Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - How it is Going Outside of Amazon

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.

Selling on eBay with JoeLister - Meh

As I mentioned in week 77, I am trying to move beyond Amazon into eBay and Walmart.  eBay has had very blah results with JoeLister.  Since September 23rd  I have sold about 30 units total through JoeLister.   That's not very good.  Really not very good.  During that same time I sold more than 6,700 units with Amazon.  Granted I have far more listings with Amazon (I only paid for 100 listings with Joe Lister) but even on those 100 listings I had far, far more with Amazon.  I don't know yet if I will drop JoeLister but it is not an integral part of my Get Rick Quick Schemes.  Right now I'm using them to try and sell items that have Long Term Storage Fees associated with them in February.  Each sale provided outsized returns.

Selling on Walmart - Bumps and Bruises

When I started selling on Walmart, my goal was to make enough to cover my increased costs.  You need to fulfill orders on your own and store your inventory for Walmart.  I am now renting space with a prep service that fulfills my Walmart orders and ships much of my Amazon products to Fulfillment Centers.  The goal is to do as little as possible to make money.  Usually that means you need to pay others.

My increased storage fees come out to about $500 a month.  If I can make $500 a month selling on Walmart I can justify the space.  In addition, I am now able to store much more for Amazon without sending the in and paying Amazon for storage.  This allows me to ship items as they sell instead of all at once. This should have a big impact on my storage fees for the year.  I am estimating the savings at about $200 a month though I'm not sure what the exact number will be.  So if I can generate $500 from Walmart, I've paid for my space and I saved $200 of storage from Amazon  It also means I should have far fewer units coming up against Long Term Storage Fees.

I don't need to hit $500 my first month but I at least need to see growth that would justify the investment.


So far, I've been using GeekSeller to manage my Walmart inventory.  Having some sort of software is basically a must for Walmart.  You need to acknowledge orders within 15 minutes which is pretty close to impossible on your own.  In addition, creating listings on Walmart is a pain.  GeekSeller will import your listings from Amazon to Jet (for some reason you can't go directly from Amazon to Walmart).  You can map your listings on Jet (a little annoying) and then you can import the listing to Walmart which saves me hours.

In addition, GeekSeller is not very pricey.  They charge $10 a month and 1% of your sales.

They also make it easy to print out a packing slip which shows that the item is coming from Walmart and has the Walmart phone number on it.  That's a lot better than customers calling your phone number (you need to give a working phone number on the application).

Overall, I give them a thumbs up though I did have one hickup that I will explain later.

The process of "onboarding" which is Walmart language for going live took me about a month or so longer than I expected but once I was live on Walmart GeekSeller has been a great tool.

How Am I Doing?

It is very expensive to do business on Walmart.com.  Walmart takes 15% and then you have to ship on your own.  Amazon's cost structure is much, much cheaper since you don't pay much to ship to Amazon fulfillment center.  In addition, my fulfillment costs per item are higher because each item needs to be individually boxed and shipping purchased for that order.  That takes time so you will pay for it.

The higher cost structure means that it can be harder to find items that are good to sell on Walmart.

On the other hand, competition on Walmart is negligible compared to Amazon.  For example, I sold the same Christmas Inflatable Lawn Decoration for $200 on Walmart when I wasn't even able to sell it for $140 FBA on Amazon.  In addition, the person paid $50 for rush shipping which I get to keep since I'm paying for shipping.

The problem is that your costs can be more unpredictable.  I'm shipping from NJ.  If the person ordered the Inflatable decorations in NJ I would have paid $9 to ship it to them next day.  They lived in Nevada so I ended up paying $90 to ship it to them for 2 day shipping since it was large!  That turns out to still be better than FBA but not by nearly as much.

Here it is by the numbers:

Since December 11th which is when I got my first sale about 2 weeks ago, I have sold 41 units total for total of $2650.  Of those 41, 9 units have been cancelled.  1 by the buyer and the other 8 by me.  I learned that you have to update your inventory in GeekSeller, not in the Walmart portal, otherwise you will tell Walmart you have inventory and it goes on sale and when GeekSeller goes to authorize the sale they will automatically cancel the order since they think you don't have inventory.

After the cancelled units, I have 32 units sold for $2,150, I paid commissions of $335 and I paid $22 to GeekSeller so far.  I paid about $400 in shipping and I paid about $60 for fulfillment.  That's about $800 in fees.  My cost of goods sold was about $850.  All that comes out to about $500 in profit which was my goal though I didn't actually make money since I paid $500 in storage fees.

This included the busiest time of the year for selling.  Many of the products I sold on Walmart won't sell well the rest of the year so I need to start building my Walmart friendly catalog of products. In addition, I was helped out by Amazon blocking the listing of a popular toy which left my Walmart listing as one of the few places one could buy this toy.  I was able to sell it for about $40-$60 more than it was selling on Amazon (though my profit was only about $20-$30 per sale because of the added fees).

Overall, I think it is a good start.  I've learned a lot about Walmart and experienced some boo-boos along the way.

If I can build my Walmart portfolio to $1,000 or $2,000 of profit a month while saving money on Amazon it becomes a lot to manage but it means I am far more profitable and less reliant on Amazon which is always a good thing.

Anyone else selling on Walmart yet?  What has your experience been?

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
Week 72 - Automation Beyond Amazon
Week 73 - Some Quick Holiday Tips
Week 74 - Update on Miles vs. Cashback Opportunity Costs
Week 75 - Pricing for the 4th Quarter Madness
Week 76 - Returns, Returns, Returns
Week 77 - Reimbursement
Week 78 - Q4 for Accelerated Inventory Turnover