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Amazon Publishes Video Series To Help Sellers

March 5th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

How would you like to get advice from some of the top entrepreneurs in the world?  Well, Amazon has just published a series of short videos that does that.  Each approximately 2-minute video is billed as a Two-minute mentorship and they deliver.

The videos cover a variety of topics that sellers will find very helpful.  A few of the featured entrepreneurs include:

  • Mark Cuban from Shark Tank.
  • Arianna Huffiington (founder of The Huffington Post – now owned by AOL).
  • Tim Ferris (Author of The 4-hour Work Week).
  • Amy Cuddy (Harvard lecturer and author of Presence).
  • Angela Duckworth ( University of Penn Professor and author of Grit).
  • Plus six more.

I watched the entire series (takes less than 20 minutes) and found it full of good ideas that I can use in my business and many of the videos were very inspirational as well.  Click here to see the entire series.


Learn to sell on Amazon with The Complete Amazon Marketing System by Skip McGrath.  The Complete Amazon Marketing System has been our best-selling course for the past ten years, and has the lowest return rate of any product we sell.

Tips for Growing Your Online Business in 2019

March 4th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

Luck can only take you so far

If you want to grow your business consistently, you have to take things into your own hands. There is only one force that can make you fail and that force is you. Let’s look at some tips that can help you strengthen and grow your business in the face of any adversity the market can throw at you.

1. Take Risks – All businesses are inherently risky. You will never grow or prosper if you only take small safe risks. Don’t go crazy –it’s always good to be prudent, but there is just no way to succeed in business without taking risks. And once you take a risk, stand behind it. Don’t go all wimpy too soon. I have made buying decisions that at first looked very shaky – only to eventually pan out and become very profitable. Just try and avoid taking any one or two large risks that could totally decimate you if they did not work out.  (If I lose a few hundred –or even a thousand dollars –I can survive that.  But if I were to lose $10,00 or more on a single venture, I may not be able to recover from that.

2. Love What You Do and Do What You Love – If you are selling something online that you just don’t care about, take a look at doing something else. I try and find products to sell that are fun and relate to my tastes and experiences. That is one of the reasons we sell cookware, cutlery, kitchen gadgets and gourmet food. I love to cook and those are things that I enjoy so it’s fun to shop for them and write about them. I always test new products out for myself first to be sure of the quality and value.

3. Get Help With Taxes – The new tax bill took effect in 2018.  If you haven’t done it yet, this is the year to incorporate or form an LLC. Once you do that, find a CPA and sit down with him or her and learn some strategies to reduce your taxes. Last year I learned to fix one small mistake I had been making for years that caused me to overpay my taxes. Just this year alone it will save me over $1400. Over the last five years I have overpaid almost $5000 because of that.

I now use My Corporation to form corporations and LLCs (and I did my will with them also). I used to recommend Legal Zoom who you hear advertised all over the radio and TV, but two of my readers complained of delays, bad customer service and constant attempts to upsell them.  So I now  work exclusively with My Corporation  for most of my legal needs (including trademarks).

4. Manage Not Just Your Time But Your Goals as Well – Having a plan and setting some goals will help you get through the year profitably. The key to setting goals is that they must be both measurable and achievable. A general goal such as “I am going to increase my inventory this year” may sound good, but how do you measure it. But if you say, “I am going to double my inventory this year,” that is something you can measure at several points along the way. You would constantly monitor your inventory numbers to make sure they are always increasing and you are on track to double your inventory in any given month.

As for time management – goal setting works here too. I make a list of everything that is important for me to accomplish at the beginning of the week. Then I prioritize the list. I put the things I dislike doing the most, at the top of the list (such as paying bills). By getting those out of the way first, the rest of the week goes smoothly and I usually accomplish 100% of what I set out to do that week.

