How to Use Amazon Date Range Reports to Get Detailed Sales & Fee Information
The eBay & Amazon Seller's News ~ Febuary 2018 ~ Volume 19, Issue No. 3
Tips, Tools, News and Resources for eBay and Amazon Sellers
An item I mentioned in the last issue was the Free Amazon Seminar scam. After writing that I item, I heard from an additional 10 readers, who had been taken in and each lost over $5,000.
Three of them said, they learned nothing that they didn't already know from studying my Amazon course, The Complete Amazon Marketing System.
This month (through Midnight, February 28th), I am putting that book on sale for $11.00 -And, if you buy The Complete Amazon Marketing System during this month (Feb., 2018), I will add The Amazon Profit Booster for free. (My shopping cart can not add that automatically, so if you buy the The Complete Amazon Marketing System, please email me and I will send the link to download the Amazon Profit Booster).
Did you know it's legal to send traffic to your listings on Amazon using your own affiliate links? Not only that, you can earn a commission when your own item sells.
You can learn about this and other secrets in my best-selling book: How to Make Money with The Amazon Affiliate Program.
I have told you many times about how Joelister can create eBay listings from your Amazon listings - but what if you want to go the other way, eBay to Amazon?
Check out Export your Store. They not only export your eBay listings to Amazon (all, or just the ones you select), they provide additional automation services as well.
Can't sleep worrying about how your sales are doing? Just say: "Alexa, Start Seller Central." Now you can Check Seller Central from your bed.
In the last issue, I told you about how ubiquitous the Alexa-type devices were becoming. Now you can check your Amazon Seller Central while you are in bed, or making breakfast.
Amazon has just introduced a Seller Central connection to Alexa. The new Amazon Seller Central Alexa skill gives you a variety of business updates from any Alexa -enabled device - from sales summaries and inventory recommendations, to buyer messages and payment information. To get started, enable the skill, link your seller account, and say "Alexa, start Seller Central".
Article #5 deals with Sales Tax Nexus issues. One problem sellers have is determining where (which state?) Amazon is storing their FBA merchandise. I have just uploaded a new article about this subject on my Free Articles page. You can read the article here.
eBay & Amazon Results
eBay 4th Quarter
eBay Inc. delivered revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 of $2.6 billion, increasing 9% on an as-reported basis and 7% on a foreign exchange (FX) neutral basis, primarily driven by gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $24.4 billion, up 10% on an as-reported basis and 7% on an FX-Neutral basis. During the quarter, eBay delivered GAAP net loss from continuing operations of $2.6 billion.
In the fourth quarter, eBay grew active buyers by 5% across its platforms, for a total of 170 million global active buyers. Underlying total eBay Inc. performance, the Marketplace platforms delivered $23.0 billion of GMV (Sales) and $2.1 billion of revenue. Marketplace GMV was up 9% on an as-reported basis and 6% on a Foreign-Exchange Neutral basis, driven by strong holiday performance in the US and continued expansion of new user experiences, which led to revenue growth of 8% on an as-reported basis and 6% on an FX-Neutral basis.
eBay Full Year
For the full year 2017, eBay Inc. delivered revenue of $9.6 billion, growing 7% on both an as-reported basis and FX-Neutral basis primarily driven by GMV of $88.4 billion, up 6% on both an as-reported basis and FX-Neutral basis
Amazon 4th Quarter
Net sales increased 38% to $60.5 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $43.7 billion in fourth quarter 2016. Excluding the $1.1 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 36% compared with fourth quarter 2016.
Operating income increased 69% to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with operating income of $1.3 billion in fourth quarter 2016.
Net income was $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter, or $3.75 per diluted share, compared with net income of $749 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2016. The fourth quarter 2017 includes a provisional tax benefit for the impact of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 of approximately $789 million.
Amazon Full Year 2017
Compared to eBay's 7%, Amazon sales increased 31% to $177.9 billion, compared with $136.0 billion in 2016. Excluding the $210 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year, net sales increased 31% compared with 2016.
Operating income decreased 2% to $4.1 billion, compared with operating income of $4.2 billion in 2016.
