I give UP. After 19 years I have Decided to Leave eBay
The eBay & Amazon Seller's News ~ September 27, 2018 ~ Volume 19, Issue No. 16
Tips, Tools, News and Wholesale Resources for eBay and Amazon Sellers
This issue contains some really major announcements, so please be sure and read the first few articles fully and carefully.
An Important Message from eBay about the new Supreme Court Tax Decision
Despite what eBay says here -my opinion is that eBay. Amazon, Wal-Mart (and others) will soon take over the tax collection and payment for sellers. This week, Amazon announced they will begin doing this for Wisconsin next month. Other states should follow soon. (Be sure and read the last paragraph).
You are probably well aware of the June US Supreme Court ruling on Internet sales tax that overturned the long-standing physical presence sales tax collection standard. Since the Supreme Court ruling, eBay has been pushing hard for a federal solution that provides a common-sense solution that protects small, Internet-enabled businesses. eBay seller and Small Business Ambassador Network member Chad White testified before Congress in support of these efforts.
Last Friday, federal legislation was introduced that attempts to address the uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court ruling. Led by Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Jeff Duncan, this bipartisan solution aims to provide a clear and sensible framework for collecting sales taxes from remote businesses that sell online and would exempt small businesses until such a framework is in place. At the same time, eBay announced that it had collected over a million signatures from Americans like you in support of such legislation. Click here to read more.
Additionally, eBay posted this announcement to the Community Board last week that may be of interest to you if you sell on eBay. As eBay continues to advocate for a federal solution, this post outlines how eBay will handle the collection of sales tax for sales into several states that now have sales tax collection laws in place.
Understanding the A-to-z Guarantee claims process
Find out more about preventing, representing, and appealing A-to-z Guarantee claims. Amazon has updated the Help pages explaining the process to give a summary of how best to avert issues - by tracking your shipments carefully, listing your products accurately, and responding to buyers quickly.
Free replacements for customers-at no cost to you
Getting a replacement for an FBA item just got easier for customers. As of September 5, 2018, a customer returning your item can ask to have a replacement sent to them free of charge-and there will be no cost to you.
For you, this means less time focusing on payments and refunds because the sale of the original item is unaffected. For customers, this means more convenient FBA returns, consistent with Amazon returns as a whole. This change is automatic. No action is required on your part.
I have mentioned here before that eBay will be ending its arrangement with PayPal soon and replacing it with their new payment system. eBay has just released some info about the new payment system. You can find some info about the new system in eBay's Weekly Chat.
Lets get started with this month's in-depth articles:
No- it's not because you can no longer make money on eBay - there are thousands of sellers doing that every day. For us -it had more to do with the fact that we just needed to set some different priorities, such as spend time with grandkids and take more time off for ourselves. With eBay becoming so complicated, we had to make a decision where we want to put our efforts. The simple truth is that eBay has become too complicated and time-consuming for us to navigate profitably.
So, we have decided to concentrate on Amazon, both in terms of selling goods, and where I will be focusing my training going forward. With that in mind, I am going to have a final sale on my eBay Books.
Here are the details for the eBay book sale. I have three main eBay training products:
All three of these books are excellent values at full price, but I am putting them on Final sale for 40% off. Just use coupon code EBAY40 upon checkout to get this discount. (Note: If you add more than on book to the shopping cart, the coupon sometimes only discounts the last book purchased. If that happens, please email us and we will process the appropriate refund immediately).
The sale lasts through October 31st.
The first book, The Complete eBay Marketing System includes annual electronic updates and I will commit to continue publishing these through 2020. The other two books were recently updated
I will continue to sell on Amazon, and continue to sell my Amazon training products.
This will be my last issue of the eBay & Amazon Seller's News -but I am not going to stop writing. For the past 18 years I have published the eBay & Amazon Sellers's News. With over 30,000 subscribers it is the oldest and one of the largest newsletters for professional sellers.
My articles will contain a mixture of news about Amazon, as well as "How-to" tips and articles on ways to improve your sales and profits. These posts will be very similar to my current newsletter articles.
For the past ten years my Wholesale Items Navigation tab has contained links to two wholesale search engines - Top-ten Wholesale and Get That Wholesale. As you know I also publish about a dozen new wholesale sources in each issue of my newsletter. So, in the future, I will be placing a list of my wholesale sources under this navigation tab by product category. This feature will be available in a week or so.
