That Kat Radio Podcast 26 Wholesale Selling with Elizabeth Harding, Ryan Reger & Nate Johnson

In this episode, Kat spoke with Elizabeth from Inventory Lab, Ryan Reger from Wholesale Suppliers Database and Nate Johnson from Proven Wholesale Course

Elizabeth Harding is the Learning and Development Coordinator for InventoryLab, an inventory management, listing and accounting program for Amazon sellers. Her background is in corporate training and development which combined with being an Amazon seller for 4+ years brought her to InventoryLab. She primarily sells wholesale right now and still dabbles in retail arbitrage from time to time.

Elizabeth stressed the advantages wholesale has in the area of building relationships with your suppliers and the difference in computing your profit margins.


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In segment two Kat discussed her views on selling Wholesale and her recent experience at the ASD tradeshow in Las Vegas.

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By God’s grace, Ryan and his wife, Melane, have built successful businesses on Amazon, eBay, and their own website. Ryan‘s true passion is helping others build their own businesses and he is accomplishing that goal through his four books and his growing consultant business.
Ryan talked about the various ways to get into wholesale: Tradewshows, his Real Wholesale Sources book, the new database he has built with John Bullard, Jr. and getting the list of vendors from a tradeshow you can’t attend to contact.

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Nate joined his wife Robyn Johnson selling on Craigslist in 2011 with $100 taken from their emergency fund.  Together they have sold hundreds of thousands of dollars on Ebay and over a million dollars on Amazon.  This has allowed Nate to leave his corporate job, build their business, and spend more time with their 2 kids.   Nate specializes in creating and optimizing Amazon listings.

His wife Robyn is also a contributor to the popular Proven Amazon Course.

Nate talked about the advantages of wholesale over arbitrage such as the ability to scale, the possibility of payment terms with your suppliers and the ability to better predict and prepare for inventory and sales.


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Selling 101: What makes for a good product?

Amazon Packaging
Pick up any book about selling on Amazon and the first thing you will usually read is about the importance of finding a good niche to sell in. A niche can be almost anything from products for fishing to vintage clothing accessories.

Unfortunately, if you initially start out the process of selling on Amazon by looking for a profitable product niche, you are most likely not going to find the right items to sell. Instead, you are going to become completely and totally overwhelmed by all the data and information that is out there. This will not only lead to information overload, but since you don’t know the ropes yet, you will more likely than not, end up purchasing a variety of products to list that may or may not sell.

Although you will want to eventually create your own brand and carry a variety of products in your chosen niche, initially it can be a lot more profitable to find one or two products that are well-researched with a high potential of selling for a good return on your invested money.

Identifying these products isn’t always easy, but here’s three things to look for:

Can be sold for at least 20 percent or higher than your buy price. While some sellers don’t mind making as little as 5 or 6 percent off of an item that they are selling in heavy volume, choosing an items that will sell for 20 percent or higher generally ensures the best return on your investment. In fact, some sellers won’t even consider an item that they can’t get at least 50 percent or more for as a return on their investment. It usually takes a lot more research to find these types of items, but it can be well worth it, especially since you don’t have to work nearly as hard as you do when you are selling multiple items at a smaller return.

Smaller and lighter. Selling smaller items that are lightweight, not only costs less to ship, but they are generally easier to package and much easier to store. If you are sending them to an Amazon warehouse, they also don’t take up as much space, so there are less storage fees for cubic space used than you’ll have to pay for all those bigger, clunkier items.

Will sell for $9.99 to $200. Although there are profits to be made by selling products both over and under this amount, $9.99 to $200 is generally considered a “sweet spot.” This is because anything over $200 generally requires a good deal of capital to get started and anything under $10 means you have to have a significant volume of sales to bring in a sizable amount of income.

What guidelines do you use when purchasing products to sell on Amazon? Leave a comment below.

How to succeed when you’re the boss

The Boss

Starting an online business sounds like the perfect ticket to the good life. After all, you get to set the rules and decide when you want to work. Unfortunately, some online sellers struggle as business owners because they aren’t really prepared for the reality of operating their own business and have trouble changing their mindset so that they can succeed.

If you’re the one in charge and you’ve been struggling, here’s some ideas to get your business goals back on track.