5. Go Multi-Channel – If you are still selling on just one venue, that is a huge risk. Not only are all your eggs in one basket, you are missing a huge part of the market for your goods. Folks who shop mostly on eBay are different than those who traditionally shop on Amazon, but they buy many of the same things. Why would you want to ignore one group of people, when the one thing they have in common is green? And today, many people are using Walmart.com

6. Avoid Negative Influences – Negative influences can be anything from friends and family to stories or blog posts you read. I get email from people who tell me they read a message board post from several eBay sellers who said it’s impossible to make money on   Amazon today. Well if you think that way, then it will come true. In the meantime folks like me, who don’t bother reading that drivel, are quietly making nice sums of money –and yes we are doing it on Amazon too, as well as other sites.

Most importantly, avoid negative people. There will always be people who have no imagination or self-confidence and believe the world has stacked the deck against him or her.

When those people talk to me I smile politely and let it go right over my head. The last thing you want to do is argue with them. And unless they are your close relatives, just avoid them in the future. This is your business. You are in charge and you are responsible for the outcome. And that means if it fails –it is your fault –not the fault of big corporations, eBay, the government, zombies or some unseen outside force that had it in for you.

7. Be Excruciatingly Honest – the best way to be honest is very simple:

Do not lie, cheat or steal and don’t associate with people who do.

This is one of those policies that is good to follow in both your business and personal life. It will cost you money occasionally, but in the long run with pay huge dividends that far exceed any losses you suffered.

8. Be Generous With Your Customers – Offering a no-questions-asked money back guarantee and a liberal return policy may sound risky, but it’s not. Yes, you will have the occasional person who takes advantage of you, but in the long run you will make far more money because people will trust you and want to buy from you.

9. Work Hard –There really is no substitute for hard work. There is no such thing as a business that runs on autopilot –that only works from boats and airplanes, and even then you have to turn it off when you dock or land. Karen and I work very hard at our business. The important words in that sentence are “our business.” It’s all ours. We take full responsibility for it and we enjoy the fruits of our successes. Between us we put in about 100 to 120 hours a week. That sounds like a lot, but we don’t have to commute, we don’t have a boss, and we decide when to take a coffee break, go on vacation, or when to buy a new office chair.

Now that you have read this you realize there were no specific “how-to” tips to improve your sell through rate, but general tips that will help you build a successful and profitable business. The other advantage of following this advice is that you will be happier –I guarantee it!_____________________

Learn to sell on Amazon with The Complete Amazon Marketing System by Skip McGrath.  The Complete Amazon Marketing System has been our best-selling course for the past ten years, and has the lowest return rate of any product we sell.

Sourcing Products to Sell on eBay or Amazon

March 3rd, 2019 by Skip McGrath

One of the hardest tasks every online seller faces is making smart buying decisions. It’s fairly easy to find wholesale sources (I list dozens here in my blog), but how do you decide specifically what to buy?

What are some of the factors that go into making a buying decision? I used to sell on both eBay and Amazon, but today I only use Amazon, yet I find that information learned about a product on one site will often translate to the other site. That is not 100% reliable, but works about 90% of the time. Here are some of the things I consider when I am evaluating products:

  • Sales Rank on Amazon
  • Sell through rate on eBay (For eBay sellers)
  • Average Selling Price
  • Amazon FBA Price
  • Amazon Buy Box Price
  • Competition
  • How much margin I will earn after fees
  • Size and weight of the item – is it easy to ship – will it incur oversize charges

Let’s look at each one of these:

Sales Rank on Amazon –  Remember – the lower the sales rank, the higher it ranks in the category. For example, a sales rank of 25,000 is much better than 100,000

Sales rank can be deceptive, but it is still worth looking at. Sales rank is more a function of recency than it is of where a product ranks overall. Getting just one sale will cause a product to jump very high in sales rank. If none of those products had sold in several months and then one sells today, the sales rank may jump from 300,000 to 40,000. When you see products without any sales rank that means none of them have sold yet. Nevertheless when you see a very high sales rank (i.e. low number) that is usually a good sign.

Sales rank can be vastly different by category. If a book has a sales rank of 250,000, that isn’t that bad considering there are millions of books on Amazon. But if you were selling sewing machines and your machine has a sales rank of 40,000 in arts, craft and sewing, that would not be that good as that category probably has less than 50,000 items.