I have researched these sources to accomplish two goals:
Although I do my best to research these sources -please realize two things:
As I pointed out above, our reasons for leaving eBay are more personal than business-related. There is no question that eBay is a more complex selling platform than it used to be, but it is still one of the largest eCommerce sites in the world -and, in fact when it comes to international sales, I think eBay provides more opportunities than Amazon.
There are literally thousands of sellers currently making a very good full-time living on eBay and I expect that to continue for several years. Yes, Amazon has a far larger market share, but there are still plenty of goods available on eBay that you just cannot find on Amazon.
Also, eBay recently announced they are increasing their advertising budget which should bring more buyers to the platform. Another factor is that eBay is becoming more friendly to mobile device buyers which is becoming a huge part of eCommerce sales.
As I stated above, although I am having a final sale on my eBay training products, I will continue to support them with updates through 2020. After that date you will have to rely on eBay policy announcements to stay up to date. Fortunately, these are easy to find.
There is a link to both eBay policies and announcements at the bottom of every eBay Home Page. Until 2020 I will be updating both the policies and announcements in the annual update to the Complete eBay Marketing System. After that, you will need to get into the habit of checking the announcement boards on a regular basis (Note: eBay usually sends sellers an email when there is a major policy announcement and this is usually followed by a call from eBay support to answer questions.
So back to the question - Is eBay Still for You? That is something only you can answer. A lot of long term sellers have given up on eBay because selling has just become too complicated. Yet, I get plenty of email from sellers who are killing it on eBay and earning thousands of dollars a month. So you really need to look at what is going on, what you are selling, and make a decision if eBay is still the right place for you.
I like to call consignment selling "The Perfect eBay Business." One of the biggest problems eBay sellers have is finding profitable goods to resell on eBay. Well, consignment selling solves this problem because sellers with merchandise bring goods to you to sell. When they sell, you wait until the buyer pays you, before you pay the consignor.
Here is a list of just some of the things I have sold on eBay on consignment. My commission on these varied from from 14% to as high as 35% (and, in many cases, the seller also paid the eBay fees).
These are just a few examples. And all of these were done working out of my home without a storefront.
One reason the commissions are different is that I do two things. First - I use a sliding scale and secondly I often negotiate commissions depending on the final sales price and what I think will be the ease of selling the item. But if you add those numbers up, you will see that I made some nice profits (Over $7,800).
Now, to be honest these did not all happen within a few weeks. In fact, these were spread over 3 or 4 months. But, during that time I was also running my profitable day to day eBay business. But the point to take away is: even though I was doing this very part time. It was a nice supplement to my business. Having said that, there are hundreds of eBay consignment sellers who do this full time and make several thousand per week.
Rules to Follow When Consignment Selling (Especially, if you plan to do it more or less full time).
My book, The eBay Consignment Business Manual, contains all the instructions for running a successful 3Bay consignment business. It even includes legal contracts that work in every state.
This is a guest article by Tim Folsom of Fashion Bulk. Since I was writing about why I am leaving eBay, I wanted to put one article in about someone who is doing very well -even if a little differently. I am sorry the article is so long, but there is a lot of good information in here if this technique interests you.
Consumer Confidence is at an all-time high, but what if you don't want to sell directly to consumers anymore? If you're reading this, chances are you're an eBay seller who's looking for more out of eBay than just selling small-time. You want to be a business owner. Here's the good news: it's 100% possible. There are hundreds of small-scale eBay sellers who have made it big by scaling their business & making the transition into selling business to business versus business to consumer on eBay.
In this article I'm going to show you how to scale your eBay business from B2C to B2B by selling wholesale merchandise to other eBay sellers.
We're going to break down 3 major keys to successfully transitioning from B2C to B2B:
First, I'd like to explain my transition from eBay clothing seller to wholesale clothing supplier.
I started out as your run of the mill eBay clothing seller. I would go every week to the thrift store to pick out brands that have reasonable demand on eBay. The margins are pretty good, but I didn't enjoy the task of listing 100+ clothing pieces each week. Some people love it and receive a lot of fulfillment from doing it, but it just wasn't quite right for me. So I started looking for something more.
Long story short, I used my network to find a supplier of quality used clothing in mass quantities. My company: Fashion Bulk now supplies eBay clothing sellers from all over North America with name brand used clothing. But enough about me and my company, let's talk about growing your business.
