“Sales Tax Tips for Ecommerce Sellers” – Top Rated Seller Webinar Media Alert



Free eBay Seller Webinar – “Sales Tax Tips for Ecommerce Sellers”

REDWOOD CITY, CA GoDaddyOnlineBookkeeping along with Page Mage Inc., eBay Radio, Stamps.com, Terapeak and Kabbage will be hosting a free webinar for eBay® sellers.


Find out what selling on multiple channels in multiple states means for collecting sales taxes. Learn about the general rules of sales tax compliance for online sellers, how nexus with other states can be triggered by using third-party fulfillment, and the latest news on the Internet Sales Tax laws.

What you’ll learn:

  • What selling on multiple channels means for your sales tax returns
  • Destination versus origin-based sales tax states
  • What nexus means for sellers using third-party fulfillment services
  • Update on where the Internet Sales Tax law stands
  • And more!


WHEN: Wednesday, December 11th, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET


SIGN UP: http://pagemage.com/education/webinars


The webinar will be recorded and a link sent to all registrants when it’s complete. So signup even if you can’t attend live.


You do NOT have to be a Top Rated Seller to participate. The webinar is for eBay sellers of all sizes and levels.




Mark Faggiano, industry expert and Founder / CEO of TaxJar – a service built to make post-transaction sales tax compliance easier for multi-channel ecommerce sellers. Mark previously co-founded and led FileLater to become the web’s leading tax extension service for both businesses and individual taxpayers.



Top Rated Seller Webinars Sponsors:


About GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping

GoDaddy Online Bookeeping 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. GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping’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. GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping 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 is transforming the way sellers market their products on eBay. Page Mage provides easy to use applications for creating better listings and bigger profits. Our Billboards and Smart Gallery applications in the eBay App Center are both “Top 10 Most Popular” and 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 (Nasdaq:STMP) 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.


About Kabbage, Inc.

Kabbage, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has pioneered the first financial services data and technology platform to provide funding to small businesses in less than 7 minutes.  Kabbage leverages data generated through business activity such as selling online, shipping data, and  dozens of other data sources to understand business performance and craft financing options for  small businesses.


Mallory Snitker



(847) 415-9300

Paying Your Subcontractors a “Percentage of Profits”



Ciff Ennico Headshot“My husband and I have a small consulting business. We want to hire someone as a subcontractor for some of our projects, but are nervous about paying her a flat fee per hour or per day as we cannot be sure our clients will agree to pay that way.


I worked up what I thought was a very simple plan.  On projects where this contractor would be helping us, we would submit our usual invoice to the client.  Then when the payment comes in, we would deduct all expenses relating to that invoice (including a portion of our company’s overhead and administrative costs which will be spread over all invoices), and whatever was left over we would split 60/40 with the contractor.


The contractor said she was willing to work with us that way, but when I discussed this with my attorney he freaked out and said he couldn’t draft an agreement reflecting this arrangement.  Do I have the wrong attorney, or is there something more to this than I think there is?”


You may well have the wrong attorney (I can’t speak to that), but there is definitely something more to this than you think.  While an arrangement like this one is very simple to state verbally, as you just did in your e-mail message, it is almost impossible to put it into legal language that will be enforceable in a court of law.


Here’s why.


Generally, “agreements to agree” are not enforceable, and what you propose to do is technically an “agreement to agree.”  If you and your subcontractor get into a dispute down the road there is no way a judge, jury or other third party looking at this contract can determine exactly how much your contractor is supposed to be paid on any given project.


Specifically, your proposed fee-sharing arrangement leaves open the following matters:


  • does the subcontractor’s proposed 40% split give her a fair return on her investment of time in each project?
  • when will each invoice be payable, and how long after you receive your money will be subcontractor be paid her 40% split?
  • will your subcontractor’s input be included in each invoice, and if so how will that input be valued?
  • what “project specific” expenses will be deducted from the face amount of each invoice?
  • will expenses incurred by your subcontractor be included in each invoice, and if so will she receive reimbursement of those expenses before you calculate the 60/40 split?
  • what “overhead and administrative” expenses will be deducted from each invoice before you calculate the 60/40 split?
  • will “overhead and administrative” expenses include any compensation to you and your husband as the owners of the business?
  • will the same percentage of “overhead and administrative” expenses be deducted from all of your invoices, or will you weight them based on the size of each invoice, the amount of business you receive from each client, or some other factor?