Sell Through Rate (STR) on eBay – Another name for this is the conversion rate but both terms mean the same thing. STR is a much better indicator that a sales rank on Amazon. If you see something with a good sell through rate on eBay it will sell well on eBay and probably on Amazon as well.

STR is nothing more than the percentage of listings for an identical item that sell. For example, if you look at a 30-day period on eBay and see an item where there were 24 listings and 10 sales then the STR is 41%. It somewhat depends on the product and how many listing there are, but I consider an STR above 30% to be workable.

There are two ways to determine the STR for a product. One method is to do a completed items search on eBay. The other, and probably the better way is to use a research service like Terapeak. Terapeak not only tells you the STR, it will also show you the average and highest and lowest price for an item, the keywords people use to search for an item.  Terapeak has an app that works with a smart phone, so you can use it while out shopping or at a trade show.

Average Selling Price – Average selling price is important as that is what you will usually receive. Yes, occasionally you will get higher  prices for an item, and I try to do that with several selling strategies, but over time, most of us will probably realize the average price, so I want to know what that is. Again , Terapeak can help you find that price. Terapeak gives you eBay data, but I have found that 90% of the time that is pretty close to Amazon except for FBA items.

FBA Price – This is the price sellers realize who sell with the Amazon FBA program. FBA sellers realize higher prices than seller who merchant fulfill. Since I am an FBA seller, I want to know that price. The best pricing data for FBA is a free smart phone application called Amazon Seller App It not only tells you the price, it also shows you the competition and how much the item will net after Amazon fees.

Competition – this is possibly the most important criteria. The greater the competition the lower the prices. And if selling on Amazon, you want to know if Amazon itself is one of your competitors. I do sell a few things where I compete with Amazon, but in general I look for products where the competitors are other sellers. Since I am an FBA seller, the most attractive products are ones that all of the competitors are merchant fulfilled sellers.

How much margin I will earn after fees? – The nice thing about selling online is that you have a lot less overhead than a store does. This means you can operate on lower margins than brick and mortar retailers. Ideally I like to make 50% after fees, but that only happens on a few of my products. 20% is a more realistic goal to shoot for and probably closer to the norm for eBay and Amazon sellers.

Size and weight of the item – Is it easy to ship? Will it incur oversize shipping charges? Does it require special packaging materials? Does it exceed Amazon’s standards for a standard sized item, which incur higher handling fees? Those are the questions you want to ask yourself about shipping. Amazon has a box limit of 50 pounds to ship using their carriers. Personally I don’t like schlepping heavy boxes so I try and stick with 25 pounds.

This is by no means a complete list, but it does encompass the most important values to consider when selecting products to sell. Don’t worry; if this looks complicated its really not and with a little experience you will be able to make these determinations quickly, but you have to get that experience first. And yes, even though you are very careful, and examine all of these criteria, you will make mistakes. I have been doing this for over 16 years now and still make mistakes -just not as many as I did early on. In my early days, I bought a collection of Furbys about 6 months after the fad was over. That one hurt!

Sourcing Liquidation Products Profitably & Safely

March 2nd, 2019 by Skip McGrath

Sourcing Liquidation Products Profitably & Safely

Sourcing and selling liquidation products can be highly profitable –or something that can sting your pocketbook. The key is avoiding the pitfalls. Let’s start with some definitions first.

Liquidation products go by several names. You will see them called surplusoverstock and closeout – they all mean the same thing. So when I use any one of these words it refers to all of them.

Types of Liquidation Products:

