What eBay Sellers Need to Know About Selling on Amazon

Screen-Shot-2012-09-13-at-1.03.30-PM

Although eBay and Amazon are both juggernauts in their own right, when it comes to selling merchandise online they are two completely different worlds. While eBay draws a more eccentric type of buyer who is often looking for great deals at low prices, Amazon attracts a slightly more affluent type of buyer who doesn’t mind paying more to get what they want. This can mean more money and profits for eBay sellers who want to make the jump from the “Bay” into “The River.” There are some things about Amazon, however, that you need to know first.

 

First, the best thing! You don’t have to nudge the buyer to pay you. Amazon collects the payment, takes out their fees and sends you an emails stating that you that you need to ship your item. kat2b

 

Payments are accepted through the Amazon payment system. Buyers don’t have the option to pay you through other services, such as PayPal and they can’t simply send you a check. Amazon handles the transaction and that is that.

 

Amazon expects a quick response time from its sellers when questions are asked or a problem arises with an item. Answer all questions or comments quickly and professionally. If there is a problem with a buyer, follow Amazon’s policy to the letter. Amazon is not as forgiving as Ebay is when it comes to squabbles between sellers and buyers.

 

Don’t expect a lot of feedback from Amazon sellers. Sellers can usually expect about 10 to 20-percent of their buyers to leave feedback. Also, if the buyer leaves you a negative, there is not a whole lot you can do about it.

 

kat5Payments go right into your checking account. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen right away and can take up to 14 days for you to get paid. Amazon can also decide to put a hold on your account and they don’t really have to give you a reason why. Because of this, I suggest never putting all of your eggs into one basket. You don’t need to start out completely leaving eBay for Amazon unless you have another venue in place that you can use as a backup when you need to.

 

Manage your inventory and keep it updated. If you have a product that is doing well for you, buy more before you sell out. The key to Amazon and their customer base is consistency. Buyers want to shop where they know they can always get what they want, even if this means they have to pay more.

 

Keep your prices competitive. Some sellers think they have to have the lowest price whenever they are the new kid on the block. Instead, pick a “sweet spot” between the lowest priced seller and the highest priced seller. Don’t be surprised if the highest priced seller lowers their price below yours. Some sellers like to force others to play that game, but when everyone lowers their price — no one wins. Don’t get drawn into the melee to see who can go lowest, let the others do it and eventually you will come out on top.

 

 

 

 

Free Webinar on New USPS Rates and Changes

Free eBay Webinar: A to Z Breakdown of the 2013 USPS Postage Rate Changes

 

Outright along with Page Mage Inc., eBay Radio, Stamps.com and Terapeak will be hosting this free webinar for eBay® sellers. Join Eric Nash of Stamps.com and Mark Le Vine of BubbleFast.com as they discuss the 2013 USPS postage rate increase and how the new rates will impact e-commerce sellers.

 

A few of the things you’ll learn in this webinar:

– Details on the 2013 USPS postage rate changes

– Get info on new USPS services being introduced for 2013

– Find out methods to help lower shipping costs

– Hear how the USPS is changing international Flat Rate service

– And much more

 

What:  A to Z Breakdown of the 2013 USPS Postage Rate Changes

 

Who: Presented by Eric Nash of Stamps.com (twitter: @stampscom) and Mark Le Vine of BubbleFast.com (twitter: @bubblefast)

 

When:  Wednesday, January 30, 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET (Registrants will receive a link to the session recording afterwards.)

 

Where:  Register at http://pagemage.com/education/webinars

 

About Outright

Outright has one goal: to make bookkeeping as simple as possible so the self-employed can spend as little time as possible on the least enjoyable part of running a business. Outright’s easy-to-use online accounting solution automatically brings together all of your sales & expenses in one place so you always know what’s going on with your business and are ready come tax time. No math, no manual entry, no paper work. Outright integrates with eBay & PayPal, e-commerce accounts, and, of course, your Bank and Credit Card Accounts so you can stay up to date effortlessly and instead focus on doing what you love.

