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Retail Arbitrage: April Holidays 2015

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

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Make sure that you take sometime this month planning out your long & short term retail arbitrage strategy. I know the very real temptation is there to be narrowly focused in this business. It is so easy to watch those monthly, weekly and daily sales numbers and lose track of the big picture. Typically when I’m out sourcing I am looking for product that I can buy now and sell now, but maybe this is not always the smartest approach. Wouldn’t it make sense, at least in some cases, to buy product now, when it is on clearance at rock-bottom prices and demand is low, hold, and sell it months down the road when the demand and prices are up?

When our Amazon selling business was founded a few years back, we needed to buy now and sell now to survive. I really needed to convince my wife that this whole online selling thing would work, which meant that I needed results, now!

Now that we have been selling online full-time, and there’s some stability to our business, we...

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Listing With Inventory Lab – Walk-through

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

illogo

Today I’m going to walk you through how to list items using the web-based program, Inventory Lab. Inventory Lab, in my opinion, blows it’s competition out of the water, and depending on when you are reading this, they will be releasing a fully-integrated re-pricing program soon. So, let’s get started:

First, Login to your I.L account:

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Type in your email address and password and then click on the blue Login button. Next, click on the “List” menu option at the top of the screen.

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On the “List” page you are going to want to start a “New Batch”, which is code for “New Shipment”. If you already started a shipment and you would like to continue working on it, you’ll see all of your active shipments on the left hand side of the screen (the shipment name and then the number of items in the gray little oval).

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Next, a pop-up window will appear and you’ll have some options. The Batch Name is the name of your...

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Are You Ready to Take on an Apprentice?

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

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Once you’ve successfully set up some streams of passive income you all-of-a-sudden find that you have some free time on your hands. I find myself in that very situation, which means I have options.

I can spend all of this extra time in a variety of ways; spending more time with my family, traveling, working on coaching material, investing time into a worthwhile hobby, donating time and energy to a non-profit and the list goes on and on and on. Traditionally when a business man or woman reaches the season in life where they can step back from the daily workings of their business, they decide to take on mentors. This seems like an intriguing proposition.

As a home-school dad I’m well aware that families that are educating their children in a non-traditional way are looking to give their kids practical life skills without having to institutionalize them. There are countless home-schooled teens that are looking for apprentice opportunities, maybe our Amazon selling...

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What’s a Good Number of Books to Have in Your Amazon Inventory?

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

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I hear the question all of the time “How many books will I need to have in inventory in order to turn a nice, consistent profit?”, and it’s a great question.

The goal for most online booksellers, at least from my perspective, is that they want to stock their book inventory to a certain level, get a nice predictable stream of income and then spend their time maintaining that inventory level.

Or, they want to set some tangible milestones for their business, they want to know what they should be aiming for in regards to a decent sized inventory. When will they be able to finally stop rolling all of the profits back into new inventory and take a little of the profits out of the business for themselves?

In an effort to help you through this goal setting process I have decided to pull the curtain back on my business so that you can see where we stand according to the numbers. Here are our sales figures in the book category for the month of June 2015:

BSJune

In the month of...

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Why in the World Would Target Turn Away Perfectly Good Business by Banning Resellers?

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

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We started selling, full-time on Amazon in January 2013. I remember our first major Retail arbitrage trip very well. We went to the local Target and started scanning all of the clearance Toys. I remember that at this time most of them had hit 50% off, which was really exciting. As we checked out ScanPower app we were very excited with what we were finding. All-in-all we filled 3 shopping carts to the brim with toys and proceeded to the checkout.

This was an epic failure by-the-way. Little did we know, the data that we were looking at was still the heavily inflated pre-Christmas info. Price and Rank on most items, especially in the Toy category can be affected by the Christmas rush. Plus, 50% off is good, but not as good as 75% off. If we would have waited, like apparently most of our online competition did, for the price to drop another 25% we may have been able to sell this stuff for a profit, fast.

A few weeks after our stuff got to Amazon the price tanked on the majority of our...

