Why You Should Be Using 3rd Party Shipping Sites When Selling On E Commerce Websites

In this post,  I hope to pull back the curtain and reveal why you need to be using a 3rd party shipping service for all your online selling. I haven’t been doing this until very recently and to be honest, it was a lack of knowledge and not seeing the hidden big picture. 

After I explain the concept, I will then show an example of how I am using it myself.

I will be the first to admit that I have left a lot of money on the table in my years of online selling and I know many sellers that use 3rd party shipping websites but I never connected the dots ( and nobody went of their way to explain it to me) 

There are several services you can use to ship your online sales with besides the built in shipping of say Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Mercari, etc. If you have ever had to ship something you have sold from say eBay for example on USPS, you know it is a pain to do all the copying and pasting of the address and then going back and putting in the required tracking code.  Most of these sites do it automatically for you. 

I  personally have been using Pirateship for eBay and Etsy orders and but I haven’t taken the time to set up Shipstation for Amazon yet ( it would cover eBay and Etsy too).

To be honest, the reason I have been using Pirateship for eBay and Esty is that they offer cubic shipping for USPS Priority. ( Amazon already offers that in their shipping console) and that saves you tons in shipping cost. 

Cubic shipping can be a massive savings for you. If you go through the Pirateship training, they show you have to maximize your savings. 

So that is a big benefit, that is not really the real reason you should be using Pirateship ( or any other service like Shipstation)  

It is about cashflow! 

So let’s say you make a sale on Ebay and you go through their shipping. 

First the money from the sale is already in your Paypal account ( this is a big advantage over sites like Amazon and Etsy) but when you buy the shipping, that cost is withdrawn from your Paypal. 

So you have less capital to work with. 

Say the sale was $100 and you spent $20 on shipping.  You now have only $80 at your disposal to reinvest into inventory. 

Now if you use the 3rd party shipping service, the cost of shipping will be charged to your credit card and you can use the money for free for the 30 day billing cycle. ( This is a very important concept to pick up)  

So for example, I know an Amazon seller that does most MF ( Merchant Fulfilled ) and during Q4 , ships upwards to 500 packages a day via a 3rd party shipping website. 

Now with Amazon the effect of using free money is sort of the same except with 2 week payouts, the numbers can get very large if you realize the scale of say 500 packages a day.  

If you ship through Amazon, they will take that out of your payment. 

Now if you use the 3rd party shipping, it is all being charged to a credit card and depending on the billing cycle, you can use the credit cards money for free for at least 2 weeks ( which could be huge during Q4) and maybe longer ( or bite the bullet and make a minimum credit card payment for a month or 2 and have a lot more capital to work with during that time) 

Well that is all fine and dandy, but I just sell FBA you say. 

Well the guy I am referring to sells Prime, Seller Fulfilled Prime that is and if you understand how all this works, cash flow is very important when you can source and have your products up and available “prime” in the same day. 

So none this honestly applies to me. I do utilize the cubic shipping of Pirateship but I don’t really need to worry about the cash flow.  I never seem to get maxed out and run out of funds, but this next part is why I need to use the 3rd party shipping websites. 

That same seller I am referring to, seems to disappear each year after Q4 and travels a lot. I see him making almost weekly weekend trips all around the US on top of other bigger trips.

This is the thing that took awhile to click in for me. How was he doing all that traveling? 

Well the quick answer is credit card points. 

He uses a Southwest rewards card for all his 3rd party shipping. 

So some quick math. 1 Southwest point is worth about $.015, which doesn’t sound like much but let’s say he pays $10 shipping on each package and is shipping 500 packages a day. 

That works out to $75 a day worth of free flight money. ( you could also do the same thing with a cash back credit card) 

So this is what I wanted to do and didn’t know how to do it.

So here is the real world example of how I am using the credit credit reward from all my shipping expenses

I did sit through a credit card reward session at a FBA seller conference and was totally lost on all this stuff ( I think it was for advance people, not newbies) 

Finally my son explained the whole Southwest companion pass thing to me ( this is what you want) 

So you get a companion pass which basically allows someone to fly free with you ( it is actually like $11 round trip in fees but basically free).

To get this companion pass, you need to earn 125,000 points in a year. This is what got me confused. I was thinking that meant I had to spend $125,000 on the credit card and that is some serious spending on a credit card for most people. 

So this is not how it works. 

If you sign up for a personal credit card with Southwest, after you spend $1k ( in 3 months), you get 40,000 points ( plus the 1000 points for the $1k of spending) Now I got a bonus of 50k points for $2k of spending  for signing up via an inflight offer. 

These point will go to your Rapid Rewards account. 

Next you open a Southwest business card. This gives you a 70k point bonus after spending $5k.  ( so 75k points after your spend) 

These both go on the same Rapid Reward account.

With the bonus offers, it really doesn’t take much spending at all to reach the companion pass level since 110k or 120k is from the bonuses.  There are a few tricks to make it even better. If you start this in January and say you reach the 125K level in July, you get the rest of that year and the whole following year for the companion pass.

So this is how the Amazon seller I know  travels all over the place ( for free at that) . He charges all his shipping to his credit card which gives him points and he has the companion pass for his wife, so they fly free. 

As you can see, I have been missing out on getting all this free travel ( and paying full price for the airfare I have been using) simply because I hadn’t signed up for this program ( I had the shipping spend but it wasn’t counting for anything) 

There are multiple other ways to benefit from the spend you have for shipping with the various credit card offers but you will not receive any of that if you just use the shipping service provided but the e commerce sites you sell on.  

 

How To Source Walmart When RA Is Dead: A Case Study

I want to give an example of that thought process/techniques used to source a picked over Walmart and how to make money on a product that has too many other sellers ( and some hidden problems)

I start my sourcing with my laptop while sitting my LazyBoy. I use Brickseek to see what has gone on clearance at several Walmarts in the area.

I saw these phones with a sales rank of #24 in cordless phones. That means they are flying off the shelves at Amazon. They are selling for $24ish Prime, so without any app, I know that these are profitable ( probably at least $8-$12 profit each), so I want all I can get at $5.

Now you can’t always depend on Brickseek quantities being accurate. Sometimes stuff sells before you get there. Other times in is in the back/lost/stolen. You will find certain stores are almost right on the money and some are always off big time.

So here is what the AZ Sellers app says we can make on these

So I found these in the clearance section at Walmart.

 

As you can see, the price on the shelf says $15. This is why the competition has left them on the shelf ( about $2 profit on $15)

So I know that Brickseek says they are only $5 but I am not going to try to a price check scanner ( halfway across the store and a waste to time)

So I pull the Walmart and use the built in scanner to do a quick price check, which verifies that they are $5.

So this appears to be a good deal and a good product, but did you spot the problems?

You are probably saying that here are 94 sellers. Well that would be a problem is it wasn’t for it being ranked #24.

