All posts in “sellers”

Sales Tax 101: Talking the Talk

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Are you baffled by sales tax? Today we’re going to help you start making sense of it by defining the terms and phrases that are the most commonly used when talking about this type of tax.

Keep reading to boost your tax vocabulary. And over the next few weeks, we’ll keep talking about this, with the help of our friends from TaxJar.

Continue Reading…

SCOE Philadelphia – 3 Days Away!

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SCOE PhiladelphiaAre we going to see you at SCOE Philadelphia this week?

SellerEngine will be there!

Come by our table in vendorland for a demo of Sellery!

And you don’t want to miss the presentations by me or Ioan Mitrea, SellerEngine’s founder. Ioan will be talking about unique repricing strategies and ways to optimize your Amazon profit.

I’ll be talking about the $100 Amazon Challenge and how you can use it to grow your Amazon business.

Who else will be at SCOE Philadelphia this year?

  • Jordan Malik from FBAFinds.com, will be talking about discovering new revenue streams for you business.
  • Ian Lurie from Portent.com, will be teaching marketing techniques that go beyond basic SEO.
  • Danni Ackerman from TheDanniApp.com, will be showing you how to take advantage of opportunities on Etsy.
  • Cliff Ennico an online tax expert, will be talking about legal and tax issues for online sellers.
  • Many more experts and hundreds of online entrepreneurs just like you!

See you at SCOE Philadelphia!

SCOE is a community of online sellers and experts created to explore new and innovative opportunities to grow online businesses.

 

Let’s Talk Costs!

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Do You Know Your Costs?

How much time do you spend thinking about all the costs associated with running your Amazon business? It can be easy to focus more on the fun stuff, namely the money coming in each month. But understanding all of your costs, beyond just what you’re paying for your inventory, is the key to maximizing your profits and growing your business.

Try this exercise:

Take a few minutes and think about the products in your inventory:

  • Do you know exactly how much you paid for each of them?
  • Do you know how much it costs to fulfill an order for each of them?
  • Do you know the Amazon fees associated with all of your products? What percentage does Amazon charge? How much do you pay for inbound FBA shipping?
  • Do you know your return rate?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you can’t really know how much money you’re making. And without knowing your costs you also can’t make informed pricing decisions.

If you set prices without full knowledge of your costs, you’re not selling, you’re gambling.

Costs aren’t Created Equal!

Even if you do know your costs right now, remember that many costs change over time. If you’re not vigilant, changes that affect your bottom line can take place right under your nose.

  • Amazon’s fees aren’t static. Earlier this year Amazon introduced new definitions for oversized items, splitting them into several categories, including Small Oversize and Large Oversize. This caused the Amazon fees on millions of items to change.
  • Changes to your shipping cost can happen if there’s a new fuel surcharge from UPS. Or if you use Amazon’s discounted shipping, make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your costs. Remember that costs can vary based on which fulfillment center you’re shipping to.
  • International mail rates change all the time. Pay attention to what you’re paying to ship overseas and build the costs into your prices! Otherwise you could end up losing money on what could otherwise be a very profitable sale.

What Can You Do?

If you haven’t already, develop an accounting system that works for you. Whether it’s software like Quickbooks or a simple spreadsheet, you need to be able to track your inventory and all the associated costs and income.

Once you have a system in place, use it to your advantage!

As you recognize that costs are changing or that an item isn’t as profitable as you thought it was, take action. That might mean raising your prices, looking for ways to cut costs or even liquidating inventory before you take too big of a loss.

A Quick Look Back at SCOE 2013

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We’re back from Seattle with another SCOE under our belts. Throughout the rest of this week, I’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most exciting presentations, events and moments, but for today, here’s a quick rundown of the highlights.

The Big News– SCOE Philly!

If you haven’t heard, SCOE will be coming to Philly this fall, from September 19th-21st. Learn more at SCOE.biz/Philly and look for more announcements coming soon.

Can’t wait to see what kind of lineup of presenters and vendors Rhonda puts together! Will you be there?

Ioan’s Keynote Presentation

Italy International ExpansionSellerEngine founder, Ioan Mitrea, gave the keynote presentation on the first morning of SCOE 2013.

He talked about how and why Amazon sellers should take over the world.