What you really want to do here is base your subcontractor’s compensation on the “net profit” from each project she works on.  The problem with any arrangement like that is that you don’t know what the “net profit” of any project will be until expenses are deducted, and there’s lots of ways you can artificially increase your expenses to minimize or even eliminate “net profit” from any project.  If I were representing your subcontractor, there’s no way I would tell her to agree to any such arrangement.


The only way to make your proposed arrangement legally clear is to say in the contract that you will make all deductions from the face amount of any invoice “in your sole discretion, after consultation with subcontractor.”  That clears up the uncertainty, but if your subcontractor feels you are not making these decisions fairly her only option under the contract would be to quit, possibly leaving you in the lurch on an important client project.


The best and fairest way to handle this relationship is to give your subcontractor a percentage of the gross revenue your company “actually receives” from invoices on projects she has worked on.  That is not only easier to calculate, but easier to draft in enforceable legal language.  Requiring that the subcontractor be paid only when you receive payment from your client protects you against any “hard and fast” obligation to pay the subcontractor when your business is short on funds.


The arrangement you propose also raises the possibility that your client will view the subcontractor as your partner, exposing you to liability for her mistakes.  You want your subcontractor to be treated as an “independent contractor” for tax and other purposes, and independent contractors generally receive fixed compensation, not a percentage of a business’ overall profits.


To eliminate any misunderstanding, your client contract should state clearly that the subcontractor is not a partner or employee and has no authority to make decisions for your consulting business.


Cliff Ennico, 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.


Give your item a chance to be seen on eBay!

eBay sent out letters last week warning sellers that they needed to provide more information, or their listings were in danger of not being seen. If you are a part of any Facebook groups, such as the ThatKat group or the DanniApp group, you know that we strongly advise our seller friends to be sure they fill out the product condition description. It appears that eBay has decided this is crucial to the listing process as well. In their help pages, eBay explains that the condition description field is different than the item condition.  They state that “As a seller, you can use the condition description field to help buyers learn more about the condition, age, and history of your item. This is where you should enter any details about the item’s condition.”  You can find a little more information here.


I have to give the folks at eBay props for giving us a heads up. I knew that this was important, but now we know that if this field isn’t filled out, our item won’t be seen as often or as quickly as items that have it filled out. I went back today and filled out the condition description for all of my items, just a precaution. In the letter, they didn’t come out and say that the listings without the condition description would be “hidden,” but they have said that it will “increase your chances of selling.” In the selling manager, you can see what things you can do to increase your chances of your items selling, such as adding an ISBN, UPC, and item specifics. If you haven’t been filling these things in already, I would strongly advise you begin doing so. Cassini is rapidly changing, and anything you can do to improve your item’s chances of selling would be best. If you have the time, I also strongly recommend going back and filling these in on ALL of your items.


With the market over-saturated with sellers and items, don’t you want your items to have the best shot at selling? I know I do. For items that are used and you have put “used” already, you don’t necessarily need to create a flaw that isn’t there for the condition description. Most of the time, I set the item’s condition, then fill in the field with “in excellent condition” if it’s true. That way I have satisfied my duty to fill out the field and the customer knows that I didn’t overlook the description of my item’s condition. If there is a flaw, obviously, you should describe it. Also, in certain categories, there are no item specifics that populate. Don’t be afraid to create your own. Some specifics that will help your item show up in search are: Color, size, type of item, age of item, if it is a book, I fill in the book title and author. Just fill out every possible field, that way you know you have done your best to get your item sold. After that, it’s up the cassini genie and the customers! J

5 Shapes of Amazon Sales Rank by SellerEngine Software

I wanted to thank the folks at Seller Engine Software for permission to post their information here. I appreciate their insight into Amazon selling and the Sales Rank of items as it relates to Sales Velocity. All insight in that area is much appreciated!


Understanding Sales Rank is one of the keys to sourcing profitable inventory. An item with a killer Sales Rank can be a huge moneymaker for your business. But they can also be a total bust.
Why? Because Sales Rank is more than just a single number. An item’s Sales Rank at any given moment isn’t necessarily indicative of of an item’s potential future performance.


Reviewing long term trends in Sales Rank can help you to make smart buying decisions. But you need to know what to look for.


