay seems to be taking a page out of Amazon's playbook by encouraging easier returns. Here is the new statement:
Recent and future updates to eBay hassle-free returns-including a clear message to buyers on your item page-makes it easier than ever to win more potential sales with your confidence-inspiring return policy.
4. Extended holiday returns required for Top Rated Plus discount and seal -
Starting this year, to qualify for the Top Rated Plus seal and 20% final value fee discount between November 1 and December 31, your listings must include the new extended holiday return option , with returns accepted through January 31. See all updates to eBay's Top Rated Seller program.
5. Category Updates - As always, changes to categories and item specifics are included with the rest of seller updates. Changes are coming the week of April 7 in these categories:
Well thatís is for this issue. See you again in about two weeks. Donít forget to get your goods ready for Motherís Day coming on May 11th this year. If you are selling on Amazon you should be shipping those goods now.
P.S. If you missed the last issue, click here to read it.
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