Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Turnover Tuesdays - Sometimes You Need to Stop, Refocus and Reprice...

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.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Friday Raise Extra 5% Includes Staples Gift Cards - Over 10% off Currently

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site:  Raise and Top Cashback

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Automated FBA Fee Calculator Tool Extension

Update:  This plugin automatically adds their own referral link to Amazon, be aware of that.

One of the necessary steps before you purchase anything to resell on Amazon is to find out what the fees are.  They can be as low as 6% and sometimes they can be more than 100% for very cheap items (Please, please don't sell anything like that).

One way to figure out the fees is to go to this link:
Then you need to enter in the item and the price you want to sell at.  That works fine.

However, there is an easier way.  Download this extension for chrome:

If there is a buy box. you click on the button for the app (looks like a calculator) and it will automatically open the fee calculator, add your product and the price of the current buy box.

Here is a video of the extension in action (pardon the music - I didn't make the video):

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Calculating Loyalty Points

This will be a short post but I hope helpful.

There are many forms of currency that we earn when we make purchases including miles/credit card points, Portal points, cashback and loyalty points.  As readers know, these can add up to big products quickly.

Many are easy to figure out how to account for them.  If you get cashback, that's the simplest.  Some are more complicated like airline/hotel miles.  How do you value that?  Do you need to account for that?  You ask great questions.  Talk to your accountant ;)

Loyalty points though, I think are actually quite simple when you think about how they are earned and redeemed, but I think some people misaccount for them and my Tuesday posts don't help.

Let's take eBay Bucks as example.  How much are eBay Bucks worth?  The answer is nothing.  They are worth absolutely nothing, that is at least until you use them.

Here is an example:

Let's say you make a $1,000 purchase with 5x eBay Bucks and I earned $100 in eBay Bucks.  Then your eBay Bucks are ready to be used next month but you forgot to use them and they expire or eBay shuts down your account.  How much were they worth?  $0.  You didn't get any benefit from them all.

Here is an example if you were able to use the eBay Bucks.   Let's say you bought a $200 item for resale and you earned 50% profit ($100).  If you paid $100 of the price with eBay Bucks, you actually only paid $100 out of pocket.  I calculate that on this sale you earned $200 profit on a $100 purchase.  200% profit margin instead of 50% since your cost of good sold went down by $100.

The way I see it, you profit margin doesn't change when you are earn loyalty points, only when you redeem your loyalty points.  Is that how the IRS looks at it?  I don't know.  Ask your accountant.  This makes sense to me.

Anyone calculate differently?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Turnover Tuesdays - Finding My Magical Unicorn

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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Paribus Coming Through with a Few Price Matches

I talked about Paribus a while back.  Paribus is a company that automatically searches your email for purchase invoices (with your permission) and sees if the price drops on the item at the same store within the allowed window for a price match within that store.  They send an email on your behalf to the company asking for a partial refund and viola you made some extra money.

You can read more about it in that link.

Paribus keeps 25% of the savings.  For about 6 months I earned about $6 from Paribus but with the holiday season, I earned about $40 in the last month from Target and Best Buy.

If you haven't signed up you can sign up with my link and both of our fees will drop by 5%.

It's not perfect.  I've actually gotten price matches on my own that Paribus didn't catch but it is nice to get some extra money you wouldn't have even known about it without it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Target Gift Cards 10% off at Target Today - Limit of 3 Online

Target is offering 10% off Target gift cards online and in store.  Max discount of $30 so you can buy $300 of Target Gift Cards for $270

The gift cards aren't redeemable until tomorrow so don't buy it hoping to use it today.

I've bought many thousands of Target Gift Cards this holiday season and I plan to buy more with this promotion.

When you are online Target may limit your account to three gift cards but is there anything stopping you from buying from multiple registers in store?  A bit annoying but may be worth it for some.

Target is really good at not paying for gift cards via portals so don't count on that but it can't hurt to try.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

50% Back in Shop Your Way Points When you Spend $50+ - Up to $50 in Points

HT - ZF via DM

The Shop Your Way Portal is offering 50% cashback in points when you spend $50 or more until December 19th with one of their partners.

You can earn a maximum of $50 (50,000 points).  The points are only redeemable from 12/22/2015-12/29/2015 so only do this if you have a purchase in mind to spend the points on.

