How To Write Bullet Points For Your Amazon Product Listing

Amazon Product ListingSometimes you find a product that is not already selling on Amazon or you are creating a unique bundle. In these cases, you need to create your own listing. One thing that you must do as part of creating your own Amazon product listing is come up with bullet points. You may not put much thought into what you write, but you should take your time and create bullet points that describe features and benefits as well as copy that differentiates your product from the competition.

According to the Amazon Terms of Service (TOS), you can have up to 5 bullet points. The number of characters that are allowed per bullet point is different in different parts of the Amazon documentation. Also, the number of characters may vary depending on the category.

Karon Thackston understands this subject very well because she is a professional copywriter. She wrote a blog post called “7 Expert Tips for Writing Bullet Points That Sell“ where she describes how to write bullet points for your Amazon product listing that will actually help you sell your product. Her 7 points are as follows:

·       Tip #1 – Choosing Super Adjectives to Describe Features/Benefits

·       Tip #2 – Segment Your Audience

·       Tip #3 – Lifestyle Uses

·       Tip #4 – Know Whom You’re Writing To

·       Tip #5 – Justify the Cost

·       Tip #6 – Differentiate Your Product

·       Tip #7 – Overcome Customer Hesitation 

I must admit that even though I create a lot of bundles, I do not consider all these tips when I am writing my bullet points for my Amazon product listing. I am more of an analytical person, so this is the part of my business that I struggle with. I usually do a bad job with Tip #1. I tend to list the features but don’t really give the benefits. I don’t even think to justify the cost as stated in Tip #5.

Karon also states that you can use this sample template for your bullet points:

Thanks to their {adjective} {feature}, these {keyphrase} offer {benefit}

I am creating some new listings this week and I will take these points into consideration. It makes no sense to find an awesome product that is never found in the Market Place because the time was not put into creating good bullet points.

If you would like to learn more about creating a good Amazon product listing, then get this free Cheat Sheet Guide, 5 Product Listing Secrets For Amazon Sellers.

The Mystery of the Amazon Buy Box – What You Need To Know

Amazon Buy BoxWhen I was new to selling on Amazon, I kept hearing that you need to get the Buy Box. Now I had been buying on Amazon for years and even had Amazon Prime, but I was not familiar with this mysterious thing called the Buy Box. Well, the Amazon Buy Box is the in the top right corner of an Amazon product page. This is where you can easily buy something now or add something to your cart.

As an Amazon FBA seller, you need to know all about the buy box including how you can get this coveted position. “6 Things You Need To Know About The Amazon Buy Box” by Stephen Smotherman states the following:

  1. 70-80% of Amazon sales come from the buy box.
  2. The buy box rotates
  3. Having the lowest price does not guarantee the buy box
  4. The buy box is geographic
  5. The buy box is for items in new condition only
  6. Sometimes Amazon as a seller shares the buy box with third party sellers, buy usually not

So, it makes sense that the Amazon buy box would rotate among the sellers. If everyone is selling at about the same price and the seller metrics are about the same, then this is fair. It also makes sense that the buy box would be geographic. If I live on the East Coast and you live on the West Coast, the person in the buy box should be the person who has the product in the warehouse closest to me especially if they have prime. Is it much easier to ship something to me to arrive in 2 days that is in a warehouse on the same coast where I live as opposed to the other side of the country.

I learned about #6 the hard way on several occasions. I had a product that I purchased and sent FBA that later Amazon got on the listing. Amazon was not sharing the buy box. I even lowered my price, but Amazon still would not share the buy box. I eventually created a removal order and decided to sell the product on another platform.

I also had another case where Amazon came onto the listing and their price was so low that I could not compete with them without losing money. Fortunately, this was a good product and when Amazon sold out, all of us third party sellers were able to sell our product.

I know a lot of people will say they have no problem competing with Amazon, but I have had a different experience. I would not intentionally get on a listing with Amazon except under one circumstance. I will analyze the Keepa chart first before deciding whether to buy an item. The Keepa chart displays sales price and sales rank history. The good thing is that Keepa is free but there is training available on this valuable tool. If Amazon is going in and out of stock on a regular basis, then I might entertain the thought of buying the product.

