That Kat Radio Episode 12 Vedio Inventory Management and Successful Seller Jessica Larrew

February Monthly Focus – Buying, Accounting & Marketing Your Inventory

 

1 – Guests This Week

 Crystal Wells  From Vendio – Talks about how you can use Vendio to help you mange your inventory and help you streamline your online buisness

Jessica LarrewJessica began selling online in 2005 as a hobby, and in 2008 due to the sudden loss of her job she turned her hobby into a full-time business, and over the years she has grown this into a six figure business. Fast forward to 2013 and Jessica’s husband has left his job to work along side Jessica in their family business. They are always growing their business and this year Jessica has some very exciting news she wants to tell us about…………..

 

2 – Chat Room Chatter:

 

  • There was some general chat about what people got up to over the weekend
  • There was chat around the subject of Yahoo’s no telecommuniting policy
  • Charlene explained she was a 30 day listing girl on eBay
  • Joyce made the point that we need to learn to merchandise inventory is critical to a healthy profit in our buisness
  • There was chat about how Vendio helps manage your inventory
  • People were captured with Jessica’s section this is must listen to again show

3 – Chat Room Links

 

 

4 – News of the Week Discussed:

  • eBay – eBay listing sales – Make sure you check your ebay messages,check your communication settings and even test a listing!
  • Amazon – Independent Bookstores File Suit Against Amazon, Major Publishers posted on 2013-02-23 23:57 ESTThe Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in New York, Fiction Addiction of South Carolina, Posman Books of New York City, and “hundreds” of other brick-and-mortor independent bookstores filed an antitrust class action lawsuit against Amazon, Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit claims the online retailer and the publishers colluded to restrict the sale of e-books — specifically, creating favorable circumstances for customers to purchase e-books through Amazon as opposed to brick-and-mortar independent retailers.
    The bookstores are asking the court to issue an injunction prohibiting the publishers and Amazon from “selling e-books with device and app specific DRMs,” and requiring the publishers to allow independent bookstores to directly sell open-source DRM e-books. The suit also asks the court to evaluate whether Amazon is purposefully monopolizing the e-book market and whether the publishers and Amazon entered into a series of contracts which “unreasonably retrain trade and commerce” in the e-book market.
  • Meetings and Events  – NEW eBay Meetup Group. New Minneapolis/St. Paul eBay meetup group started by Jean-Charles Compagnon aka KiOui eBay apps. Please join us. http://www.meetup.com/Minneapolis-St-Paul-ebay-Sellers-Group/

Other Links & Resources:

  • That Kat Facebook Group: http://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!

 

Next weeks show March 4th, I will have Barry from Treebeard books as a guest to share his experiences at the New York Toy Fair and Shawna Siegel to talk about the latest changes from google

Django Unchained not Welcome on eBay!

I confess that I am usually one of the first ones in line when it comes to snatching up and buying discontinued items to sell online. While I still believe that is one of the best way to make money selling online, today, I am actually giving you a warning about why it is never a good idea to put all of your eggs into one eBay basket. Even if that one basket has potential to bring you some really high returns.

As you may have heard, The Weinstein Company (an independent film studio) announced last week that they were discontinuing a line of action figures based on the controversial Quentin Taratino movie, Django Unchained. The movie and its six Django Unchained action figures have been blasted by everyone from the Rev. Earl Sharpton to Spike Lee for inappropriateness due to the movie’s slave-based theme. This, of course, had online sellers making a mad dash to retail stores to buy out the action figures and as you might expect, they soon began popping up on eBay and Amazon for as much as $300 a piece or $2000 for the entire set.

Today, eBay put a stop to the growing interest in the figures, however, when they announced that they were now banned from eBay’s site because they are considered to be in violation of the ‘Offensive Materials Policy.’ Some sellers are understandably upset about this decision since Django, the main character actually fights slavery in the movie and the film itself has earned five Oscar nominations, but it doesn’t appear that eBay will change its mind on this anytime soon.