Do you want to know more? If you’d like a sneak peek at the slides he posted, leave a comment on this post or on our Facebook page.

Vendorland

Vendorland was packed again this year. It was really exciting to see so many new companies showing off their products and services to Amazon sellers.

We saw old friends like Dean from DHL and made new ones, like Ordoro. We’ll try to get some of the vendors we met to share their thoughts on SCOE in the coming weeks.

Outstanding Presentations

When I wasn’t at the SellerEngine table, I did my best to take in a few presentations.

I was especially impressed by Cliff Ennico’s presentation on taxes and legal issues for advanced Amazon sellers. I don’t want to spoil too many of his secrets, but here are three things that stood out to me:

  • “The more fun something is, the less likely it is to be tax deductible.”
  • Don’t use Amazon’s commingled, stickerless inventory program.
  • Sales tax issues are still really confusing 🙂
I also enjoyed Kat Simpson’s presentation on why every Amazon seller should have an Ebay, store too! There are definitely a lot of Ebay tricks I wasn’t aware of.
It was great to see examples of Ebay stores that don’t look like Ebay stores! Like our good friend Charlene Anderson’s store.

Chris Green, of ScanPower, also gave a great presentation on the future of Amazon sales. If there’s one thing that I’ll take away from that presentation, it’s that EASY WINS. Whoever makes it easiest for customers to do something is going to have the biggest success!

I also liked his point that sellers should follow Amazon’s lead. For example, they’re not just expanding internationally because they’re bored. They know that there are opportunities to make money there!

SellerEngine No Swag!

I was really excited by how interested everyone was in our No Swag promotion. I’ll be tallying up the results and posting them later this week! I bet you all can’t wait to see how  much money the Feral Cats of Oregon will be getting!

What was your favorite part of SCOE 2013?

+Paul Cole

SCOE – Less than 2 Months Away

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This year’s edition of the Sellers’ Conference for Online Entrepreneurs (SCOE) is less than 2 months away.

It’ll be taking place at the Seattle Airport Marriott from May 30th to June 1st. It’s going to be the best place to connect with from hundreds of experienced Amazon, Etsy and Ebay experts, not to mention learn about products and services from dozens of outstanding vendors, including us here at SellerEngine.

The agenda is up and it’s looking great already! Check it out!

You’ll be able to demo Sellery, try out Profit Bandit and learn about how SellerEngine Services can help your business grow.

Ioan Mitrea, founder of SellerEngine Software will be giving the keynote address on International Growth Opportunities for Amazon Sellers. We’re looking forward to sharing with all of you how you can take advantage of Amazon’s commitment to global sales.

And if you’re ready to register for SCOE2013, use the discount code SELLERENGINE at checkout to receive $75 off.

Hope to see you there!

Top 5 Ways that Sellery Can Help Your Amazon Business Grow

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Sellery is the most powerful repricing software available for Amazon sellers today.

From truly customizable pricing rules and the ability to dynamically reprice any or all of your inventory to exporting data for further analysis, Sellery has lots of great features.

But while features are great, how does Sellery really HELP you? Let’s take a look:

Sellery

Sell More. Sell Globally

With Sellery, you’ll be able to list your inventory in any or all of the global Amazon venues that you sell on. From Japan to the United Kingdom, Canada to Spain, Sellery makes it easy to sell to customers around the globe.

Even if you sell in only one venue, you’ll see how Sellery can increase your sales and your profits. Want to learn more? Email sellery@sellerengine.com or Sign up for your free trial today.

Win the Buy Box.

Special repricing rules specifically target the buy box. You can adjust your price if you have the buy box, if Amazon has the buy box or if another seller has the buy box.

win the Buy Box

Don’t Sell too Low.

What’s a dynamic minimum price?

Sellery takes your item’s cost and estimates Amazon fees and shipping fees and calculates a minimum price that you shouldn’t sell below.

By using that minimum price as a “floor” in your repricing rules you know that you’ll always be making money. You’ll never sell an item for a penny. Unless you want to. Sellery will allow you to override that price, but you’ll get a stern warning before you do.

No more races to the bottom!

Research the Competition.

Use scheduled custom exports to research your competition. If your prices are governed by MAP agreements with suppliers, you can make sure that your competition is honoring them as well. You can see which of your products are also being sold by Amazon.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to how you can use a custom export to research the competition using Sellery.