What real problem is that there is only 1 FBA seller ( Amazon). Now while the apps doesn’t say it is hazmat, I can almost guarantee these are or there would be some other FBA sellers. You are asking for nothing but trouble sending these into the warehouse.

Well crap. Do we just toss them back onto the shelf?
Nope! Not at #24 sales rank. We can MF these.

So FBA price is $24ish, so we need to be able to sell at a price low enough to get people to buy MF instead of FBA from Amazon.

My first thought is that in need to be like $2 or so less and at $22ish we can still make money. ( with free shipping)

These will fit in a Priority Padded envelope, so that is about $7.50.

So quick math in the store. $5 buy cost, $7.50 shipping and probably $2 fees, gives about $15 and if we sell for $23, we are looking at about $8 profit on a $5 investment.

Here are the actual fees/revenue

As you can see, I am fairly close. We obviously would make more FBA but I don’t want risk sending these in to the warehouse ( plus inbound shipping). I think these will quickly sell MF and still make a good profit.

Some would ask why free shipping or say “you will pay less fees if you price lower and charge more for shipping”. Well it doesn’t make that much difference on the fees to worry about and you will sell more and faster with free shipping. The real trick here is that it will fit into the Priority padded envelope which sort of limits our maximum postage cost. ( I would much rather it be First Class but these were a little too heavy)

My results?

I listed these MF and sold out in a few hours.

Another thing to consider is that these went on clearance all across the country at Walmart and there may be a ton of them coming into the warehouses ( if I am wrong about them being hazmat). This will drive the price down in a race to the bottom. The $12 might turn into a loss or break even thing ( yes I would love to make $12 instead of $8 but with 100 sellers on a product, I see it going down not up)

I have found that in the new selling environment on Amazon, you can make more selling fast or holding for a long period of time before sending into AZ. Once the herd sends all theirs in, you get stuck selling for a loss/break even or holding in the AZ warehouse for way too long and have long term storage fee issues.

So basically on these Walmart nationwide clearances, you have to either sell really quick ( either MF or get them in to FBA quickly and price to sell) or stick them on a shelf and hold for 6 months to a year.

****Hint, there were several stores that still have these for $24.40, so I have them marked as a “local alert” in Brickseek and will be alerted when the price drops, which I expect will be $15 at first and then $5 again

 

 

How To Source Video Games At Walmart Bins For Non Gaming Old Dudes (Or Dudettes)

So I haven’t played video games since Atari ( Atari 2600 , well actually we had the Sears version).

My kids grew up playing video games but I couldn’t tell you what they played, so I am really in the dark when it comes to being knowledgeable about video games.

What I do know, is that the there is a ton of money to be made from selling video games on Amazon and eBay. I have sold games in the past but never regularly.

In this post, I want to show how to find the deals in the bin of video games that seem to be at every Walmart.

So there never seems to be any price tags on these games, but here is the secret : There are all sorts of deals to be had in these bins if you take the time to look through them, but more importantly the techniques I will show can make you tons of money even if you have lots of competition in your area.

The angle is simple. Most resellers are going to pass on scanning anything that doesn’t have a price on it ( or a price on the shelf for it) .

Most people aren’t going to take the products to the price check scanner station to check every product ( remember, time is money).  I know I personally wouldn’t do that.

So what are we to do?

Simple. Not everyone knows this but the Walmart app actually has a scanner built in that you can scan a product and will give you the price at that particular store.

Basically this is just like having the price checker scanner right in your hands.

***Hint, sometimes the lowest clearance price sticker isn’t the lowest price. You can sometimes find the price is lower and has been left on the shelf by other resellers. You can find this out with the Walmart app scanner.

So when I see this big bin of unpriced video games, I have no clue on what is worth something, so I have to do some old school scanning.

My approach is to use the Amazon Seller app to scan the video games. Sometimes the bin is sort of neatly packed so that you can sort of have a system to work through the box, sometimes it isn’t so easy.

So you have to have some sort of minimum selling price to investigate more and I generally use the $15 price point. The video game needs to be selling for more than $15 on Amazon or it gets tossed  back into the pile.

The common discounted prices are usually $3, $5, $7, $9 and $11, so the $15 baseline really only works on the $3 and $5, but you have to have something to sort with.

****** If you get a $.03 price, that is the code for them to destroy the product. My suggestion is to take that through self checkout or they won’t sell it to you. Sometimes you might get lucky taking it through a regular checkout but why chance it?

So once we find a video game that is selling over $15 on Amazon, then we switch to the Walmart app and scan it to see what the price is. Now this is a numbers game and most games will still be too high to make a profit ( I personally am looking for probably 70% + profit on the games but will take 50% if it is a very low sales rank)

Speaking of sale rank, what are we looking for?  Well that depends. In general, I am grabbing anything 5k ish and under. ( heck up to 10k doesn’t really worry me) Now if I see 25k or more, I might want to see why.  It could be that there just isn’t much supply or some crazy high priced ones on Amazon. This also depend on how much the profit is. First I am not going to waste a lot of time if it isn’t a very profitable game. Second it depends on the cost of the game. I am more willing to take a chance with a $3 game than say a $11 game. Also the number of copies I can buy.  I don’t want 25 copies of a 50k game but a copy or 2 is ok.

Now some pointer here:

First, you need to remember what you have scanned already.  There is no use in rescanning 10 copies of the same game. This goes for both good one and bad ones. If you see you have a copy in your cart, then just toss anymore of them you find into your cart.

Do be cautious because the same game on a different platform doesn’t mean they are both worth as much. On one platform it may be really valuable and the other platform it may be worthless.

So basically you just work your way through the bin like this. Not everything gets scanned with the Amazon seller app because if it was already a dud, you don’t rescan it and if it is already a winner, you don’t rescan it, you just toss it in your cart. So very few of the games need to be scanned with the Walmart app.

**** Hint, just because you wouldn’t send a video to Amazon with a slightly torn wrapper, doesn’t mean you can’t sell it on eBay, so don’t just automatically toss it back into the bin.

So now that you have all the valuable videos out of the Walmart bin, this isn’t the end of making money.  Having this games with the UPC codes available is like gold because we are going to us them to find more copies at other Walmarts.

***** Hint, this is actually the biggest takeaway you should get from this post ( that is if you don’t already know this)

For this, we are going to use Brickseek. When I am processing my shipments, I sign into my Brickseek account and us my hand scanner to scan in the UPC code.

Now this isn’t exactly the best time to be sourcing since I am busy processing, so I actually just take a casual glance at the results but I then I just add it to my local alerts so that it is saved back and I can come back and look at it later.

If you aren’t a Brickseek subscriber, you can simply open at Notepad document and if you scan the UPC, it should print it in the document. You could then add a quick note.

Hint***** You should be doing this with everything you source from Walmart!

Also if you are in the small Facebook group chats of other AZ sellers like I am in, then that is something you would share sometimes. That is how good relationship get formed and how you all make more money.  ( just don’t go posting stuff like this in public Facebook groups because it will tank your prices)

So this is the simple process I use to source video games from the Walmart bins.  