What I want you to understand from this is that while discontinued items can bring in the big bucks to savvy sellers, those eBay sellers that stocked up on Django Unchained action figures are now out of luck. It is currently a different story for sellers on Amazon though, since as of January 25, 2012 the action figures are still being sold and the prices continue to rise. As an example, the popular ‘Broomhilda’ figure is currently selling for $4500. This should drive home the point for those of you who sell on only one venue that you should always have a backup venue or “Plan B” for when the unexpected happens. If not, you may end up with a lot of expensive merchandise that you can no longer sell.

 

Comparison Shopping Engine + Mobile Commerce Webinar

Singlefeed and MShopper team up for this FREE educational webinar offering:

  •  Most SMBs don’t have the budget to completely overhaul their eCommerce website to make it mobile optimized. Upgrading to a responsive design – one that adjusts to the size of the screen of the user, big or small – can require a big expenditure.
  • 2. Even then, responsive design only really  works well for tablet users who have similar browsing habits as big screen shoppers. Mobile shoppers have a completely different set of needs for content and easy of ‘one finger’ shopping.
  • 3.  The solution offered by SingleFeed and mShopper provides a completely mobile-centric shopping experience for mobile customers – one that converts at 10X the rate of a regular website.  Mobile shoppers are automatically redirected to a mobile specific website (an mStore) powered by mShopper.  The mStore displays product content,  search, and shopping cart in exactly the way a mobile shopper, perhaps sitting on a bus and shopping with just one hand, wants to consume it.
  • 4. SingleFeed (a Google Shopping data feed service provider) manages the product data feed from the merchant to their mStore.  SingleFeed makes sure that the data feed is formatted and optimized for displaying on the merchants mobile website.
  • 5. SingleFeed is better known for optimizing data feeds for Comparison Shopping Engines (like Google Shopping, NexTag, or Shopzilla) – merchants upload their data just one time and SingleFed categorizes and optimizes it for over 40 marketing channels.
  • 6. mShopper and SingleFeed have partnered to offer both services (mStore and CSEs) under a single package – a two for one deal.
  • 7. More info download the PDF below

SingleFeed & MShopp

If this is part of your business model, sign up for the webinar here. Tueday, Feb 26 10 AM PST

Ebay Scores Victory With Antitrust Lawsuit

Well, the verdict is in. Last week, the California Court of Appeals in Orange County ruled that eBay (which is based in San Jose) did not violate any antitrust laws when it chose to close, Lisa Genesta’s eBay seller’s account over concerns that she was allegedly misleading potential buyers.

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Genesta, of La Quinta, first began selling on eBay in 1999 under her company name, Ruins-Ca. Her troubles with eBay, however, began in 2008 when eBay opted to remove items listed on her site and then proceeded to send messages out to her buyers warning them of a potential problem. Things quickly escalated and Genesta filed a lawsuit against eBay stating that they had broken antitrust laws, which allegedly forced her out of business. Her lawsuit also claimed that eBay had interfered with her livelihood, threatened her customers and caused her emotional distress.

Apparently, not one to easily let things go, Genesta filed an appeal after she lost  her initial case and then continued the appealing  process for nearly three,long, straight years until the California Court of Appeals finally sided with eBay for a fifth time. This effectively ended the case for good. Gil Luria, an eBay analyst and managing director at Wedbush Securities, is quoted in a Bloomberg Businessweek article stating that the ruling sends a message about the control eBay has over the actions on its site and that “this case goes to reinforce that as the marketplace, you get to set the rules.”

This ruling is clearly a victory for eBay and other ecommerce websites, such as Amazon and Etsy. It certainly sends a strong message out to sellers that if you want to play on eBay’s turf you will follow the rules.

Luria was quick to defend this eBay’s practices by stating that it is only a very small percentage of innocent customer’s accounts that are shut down each year. As for Genesta, not all of her livelihood has been lost as a quick Internet search shows that her business is alive and well on Etsy and she has quite a few of her items “pinned” on Pinterest.

