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"A competitor undercut me in price and is stealing my sales!" amazon seller competition

"Another seller has come in and is 'illegally' selling my own branded product!"

If you have said either/both the above, I have some help for you (this applies to you primarily if you have a wholesale- or private-label sourced product, but even arbitrage/resellers folks can find this useful).

You can remedy this 'stealing' in a couple ways. The first is inexpensive and (my opinion) and it works better (and not many sellers do it), and the second method takes more time and you may find yourself doing it over and over again.

1.) The inexpensive, proven method - See this video for my 'barriers to entry' advice.

2.) This method only applies if you have product has a copyright/trademark /service mark - It simply involves contacting Amazon to let them know your copyright/trademark/service mark has been infringed upon. Scroll down 1/2 way on this page until you get to the "How to Report Copyright...". Now can you imagine doing this again and again for each competitor that pops up, waiting for Amazon to respond, et. al.? Yeah that's what I thought, that's why I recommend #1 above.

Note: The referenced article also discusses "resellers obtain[ing] authentic products and sell them online below their MAP pricing". Despite the threats you get from manufacturers (like this one I received), reselling is perfectly legal (and Amazon can't - nor won't - do much about it) UNLESS you already have a contract/agreement with the manufacturer/brand (most resellers, including myself, have no such contract.)

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Early preparation pays here.prepare for selling on Amazon and eBay during Christmas

If you want to cash in this Christmas, you should focus on the biggest-selling category: Toys (new AND used).

Don't bother trying to figure out what are going to be the hot 'fad' toys. This year, I'm expecting another huge increase of Amazon/eBay sellers all chasing the same new toys in stores (which inevitably leads to plummeting prices.)

Instead, improve your chances of bigger profit with my helpful strategies for...

eBay sellers: (if you are an Amazon seller, scroll further down)

  • Source used (and new) toys NOW at thrift stores and garage sales - focus on major brands and characters (DC Comics, Disney, Fisher Price, Lego, Hello Kitty, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hot Wheels etc.). Yes, you can find still-sealed new toys at many thrift stores and garage sales.  Optional:  If you want the extra assurance to know EXACTLY what pre-owned toys to look for, you can use this guide
  • Source new toys clearance-priced (70% or more off) at the major box stores (Walmart, Kmart, Target), focus
    only 
    on the major brands and characters (see above and discover more popular brands here)

Amazon sellers**:

  • Source new toys (and used - Amazon calls them 'collectible') NOW at thrift stores and garage sales - focus on major brands and characters (DC Comics, Disney, Fisher Price, Lego, Hello Kitty, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hot Wheels etc.). Yes, you can find still-sealed new toys at many thrift stores and garage sales. Optional:  If you want the extra assurance to know EXACTLY what pre-owned toys to look for, you can use this guide
    • Listen to my 'Christmas sourcing' mini-podcast episode here
  • Source new toys clearance-priced (70% or more discount) at the major box stores (Walmart, Kmart, Target), focus on the major brands and characters (see above)

Good luck!

Do you find the above useful? Did I miss something? Please post a comment below.

-Jordan

** If you are an Amazon seller, you ARE permitted to sell toys during the holiday season as long as a.) you sell your toys via FBA and b.) your account is in good standing

 

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9 new things I just discovered about e-commerce

ecommerce-tips-2015WebRetailer just posted a long, in-depth interview with online mega-retailer CostumeBliss.com's owner Jason Sanchez. I learned 9 new things I did not realize (or I didn't think were important) before.  (This will help you whether you're starting out or in a growth phase.)

Bold text is a point summary from the article. Italics are my observations.

1.) If you decide to grow into any operation beyond 'just you/your family', good employees are hard to find and harder to keep. This is why I'm reluctant to grow my 'physical' operations and instead send everything to Amazon FBA and/or fulfillment centers. Before I quit my 'real' job in 2010, I was in charge of departments from 2 to 20 employees. Managing folks is not my gig. So thank God for fulfillment centers. [click to continue…]

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Five things Amazon sellers MUST know

This is a guest post from Amazon FBA Expert Chris Wilkey, one of the four founders of FBAMaster.com. I asked Chris if I could repost it on my blog because it has critical 'mindset' tips if you are a new or beginning Amazon seller. (You'd be surprised at how many sellers don't pay attention to this stuff, at their own peril). It has been lightly edited for structure/style. (The original is entitled: Top 5 Things All FBA Sellers Need To Know"). Check out their blog and Facebook group.

...

This post has been a long time coming. I have been collecting my thoughts and putting together a list that every FBA seller should live by. These are essential truths that hold true based upon economic models and human behavior. The quicker you come to terms with these items, the sooner you can capitalize on growing your income!Supply and demand

1. The laws of Supply and Demand will always drive the marketplace – No matter if you understand how it works or why it works, you need to come to terms with the fact that the core principals of supply and demand (and economics in general) drive the Amazon marketplace. As FBA sellers, we are fixing the inefficiencies of the market by finding excess supply and selling it in a marketplace where the demand is high. When a hot toy runs out of stock online, that doesn’t mean it runs out of stock in a rural community. By speculating and playing the market, we are able to capitalize on these inefficiencies and profit along the way. Overall, everyone is better off and we bring the market back to equilibrium (or as close as we can get). [click to continue…]

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Before you use 888 Lots, read this

Amazon/eBay sellers:

You may have heard about 888 Lots (I am not an endorser, nor partner, nor affiliate of them). 888 Lots claims they buy liquidated/returned lots from Amazon and other retailers, and then they sell those liquidated goods as resellable inventory to online sellers like you.

