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How to Buy Wholesale from Legitimate Wholesale Sources

The eBay & Amazon Seller's News ~ July 2018 ~ Volume 19, Issue No. 13

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

In This Issue:

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

  1. How to Buy Wholesale from Legitimate Wholesale Sources
  2. Are you Ready for Amazon Prime Day?
  3. Supreme Court Rules Against Small Online Sellers
  4. How to Contact Wholesale Sources Successfully
  5. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers

"The successful person always has a number of projects planned, to which he looks forward. Anyone of them could change the course of his life overnight." ~ Mark Caine


Musings

Amazon is changing the feedback form that buyers see. For certain types of orders, the form now prompts buyers to contact Amazon directly, or to contact the seller through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service. If a buyer has an issue with an order, they can get it resolved before they submit feedback.

Changes to the seller feedback process mean you'll be less likely to get feedback on issues that aren't your fault. For certain types of orders, the form now prompts buyers to contact Amazon directly, or to contact you through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service. If a buyer has an issue with an order, they can get it resolved before they start submitting feedback.


Long term storage fees start on August 15th. Check your inventory closely and remove any thing you need to by then. To be safe, do your removals a few days early so Amazon can process them before they hit the 15th.


If you create and sell bundles, then you need Bundle Shopper. Bundle Shopper is a cool and easy to use and helps you find items to bundle together.

Bundle Shopper is a Google Chrome extension that works from any Amazon product results page and allows you to quickly find complementary products, create exclusive bundles, and increase profits.


In the last two issues I told you about Kibly. They are the new company I'm using to build feedback and product reviews.

Kibly is still going well. I'm getting more product reviews than I used to. And, my feedback grows every day.


Amazon has changed the Seller Central welcome page with a new look and feel. It now includes images and quotes from other sellers, as well as access to existing links. The new page will now fit your screen size automatically.


Amazon Sellers - Amazon has optimized their Seller Central to work best with Google Chrome. It will still work with other browsers, but if you run into any problems, try logging into Seller Central with Chrome.


If you are having trouble logging into PayPal, then make sure you are using the latest version of your browser. PayPal just introduced new security protocols, and this is one of their unintended consequences.


Many of you responded to this special offer for my readers from Stamps.com, so I decided to run it again

Simplify Your USPS Shipping with Stamps.com

  • Discounted rates on Priority Mail
  • Free USPS Tracking
  • Import orders from eBay, Amazon and other sites
  • Save up to 40% on insurance
  • Stealth postage -postage not printed on the shipping label
  • International shipping via First Class International postage

Be sure to click the box on the landing page that says, Special Offer to get a special deal for my readers that includes free postage, a free postage scale and other free supplies.


Another major eBay Glitch

I received emails from readers who sell on eBay that images in their eBay listings are simply disappearing. A seller who called support, got no explanation and was told to re-upload his images. The problem is it happened to over 40 of his listings. Interestingly it only happened to his fixed price listings. His auction format listings were not affected.


Apparently eBay is tired of losing money. Last week they started layoffs for hundreds of employees and they are killing off eBay Radio among other cost cutting moves.


Lets get started with this month's in-depth articles:

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1. How to Buy Wholesale from Legitimate Wholesale Sources

How to Buy Wholesale from Legitimate Wholesale SourcesI often get email from readers who are frustrated that they either can't find a wholesale source for a certain product, or they find a wholesaler who refuses to do business with them. I do run into companies who will not work with me if I sell online, but the number of companies with that policy is growing smaller not larger. When I run into one of them my philosophy is: "Some will, some won't - next."

Believe me, for every company you find that will not work with you, there are ten that will. But you have to know how to set yourself up properly if you want to deal with legitimate wholesale suppliers.

The first thing a supplier wants to know is: Are you a legitimate reseller? What does this mean? Let's look at a few requirements that real wholesale suppliers practice:

  • They require you to have a state sales tax number (if your state charges sales tax)
  • Many wholesalers will not ship to a residential address
  • When they call you, they expect you to answer in your business name
  • You should have a checking account in your business name
  • You should have the basics such as business cards and letterhead.

In other words, you should look and act like a real business.

Don't panic! All of these are easy and cheap to accomplish. But you want to do them in this order. Let's start with sales tax.

Sales Tax Number - There are a few states without sales tax. If you live in one of those, the state will usually issue a business license that replaces it. It used to be you only need to collect and pay sales tax on sales that take place within your state. But the Supreme Court just changed that, so now states can collect taxes on sales from a different state. However, most wholesalers require you to have a resale certificate (state sales tax document) in order to sell to you without charging sales tax.

When you apply for your resale certificate (state sales tax number), you will be asked for your business name. The name you come up with is called a DBA - Doing Business As. In most states you can have several DBAs under one master business name. So your registered business name could be Dave Smith Enterprises and you could have several DBAs under that name. And when we get to the next item, bank account, you open the account in your main name and tell your bank the names of all your DBAs and you can either open an account in each name (which I don't recommend) or you can make deposits to the main account in any of the DBA names.