  • Shelf pulls – this is new unsold merchandise that was pulled from the retailer’s shelf and sold to a liquidator. These are the best type of goods for resale. They may have been pulled because they would not sell, or because a new model came out, or for seasonal reasons to make room for new stock. Shelf pulls often have the store’s price tags attached – but some retailers remove them before selling to a liquidator.
  • Refurbished or Re-manufactured – these are products that were returned by a customer usually under warranty. The factory fixes the product and runs it through their QC procedure, boxes it and sells it as new/refurbished They usually come with a full or partial factory warranty.
  • Seconds – Seconds are sold into the liquidation market by the manufacturers or importers. These are products that have a flaw of some type. It could be cosmetic, or in the case of clothing the flaw is usually in an inconspicuous area. You tend to see a lot of these types of goods at flea markets although I have seen them occasionally on eBay and/or Amazon. I once bought an expensive electric smoker from a manufacturer that had a small scratch on the side. Normal retail was $695 and I got it for $200 including free shipping. I used it for two years, cleaned it up and sold it as used on eBay for $245.00 + shipping.
  • Returns – This is the worst type of merchandise to buy. Returns can happen for a lot of reasons. It may have been something simple such as the wrong color or size which you can deal with easily But usually, it’s something more serious such as the product was broken or defective. Returns are typically sold by the pallet load. The problem is you have to take the bad with the good and you have no way of knowing what you are getting. Personally, I never buy returns.

Now that you understand the various types of products, you can go shopping. Liquidators come in all sizes. Companies such as Liquidation.com and Via Trading are huge operations that sell millions of dollars per year; Both of them are used by eBay and Amazon sellers. Then there are smaller more specialized companies such as United Apparel Liquidators – a company that sells clothing to many eBay & Amazon sellers.

If you want to find more liquidators, just do a Google search for the terms liquidator, overstock or closeout dealer. There is a web site where lots of closeout dealers are listed – It is www.closeoutcentral.com. However, remember this is a website where any dealer can advertise – so be careful. Before ordering, don’t hesitate to call the liquidator on the phone and ask them questions about the goods you want to buy. If they sound at all scammy, then take a pass and look elsewhere.  I also like to Google their name and see if there are any scam reports online.

The other issue that can bite you is shipping charges. This is one of the biggest complaints about deals on Liquidation.com. You can find some fabulous deals on Liquidation.com, but there are a few sellers who low ball the merchandise price and then overcharge you for shipping. Liquidation.com   has some plans to deal with this including guaranteed shipping rates but you should check with them to be sure these are in effect.

No matter which company you buy from, pay attention to shipping costs. There are liquidators all over the country. I tend to buy from those located close to me to cut down on shipping costs. If you live in California, it doesn’t really make sense to buy from a closeout dealer in New Jersey and pay to ship something clear across the country.

The other thing to be aware of is counterfeit merchandise. If you see famous brand names being sold as overstock, they are often fakes that find their way into the less scrupulous overstock dealers who sell them as shelf pulls, when in reality the just landed from China last week.

Lastly – this is an industry where “caveat emptor”  (Latin for buyer beware) really applies. Be careful. You can find great deals and make a lot of money selling liquidation products, but you can also get stung. I would not invest a large sum in any one deal until you get some experience with smaller deals. That way if something does go wrong, you are not out a large amount of money.

Now that you have read this you are probably thinking, that sounds way too risky to me. It is, but as long as you deal with established companies you are far less likely to have a problem –and the profit potential is phenomenal. I have bought liquidation products that I can mark up 200% to 300% and the sold really quickly. Recently I bought a small lot of CRTK  (I am an approved seller of that brand) knives for $9 each that I am selling on Amazon for $34.95, which is $10 under what the other dealers are selling that same knife. So I can sell them quickly and still make good money.

Another thing to be careful with are buying restricted brands.  I use a service called Check Permission that tells me if an item can be sold on Amazon.

So go ahead and dip your toe into the liquidation market –but just take it slow and small at first.


Learn to sell on Amazon with The Complete Amazon Marketing System by Skip McGrath.  The Complete Amazon Marketing System has been our best-selling course for the past ten years, and has the lowest return rate of any product we sell.


Amazon 3rd Party Sellers Did very well in 2018

March 1st, 2019 by Skip McGrath

I am often asked if Amazon is too crowded, or if the opportunity is over.  That is clearly not the case.  Look at these numbers:

Last year, small- and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon (that’s us folks)  were responsible for creating  more than 900,000 jobs worldwide. Nearly 200,000 sellers exceeded $100,000/year in sales, and more than 50,000 exceeded $500,000/year.  The number of small and medium-sized businesses eclipsing $1 million in sales in Amazon’s stores worldwide grew by 20 percent in 2018.

