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Exclusive:  In my recent survey, many of you online sellers asked me for  private label or wholesale sourcing advice. So I reached out to the best (=most honest) experts I know and asked "What's your best advice for someone just starting out?"

So here you go. Many of the experts have links below for free (or inexpensive) help, I highly suggest you pick one and take action.

(Private Label means sourcing mass produced goods and labeling them with your own 'brand'. Wholesale means sourcing mass produced goods that are already branded by the manufacturer).


private label expert scott voelker"Focus on learning how to find good products. Look at the numbers and make sure the market has depth and demand. Learn what you need to know NOW to get to the next step. Keep it simple and don't over complicate the process and TAKE ACTION!" -- Scott Voelker, founder of TheAmazingSeller.com (Get Scott's free "how to find a great private label product" workshop here.

ecommerce expert Will Mitchell"Adhere to the 'lean startup' way of thinking. That means validating products & ideas before investing large amounts of time, energy,and money into them. Try your best to scale up slow by self-funding your growth through your own sales (don't even consider outside funding or loans). Also be sure to keep an undying focus on the primary goal of any business - improving customers lives and making sales." --Will Mitchell, co-founder of StartupBros.com. (Catch their current live free training here or a recent replay here.)

Private Label expert Ryan Reger"Private labeling can be intimidating. I have a lot of success finding domestic (U.S.-based) suppliers and even wholesale companies that will allow me to simply take their product and put it in my own packaging. It circumvents the entire importing and customs process. I call it private label 'the easy way'. - Ryan Reger, author of Private Label The Easy Way.

wholesale expert Robyn Johnson"Embrace Your Inner Weird. The quickest way to become discouraged when moving into wholesale is to try and contact the big names you have been sourcing retail arbitrage. If you have been shopping clearance, you have probably been buying your items at below wholesale cost. Smaller companies are more likely to still be taking on Amazon sellers, have less competition on the listings, and selling for a higher ROI." - Robyn Johnson, BestFromTheNest founder (Get her free 'Getting Started' resources here)

Private Label Expert Will Tjernund"Manage your cashflow properly and live within your means. If you have $10k to invest, keep $5k in the bank, ready to spend on more of the product. The last thing you want is to find a hot seller, and then not be able to keep it in stock because your cash is tied up in other product. Cash makes everything easier when it comes to wholesale/private label." - Will Tjernlund, million-plus Amazon seller, founder of AMZHelp.com

"Focus on building a brand from the beginning. Keep this in the back of your head with everything you do. The majority of you just Importing Amazon expert Manuel Becvarstarting out has limited capital and can therefore not play around. So build better products from the beginning, have A+ photos and listings, great customer service and don't be afraid to invest your money into higher priced and better quality products, be unique in what you do.

Look at this business not as a get-rich-quick scheme but rather see your investment as an opportunity to build your brand and in turn make more money in the long run. (Do this as opposed to release and launching a product every week.) Build it slowly and keep quality and focus in the back of your head." - Manuel Becvar,  author of the Free Import Bible and founder of Import Dojo

Private Label expert Greg Mercer"1.) Prove to yourself that you can make FBA work: This can be as simple as buying something and reselling it for a profit on Amazon. You can still do the Fulfillment by Amazon program for very small shipments. But you are still taking steps towards your goal of selling and making money online, and that's a great thing. The beauty of Amazon is that it can scale easily, so don't be afraid to start with Retail Arbitrage or buying small quantities of inventory from Ali Express." and...

"2.) Pick something different. It is hard to make money selling popular items like yoga mats or garlic presses. You have to dig deeper to find untapped opportunities now. Think weird or obscure products that aren’t “sexy” (hint: check out the Jungle Scout Web App for this). You'd be pleasantly surprised what people purchase on Amazon!" and...

"3. Learn everything you can. The great thing about selling on Amazon is many of the education and resources you need are out there....for free! Jordan's blog, numerous podcasts, and the Jungle Scout blog and webinars are all great resources. I have done a whole case study where I share the process from start to finish for a product (bamboo marshmallow sticks), and the sales/expenses are revealed as well, so it is a fantastic learning opportunity without any financial investment! " - Greg Mercer, founder of JungleScout (Get a free trial of his product research web app here.)