Things to Consider
I started Fashion Bulk because I knew so much about selling clothing on eBay. I know the prices, popular brands, times of the day when buying is highest, how to rank better in search on eBay, what I paid for my product, etc. So it made much more sense to step into wholesale with something that I was very familiar with.
Finding your Supply
So here we go, you've gotten far enough to determine you definitely want to start and operate a B2B wholesale company, now it's time to find your supply. The topic of finding your supplier could go on forever, especially since finding your supplier depends on what you are looking to be a supplier of.
To condense this topic, I'm going to provide several outlets where you can search for your supply, as well as specific product examples and plenty of tips to answer the how, who, and how much when it comes to finding your supply.
HOW to Find your Supply
There are countless places to look for a supplier, but there's a proven process that simplifies the search. Just keep in mind, what you want to sell may change where you need to look. Also, if you are planning on starting this business from scratch, it is okay to start small, it's not plausible to try and be the big fish your first time around.
Start with Your Network
Online Wholesale Marketplaces/Directories
Online wholesale marketplaces can be a great option depending on what you want to sell. It's hard to provide exactly what you are looking for in this article, as there's a billion different products you may be interested in selling wholesale. Here is a list of marketplaces to look for suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers:
These are just a few examples.
Go to the Manufacturer
Manufacturers can usually sell to you for less than a distributor or supplier can. Manufacturers are usually looking for big accounts, but you may be able to structure a deal that makes sense to them.
Make it Yourself
Maybe you have access to a niche for rustic art, and you know multiple businesses that would purchase - so you hire and train employees and create a wholesale manufacturing company of rustic art! This is only an example, but you get the point. Sometimes you don't have any other option but to be the company that makes it yourself - now you're a manufacturer and supplier.
HOW MUCH for the Supply
Price is everything. We've discussed this a little bit, but we're going to go more in depth about investment, margins, ROI etc.
Let's use a simple example, shall we?
You've decided you want to be a wholesale supplier of water pipes because you know that the ratio of active listings to sold listings on eBay is pretty great, and there's certainly demand for both consumers and businesses. You find a supplier (Supplier X) out of India and for the sake of the example we'll say they're a legitimate supplier. For simplicity we'll assume you're only buying & selling one product wholesale.
Cost: $1950 just to get the product in your hands.
Gross Profit: $3000
Net Profit: $1050 or $1.05 per piece
This is of course before other expenses (website, marketing, materials, employees, etc.). The ONLY WAY that this would be a wise investment is if you knew that you could sell that merchandise in a very short amount of time.
Use this as a rule of thumb:
BUT, what if they could knock the price down to $1 per piece if you purchased 2000+ pieces and the shipping ratio stayed the same ($900 for 2000)?
Gross Profit: $6000
Net Profit: $3100, or $1550 per 1000 pieces, or $1.55 per piece
In the second scenario, your investment is higher, but so is your ROI, thus your margins are better. A good rule of thumb regarding margins is to seek after a 3:1 ratio (gross profit: cost of product). You still have other expenses we haven't included, but doing deal 2 vs deal 1 would make much more sense. But again, it goes back to your turnover rate. If you can sell these Water Pipes quickly, then a 2:1 ratio isn't bad.
Side note: You could potentially save money if you find a local supplier/manufacturer. What if instead of spending $450 per 1000 pieces, you only had to spend $50 in gas to pick up the merchandise in person. Let's say a local supplier or manufacturer is charging $1.75 per 1000 pieces, that's $1750 + $50 in gas.
Gross Profit: $3000
Net Profit: $1200 or $1.20 per piece
Side note: B2B wholesale is often about quick flips. If you know someone is looking to purchase 10,000 Water Pipes, you could profit let's say $0.15 per piece and make $1500 by just brokering the deal.
Calculating profits based on averages
When you're a wholesaler supplier, you're going to end up offering deals and price points based on the purchase volume of a given seller. Using the water pipe example - you may be selling those pieces at $3 each, but if a customer purchases enough, you're willing to sell them at $2.75 each. So when you're calculating your expected profits, keep in mind that you will likely need to take the average ($2.86) versus the maximum price. Additionally, it's harder to do this when you're just starting out, but you'll also want to base that profit average on volume. If more customers are purchasing volume high enough to only charge $2.75 - than customers are purchasing at the $3 price point, your average will be closer to $2.75 versus $3.
Connecting with your Buyers
Finally, on to the sales side of wholesale. This can often be the hardest job of them all, connecting with eBay sellers isn't a walk in the park. I'm going to share with you some of the best practices to connect with your buyers and get the sale.