Offer Earn Dates: 12/17/15-12/19/15
Offer Burn Dates: 12/22/15-12/29/15
Members get 50% back in points* when you spend $50 or more** more on a qualifying purchase at shopyourway.com. Offer valid 12/17/15-12/19/15. Points redeemable 12/22/15-12/29/15
Purchase requirement before taxes and after other discounts and must be made in a single transaction.  Offer excludes Lands’ End® merchandise, Sears marketplace, affiliates, third party partners or other third party merchandise.  Transaction must be completed on shopyourway.com.
*Points credit to your account on 12/22/15. Limit of $50 back in points (50,000 pts) per member.  By accepting Shop Your Way® member benefits and offer, you agree to the Shop Your Way terms and conditions, available atwww.shopyourway.com/terms.  Members earn points on qualifying purchases, excluding sales taxes and other fees.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Amazon Increasing FBA Fees In February - Not Such a Big Deal Except Inexpensive Items

Amazon has announced that effective February 18th, they are increasing fees for FBA (fulfillment by Amazon).

 "We are adjusting our rates for the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service in the U.S. to reflect the changing costs of fulfillment, transportation, storage, and customer service."

Fulfillment Fees

When you take a look at the the examples of fee increases, they are not terribly significant but as always, every little bit matters.

The Amazon FBA fee calculator now gives you the option of comparing what your fees are now relative to after February 18th.  Let's take some examples:

Here's our favorite, iPads:

What's the difference?  $0.01!  If that is affecting your margins, you have a serious problem.  Unfortunately not every category is like that.

Let's take a TV:

Here the difference is $0.22.  Still not a big deal at all.  If you sell at $1,000 the difference is still $0.22.

Ok, but here is where it actually does matter, inexpensive toys and other items.

When you sell this Dump Truck toy at $17, the extra fees are $0.35. That is a big deal.  That's 2% of the sale price.  Most likely you bought this for $6 or less.  That's over 5% of your margin.  A big deal.

If you sell the same toy for $13.99, it's the same $0.35.  That's an even bigger deal since you probably bought it for $2.  That's over 15% of your margins.

Storage fees 

Storage fees are increasing as well starting in March.  Here is the chart:

 Most of my stuff never gets to 30 days so this shouldn't affect me much but it's good to know about.

Bottom line: Fees from Amazon are increasing.  For expensive items, it doesn't seem to matter much, but it is a big deal for cheap items.  Be aware.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Turnover Tuesdays - Killing it At Walgreen's!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

How Long Do You Hold Your Prices High Before Christmas?

November and December can be some of the best months to sell on Amazon.  Prices can shoot skyhigh.  Remember when you couldn't sell that item because Amazon was so cheap?  Well, they're out of stock.  Then they come back in stock, but they're out of stock real soon again.  Sales can happen so fast that I price much higher than usual and drop down as necessary.  I don't want fast sales in November.

Well, now we are headed towards the end of the holiday season.  At what point do you lower your prices?

On the one hand, if you sell too early, you can miss out on serious profits from last minute shoppers.  On the other hand, if you wait too long,you may have too much inventory and either have a fire sell with the rest of the sellers or you may not sell at all. Oh and that iPad at retail price may have seemed like a really good idea on December 20th, maybe not so much on January 22nd when prices drop $75 and you can still return to Amazon.  Sometimes selling for too much is a bad thing.

There is some information to know about.  Here is a published FBA calendar of some important dates to know about.

Amazon claims that people can order on December 22nd and still receive before Christmas if they order with Prime.

That's rather late.  I would be afraid that the person doesn't get it before Christmas and then returns it when they do get it.

So I ask  again, at what point do you lower your prices? I don't have a good answer to this.  I'm curious what your plans are.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Use Inventory Lab to Track Your Purchases and Ditch Excel!

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Inventory Lab

I started reselling on Amazon to earn cheap points and maybe profit a little bit as well.  Since then, things have really taken off and reselling has become somewhat of a real business for me.  Since I am seeing increased profits overall and time is now my most valuable commodity, I've started to pay for some programs that make my life easier.  I will introduce these programs to you as I feel comfortable that they are worthwhile.

I do want to let you know beforehand that I will be paid for some of these programs through affiliate marketing and the payment is not insignificant (more than the standard Amazon link).  I take pride in providing quality information and I make sure that I always give the best link to you that I know of.   I don't provide any credit card links that aren't refer a friend links available to everyone since the vast majority of affiliate links for credit cards pay bloggers with decreased promotions for you.  Any affiliate link I provide has the same benefit to you or better.  Please call me out in the comments or in an email (orensmoneysaver@gmail.com) if you find an example where I am not doing this.

You now have full disclosure and you can feel free to ignore this entire post if this bothers you.

Ok - that's out of the way.  I hate saying that but it's necessary.