Nick Denissen, Vice President for Amazon said. “Since we opened our shelves to third-party sellers in 2001, small and medium-sized businesses have been an integral part of Amazon’s DNA.”  Third party sales by sellers like you and me now account for more sales than Amazon’s own direct sales.

I know Amazon can appear highly competitive at times, but I have been selling on Amazon since 2006 (20-years) and my sales have increased each year except one, 2008 the year of the big recession.  Even that year we made a decent profit but it was much lower than the previous year.

Amazon also reported that during the 2018 holiday season, Amazon  sales by small and medium-sized businesses outpaced its own retail business sales in Amazon’s stores worldwide.


Learn to sell on Amazon with The Complete Amazon Marketing System by Skip McGrath.  The Complete Amazon Marketing System has been our best-selling course for the past ten years, and has the lowest return rate of any product we sell.

Are You Being Scammed or Harassed By Amazon Buyers?

February 26th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

Are You Being Scammed or Harassed By Amazon Buyers?

You don’t hear much about this but eBay is not the only place with scammy buyers. Amazon has them too. The single, most simple, scam is when someone buys something and decides for no good reason they don’t want it. So they fill out a return request on Amazon and state the item was “defective.” That way Amazon pays the return shipping and charges it back to you. But there are other more nefarious scams as well. And, some are just plain weird buyers. Or, if you are merchant fulfilling, you will have to provide the refund.

One of my readers, Susan M., had a couple of interesting experiences with both.

“In the past 2 weeks I have had horrible experiences with buyer’s trying to get “freebies” or “gifts” as I like to say by scamming me in one way, or another. Now, being a seasoned seller, not much surprises me but I feel buyers are more clever and creative in finding ways to outsmart even the most experienced sellers.

Last week an Amazon buyer told me his item was not delivered. He said he lives in South Carolina but the item was delivered to Maryland. Sure enough I looked at the tracking for the parcel and it did indicate that although it passed through SC and was scanned there, it eventually ended up in MD.

I took time out of my busy life to call the post office in SC and they agreed it had been there and were unsure why it ended up in MD. I then went a step further to call the supervisor in MD, where it was delivered. He informed me there was a forwarding order on file; the item had been forwarded to MD and then delivered to the forwarded address. I then called the SC post office back and gave her the name of the buyer, who looked up the address and confirmed for me there was a current forwarding order on file.

I, of course, wrote back to the buyer telling him all this and he was probably surprised I went through this much trouble but NEVER heard back from him. Now, of course, I wait for negative feedback.

I have had several buyers tell me their item was scanned as delivered but they did not get it. This is a difficult situation as they still can leave a negative even though the USPS scanned the item as delivered.

I have had buyers tell me the item I sold to them was the incorrect item but the box was labeled correctly, again asking them to request a return, only to never hear from them.

And I am saving the best for last. I have several distributorships for cosmetic companies who I deal directly with. I am familiar with all of the products and know the account reps well. These are highly researched products that I would use myself. I take care to make sure they are cruelty free and 100% vegan products.

I had sold a sealed lip balm to one Amazon buyer. The total cost of the balm was $3.99! She writes me days after she receives it to say it was past its expiration date and had mold on it and smells rancid. I immediately ask her to send it back to me for inspection by the company rep, who is in an uproar when I tell her what the customer said to me.

I ask her to go through Amazon return but the buyer is demanding I send her a self-address, stamped envelope, which I do for fear this may escalate to something more than just an accusation. At this point, I tell her that we can find no evidence of moldy balm in our possession and that my rep had opened up several tubes at the warehouse and they were pristine. I offer to send her another balm even before the other is returned to me and she tells me that it is a birthday gift for her niece — why would she open a sealed balm to give to her niece as a gift??? I also noted the balm going to a college dormitory!

