Getting Back To Normal

I have called this post getting back to normal whatever normal is………………………….  As many of you know my life took a sudden and unexpected change at the start of November 2017. What the Doctor said was a sprained ankle and told me off for wasting their time turn into two major spinal operations 24 hours apart and five months in the hospital.  7 Weeks in Nottingham Queen Medical, and 12 weeks in Sheffield Spinal Reb unit. And only just now do I feel like getting back into my online selling.

But more important, I feel ready and able to get back to my blogging and sharing hints, tips and inventory opportunities with all of you. I have really missed the sharing with you and also the writing of it.

So keep a look out for up and coming articles, hints, tips, wholesalers to help you build your online businesses.

 

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon
for many years 
and is now helping many others from around
the world learn the 
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay
can bring. Andrew is currently 
working with Jim Cockrum
as an Amazon Consultant and eBay Consultant and offers coaching 
through their coaching programs.
For further information please fill out the box to the right.

Why Multi Channel Selling Is Good For Your Business

Multi-Channel selling is a great way to add more profit to your business and also help you reach a bigger customer base. How many of you right now are selling on more than one eCommerce platform? By this I am talking about Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Your Own Site, One of the many sites such as Bigcommerce, Craigs List, Facebook and the list goes on and on.

Now if you are very new to online selling I would not suggest you jump into all the above, Pick one of them, learn how to sell there and then move on to the next and so on. Now while some of you may sell on all the above most people will work on just three or four.

Personally, I sell on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Facebook Buy and Sell Groups and Gumtree. I used to have my own online store but I have slowed that down over the past few years. I still have it, if I need to get it back up – just in case.

So why do we need to sell on the different platforms?

  • Well the first one is quite simple the more areas you decide to sell on the more money you can make as you are selling to a bigger and bigger audience and reaching a massive buyers pool. But like I said earlier take this a step at a time, start with one, learn the ropes, make some money and then add another one. I would suggest you start with say eBay or Amazon, grow this and then do the other one. Then you can branch out.
  • Another reason you want to sell on different platforms is because different people hang out in different places. As an example some people love Amazon and just buy from there, and if you only had your product on say eBay you would be losing out on a lot of extra sales. It is just like the retail outlets in the real world, different people shop in different shops, so by having our items on the different platforms we can take advantage of all these buyers with their buying habits.
  • Another reason is more as a safety net, imagine if you were banned from one platform and that was the only place you sold on. It would take you some time to start up from scratch, but if you sell on multiple ones and you do get banned from one it will not hurt you as much.
  • A reason a lot of people do not realise straight away is by selling on say eBay, Amazon, and Etsy when you are out product sourcing it gives you a massive pool of products you can source from. As you are going around sourcing you can think is this for eBay, Amazon or Etsy. And yes it means more products and more products means more profit.

So there we have a few different reasons why selling on different channels can help you grow your business. Over the coming months, I will be touching on Multi-Channel selling a lot more and suggesting different tools help you manage your growing business.

So if you are just selling on one platform at the moment set yourself a goal to look at the next one that suits you and your business, take the action steps to open the account and start listing.
Happy Selling

 

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum as an Amazon Consultant and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs.
For further information please fill out the box to the right.

Why You Should Always Have A Backup Supplier For Your Top Selling Lines

As you get more into selling more online in places like eBay and Amazon you will find that you are buying more and more product, but quite often when you look back on your records you will find that around 90% of your general stock will come from the sources. But before we go any further I just want to outline the main places where you can source and buy stock.

1) The first place most people go to is a wholesaler or cash and carry. Here you can buy stock in smaller amounts and still make a profit. The profits will not always be as high as the method, but this way is safe and you are not paying out a lot of money.

2) Another area where you can go and buy stock is from liquidators. Liquidators are people who buy up bankrupt stock and offer it at a cheaper rate.

3) The third main area is from importers. This area will often mean investing large amounts of money to pay for stock, but you will get it at a cheaper rate.

4) The fourth and last area is direct from the manufacturer. Again this could mean a large investment in stock and storage.