Net income was $3.0 billion, or $6.15 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2.4 billion, or $4.90 per diluted share, in 2016.
Some other highlights from Amazon:
Tax Season Scams are here
April 15th may still be a while in the future, but cyber, and other criminals start their tax season scams early. Here are some tips to follow to prevent becoming a victim.
Expecting reimbursements from Amazon? Here is the Reimbursement Report that can help you track them.
Note: You must be logged into Seller Central to use this link.
Is eBay Putting their advertisements ahead of your listings? Read the full post at the EcommerceBytes Blog. And eBay wonders why sellers are deserting them.
Letís get started with our articles:
How would you like a report that gave you complete details on your Amazon sales and fees, plus extra fees, costs and reimbursements on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis? (Note: This is one of those things that looks more complicated than it is. Just follow my easy step-by-step instructions).
It's not just your sales, this detailed transaction report also gives you refunds, reimbursements, FBA inventory placement fees, results of liquidation sales and the service fees cost of all your shipments to Amazon. Best of all, you get this on an excel spreadsheet so you can manipulate and calculate the data.
What is it and where can you find it?
It's called a Date Range Transaction Report and you can access it from your current transaction report. Here is a series of images that shows you how to do it:
As you can see, it takes a while for Amazon to create the report. In my experience, it takes Amazon about 20 minutes to generate a quarterly report for the Average size business -somewhat longer for larger businesses.
Once the report is ready, go back to the page and hit the download button. When you click on download, you will get the option to open in Excel, which is what I suggest. The complete spreadsheet runs several pages, but here is a small portion of mine:
Sorry this type is a little small, but it's a lot of information to fit on a webpage. There is a lot of other information on the report including refunds, service fees, reimbursements and more -but I am just going to concentrate on the sales and costs, because that is what most folks are interested in. I am going to cover a lot of information, so please pay close attention.
If you look at the last three columns on the right: Cost, Profit and % Profit, sadly those columns are not on the Amazon report -those are data that I entered manually. Yes, that is a lot of work, but as you will see, it's well worth doing.
If you look at the column headings, you will see they are: type, order ID, SKU, description, quantity, order city, state, Product sales, shipping credits, gift wrap credits, promotional rebates, sales tax collected, selling fees (Amazon's sales commission), other transaction fees, other and total net. Remember, you will not see cost, profit and % Profit on your report. You will have to add them yourselves.
Some of these are important and some are not. If you want to save some space and make the worksheet easier to work with, you can just delete some of those columns. For example, you could delete the order ID, city and state and any column that you see is empty after you scan it.
Now. Let's see what you are left with. This report will show the amount of your sale and then it will automatically subtract the Amazon commission (selling fees), FBA fees and any other miscellaneous fees.
OK - Let's deal with the columns I added. If you look to the right, there are three columns I added:
On the last two, you only have to do that for the first item on the list. Then copy the cell, highlight the rest of the column and hit Enter (Return) and it will copy and do the calculations for the rest of the column.
So, what do we do with that information? For one thing, it shows you tout most (and least) profitable products. If you look at the items on line line 63 and 64 (Anchovies), you can see my profit was 40% which is pretty good. That tells me three things:
Now let me show you a different item:
As you can see, although these sold more in one month than the anchovies, I only made 9.7% after product cost and fees, so I may want to think about dropping that product. Now, here is a Private Label product with a 34.7% profit margin and although I canít show you the whole page, I sold just over 60 pair of those during December.
If you combine this report with your inventory reports, you have about 90% of the information you need to run your business. I didnít show you the information, but when you download your report, you can see your refunds by product. If you see something with a high refund rate, it could be killing your profits and you may want to stop carrying it.
Creating Private Label (PL) products is supposed to be a gateway to profits, but may end up costing you money. It happened to me last recently. One mistake cost me over $4,000. Here is what happened.
I purchased 500 sets of Nessie soup ladles from China that I set up under my private label brand with my own packaging. Here is what my listing looked like:
They were selling well and profitable until I got an intellectual property complaint made to Amazon. Amazon blocked my listing and told me to contact the complainant, who never answered.