Here's where you might be interested:

888 Lots has been very [click to continue…]

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Source products and build a real online business

Hi Readers:

I was recently contacted by a small team of experts that is nurturing beginners (like you) from 'zero' to full-fledged e-commerce business owners. (I'm talking 5- to 7-figure, real online businesses) [click to continue…]

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Most of you know that this Wed (7/15) is 'Prime Day' when Amazon.com promises Prime members "more 
deals than Black Friday."

If you're thinking "Awesome! I can snap up some deals on Amazon to flip on Amazon (or eBay, etc.)" beware that doing so is against Amazon's Prime policy. I don't know how much they enforce it, but I personally don't do it. All details on how Prime members are restricted from reselling the products they buy on Amazon is here: http://jordanmalik.com/blog/?p=2509 

But wait...

If you're looking for online arbitrage opportunities, keep in mind that Amazon's competitors (e.g. Walmart.com) are going to be slashing prices too. (Believe me, all major retailers are very nervous about Amazon's 'Prime' day this Wed, and will likely conduct knee-jerk-reaction price cuts to compete). Case in point: http://snip.ly/PA0E

So here are my 5 tips if you will be looking for online deals this Wed. to resell:

1.) Avoid Amazon.com entirely

2.) Use my free online arbitrage tool to help make your online buying decisions faster: http://CleerPro.com  (video instructions are on that page)

3.) Squeeze more profit from your purchases with these free tips: http://jordanmalik.com/blog/?p=3556

4.) Don't buy anything unless the sale price is at least 50% off the regular retail. In addition, buy with the mindset your items may take
up through Christmas to sell.

5.) If you've never bought online to resell on Amazon (or you want to learn more about it) here's an inexpensive crash course
(and I will personally reimburse you for up to 1 year from your purchase, if you're not satisfied). Get this only if you have a few
undistracted hours to follow the course before Wedhttp://jordanmalik.com/online-sourcing

Good luck!

-Jordan

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This strategy book turns FBA losers into winners

For the past 5 years, I've seen these bad seller habits destroy lot of Amazon businesses: 1

  • They look in awe at other sellers making year-round healthy profits, say "I can't do that", and give up.
  • They source products for a few months, don't 'become rich', and then they give up
  • They source for Christmas selling season only, and then they give up

[click to continue…]

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Amazon Beginner Mindset (Guest Post)

This is a guest post from Amazon  FBA Expert William Tjernlund who has has sold over $10M on Amazon over the past few years. It has been lightly edited for structure/style. (The original is entitled: Why Are You Selling on Amazon? And What I Wish I Knew"). Check out Will's blog at FBAExpert.com.

...

For the beginners, I wanted to post about some of the lessons learned from growing a business on Amazon and using FBA:

Before starting your business make sure it fits the lifestyle you want. Everyone wants to be successful, but there is a big difference between the person who makes $400 per week spending 2 hours on their business and the person spending 40 hours to make $2000. If you aren’t serious about this and take it into account when you are structuring your business you may end up with something that isn’t what you want. You will be surprised how many decisions are simplified when you take a step back and think if the next step matches where you are trying to head.

Suppliers vs. products. I am a huge believer in shopping for suppliers from which to source and not just shopping for products. When you put all your effort into searching, selecting and sourcing a single product you are putting a lot of effort (and potentially capital) into something that may have a limited chance of success, and may not be a sustainable business even if it is a success. For example, if it fails, did you put all your chips on red on the first roll of the roulette wheel and when black came up you are done for the night? And if you do find a successful product, great, but now you have to start all over again and repeat the process to grow you business. Alternately, if you find a good supplier who offers related items you can spread your capital over a variety of products, see what sells well and what does not, and reshuffle your capital to match what is successful. Now, in order to grow, you select more products of the same or add to your mix. It is much easier and you have spread out your risk. Think about it: when the supplier demands a minimum order are they asking for a minimum order of 500 units at $10 apiece or are they really asking you to spend $5000 with them? Plus, if you get really successful you may have more customization, better terms and thin out the costs of your transportation by buying many products from one supplier.

Go with what you know. What store could you walk into today and throw on a orange vest, blue shirt, or tie and be a legitimate salesperson instantly? If you played Lacrosse in high school do you have a pretty good idea of what makes a good shaft or mask and could you identify a under-served market in that space? Did you grow up riding horses and find out that parents are looking for cheap binoculars to throw in their pockets while their kids perform? Couldn’t you offer a $99 set of “Equestrian Binoculars” that has no competition and probably costs less than $10? What else does that supplier have that you didn’t think off that you could also offer to complete a full line? My early successes weren’t selling what everyone else sells (I’m looking at your meat claws and “fancy” robes), but minor niches in what I knew well.

Relying on hacks is not a sustainable business model. I’m not Michael Porter, but I do know that the best way to have success on Amazon is to offer a good product at a good price. The easiest way to show up at the top of Amazon search results is to consistently sell a lot of product. Focus on getting more products if you need to grow and sales have plateaued and not resort to gimmicks that may only work in the short term.

U.S. suppliers are great. If you have decent capital ($10,000+) you may be surprised, with the right presentation, how good of a deal you can get with brand name suppliers and how willing they are to sell to you. I am not saying you'll get Apple or Nike products, but if you can find businesses that are big and legitimate in their space, but you can still be a decent sized fish for them at $10,000 then you may really have something.

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Outrank your competition with AMZ Tracker – Review

review AMZ TrackerFor the past 2 months, I've been using AMZ Tracker (get a free trial here). AMZ Tracker has helped my business in a few ways. You, too, can:

1.) Improve your current listings (even if they're not 'your' product)

2.) Hijack a competitor's listing (if you are sourcing/selling via Private label, wholesale, etc.)

3.) Make you money by  [click to continue…]

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  • Outrank your competition with AMZ Tracker – Review

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