 

How To Use The Built In Amazon Repricer To Make More Money And Ditch The High Priced 3rd Party Repricers

Different sellers have different opinions of the Amazon repricer. I have used paid repricers before and they are good. I currently only use the Amazon repricer because I find that if you know how to set it up, it works pretty good.

The biggest falsehood that I see sellers make is that the AZ repricer takes your price straight to your minimum. I have seen it happen but that was due to other sellers repricing at $.01 below the Buy Box, starting the race to the bottom. But even that isn’t an instant thing as others suggest.

As a disclaimer, since we are using a repricer there is one rule that has to be followed throughout this training:

You should be willing to sell at your minimum price (hopefully you sell higher).

If other sellers will sell below your minimum, let them and don’t keep lowering your minimum.

The second falsehood is the the AZ repricer won’t raise your price. I have seen it raise mine hundreds of times. If you have it set to match the Buy Box and another seller rotates into the Buy Box at $2 higher, your price will raise $2 (if it is below your Max price). This is easiestly seen on a listing that has very few sellers. If there are 10 sellers all at the Buy Box price, you will probably never see it happen.

price history.png

If you click the Price History, you will see a report like this

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As you can see in this example, the price does raise.

This can also be an issue if you become the only seller on a product. Many times it goes to your Max price (happens a lot with books). Sometimes you need to go back and look at listings that aren’t selling. You may find that this has happened (don’t set your max at say $500 for everything).

Other sellers you talk with will tell you I am totally wrong but this has been my experience (an experience that I have heard from other sellers that I work with) and how I have seen it work. I believe many of those sellers that disagree didn’t have their settings set right. (which is why this training was created).

The biggest drawback I have found from the AZ repricer is that it doesn’t show you return/fees like other repricers do. I will actually have 2 tabs open when I am setting the repricer. One for my active inventory (to see the fees and I have my MSKU coded to let me know my buy cost) and the automate pricing tab.

Basically I am doing math in my head to come up with my minimum price and the maximum price I set a few dollars higher than my current price (depends on the product).

I do a custom MSKU that has the price built in.

Example: 2wm617 or 2wm617ex010118

It this example my price is $2, bought from Walmart in June 2017 (and the longer one is expires on 01/01/18).

Many sellers use some sort of variation of this. Not only is this useful when repricing, but it is great for Box Level inventory when you have expiration dates and helpful when looking at long term storage.

So for a quick example I will use the MSKU above. I have my active inventory open and I see from the MSKU that I have $2 in the product and AZ fees are $7. I know my breakeven is around $9, so I might set my minimum price at $11.

I might be able to sell this for $15 but I have to be willing to sell at the $11 mark if I use the repricer.

Always know your numbers no matter what system or method you are using.

One other quick tip. Price your products like 15% higher than the buy box when sending them in. If the price raises while shipping it, you won’t sell at price lower than the current buy box. After the products are in and start showing up as available, then go in and set up your repricer.

How To Access The Repricer

If you have never seen or used the AZ repricer, you can find it in Seller Central under the Pricing tab. Just click the Automate Pricing tab.

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Here is a good video from Amazon on how to use the access and use the repricer.

Why Use The Repricer

First, you should see a spike in sales if you haven’t used a repricer before (depends on your buy cost and settings). Staying at or near the buy box just increases your sales (generally reduces your ROI) and takes emotion out of pricing.

Second, you may reprice to dump products. You could just price at rock bottom prices manually but if you use the repricer, you hope to make sales on the way down and earn a little extra even if you are dumping.

I am wording this one funny because I am guilty of this and I am just “suggesting” what you can/could do.

Third, I (you can) use it for mischievous reasons. Sometimes I (you) want to cause other sellers to lower their prices and sell out of stock so that I (you) can sell mine at a higher price. If I (you) start the race to the bottom, I (you) can sort of see what other sellers are doing. I (you) might see their minimum prices, which I ( you) might choose to price at later or choose to stay just under.

I (you) might set off the race to the bottom to be able to buy out other sellers. If I (you) see that a seller has their repricer set to be the lowest seller no matter what, I (you) could start repricer at an odd hour ( like 4 AM) and drop their price super low, I (you) could do this manually too and buy out the seller while they are asleep (this usually only works on FBA sellers).

It is not uncommon for me to run the repricer and then turn it off when I hit my minimum and manually raise my price back to where I started or higher.

Other words, I (you) can be the seller others hate.

Repricing Recipes

You can and you should have several “repricing recipes”. I will be showing some of mine, but the most important thing to remember is that you need to think through what the recipe is doing. For example: if you are a FBA seller, you normally only want to price against FBA sellers.

The one that gets most people is when there is no Buy Box. If you are telling the repricer to price against that and there isn’t one, then you aren’t repricing.

(The simple work around is to set it to Lowest price, Only offers with same fulfillment method.)

The Ingredients Of The Recipes

First we have to decide what we are going to compare to. We have 2 choices. Buy Box price and Lowest price

compare choices.png

Most of the time FBA sellers are interested in comparing to the Buy Box price since FBA products sell better and at a higher price. 99% of the time as a FBA seller, you never want to compare to Merchant Fulfilled sellers since they sell a cheaper price and shipping plays into the mix.

You can choose to add Specific types of offers.

Your 2 choices here ( and you can choose both) are:

Only offer of the same fulfillment method

Only offers from 3rd party sellers

buy3.png

If you are a FBA seller, you can choose Only offer of the same fulfillment method, to compare to other FBA sellers. Many times if the MF is priced low enough, AZ will give the Buy Box to them. In this case, you wouldn’t want to start pricing against their price, so this is a good one to include in your recipe.

Your other choice is Only offers from 3rd party sellers. We all know that AZ will kill the price many times. By choosing this, you can ignore AZ’s lowball prices. (I used this in the long winded example above) You will want to use this on products that AZ pops in and out of stock.

The other choice is comparing to Lowest price. At first this seem like you wouldn’t want to mess with this one because of the MF sellers, but it is a very important option to have.

lowest.png

There are 4 other choices you can select and you can chose more than one.

Only offers witht the same or better sub-condition : I don’t use this one but I think it mostly applies to books. It doesn’t seem to make much difference for textbooks but might make more of a difference with regular books.

Only offers with the same fulfillment method: This one is huge. This is how you get around MF sellers.

Only Sellers with a feedback rating within 5% of yours, or higher: Again I don’t use this one and don’t see much use for except when the Chinese “just launched” MF sellers pop up at the super low scammer prices. (but with the same fulfillment method and FBA, this is not an issue).

Only offers from other third party sellers: This is a big one too. This can be used to keep you from chasing Amazon when they do their crazy, stupid pricing.

Next you have to choose what you want to do.

You can choose 3 things here.

