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Third Party Service Helps With Sales Tax Filing & Payment

The eBay & Amazon Seller's News, October 26 2015 - Volume 16, Issue No. 18

Tips, Tools, News and Resources for eBay, Amazon and Online Sellers
by: Skip McGrath

In This Issue:

Musings from and about eBay, Amazon and The World Wide Web

  1. Third Party Service Helps With Sales Tax Filing & Payment
  2. Are Amazon and eBay Discouraging Retail Arbitrage and Drop shipping?
  3. Research and Source Alibaba Products With Terapeak
  4. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers

"Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success." ~ Swami Vivekananda


The summer slowdown is finally behind us. I don't know about you, but the last couple weeks our sales have been soaring and we are not yet in the peak selling period that starts in a few weeks.

I am often asked about research to find the best selling items and keywords. My favorite overall research tool is Terapeak. It has some Amazon features but is mostly eBay centric. However, I find that the info about what is selling and average selling prices and keywords work on Amazon also. They have both a basic package and a professional package.

For just keyword research, my favorite tool is Merchantwords. Merchantwords is Amazon based but I find the same keywords work well on eBay also. Merchantwords is normally $24.95 per month but I have a deal with them for my readers. Use this link and you can get if for just $9.00 a month for as long as you stay.

If you have not yet looked at our online coaching page www.onlinesellingcoach.com then you should give it a lookover. Here are some of the benefits of membership:

  • Over 200 reports, videos and webinars you can download
  • A 40% discount on all of my books (except the Complete Amazon Marketing System which has a $40 discount)
  • A private Facebook staffed by our personal coaches where you can post questions about selling on eBay and Amazon and get answers from a professional selling coach

We have recently completed a facelift and added lots of new content. So take a few minutes to check it out.

eBay is still struggling. eBay just released 3rd quarter results and year over year growth was only 3%. Its going to be interesting to see how the 4th quarter holiday shopping season works out. Meanwhile Amazon announced a 28% increase for the same period along with nice profits.

In a previous issue I recommended a company called JoeLister that can help you create eBay listing from your Amazon FBA listings and fulfill the products automatically for you. I have been using them for several months now and its working out quite well. When I first recommended them their service was pretty basic but they have continually added features and improved the platform.

Some interesting things going on at Amazon: Amazon has launched a series of lawsuits against people who post fake reviews. Some sellers go on Fivver and solicit reviewers and Amazon has decided to go after them legally as well as take action against their selling accounts.

In other news Amazon announced they will hire up to 100.000 temporary workers at their over 50 distribution centers over the holidays.

One sneaky trick some sellers pull is to create a listing for one item, then if another seller lists under them they will go back to the original listing and change it to a 2-pack or 3-pack. They do this just to screw with the competitive seller. I see this happen a lot, and if it happens to you write Amazon support immediately and report the seller. Every time I have done this Amazon has fixed the issue. One way to be alerted to this is always look at your ASIN change notifications. Whenever I get one of those I always go to the listing and look it over in detail.

Lets get started with this monthís articles:


1. Third Party Service Helps With Sales Tax Filing & Payment

In the last issue I wrote about new internet sales tax legislation that is looming. That is on top of the need to collect and file sales taxes in many states where you have a nexus. (Nexus means if you have a physical presence in that state such as merchandise in an Amazon warehouse)

Collecting sales tax is easy. You just set up you tax preferences in eBay and Amazon and they will collect the tax for you at the time the sale is made, but they won't pay the tax for you. That is your responsibility.

This can be a ton of work, but fortunately there is a third party service that can make this easy for you. The company is called TaxJar.

Some of the services they provide include:

  • Automated sales tax reports in all states for simplified filing.
  • Syncs with your cart and marketplaces, no manual uploading.
  • Handles multiple states and platforms with ease.
  • Simple pricing. No setup fees. No contracts.

And they offer one-click integration with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Shopify and PayPal.

Getting started requires three steps:

  1. Sign up for TaxJar and then connect to the platforms or channels you sell through. Most channels can be connected in seconds with just a few clicks. You only need to do this step once! Your platforms are now synced with TaxJar and will update on a daily basis.
  2. Once you're synced up to TaxJar, you'll see your sales tax collected by city and county, across all states and all the platforms you sell on. These get updated every day! You will know if you're collecting enough sales tax and even when your returns are due. All you have to do now is file!
  3. All that's left to do now is take all the information they have broken down for you, and fill in the blanks on your tax forms! Of course, if you want to make your life even easier, you can let TaxJar do all the filing for you. With AutoFile, they will automatically submit your tax forms for you when they are due. This is truly sales tax on autopilot.

Best of all TaxJar offers a free trial.