Have a plan. A lot of sellers stumble into the online business without really having any solid plans in place. That’s okay if you’re a hobby seller or just selling on eBay or Amazon part-time, but if you want to be a full-time seller you need to have a plan with both reasonable and measurable goals. You also should have a fallback plan (sometimes known as “Plan B”) in case things don’t work out the way you thought they would or (even better) an opportunity arises that you weren’t expecting.

Take some risks. One of the biggest problems that new sellers tend to have is that they are often unwilling to take a risk. This doesn’t mean jumping in with both feet without considering the consequences. What it means is that once you have weighed out the options and believe that the outcome is going to be positive, you’ve got to go ahead and move forward. As an example, if you realize an item is hot, you’ve done your research (very important!), and you have an opportunity to get into the market, you need to be able to “pull the trigger” and buy the items even if there is a little bit of hesitation that wants to hold you back.

Realize there’s a lot you don’t know. A good boss is always learning. No matter how good your online business is doing, there are always ways you can make it better. Attend conferences, join groups and forums, or simply read some new books or material on online selling. The market is always changing and as a seller, you need to be on top of those changes.

Create some structure in your life. When you first start an online business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. This is especially true if you’re the only one that is around to do it. Finding a time management system that works is essential to not only keeping yourself organized, but to help you stay focused and not get too burnt-out. Take some time each day to go over your to-do list and make sure things are going as planned. If you find yourself getting too far away from what you are suppose to be doing, this will allow you to make adjustments to get yourself back on track.

What steps have you taken to help yourself succeed? Leave a comment below.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Get Sick!

Like alCiff Ennico Headshotl Baby Boom geezers, I really think that I will live forever, that I will always be healthy, that I will be able to work productively and creatively into my 90s and beyond, and that I will always look like I did back in the 1970s.

I really don’t feel my age, and I certainly don’t act it. But a number of recent events have convinced me that the ravages of time are slowly catching up with me.

My Dad warned me about this. A star high school athlete, he once told me that when you’re young, “your body does whatever you tell it to do. You order your body to ‘jump’, and it asks ‘how high?’ You tell it to stay up all night working – or partying – and it gives you a crisp salute and a ‘yes, sir’ in return.”

“But when you reach a certain age, your conversations with your body become more of a negotiation. You tell your body to do something, and it says ‘well, okay, I can give you that, and maybe I can give you that, but that one over there? No way!’”

Faithful reader, I have reached that certain age.

I never used to get sick. Okay, maybe a cold once in a while, and seasonal allergies (to anything green that blossoms between March and November), but nothing that would ever stop me from doing whatever I wanted to do. As a student, I never missed a day of school. And I can count on the fingers of no hands the number of days I have missed working the past 25 years.

Until a couple of months ago.

I woke up one morning in late May having difficulty breathing. Since it was peak allergy season, I didn’t worry about it. But later that afternoon, I started coughing – a raspy, “smoker’s hack” that wouldn’t go away. My temperature soared to 103 and I took to my bed, sleeping for more than 24 hours solid – something I haven’t done since college.

That was bad enough, but then came something worse: laryngitis.

I can hear some of you laughing already, “a lawyer with laryngitis? It just means he can’t bill by the word as usual.” Har-dee har har.

But this was no ordinary 24-hour laryngitis – this sucker wouldn’t quit. For five days, I was unable to speak above a whisper, during a week in which I had:

• scheduled five speaking engagements for local business groups, plus a lucrative keynote speech for a major trade show in New York City;

• committed to hosting a live webinar for a local university; and

• scheduled lengthy telephone conversations with several law clients to review documents for their fast-moving business deals.

Needless to say, I couldn’t do any of the above without vocal cords, and despite my best efforts, I ended up ticking off some people. I was able to find substitutes for some of the local talks, and the university let me postpone the webinar. But the trade show speech revolved entirely around me: the company running the show was promoting my presence – not my topic – as a key draw. They weren’t happy when I canceled on less than 24 hours’ notice, leaving them with a huge hole in their agenda and lots of dissatisfied people who signed up for the event specifically to hear me speak. Leaving a client in the lurch is not a career-enhancing move for a professional speaker.

And, of course, my clients aren’t going to postpone their business dealings because their lawyer is croaking like a bass-baritone Andy Devine (unless you’re a Baby Boom geezer, you will have to look him up online). Time kills deals, and if it weren’t for the Heaven-sent gift of e-mail (I never thought I would say that in this column) I probably would have been staring down a malpractice action from somebody.