Stay below the Buy Box (or Lowest Price) by a specified amount

Match the Buy Box (or Lowest price) price

Stay above the Buy Box (or Lowest Price) by a specified amount

On these choices you can either choose a $ amount or a %. People will have different views on this. The most common and most hated is the $.01 below sellers. While I hate these myself, there are times that you should use it.

I price $.01 below when I am dumping and I plan on crashing the price. I hope to sell on the way down before I hit the price I plan on dumping at.

Recipes

Suppressed Buy Box and Books

I use the Lowest price in combination with Only offer of the same fulfillment method for suppressed buy boxes and selling books. Selling FBA, my listing may be 3 or pages deep on the offers page when there are a bunch of 3rd party MF sellers, so I use this to be the first listing when a customer clicks the FBA only box (using the Stay below the Lowest Price by a specified amount and $.01) This drastically increases book sales.

Nothing but MF sellers

mf sellers.png

Move to the top spot for Prime offers

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During textbook season, you could use the Match the Lowest price if you think condition matters (with Only offer of the same fulfillment method), which might put in the top 1-5 spots depending on how AZ shows it (you have seen 5 sellers all at $29.99 and you could be the 5th seller in the list) .

Warning:

If you were to use the Stay above the Lowest Price by a specified amount , you would be constantly moving yourself away from the top spot. While this might work if you have a better condition book, it might cause you to never make a sale.

Similar to the above book sample, Lowest Price and Only offer of the same fulfillment method is the work around for suppressed Buy Boxes.

Read that again!

Actually I use the same recipe for both books and suppressed buy boxes. (well I don’t use that on books that have a used Buy Box. That is a different animal, which goes to show you need to consider every listing before just turning the repricer on everything).

Here is a suppressed buy box

supressed.png

This is the recipe I use

surpressed.png

This is where a lot of people go wrong. They are FBA sellers, automatically click compare to Buy Box and since there is no Buy Box, nothing happens. The Only offer of the same fulfillment method is what makes this work when you chose Lowest Price.

You could have a recipe that says to match the Buy Box only if Amazon doesn’t have the Buy Box or more likely Price below the Buy Box when Amazon runs out of stock. This would be great when there are a ton of sellers and you want to unload at the first opportunity.

Now in this case a 3rd party seller could price way below Amazon and they give the Buy Box up and your repricer starts to reprice. This is why having your minimum set right is important. Setting your minimum above the Amazon price but lower than all the FBA sellers would work.

Example Amazon is selling at $12.99. All the FBA sellers are around $24.99. You could set your repricer minimum at say $20 and set the repricer to only reprice say $.01 below the Buy Box if someone besides Amazon has the Buy Box.

In this case your price might be $24.99 with a minimum of $20 and a maximum of $27. At this point, Amazon has the Buy Box and your price just sits there at $24.99.

Now Amazon runs out of stock and the Buy Box goes to the 3rd party sellers at $24.99. You are then going to drive the price down to $20, one penny at time hoping to sell out before Amazon comes back in stock. Some will argue if this works. Many time it does, other times it doesn’t. There may be someone else (or several) that it willing go to to $16. You will be stopped out at $20.

Now say the price got to $17 and Amazon comes back in stock. Your price stays at $20 where you were stopped out at. The other sellers might still be priced at $17. This is why you need to review your prices and turn off/reset your repricer occasionally.

That was a long winded example, but the point was that you told the repricer to only reprice when a 3rd party seller had the Buy Box. It did until you hit your stop of the minimum price ($20). Then Amazon came back to the Buy Box and the repricer no longer has orders to reprice Now if something changed and Amazon gave the Buy Box back to a 3rd party seller and their price was $22, the repricer would change your price from the $20 to $21.99, which is $.01 below the Buy Box (like I say, many people will try to tell you that this doesn’t happen, but it does)

Match Buy Box

The most basic setting is to match the Buy Box. I use this setting when there are a lot of sellers on a listing and bunched up at the same price, specifically 4 or more sellers at the same price.

For example, there are 6 sellers at $12.99. If there isn’t a seller lower than $12.99, you can assume that no one has a setting for $.01 below Buy Box and the price shouldn’t crash from repricers going wild.

Use Match the buy box on a listing like this:

match.png

match buy box.png (If there are just a few sellers and the prices are spaced out you will want to use the Above Buy example shown)

I am basing these settings on the fact that I am an FBA only seller.

Simply select compare to Buy Box Price and Match the Buy Box price but make sure to select Only offers with the same fulfillment method

This keeps you from trying to match Merchant Fulfilled offers if they get the buy box. (based on you being a FBA seller)

If there is a Buy Box, you should rotate into it. If there is no Buy Box, this setting will not reprice anything (This will happen when the price is above MSRP)

Slow Walk Down

This example is how to undercut your competitors and slowly walk the price down $.01 at a time. The hope is to sell before you get to your minimum price. You are basing this on only FBA offers so a low priced Merchant Fulfilled seller won’t rush the price down.

If none of the other sellers are using a repricer, you will only go to $.01 under the low FBA price and it will stop repricing unless someone manually reprices.

Do note that this isn’t needed to get the ”Buy Box” but more of a “ I need to sell this a lot quicker than normal”. You will be the low priced FBA seller or you will hit your stop price and force other sellers to price below your stop price.

If you see that the other sellers go lower, you may want to watch the other sellers stock level and turn off the repricer and raise your price one they sell out. Then you might want to go to the Match Buy Box with the higher priced sellers.

This should also reveal what other sellers stop price or repricer setting are.

This is not a setting I like to use very often.

slow walk down.png

Choose the compare to Buy Box price , then choose Stay below the Buy Box price by a specified amount . The amount could be anything, but since I am trying to go slow, I put $.01. Then check the Specific type of offers and Only offers with the same fulfillment method which will only be looking at FBA offers and keep MF sellers from making the price drop to your minimum right out of the gate

Above Buy Box

This is based on the fact that the Buy Box isn’t always going to just the lowest priced offer. This works best if their are only a few sellers or sellers that are really spaced out in prices.

Don’t match the buy box on a listing like this. Price above the buy box:

above.png

In this case you can be within $.50 to $5 ( just random numbers) of the Buy Box instead of $.01-$.10 on more congested listings. You can set this to a %. If you feel that AZ rotates the Buy Box to seller with 3% of the Buy Box, then use that type of setting instead of a dollar amount.

BTW, these are listings you should strive to be on if they are good sellers. Other times these could be higher ranked listings that aren’t good to be on. Low number of sellers and a decent sales rate = great product to sell.

Caution!

I have 2 issues that I need to caution you about that could cause you major problems when using the repricer.

First, I have noticed that when you run out of a product and send more in, the repricer turns off and displays this message when the new stock lands into you inventory.

paused.png

It pauses the repricing and you have to click the Resume button.

If you are checking your repricer regularly, you will catch this but I have had times where I was lazy and know I missed sales because my repricer was off.

The second is a big one that you really, really, really need to watch.