That Kat Radio Episode 11 Sandi Garcia – Pintererst, Mike & Bryan – AutoMCF

February Monthly Focus – Buying, Accounting & Marketing Your Inventory

 

1 – Guests This Week

 Sandi Garcia – Is the go to expert for Pinterest. Sanda gained a B.S in Business Administration from UC Berkeley. She has lived in many different areas of the USA. Sandi is the owner of LikeNewSuits.com which is re-branding to Officethreads.com. You can also find Sandi over at SocialSandie.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/socialsandi. Also Sandi is a speaker at this years TESConference where she is speaking on streamlining your business for organizational efficiency.

Mike & Bryan – From AutoMCF  tell us how their software can save you many hours by automating your multi channel orders and have them all fulfilled by Amazon FBA

 

2 – Chat Room Chatter:

  • Everyone was wishing Kat a Happy Birthday, Yes Kat was doing her Radio Show on her Birthday!!
  • There was chat about how peoples sales this month were matching sales from December.
  • There was a lot of interaction on Pinterest and how you need to have a plan.
  • fbainvesting asked the question about the email from Amazon on CPSC final rule on durable infant and toddler items
  • mcbooks mentioned they had their invite to SCOE

3 – Chat Room Links

 

4 – News of the Week Discussed:

  • eBay – Happy President’s Day – another seller special – Check your account !!
  • Amazon – Long term storage fees fit 2/15 and fee increases 2/18 make sure you know your Amazon numbers !!
  • Meetings and Events  – Seabay Cruise! – Seabaycuise.com Next February Carnival Cruise – New Orleans, Cozumel, Progresso –      From $339 per person

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!

 

Next weeks show February 25th…………… Will be a buyers panel come and join us and hear what the buyers what from the world of e-commerce !!

 

Dealing With Celebrity Endorsements – Cliff Ennico

Ciff Ennico Headshot

 

“Some friends and I started a Web based business targeting people who play a particular sport.

As it happens, one of the leading players of the sport – a household name to fans – has discovered our website and absolutely loves it.  We have approached him about possibly endorsing our website, and he has expressed an interest in doing so.

What are some of the things we need to think about in putting together a deal with this person?”

In our increasingly celebrity-driven culture, this is one of the best things that can happen to a startup business.  You definitely should do this deal, as long as the celebrity doesn’t end up owning your business.

You definitely need a “celebrity endorsement agreement” and should talk to your lawyer right away.  Here are some of the issues you will have to consider in putting the deal together.

What Exactly Is the Celebrity Expected to Do?.  In an endorsement contract, the celebrity licenses his “name, image and likeness” to your company for advertising and promotion purposes.  The contract should spell out exactly what you expect the celebrity to do for your company.  Here are some examples:

  • making himself available for photo shoots and “live” appearances;
  • being available on the website at specific times to play games with customers;
  • hosting classes and “clinics” on the website;
  • wearing clothing that bears your company’s name and logo when making public appearances or playing the sport in the “real” world;
  • saying wonderful things (scripted by you in advance) about your website whenever he has the opportunity; and
  • promoting your website actively on his social media pages (including periodic “tweets” on Twitter).

Give the Celebrity a “Royalty”.  There is nothing wrong with paying a celebrity a flat fee for his endorsement, but traditionally celebrities get a royalty on your company’s sales or revenue for the duration of their contract.

In crafting the royalty language make sure the celebrity’s royalty is based on any increase in revenue that occurs after the contract date.  Otherwise if your sales dip (indicating that the celebrity endorsement isn’t doing its job), you are still legally obligated to pay the celebrity his cut.

Should the Celebrity Get Equity in Your Company?  This is a tricky issue, as the celebrity may want a “piece of the action” in exchange for your endorsement.  If a celebrity insists on equity:

  • offer him options to acquire equity in the future, exercisable on or after a future “vesting date” (one year is customary) – that way the celebrity must pay for his equity, and you have the chance to see whether his endorsement results in additional sales before you bring him on board;
  • make sure the celebrity gets “nonvoting” equity so he doesn’t interfere with your day to day management of the business; and
  • make sure you have the right to buy the celebrity’s equity back in case he goes off the rails (more on that below).