As a solo entrepreneur, especially with a “portfolio career” of income-generating activities (such as practicing law and speaking professionally), you can’t afford to get sick. We all plan (to some extent) for our eventual demise, and the smarter among us carry disability insurance so we can pay our bills if we are clobbered by a serious injury or long-term illness.

But most of us don’t have a “contingency plan” for ordinary setbacks that put us temporarily out of commission – like an attack of laryngitis during trade show season.

As the Baby Boom generation faces its 60s and 70s, we may well have to keep working to stay solvent, and of course “we’ll all be rockin’ in our wheelchairs” (Roger Daltrey, The Who, 1969), but we have to face reality and make adjustments to our business plans to account for our (hopefully slowly) diminishing physical and mental abilities.

For me, I’m spreading my projects out more over time (so a sudden short-term illness will require fewer schedule adjustments), megadosing on Vitamin C, and exercising daily. And putting together a list of fellow small business experts who can “pinch hit” for me on the podium if laryngitis ever strikes again.

Cliff Ennico (cennico@legalcareer.com) is a syndicated columnist, author and host of the PBS television series ‘Money Hunt’. This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state. To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2015 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

5 Ways to Make Your EBay Listings Mobile Ready

an evening playing 'smartphone' pub quiz with the exeter twitterati!

If you don’t think that the holiday season is quickly approaching, just visit one of your local department stores. Halloween stuff is already out on the shelves and last night I even saw some Thanksgiving decorations for sale! What this means for you as an eBay seller is that it’s time to make sure your store is all neat and spiffy before the holiday rush and that includes making sure that all your eBay listings are mobile ready.

Mobile ready” is a phrase that has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years as more and more buyers turn to their smartphones to make their purchases. In fact, would you believe that 52 percent of all eBay transactions are done through a mobile device? That’s a lot of sells and that number is only going to get higher.

While eBay takes care of a lot of the “mobile ready” stuff for you, such as letting you take photos for your listings with your phone’s camera and even using your phone to create your entire lisiting, there are still some things you can do to make sure your listings look their best.

Keep your layout simple. I confess, I have always liked to center my listings so they appear in the middle of the page when you view them. I actually like that it makes the listings look like advertisement flyers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate as well to mobile devices and can actually make it hard to read your listing. Instead, align your copy to the left side of the page and use a size 14 font so the lettering is big enough to read on all those small screens. Also – keep away from colored backgrounds and use black for your text.

The shorter the better. Although you need to make sure you get all the important details in your listings, such as any type of flaws the item might have (stains, cracks, tears, etc.), avoid long-winded descriptions about your item. Use bullet points to emphasis the important details and remember that less (wording) is always more.

Forget the HTML. Although HTML can make a listing really stand out on a desktop or laptop, it just doesn’t do the job when you are viewing a listing on a mobile device. In fact, it can actually make you lose a sale because there are very few people that want to have to “pinch” and scroll through a listing because of all that coding that isn’t displaying properly.

Use the photo gallery for your photos. One of the things I always liked about Auctiva was that it put your photos right into your description area and really helped to describe the item. Unfortunately, the majority of buyers won’t scroll that far down to see the photos, so you need to place all the ones you want to display in the eBay photo gallery. This lets the buyer see them right away and they can then scroll down and read the description if they like what they see.

Finally, since each mobile device displays your listing a little differently, check out how your listings look on some different types of devices. That way, you can see if something doesn’t look quite right on your listing and fix it so that it is more appealing to the most amount of buyers.

Do you have any tips for making your eBay listings mobile ready? Leave a comment below.

Amazon releases its holiday season toy guidelines

Toys

If you’re new to Amazon, you may be thinking about upping your game for the holiday season. Before you go out and start buying up all those hot Christmas toy items to sell in your store, however, keep in mind that Amazon has some restrictions, or rather, holiday guidelines that sellers have to meet if they want to sell under the “Toys and Games” category. This year, these guidelines will stay in affect from November 17, 2015 and go all the way through to January 5, 2016.

