Prune Your Inventory to Increase Profits
The Online Seller's News, December 2013, Volume 13, Issue No. 18
Tips, Tools, News and Resources for eBay, Amazon and Independent Online Sellers
We usually publish twice monthly, but with Thanksgiving coming a week late this year I figured most folks would be occupied, so I passed on writing the late November issue.
When I published the November issue it coincided with the publishing of my latest training course, The Complete Amazon Marketing System. I told you in that issue that I would hold the $20 discount and free shipping until the end of November, but since I didn’t get a chance to remind everyone in a late November newsletter and since many of you are tight on cash because of Christmas spending, I have decided to extend the special offer until the end of December. But on January 1, The Complete Amazon Marketing System will increase to its full price of $127+ $9.90 shipping. So you can save $29.90 by purchasing before December 31st. To get the special price you’ll need this coupon code SAV20CAMS Remember, this coupon will expire at midnight on December 31st. Don’t forget to hit APPLY after you enter the coupon number, or it won’t take the discount.
Remember – those of you who already own The Complete eBay Marketing System, you already have much of the information in The Complete Amazon System. Therefore a better buy for you is my e-book eBay to Amazon – making the transition.
My youngest son is a Tug Boat captain who works three weeks on and three weeks off and had to go to work right before Thanksgiving, so we celebrated a few days early.
We started a new tradition for our family that I have heard many others doing before. After saying Grace, we went around the table and asked everyone in just a sentence or two to give thanks for something they were personally thankful for. I can’t explain why, but it just set the right tone for dinner and made the whole event more fun and enjoyable.
I hope all of my readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed your time with family and friends.
eBay Reinstates Power Seller after hue and cry. Last month I reported that eBay has been purging accounts. Last week, Ina Steiner had an article about eBay PowerSeller, Loucoins, a long-term and very well known seller with a stellar reputation. Read the whole story here in eCommercybytes…
This is the last month Stamps.com is running their $100 worth of free stuff promotion for my readers. If you sign up to try Stamps.com, they will give you $45 in Free Postage coupons, a $50-value Digital scale, $5 worth of shipping supplies and a free 4-week trial. If you ship with the post office, Stamps.com will save you time and money and you get a free shipping scale and free postage just for signing up.
Amazon raising FBA fees effective February 18, 2014. You can see the new fee schedule at this page (you must log into your seller account first to see this page). The changes are fairly minor for smaller items, but really jump for large standard and oversize items.
Fees for order handling, Zero-Fee Fulfillment, Long-Term Storage, and Multi-Channel Fulfillment are not affected by this change. And, Amazon is soliciting your comments on the fees at http://pages.amazonservices.com/810GRW4520002Me06TDr900 (you must be logged into Seller Central to access this link). So feel free to comment and let them know your views.
Amazon recently reported that Amazon Prime customers spend 25 % more on average than other Amazon customers. Since your merchandise must be in an Amazon warehouse to qualify for Prime members free 2-day shipping, that is another good reason to use FBA.
The holiday selling season does not end with Christmas. This year both eBay and Amazon will sell millions of dollars worth of gift cards. Most of these folks will shop in January. So, Amazon sellers, make sure you are still sending in inventory late in December to reach Amazon in January. eBay sellers make sure you have inventory on hand to create listings for these buyers.
Last year, both my eBay and Amazon sales died right after December 22nd and stayed that way until January 3rd. For some reason folks tend not to use gift cards right away. Maybe it’s just shopping fatigue –but in January they pull them out and start buying all the things they hoped to get for Christmas but didn’t. Last year January was our third best month of the year –and the only thing I can attribute that to is gift cards because in past years that was not the case. Gift cards have been around for years, but gift card sales have really exploded in the past 3 to 4 years as companies realized how profitable they could be and really started promoting them.
If you want to know why they are so profitable, I came across an interesting statistic last year. Sorry I cannot remember the source but it was a credible industry source that said that the average person leaves just over $3.00 in unspent funds on gift cards. Companies make money on the interest float until you spend the money, they make money when you buy something and then they make money when you put that almost empty gift card in a drawer and forget about it.
Lets get started with this month’s articles:
When you get this issue there will just be a few days left in the 2013 Holiday Selling Season. If you have had something in inventory for a long time that hasn’t sold by the end of January, then you may want to consider getting it out of your inventory. Amazon storage charges are small, but they can add up. Here is a chart of Amazon storage fees:
Cleaning out your inventory is important for two reasons:
1. Non-performing inventory is your cash tied up so its useless for other purposes such as buying inventory that does sell.
2. Amazon has a policy that penalizes you if you leave unsold inventory in their warehouse for over 365 days. Here is the policy:
Even if you only have a few dozen items this can really add up fast.