Amazon private label and wholesale expert Skip McGrath"Look for products currently selling well on Amazon and then look for a similar PL product. We currently private label just over a dozen products. For instance, our best product category is kitchen gadgets and products. A couple years ago we noticed that ceramic knife sets were selling well on Amazon (regardless of the brand name), so we sourced a very nice ceramic knife set from China. We created a brand name, The Smart Kitchen, designed a logo, and had the manufacturer print our logo on the box.

Our first order was for 200 sets, and we sold those out in about 2 months at $79 a set. Our landed cost was just under $30 so the profit margin was not fantastic but still pretty good. We still sell them 2 years later and they are steady sellers.

We have continued this process with other kitchen products and so far 90% of them have been successful (only 1 product never did well, but we still managed to recover our money over time.)" - Skip McGrath, eBay and Amazon selling expert (get his free sourcing tips and ideas here.)

Amazon and eBay Expert Janelle ElmsIt doesn’t matter what you like, it only matters what the buyers with money like. Don’t overlook something simply because it’s outside of your comfort zone. I just returned from a trade show were the attendees were 90% male and I picked up SO many great products and already one exclusive. If you seek those areas where you are perhaps uncomfortable, you’ll definitely leave the masses behind!" - Janelle Elms, Veteran eBay and Amazon seller and founder of OSIRockStars.com
"Instead of simply finding new suppliers, focus on developing relationships with partners. You should look at how both you and your partner can benefit from the relationship. This generally means picking up the phone (you'll be surprised at how little online sellers do this), having a friendly conversation with them, and asking them questions of how you can help them. Our goal as sellers is to be the favorite customer of every vendor we do business with, and grow our business right along side of theirs! This will create a plethora of opportunity that won't be available to other sellers.”- Dan Meadors, million+ Amazon seller and owner of TheWholesaleFormula.com


How to import classMany online sellers freak out if they have one competitor selling the same item.

Well, how about if you have thirty - count 'em, 30!

Trusted importing and Amazon expert Manuel Becvar aimed to find out. Using his own money. And he's almost sold out of his inventory!

Becvar is author of the recommended Import Bible (free) and head of the Import Dojo training program I endorse.

Manuel's killer process is detailed here. In summary, here's what I learned: [click to continue…]

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Why I’m not listening to offers

listening to offersEd Note: This is a departure from my usual posts. Today's post is for: Companies who have a service/software they want to 'sell' to my audience. If you're one of my avid readers/listeners, you may still be interested in this.

I'm very lucky to have: a big, loyal newsletter readership , a dead (for now) podcast that still gets 9,000+ downloads monthly, and a blog with almost 1,000 daily page views.

I work(ed) hard to get a big audience (with a rocking email open rate), so it's not a surprise that I get a LOT of inquiries from companies (mostly Amazon and eBay software and service providers) who smell fresh blood want to get in front of them. [click to continue…]


7 Hacks for Finding eBay Deals to Resell Online

Ed. Note: The below post is buy Phil Dunn, an eBay Marketing author and frequent contributor to the eBayInc.com blog. Phil interviewed me and then gave me permission to post his finished article below.


sell from eBay to AmazonMany eBay and Amazon sellers are expert flippers. Their ability to find bargains online has a direct impact on how much profit they can make from reselling them (many times on the same site they sourced them from!) 

Jordan Malik is one of the masters at this game, and he’s got a few tips that even casual sellers can use to save money on purchases that they can resell on Amazon or back on eBay. If you want to dig deeper into 'Buying Low to Sell High" check out his ebook on the topic here.

Note: this is not about 'drop shipping' an item you purchased on eBay directly from the eBay seller to your Amazon customer, or vice versa. That is a controversial, risky, and generally far less profitable way to flip items. Further, it may violate eBay or Amazon seller policies. Instead, this is about buying an item on eBay, receiving it, and then selling it back on eBay or Amazon 

Here are 7 hacks: [click to continue…]


Suspended by Amazon? Don’t do this

amazon account reinstatement(Ed. note: If you have been suspended and need more help than what this blog post provides, contact my trusted partner Scott from Feedbackrepair.net who can provide you a detailed consultation or even write your appeal letter for you.)