 

About Page Mage

Page Mage was founded in 2008. We are transforming the way sellers market their products on eBay. Page Mage provides easy to use applications for creating better listings and bigger profits. Our new Billboards eBay App Center application along with the Page Mage Listing Designer let you create breakthrough listing designs to stand out from your competition, look more credible and professional, improve selling performance, and increase confidence among buyers.

 

About eBay Radio

The host of eBay Radio is Jim “Griff” Griffith, .eBay’s Dean of Education and author of the Official eBay Bible. eBay Radio broadcasts (eBay Radio; eBay Radio’s Ask Griff & Lee; and eBay Town Hall) feature helpful guidance, advice, and information from eBay team leaders and guest experts along with hot eBay topics, news direct from eBay, and your calls!

 

About Stamps.com

Stamps.com is a leading provider of Internet-based postage services. Stamps.com’s service enables small businesses, high-volume shippers, enterprise shippers, and consumers to print U.S. Postal Service-approved postage with just a PC, printer and Internet connection, right from their home or office. The Company targets its services to small businesses and home offices, and currently has PC Postage partnerships with Avery Dennison, Microsoft, HP, USPS and others.

 

About Terapeak

Terapeak is a leader in ecommerce market research and payment analytics, and is the sole authorized re-licensor of eBay data globally. The company provides custom insights and SaaS technology-enabled solutions to e-commerce merchants around the world.

Currently aggregating over 20% of all online commerce sales data, Terapeak helps merchants make faster, more-profitable business decisions based on real-time market trends, pricing, and transaction data.

 

The Naked Truth About Your Ebay Photos

ebay-logo-640

 

In what might be the best eBay marketing strategy ever, comes the story of an Oxfordshire, England woman who showed off a whole lot more than her little yellow dress when she took a photo of it and uploaded the image to eBay.

 

The New York Daily News reports that Ebay seller, Aimi Jones hung her Asos yellow skater dress (size 10) on the door of her closet to take a photo. Unbeknownst to her, however, the mirror next to the dress caught a reflection of the young and attractive seller who was actually not dressed for the occasion and instead was wearing only a bra and no panties.

 

While I’ve read a few comments on the Internet that suggest Aimi may have been well aware that her state of undress would show up in the photo, kat4 (1)she maintains that it was all purely accidental and that she was mortified. Regardless of whether she just wanted her 15 minutes of fame, or if she truly did experience a wardrobe malfunction (of great proportion), the incident struck home to me that a picture is worth a 1000 words. This is especially true for eBay sellers who take photos to put on the Internet.

 

Over the last few months, eBay has slowly steered sellers towards listing items  via the use of their smartphones. Ebay tells us that we can simply pick a category, write a description, take photos and upload all of it right onto the website. While this sounds like a quick and efficient way to list your items, I can’t help but wonder if we aren’t going to be seeing a lot more Aimi Jones type sellers, who may not be paying quite as much attention to what’s showing up in the background when they take a photo and their listing goes live.

 

This leads me to a few tips I think everyone needs to think about:

 

Use a plain color background when taking your photos. While an actual photo box is ideal, you can actually get some decent shots using a simple white sheet as your backdrop.

 

Check the background in your photos. If you aren’t using a backdrop, make a point to look at what is sitting behind your item. Not only do you want to ensure there are no naked body parts showing <g>, but a lot of junky clutter in the background draws away attention from the item you are trying to sell.

 

Take a variety of photos of your item and try some shots from different angles. You should also try to get some close-up shots especially if the item has any imperfections, such as cracks or chipped places on it. Since photos on eBay are now free, upload as many photos as they will allow. Since the buyer can’t pick up your item to study it, you need to provide them with enough visual information to make them want to buy the item.

That Kat Radio Episode 7 – Sellery & Beth Sawickie

January Monthly Focus – Amazon Tools & Successful Sellers

1 – Guests This Week

Paul Cole from Seller Engine Software to Discuss Sellery and Seller Engine Services, their advanced tools & options.