Now all the above work very well and each level will suit each ones needs. Some people may just stick with one level while others will start off small and then move up till they are buying direct from the importers or from the manufacture. But I want to through something else into the pot.

You have found a good selling line and are buying weekly from your supplier, then one day your supplier lets you down. This can be for many reasons – their supplier let them down, a fire, they just let you down or the supplier has stop trading. Whichever one it is, is sad for the supplier but more important you have been let down big time. You have orders you cannot fill and an empty shop.

So a good way round this can be to use a few suppliers for the same item, or know where the suppliers are so that if you are let down, you can make a few phone calls and within hours or days you will be back in business. Also by using several suppliers to source your product if you get a sudden rush of orders and your normal supplier does not have enough stock, you can again use supplier number two.

Remember you are in business, and keeping tabs on suppliers and knowing where to get stock at very short notice is up to you. And it is always good to have a backup supplier for you will get their mailings and catalogues, and one day you might see a new item that your main supplier does not carry.

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs.
For further information please fill out the box to the right.

 

Changes On Amazon Good Or Bad?

04/10/2016

Today Amazon made some changes to the seller’s policy and also the community policies. Nothing new there really as Amazon are always making policy changes, sometimes  multiple times a day. But today’s change has super-charged the forums, chatrooms and Facebook Groups. But to be honest the writing has been on the wall for a long time regarding the changes, and in fact, over the past few months, Amazon have tweaked the policies in this area a few time.

In the short term will this effect some sellers? Yes, it will but in the long term and looking forward it will make Amazon a safer and better place for the buyer and the seller. Of course, the changes I am on about are the major changes Amazon have made to the review system. Tou can read all about the change by click here. Amazon are very clear on what they require here. There is no second guessing on what they might be selling.

Please take some time to read what the policy is saying and then get back to sourcing, listing and selling. Personally, I have also believed, taught and practised that your reviews will come as you make the sales on your Private Label Items and Bundles. I have never given away free items and I have never given any for a discount to get a review. I have always felt that organic reviews are the best.

As with anything on Amazon people will try and push the barriers, go into the grey area, because others are doing it – this is not right and could in the long term hurt your Amazon business for a short while or forever if they shut you down. Remember this is Amazons PlayGround and they make the rules.

Update on Customer Reviews

October 3, 2016

Customer reviews are one of the most valuable tools we offer customers for making informed purchase decisions, and we work hard to make sure they are doing their job. In just the past year, we’ve improved review ratings by introducing a machine learned algorithm that gives more weight to newer, more helpful reviews; applying stricter criteria to qualify for the Amazon verified purchase badge; and suspending, banning or suing thousands of individuals for attempting to manipulate reviews.

Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact. These so-called ‘incentivized reviews’ make up only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of reviews on Amazon, and when done carefully, they can be helpful to customers by providing a foundation of reviews for new or less well-known products.

Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program. We launched Vine several years ago to carefully facilitate these kinds of reviews and have been happy with feedback from customers and vendors. Here’s how Vine works: Amazon – not the vendor or seller – identifies and invites trusted and helpful reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release products; we do not incentivize positive star ratings, attempt to influence the content of reviews, or even require a review to be written; and we limit the total number of Vine reviews that we display for each product. Vine has important controls in place and has proven to be especially valuable for getting early reviews on new products that have not yet been able to generate enough sales to have significant numbers of organic reviews. We also have ideas for how to continue to make Vine an even more useful program going forward. Details on that as we have them.

The above changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.

 

Earning Money By Becoming An Online Reseller

Well, can you believe it as I write this blog post we are part way through Q3 of the year and soon we will be in Q4 which for many sellers is their busiest time of the year,but before you can start to earn those big profits you have to put in some solid foundations. Building a business is like building a house you need to lay the foundations (studying courses) and then putting into action what you have learnt.

Building your business is a lot easier in 2016 than it was ten years ago. We have many tools you can access that us the numbers we need to know to make the right buying decision. Some of these tools work on our smart phones so we can use them when we are out and about, others work on our computers. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be looking at these tools in a lot more detail and how they will help us grow a solid online business.