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May 2015 Retail Arbitrage Strategy

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

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Retail Arbitrage May 2015

US Holidays and Sales:
May Day (May 1st)
Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)
National Teachers Day (May 6th)
VE Day WWII (May 8th)
Mother’s Day (May 10th)
Memorial Day (May 25th)
Victotria Day (Canada, May 25th)

Mother’s Day is probably the most important holiday this month (from a retail arbitrage perspective, and for so many other reasons!). This year it falls on Sunday the 10th, and if you haven’t already been making preparations you may have missed your opportunity this year. On Monday the 11th store will begin discounting all of their Mother’s Day merchandise, so it would be good to be mindful of these sales. You could either buy Mother’s Day specific items and hold them to till next year (CamelCamelCamel.com is helpful in understanding an items sales history over the years), or for those items that are not stamped “Mother’s Day” you may be able to buy and sell now (which is ideal).

According to the National Retail...

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Why Slow and Steady Wins the Amazon Selling Race

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016
TORTOISE AND HARE ON TRACK

Slow & Steady

It’s important to be patient in a restless online selling world.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and it feels more and more competitive on Amazon then it ever has. In 2013 it seemed like I never paid attention to how many sellers were on a particular listing when I was out sourcing for product, because it generally didn’t matter, but now things have changed in a big way. It seemed like the traditional Amazon listing in the Toy Category (which is where we made most of our sales), had between 20-35 sellers, tops. But now when I come across popular toy listings that the number of offers is often times more than doubled.

Having more sellers vying for the next Amazon customer can have big implications on price. This morning I was playing around with an online tool called the “Wayback Machine”. It’s a free website that lets you look back in time on the internet. To help illustrate the point that there are more Amazon sellers in...

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Three Reasons Why I Don’t Have My Workers Sign Non-Compete Agreements

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

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Danny Cuevas(on our Profit Sourcing Social Facebook Group) asked, “Do you have your independent contractors sign a non-compete agreement?”

No, we don’t have our people sign non-compete agreements. A non-compete clause/agreement (NCC) is “a term used in contract law under which one party (usually an employee) agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession or trade in competition against another party (usually the employer)”. One of the big fears that most online sellers have, when it comes to hiring help, is that all of the secrets of their business will be exposed, and could potentially be used against them. What would stop a new worker from starting their own company, following our same business model? Both our Retail-Sourcers and our Book-Sourcers have access to a lot of profitable information, shouldn’t we be worried?

First off, from the information that I’ve gathered, non-compete agreements are very hard to hold up in court....

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Is Cash Flow King Of Your Amazon Selling Business?

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

CF

I read a lot of books on business and the resounding consensus is that “Cash flow is King”, this morning I’m trying to figure out how I can apply that logic to my Amazon business. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

1) Having a decent amount of surplus cash on hand will allow us to take advantage of unexpected business opportunities. Some times in Retail Arbitrage we need to be able to buy lots of inventory fast, in order to get stellar deals (this definitely comes into play if we are negotiating with management). If we sell used books, having a decent amount of cash on hand will give us the option of buying books in bulk, if the opportunity arises.

2) The more money that we have left over after all of the expenses have been paid, the more opportunities that we have to grow and scale our business. With that surplus of cash we can hire more employees or independent contractors to do some of the work for us, while we focus on expanding other aspects...

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David and Goliath (Turning Weaknesses into Strengths)

Hopefully you guys still read actual books. I really try but I just can’t make it happen. I have a hard time sitting still for that long. I do listen to at least four audiobooks a month and at least 20 hours worth of podcasts a month.

One of my favorite books I have read recently is Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath. According to Gladwell we got the whole David versus Goliath thing all wrong.

Goliath never had a chance. He just had no shot. My father is a minister so I know the story very well, but not the way Gladwell tells it.

According to Gladwell it wasn’t a fluke. 100 times out of 100 the little shepherd boy beats the giant because that overgrown hillbilly would never have a chance to get his hands on David. No one had the vision to see that. Not the king, not the rest of the cowardly army that wouldn’t dare to face the giant. Only David.

So then the story goes that the king relents because doesn’t have a choice. All his other champions are...

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