If your Amazon seller account has been suspended, there are several steps you will need to take to have it restored. First and foremost, you will need to identify why your seller account was suspended and make a Plan of Action or POA. This is a detailed plan outlining the steps you will take to restore your account.  [click to continue…]

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Exposed – My faults, my sobriety, my failures

Here's the most private information I've ever given to anyone. Instead of hearing the umpteenth "How to sell online'" podcast, you can learn about my failures and faults as an online entrepreneur, how I recovered, how my sobriety occurred, and more. From the just-released episode of the terrific Ecommerce Momentum podcast (thank you Stephen Peterson)

Play in new window | Download

(If you don't want to listen to the whole thing, Below are time markings for the various topics).

0:00-1:30 Intro

06:30 - 07:45: How I started aimlessly in high school/college, then business school

08:52 - 10:35: Major lessons from my first major failure (my 1st doomed company in 2001)

10:48 - 12:00: Why your risks today are FAR less than today in owning your own business

13:00 - 14:00: Why I discourage people from paying to talk with me (or ay other coach)

14:30 - 16:00: A major mistake beginning sellers make when they have a chunk of money to spend

18:50 - 20:00: What I started selling on eBay (and how bankruptcy introduced me to selling online)

20:00 - 21:51: What was I better at - working a 'real job' or selling online myself?

22:40 - 23:50: My prediction for the 'workers of tomorrow' (kids)

26:50 - 28:23: Licking my wounds when I was nearly broke (2001)

28:40 - 29:20: How my wife got me to pick myself back up

29:26 - 31:59: How sobriety was life-changing for me + what it was like (before and after)

32:10 - 38:00: Me getting fired, lashing out and being self-destructive

36:05 - 38:50: What waiting for someone to 'choose' me didnt' work (and 'Choosing yourself')

39:35 - 41:00: Is being an entrepreneur 'easy'?

41:55 - 44:30: Starting my blog/multiple income streams and the dawn of my 'information' businesses

44:45 - 45:45: How I started selling on Amazon, "hacking around", used books

45:50 - 46:30: Going from $130,000 a year to nothing.

46:35 - 48:20: Scanning for books in 25+ libraries a week, $2500 profit every 2 weeks

48:30 - 50:00: Monetizing my information (newsletter), "hocus pocus"

51:15 - 52:35: Why I stopped my podcast

52:40 - 54:25: Why our Amazon sales dipped and My 'other' income streams

54:30 - 57:00: Meeting my subscribers; sellers' feedback/fears etc.

57:05 - 1:00:00: If the morons are successful, you can be too (x10)

1:02:45 -1:04:45: Fear of Missing Out; Unreleastic demands from new sellers

1:05:00 - 1:05:55: Sourcing wholesale and selling in person (not online)

1:06:30 - 1:10:40: My plans for growth (software, Cleer Platinum), Amazon programmers in Romania

1:11:55 - 1:15:00: My advice for online sellers (or any entrepreneur)


Source from Craigslist, sell on Amazon or eBay

Amazon & eBay merchants: 

You know what's 'hot' these days for sourcing methods:  private label, retail arbitrage, and/or wholesale (all legit methods of getting inventory). But I'm still a big fan of going 'underground' by revisiting proven sourcing methods that other sellers have largely abandoned. Craigslist (and up-and-coming apps like OfferUp and Wallapop) are still viable sourcing methods.

Before you say 'Craiglist sellers are savvy enough to check on Amazon or eBay first, so they're pricing their items too high for me to profit,' you need to a.) make a low-ball offer and (if that doesn't work) b.) keep trying!  I've seen many eBay and Amazon sellers shy away because of  a Craigslist seller's asking price. It doesn't hurt to start by offering 50% of their asking price. And there are plenty of Craigslist sellers who want to unload something quickly and they'll take whatever they can get.

Those 'classified' sites and apps (now numbering in the dozens) make it easier to make money online by finding things to sell on Amazon or eBay.

Let's talk about Craigslist. Craigslist provides an excellent source of local inventory for cheap or free, and using the Craigslist app (by Escargot Studios) makes it easy to find. With the app on your phone, you can browse for new inventory whenever you have down time, whether waiting for something to happen or simply while bored at home. The app can sometimes even be set up to alert you when listings contain specific keywords, allowing you to always know if an item that you can easily sell has been put up for sale.