At first I thought it might be a competitor (which happens) but I was wrong. I did some research, and discovered the product was designed by a company in Israel.
My Chinese supplier had knocked it off and sold to me as a generic product. If the product is not patented or trademarked in China, that is a common practice, and one that can hurt you financially.
The way I found who owned the trademark was by visiting the USPTO Free Trademark Search for the word Nessie.
Here is what I came up with (Sorry, this is hard to read, but that's the government for you)
If you look at the registrant, they are a design company - Ototo Design in Israel. This was my fault for not doing my research first. This ended up being a $4,000 mistake. Had the term Nessie not worked, I would have searched other names.
The other way to find a company is by Googling the company name from the email address @ototo.com. Google gave me https://www.ototodesign.com/
Although PL can be a profitable strategy, it has pitfalls for the unwary that could be very costly.
If it turns out a competitor is filing a phony complaint, you can get Amazon to overturn that -but it can take months. In the meantime, your money is tied up in unproductive inventory.
The problem may not be the barcode. Amazon has just started doing something new. When you create a new product, or a bundle listing, the problem may be the brand name you used.
When the Amazon listing robot sees a brand name listed, it looks to see if the UPC code prefix matches the brand name.
Let me explain UPC Code basics:
The Official organization that assigns UPC codes is GS1. Here is how they explain the company prefix found on UPC codes:
A company prefix that complies with GS1 Standards (a "GS1 Company Prefix") is a unique identification number that is assigned to just your company by GS1 US. It's the foundation of GS1 Standards and can be found in all of the GS1 Identification Numbers.
Here is a typical UPC barcode with number explanation:
As you can see the number 644209 is assigned to a manufacturer or brand. The rest of the code is related to the product itself. The numbers assigned to the brand never change. The manufacturer (brand) comes up with the rest of the number which is linked to a specific product
Let me give you an example that happened to me a few weeks ago.
I found a highly collectible Starbucks mug worth about $100. I looked and there was no existing listing on Amazon, so I tried to create my own listing using a purchased barcode. I used the word "Starbucks" in the title and listed the brand as Starbucks.
When I tried to do that, a window popped up over my listing that said the Barcode prefix I was using did not match the standard Starbucks prefix (762111) and they blocked it. Since I couldn't list it on Amazon, I listed it on eBay with a $99 Buy it Now price, and it sold within 3 days.
If the mug still had the original Starbucks bar code sticker on it, I could have used that with no problem, but since this was a 10-year old mug, it was gone.
So, how do you get around this?
Most new products even if they are not listed on Amazon have a barcode. This problem tends to arise when listing bundles and multipacks. In general, there are two situations:
1. If everything in a bundle (or multipack) is from one company, then you have a problem. You would need a UPC code from the company who makes the product. When this happens, I ask the company to give me an unused code and I assign it to my bundle. I have had about a 50% success rate doing that.
2. If at least one of the products in the bundle is from a company different than the others, then you can make up (create) a brand name, and if you use a legitimate purchased UPC code (from Nationwide Barcodes where I get mine). This will usually solve the problem. Here is a listing where I do that.
Three of the items are from RSVP International, and two are from a company called Update International. Therefore, I used my brand name The Smart Kitchen with a purchased bar code.
The following are things that may affect your ability to use UPCs from Nationwide Barcodes:
Remember, I said ďmay affect.Ē This typically only happens in a few cases.
In the last issue I promised to tell you more about Amazon's new Coupon Program. I am only 10 days into using the program, but the results have been pretty good. Although there is one drawback (see below).
I set coupons up on items where I had a high inventory count, and on slow-selling items. I watched my sales, and items with coupons started selling at about 1.5x my normal rate for those products.
If you would like to try a coupon, here is how you do it:
Step number 1, is to bring up the coupon program. You do that by logging into seller central, look under the Advertising tab and select coupons.
That will bring up a form, that is pretty easy to follow. Just enter your items, one ASIN at a time and then hit the button that says Add to Coupon. Next you will be asked to set the date range of your coupon offer, give the coupon a name and set a budget. Here is how the budget works: You have a choice of offering dollars off or percent off. The budget in this case is the dollar value of your discounts. For example, if you set the coupon at $10 off and sold ten of them, that would use up a $100 budget.