If you need further help with sales tax issues, check out Windward Tax Service.

Windward Tax is a full service sales and use tax consulting firm. They offer clients direct access to sales tax experts who can quickly identify problem areas and efficiently solve your sales and use tax issues. Windward Tax helps Amazon FBA sellers with state sales tax registration. Their Amazon FBA experts work directly with you to identify your specifics needs and develop a step-by-step action plan to achieve sales tax compliance quickly and efficiently.


2. Are Amazon and eBay Discouraging Retail Arbitrage and Drop shipping?

The short answer is yes. But how are they doing that?

Let's look at dropshipping first. Both eBay and Amazon have policies that require you to ship quickly and enter the tracking information into the system within 24 hours. On eBay this is required to maintain your Top Rated Seller status which earns you fee discounts. On Amazon if you are continually slow in shipping they will simply suspend your account and require you to submit a plan for reinstatement.

The sad fact is that most drop shipping companies do not ship quickly and are slow to provide tracking information. The other risk with drop shippers is you sell something and they are back ordered or out of stock and cannot ship at all. This causes you to cancel the order and it only takes a few of those in a one-year period to get your account suspended or even canceled altogether.

Now let's look at retail arbitrage. The big issue here is intellectual property. Violating intellectual property claims is considered a serious violation by both eBay and Amazon.

Here is what happens. You are in the clearance aisle at Target and buy a hot selling product on sale. (Maybe you even load up with a dozen of them). Now you list the product online and a few days later you get a notice from eBay or Amazon that you listing has ended due to an intellectual property complaint. What happens is that large manufacturers and famous brand names employ companies who continually scan eBay and Amazon looking for their products selling. Then they look to see if you are an authorized reseller. If not - they file an intellectual property complaint that you are using the product name (and photos) without permission. For example, lately some sellers have been getting these notices for Star Wars toys and figures.

Not only are you stuck with the merchandise, but these notices are considered policy violations and once you get a few of them, your account is in danger of being suspended.

I know that drop shipping can be very profitable and it's a great way for folks to get started who have little cash to invest in inventory. Same for retail arbitrage. Its fairly easy to buy goods on clearance and flip them quickly on eBay and Amazon (especially things like toys this time of year). But you have to weigh those issues against the risk of loosing your account.


3. Research and Source Alibaba Products With Terapeak

This article is a guest article by Marco Alvarez from Terapeak.

Are you a Terapeak user? If so, you can find new products to sell, research their potential, and source them directly from Alibaba using Terapeak.

Terapeak's partnership with Alibaba.com is designed to help sellers to grow their sales and profits like never before.

To start researching and sourcing Alibaba products with your Terapeak subscription, follow along with this brief walk-through. There are two basic things that you need to know:

  • You can source Alibaba products either using the Terapeak Hotlist or by searching Alibaba directly.
  • Whether you use the Hotlist or you search Alibaba directly, you have the same three options for each product: "Analyze Price & Demand," "Do In-Depth Research," and "Source on Alibaba.com."

Let's walk through the process of finding products to sell, researching their sales potential, and sourcing them on Alibaba.com now.

First Step: To Research Hotlist Products and Source Them on Alibaba

The Terapeak Hotlist is a continually updated list of the 25,000 hottest products on eBay right now, and is a useful place for sellers to start when they're looking for new product or inventory ideas. (Ed. Note: products that are hot on eBay are usually just as hot on Amazon as well)

To research Terapeak Hotlist products and source them on Alibaba, start by following these steps:

  1. At your Terapeak Dashboard, click "Find Products to Sell."
  2. When you see the page titled "Product Search," select "Terapeak's hotlist" from the "I want to search" drop-down list.

After following these two steps, you'll see a list of the products in the Hotlist shown as a series of "tiles," each tile containing a product image and basic details about the product's eBay sales.

To source hotlist products on Alibaba, first visit the Terapeak hotlist.

First Step: To Research and Source Alibaba Products Directly

For sellers that want to research niche products or to explore what's available from Alibaba wholesalers, Terapeak enables users to search the Alibaba marketplace directly.

To search the Alibaba marketplace and either research or source Alibaba products, start by following these steps:

  1. At your Terapeak Dashboard, click "Source My Inventory."
  2. Enter keywords related to the product in the search box, then press Enter.

After following these two steps, you'll see a list of the matching products on Alibaba.com, again shown as a series of "tiles," with each tile containing a product image and the minimum and maximum sourcing prices available on Alibaba.com.

To source and research Alibaba products directly, use "Source My Inventory".