  • Paul is the blog editor and community manager for SellerEngine and Profit Bandit. blog.sellerengine.com
  • Seller Engine Services is giving away FREE consultations to all on their page http://sellerengine.com/services/  Sign up for yours and find out what they can do for you. Are you ready for FBA International?
  • Paul also is giving away 5 copies of Profit Bandit to the first five show followers who sign up for the free Two Week Trial of Sellery and let him know on the Facebook page  – link below – don’t forget to tell him about your trial!

Beth Sawickie, Successful Amazon Seller

  • Beth started selling on eBay in 2001, and has been making money selling ‘widgets’ on eBay, Half.com and Amazon. She is now selling exclusively on Amazon FBA and is selling items she sources from Thrift stores.
  • Beth gave away two copies of the book she and fellow thrifter Debra Conrad wrote, ‘Thrifting for Profit the Amazon Way.’ We tried new ways of giving away prizes with mixed results, LOL but congratulations to our winners:  Christine Rivera & Pam Neely Stouffer. 

2 – Chat Room Chatter:

  • We shared our favorite ‘schwag’ to get from the various shows and conferences we attend.
  • Values of various T-shirts was discussed and the memories from them.
  • Good discussion about liability insurance for Amazon Seller with Charlene Anderson.
  • Charlene recently built her own treadmill desk so active work was a topic.

3 – Chat Room Links:

 4 – News of the Week Discussed:

  • EBay – Listing Special Announced starting today – check your eBay messages!

  • Amazon – Fees in electronics accessories went up Jan 15 – if you have listings in that category – check your prices!

  • Events – Central FL eCommerce Group hosts Uncle Griff of eBay on Monday evening February 11th. Details on Meet-up.com

Other Links & Resources:

That Kat Facebook Grouphttp://Facebook.com/groups/ThatKat – click on the “Join” button and I’ll add you to the group right away

That Kat Blog http://ThatKat.com Sign up for my newsletter here!

Do you have a question about selling on Amazon, FBA or any of the topics discussed in this podcast?

  •  Best place to ask is on the Facebook group – see the link above. Over 400 folks willing to help!

Do you have a suggestion for future shows? Please send to Kat@KatSimpson.com

Next weeks show…. “Selling BUNDLES on FBA with Charlene Anderson and the Thrifting Girls PLUS Successful Seller Jake Jacobs”

FBA Tips from Brad DeGraw

brad

After the talk show last Monday, Brad DeGraw, our guest, received a list of “Things I Learned From Brad” from his friend Bob, whom he has been teaching about FBA. Brad made some additional comments and forwarded the list to me for sharing.

Brad’s tips below are in Blue and here is a bonus tip from.

Managers can help you go deep on products. Most managers have no intention of helping your business, however there are some good ones. Yesterday an interesting thing happened at Costco. After an employee dug for the last dozen of an item I was buying, she offered me a full pallet of the item. Not only did she offer me a pallet, but the store manager asked if I would be interested in partial truck loads. Walgreens is another easy source to order cases and go deep.

Be friendly, brief, and get their number if possible. I don’t have business cards or salesy material, just make the conversation easy for them.

Make it happen, Brad

You can email Brad @ Degraw.brad@gmail.com  for more info or check out his new book on Amazon FBA Hot List.

 

25 things I learned from Brad this morning:

Scout products out first to make sure they sell. Buy 6 of something rather than an entire pallet

and see how it sells. If it sells well, restock in a higher quantity but don’t overdo it.

Yes go wide first then deep until you see the profit.

Bundle products so that you have a competitive edge over other FBAers in the market. Do

creative bundling that other FBAers wouldn’t necessarily think of.

This is an advanced strategy, don’t let it consume you in the beginning.

Don’t always place the lowest price on a product. Be the second lowest. When the lowest priced

product sells out, you’re making a better profit.

Go for 2.5% above the lowest delivered price or the middle of the herd.

Turn products quickly. Don’t worry as much about margin as turning products.

It is both margin and cash flow depending on the supply and demand. If the product is

restockable, then turn volume. If the item is not restockable, go for margin.

Find products that sell and return to purchasing and selling those products often.

Be careful with your time. Life is too short to stand in long lines. Return products as a last resort.