As for the name, whatever name you choose, will display as the coupon name.
This could be a good way to get sales on a new product to help build a sales rank. What I like about this instead of advertising is, your paid ads get you eyeballs and you are charged by click. With the coupon, you are only charged for an actual sale.
Here is what a coupon item looks in search results and when you click on the listing:
Although, I have been using coupons for ten days with good results, that is not very long to evaluate. So I will keep monitoring this program and let you know if anything changes.
Earlier I mentioned a drawback. When it comes to pricing, a coupon will not help you win the Buy Box. There are other factors that go into winning the buy box where 80% of all sales on Amazon take place. However, if all other factors are equal, the lowest price (including shipping) usually wins.
Consider this: You have a product selling for $24.95, and your competitor is selling at $22.95 ($2 below your price). So you set up a $5-off coupon which brings you net selling price down to $19.95. Even though your coupon will make you cheaper than your competitor, Amazon does not see the coupon as a lower price and your competitor still has the buy box.
This is a guest article by Jennifer Dunn of TaxJar. TaxJar is a service I use that makes sales tax reporting and filing simple for more than 10,000 online sellers. Try a 30-day-free trial of TaxJar today and eliminate sales tax compliance headaches.
Amazon recently sent an email notifying some FBA sellers that they would their identifying information with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. This unprecedented move is the result of a court order, and Amazon reported that they were required to share the following information by January 26, 2018:
[Image: Amazon's email to sellers regarding sharing info with Massachusetts]
What does this mean for Amazon FBA sellers?
The state of Massachusetts considers businesses that have inventory stored in the state to have sales tax nexus in the state. For Amazon FBA sellers, this means any seller who has inventory stored in Massachusetts' Amazon fulfillment center, is required to register for a Massachusetts sales tax permit and collect sales tax from Massachusetts buyers.
According to TaxJar's Sales Tax Analyst and former sales tax auditor Graham Martin, Massachusetts' next step is likely to compare the seller information from Amazon to their current sale tax roles to determine if sellers with inventory stored in the state are collecting sales tax.
What to do you if received this notification
To answer seller questions about how to proceed after Amazon shares your information with Massachusetts, we turned to a panel of experts who offered general advice and commentary for FBA sellers:
The most common advice boiled down to:
If you received this notification from Amazon and unsure what to do next, we always recommend working with a vetted sales tax expert.
Note from Skip: If you did not receive the email from Amazon, then it is unlikely this affects you. Although, that could change in the future. See my new article about Amazon Fulfillment centers to help find your inventory in other states.
This is a guest article by John Hawthorn from Floship. Floship is an international Fulfillment service for Online sellers.
Anyone located anywhere in the world can access over 170 million shoppers online via the Amazon eCommerce platform. It is one the biggest global markets and be spending the time to fully understand how it works can result in huge profits. In this article, I will talk about the different challenges you will face when selling on Amazon along with how to deal with them.
The US is the most competitive sector on Amazon due to the vast profits that can be made through accessing potential buyers. It is the country that spends the most per person average $3,428 each year. This is more than double the amount that European buyers on the platform spend which averages at €1,540.
If you want to target the US market you will need to find innovative products that are trending. A great way to find these types of products is via taking part in a Kickstarter campaign that offers its products to those that partake at below wholesale prices. Just because your product is selling well in Europe does not mean it will become successful in the United States and vice versa. It is highly competitive which means the prices are at rock bottom so if you have expensive transportation costs that apply it could mean that you get priced out of the market.
When you are selling internationally on Amazon you will need to pay close attention to the different shipping costs, currency exchange rates, and taxes. If you get one of these wrong for the country that it is sold in, it could mean that you end up selling for a loss.
One of the biggest mistakes that new sellers on Amazon make it that they believe that once they have listed all of the products they have for sale, everything will take care of itself. This is not the case though; you will need to be actively marketing the products on other online channels to be able to drive enough traffic to your products pages to generate sales. This can take a lot of time along with money required to successfully market your products and brand online to become a reputable seller.