Taxpayer ID --The other number you want to get is a Taxpayer Identification Number known as an EIN. This replaces your social security number. Just go to IRS.gov and apply online. You get it instantly and it's free.

Business Address - As I pointed out above, many wholesalers will not ship to a residential address. This is quick and easy to accomplish. Just rent a mailbox from one of those mailbox rental places like Mailbox Etc. and others that are located in almost every town in America.

It will run you between $10 and $15 per month. These places are located in a commercial address and one of the things they do besides receiving mail is receiving packages. Once you have your business names registered, go back to your mailbox place and tell them the business names you will be receiving mail under. The place we use emails me whenever we get a shipment so I don't have to go there and check every day.

Business name - Although I recommend people selling on line specialize in a niche, in actuality you may end up selling in several niches. Niche marketing is much more important on eBay, or if you sell from a website. But on Amazon I sell everything.

So you want to pick a business name that will give you some freedom. Sally's Knitting Barn is cool if you sell knitting supplies, but not if you suddenly find a great deal on some smoked salmon as I did just before Christmas.

Business Phone - this one is easy; just get a second cell phone. If you are going to use it only when you speak with wholesalers, just get a cheap one and use prepaid minutes so you don't have to sign up for a new monthly account. What you want to remember is to always answer this phone in your business name.

Business Bank Account - You will need it to open a commercial or business bank account. There are two reasons to have a separate bank account for your business. First of all, your business bookkeeping will be a lot easier if you separate all your business expenses into one account. A lot of wholesalers will require payment by credit card until you set up a line of credit, so you can get a visa card linked to your business bank account.

The other reason is that some trade shows and wholesale merchandise marts will want to see a bank account in the name of the business to admit you. The first year we attended the Seattle Gift Show they asked us for a business card, resale certificate and a copy of a check in our business account. We needed all of those to prove we were a real reseller.

Business Cards and Letterhead - Letterhead is easy. You can make that up as a template in any word processing software such as Microsoft Word. I used to get my business cards from Office Depot, but now we get them from Vista Print. You can create very professional-looking business cards in just a few minutes and for much less than you would pay a local print shop. You can usually get 250 business cards for just $10.

So there you have it. If you want to be taken seriously as a legitimate business owner these are the things you want to accomplish. None of these are difficult or expensive, and will pay for themselves easily by giving you access to thousands of legitimate wholesale suppliers that you can use to grow your business.

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2. Are you Ready for Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon usually keeps the exact date a secret, but has been warning sellers since early June it is coming soon. This year the information leaked out and it appears Prime Day will be July 16th.

Amazon Prime Day is a made-up holiday started by Amazon in 2014. The volume of sales typically equals Black Friday. It's called Prime Day because it is only for Amazon Prime subscribers. If you're not a paid member of Prime (Just raised to $119/year), you won't see the deals.

July 16th is right around the corner and not enough time to send inventory to Amazon if you are an FBA seller.

If you haven't sent your inventory into Amazon by now, then you still have time to register as a Seller-fulfilled Prime Seller.

Basically on Prime Day Amazon will be pushing deeply discounted products, but even if you don't have the deals, all sellers benefit from the increased traffic on Amazon. Therefore, you want to make sure you are well stocked with your top selling products.

Prime Day is always in July. So, if you did miss getting inventory into Amazon this year, put a note in your calendar for June 1st of next year reminding you about the upcoming Prime Day so you can start ordering and sending products to FBA.

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3. Supreme Court Rules Against Small Online Sellers

In its June 21st ruling in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court decided that online buyers will have to pay sales tax on everything they buy online. This means that all online sellers (eBay, Amazon, Sears, Wal-Mart, Big Commerce, Shopify, etc.) may have to potentially collect and pay sales tax in all 46 states that have sales tax. However, South Dakota has a $100,000 in sales exemption. If your sales to South Dakota residents are below $100,000, you don't have to pay sales tax. Check with the other state agencies as some of them have similar exemptions.

The Commerce Clause of the constitution's original purpose was to limit the power of government to interfere with commerce. This has now been turned on its head. Not only can the Federal government interfere with everything, but they extended the power of the individual states to do that as well.

Before this decision, small sellers were only required to collect and pay sales tax on sales made and shipped to someone in a state where you had a presence. For example, I live and work in Washington State, but I also have a warehouse in Tennessee. Therefore, before the decision, I would have to collect and pay sales tax on any sales I made to buyers in Washington or Tennessee.

Before this decision, several states used the Nexus argument. This claimed that because companies such as Amazon, Wal-Mart or Sears had operations (stores, offices, warehouses, etc.) in those states, that sellers on those platforms are required to collect and pay sales tax on sales made to buyers in those states state. That position was clearly unconstitutional -but with this decision, it no longer is.

In fact, this decision ignores the concept of Nexus altogether. It no longer matters whether a company or individual seller has a presence in the state, the decision says that all states that charge sales tax, can now force sellers to register, collect and pay sales tax on all sales made to anyone residing in that state.

It will also affect buyers who purchase a gift and have it shipped to someone in a different state. This is a real problem for sellers, because both states -the buyers' and the gift recipients', will want their tax. But how do you collect tax from someone who receives a gift?