Here is how to start using the Craigslist app to increase your inventory sourcing:

1. Download the app (Android | Apple). Both a free and paid version are available. Start with the free verison (the paid one is only $2.99)
2. Choose your city or cities
3. Browse to the "For Sale" section. This section counter intuitively contains both for sale and free items.
4. Browse the listings that interest you. The site breaks listings into categories to make things easy to find.
5. Do not forget to look through the 'free' section as well. You may be surprised what people simply want to get rid of (books, board games, ride on toys, etc.).
6. Check completed listings on eBay (and/or check the new/used price on Amazon) to see what people sell the identical products online for, before making an offer to the Craigslist seller.

If you want a specific item in a specific condition, the app makes this easy. Just enable keyword alerts to search for specific items. If you notice that specific items sell for more on eBay than they are sold for on Craigslist, you can make sure to catch every one of these listings. The app also allows sorting by criteria and photo availability, so that the condition of the item can be checked before ever making a call. When ready to make a call, the app allows the phone to pull the number and dial straight from the app, making the process simple and fast.

Items on Craigslist frequently sell for less money than they can be sold for online. It is a site built around convenient sales, not profitable ones, and a savvy buyer can use this to their advantage. People use Craigslist because it involves no shipping and pays quickly. A seller has to learn almost nothing before posting and gets paid in cash, no waiting for Paypal or being unsure if the buyer will pay. This ultimately means cheap items that you can profit from.

Look for some of the below items when browsing (partial list). Some Craigslist sellers want to get rid of these for space without checking the value (remember in most cases you can sell these in new or used condition on Amazon or eBay):

• Better-name brand small electrics (mixers,55555555 convection ovens, air purifiers, etc.)
• Holiday decorations (esp off-season)
• Lots of new and used clothing (remember you can't sell used clothing on Amazon)
• Vintage items (eBay only)
• Toys, including the 'ride on' variety (see the above pic as an example)
• Textbooks (ideally Amazon only) Example: This Algebra book is $2 on Wallapop, Assuming it's in 'Very Good' condition you could sell it via Amazon FBA (far within top 1% bestseller rank) for $26.

(I don't recommend using Craigslist to source popular high-demand, pricier items like Air Jordans, iPhones and major designer products, as they tend to be rife with scam artists.)

Profitable sourcing from Craigslist to resell on Amazon or eBay involves research (see #6 above). Try sourcing a product you have some knowledge of or a desire for from a 'consumer's' perspective as that knowledge gives you a leg up on other sellers. Venture out of your comfort zone as some of your most profitable sales may come from new places. On the other hand, do not take items that are in poor condition unless free. Even with a large market, items that have been abused rarely sell.

More tips before you start sourcing via sites like Craigslist:

  • Don't look at a seller's offer and stop there. One door opens another - I've heard from my subscribers who go to buy one item and they end up buying 10x more items that the seller mentions while they're there.
  • If a Craigslist seller gives you a weird feeling, move on
  • If you do in-person transactions, insist on having a friend with you. If you're going alone, meet the buyer in a well-trafficked public spot (like a fast food parking lot) during daylight with your item. Some police stations across America offer their lot or lobby for 'Craigslist exchanges' to ensure your safety
  • When you avoid used items, you join your competition by thinking it's not worth your time. Amazon and eBay sellers who use a little elbow grease to clean and/or recondition used items can do very well.
  • If you're not interested in using the Craigslist App, use IFTTT.com to get email alerts when an item you're interested in reselling is posted on your local Craigslist (tutorial here.)
  • Check sites like Craigslist often (don't get discouraged if you find nothing. New listings are popping up on Craigslist and other classified sites every minute).

Once you find any profitable product, that information is power:  Search for the same item on (say) Google's shopping search engine or even on eBay (to resell back on eBay or on Amazon for a profit.)

Good luck and keep me posted,


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Please quit. Now.

This post is a bit of a brain dump as I'm watching a healthy fraction of Amazon sellers quitting for no valid reason. If they're not quitting, they're panicking and pulling back on everything, virtually hiding under the covers.

See, some sellers (including me) are seeing their Jan-Feb sales dip from a little to a lot (there are some likely reasons for this, and they're cyclical and controllable, I'll explain in a minute).