We’ve identified 5 shapes of Amazon Sales Rank that will help you choose great inventory.


The Seasonal

 The Seasonal

With the holidays nearly here, you need to be aware of Seasonal items. Buy them at the right time and you’ll be in for a wild ride. Buy them at the wrong time and you’ll watch as your inventory gathers dust.


Seasonal is an item that’s only popular at a given time of year, like Christmas, Halloween or Mother’s Day. After a period of high sales, the item’s popularity plummets. But it does come back, often on a regular and predictable cycle.


Recognizing seasonal items is easy if you have their sales rank history. Look for deep valleys and high peaks, like big ocean waves!


If you’re buying a Seasonal item, you want to make your purchase before the boom begins, not as it’s ending.


The Steady

The Steady



Items with a steady sales rank are the bread and butter of successful Amazon businesses.


The Steady is an item that consistent stream of sales that you can count on. You likely won’t be the only seller on a Steady item. But when purchased at the right price and in volume, you can turn Steady items into steady profits.


Don’t forget that if you can win even a fraction of a Steady item’s sales, you’ll be earning more than if you have all the sales for an item with a consistently low Sales Rank.


When looking at historical Sales Rank, Steady items have very few deep valleys and few high peaks. Instead their sales rank stays relatively flat over time.


These 2 trends are just part of making sense out of Sales Rank. We’ve identified 3 more trends that you can look for when you’re looking at an item’s historical Sales Rank, as well as tips and tricks for finding this data.


Complete this short survey and we’ll send you the complete Shapes of Amazon Sales Rank ebook.


Amazon Jerky Lesson!

Amazon.com logoHere is another Amazon lesson I learned and would like to share with my audience. Recently I purchased a case of Jack Link’s Jerky to send in to FBA. I labeled the case and sent it in.

A few days later I noticed it showing as ‘ Unfulfillable’ in my inventory so I opened a case to ask why. The reply was that it was expired and they had destroyed it! Well, that was a surprise because I knew I had just sent it in and I remembered the Expiration Date. So I went back into the case on Seller Central and added a note to that case that I knew they were not expired, as I had just sent them in.

The next day I got a new reply. This time they apologized for destroying the item, classified it as ‘damaged in warehouse’ and informed me they would be reimbursing me $14.49. At the time I sent in the item there were no sellers and I priced it at $56.25.

So I went back into the case, and  I protested the reimbursement. I stated that it should have been based on my sales price and the sales history of the item. The reply the next day requested me to send in my invoice.

Today I sent in my scanned invoice with my receipt for $15 and within two hours was informed they were going to reimburse me an additional $42!

So, here’s the lesson!

First, when an item goes into unfulfillable, ask Amazon to explain it. (Of course, some items you will recognize from refunds and won’t need to ask.)

Second, when the reimbursement amount is insufficient, appeal. In this busy season it may seem a waste but for this one item, I spent 10 min and netted $42 so not a bad ROI.

What have YOUR experiences been with Amazon’s Reimbursement Policy?


The Coming War (Of Words) On Social Media

Ciff Ennico Headshot

Every small business conference I have attended in the past year has featured at least one keynote speaker who I shall call the “social media screamer”.


This individual, probably a former college cheerleader (or lead singer in a  punk rock band), gets up on stage and starts dancing, jumping up and down and screaming at the top of his lungs (very seldom is the “screamer” a female) about the benefits of social media platforms such as Facebook® and Twitter®.





  • “You should be marketing your business on social media, because social media is the future,” is this speaker’s mantra, which he repeats ad nauseam in 1,000 different forms, such as:
  • “Your kids are all hooked on social media just like you were hooked on television; to a kid, it ain’t real unless his friends are texting about it on social media, so you can’t sell to kids if you’re not on social media”;
  • “If you’re not on social media, you business will go bankrupt, your spouse will divorce you, your kids will disown you and your dog will pee on your leg”;
  • “You should spend at least five hours every day updating your social media feeds, and you should have a presence on all 3,176 social media sites.”

Now, maybe it’s so, maybe it ain’t, but one recent speaker I heard went too far.  When an audience member asked about the need for privacy online, the speaker chuckled, rolled his eyes, and replied “ma’am, let me tell you the truth, no one gives a rat’s pitootie about privacy.”’

I beg to disagree.