So how ready are you for Q4? Have you made those plans? Have you started to place those orders for the items you will be selling? If not why not?  

If you have not yet, do not worry there is still time the difference is you will just have to work a bit smarter and harder to make sure you have it all mapped out and ready to roll once we near the end of September.

So a bit of homework – take your business journal and start to map out the type of products you would like to sell and then look for the suppliers you need to contact, then make those calls, send those emails and sign up for those wholesale accounts. Make notes of the Retail Stores you are going to visit to buy those items that you can buy low in the store and sell for a higher price on either eBay or Amazon.

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.

July And August Are Great Months For Product Sourcing

Well summer is here once again. Schools will be breaking up over the next few weeks, andEbay, Amazon, Product Sourcing, eBay Consultant, Amazon Consultant people will have their minds fixed on holidays and how to entertain the children over the next six to eight weeks.

But did you also know that July and August are well known for something else………. (Apart from slower sales on eBay and Amazon). Yes July and August are fantastic months for product sourcing. To start with sourcing items online can be a lot cheaper. Why? Well because sales are slower online retailers will often slash their prices right down and for us who resell can take advantage of this and pick up some great bargains that we can buy and and then relist a bit later and make some very nice profits.

But there are also some other great places we can look for bargains that we can pick up for next to nothing.

  • Antique and Collectors Fairs. This niche also suffers badly during the summer, and this allows those who buy and sell in this niche to gather some fantastic items at lower than normal costs.
  • Take a look around those pop up shops that appear around this time of year. If the shop is in the last few days of their appearance in that area, they might discount their goods. Also if the items fall within your niche and you have some spare cash and it is the last day of the pop up shop and the owner has stock left over – ask them if they would be willing to sell their left over items to you for a very low cost. You will be surprised as a lot of these people will just say yes.
  • Try and attend as ,any offline auctions during this time as well, as very often there is a low turn out and the items go for very little money. Also remember you can attend these offline auctions by going online using sites such as i-bidder.
  • Carboot Sales
  • Jumble Sales
  • Craft Markets
  • Craft Fairs
  • School Fates
  • Church Fates
  • ETC, ETC

I hope the above has started the thought process and just write down all of those places you can go and source items. And once you have sourced you buy and then you need to list those items and then rinse and repeat.

Remember in all of this you are sourcing items for a low cost and reselling for a higher cost.

Happy Sourcing

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.

 

Looking At Trends Will Help You Source Products

If you have been selling products for any length of time or even just interested in selling and sourcing products you will have heard or seen articles and programs that talk about trends. Now trends happen in all areas of our lives – in fact, every product we see and eat will have been affected by trends.

As resellers, we can use trends to help us spot if a product is going to be a winner or not. But more important we can use trend graphs to show us where we are on trend, are we at the very start, in the middle, at the top or are we on the way down. Now this short article will not go into detail about reading a graph, I am planning on doing a video on this as it will make it easier to understand.

One of the important things when reading, or looking at a trend graph is to see the big picture. How often have you heard a youngster saying how cool this new product is only to be told by a much older person we had something similar back when they were young. There are many times when a product come back into fashion after being off the radar for decades.

As an example look at the humble vinyl record. Back in the 1960’s the humble vinyl record was flying off the shelf, but over time the cassette tape came out followed by the CD. But now in 2016 the vinyl record is coming back into fashion and is trending. So if you are selling in the music niche maybe take a look at vinyl record niche.

So let’s bring this down to grass roots and how we can use trends in our Amazon and eBay business. There are some free tools and some paid for resources. The free ones are great and very useful and when you are making money you can swap to some of the paid for versions.