Fortunately, I had another of the same balm in my inventory bearing the same lot number, again it being sealed. Both she and I are opening up balms randomly trying to duplicate what the customer is saying to no avail. Everything is perfect. Weeks later and I mean weeks (possibly 3-4) I get the balm back in the mail. When I open the envelope I can see it is ruined with balm smashed all over the outside of the tube and inside as well. There is absolutely no evidence of mold or rancid odor on the balm itself. Nothing is unusual about it except that it is totally ruined by being smashed into something.

Literally moments after I receive the item, I get an email from the customer saying her records reflect that I have it in my possession and she is demanding a FULL refund, which, of course, I give to her. Now, I ask what is the point of all this? At first, I thought she just might be looking for a gift, but this truly goes far beyond what most buyers would try to get some freebies. I have yet to decide what she had gained by all of this — maybe it was a game in her mind to feel powerful?

I know sellers love to complain about eBay but honestly I have had few problems with scamming buyers on eBay, possibly b/c my feedback reflects a larger number than my Amazon feedback. It is very difficult to get Amazon to remove feedback for any reason, so if my attempt fails by asking a buyer, I am pretty much stuck with the negatives.

Negative feedback hurts sales — we all know it — and I take great pains to avoid it whenever the fault is mine. I will go above and beyond what is necessary to correct a problem if it is my error but simply will NOT tolerate a scam from a buyer looking for freebies to resell or worse yet a competitor looking to ruin another seller’s reputation.

Have a great evening and it has been a pleasure reading your newsletters! Keep up the great work!

Sue M.”

Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay’s Mojo Back

February 22nd, 2019 by Skip McGrath


Letter from a buyer could hold key to eBay’s recovery

A letter from an eBay buyer to a seller about his eBay purchase is making the Internet verklempt and may hold the key to helping eBay get its mojo back.  This letter has gone viral to thousands of eBay members.
Read the full story here

Wholesale Sources for eBay & Amazon Sellers

February 21st, 2019 by Skip McGrath

Wholesale Sources

Remember; many wholesalers do not want the general public to see their wholesale pricing.  So they will often send you to a retail site or a website with no pricing.  When you see that, do two things:  First, look for a link to register for a wholesale account, and if you don’t see that, then use the Contact Us form to request wholesale Information.

Second Nature by Hand company sells a large line of wall décor. towels, paper goods, and apparel.

CWI Gifts offers a complete line of gifts and candles.  They have cash & carry warehouses in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Columbus, Oh., but they also sell online.

Cross Roads Candles also sells a complete line of candles

Blossom Bucket is another large candle supplier

CTW Home Collection sells a large line of gifts and home décor products

Steel Heart, Ltd. sells a large line of steel bells in rustic designs.

Dollar Days:  Sold by the case, but priced by the truckload. No minimums! Goods sold at warehouse prices.  NOTE:  Dollar Days products make great bundles. Good stock of back to school items

Lockum was recently awarded U.S. patents on all of their locking license plate and registration tag security frames.  Lockum frames are made in the USA of light weight ever lasting aluminum.

Detti Originals makes Crystal jewelry – hand crafted in the USA & guaranteed. They also offer personalized names, sayings, designs.

Creswell Sock Mills wholesales socks that are  Made in the USA. They are manufactures and distributors of top quality wholesale socks for all types of markets. From Tube socks to Diabetic socks.

El Cheapo Posters is technically a retailer but they advertise as ‘wholesale to the public.’ Their website offers a small line of unique posters at great wholesale prices – lower than most others.  They sell in very limited quantities

Tiny Human Supply Co.   Every product purchased from them feeds a hungry child one meal!  None of their products contain any Sulfates, Phthalates, Parabens, Artificial Fragrances, Dyes or Petrolatum!

Gadikat makes and sells high-quality diaper bags. They announced they are expanding their product line with MORE Gadikat products launching this year.

Patti Boo Baby Items Inc. offers custom embroidery screen-print and wholesale items including dickies, onesies. creeper, polos hats jackets and more

Price Lowered $30 on Complete Amazon Marketing System

February 20th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

  • Are you thinking about selling on Amazon, but don’t know how?
  •  Do you want to sell online, but aren’t sure where to start?
  •  Do you sell on eBay now and are wondering about making the move to Amazon? 