Which marketplace(s) you use depends on what you're selling. Like if you're selling used merchandise, you would use eBay, not Amazon. But if you're selling new merchandise, Amazon or eBay could be a valuable marketplace for your business.
eBay is the bread and butter of this article & what you're probably the most familiar with. eBay can take a huge chunk of your profits - usually 9 - 12%, but that's for both the cost of the product AND shipping, so keep that in mind before you decide to structure the bulk of your exposure towards eBay.
Offering your packages directly on eBay
How to get in contact with eBay Sellers directly on eBay
Unfortunately, this is not as possible as a B2B company would like. Messaging other sellers is kind of a gray area that eBay doesn't make 100% clear. You can only message a certain number of individuals on eBay each day, and it can be time consuming. So the short answer is, on eBay you're pretty limited when it comes to directly messaging other sellers, but I have gotten a few sales from messaging sellers. Don't try to force product down their throat, instead ask if you can share your link and more information.
How to get in contact with eBay sellers outside of eBay.com
If you're planning on selling wholesale lots on Amazon, your merchandise needs to be new or at least refurbished. Amazon is not a resellers marketplace. Just like eBay, Amazon takes a big chunk of your profits, so keep that in mind before you decide to structure the bulk of your exposure towards Amazon. Naturally Amazon is much more B2C than B2B, but Amazon is trying to take steps to improve the B2B market.
Amazon FBA is the bread and butter of Amazon. This enables customers to get "prime" discounts which means free shipping. You ship your product to Amazon and they do all of the fulfillment, which saves you time, but you also pay FBA fees, storage fees etc. The larger your product the more expensive the fees, because it takes up more space in their fulfillment center.
Quantifying Demand on Amazon
Well that's all folks! I trust that this article will help improve your chances of successfully transitioning your eBay business from B2C to wholesale B2B. There's more to learn than what you've read in this article, and Skip McGrath is an excellent source of honest, valuable information on everything from eBay B2C to Amazon FBA. Keep working hard and feel free ask as many questions as you can, we love helping wholesalers!
Timothy Folsom, Owner of Fashion Bulk
Remember - not all of these websites are actual wholesale websites because wholesale companies do not want the general public to see their actual wholesale pricing. When you run into this, simply use the Contact Us form and request wholesale information be sent to you. Here is a sample of the email I use to do that:
Candles are always big sellers in the fall so let's look at a few candle companies:
A Primitive Glow sells a really unique line of hand poured candles -really different and made in America.
Biederman & Sons Company sells Candles, candleholders and accessories, commemorative ornaments. jar candles, scented candles, candle snuffers, candle accessories, votives and holders, palm wax candles, floating candles, crystal, hurricanes, crystal bowls, bobeche, Snuggle candles, Red Hatter candles, mosaic shades, candle lamps, taper holders, jar warmers and sconces.
A Cheerful Giver sells a large line of salt candles. Click on the Wholesale Tab in the navigation link to request a wholesale price list.
Not all candles have to burn. CR Designs is a wholesale-only manufacturer of a great line of electric candles.
ArtWax is a good supplier of candles.
OK - Let's look at some other suppliers
Gift Basket Drop Shipping is the industry's original and most trusted wholesale gift basket drop shipper. Put our 17 years of knowledge and expertise to work for you today. GBDS gifts offer higher profit margins and a larger more unique selection.
The Glass ReFactory sells a Unique line of decorative, glass sun catchers made from 100% recycled bottles. Over 60 nature inspired designs are impressed in jeweled-colored glass.
Waxing Poetic designs and sells a jewelry line crafted in sterling silver that consists primarily of charms that can be combined in different ways for a custom look.
Oso+Bean sells a line of quirky, boozy flasks, magnets, greeting cards, note cars, pins and more.
Regal Art & Gift is a designer, manufacturer, importer and wholesaler of gift and garden décor.
Kraft Klub Inc. is a wholesaler of decorative home and garden decor items. Their products come in a wide range of styles and finishes; from colorful enamel to rustic and gray zinc, and are great for a wide variety décor needs
Fashionbulk was featured in article #5. Here is some more information on them.
I am always asked for sources in the UK, so here is a short list of UK seasonal and toy suppliers
K H Norton
Tobar Trading Group Ltd
Wicked Distribution Ltd
Trimex UK Ltd
That's it for now, see you in my blog.
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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