Ebay Resources

Completed Listings – This is a short term look at products, so not really trends, but shows if a product is selling and has sold in the past. (Free)

http://datalabs.ebay.com/popular.html – This shows us a lot of data – Products Sold, Watched, and viewed. The site works in UK, .com and .de . (Free)

Terapeak – This a fantastic tool, and I have personally been using it for years. It is a paid for tool, but if you are serious about eBay selling then take a look

Amazon Resources

Keepa and CamelCamelCamel – These again are free for the basic editions and to be honest they will do you. Both these sit within your Amazon page, so when you are looking for a product they will show up and you can see historical data for price and sales rank, and these will show you past trends on a product so you can make a buying choice based on what has happened over the past months.

Of course, there are many other programs and software applications that will help you grow your online business. And we will look at these over coming weeks and months.

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.

 

 

Do Toys Sell All Year Round On Amazon?

One of the top questions as an Amazon Consultant I am asked is “Do toys sell all year round on Amazon? Basically, the answer is a big yes they do. I mean children have birthdays, Christenings, Dedications, Well done in exams, and also believe it or not people just like to buy their children a toy, just because they love them. So yes toys do sell all year round on Amazon.

As one would guess we get to see a growing trend as we approach Q4 and this peaks in and around December, and you will then see the large spike start to trial off the end of December and start of January.

But did you know you can make a very nice profit selling used / secondhand toys – these are often called collectable on Amazon.  Over the years I have been selling on Amazon and eBay I love to source used toys as they are often very cheap and often free of charge. They are in plentiful supply, and parents and grandparents welcome you with open arms as you are helping them declutter their homes and make room for new toys and games.

Again having done this for over 15 years I have found this sourcing and reselling can be done throughout the year, but there does seem to be a trend early December and just after the Christmas period. I have put this down to parents clearing out before Christmas to make room for the new toys to come into the home and the after Christmas spike is people getting rid of old toys and even some brand new items that were not a hit or a duplicate present was bought.

So where do you find these used toys?

Well, in fact, they are all around you. After you have decluttered your own home you can –

  • Ask family and friends if they have unwanted toys and games in their home, of course, you offer to buy them, but very often you find people just hand them to you.
  • Put up postcards in local shops and community boards
  • Run adverts in CraigsList, GumTree, FaceBook Buy and Sell Groups, Community Papers, Church Magazine, Flyers through letterboxes and of course word of mouth.
  • Estate Sales, Garage Sales, Carboot Sales (UK), Church Sales, Jumble Sales
  • Neighbours

Now, of course, the items you sell on Amazon need to be in very good condition and no pieces missing. Due to the format of buying using games, you will have games with pieces missing. Now you can either just through them away, or you can keep them and hope to have another game soon that is missing a part but you can mix and match the parts to finish up with a complete game.

But what I will often do is to break down the game and sell the bits on eBay and you can make a nice little side income selling parts of games. If you do not believe me pop along to eBay and do a search for Monopoly spare parts. You will be amazed.

So what are you waiting for, look around your home find all those toys and board games that are no longer being used and those of them that are in good condition list on Amazon, and then watch the profits start to come in.

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.

 

What’s Selling On eBay Right Now?

As an eBay seller have you ever wondered what was selling on eBay right now? Yes you can buy Terapeak and to be honest if you are serious about selling on eBay this is a must have tool. But for the new sellers, this is not always possible due to the costs of Terapeak.

So is there another way? Yes, eBay has a great site called Datalabs where it tests out programs and pages that we can use to help build our eBay business to the next level.

The page I am talking about today is  http://datalabs.ebay.com/trending.html#/gb/index

This page updates itself every sixty minutes and you can set it to either selling items or watched the choice is all yours.

This is a very simple but powerful tool and it has helped me over the past few weeks find some cool items that I was able to buy and make some money on. But also it has helped me research ideas for bundles, and also ideas for Private Label (PL) items.

But with all things you need to think outside the box. Yes it tells us the fast selling items on eBay, but remember other people will have seen the data as well, so think big and think outside of that box.

Also you need to take action, the longer you leave taking action on a product the more chance you have for others beating you to the market. I can tell you over the years the number of times I have delayed taking action on an item. Yes at times it worked in my favour, but other times I lost out.

So why not go take a look and see what’s selling on eBay and then take action by buying some stock.

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.