Inventory Lab

The first and most important program that I use is called Inventory Lab.  I am a paid subscriber, I've passed the trial period and I've paid the full annual fee for the program.

I used to track purchases via excel spreadsheets.  This isn't so bad when you sell one or two items a day.  When you start to sell 500+ items in one month (I've sold over 900 items in the last 30 days), it becomes very difficult and time consuming to log everything into excel.  I won't do it anymore and it is necessary to have a log of everything once tax season comes.

Inventory Lab allows you to track everything related to inventory being sent to Amazon.  Nothing more and nothing less.

You connect your Inventory Lab account to Amazon Seller Central.  You start the process of sending inventory to Amazon at Inventory Lab.  It will ask you the name of the item, when you bought it, where you bought it and the price you bought it for.

$80 of eBay Gift Cards for $75 from Gyft

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Gyft, Be Frugal, Top Cashback, Splender, Mr. Rebates, Giving Assistant, Simply Best Coupons, 

Gyft is offering an $80 eBay eGift Card for $75 with coupon code EBAYWISH while supplies last.  Can be used up to 3 times.

You will get 2% in gyft points if you don't use a portal but I recommend using a portal.

Be FrugalGiving AssistantTop CashbackSplenderMr. Rebates, and Simply Best Coupons are currently 2.0% for Gyft.  Take your pick

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Turnover Tuesdays - Check Your Listings Carefully - My Big Fail!

Deals to Maximize Before the End of the Year

A gentle reminder of a few great deals that are available until the end of the year that you should maximize. Some I have mentioned already and some I have not.

Quarterly Rewards

Chase Freedom - Offering 10x Ultimate rewards at Amazon, Zappos, Audible and Diapers.com.  Even if you maximized earlier in the quarter, this is a new round of $1,500 in spending that started November 23rd.

Discover - 5% quarterly rewards includes Amazon, Department Stores (think Sears.com) and Clothing Stores.  For many people this will be doubled to 10%.

My Amazon referral link - this makes a big difference on my bottom line and I would definitely appreciate it if you can use it (even for gift cards).

Portal Bonuses
The United and American Airlines shopping portals have added some nice bonuses.  They are nothing crazy but good if you are planning to use the portal anyways.

Spend $100 and earn 300 miles

Spend $300 or more and earn 1,200 miles or more.  That's 4x miles if you spend exactly $300 on top of your regular miles earning and credit card earning.

Amex Amazon Offer
If you added it to your American Express card, you can get a statement credit of $15 for spending $60 or more at Amazon.

Discover Double Cashback Offer - Discover will double all the cashback you earn for one year for new signups, hopefully.  Deadline for new signups is the end of the year.  Here is my referral link.  We will both earn $50.

Discover with Apple Pay - Earn up to 11% when you pay with Apple Pay until the end of the year on up to $10,000 of transactions.  Gift cards excluded.  Will be doubled to 22% for those who qualified for the Discover Double cashback offer.

Did I miss anything good?  Let me know in the comments

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Some Nice Gift Card Deals and A Toy Sale at Target

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site:  Gyft, Be Frugal, Top Cashback, Giving Assistant, 

Here are a few deals for you:

1 - Buy a $300 Staples eGift Card and get a promo $50 eGift Card for free.  The deal will be running from now until 12/12 or when gift cards run out.

Promo eGift card can be used from 12/26 until 1/9/2016.

Limit one per customer which usually means one per email address.

You will not earn 5x UR points with Chase Ink so there is a trade off here.

2 - Earn a $20 Sears Gift Card with a $100 gift card purchase.  Check out the details there, highlights are that you can pay with your Discover to get 5% cashback and use a portal like eBates to earn 6% (their affiliate sign up is in the link)

3 - Target is having a Buy One Get One 50% off sale on certain brands.  There are definitely deals to be had.  Stick to things that are deals without the sale and you will do well for yourself.

Keep in mind that it is getting close to Christmas you may not be able to get everything into Amazon before then.

You can buy gift cards from Raise at up to 2,5% off Target gift cards.

You can buy from Gyft.  You will get 2% in gyft points if you don't use a portal but I recommend using a portal Use a portal when you purchase

Be Frugal is currently 2% for Gyft, so is Top Cashback and Giving Assistant

Make sure you use a portal for Target as well. Top Cashback is 2.25% at Target for whichever categories they pay for.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I got paid by Inbox Dollars after threatening them - You should too!

As many readers are well aware, Inbox Dollars is a shopping portal that we somewhat regret ever learning about, thought if you get paid you don't mind as much.  They offered 5% cashback on eBay Purchases for a time.  I loaded up for a while.  5% on eBay purchases!  Allright!