Email the Sellery Help Team and they’ll be glad to tell you more.

Or call us! (503)451-6043.

Round the clock repricing.

This is my favorite feature. Sellery works all day and all night. You don’t have to be at your computer or even thinking about your prices.

Once you created your pricing rules and have everything configured, Sellery handles the rest. It can reprice up to 10,000 items per hour.

You’ll have more time to devote to your business. More time for researching new products, more time to go out and scout for merchandise, more time for organizing and filing and best of all, more time for enjoying your life.

So let’s get started today. Start using Sellery today — free for two weeks.

+Paul Cole

FBA Longterm Storage Fees on February 15th

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It’s that time again: Long-Term storage fees are going to be assessed on February 15th for items that have been in fulfillment centers for 365 days or longer.

If this is your first time dealing with Long-Term Storage Fees, here’s what you need to know:

  • You’ll be charged $22.50 per cubic foot occupied by items that have been in storage for over 365 days. Note: This is NOT $22.50 per item.
  • For each ASIN, one unit is exempt from the annual Long-Term Storage Fees if no units of that ASIN have been in a fulfillment center for less than 365 days.
  • Use the Inventory Health Report and Recommended Removal Report to identify the inventory that is likely to be assessed these fees.

For more information, review Amazon’s official help guide to FBA Long-Term Storage Fees.

These fees can really add up and affect your bottom line. So, what can you do? It might sound simple, but if you send Amazon less inventory than you can sell in a year, you’ll never see any Long-Term Storage Fees.

Other than planning and managing your supply chain more effectively in the future, you do have options to help minimize the fees that you’re facing now:

  • Discount – Many sellers discount inventory that’s about to assessed Long Term Storage Fees.
  • Removal – Don’t forget that you can recall inventory to avoid these fees. You can then merchant fulfill them, sell them through another channel, or donate them to charity.
  • Disposal – When the costs for a recall are too high, you can elect to have inventory destroyed.

Note: All removal and disposal orders must be placed before August 15th in order to avoid fees.

Top 5 Myths about Amazon Repricing Software

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Truth Behind Amazon Repricing Myths

Myth #1: Repricers only lower prices.

Fact: Sometimes I feel like “repricing” is a 4-letter word for many Amazon sellers.

At it’s core, repricing isn’t anything sinister or scary. It’s just the simple act of adjusting your price on an Amazon offer. Of course, when most sellers talk about “repricing” or “repricers” they mean automated tools, like Sellery or SellerEngine Plus.

The best repricing software programs don’t just lower prices. There are many situations where repricing software makes it easy to raise your prices:

Raising Prices with Repricers

Click to enlarge

Imagine if you made an extra 15% profit on every sale.

And what would your bottom line look like if you were able to make 10 more sales per day?

You can do this by lowering prices a few pennies and then raising prices again, as the competitive landscape evolves.

That’s just a taste of what’s possible by using automated repricing software!

Repricing software helps you to maximize the value of each sale and it helps you make sales that you didn’t even know you were missing.

Myth #2: I don’t have enough SKUs to bother with repricing software.

Fact: If you’re spending time, every day or even every week, tinkering with your items’ prices, that is time that can be better spent scouting for inventory or doing something else to grow your business.

And on top of the time you’ll save, with the right repricing rules, you’ll be making more money by using repricing software. With the right software, you’ll be able to reprice around the clock, even when you’re sleeping or on vacation.

And over time, as you grow your Amazon business, you’ll be glad that you set up your automatic repricing software sooner, rather than later!

Myth #3: Repricers can make sellers lose money.

Fact: The truth is that repricing software that isn’t configured properly can result in errors that cause you to lose money.

But in our experience, sellers who manually reprice their items can cause lost profits as well. How many times have you heard about a seller accidentally selling an item for $1.00 instead of $100? It’s just a little typo, but the costs to your business can be huge.

Sellery uses your cost, estimated shipping, Amazon fees and more to calculate a minimum price unique to each item. It acts as a lower limit that Sellery won’t price lower than, unless you specifically tell it to.

Sellery Warning You May Lose Money

And just as important as lower limits are repricing limits. Without them, you might end up with something like this, which was caused by repricing software without an upper limit:

outstanding prices on amazon

And while that might seem funny, remember that if a buyer came long looking to buy that book, the seller missed out on a sale. Using an automatic repricer that had an upper limit of 20 times the item’s original cost (or any other value) might’ve made the seller $100- $200 or even more.

