Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Returns, Returns, Returns!

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Returns, Uch!




Just the word returns gets me upset.  Oh, and those emails!  They can ruin your day.  I hate returns, it's just money out of my pocket.  Returns had a major impact on me in 2015, especially during the holiday season and immediately thereafter.  Last year I had over $8,000 in returns in December and then again in January.  Salt was just getting poured further and further into the wounds.

I was mostly ok with that since I was still making money despite the returns.  I had over $100k in sales last December so my business could survive those returns.  Still, that's a ton of returns and it would be nice to cut that down for this year.  I also want customers to be able to return item - just not mine ;) - so that they are more confident making purchases.

Friday, December 2, 2016

I'm Walmart Unbanned!

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had been banned from a few important stores this year including Target, Kohl's and Walmart.


I was both accused of stealing other Blogger's lucrative methods (in jest, obviously), while others were amazed that such a thing could happen at Walmart.  I, myself, was amazed and I said yesterday that I didn't even know it was possible


Thankfully Wes stepped in and helped me get unbanned.  He suggested I call up and ask to speak to the US call reps and see what the deal is.

The problem as you recall was that Walmart wouldn't allow me to even get to the order review.  I wasn't able to choose a credit card.

I called and spoke to a US rep.  She started going through my account and asked me to take off the credit card I was trying to use and add it again.  Then she looked at my credit cards on the account and said "Whoa, that's a lot of credit cards."   I guess about 20 cards on one account isn't so normal? I had taken part in an American Express Offers for you a while back and had added a lot of new credit cards to my account.  I also had multiple discover cards connected for different years of Discover doubling.

Either way, she said that having too many credit cards can be a flag for fraud and suggested I remove some.  I removed all the cards except one and magically I could check out again!

So am I now unbanned from Walmart.  Although technically I was never banned.  Hmm, I think you are still winning Vinh.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

And The Ban Hammer Continues...

Lately, it seems that I've morphed into #shutdownsalldayeveryday.  

One of the risks of reselling are bans.  Resellers tend to take advantage of stacking promotions, portals and free shipping that are readily available for anyone but aren't used to the same extent as crazy people like us.

When you are trying to grow your business, it can be tempting to continue to increase your purchase size to meet the demand of customers.  I was tempted and it didn't end well for me.


2015 Bans



Last year I was banned by Best Buy (I spent over $30,000 there in 2015), Toys R Us (I was only banned from getting their rewards,but I can still order), Bon-Ton (very quick ban trigger).  Maybe others I'm forgetting about.



2016 Bans



The past few months have been very fruitful for bans.

It started with Kohl's.  That wasn't fun but not so bad.  I did a bit of reselling from there but everyone else does too so competition comes in and crushes the price on most items.  Now, they autocancel my orders.  Kohl's let one order go through recently but then the next two were flagged again.  Oh well.

Then came Walmart, which is impressive.  I didn't actually know that was possible.  I can't even enter credit card information.


Next was the dagger to the heart.  Target.  Autocancel orders immediately.  Not only was that one of my favorite stores to resell from, but my wife shops there too :(  That was not a fun conversation with her.


So, for your reselling business sake and, more importantly, for your spouses sake, don't get yourself banned.  It's just not worth it.

Slow and stead wins the race.  If only I listened to my own advice.


Thankfully I still have Staples (for now).  The one good thing is that this gives me even more incentive to work harder finding manufacturers and distributors .  I will miss the portals though.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Pricing for the 4th Quarter Madness

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Pricing During Q4 Busy Season




I'm going to officially declare that we have reached the Q4 busy season.  While things will probably still heat up a bit more in December, from talking to others and my own sales figures, overall sales are way up from even the beginning of last week.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm even selling items that haven't come close to hitting my price in almost a year.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Support Your Favorite Bloggers on Black Friday

Any day is a good day to support your favorite Bloggers but it's always good to have a reminder on a big shopping day.

The best way to support is by using Amazon links for categories that shopping portals aren't already paying out on those categories so that you don't lose out on any money yourself.

This is my Amazon link


In addition, take the opportunity to sign up for shopping portals that you will be using today as they usually give out a one time sign up bonus.


Here are the ones available for me


Top Cashback - I earn $10 and random promotions where you can earn $10
Ebates _ You earn $10.  I earn $5 for each referral and there is a bonus for referring more.
Mr. Rebates - I earn a percentage of your portal earnings (you do not lose any of your earnings)
Be Frugal - $10 for each of us
Splender - I earn $10, readers will earn $5 for signing up and spending $50.  Sorry :( I don't make the rules
Simply Best Coupons - I earn 5% of your earnings (you do not lose any of your earnings)
Extra Bux - We both earn $5
Giving Assistant - $5 for both of us
Sunshine Rewards - we both earn $2
Upromise - $20 for each of us.  I need to invite you via email.  Send me an email orensmoneysaver@gmail.com if you are interested.




Thanks for helping out.  In addition, to the monetary bonus, the thank you is very much appreciated when someone values your work.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Update on My Miles vs. Cashback Opportunity Costs

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Miles vs. Cashback



Back in Week 47 I discussed the opportunity costs of earning miles rather than cashback.  I highly recommend reading that post as I don't want to rehash my arguments back and forth in favor of against miles or cashback.


In that post I showed that I estimated a possible increase in my account by $17,500 for 2016 based on what I had already earned and possible projections.  This is a picture of one of my accounts in Fidelity at that time.




Friday, November 18, 2016

Beware of Tax Implications of Transferring Points for Free Merchandise for Resale

Frequent Miler had a nice post yesterday talking about the possibility of transferring Membership Rewards points to Plenti to take advantage of the 50% transfer bonus for free merchandise.

Personally, I think Plenti is an underrated currency for resellers as it gives you access to free merchandise at Macy's.  If you are making the purchases anyways that earn points, you might as well sign up and use them.

In addition, like many loyalty points (Shop Your Way Rewards, Staples Rewards, etc.), when you use Plenti the purchase is tax free for the portion paid for with Plenti.  If you use Plenti for the entire purchase you won't pay any sales tax.  That can be a big deal.


While I don't disagree with Frequent Miler about getting free merchandise with your points (with his caveats), I don't think it's a very good idea to transfer the points to Plenti in order to resell the merchandise in most situations.


It is generally assumed that credit card points/miles are not taxable income (speak to your accountant).  If you transfer the points to Plenti and don't pay for the merchandise and then sell it, your COGS will be $0 and you will now need to pay taxes on all the revenue generated at whatever your tax bracket is.


If you have no other way of redeeming the points for a good value or you need the cash quickly you can do it but be aware of the tax implications and how they will erode the value of your points.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Some Quick Holiday Tips

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.


Holiday Season

The holidays are a magical time full of beautifully expensive Unicorns where everything at Target and Walmart seems like a great deal (until everyone else finds it - which they will).  Shopping portals often increase their payouts and have spending bonuses (currently being offered by quite a few of the mileage portals).  

If you ever were thinking about signing up for a credit card with a large spending minimum for the bonus, now is the time.  

I've only been through one holiday season but I learned a lot from that experience, hopefully I can give over some of the useful information.