The Complete Amazon Marketing System

Whether you want to start a full-time business, or just make a little extra money, this course is for you. As our business grew, we took notes. We noticed what worked and what didn’t. We found the tools, the information and gained the know-how to successfully sell on Amazon. Now we’re sharing what we’ve learned.

Unlike many information sellers who write books, but never do anything –we actually sell on Amazon every day. The Complete Amazon System is nothing more than us showing you what works and how to do it.

The Complete Amazon Marketing System is a two-volume printed training manual over 350 pages long mailed to you the same day you purchase.  My course also includes several training videos and 19 excellent bonus items – many just updated or published this year

My wife and I began selling on eBay in 1999. In 2006 we started selling on Amazon, and in 2010 we moved full-time into Amazon’s FBA program.

FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon. Unlike eBay sellers, or Amazon merchant sellers, who have to ship all their products when they sell, FBA sellers ship their products in bulk to Amazon. When the item sells, Amazon ships it to the customer and handles all the communications, tracking, customer service and they even handle the returns.

I recently lowered the price by $30.  Click here to read about the whole course.

Why Register as a Professional Seller on Amazon?

February 16th, 2019 by Skip McGrath


There are several benefits to doing this.  Let’s look at the main ones:

  1. For individual sellers, Amazon charges you 15% Selling commission (on most products) plus 99¢ per sale. The fee to become a professional seller is $39.95 per month, but as a Pro Seller you are only charged 15% –and not the extra 99¢. Therefore, if you sell 40 items per month or more, you will save money on fees. (Unless you plan to make at least 40 sales per month -you should not be wasting your time selling on Amazon).
  2. Professional Sellers are allowed to create listings for products that are not currently being sold on Amazon. You can also create product bundles, (Creating your own listings will help you reach those 40 sales per month more quickly).
  3. Amazon has several restricted categories. You must apply to sell in these –clothing, shoes, jewelry and auto accessories are just a few. You must be a Pro Seller to apply to sell in these categories.
  4. Pro Sellers can Manage inventory using feeds, spreadsheets, and reports
  5. Pro Sellers can take advantage of Promotions, gift services, and other special listing features
  6. Pro-Sellers can use the automatic repricing tool
  7. Pro Sellers can customize shipping rates instead of having to use the rate Amazon gives you
  8. Pro Sellers can sell in the U.S., Canada or Mexico
  9. Here is the most important one: Only Professional Sellers are eligible for listing placement in the Buy Box. This is critical because over 78% of all Amazon sales originate in the buy box.

Buyer Scams eBay for $300,000+

February 15th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

I get emails all the time from sellers who have been screwed by eBay –or by a customer, and eBay will do nothing to help.

Well, recently, eBay got a taste of their own medicine to the tune of over $300,000.

It seems that a buyer discovered a glitch or hack that allowed him to reuse the gift card multiple times

The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper has the complete story.  Click here to read all about it.

Another Way to Learn How to Sell on Amazon

February 15th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

Product Review

I just had an opportunity to review a new Amazon Selling Course.  It’s called FBA Stars.

Their basic claim is “Learn How to Find $30,000 A MONTH in Products to Sell on Amazon in just weeks with the FBA Stars Course!” and when I thoroughly reviewed the course they seem to deliver on that promise.

The Amazon FBA Stars Course is a simple, step-by-step, over-the-shoulder program for people who want to create a better lifestyle and live happier by starting an Amazon business faster than you ever thought possible!

Let me say right up front, the course is a little expensive, but it consists of 50 short modules and includes one-on-one support.  The author also offers a “no-questions-asked, 30-day money back guarantee.