Can the Celebrity Endorse Other Products and Services?  Celebrities make a ton of money from their endorsements (often much more than they make doing whatever it is they do to become celebrities), so they don’t like restrictions on their ability to cut other endorsement deals.  At the very least, though, your celebrity endorsement contract should prohibit the celebrity from endorsing or lending his image or likeness to any website that directly or indirectly competes with yours.

Beware of any celebrity who wants to prohibit you from seeking endorsements from other players – celebrities often have “grudge matches” with their competitors, and if the other guy turns out to be a better player (or a new hotshot comes along), you want to be able to switch teams just like sports figures do all the time.

Must You Disclose That the Celebrity is Getting Paid for His Endorsement?  This has gotten a bit tricky lately.  In 2009 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted new “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” (text available online at http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf).

While the FTC has always required that celebrities who say “I use this  product” in advertising must actually use the product, the new Guides go further and require advertisers to tell customers when celebrities and other people endorsing products and services (including celebrity bloggers) receive compensation of any kind in exchange for their endorsements.  The Guides are complicated, so make sure that any advertising featuring your celebrity’s name, voice, image or likeness is run by your lawyer before it’s published.

What if the Celebrity Goes Off the Rails?  While there is no such thing as bad publicity, celebrities sometimes do things that generate bad press, and you don’t want your name associated with someone the public views negatively (no matter how much glee or “Schadenfreude” we experience when celebrities bite the pooch).  If your celebrity becomes the next Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, or Lindsay Lohan, you want to be able to pull the plug.

But don’t be too impulsive.  Disgraced celebrities sometimes claw their way back to popularity (especially when they die unexpectedly and tragically).  Sticking with a celebrity when he’s down may pay huge dividends later on when he’s back on top.

Cliff Ennico (www.succeedinginyourbusiness.com), a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.

 

State Sales Tax Continues to Be Sore Point for Amazon

As Amazon’s FBA sellers continue to struggle with understanding their new sales tax responsibilities, the debate over the national sales tax legislation carries on. Although Amazon has taken to falling back on the wording of its Service Agreement when it comes to informing sellers about collecting sales tax (Amazon doesn’t give tax advice), Amazon, continues to do its best to wiggle out of its own sales tax  problems. This week, the online marketplace even ended up dueling it out in court.

kat4 (1)On Wednesday, Amazon argued in the New York Court of Appeals that the New York law which states that companies with affiliates in the state must collect sales tax was actually unconstitutional. Although New York believes that affiliates in their state count as a physical presence or rather ôNexus,ö Amazon and Overstock.com (who is having their own problems with the tax issue)are rebutting this by saying that affiliates are not considered employees, independent contractors or even representative of  their companies. They argue that only non-Internet, out-of-state retailers who advertise their products through print, television, or radio in the state of New York should have to collect sales tax and that the sales tax should be paid by only New York customers.

While that case remains up in the air, Amazon is also stalling in collecting sales tax in the state of Georgia by negotiating with that state to not have to collect sales tax there until a later date. As part of these negotiation proceedings, they are conferring with lawmakers about a plan to build a distribution center near Atlanta. This would, of course, bring in hundreds of jobs to the state of Georgia.

Although Amazon has successfully pulled this move off several times in the states of Connecticut,Tennessee, Virginia and Texas, not everyone is in agreement with this proposal. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) stated to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) that she believes Amazon is trying to act above the law.

How all this will play out remains to be seen, but with brick-and-mortar stores complaining that a tax-free site gives Amazon an unfair advantage, it’s a safe bet to assume that Amazon will have to make changes to their sales tax policies at some point. The question then will be how the fallout affects sellers. For now — that remains to be seen.