I failed once. Hard. Here’s my story.

by Jordan Malik on July 30, 2014

CNBC recently interviewed me for a story, ‘11 common reasons small businesses fail’.  898989

My failure had nothing to do with my companies today — CNBC had me talking about my first ‘real’ company from 15 years ago.

(The story doesn’t mention that my company’s cofounder was an idiot savant and primarily responsible for the downward spiral).

Anyway. things are on the up for me today (as I hope they are for you), but I’ll bet you can glean some helpful hints (whether you sell on Amazon or not) if you ever want to work ‘for yourself’.

Here’s the entire article (it’s in a ‘slideshow’ format) – I’m quoted in slides 3 and 4.

(I’ve copied where I’m quoted, below if you’re just interested in reading that. I’d love your feedback, so please add a comment below):


Sometimes the critics of a new business concept are right: Founders are wasting their time on an idea that’s a dud or is ill-timed—and haven’t done enough testing or market research to find that out …

Ask Jordan Malik. The entrepreneur from Levittown, New York, co-founded LookTrade in 1999, a tech start-up that helped companies run their own online auctions. It imploded in 2001, during the dot-com bust. ‘The reality is, everyone was doing the eBay thing,’ he said, looking back with 20-20 hindsight.

Malik learned from his mistake. He left the start-up world behind and eventually got a job at a major advertising agency, selling products on eBay and Amazon on the side. In 2009, after losing his job, he dove back into entrepreneurship and started what became a group of five small businesses to help e-commerce merchants improve sales and profits, offering systems he developed to do so. The sites include FindSpotter.com, which tells merchants what to sell on Amazon and where to find it. Today they collectively generate more than $500,000 a year in revenue for the solo entrepreneur.

‘I advise entrepreneurs not to be bullheaded about an idea when everyone is saying the idea doesn’t work,’ said Malik, now 43.

A poor pricing strategy:

What consumers tell market researchers they are willing to spend doesn’t always sync up with reality. Until you test your pricing in the marketplace, it’s hard to tell if potential customers will actually pay what you plan to charge.

One reason entrepreneur [Malik] believes LookTrade failed was that there were cheaper solutions for setting up an online auction than what it offered. ‘If people wanted a customized solution, there were options that cost about $19.95 a month; our solution was in the thousands,’ Malik said. While he and his partner debated whether to revamp the business model, the start-up petered out. ‘We were so determined, we burned through our cash,’ he said.”

(Source: CNBC, 11 common reasons small businesses fail, 7/30/14)


How to win the Buy Box (Amazon sellers)

by Jordan Malik on July 24, 2014

Some Amazon sellers (like you) find themselves unable to get ‘buy box’ exposure when they are among other merchants (including Amazon) selling the same exact product.

(Sellers ‘win’ the buy box when a buyer selects “Add to Cart” on the main product page AND the item displayed says, under ‘In Stock’, “Sold by [Amazon Seller's name]“). See an example here.

Amazon/eBay megaseller Skip McGrath just shared his strategy for getting the buy box, in his latest newsletter

(You don’t have to buy anything from him to learn from him.)

Get his free tips by going here and then then selecting “Newsletters -> Current Newsletter” – The first linked post at the top of that page is:

1. How The Buy Box on Amazon Works and How You Can Win It

also check out (the same page)

4. Setting up and Organizing Your eBay or Amazon Business



If you’ve given up on sourcing and selling used books, don’t: Essentially, you’ve been lied to (or you got the wrong information). sell books on Amazon

My videos below explain everything. But if you don’t do anything, at least read these 5 things:

  1. Just read the very entertaining and informative ‘squeeze page’ from Peter Valley (the author whose book I’m reviewing in the video).
  2. Many of your competing booksellers have quit because ‘all the sources have dried up’ (they’re wrong – I believe the opposite is true).
  3. There are (still) many more books to sell than there are sellers, that’s the truth.
  4. The profit margins, ease of selling, and low % of customer returns make selling books via FBA extremely lucrative.
  5. Watch my first video below (buy nothing, you’ll still learn something new).