One of the most important aspects you will need to pay close attention to is making sure that you do not break Amazon rules. If you do, then it could result in your account getting banned and your business having to close overnight. Always make sure you keep your eyes open for new rule changes and that your marketing campaign is optimized to the best white hat practices.
Selling on Amazon is not for everyone and even though the task of adding products for sale online sounds easy, in practice it is extremely hard. There are high levels of research required for each product you are considering selling along with having to closely monitor the competition to make sure the product is priced correctly and is presented in the best possible way.
Keep in mind the customer's needs and think about how to up-sell to your customers. If you are willing to spend the countless hours, days, months and years adding products you will produce enough revenue to live a life of luxury. The amount of time it takes, is down to how hard you are willing to work to get it off the ground.
Looking for Clothing, Apparel and accessories? Head out to Miami, FL, May 21 to 23 for the Apparel & Textiles Sourcing Show. Or, if you live in Canada, they have the same show in Toronto, Aug 22 to 24.
This year's ASD Marketweek Show is at the Las Vegas Convention Center from March 11 to 14
If you are near New York City, the NY Toy Fair (The largest toy wholesale show in the US) runs from February 17 to 20 at the Javit's Convention Center.
OK, on to Wholesale Sources
Remember - Many of these websites are retail -or show no prices at all. But, they all sell wholesale. Look for a link to register for a wholesale account -or use the Contact Us form to send them a polite businesslike email asking for wholesale/reseller information
POL has a very nice line of affordable women's clothing with many styles and a wide range of sizes
Vinrella has a product that is taking the market by storm. It's the original Umbrella in a Bottle.
Reid Foods sells the Maria's Style line of gourmet jar foods and luxury teas. They offer low minimums and private labeling.
Tradition and Beyond makes and sells jewelry with Semi-precious gemstones that are precisely casted into sterling silver.
Spectrum Brands Inc. sells Pet, Home, Garden and kitchen items including many connected smart home products.
Wine Punts converts everyday wine bottles into a Wine Punt (drinking glass). They also repurpose everyday wine bottles into custom drinking glasses, carafes, canisters, candles and a host of other glassware products.
Amy Blackburn's Crystal Elegance makes and sells hand crafted Swarovski crystal jewelry. All jewelry is made of Rhodium plated and Nickel Free metal for a Non-allergenic product line.
Architect Brands sells a wide range of silicon and plastic cooking gadgets, utensils and tools.
Amrapur Overseas Inc. sells a wide line of products for bed, bath, bedroom, throws and blankets and window coverings.
Santa Fe Stoneworks sells a line of really unique designer kitchen knives and other knives.
Niki-Nu-Lites - are made of translucent polycarbonate plastic, which is unbreakable and washable. Their Lanterns feature an Origami like design, which allows them to be custom made and are available in 3 different styles, multiple sizes & color combinations.
Sanyork is a producer-importer of hand crafted artisan made Fair Trade products and apparel from Peru. They design and manufacture alpaca sweaters and accessories, organic cotton apparel and sterling silver jewelry. They also produce musical instruments, carved gourds, pottery, metal wall art, wool rugs, tooled leather accents, fur rugs, folk art in their facility in Lima, Peru.
Towels Plus A place to get those microfiber miracle cloths that everyone is selling.
Wildfire Cutlery designs and sells a beautiful line of custom Kitchen Cutlery. From the web site, click on "wholesale info" to register and get dealer prices.
Michael Rodents sells Licensed bed, bath and kitchen decor. Disney, Looney Tunes, Taz kitchen linens and Mickey Mouse bed and bath decor.
HealthWise sells a line of juicers, blenders, pasta machines and other small specialize kitchen appliances.
Wickman Products sells unique candle accessories such as wick trimmers, lighters, snuffers, and wick dippers. This is a great USL for anyone who sells candles.
Swan Creek Candle sells a line of unusual and attractive clean burning lead-free soybean wax candles.
Thatís it for now. See you again in a couple of weeks.
P.S. If you missed the last issue, click here to read it.
© 1999- Harry McGrath, Inc., DBA Skip McGrath, Auction Seller's Resource and Vision-One Marketing. All Rights Reserved.
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