First, in order to qualify, you have to have at least made one sale on Amazon before September 18. This sale does not necessarily have to be in the Toys and Games category for it to qualify and actually any type of sale will do. From there though, it gets a little more complicated. You must also sell and ship a minimum of at least 25 orders through Amazon from September 1 to October 31. Once again, they don’t have to specifically be in the Toys and Games category.

After the late shipping fiasco a couple of years ago, Amazon also wants to make sure that sellers have low cancel and low late shipment rates. This means that from October 1 to October 31, they expect your pre-fulfillment cancel rate to be no more than 1.75 percent. Your late shipment rate for this same period of time can also be no greater than 4 percent.

Keep in mind that just because you meet these requirements, doesn’t necessarily mean you automatically are eligible to sell in this category. Amazon will send you a notification that will tell you whether or not you are eligible. You should receive this notice by November 11.

Once you find that you are eligible, remember that Amazon will still monitor your performance as well as your listings closely during the holiday season. If any part of your performance, such as you have excessive cancel rates or you are late shipping your items, they can (and most likely will!) cancel your listings and remove your selling privileges, so it pays to keep up with your orders particularly during this busy time.

Fortunately, if you use Fulfillment by Amazon, you’re not subject to these guidelines, but your seller account still has to be in good standing.

Are you selling toys and games this holiday season? Leave a comment below.

3 Ways to Get Your Business Groove Back

Stress

If you run an online business, you probably find yourself handling multiple responsibilities everyday that may include everything from creating listings and finding new merchandise to packaging and shipping out items from the previous day’s sales. Unfortunately, as you work your way through the business year, it’s easy to lose your groove along with all that enthusiasm you started out with back in January when the future still looked all shiny and bright.

If you’re feeling burnt-out, you may feel there’s not much you can do (you have a business to run after all!), but keeping a few things in mind can help give you the emotional energy you need to continue tackling those daily challenges that often come with being an online seller.

Own the feeling

The first step to getting your groove back, is to simply acknowledge that you’ve lost your groove, even if you don’t exactly know what caused it. Maybe sales aren’t what you expected or maybe those long hours that you put in each day are getting to you. Once you admit that you’re in a “slump,” you can figure out what the problem is and start working out of it.

Take some time off

When you’re the “chief cook and bottle washer,” you may feel that you don’t have time for a break. You’re probably thinking “if you don’t do it — who will?” But…if you’re truly burning out, you really can’t afford to not take the time off. Even if you can’t make yourself take a full week off, at least consider taking a couple of days off every quarter or so to give yourself some time away from the business. In many cases, just a short spell away can help you return to work renewed and ready to tackle the business again.

Make some changes

Is there something that’s not working in your business? If so, once you identify it, you can change it. Whether it’s the fact that you’re still trying to move old products that have outlived their shelf-life, or setting a weekly work schedule or buying yourself some silly company pens to use for writing your daily to do lists, just making simple changes can help get you get out of your slump and get your business groove back.

Have you ever lost your groove? What did you do to get it back? Leave a comment below.

That Kat Radio Podcast 24 with Phil Leahy of Think Global Retail and Rhea Perry from The Home Business Conference

In this episode, Kat spoke with Phil Leahy & Rhea Perry

Phil Leahy is passionate about ecommerce, especially the people and companies that lead it. His marketplace knowledge and international connections are extensive, and his ability to understand and communicate what is actually happening is reflected in his successful conferences.

An ecommerce pioneer:  Having launched an online movies & music store in 2002 with over 50,000 SKU’s, shipping 5,000 orders per week & Australia’s #1 eBay seller in 2007 & 2008 and top #50 worldwide.

Phil sold the retail business in 2008 & continued his role as CEO of the PeSA Internet Conference and more recently launching ThinkGlobal Retail. (Use code Katrocks to save $200 on your registration!)

He is proud to have received the Industry Recognition Award at the Online Retail Industry Awards in 2013 for the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to the eCommerce industry in Australia.  He now deliver the same passion globally.

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Rhea Perry has educated her 7 children since 1987. Her oldest son became a real estate investor when he was 18 and replaced his dad’s income in just 3 years. He created a system of selling houses on eBay to create passive income.

Rhea started a Yahoo! Group to share with her friends what they were doing for school. That developed into a home business conference she has hosted since 2000 for families to learn about home business.

Families interested in home business now network daily through Facebook in her online community at EducatingforSuccess.com. She has also become a popular speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and hosts Jim Cockrum’s popular CES conferences.