When purchasing, use the triple-double model. Your purchase price will likely be one third of

what the product will be selling for. Of the difference between what you purchased the product

for and what you sell it for, figure on making half of that in profit.

Not really. Selling products at three times your cost will double your money. Amazon will get

about 33% of the transaction. If you sell items for 10x your cost Amazon will take a third. If you

sell products for double your cost or below your cost, they still take 33% pf the transaction. This

is where new sellers hang themselves. Understand this before you buy anything!

Don’t always be stuck on the 50% profit margin. 30% of a lot of product can be better than 50%

of a little product.

Aim to triple-double. As a newbie you need more margin to cover newbie mistakes. Until you

are selling 100 items per week, don’t buy items if you can’t sell for triple your cost. This mistake

will put you out of business before you know it.

Obtain a retailer’s license so that non-grocery items can be purchased without sales tax.

Not essential until you know this is a business model you will thrive in. I waited until I had five

figure months.

Bulk items are not money-makers.

Depends. Your time is best spent on small easy to pack and ship items. I do stock large heavy

items, but only when they pay well.

When bundling products, purchase bar codes that belong to you.

Yes, but this is an advanced strategy. In the beginning, stick to the known numbers. Custom

bundles and multipacks take about a month for the search bots to really take notice.

Exercise equipment, tea, spices, and certain hot chocolates sell very well.

They do currently, but the business is very fluid. I have products that I have sold for $40 a few

months ago and now they sell for $13.

Everything Amazon sells is ranked from one to ten million. Only purchase items that are low

ranked. (30,000 could be a high ranked selling item depending on the category)

Don’t overload your product line on a single product. Amazon may purchase a high quantity of

the same product and make it so that your product never moves off the shelf.

Amazon was the brainchild of a billionaire genius. They already outsell every retailer in the

world in part because many of the products they sell have no cost to Amazon. Amazon uses

several creative strategies to maximize their product lines.

When shopping at Walmart, find clearance products, then speak with a manager and offer a

lower price to purchase their entire supply.

This is not essential to the business. Only do this if you like.

Offer to purchase entire pallets of product at a much lower per unit cost if they have the

prospect of selling.

This is not essential to the business, I have lost my shirt on this type of deal.

When purchasing products from Walmart that could expire, always check the expiration date

and make sure it’s at least 100 days out.

Always check for expiration. Most stores sell products past expired. 100 days is razor thin, so it

needs to sell upon landing on the dock.

When buying bulk of a product, make sure to check every package for damage prior to

purchasing.

Yes, check multiple times.

Anticipate 2% return on all your products and factor this into your profit expectations.

My returns bounce between 2-3%, however I recover about half of the returns as resellable

merchandise.

When starting out, specialize in a single category or subcategory. Purchase within a product

category until you master it. Then pivot out slightly from that product category until another level

of comfort is built up.

Exactly

Use grocery bags as packing for shipping products to Amazon.

You will have a sea of plastic bags. Use what works for you, air pillows and cardboard dunnage

is good too.

The UPS man will hate you and park on the other side of the complex just to avoid you.

Maybe not, but mine are like that.

Don’t buy more of something simply because it’s a good seller. Let your inventory of that

product go down before purchasing more.

It is a business decision. As the risk decreases, invest more.

Don’t necessarily purchase based on the season. Some of the the biggest sellers can be

products that are out of season.

True

Go online and check your product inventory often. Make a list of things that are running low and

that you specifically want to shop for before going out sourcing.

You will get addicted, this won’t be a problem.

😉

If a product isn’t selling well, have it shipped back to you and eat the expense of the shipping.

Better to make a large chunk of your money back when returning it to the store than not make

any money off of it.

Cut the margin first, then gut the margin to break even, lastly return the inventory.

Kabbage New Affiliate Program

bg-logo

As most readers know, I’ve been a fan of Kabbage pretty much since they started. I know that most small business owners have a hard time getting business credit; particularly online businesses. Because most banks just don’t ‘get’ it yet; for the most part.