Step Two: Act On Your Hotlist or Search Results

Whether you're browsing the Terapeak Hotlist or searching for products directly on Alibaba, your results will appear as a series of product tiles and images. Hover over any product image to see options to:

  • Analyze price and demand for the product
  • Do in-depth Terapeak research about the product's eBay performance
  • Source the product on Alibaba.com
Hover over a product in either area to analyze sales, do in-depth research, or source it.

Whether you began by browsing the Terapeak Hotlist or you began by searching for products on Alibaba, in either case, your options are the same once you've found a product you're interested in.

The next step is to act-by doing one of the following things.

To Analyze Price & Demand

To analyze a product's prices, demand, and sales over the last thirty days, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the product in the Hotlist or in Alibaba search results.
  2. Click "Analyze Price & Demand."
  3. Refine the list of product keywords in the pop-up box that appears until the list of results shown in the pop-up box is representative of the product(s) you're interested in.
  4. Click "Refine Listing Criteria" to see a new pop-up box showing pricing, demand, and sales information for the product over the last thirty days.
Use the "Analyze Price & Demand" tool to analyze sales and create worksheets.

After reviewing the pricing, demand, and sales information for the product, you can click "Save as worksheet" to save the product in a worksheet and project your own sales and profits.

To Do In-Depth Research

To do in-depth Terapeak research about a product's eBay performance, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the product in the Hotlist or in Alibaba search results.
  2. Click "Do In-Depth Research."

A new tab will open in your browser showing in-depth Terapeak research results for the product in question.

Click "In-Depth Research" to research the product's performance in-depth.

While viewing your in-depth research results, you can apply filters, change the range of dates, change views to see sellers and global sales, or perform other typical Terapeak research tasks on these results.

To Source on Alibaba.com

To source a Hotlist product or an Alibaba product directly on Alibaba.com, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the product in the Hotlist or in Alibaba search results.
  2. Click "Source on Alibaba.com."

A new tab will open in your browser and will show an Alibaba page where the product(s) in question can be sourced.

Click "Source on Alibaba.com" to source product(s) directly on Alibaba.

Source Inventory More Easily

These tools enable Terapeak users to research and source inventory on Alibaba without having to visit or navigate Alibaba.com directly. With them, sellers can find products to sell, conduct careful research about these products' sales potential and profitability, then source them at wholesale prices.


4. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers

In the last issue of this newsletter I recommended a liquidation company - BULQ.com

Well I got an email from a reader that said he ordered a pallet of new toys and they were actually returns to Amazon with 3rd party stickers on them. In that listing I also said the following:

(One note - they offer both returns and new goods. Be very careful buying returns as often if the boxes are damaged you cannot sell them as new).

If you bought from Bulq.com and they stated the goods were new - I would follow up with am email or phone call and clarify that issue. Technically some Amazon returns can be considered new but if the retail boxes are damaged or covered with stickers then you can't sell them as new. In other articles I have written about dealing with liquidation and surplus goods companies I have always stressed communicating with them to make sure you will get exactly what you ordered and I always insist that if I do not I have the right to return the goods. If they will not do that look for another company.

Globright sells a very nice line of flameless holiday candles.

The Australian Natural Soap company sells Australian made French-milled soaps. Variety of fragrances, natural plant oils, creamy lather and a long lasting bar.

Ed Heart creates classic and elegant jewelry with crystals from Swarovski in a wide range of colors and effects.

Galante Studio is an 80-year-old company known for its luxury soft good products including handmade cosmetic and jewelry cases.

RA Cosmetics has been providing skin and hair care products for 10 years now. They carry a wide range of products.

Ann Kim sells a wide range of fashion accessories.

DPJ Wholesale distributes value-priced wholesale general merchandise. They ship directly from their warehouse in Hartford, CT. They sell wholesale, as seen on TV, clothing and accessories, craft supplies and more.

The Real Insect Company sells Real Insect gifts, novelties and accessories. These are all REAL insects, bugs and even snake heads frozen in time.

BARSKA Optics is a key supplier of sport optics products including binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes, microscopes, riflescopes and accessories.

Heavenly Body Products sells Wholesale skin care products, body oil, incense, and air fresheners. They also sell Barack Obama merchandise and apparel.

Orthodoxstyles sells Hand-Painted Orthodox and other Christian Crosses and Wording on Baptism Towels, Baptism Bibs, Infant Wear, Totes, Aprons, candles, T-Shirts and other gift items.

Joissu Products Inc. is a leading importer and distributor of a wide range of wholesale toys, wholesale novelties, wholesale gifts, general and seasonal merchandise, and so much more.

Thatís it for now - See you in November.

Skip McGrath
The eBay & Amazon Seller's News

P.S. If you missed the last issue, click here to read it.

 The Online Seller's News is the oldest & largest newsletter for eBay, Amazon & Online Sellers. Get news, tips, tricks & learn online selling strategies.
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