If you have the repricer running on a product and for some reason decide (or accidentally) to manually change the price and the price you change it to is outside your MIN and MAX prices, you will cause the listing to on inactive and get a potential pricing error alert from Amazon. ( I am actually not sure if it has to be a price outside the MIN and MAX prices, to cause this to happen. I have never tested it)

You need to stop the repricing before manually changing the price but the other thing to watch is that you need to wait a while before manually changing the price. It takes a while before the system gets everything updated and you can still get a pricing error if the system hasn’t updated yet.

Also your MIN price is still set in the Amazon system and if you manually set the price below your MIN, you will get the pricing error.

Summary

Using the repricer is actually very simple, but you have to understand what each part of the “recipe” is doing. If you just click match Buy Box, you will have poor success with repricing.

If you have one takeaway from this, focus on the suppressed buy box/book settings. Most other sellers don’t understand this one.

The second thing is to go back and check your prices regularly. I have had lots of products that I was the only FBA seller left and my price moved to my MAX. In many cases I have the MAX set way too high. In this case I will turn the repricer off and manually set the price.

If you have made it this far, I am confident that you should be able to use the repricer better than 99% of all Amazon sellers.

Since this was written, a new Chrome extension has come available that will make the following information easier to implement.

Also this is not my extension, so I don’t know how long this will last, but as of now they do give a 7 day free trial, which might be good to test out what you learn in this book.

You can get the free 7 day trial here

https://www.amzrepricerenhanced.com/invite/06bfc14cc6

 

 

Q4 2018 Will Be THE Best Time Ever To Sell Toys On Amazon FBA


The perfect storm have been set in motion for Q4 2018 to be the best toy selling season ever!

But….if you want to really profit, you need to take care to handle this right.

What I am going to reveal here is a combination of rumors, information from my “ Walmart toy lady” and taking a guess at the “bigger picture”. None of this can be proven until either it happens or doesn’t happen but that is part of this business and forecasting the future.

Everything here is based on Toy R Us (TRU) going out of business but actually it started more on the rumors of Toys R Us going out of business and the chain of events that it set in motion.

For more than a year, there have been rumors of Toy R Us going out of business. The buyers in retail knew about this. It seems that Toys R Us was not able to pay suppliers. Big name suppliers like Lego, Jakks, Mattle.

This generally mean that the suppliers have issues paying their suppliers, so they don’t want to sell to the non payers, in this case Toys R Us. It is sort of hard to be a toy store without the big named toys on your shelves.

Anyway last year ( 2017 holiday season) Toys R Us basically was saying “If you don’t give us credit and send us toys to sell during Q4, we can’t pay what we owe you from last Q4” . Sort of a Catch 22.

So stores like Walmart knew this was going on. Well not the store itself but the buyers for the store, so they were projecting that the big toy suppliers wouldn’t extend credit to TRU and they thought that this would mean more business for say Walmart. Basically if you couldn’t get your Lego set at TRU, then you would buy it at Walmart, which means Walmart needed to order more toys than usual to meet the demand.

Pretty simple concept, but actually it isn’t that simple.

First, buyers actually order toys like this around Q4 of the year prior to the one coming up. So in Q4 2016 they were placing orders for Q4 2017.

So the buyers had to take a chance that the rumors were right and order way more toys than normal a year before they knew if TRU was going to go out of business ( or be limited on what brands would still work with them) .

The buyers from Walmart took the chance and ordered a lot more than normal.

This ended up being a mistake!

TRU didn’t go under before Q4 2017. They had shelves stock with toys wihich means that there was an oversupply of toys for the 2017 Q4 season.

Simple Economics took over and Walmart wasn’t able to sell all the extra toys they ordered.

Now according to my “Walmart toy lady”, these buyers get 3 strikes and they are out. They placed big orders and Walmart had to clearance out a lot of toys post Christmas.

Depending where are are, you may or may not have seen this. My local Walmart was stocked well on toys post Christmas and had CRAZY clearance prices to make room for the new stuff. ( all of which are currently tanked on AZ)

So imaging you are the Walmart buyer and you can see the numbers ( and you want to keep your job) . They were seeing that they overbought for Q4 2017 and Toys R Us hadn’t went out of business while they were placing orders for Q4 2018.

What do you think they did?

I would guess that they ordered way less for Q4 2018. Of course I can’t prove this but these buyers are smart people and want to keep their jobs.

So now we can roughly guess that other retailers all sort of did the same thing and all probably scaled back on what they ordered for Q4 2018.

Add into the mix that TRU just announced that they are going out of business, we could conclude that there will be shortage of toys Q4 2018.

Lower supply generally leads to higher prices ( simple Economics )

“Won’t resellers just buy all the toys from TRU and they supply will be there?”

Nope, at least not the average Amazon reseller.

Here is what most likely will happen:

TRU will have clearance sales, resellers will snatch up the same toys nationwide and send them into the Amazon warehouses. Then the race to the bottom will begin.

The “race to bottom” has intensified 10 fold recently do to a large number of new sellers and the change in Amazon storage fees. If you haven’t noticed this, lucky you, but I personally see RA has become a “Buy and store in my basement for 6-12 months” sort of business.

Let that last sentence soak in. That is my suggested game plan with the TRU clearance.

I understand that this takes capital and might not work for you ( sucks to be you) , but instead of buying and selling for 10% profit, breaking even or a loss, you should plan on buying and storing these toys ( and not storing them in Amazon warehouse)

What is the reasoning here?

First we know that there will be a lot of unknowledgeable resellers sending these toys in right during the summer and dumping them.

Second, each one of the companies that TRU owes money to have limited capital and they won’t be able to make as many of these toys ( further reducing the toys supply for Q4)

Third, older toys sell for more and a lot of these toys won’t be made anymore because the manufacturers have to focus on their new stuff because they don’t have enough capital to go around. In English these means that Amazon won’t be able to get the “old models” anymore and only 3rd party sellers will be selling it.

3rd party sellers selling discontinued toys equals high profits to those that can wait!

While this has a very good chance of happening, I won’t say every toy is worth buying and I would except the opposite to happen in Q4 2019 if there is a shortage this Q4 2018.

Also for the risk takers, the discounted TRU gift cards should tank before long because people want to get something out of them before they are worthless. If you can get discounted gift cards and add the clearance, you can just add to your final ROI.

***** Make sure you don’t get stuck with unused cards when they stop accepting them!

I would look for brands the maybe only TRU carried. They may not be able to get into the other big retailers and this would make them hard to find and might shot the prices up on Amazon.

Also you might play the AZ to AZ flip on the tanked toys. When all these toys get sent in and the price tanks during the summer, you might be able to buying right off of AZ 3rd party sellers for prices close to what in store clearance is when the sellers start freaking out.

Finally the biggest point is that if you just buy for a quick flip, then this isn’t going to be much of a money maker for you.  The real money will be made in Q4 2018.

AMZ Repricer Enhanced: The Chrome Extension That Provides The Missing Features To The Amazon Built In Repricer

Love repricers or hate repricers, as a Amazon FBA seller, repricers are a fact of life. Sellers may disagree on the use of a repricer and which one is best, but the one thing all sellers can agree on is that they don’t like paying for a repricer.