Here's some points, encouragement and help:

1.) If you're going to win at Amazon, you accept the lumps and find a way to adapt. Quitting is for losers. I love quitters. It helps clear the deck. This happened repeatedly over the years with eBay sellers. eBay would increase their fees ever so slightly, and some sellers threw a fit, stomped out of the sandbox and went to sell elsewhere (that didn't work out to well for them, with the exception of the folks who left for Amazon).

2.) If there is indeed a dip overall, it's temporary. Online product sales can tend to match a dip in the stock market. The stock market is very wonky right now, so consumers are tightening their belt and not buying as much. It's human nature. When things stabilize, their spending habits continue as if nothing happened.

3.) The time to buy inventory is RIGHTNOW. You're freaking out and guess what? Retailers (online and stores) are freaking out too and slashing prices. Are you or your virtual assistants checking clearance deals online daily? Physical retailers are clearing their shelves, too - have you been scouting at your local stores (do more than just follow the herd to the closing Walmarts)? You're even in a great bargaining position with importing from China as their economy is looking wonky too (they're eager for reliable buyers).

4.) FREE inventory abounds. Do you look? Do you ask your local store managers' for extra discounts? Do you make the stuff come to you? Getting free/cheap inventory (especially books and media) help 'fill in the revenue holes' when sales are down.

5.) Your risk is incredibly low. Many independent 'mom-and-pop' online sellers like myself are very privileged to have Amazon/eBay for revenue. We start selling with nearly nothing, and we earn $10K - $100K+ per year with minimal overhead and sunk costs. Some of those who are considering quitting Amazon are also considering getting a $200K loan to open up a Chipotle franchise, where they pay it back over 30 years and have to show up to work every day for the first 5 years. I'm being serious - quitters panic and then they think the higher the dollar outlay for their next venture, the better chances for their success.

6.) Buy when no one else wants the stuff. If you're stumped at your low sales, are you getting more 'risk-tolerant' buy, say, sourcing wholesale for upcoming holiday seasons (Easter, Spring cleaning, next Christmas, etc.) where consumers lose their minds and buy everything under the sun? The time to do that is right now. Last month, my wife and I bought $3,000 in major name-brand Christmas merchandise via online and retail stores, and we put it in a spare bedroom. This will net us at least $6,000 profit when we send it in for Christmas 2016. The deals are there, you have to use elbow grease and be patient.

7.) Out of sourcing/product ideas? That's impossible. The amount of free/inexpensive information to help you source, buy and receive a wholesale or private label product inexpensively has never been more abundant than now. So if you're convinced sourcing locally or via online arbitrage isn't helping you, try something different without losing a fortune (or your mind):

Things will turn around. Remember that Amazon keeps grabbing a larger share of consumer's online spending. You just need a little elbow grease, determination and less 'following the herd' to win.


BONUS: Revisit this post, and take action. Don't be a quitter!




She took my info and did THIS?

I give away a LOT of helpful seller sourcing ideas right here on this blog.

(When I'm not giving it away, it can be bought for Happy-Meal prices.)

The readers who take action with my info make great profits with relative ease. Below are portions of a (real) testimonial that just arrived from 'Terry G.' (last name not revealed to protect her anonymity):

"[I sold a $100 Braun coffee maker that I] picked up for free, and [I did the] same with a Sunbeam food processor. I wouldn’t have given these items a second glance at the various post-estate-sale* giveaways had it not been for your specific advice about picking up small kitchen appliances..."

"At another post-estate-sale giveaway in September I picked up slightly over 850 books for free."

"I bought two Swarovski Christmas ornaments for $20 each and sold on Amazon for $300 each."

I love hearing from  my readers like Terry. Read more of her actual email (sensitive info blurred out) here.

I give more on sourcing highly profitable goods at 'near-zero' prices here, here and here.


* By "post-estate-sale", Terry means that she acquired homeowners' products at the end of the estate sale at a very low cost or for free, like what I did in late October here.

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2016 Cheat-sheet reveals best Amazon Seller training

Amazon sellers: proven amazon seller courses compared

Thousands of you downloaded my best-selling book where I reviewed the world's best Amazon seller courses, and you came back and said "Hey, Jordan, how about a side-by-side comparison?" [click to continue…]

  • 2016 Cheat-sheet reveals best Amazon Seller training

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