Kabbage fills that hole. With Kabbage, you can get a cash advance to grow your business based on MORE factors than just your credit score. With Kabbage your business reputation and even your social media activity MEAN something and are considered. Cash, from $500 to $50,000, can be in your account in just minutes and used for whatever business need you are facing.

I’ve been happy to both use and recommend Kabbage for a couple years strictly from the basis that I believed they were a good option for sellers to expand their businesses.

Kabbage has been expanding over the past couple of years and they have just launched their official affiliate program. I’ve recommended them in the past and will continue to  do so because I think they have a great product. But I also don’t believe in ‘leaving money on the table’ as my mentor says often. I even wrote a book with a friend, “The Ultimate Guide to Savings By Store,” about how to get all the discounts and cash-back offers you are due.

So, if you have used Kabbage or think they are a good match for someone – be sure and recommend them! Anyone can take advantage of the affiliate program. The person who refers a new Kabbage customer gets a $100 American Express Gift Card AND the person who signs up gets a $50 AMEX Card. A win-win. I love how Kabbage has set this up to reward both parties.

Now, remember, this is a LIMITED time promo so if you know someone who would benefit by having a credit line for their business, help them get signed up now. Copy of the email notice below:

 

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Refer small businesses to Kabbage and get a $100 Gift Card!

How would you like a little extra cash in your pockets to start off the new year? By referring other small businesses to Kabbage, you can make that happen.

For a limited time, refer other small businesses to Kabbage and you will get a $100 gift card when they qualify by January 31, 2013. There is no limit to how many businesses you can refer and how much you can earn! Even if you don’t have an account with Kabbage, you can refer others and take advantage of this offer.

*$100 American Express Gift Card will be sent to you for each small business who signs up and qualifies for Kabbage funds by January 31, 2013 to the email address that you provide to us. The small business you recommend will also receive a $50 American Express Gift Card when they sign up and qualify for Kabbage cash by January 31, 2013. There is no limit to the number of referrals you can send or the amount of gift cards you can receive.

That Kat Radio Episode 6 – Seller Engine Plus & Brad DeGraw


January Monthly Focus – Amazon Tools & Successful Sellers

1 – Guests This Week

Paul Cole from Seller Engine Software to Discuss
their Seller Engine Plus, their Inventory Listing, Management and Repricer
program.

  • Paul is the blog editor and community manager
    for SellerEngine and Profit Bandit. blog.sellerengine.com
  • Paul gave away three
    free Logos! Designed for our listeners by the professional designers that
    Seller Engine Uses. Congrats to Shahnaz Virani, Beth Cherkowsky and Georgia
    Barker!  Can’t wait to see your new logos!

Brad DeGraw, Successful Amazon Seller

  • Brad started FBA in
    February of 2012 and went from $100 start-up money to replacing his regular
    income in 90 days. Brad shared some great information
    about getting started, finding products and growing your FBA business by using
    a VA.

2 – Chat Room Chatter:

  • Charlene Anderson reminded folks to turn off Java in
    their browsers while the
    recent hacking attempt is settled.
  • Several reported Amazon sales down, while eBay sales were up!
  • Cindy Hamilton shared a great link from Amazon about packaging food and
    expiration date labels. Amazon
    Video
     and reminded us that you are supposed to COVER the expiration
    date with your exp. date label.
  • Brad shared the website www.xoom.com to
    use for paying Phillipine and other International VAs.
  • Remember, you can find the chatroom for any TalkShoe show by going to ChatGrabber.com, entering the Call ID (ours
    is 112441) and choosing the episode.

3 – Chat Room Links:

Other Links & Resources:

That Kat Facebook Grouphttp://Facebook.com/groups/ThatKat – click on
the “Join” button and I’ll add
you to the group right away

That Kat Blog http://ThatKat.com Sign up for my newsletter
here!

Do you have a question about selling on Amazon, FBA or any of the topics
discussed in this podcast?

  • Best place to ask is on the
    Facebook group – see the link above. Over 400 folks willing to help!

Do you have a suggestion for future shows? Please send to Kat@KatSimpson.com

Next weeks show…. “Seller Engine Software Presents
Selling on International FBA Sites & Beth Sawickie”