It is no secret that successful people are mentally strong and well adjusted. This past week, Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and adjunct college psychology instructor wrote, “Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life.”
As I was reading these they reminded me of some of the email I get from readers complaining they can’t find success selling online and some of the reasons they give. As you read these, you will also be reminded of complaints and behavior you often see on the eBay message boards.
I don’t have room here for the complete list, so here are the first few traits and you can click on read more… to read the rest of the article on Ms. Morin’s Blog. I strongly suggest anyone who sells online read the whole article.
This article is from the Feedback Five Blog. Feedback Five is a service that automatically sends an email to each customer requesting him or her to post feedback.
We all get Christmas presents we didn’t want, or can’t use, and its no secret that some folks sell these on eBay starting right after Christmas. What you may not know is that many of these end up selling at bargain prices that allow you to resell them at a profit.
I have noticed this phenomenon over the past few years and it seems to be more prevalent as we have been in a recession. Let’s face it – lots of folks are out of work and broke and need cash. These folks will often sell items at a very low price just to raise cash.
So how do you find these bargains?
You won’t find them from professional eBay sellers. Most of the folks selling Christmas gifts are casual and inexperienced sellers. Look for listings that end at times of day when no one is on eBay like early in the morning or late at night. Since you don’t want to be up at one in the morning to place a bid on these, use a sniping service such as Gixen or Bidnapper. Gixen is free while Bidnapper charges $7.49 per month or $49.95 per year.
Look for listings with poor photographs. Bad images turn off bidders and can often open an opportunity for you.
Look for listings with poor titles and poorly written descriptions. Again –these turn off other bidders and often give you an opportunity to score a real bargain.
Be careful what you buy. Make sure you are buying products with a resale value. Stay away from white elephants –look for popular consumer products that people buy every day. You will find them. Last year I saw products such as brand new, still in the box, digital cameras selling for well under 50% of their average selling price and appliances such as Kitchen Aid mixers and Cuisinart appliances sell for ridiculous prices. Lastly, be careful to note the shipping. You don’t want to score a bargain and lose all your profit to shipping.
Right after Christmas is the best time to find these kinds of bargains, but in reality you can find them on eBay all year round. You will never support yourself financially with this strategy but it is a good way to supplement your sales and make a little extra money.
Infinite Buyer launches new platform, saves sellers time and makes more money!
Last year I told my readers about a new selling venue, Infinite Buyer where consumers make offers and sellers respond and fulfill. In less than one hour, over 200 sellers registered at Infinite Buyer and within 24 hours, two sellers had successfully completed transactions on Infinite Buyer.
When I investigated Infinite Buyer and spoke with the Infinite Buyer team, I decided that this new model of online commerce not only made sense, but also could someday work as a new buying and selling method that saves both time and money.
(Full Disclosure – I have a financial interest in Infinite Buyer)
The way the site worked originally, when a buyer made an offer, the seller would get an email and then respond with a counter offer. As you can imagine, this works fine when you are in front of your computer, but online buyers buy at all times of day and night and they don’t like waiting.
Since then, the team at Infinite Buyer surveyed their users, identified the top two improvements that both buyers and sellers were looking for on Infinite Buyer.
In parallel, the Infinite Buyer team raised a round of Angel capital funding to support further development. Most of the funds were applied toward the design of a new website that includes an automated rules engine, which allows instant offers and counter offers.
If you visit the new site, you will notice an improved “look and feel”, with the most recent listings from sellers on the home page. A consumer can click on the listing and make an offer, then get an immediate response to their offer, either “accepted”, “countered” or “declined”, based on a set of rules, defined by the seller when the listing was created.
With this new platform in place, sellers can register and create listings using the “automated rules engine”, then sit back and be alerted when a transaction has happened. This is a huge time and work saver as you don’t have to do anything until and unless an offer is accepted. Then all you do is ship the item.
As an incentive for my readers to sign up and try Infinite Buyer, if you register and create five listings before December 31, 2013, you will get a free “Professional” subscription for 3 months.
The top two benefits of the “Professional” subscription is access to the “automated rules engine”, plus a transaction fee of only 10%, as opposed to the free “No Risk” subscription, which does not include the “automated rules engine” and a 15% transaction fee.
In addition, if you transact a total of $3,000.00 on Infinite Buyer within your first three months, Infinite Buyer will extend your free “Professional” subscription for three more months.