I for one was a doubter and avoided using one for a long time. I got a free trial of Bqool and my sales spiked for the first day or 2 ( this is very common if you have never used one).

I made several mistakes setting it up and probably didn’t actually get the full use of my free trial ( ok don’t laugh but I left the Max price out and guess what, it doesn’t work without a Max price)

I honestly wasn’t a fan of it and paying for the repricer wasn’t what I wanted to do ( and Amazon was rumored to be coming out with their own built in one, so I just went without until it was released.)

Immediately the Facebook groups had a ton of negative posts about the Amazon repricer. “It drops the price to you Minimum “, “It doesn’t price up”, etc.

( proof it prices up ^^^^^^)

To be honest, it sounded scary but I have learned not to trust what you hear in Facebook groups, so I decided to test it for myself.

The first big problem was that Amazon just built it and didn’t really provide much training on it. Seems like I saw a non public video or two on how to set it up but basically there wasn’t any real “training” for the theory of how to set it up or use it.

I spent some time learning how to make it do what everyone in the Facebook groups swore it couldn’t do ( basically they either just didn’t understand or were just so stuck in their beliefs that they would never change)

I did privately teach a few other FBA sellers how to use it but at some point my youngest son wanted to know how to use to to boost his sales and I basically wrote a little how to ebook for him.

I actually turned that little ebook into to a public ebook and released it.

https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Repricer-HACKS-Supercharge-Amazons-ebook/dp/B073VC75BN

It flopped!

Most people didn’t want hear that they were wasting $100 or $200 a month on a software that they didn’t need. I had people in Facebook groups telling me I was an idiot and a scam, but to be fair I did get several private messages telling me how it worked so good and thanks for sharing.

So while I still believe it is the best choice for small sellers or people that don’t like to waste money, there are some weakness to it.

In my ebook I sort of showed a work around for most of them ( multiple tabs, mental math, coded MSKUs, etc) but now there is a new Chrome extension called AMZRepricerEnhanced that actually adds in what was missing.

I believe the current price is $99 a year which compared to $100-$200 a month is a steal.

While I won’t repost everything I wrote in the ebook on how to set it up ( that would make a massive post) I want to go over what AMZRepricerEnhanced adds to the Amaozn built in repricer.

It adds the Buy Cost which is then used to figure out your profit ( or loss) . It is sort of like the Amazon fee calculator extension or fee calculator web page. This can be uploaded via a CSV or from Inventory Lab.

This is important. You need to know where you are at when you set your Minimum prices. In my case I was using a coded MSKU and some mental math to guess on this.

Then it has the Buy Box prices.

I was flipping between tabs trying to find this.

Then there is a Stats area. It gives your profit and how many you have in stock. Once again I would have had to flip among tabs to figure this out.

It does have a Tags section that while I personally probably wouldn’t use this, I am sure other people would especially if they have other people working for them.

In total, if you add these new features from the AMZRepricerEnhanced Chrome Extension, you now have basically everything that the $100-$200 repricers have, which puts good repricing in the hands of small Amazon sellers ( and frugal bigger sellers) for a very low price.

**** You still need to know how to use it, but here is a little secret for those that have read this far in the post. I have the ebook for sell on Amazon Kindle for $15.99 but I actually got a beta copy of the extension in exchange for allowing the AMZRepricerEnhanced people to give out a free copy of my ebook during the free 7 day trial that they offer.

So to sum it up, YES the Amazon repricer works just as good (or better than the costly repricers ( hint hint it repricers more often since it part of the AZ system) but it does have some features that are missing that would make it easier to use.

With that said, you still need to understand how to set it and you should sign up for the free 7 day trial to at least get my ebook for free ( actually I bet you stick with the extension too once you see a bump in sales) but if you aren’t using any repricer and choose to just do it manually as I show in my ebook, you should see a big boost in your sales.

 

How To Quickly Become Successful On The Merch By Amazon Platform

Getting a Merch By Amazon account ( if you don’t already have one) is thought to be like hitting the lottery. In theory you can basically put products ( t shirts) up on the largest retail website in the world (Amazon) that don’t cost you a dime ( if you make the designs yourself) and have Amazon promote and sell them 24/7 and send you a rolatity payment each month.

A no cost business model. I like the sounds of that ( and so does a LOT of other people). In fact, I jumped onto Merch right after it launched ( before it was hard to get an account) and I have sort of had an advantage over the late adopters.

I have been a FBA seller for several years but in 2017, I actually made more on Merch than I did from Amazon FBA ( not much more, but more none the less).

In this post, I want to lay out how someone new to Merch ( or has been unsuccessful) should proceed. I want to share some of the training I personally took ( I didn’t know jack about using design programs) and some of the best resources you should use.

Learn The Merch By Amazon Platform First

The first thing I would recommend is to take the Udemy course by Chris Green. I took the advanced one and if you know how Udemy works, you can almost always get the course for around $10-$11

https://www.udemy.com/merchbyamazon/learn/v4/overview

I would actually avoid the Merch Facebook groups because they are really big and full of people that are either whining about not having a Merch account or asking all the beginner questions. If you take Green’s course ( and actually watch ALL of the videos) , you will know everything you need to know about how Merch works.

At Least Know The Basics

“I just plan on buying all my designs”. Well that is fine and dandy, but you still should have a basic understanding of how to do basic things with the files and images.

Here is where I will deviate from the crowd. I like to use the free open source programs, GIMP and Inkscape instead of the Adobe programs ( Photoshop and Illustrator). It isn’t a money thing but more of a principal thing, but either will work fine, but don’t try to think using an iPhone or iPad app ( or the online editors) is the way to go. You need to learn a real program.

So I will say this first. You should learn a vector editing program. It is what artists and designers use, but with that said, I learned GIMP first. It is great for simple stuff like text but you really can’t draw/design with it.

The course I took was actually a book cover course on Udemy. All the same principles and a guy with a cool French accent

https://www.udemy.com/gimp-for-beginners/learn/v4/overview

Again this is probably a $10-$11 Udemy course.

Next you need to move up the food chain to a vector program that actually allows you to do some stuff.

The course I took was

https://www.udemy.com/udemy-master-inkscape-beginner-course-20162017-unofficial/learn/v4/overview

Again probably $10-$11 course

This is going to show you how the program works but not how to “design”.

Finally I suggest that you learn how people actually draw stuff ( trust me, once you understand vector, you will start making your own designs and/or start tearing designs apart and making “new” designs.)

This is another “accent” friendly teacher ( makes you feel like you went abroad to study art)

This is the course I took

https://www.udemy.com/learn-to-use-inkscape/learn/v4/

Again probably a $10-$11 Udemy course.

