Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Choosing Your Business Structure

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.




Thursday, May 19, 2016

Amazon Restricting Some Apple Products (MacBooks, Apple Pencils and iPad Pro Keyboards)

And the hits just keep on coming....

Amazon has sent out emails to many sellers saying that starting 6/2/2016 they will be restricting certain listings and you need to be an authorized sellers.

So far the listing have included MacBooks and Apple Pencils for some, for others it included iPad Pro Keyboards and for others it included iPad Pro Smart Covers.

Personally, I got an email about MacBooks and keyboards even though I have inventory in either anymore but no email about apple pencils.



The emails look like this





No one seems to have gotten emails about iPads yet, we'll see where this develops.  If you need to start being an authorized reseller, this will seriously hurt Staples :)


Either way, it's time to diversify well beyond Apple products and I hope many of you have already done that.


Musings on Amazon Q4 Storage Fee Increases

Yesterday, Amazon emailed their sellers regarding changes to FBA storage fees during Quarter 4.  First of all, Kudos to Amazon for giving us plenty of time to adjust to this change.

You can see a summary of those changes and their thoughts at Tagging Miles and Miles to Memories.

If you missed the email, here is a link to the full changes





As you can see, the fee increases are actually quite significant, some by more than 3x the normal storage fees.


As a carrot, they are lowering the fees associated with actually fulfilling orders during quarter 4.





The sum total of these fees are a big incentive to sell things fast.  Cheaper to sell and more expensive to store.  Amazon's warehouses are getting fuller and they want stuff out and I think this is a great way to do it.  If it affects their profitability, sellers will likely start lowering prices more quickly to avoid fees.



Implications


These new rules really affect large and inexpensive items the most.  These fees are based on size and have nothing to do with the price point.  A $2 fee on an iPad is annoying.  A $2.50 fee on a $14 toy (if it is larger than an iPad) can be catastrophic.


Sellers will be lowering their prices to avoid these fees.  This is great for customers. Customers go to Amazon for convenience and price.  Anything that enhances the veneer of always great prices is a plus in my book since it will continue to drive customers to Amazon.  It may mean less profitability per item, but it might mean more volume of sales and fewer price comparisons.




My Plans


Quarter 4 is an amazing time to be a seller.  Even if you don't anything the rest of the year, you can sell during quarter 4 and make a boatload.  It's not uncommon for people to do 1/2 to 2/3 of all their sales during quarter 4.  Every time you walk into a toy store, you will be able to find tons of items that are selling for more on Amazon.


I don't plan on having these fees affect me too much for more expensive items ($30+).  The cheaper the item is, the faster it will sell on Amazon since it is a relatively good price to other store.  If you have to pay an extra $2 on a $100 item, but you can sell it for extra $20 more as it is closer to Christmas, that's worth it in my eyes.

We may see wild price increases as sellers struggle to keep things in stock.  This already happens during quarter 4 but it may be accelerated this year.  I may be totally wrong about this.


This will affect my plans for larger, inexpensive items.  I want those out fast!


In addition, and this should always be your goal, I want almost no seasonal inventory left at the end of the quarter so the vast majority of your items will come in during November/December and be sold in December before the storage fees can kick in.  It will really affect the items you send in October to have ready for December or have just been hanging around for a while waiting for prices to increase in Q4.





Box Level Contents



Amazon is also making it mandatory to provide box level information November 1st, 2016 or you will begin to pay a $0.15 per unit fee in November/December and $.10 per unit during other months.  

While annoying, it isn't a major headache and if it means Amazon will be more efficient in receiving my inventory I am more than happy to comply.  I've heard horror stories of people's inventory waiting for more than 10-15 days and missing the holiday season.  That's a big deal and hopefully this decreases some of that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

~5% ROI for 10% eBay Bucks

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: eBay, Amazon



Many have been targeted for 10% in eBay Bucks until tomorrow.  Just check the eBay homepage to see if you were targeted.

These are great times to load up on your eBay purchases if you can find what to buy.


Disclaimer:  I will not be participating in this deal.  There is not enough profit since too many things can go wrong.  ~5% ROI can too easily turn into breakeven or a loss, especially if a lot of people buy.  If you are someone who knows how to sell on Amazon, do yourself a favor, skip this one.  

If you are looking for an opportunity to learn how to use FBA and you don't mind possibly losing a little bit (or potentially a lot) of money on the way, this is a good way to start, especially with eBay Bucks as a little cushion.





Here is one idea for the beginner:

eBay is selling a Dell D2015HM Monitor for $60

The same monitor is $84.49 on Amazon, which is $70.26 after fees.


Ranked 49th in Monitors so should sell fast.

Shipping is likely about $5-$7, maybe cheaper if you can get them all into one box.

You will earn $6 in eBay Bucks per monitor if you spend more than $100
 Start at shopathome.com for 1.5%
You can also buy eBay gift cards to juice it a bit.  You can buy from Gyft or from PayPal Digital Gifts with Chase Ink for 5x Ultimate Rewards.  You can buy from MPX app and earn up to 2.5 United points per dollar and credit card points.


This is not going to earn you to much but it can be a nice opportunity to learn the FBA system.  For something like this you either want to be the first one or the last one to sell.  Prices will likely tank in between.

Turnover Tuesdays - Collecting Sales Tax

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.




Sunday, May 15, 2016

Selling Microsoft, Sony and Nikon No Longer Restricted on Amazon

HT: Ben

In a quick turnaround, it looks like the restriction on selling Microsoft, Sony and Nikon brands on Amazon was a short term glitch. These brands are no longer restricted.  I checked a few products of each brand and none were restricted.



Friday, May 13, 2016

PSA: More Brands Restricted (Sony and NIkon) in Addition to Microsoft

HT: Drew Beall in a comment


Apparently, Microsoft is not the only company that is being restricted recently.  Sony and Nikon are as well.  There may be others as well.  Please comment if you find more



The best way to protect yourself is to try and add the item to your inventory before purchasing.  If it is restricted, you will then know not to purchase.


PSA: Amazon Restricting Selling Microsoft Brand - Do Not Buy for Resale

HT: Josh Lucas via Twitter


Amazon has begun to restrict listings from Microsoft.  I haven't tested every listing but I tested a couple and they were all restricted.

Here are a couple of examples:




These are items I've sold in the past and I am still restricted from selling them.  Do not buy any Microsoft brand items until you see that the restriction has been lifted.


It's pretty annoying that something like this happens without notice.  I would extremely frustrated if I had just bought something from Microsoft.  These are some of the perils of selling on Amazon.



You can request approval.  Amazon will ask for 3 invoices from a distributor or manufacturer or a letter from Microsoft which says you are approved and they want you to show some volume as well.  It seems that want to make sure all the products are coming from legitimate sources.







Please always remember to add the product to your inventory before purchasing.  That way you will know that it is restricted before you purchase.