Category Archives: Amazon

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

How Are Your Plans Going For Your Ecommerce Business?

So, how are your plans going for your eCommerce business?  The reason why I am asking you this question right now is because we are half way through the month of may and very soon we will be entering into June – Yes half way through 2016. How scary is that?

And then the clock is ticking away until that mad selling season of October, November, December. Or more commonly know to sellers around the world as Q4. For some sellers ,they can make as much money in those 12 weeks as they do all throughout the year. But it does come with some challenges –

  • Enough Stock,
  • Forward Planning And Thinking,
  • All The Dots Joined Together
  • Enough Help To Get Stock Prepped And Sent In
  • And Other Things…………………………….

So when do you need to get the ball rolling?  The basic answer is, as soon as possible.

For now, I would suggest :

  • You attend Trade Shows,
  • Look online for wholesalers,
  • Open accounts with wholesalers

Then do your research so that when you get to September you are ready to get those orders placed, prepped and sent into Amazon, ready for that crazy buying period. Also, I would be talking to some smaller suppliers and wholesalers asking about getting exclusive deals. (I will be doing some posts about exclusive deals and how to get them and how profitable an exclusive deal can be)

Help this helps, any question please ask.

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.

Secondhand Books Can Make You Serious Money In 2016


I guess that you have seen and heard that secondhand books can make you serious moneyBooks Make Cash, Amazon Reseller, Re-seller, secondhand books on Amazon but this is 2016 and you think you have missed out on the opportunity. Well take that sad look off your face as I have some great news. You have not missed out at all. The opportunity is still here and is still wide open and in some ways due to SmartPhones ad Apps the sourcing has become a lot better, and few mistakes are made. But before we get into the meat of the article of selling books and other media I am going to be very open and honest with you. This income stream will take time, it will take work, it will mean that your hands get a bit dirty, but the rewards are very much worth it. I love this income stream and have been using it many years and will continue using it for many years to come.

The types of media that I sell and find profitable are :

  • Books – Hard Back and Paper Back and mostly Non-Fiction
  • DvD’s both new and old ones – Films, Music. How To, Documentary
  • Video – Yes video is still bought and can be profitable
  • Computer Games – Both PC and Console based. Some of the older PC games sell for good money
  • Talking books – on Tape and CD
  • CD’s – Again these are big sellers
  • Blank Media – CD’s, DVD, Video, Data, Reel to Rell (Yes serious)

Over the coming weeks we will keep coming back to this topic and look at each of the different subcategories and talk about sourcing and selling, but for today I want to stay with books. I believe if you are brand new or have been selling on Amazon a good number of years you should add books to the list of products you sell. Why? Books mean cash in your bank account.

So where do you source books to resell on Amazon?

A good question, but all it takes is a bit of effort and by simply looking around you, books are everywhere. Look in any Charity shop and there are hundreds of books on the shelves and take a peek in their back room and there will be hundreds if not thousands of books just waiting to be put out on shelves when there is space. And sadly a lot will just end op in a skip. So apart from Charity shops where else can you source secondhand books from?

  • Jumble Sales
  • Estate Sales
  • Car Boot Sales
  • Craigslist Adverts
  • Gumtree Adverts
  • eBay
  • Charity Shops
  • Talking with people
  • Adverts on Notice Boards
  • School fates
  • Universities
  • Family
  • Friends

So what type of secondhand book should you source?

I would suggest you start with non-fiction books as these are good sellers and normally hold their resell price. Some fiction is good to sell as well but would suggest you try and stay away from the mass produced types of fiction.

Always look for books that are in good to like new condition. Again some old and falling apart books can sell high, but in early days go for books that look good, have little or no markings n there and do not smell or look dirty

How much should one pay? Again this is like how long is a piece of string, but in simple terms as cheap as possible. In normal terms I look at buying books between 25p and £1.00 at the top of the range. Sometimes you will pay more, if it is in great condition and has good ranking and a high selling price. But again try and buy well below £1.00 per book.

When selling books or other media we also look at quantity the more you buy, the more you list, the more you send into Amazon the more you will sell. Yes this is a numbers game.

So let me set you a little challenge in closing this part of the article – set yourself a goal of sourcing, listing and sending in 100 books every week. If you do this on a regular basis you will soon see consistent and regular sales happening and a healthy bank balance.

100 books a week at say 50p each is £50.00 in stock a week and say the average profit after all fees is £5.00 and you sell on average 10 books a day you are making £350.00 a week pure profit. Even if you say it is just £2.50 profit per book and you are selling just 10 a day that is £175.00 a week pure profit.

Whatever way you look at this model it is very profitable, yes hard work to start but as mentioned the rewards are well worth it. So take up the challenge source and list 100 books a week and see what a difference it makes to your business.

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.

Why Do You Sell Online?

Have you ever thought why do you sell online?  I know a strange question, but if you take some time out and think long and hard about the real reason why you sell online you will be able to grown your business many times over. The concept I am talking about is knowing your why. Once you have identified your WHY, you will never look back – in all areas of your life.

So today, take yourself off to a quiet spot, with a pad and pen, yes a real; pen and a real pad of paper none of this tablet or phone apps for now, later on you can upload the information, but there is something that happens when you think and write – if you have not tried it give it a go please and you will see what I mean.