( while I have shown GIMP and Inkscape, I am sure that there are similar ( and probably more) for Photoshop and Illustrator)

Now here is the catch. You need to invest a little money ( we are up to maybe $50 right now) and more importantly, you need to invest TIME to learn both how Merch works and how to make designs.

Most people aren’t willing to do either and this is where they fail ( remember they were attracted to the “ no money invested” business model )

This is actually the biggest secret to success of Merch ( or anything ) is to invest in learning and find a source that has everything you need in one place ( you are wasting your time trying to piece together Youtube videos and blog posts trying learn how to do something. Just pay $10 to get the training all in one place.

So once again you are probably saying “ I will just hire it out”.

Guess what? I do have some design made for me but sometimes I need to change something in the design or I want to “boilerplate” the design.

Sometimes I get some elements made and then make multiple designs out of it.

And sometimes I simply can make it faster or better than hiring it out.

I can do this because I took the time to learn how to use the programs ( and I seriously couldn’t do anything when I first started ).

If you can’t do the basics, you will find that you will have a hard time with Merch.

Now For The Merch Designs

Now that you are able to function on the Merch platform and can handle the files/designs, now you need to learn how to actually put up designs that sell.

Once again, this is where people fail.

If your game plan is to copy all the best selling designs, you WILL fail or not have an account long.

“But everyone is doing it”

Yeah, I know. Heck I use to do it when I first started. ( Merch was a whole lot easier back then and a lot less regulated)

So what do I suggest?

Well there is one expert I have followed, Michael Essek.

He is some British dude that has been killing it on Merch and knows a whole lot more than I do, so that is what I am looking for.

Successful sellers and people know more than me that I can learn from.

Business ( and life) advice: If you are the smartest guy in the room, then you are in the wrong room.

Michael has a couple of books that will help you learn to be a better Merch seller.

https://gumroad.com/a/574272627

He has a private Facebook group as part the package ( remember, avoid the crowds of the big, free Facebook groups) and you can usually find him on some Merch podcasts.

Another resource ( and I consider this a little more on the advanced side) is a new “newsletter” from a Merch guru call Michael Essany.

This comes out each Monday and is only $10 a month.

The ideas you get here are really outside the box and timely. Every time I read it I have that OMG moment and it really sparks the ideas in me.

https://gumroad.com/a/230339699

Other Merch Tools

The number one service I use is Merchantwords. I use it daily to find the search volume on Amazon. It is $30 a month but if you Google, you can always find a code for $9 a month.

I saw the owner George Lawrence speak a couple years back at a conference and it has made a massive difference in my Merch sales.

( One thing I beg you not to do is keyword stuff. It doesn’t really do anything except confuse the Amazon algorithm )

I like to use this site to check the competition out. ( Merchinformer)

It is free and gives be a better idea of what I am up against.

To really super charge this, use the Chrome browser and add this extension, DS Amazon Quick View

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ds-amazon-quick-view/jkompbllimaoekaogchhkmkdogpkhojg?utm_source=chrome-app-launcher-info-dialog

This will show you all the sales ranks of the search results from Merchinformer

And finally you need a system to rank your shirts/get your first sale to keep them live.

I personally like to price a regular shirt at $14.99 ( $16.99 for premium) to get the first sale and then raise the price once it live. ( sometimes I will leave it for awhile to built the rank)

I use another Chrome extension to handle this called MerchTools.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/merchtools/cmhaijgncfpbbhfnieobpbadekcpjpol?utm_source=chrome-app-launcher-info-dialog

If you go to the Quick editor in it, you can sort shirts.

I sort via the price, so when I look at the $14.99 shirts, if I see a green checkmark, I will edit the price up ( I know that that shirt is “live” ( it has made at least 1 sale). This makes it very easy to use this system.

Conclusion

Merch is a great business to get into but most people think it is just easy money. Many just jump in and fail because they don’t take the time to educate themselves ( and definitely are afraid to invest in knowledge)

I to a different approach to Merch and it has paid off for me.

To sum it up referring to the post title, the quickest way to become successful at Merch is to do it right at first and educate yourself.

I will leave leave you with this.

I use to work in a steel mill before it shutdown. I was trying to work 30 years so I could a pension. ( and it really sucked working there)

I was able to make a passive monthly income from Merch in less than 1 year that more than surpassed what I would have gotten for 30 years of working in the steel mill!

Using Keepa Charts For Seasonal FBA Amazon To Amazon Online OA Flips

In this post, I am going to show you how to use the Keepa charts to buy products that are out of season ( February) and being dumped at a loss buy other FBA sellers that you can make a big profit on as the season comes back in,

I learned to do this by taking Stephen Snotherman’s Keepa Camel course and this is a product I noticed was on clearance a Walmart at the end of the summer (probably when all these FBA sellers bought it)

The product can be found here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1FQWPE.

I saw it on clearance for $3 at Walmart but as you will see, it doesn’t matter what the sellers bought it at ( “You never know other sellers COG”) but I can prove they are selling at a loss because I will show the Amazon fees.

And here is the fulfillment cost

So no matter what the sellers cost of goods were, they are selling for a minimum of a $.03 lost ( if they got it for free and not including inbound shipping)

In other words, this seller is clueless to what I am about to show you!

So as I write this, it is February and in most parts of the country there isn’t much demand for pool filters, so we need to look at the Keepa chart to see what these sell for in season.

Zooming into the summer months, we can see that the Buy Box price was $17 and the sales rank was 589, which is a crazy good sales rank.

Also notice that Amazon is not a seller of this product, which is even better!

So now we just need to run the fulfillment cost numbers

So at the $17 selling price we get a return of  $11.41. So we would take out the $4.01 which gives us a  $7.40 profit from a $4.01 item that sells sub 600 sales rank!

(At this writing, that seller has 162 units of these)

So based on the charts, there is a very high certainty that this will repeat itself ( everyone still need filters each year, it isn’t a fad).

So you can simply just buy out this seller and the others around the price ( thank you Mr. Seller for finding all of these at WM for us….)

But I would take it a step farther.

I would pick through this sellers store (and all the sellers that are around this price) to see what else he is dumping. I can almost guarantee that he is worried about long term storage fees and doesn’t know that even with  paying them, he can make a killing if he just holds until this summer.

We also know that they “probably” sources at WM, so you could find leads there too.

In summary, if you understand that some products are seasonal and understand how simple it is to read the Keepa charts ( again I would recommmend check out the Keepa Camel course) , you can easily source from “not as smart ” FBA sellers.

 

 

 

How To Sourcing College Textbooks Locally To Sell On Amazon FBA

Textbook season is a magical time and you can make a killing on Amazon if you know what you are doing.

The problem is getting a good source the current editions cheap enough to make a good profit on.

So in this post I show my secret for getting really valuable books for pennies on the dollar from motivated sellers ( broke college students heading home for breaks)

While being close to a college campus is nice, you can actually do this from anywhere in the country if you are willing to work at it and take some chances

I made a video that explains how to do all this ( way easier than trying to write a super long blog post)

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Amazon Trade In Program: Hack For Getting AZ Gift Cards For Amazon FBA Sourcing

Sometimes you don’t have to sell stuff to “make” money and in this post I want to show some techniques to use when you know something has value but are at loss to capitalize on it.

