Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Automation Beyond Amazon - JoeLister and GeekSeller

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.

The Elections

I sat down to write this post late tonight when the news was starting to come in that Donald Trump would likely become the next president of the US.  This isn't a political blog but I knew that I had little to no chance that anyone is reading so I figured it was time to give away some secrets!

Did I have you even for a second?  No?  Oh well.

Here comes a nice post that you won't read anyways.  I hope everyone had a fun election party.  I decided to pack boxes to keep my mind off the circus that is our election process (no party affiliation coming out there - I think both parties would agree to that).

Beyond Amazon

Back in week 49, I discussed using Amazon's multi channel fulfillment to sell your items on eBay (and other marketplaces).   Check it out for more information on that.

With all the uncertainly surrounding Amazon and their overnight brand restrictions, restricting new sellers in Q4, increased storage fees, increased counterfeiting, it is nice to have a backup plan.  Even if it isn't a backup plan, it's great to increase your revenue (and hopefully your profit as well.).  When you sell more, even if you break even, you lower your storage fees since you are rotating inventory more quickly and you increase your portals and credit card points which doesn't have to be insignificant.

The problem is that it can be very difficult to be on top of multiple marketplaces.  If you are adding listings on eBay, you have to add a listing for every product.  If you have a lot of SKUs, that can be a big undertaking.

You also have to be on top of your inventory otherwise you will be left with cancelled orders and upset customers when people order items and you don't have the inventory anymore.

Enter JoeLister

JoeLister (referral link) is a company that theoretically makes your life much easier and makes you money on top of it.  

When you connect your Amazon account to JoeLister, JoeLister will create corresponding listings on eBay.  When an item sells on eBay that was set up through JoeLister, they will automatically ship it to the customer via multi channel fulfillment.  They will also automatically update your inventory levels so that eBay listings are correct.  Once set up everything is automated. 

They even pick pricing for you based on your Amazon prices and fees associated with eBay and multi channel fulfillment. You can choose to sell on eBay and earn the same profit margins, less or more.  For example, I can tolerate slightly smaller margins on eBay because I know the chance of a return is much lower on eBay than Amazon. 

There is one major problem.  It's kind of expensive.

You can try it out for free and they will create 2 listings for you. If nothing else, give it a shot but 2 listings won't make most people rich.

I chose the $29 a month plan which gives me up to 100 listings.  That's the most basic paid plan.

You can pay $59 a month for 250 listings, $99 a month for 500 listings and $499 a month for unlimited listings.

Is JoeLister Worth it?

How should you value JoeLister?  I'm not completely sure but one way not to value it is based on sale prices.  Just because you had an extra sale of $50 a month on eBay does not mean JoeLister is better.  If you only made $10 profit on that sale, that sale is only worth $10 more than if you sold it on Amazon.

There are other factors as well.  If JoeLister means that you can sell faster and avoid more storage fees, that's value that JoeLister is adding though it can be more difficult to quantify.

I'm honestly not sure what plan I will keep long term for JoeLister, but I may upgrade for the holidays.  It's possible to make your money back on eBay in just a few short days while Amazon is stock on your hard to find item.

We'll see what happens after that.

GeekSeller - Walmart Seller Marketplace and Jet Seller Marketplace

I would talk about Sears as well but they aren't accepting new sellers right now.  There is also Newegg, Ratuken and I'm sure others.  I'm not familiar with those yet.  I'm not terribly familiar with Walmart yet either, but it's worth mentioning.

Recently I was accepted to sell on Walmart Seller Marketplace and I just applied for Jet today and I haven't heard back quite yet.

I do not have experience with either one but there is one major difference.

Like eBay, allows you to fulfill orders with your Amazon multi channel fulfillment inventory.

Walmart does not.  You need to have dedicated inventory available for Walmart shipments.  You can have your own branding on the boxes but Walmart still won't allow it from FBA inventory.

I haven't used Walmart yet.  I am still on the onboarding process.  My impression so far is that they are light years behind Amazon.  The big difference is the number of sellers on a given listing.  There are far fewer on Walmart which can be a big advantage on price once Walmart is out of stock on something.

As much as I sometimes complain, Amazon makes selling very easy.  Profiting is more difficult but the selling process is quite easy and quick.

If you try to do everything yourself, you would need to fill out a spreadsheet for every item you're adding to your Walmart inventory (you can bulk add on the spreadsheet but you still need to upload a spreadsheet).  Instead of price updates taking up to 15 minutes, they can take up to 12 hours.

You need to confirm orders within 15 minutes of the order 24/7 and you have to continually update your inventory numbers even when nothing changes.

Without software, selling on Walmart is basically impossible.  

I signed up for GeekSeller to help me with the process.  They charge $10 monthly and 1% of your sales once you get started to automatically update everything.  Channel Advisor is considered the gold standard, but they also price in gold.

I don't have a ton of information yet but I hope to have more as I get more experience on Walmart.  

As you continue into your business, there are a few avenues of growth.  Increasing products, creating/private labeling products, increasing marketplaces.  I hope to do a little bit of everything though we will see where the profit train leads!

Week 64 - The Buy Box
Week 65 - Amazon Restrictions and the Future of Selling on Amazon
Week 66 - Fun with Inventory Reimbursements
Week 67 - Q4 Storage Fees
Week 68 - Start Your Own Listings
Week 69 - A Long Tail Sale and Calculating Storage Fees
Week 70  - Prices Always Come Back Except When They Don't
Week 71 - Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results