So what do small sellers do now?

Most importantly, don't panic. This is not going to happen this week. It could take up to two years for all the state legislators to pass new laws.

Since it's going to take some time for each state -not to mention platforms like eBay and Amazon to act. I suspect, eBay and Amazon and other large online sellers, will quickly realize that several thousand sellers will just give up and leave the platforms and stop selling altogether. Large online venues (eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart and others) have thousands of employees including accountants and tax lawyers.

These companies are already registered with most of the states, and they already collect & pay sales taxes. I think they will realize the only solution is to assume the burden of sales tax collection and payment. It is already starting. Based on new Oklahoma Sales tax rules, Amazon will start, collecting, and remitting sales tax on all orders shipped to customers in Oklahoma starting July 1st. Oklahoma joins Washington State and Massachusetts where Amazon is already doing this.

This fine if you sell on a platform such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy. etc., but what about small website sellers? This decision could drive thousands of those sellers out of business.

If you want help with this issue, or just want to learn more, visit Tax Jar. Besides sales tax payment services, they also have webinars and other educational info about sales tax.

Be patient. This will take some time to work out. Stay on top of announcements by the sites you sell on.

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4. How to Contact Wholesale Sources Successfully

With all of the information out there on the web today it's pretty easy to find the manufacturer or distributor of any product. Most manufacturers have a website, and websites usually have Contact Us forms where you can send an email. The trick to being taken seriously is to construct the proper type of email. You have to think, act and write like a business owner, which is what you are.

Say you are out shopping with your spouse and you come across a great product that you would like to sell online. You pick up the box and look. You will usually see the name of either the importer (who is usually also the distributor) or the manufacturer. Simply write down the URL of the website and look it up when you get home.

Now once you find the website, first look for a link that says something like Wholesale Information, Resellers, or anything that indicates you can register as a wholesaler. If there is such a link, just click on it and a registration form will usually open. If not, use the Contact US link and write an email along these lines:

Hello

We are a small retailer located in Fox Borough MA. We saw your tools on the web and would like to carry them. Do you have a rep in the Greater Boston area, or can we order through you directly? Here is our business information:

Smith's Notions
5019 Allegany Blvd
Foxborough, MA 15139
Tel: 508-555-0123

Our MA Resale number is Z88-445566

Thank you,
Sally Smith - Owner

Don't mention anything about eBay or Amazon. You are an online retailer, but you don't have to disclose that unless they raise the issue. Just say you are a retailer, which is technically true.

You may get a return email saying a rep will contact you, or they may just set you up on the website for direct ordering. It works both ways for us.

As I pointed out in the first article, some suppliers will require you to have a brick and mortar store. I am working with one such supplier now. Here is an inexpensive way to solve that problem.

Many towns have what are called multi-dealer malls. These are places where you can rent a small booth or area usually about 50 to 100 square feet. That is what we did to comply with a recent deal I made on a beautiful line of European Beads. We have the showcase set up there and are actually getting sales -enough to easily cover the $100 a month rent.

Many of these malls are antique malls and will not allow new products, but that is OK because there are others that will. Just keep looking around. The mall doesn't have to be right in your town as long as it's not too far away. In our mall about ½ of the products are brand new merchandise. It's a very eclectic place - a real mixture of goods, and it works out very well. They even have full time sales people so we don't have to be there.

And sometimes you will run into companies that just won't let you sell online, or they may allow you to sell from a website but not on Amazon or eBay. There isn't really much you can do in that situation except look for something else to sell.

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5. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers

Sweet Satya is a jewelry designer of healing crystal jewelry. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and you will find a link to apply to wholesale.

Fashion Domino is a new wholesale clothing site that stocks and ships from the USA

The Grommet is a purveyor of a wide range of gadgets and products -many of them electronic

Indigo Fair is a wholesaler of a wide range of products and gifts and they allow you to return products that don't sell

ZUO is a wholesale manufacturer offering a large line of indoor and outdoor furniture, lighting and home decor products.

Little Drops of Water sells over 150+ figurines of the main Catholic saints, Madonnas, Jesus, Christmas and Noah's Ark.

Flags Galore Decor sells a complete line of house and garden flags.

Selini New York sells a large line of fashion accessories for both men and women

Culinary Teas sells gourmet tea for every taste. They carry over 350 teas across the spectrum of tea types and styles., they pay for shipping on orders over $75

JKENS sells a wide range of Cookies & Candy items. They carry nationally recognized brands including Mayfair, Stauffers Biscuit Company, Sweetzel, Daddy Ray's and Uncle Al's cookies.

BestWhip Inc. sells N2O whip cream chargers, "whipettes" and dispensers, They also carry CO2 cartridges in 8g, 12g, 16g. Look for the link that says "Become a distributor."

Montillo Italian Foods produces Vino Cotto in the United States using their family's 4th generation recipe from Calabria, Italy. They will mail or fax their wholesale information.

Oil Painting Discount are distributors of original high quality oil paintings hand-painted on canvas.

That’s it for now. See you again in a couple of weeks.

Skip McGrath
The eBay & Amazon Seller's News

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





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