I’m in the middle of reading Dave Eggers’ novel “The Circle.”  I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I’ve read so far this book should be Number One on your reading list if, like me, you are confused about social media and where it is taking us as a society.

The book is set on the campus of a fictional social media Web company called “The Circle.”  This corporation, combining features of Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, has developed a social media solution that enables users to combine all of their social media, spending, banking and other online accounts into a single Web presence.  Users must use their own names – they cannot hide behind user names or aliases.  Thus, their presence on The Circle is, indeed, their very identity.

Having raised gazillions of dollars, The Circle’s 10,000-plus employees are encouraged to develop new products and services.  For example, cameras the size of Post-it® Notes that people can put up on walls anywhere, indoors or outdoors.  With a single mouse click, users can access all cameras at a particular location and see in real time what’s going on there.  Including people’s bedrooms.

The novel’s protagonist, a 20-something named “Mae,” is recruited for The Circle by her former college roommate, who is one of the company’s inner-circle “Gang of 40” senior executives.  As Mae climbs the corporate ladder (more accurately, as layers of management are built up beneath her as the company experiences exponential growth), she is told that her success depends not only on her job performance, but on her participation in The Circle’s social media platform, on her Web postings generally, and in company-sponsored social events that occur several times a day.

As the novel progresses, Mae gradually starts to realize that The Circle is taking over her entire life, and that everything she does – both on-campus and off – is expected to be visible to the world at large and open to public approval (or criticism).  At one point, her superior reprimands her for not posting her daily activities frequently enough, explaining that any withholding of information by Circle employees is “selfish” and contrary to The Circle’s mission:  to capture, in real time, everything everyone is experiencing every second of every day, everywhere around the globe.

Again, I haven’t yet finished the book, but so far the author seems to be ambivalent about the role of social media in people’s lives.  He acknowledges that social media can be a force for social and political progress, citing the recent Arab revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and pointing out that if police officers knew there were hidden cameras everywhere trained on them, they would refrain from brutalizing suspects like Rodney King or Trayvon Martin.

But the author also illustrates the potential abuses of social media by large corporations (like The Circle itself), dictators, authoritarian governments, employers, and others who say “we are one community” and “we care about you” but actually have quite different agendas.  The theme of “Big Brother is watching you” has been dealt with before, of course – in George Orwell’s “1984”.  “The Circle” is very much a “1984” for our times, and is more frightening than anything Stephen King has ever written, precisely because the technology to create “Big Brother” exists today as it did not in Orwell’s time.

Buy it, and read it now.

Cliff Ennico, 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.

Following on eBay

Kat1-1Anytime I “Follow” someone on Twitter, I can’t help but think of the Peggy March song “I Will Follow Him.” This time, it’s not Twitter members that are going to be following you around, however, it’s eBay members. That’s right! EBay is rolling out some new tools designed specifically to let buyers follow you and your collections.


Collections — you ask? If you’re not familiar with eBay’s newest concept — just think “Pinterest” on eBay. I had my doubts when I first heard about it, but I have to admit that now that I know more about it, I think eBay’s latest idea is pretty cool.


You know how when you log onto your home page, all those images of things you like or have searched for on eBay pop up? Well, now you can take the eBay items you have for sale and group them into “collections” based around a common theme that you create. As an example, if you sell vintage clothing, you could base a collection around that or you could create a collection of items that remind you of the summer or the ocean. The possibilities are endless!


Other members can then look at your collection or even add your images to their own collection. They can also “Follow” you so that they can see what you add to your collection next. This not only gives your items a lot of exposure on other member’s pages, but also if you’re creative enough, your collection may even end up on the front page of eBay itself! Just think about it — your items literally have the potential of being seen by thousands or even million of people without them even having to search for your store!


But…wait! There’s more! It gets even better. EBay is now going to allow you customize your profile page too. You can add images, showcase your business and engage buyers in conversation. The best part is that when someone follows you, your profile shows up on the follower’s eBay profile. Since people tend to follow people with common interests, this means even more exposure for your items.


While I have heard some sellers grumbling that this is just another way for eBay to make itself more like Amazon and Pinterest, I really think eBay may be on to something with this one. We all know that buyers are more likely to buy from someone they know and trust. This will not only allow people to get to know you a little better, but increased exposure just about guarantees increased sales. Since that’s the case, “I will Follow him, her or them — all the way to the bank!”