Remember, a price that’s too high can be nearly as dangerous as one that’s too low.

Myth #4: I like to be in control and repricers do too much automatically.

Fact: Even automated repricing software programs like SellerEngine Plus and Sellery require you to take time to set them up. You’ll input your item costs, set upper and lower limits for your prices and create repricing rules specific to your business. These are the keys to successfully using repricing software.

In the time that it takes you to manually reprice all of your SKUs, you can talk to a member of the SellerEngine Help Team.

Tell them about your business, let them know your unique needs and learn how to set up pricing rules, strategies and schemas to reprice listings exactly the way you want them.

Myth #5: Repricers are why penny books exist.

Fact: Penny books are caused by a number of factors. The biggest is competition. If there are 100 sellers out there all trying to sell the same Stephen King book, you better believe that some of them are going to cut their prices to make sales.

Stephen King Penny Book

Some sellers of penny books will have warehouses big enough to let them make a few cents on a book (by cutting costs on shipping and packaging) as long as they can do it a few hundred (or a few thousand) times a day.

Then there are sellers who use penny books as a way to build up positive feedback, accepting a small loss as the cost of getting good feedback, which can be valuable over the long run as they sell items with higher returns and risks.

Penny books may also be sold by sellers who use their sales to market their own websites or other products to their buyers.

And then, don’t discount the sellers who just don’t know or care that they’re losing money, for whatever reason.

As one of the most knowledgable Amazon sellers I know says, “Not everyone is selling on Amazon for the same reason that you are.” You can’t know their motives or business just by seeing a paperback being sold for $.01.

Conclusion: The Truth about Amazon Repricing Software

Just like every tool that you use to run your Amazon business, from a pair of scissors to your laser printer, an automated repricer should make your life easier and should add value.

Remember that all automatic repricing software isn’t created equal. Repricing software is an investment of time and money and like any investment in your business, do your research. Find software that you’re comfortable with and commit the time needed to learn how to get the most out of it.

If you’re interested in learning more about SellerEngine Plus or Sellery, email support@sellerengine.com to learn how you can take our automated repricing software for a spin.

How are you using custom exports?

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We’ve just added a very exciting new feature in Sellery: Custom exports!

Go to Settings and look for the Exports item in the menu on the left hand side.

Exports

  1. Add a new export and give it a name to save it.
  2. Then select the data you’d like to see in this custom export. You can choose to export information about an item, your competition and more.
  3. Choose the smart list to export
  4. Click “export to file” and you’re done!

Custom Export Screen in Sellery

How can you use custom exports to your advantage?

  • Create exports of your listing and competition data that you can review and analyze in Excel.
  • Create exports that can be used to update stock on other sales channels, including in your web store, your brick and mortar shops and additional online marketplaces.

And even better will be the next feature that we’re working on: scheduled reports. You’ll be able to schedule your pick lists and sales snapshots to run automatically every day, every week or every month.

How are you going to use custom exports?

Don’t forget to like SellerEngine on Facebook!

Counting Down the 5 Most Popular Posts of 2012 – Essential Resources for Amazon Sellers

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Top 5 Posts of 2012

In April of this year, we launched the SellerEngine Blog and since then we’ve published 125 articles on the topics that matter to Amazon sellers. From shipping to help with our software to news about Amazon and everything in between.

Between now and the end of the year, we’re going to revisit 5 of our most popular articles and offer additional insights and updates.

Today we’re going to start with The Essential Resources for Amazon Sellers. If you haven’t checked it out in awhile you should!Check it here.

I originally created this page so sellers could easily find links to Amazon’s FBA Revenue Calculator and other official Amazon resources. Since then, however, I’ve been introduced to many other amazing resources, including Thrifting for Profit with Deb Conrad and Beth Sawickie and Janelle Elms’ OSI Rockstars and Ask Janelle Radio Show.

But there’s still plenty of room for improvement! Post your favorite Amazon links here and let me know what we’re still missing. I really want that page and this blog to become the best place to go when you’re looking for help with selling on Amazon.

Don’t forget to like SellerEngine on Facebook!