 

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http://www.ThinkGlobalRetail.com

http://www.EducatingforSuccess.com

http://www.EducatingForSuccess.com/Kat

http://InventoryLab.com

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You can follow Kat on TWITTER, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. Read the blog on ThatKat.com.

Purchase one of Kat’s books on Amazon. Kat’s Sales Tax Book or Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.

Join her Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.

Where the Amazon Fulfillment Centers Are Located (And Why You Need to Know)

markfaggianoMark Faggiano is the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service built to make sales tax compliance simple for eCommerce sellers. Try a 30-day-free trial of TaxJar today and eliminate sales tax headaches from your life!

 

Amazon doesn’t make it easy to keep track of the locations of the Amazon fulfillment centers. Between new warehouses opening up all the time, warehouses occasionally closing, and the opening of data centers and the fairly new “sortation centers,” keeping up with where your Amazon FBA inventory is housed can be downright confusing.

 

But as an FBA seller, you do need to know where your Amazon inventory is stored due to one thing: sales tax nexus.

 

That’s right, housing your inventory in a state likely gives you sales tax nexus in that state, meaning that you need to collect sales tax from buyers in that state. Here’s a map with info about each state and what constitutes sales tax nexus.

 

How Do You Find Out Where You Have Nexus?

 

So you sell on FBA and you know you have inventory has been shipped to other states. But where do you have nexus?

 

First of all, you have nexus in your home state. You live there and run your business there.

 

Second, you can use a couple of methods to find out where you have nexus due to FBA. You can run this report in Amazon Seller Central, or use a paid service like Wherestock.com.

 

Once you’ve figured out where you have sales tax nexus, your next step is to register for a sales tax permit in each state. Then, set up sales tax collection with Amazon. (You can find a step-by-step guide to setting up your Amazon sales tax settings here.)

 

Do you have questions about sales tax nexus? Start the conversation in the comments!

What you need to know to create the perfect title for your Amazon listings

kat2

When it comes to selling on Amazon, the title you create for a listing is the key to ensuring that the listing is found. It’s also one of the things that a lot of new sellers are somewhat prone to messing up. Here’s what you need to know to help you create the perfect title for your Amazon listings.

What are the most important items to mention in the title of your Amazon listing?

Let’s look at this title as an example:

Cuisinart 722-20 Chef’s Classic Stainless 8-Inch Open Skillet

Brand: This is name brand of the item you are selling. The skillet is made by Cuisinart, so you would want to list “Cuisinart” first.

Product Line: This is sometimes called the model number or refers to the name of the series the item comes from. We know we have a Cuisinart skillet, but we need to tell the buyer what series or line is it from, so they know what model it is. Our Cuisinart skillet is a 722-20, but if you were to perform a search for a Cuisinart skillet, you would discover that each skillet has it’s own number that it is identified by, such as our 722-20 or another model like 622-20. In the case of our skillet, it is also part of a product line known as “Chef’s Classic,” which helps to further detail what product line the skillet is from

Product: The actual name of the item is considered the most important part of the title in a listing because it is the word that the buyer will typically put into the search engine when they are looking for an item. They might not know that Cuisinart makes a skillet, so instead they might just put in “skillet.”

Material or key ingredient: The material or key ingredient is what the item is made out of or what is special about it. Our skillet may be stainless steel, but could also be non-stick instead. In fact, it could even be electric, which would certainly be considered a key ingredient that was needed in the description. You also want to include smaller details if applicable. Since our skillet has no cover, it is considered an “open” skillet, so this is a valuable detail to add into the description as well.

Color, size and quantity: In some cases, this may or may not be applicable. With our skillet, we know that “stainless” means that it will be stainless steel and we are also telling the buyer that the skillet is 8 inches in diameter. If we were selling two of different sizes, we would then want to list this as our quantity, so buyers would know what they are purchasing and how many.

As you can see, the title gives enough information about the product for a buyer to know if it is the type of item they are looking for or not. In addition, Amazon allows you to create keywords that help expand the title. Be careful with these keywords as you want to use words that are not already in your title. As an example and as we already discussed, you could call the skillet a “frying pan” or use “medium” to further describe the skillet’s size.

Do you sell on Amazon or are you thinking of giving it a try? Leave a comment below.