Using Social Media To Drive Traffic To Your eBay Listings

We have covered a lot of topics on this blog, but one that we do not touch on very frequently is social media and how very wide its scope can be. If you do not have Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus pages, let me just advise you to stop what you are doing right now and head on over to create them! I believe that in this world of too many sellers, social media is that tool that is going to help us take our businesses to the next level! It seems that this past year, particularly on eBay, there has been a huge influx of new sellers, driving the price for items down and changing the marketplace completely. Combine that with all of the changes they have been trying to make over at eBay, and you have the perfect storm for sellers to get lost in the commotion. Now is the time to try and take your business to the next level and see if you can not only drive traffic, but bring back return customers as well.


I frequently like to visit my friend’s eBay stores to see what they’re doing. If I like it, I’m often tempted to copy it. Such is the case with a store I visited the other day. She has a special in place right now with her customers that if they “like” her Facebook page, she gives them a $5 off coupon for their next purchase. Check out her page here. Keep in mind, new customers can use this service too! So, she’s not only getting people’s attention, she getting a lock on future communications with them. PLUS, she’s offering a coupon! We all know, people LOVE coupons! The idea of saving any sort of money is big. This was an excellent idea! A thoroughly unique and inspiring one, as well.


I’d like to invite you to use your social media pages, along with your eBay store and find new ways of not only driving traffic, but grabbing those one-time customers and turning them into life-long customers. With my friend, for example, now when she has a sale, she only has to advertise through her Facebook page and she’s done advertising! Not for new customers, of course, but at least for her existing ones! What are your ideas for using your social media pages to drive store traffic, or vice versa?

Profit Bandit 5.37: Available on November 7th



249On November 7th, we’ll be releasing a new version of Profit Bandit for iPhone. You can download the free update through the iTunes App Store on your iPhone or iPad.
The biggest change you’ll notice is that you’ll be required to create a free Profit Bandit account. To learn more, read our blog post from when accounts were introduced to Android users a few weeks ago.
You’ll also hopefully notice that Profit Bandit will be more stable and more reliable when you’re out scanning.
When you first open Profit Bandit after updating, you’ll see a screen like the image shown to the left.
What You Need to Know:
  • No matter how long you have been using Profit Bandit for, you most likely do not have an account yet. The only exception to this is if you created a Profit Bandit account on an Android phone since October 23rd.
  • If this is your first time seeing this screen, start by Signing Up for your free Profit Bandit account using the email address of your choice. It does not have to be your Amazon email address or your iTunes email address. It can be any email address you choose. Or sign up with Facebook.
  • If you attempt to sign in or reset your password and no matching account is found, please Sign Up for an account unless you are positive you created one on Android after October 23rd.
  • If you have created an account on an Android phone, just sign in with that account and start scanning.
If you have any questions, please email support@profitbanditapp.com.

KiOui Changes Pricing for Users To Avoid eBay Notifications

What a great idea would it be to start a company that is affordable for sellers of all sizes, that helps with their ebay sales and saves them tons of time for only $0.99 a month? Apparently it has been a great idea, and the success of KiOui (kee-wee) Apps has been very inspiring.  But there is only one thing standing in their way.  When users sign up for the applications the users are sent bi-monthly notifications that their accounts are past due with the company.

The problem? Ebay’s application center does not process payments for less than $1.00.  Although to no fault of ebay, maybe the development team thought who would be crazy enough to create applications for less than $1.00? Because enough user’s were getting frustrated with the bi-monthly notifications and reaching out for support, KiOui decided to take action and solve this in a way that would maintain their low price.  Now they offer a yearly plan, or a plan for the user to have an option to pay more per month.

Current subscribers will need to unsubscribe from their current plan, and resubscribe to a new plan.  This will not effect the application and users settings will remain unchanged.  To learn how watch this video http://youtu.be/DIm-jH3wp6Q.

Here are all the plans KiOui offers:


To try any of KiOui’s applications go to the ebay app center.

All 12 of KiOui’s applications are fully supported, everyone with a support issue or suggestion is encouraged to “Open a Ticket” on our website’s support page.

Learn to use kiOui with Youtube.

And make sure to like us on your favorite. http://facebook.kioui-apps.com, http://twitter.kioui-apps.com, http://googleplus.kioui-apps.com, http://pinterest.kioui-apps.com, and http://kiouiapps.wordpress.com.