You can actually buy used stuff on Amazon. Primarily people know about books, but you can also get CD, DVDs, games, electronics and a whole bunch of other things ( nothing like Health and Beauty, Grocery, etc though)

Pro tip: If you are a RA sourcer, when you see beat up boxes, don’t automatically assume it is unsellable and not scan it. Check to see if it can be sold as used.

With that tip you might ask why bother with anything else that I am going to say next. Well, that is somewhat true but not always ( and there are reasons I will cover later)

Amazon Trade In Program

Amazon has a trade in program that gives Amazon credit ( just like gift cards). It shows up on certain product listings and says something like “ Trade in for $68.21 credit” .

They give you a free shipping label and will ship it back for free if they test if and it doesn’t work/meet requirements.

Generally you get immediate credit to spend on Amazon ( of course if they don’t accept it, they will charge that back to you credit card)

So far, so good.

Now the catch is that the UPC/ISBN needs to match up exactly. So you are going to need stuff with the original box/package.

Also they have a warehouse that test this stuff and sometimes they don’t get it right ( I have a Tivo that they said didn’t work and it worked when I plugged it in it worked just fine)

The trade in price is usually way less than the Used Amazon price or eBay price. ( once again, why bother with this then? )

Why Trade In To Amazon Instead Of Selling?

So if I can sell it for more, why would I bother with trading it in?

First, electronics, games, etc are the place where the scammers live and play. They know that they can order your product, take out the good one and replace it with their broken on, return it and Amazon or eBay will side with them 99% of the time.

So selling these type of items are somewhat dangerous to your bottom line when you have no control of refunds.

Second ( and I am not a tax guy or lawyer so this is not advice) but Amazon doesn’t send out 1099s ( you should always report any income on your taxes). I am not sure if gift card credits are considered income in the tax laws.

So let’s have an example. Say you can sell something for $140 used and after fees, you clear $100. Now say that you can trade it in for $90. Which is better? Well most people will say that $100 is better than $90 but say that you pay 20% taxes on your income. Now the $100 is actually $80. Now which is greater?

Take this a step farther, and say that you return $120 after fees and after taxes you clear about $100. Now the $100 is greater than the $80, which is true, but now you have to consider the risk. Say this is my Tivo and some guy has a Tivo and it is broke. He orders mine and does the swap out and gets a refund from Amazon. Now I am out say the $25 I spent for the Tivo and am at a loss now.

Now if I had traded the Tivo in and gotten $80 and the same guy buys the Tivo and does the swap out, that is Amazon problem and not mine. So is the $20 difference in the trade in vs. the selling used worth it?

Third, some items that I can’t sell on Amazon ( DVDs, CD) will actually trade in for more on Amazon than they sell for on eBay.

When I am at library book sales, I look through the DVDs specifically to trade into Amazon ( most other sellers skip these because they can’t sell DVDs)

Fourth and finally the biggest thing is that there is sort of an arbitrage opportunity with Amazon gift cards ( credit) that you can use if you are doing Amazon to Amazon flips ( AZ to AZ).

Disclaimer: These techniques aren’t for million dollar a year sellers, but more for part time, small time, cash strapped, etc seller.

Let’s go back to my example of the Tivo player. You can buy it for $25 at Walmart but the box is beat up and shelf worn, so you can’t sell it for $249 FBA New, but can sell it for $140 used like- new.

Now you have the option to sell it or trade it in for $80.

If you sell it, you might make $100 after fees but

A) have to worry about if it will be returned ( mine was)

B) The price may drop

C) You don’t know if/how long before it will sell. Figure a week at least to get it into the warehouse and then if it sells that day, up to 2 weeks before you get paid. Overall, probably at least 3 weeks to get $100.

Now if you trade it in, you will have the $80 credit today to spend on AZ to AZ flips.

So you forfeit $20 to avoid the risk and to get your profit today. ( not taking into account the tax due on the proceeds)

Will you be able to make more than the $20 in the next 3 weeks from your AZ to AZ flips with the $80 you have?

Repeatable?

So the guy with only $25 to his name could actually get some traction when he found the beat up box Tivo that all the other resellers past up on, but that is a one off and probably not repeatable, is it?

Well maybe, maybe not. It works great for that stuff you find at the thrift stores that you probably shouldn’t be selling as new ( pro tip: you better only source products from places that have UPC codes on the receipts/invoices and that is considered “new”)

Actually thrift store is a great place to use this technique to buy something for $7 and trade in for $70 like I did with this video game steering wheel.

But how can you or I do this more consistently ?

Well go to the biggest thrift store in the world:

eBay!

Actually there is a little bit we need to look at first.

(There is a video below that explains this a lot better)

If you look at the the discount gift card sites, Amazon cards usually only get about 1% discount. Honestly that is hardly worth the effort to go there and buy the cards if you are just spending a few hundred dollars or less.

So the game plan is this. We look for items that we can buy on eBay and trade in for more on Amazon to get the equivalent of a discounted Amazon gift card.

So here is a simple example:

You have $100 to source with and want to do some AZ to AZ flips, but instead you source from eBay and do the trade in with Amazon to have more than $100.

So you buy some DVDs from eBay. They are brand new, have a UPC code that is easy to confirm matches up with the required AZ UPC and then you do the trade in and have more money to do the AZ to AZ flips.

We buy 3 sets of DVD complete TV series for $100 and the trade in value is $120.

At first the $20 doesn’t sound like a lot for the hassel but let’s do the math.

If you take the $100 and divide it by the $120 ( 100/120= .83) you get 83, which means you are getting a 17% discounted Amazon gift card,

But wait, you go through eBates and get 2% cash back from the $100 you spent. So you are getting close to 19% bump on the products that you source on Amazon to do the flip.

So if you have a flip that would pay 30% and add the 19%, you are looking at 50% flip.

So it really can be looked at it as a way to bump up our ROI or in more simple terms, it allows you to buy more and make a little more. The end result is more money in your pocket.

You “made” $20 extra and then made the 30% ( $6) on the flip so you actually made $26. I know this doesn’t sound like a ton of money, but over the course of a year it can be a lot of extra money.

If you are trying to build a bankroll, after the first cycle without using this technique you would have $130 ( $100 plus the $30 profit) .

Using this technique, you would have $156. ( $100 plus the $30 plus the $26)

After several cycles, the 2 examples will really start to separate as the “extra” starts to earn more and more.

So How Do I Find These?

Nothing special is needed to find these. You look through eBay, have the AZ Trade In page open and do copy and paste of UPC/ISBN. Do this over and over until you find items that trade in for more than they cost

Now I am lazy and have a Chrome extension (eBay To Amazon Trade In)  that sort of make this easier and  I show how to do this ( and give a few more tips) in this video.