Or just jump right to the new-for-2014 training bundle I’m recommending. Also see my 1-year no-questions-asked, 100% money back guarantee* terms at the end of Video 2 (also printed below Video #2).


Video 1: Why books now?/see my profit proof:

Video 2:  Peek insideBook Sourcing Secrets‘/ My included bonus  worth over $50 (offer expires 7/14/14):

* Peter Valley  (author of Book Sourcing Secrets) offers a 60-day, no questions asked guarantee for his e-book. If you buy his e-book via my link (it’s the same price) I make a small commission from Peter BUT I will personally add another 305 days to that guarantee. So: if you decide the book is not for you (and the 60 days have passed), forward your email receipt to me and I will refund you (100%) out of my own pocket. It’s the same ‘extra’ guarantee I give to several of the excellent guides and services that I endorse).


The original founder of Woot.com (who sold his company to Amazon) has resurfaced with “Meh.com“, and it looks to bring back the fun that early flip items on Amazon / eBayWoot fanatics loved so much (which is reportedly missing from Amazon.com’s Woot today). In this video I take a look at the potential of sourcing products from Meh.com and reselling them on Amazon/eBay.

My facebook post on the subject is below of you want to comment there. otherwise you can comment by scrolling down below and selecting ‘Comment’.


FREE profit-boosting tips for Amazon & eBay Sellers

by Jordan Malik June 26, 2014

Skip McGrath just shared many of his Amazon/eBay money-saving/profit-boosting tips in his mid-June 2014 newsletter. (You don’t have to buy anything from him to learn from him.) Get his free tips by going here: 1. How to Increase Profits in Your eBay and/or Amazon Business also check out (the same page) 4. Coping with The Summer Slowdown -Jordan  

Read the full article →

Watch me turn $1 into $10 (repeatedly) with “Back to School” merch

by Jordan Malik June 25, 2014

Back-to-school is the U.S.’ second-biggest shopping season (yes, you read that right. Bigger than Halloween).  There certainly is a big/crazed shopping frenzy (the first video below will show you some of my own ‘profit proof’). You can (like me) make some steep profits from easily-sourced, low-cost merchandise for this year’s ‘Back to School’ shopping season. But you have […]

Read the full article →

You CAN post a video review of your product on Amazon BUT ….

by Jordan Malik June 25, 2014

Update 10:30A 6/26/14 - Some of my readers (scroll down) weighed in with Amazon’s terms and conditions which still (depending on how you read it) prohibit review submissions by those with a “financial interest” in the product. So if you submit a video review, do it at your own risk. Alternately, ask a friend/whomever has bought the item to […]

Read the full article →

These 32 toys are worth a (real) fortune

by Jordan Malik June 20, 2014

Remember begging for a toy when you were a kid? If you were like me, your parents said ‘NO’ because, well, ‘they’re junk’. You’ll get the last laugh here. See, I thought I wrote THE book on valuable toys you can find locally and resell on Amazon or eBay. But I missed most of these (this […]

Read the full article →

Here’s how I remove my negative feedback (Amazon)

by Jordan Malik June 10, 2014

Getting negative feedback removed is getting easier for some sellers: In summary: I think Amazon is making it easier*, and one of the reasons (well, my assumption) may surprise you: Scenario 1:  Amazon automatically removed a buyer’s negative feedback, upon my request, with no ‘human’ intervention (here’s a video, no sound, showing you how it happened). Scenario 2: I […]

Read the full article →

How a pro optimizes his Amazon product listings

by Jordan Malik June 4, 2014

This post is for Amazon merchants who add a product to the Amazon catalog for the first time (meaning the product/ASIN never existed on Amazon until you created the product page itself.)* Sellers often ask me: “How do I make sure my item is found by people searching for it on Amazon”? Updated 7/9/14 – An alternative ‘plain […]

Read the full article →