Here are just a few of the topics covered:

    •     Check If Your Product Will Make Profits
    •    Test Your Product & Profits
    •    Samples & Product Development
    •     – Key Factors to get Your Product To First Page!
    •    –  Giveaways that Build your Business
    •    –  PPC Campaigns That Convert To Profits
    •    –  How to Get Product Reviews Quickly

As I said —those are just a few of the modules (there are 50 altogether).  But, don’t worry, each module only takes a few minutes

And here are some of the personal services you receive:

  • One-To-One Email Support
  • Direct Access to Vik JC + Personal Responses
  • 48 Hour Response Time (Normally 24 Hours)
  • Unlimited Access for 3 Full Months to Support You
  • A private FBA Stars Facebook community where you can get help and share information

Who is behind this course?  His name is Vik JC and here is some information about him:

  • Creator of the Product Research Course & the Amazon FBA Stars Course
  • Global Amazon Selling Expert
  • Launched 10 new and successful products across the US, UK & Europe!
  • Quit the 9 – 5 job by starting a profitable business selling on Amazon FBA
  • Traveled for months to destinations including: Brazil, Morocco, Portugal, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt & Malaysia to name a few!!
  • Coached & mentored clients to launching successful, profitable products on Amazon
  • Loves ice-cream and cookies way too much!

So I strongly suggest you take a look at FBA Stars

Skip McGrath

Is eBay About to Ban Using Amazon FBA to Fulfill Orders

February 14th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

eBay already prohibits listing an item on eBay then purchasing the item with your Amazon Prime Account so you get free 2-day shipping.  When you do this the eBay buyer gets a gift receipt from Amazon in the box and when this happens they often get upset and complain to eBay as well as leaving you a negative feedback.

Many sellers (including me until recently) list items on eBay and use the Amazon fulfillment service to ship the product to the eBay buyer.

This still allowed by eBay as long as you are shipping your own inventory.

However, eBay Australia has recently banned the practice, leaving many sellers to think it’s just a matter of time until eBay U.S. does this here as well.  If this occurs, it will mean the end of services such as Joelister.com  and using Amazon to create fulfillment orders.

Setting up eCommerce Websites with WordPress

February 13th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

I always get questions about setting up eCommerce websites.  Two of the resources I always recommend are Site Build It and Wix. Both of them are excellent resources for setting up an eCommerce website.  But there is another option to consider –and it’s free!  Although, you will have to pay about $5 month for hosting, as you would with any website.

Most of you are familiar with WordPress as the standard for creating blogs.  But most people don’t know that you can also set up a fully functional and very attractive eCommerce website with WordPress (as well as excellent Amazon affiliate websites  See my book on How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate).

You may need some help setting up your first one, but once you do, it’s very easy to maintain with minimum technical skills and easy to replicate.  And best of all, the WordPress installation program is free.  If you set up a WordPress site, your only costs will be your monthly hosting.

My Webmaster, Marsha Perry, besides being an excellent Webmaster, is also an expert on building, maintaining and running WordPress Blogs and eCommerce websites built on the WordPress platform.  Marsha is also the author of WordPress Website Owner’s Manual 2018: The Illustrated User’s Guide for WordPress Websites and Blogs

Marsha charges a competitive hourly rate, but she works so much faster than other webmasters I have used, that I find I have saved a lot of money over the years by using her services.   The other thing I like about Marsha is she is the only Webmaster I have worked with over the years who actually took the time to understand my business.  She is always coming up with suggestions and catches things that I just have not thought of.

If you are interested in any of Marsha’s services, go to her Blog, Perry Internet Consulting, sign up for her free newsletter and that will also get you the free handbook.  If you want to speak with Marsha about doing work for you, just use the contact form on her website and Marsha will set up a free consultation phone call with you.

Another option is to find a designer on one of the many freelance sites such as Fivver.com.

Is eBay About to Ban Using Amazon FBA to Fulfill Orders

February 10th, 2019 by Skip McGrath

question for online sellers

eBay already prohibits listing an item on eBay then purchasing the item with your Amazon Prime Account so you get free 2-day shipping.  When you do this, the eBay buyer gets a gift receipt from Amazon in the box, and when that happens they often get upset and complain to eBay as well as leaving you a negative feedback.

Many sellers (including me until recently) list items on eBay and use the Amazon fulfillment service to ship the product to the eBay buyer.

This still allowed by eBay as long as you are shipping your own inventory.  However, eBay Australia has recently banned the practice leaving many sellers to think it’s just a matter of time until eBay U.S. does this here as well.

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