I created most of my listings by copy/pasting from my Amazon listings. Doing it this way, it took me less than one minute to create and launch a listing. You can do the same thing with eBay. If you want to see what I am selling on Infinite Buyer, just type my username – mcgrrrrr into the search box. (There are 5 R’s in mcgrrrrr)
Infinite Buyer formally launched the new site on “Black Friday”, November 29, 2013. Several news outlets picked up their press release, including the Wall Street Journal and Yahoo. In addition, a local television station, KDVR, Channel 31 in Denver, contacted the CO-Founders and asked for an interview that same day, here is a link to the interview if you want to see it. http://kdvr.com/2013/11/29/2-colorado-men-who-hate-to-shop-launch-shopping-website-with-a-twist/
Infinite Buyer is based in Denver, CO and the company will donate 1% of all transactions on their site through November 30, 2014 to the Colorado Flood Relief Effort, helping families that were impacted during the damaging storms and flooding the hit Colorado this past September.
This is another one of those “Build it and they will come” stories. There have been many online auction and selling sites start-up over the years and many of them fail. The main reason is usually lack of product when consumers visit the new sites, so one of the keys to success is to get a lot of products listed quickly. This is why we are making the special offer. So just click here to take a look and register on Infinite Buyer.
Mill Wood Art creates beautiful wall art printed on wood and all made in The USA
Chukar Cheeries located in my home town of Seattle creates cherry-based candies, chocolates and sauces that are all natural and premium quality. They sell through local sales reps around the country so just email them and ask for the name of the rep closest to you.
Dorfman-Pacific sells an extensive product line of hats and accessories by name brands such as Scala, Stetson and Woolrich.
Tres Spa is another supplier of natural bath and beauty products.
Ariadne Pure Inc. makes and imports a line of honey spreads, grape surup and extra virgin olive oils from Greece and Cyprus
INE Imports sells a line of imported gifts from around the world.
Zad Fashion offers a broad variety of trendy jewelry, necklaces, earrings and rings for the fashion set.
Anything Duck Dynasty is hot. Kolibaba and Associates sells the Duck Dynasty beard heads
Exclusive Home Brands is a South African company that ships African themed clothing and ethnic goods to eBay and Amazon sellers in the US. Use the contact link on the website to request wholesale information. The owner, Clement Roberson, has also said he will drop ship some of his products for sellers.
C.C. Aztlan is a supplier of Mexican textiles and hats. They carry serapes, falsa, diamond, reversible therapy yoga, camping blankets; differing styles and patterns of ponchos, Baja pullovers in XXL, XL, junior and kid's sizes, off white pullover XL, bedcovers with Aztec designs, etc.
AZ Charms And Links L.L.C. sells wholesale Italian Charms and Italian Charm Bracelets, as well as Italian charm watches, Italian charms necklaces, charm birthstones, keychains, flip flop necklaces, magnetic bracelets, mood rings and many more.”
Berber Company imports and sells Moroccan furniture, lamps, lanterns, and other Moroccan decor, bedding, Moroccan tea glasses and other products from North Africa.
6th Gear Motorcycle Apparel sells and distributes all styles of Motorcycle Apparel, Accessories, for Street bikers, Cruise bikers and for Touring bikers.
Wholesale Car Covers & Accessories is the exclusive drop ship wholesaler and company rep for many businesses such as Budge Industries (vehicle covers), Blockit & Lockit Systems (The WRAP steering wheel lock) and Guard Dog door lock, Elite motors USA (vehicle covers and accessories), WWT Group (heated and A/C seat covers), Trucker Comfort USA (arm rest pads), Global Trading (The Amazing Roll Up Car and SUV Cover) and Knockout Decals (hitch covers).
Alabama Wholesale sells a wide line of socks all made in the USA. Click on the link that says Wholesale Info to learn how they work. Their minimum order is just one dozen socks and they accepts both Credit cards and PayPal for payment of wholesale orders.
Wholesale Music carries the top brand names in guitars and other instruments, at the guaranteed lowest price including A-Stock, B-Stock, Floor Demos.
Bicycle-Engines.com sells a large selection of high quality gas bicycle motors, motorized bicycles, and bicycle engine parts. And complete kits.
Pacific Solution offers a wide selection of collectible knives, pocket knives, spring assisted knives, tactical & hunting knives, samurai swords, Tanto, hand forged knives, daggers, martial art swords, fantasy swords, bamboo practice swords, Shinai, wooden swords, Sai, military swords, and more.
Tools GS offers professional jewelry making, craft supply, wood carving tool, hobby tool and watch repair tools. Small hand tools are excellent for creating product bundles.
Texas Leather manufactures a line of high-quality leather handbags.
Lastly, one of our advertisers Topper Liquidators has a ton of new merchandise including goods to stock up on for the Spring selling season which starts in a February.
This will be our only issue for December. So I have included a few extra wholesale sources to tide you over. I sincerely hope my readers will have a wonderful Christmas and get the New Year off to a great start. I’ll see you next in early January.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all !!!
P.S. If you missed the last issue, click here to read it.
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© 1999- Harry McGrath, Inc., DBA Skip McGrath, Auction Seller's Resource and Vision-One Marketing. All Rights Reserved.
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