And now spend some time and write out

  • Why are you doing this business?
  • Why are you selling online?
  • Why are you selling on Amazon or ebay or Etsy?
  • Why do you sell in the categories you have chosen?
  • Why do you not sell in other categories – is it fear of the unknown?

Answer the questions truthfully and honestly as the answers you give will help you grow your business many time over.

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.

UK Product Sourcing – Chocolate Bundles

chocolates-276786_640

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are back with another UK Product Sourcing Tip and today looking at Chocolate and
Bundles.. Each on their own can make you money but when you bundles chocolate with some other products you are adding wonderful profit to your item  and bank account.

On the way home from Church walked into Lichfield and had a look in some shops before catching bus.

Several discounted sales in the shops, but picked up Thornton’s Chocolate 5 boxes for £20. This works out at £4.00 a box. Retail for £12.00 So on their own can make money but these will be bundled with candles and bath smellies.

Now you can buy the extras from places like Poundland, Home Bargains or B&M type stores.  Or from sights like https://www.ancientwisdom.biz

Always Remember keep those bundle radar eyes and ears open

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.

Is Sourcing Products From Retail Stores Profitable?

A question I get asked all the time as an eBay and Amazon Consultant “Is sourcing products from retail stores profitable?” The answer I always give is It depends on what you are sourcing, and where you are sourcing and what price you buying the item for. Remember in retail selling either online or offline you make your profit when you buy the item not when you sell the item.

What do I mean, when I say this…….. You make your profit when you buy and not when you sell. Well if you buy your item too high, there will not be the opportunity to flip the product on either Amazon or eBay and make a healthy profit. So you need to buy as cheaply as possible, which will then give you the opportunity to flip on Amazon and eBay for a higher price.

When you source remember, you need to take into account the Amazon or eBay / PayPal fees. Amazon fees as a general rule are 30% and eBay / PayPal are 15% together. Now while the eBay fees may look cheaper and yes they are, you got to ask is that the right place to sell your items. Also remember that you are paying Amazon to store the items for you and then to pick, pack and ship them out to your customers.

So once we have identified products we like the look of and scanned them with an app on our phone if doing offline arbitrage or used extensions on our computer for online arbitrage and we have find a good item we need to work out how many do we buy. To start only buy a few of each item take your money and go wide not deep. You are far better buying many different products than just a large quantity of one or two items. (Once you find good sellers then you can buy larger amounts and then move into wholesale) But for now we will just do the Retail Arbitrage side of the business.

So is sourcing products from retail stores profitable the answer is using the right tools on your phone. buying small quantities of each item the answer is a big yes.

Easy Steps To Help You Get Started.

  • Use an app such as the Amazon Sellers App which is free for iPhone and Android
  • Source from retail stores both online and offline
  • Go for all types of stores not just the large brand name stores. Very often some of the small retail shops have great offers and closeout items
  • Go wide and not deep
  • Look out for offers such as Buy one get one free, three for two, Buy one get one half price, and look out for sales and clearance items.

Just keep those eyes and ears open and you will start to see products all over the place that you can buy to resell.

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.

Does Retail Arbitrage Really Work In The UK ?

Does retail arbitrage really work in the Uk, is a question I am seeing time and time againFBAPic.png recently on the forums and groups. And the simple answer is yes it does work. Yes it is a bit harder here in the UK than it is in the USA. 

To make it work you need to get out there, scan, scan, scan and guess what scan items. Yes it takes time, yes it takes work, yes it takes patience. Remember this is a business you are running, and if you ask any successful business person here in the UK, or around the world and they will tell you that it took time, work and failures to build it to what the business is now. And will continue to take time and hard work.

I believe one of the factors why people are saying it does not work, is the fact that they are going where the masses are going. Now please do not get me wrong on this I love to help people, yes think it is great when people share a BOLO (Be on the look out), but let’s have a little look at this. Say I see a hot product in Tesco, and quickly add a post to one of the many groups out there in the UK for sellers. Suddenly hundreds and at times thousands of people see that, dash out and buy the product. Now we have the situation of where the sales rank was good, two or three FBA sellers and a good price, to 25 FBA sellers and people tanking the price. Not so good now.

  • When I go to a store online or offline I tend to go where there are less crowds, I look at the back of the shelves, I look on the bottom of shelves, depending on how I feel I will ask the section manager if they have any shelf-pulls they need to shift as I might be interested if the price was right.
  • Think about packs and bundles as you are walking around the store, think how can I be different and stand out from the crowd. How can I turn this product into something different that people need.
  • Get yourself out there on a regular basis, visit those stores, keep those eyes peeled, ears open to what opportunities are hidden, just waiting for you and me to take advantage of.
  • Also when doing Retail Arbitrage both online and offline do not go for quantity of the same items. Only buy 2 or 3 of each item. Go wide instead of going deep. Only go deep when the item is a proven seller and look at buying those proven sellers from a wholesaler.

But the golden egg in all of this Retail Arbitrage is take a wander down those, small country lanes where the path is less trodden and there are only a handful of people and it is on these shelves, often hidden that you can find those gems of products. Also again visit the smaller retailer and see what they have on offer.

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.