The only problem was that weeks went by and you never got any confirmation that they were going to pay you or that the purchases were tracking.

They told us 30-45 days.  I waited.  Nothing.  I waited a little longer.  Nothing.  So I did what many did and I chatted with them.

Chatting with them you find out that the chat person can't really help you.  It seems to me that Inbox Dollars has one long list of transactions that they got paid from eBay for and have no way to parse out which transactions belong to which person.  This is conjecture but I think it is correct.

I literally had to go through every single eBay purchase with the person on chat.  Which name, email address, how much money spent and the percentage I was expecting from them.

For example:  Oren, orensmoneyaver@gmail.com, 5%, 9/30/2015 $379.99

After I went through all of my purchases, I was told to wait and they would get back to me.  I was told 1-2 business days and they would get back to me.

I was then sent this email (bolding my own):

Dear Member,
Thank you for your inquiry regarding your eBay purchase(s). In order to assist you further we are requesting the eBay purchase receipt(s) you received from the eBay Seller at the time purchase.
This proof of purchase must be an eBay receipt and must include the following:
• Item number & product description purchased
• Purchase date
• Purchase price
• Payment Type (Charge Card, BillPay, PayPal, ProPay, Skrill)
Please note that purchases made with eBay Gift Cards, coupons or e-gift certificates are not applicable for form of payment method and not eligible for crediting.
Please forward your purchase/receipts along with confirmation of shipment receipt emails to offers@inboxdollars.com and we will review further.
Member Services

So they don't want to pay for anything paid for with eBay Gift cards.  Bunch of crock since they never mentioned anything about it.  Once again, I think they only see the purchase price (if they have anything at all) which often doesn't reflect the part of the transaction that was paid for with gift cards.  Whatever, I'll take what I can get at this point.

I then literally went back and forwarded all of my eBay Order and Shipped and shipped emails or the offers@inboxdollars.com email address.

It came along with a nasty gram from me that said that I have been unimpressed with the company and that I would go to the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General about the company if they tried to not pay their obligations.  There were some other things in there as well that were not so nice.

One day later:

2 more days later:

I'm pretty sure I was credited even for purchases I made with gift cards since I told them the full amount of my purchase price and I got exactly what I asked for.  Not sure if they even confirmed anything.  They might want the problem to just go away.  Either way, please make sure you get paid too.  Let me know if they give you problems.  Leave a comment.

Check out Chuck's post over on DoC on the same topic.  Well worth a read as always (especially the tread carefully at the end)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2 MacBook Deals for 4x eBay Bucks

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

Please be aware that there are multiple listings for each of these MacBooks. Some allow you to sell as new and some do not.  Amazon can always shut down listings and they have done it before.

There are a couple of MacBooks on sale on eBay that you should think about to take advantage of your increased eBay Bucks if you were targeted.

MD101LL/A  - $800 - About 550 available - Limit of 1
MJVM2LL/A - $730 - about 1275 available - Limit of 1

MD101LL/A on Amazon - $905 but there are currently no FBA sellers so you can likely sell for about $920 or even higher, especially with holidays approaching.  126 in Laptops so it will sell fast and with the holidays here, super fast.

MJVM2LL/A on Amazon - $826.  Next FBA seller is $839 so once again you might be able to sell for far higher than the buy box currently.

MD101LL/A fees on Amazon if you sell at $905,.85 (current buy box) will bring your takehome down to $851.  With Shipping, you will be at about $845.  That's a profit of 5.6% before your 8% in eBay Box.

MJVM2LLA fees at $826 (current Buy Box) will bring your takehome down to $776.  With Shipping, you will be at about $770.  That's a profit of 5.5% before your 8% in eBay Box.

You will still earn credit card rewards of 2%.  Buy eBay gift cards for even greater savings.  You are always able to buy eBay gift cards for 5% off from Target with a Target RedCard.

Use a shopping portal - You can either use Splender portal for 2% at eBay (new shopping portal) or you can use the Plenti shopping portal for 4x Plenti points, if you are into that type of thing.

Prices can and will likely go down a bit due to resellers but if you are patient you should do just fine.  

Up to 4x eBay Bucks - Today Only - Targeted

Sorry that this is a bit late but I've been busy all day.

Check your emails for an offer from eBay for extra eBay bucks.  This is a one day deal this time.

4x eBay bucks on any item of $150 or more.

This a multiplier of the regular 2% eBay Bucks so 4x is actually 8% in eBay Bucks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Turnover Tuesdays - Toys and Retail Arbitrage vs. Online Arbitrage