Now that the mystery of the Amazon Buy box has been uncovered, the next question is how do I know how often I get the buy box? There is a report in Amazon called the Detail Page Sales and Traffic By Date that shows you the number of sessions, page views as well as your buy box percentage for every product. To find this report, go to your Main Dashboard and select Reports then Business Reports.

Understanding how the Amazon buy box works and all its intricacies is essential to becoming a successful Amazon FBA seller.

4 Ways To Find Wholesale Products To Sell On Amazon

Find Wholesale ProductsAccording to Wikipedia, “wholesale” is the resale (sale without transformation) of new and used goods to retailers, to industrial, commercial, institutional or professional users, or to other wholesalers, or involves acting as an agent or broker in buying merchandise for, or selling merchandise to, such persons or companies.

With all of the recent subcategory, brand and ASIN restrictions on Amazon, I believe that all Amazon sellers should consider adding wholesale as one of their business models. A lot of categories such as Beauty are no longer gated but many of the subcategories under Beauty are gated. This makes it difficult to find profitable products especially for newer sellers.

I started with wholesale early in my Amazon career when I had been selling for less than a year and I was still part-time. To learn more about getting started in wholesale, check out Amazon FBA – Your First Wholesale Account.

There are many ways to find wholesale products to sell on Amazon and this article highlights four of them.

Find Wholesale Products Tip #1 – Products You Are Already Selling

A great way to find wholesale products is to look at the products you are already selling using Retail or Online Arbitrage. If these products are already good sellers for you, then it makes sense to sell them wholesale. How many times have you found a great product but then your source dries up? This happens much less if you were able to get this product via wholesale. When you product is almost sold out, you just contact your supplier and order more.

Find Wholesale Products Tip #2 – Trade Shows

Trade shows are a great way to find wholesale products. This is the way I found my first wholesale accounts. If you are not sure if you should attend trade shows, you should check out Should I Attend Trade Shows As An Amazon Seller. There are all kinds and sizes of trade shows. I recommend that you start with a smaller one first.

Find Wholesale Products Tip #3 – Find Profitable Products On Amazon

The third way you can find wholesale products is to find products that are already profitable on Amazon. You can look at best sellers or find these best sellers automatically using Storefront Stalker Pro and Tactical Arbitrage. I believe it is easier to sell things that are already profitable on Amazon as opposed to bringing a new product to market.

Find Wholesale Products Tip #4 – Google

Lastly, you can use the most used search engine, Google, to find wholesalers and distributors. If you use this method, please do your due diligence and make sure you that you are actually identifying legitimate businesses.

Wholesale Resources

To learn more about wholesale, I recommend two resources. If you are just getting started and want an introduction to wholesaling, then I recommend Getting Started With Wholesale. This 8 week course will be give you bite size lessons on how to start and grow a wholesale business. Lessons will be sent out 1 to 2 times per week with homework for each session to get you started.

The second course that I recommend is Proven Wholesale Sourcing. This step-by-step video course teaches you 25 methods to find wholesale suppliers and manufacturers quickly. This course teaches you how to find new wholesale accounts and how to maintain them.

As you can see, adding wholesale to your Amazon business has many benefits. You can find some replenishable products and keep ordering them over and over. It also allows you to spend less time in your business by automating your sourcing. I strongly encourage you to consider wholesale.

Should I Attend Trade Shows As An Amazon Seller?

Trade ShowsTrade Shows

According to Wikipedia, a trade show is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services, meet with industry partners and customers, study activities of rivals, and examine recent market trends and opportunities. A trade show may also be called a trade fair, a trade exhibition or an expo.

There are a lot of trade shows that you can attend as an Amazon Seller. Some are big such as ASD Market Week in Las Vegas that happens twice a year or smaller ones. You may be thinking that why should I attend trade shows as a FBA seller? There are many benefits that are outlined in the 5 Benefits of Attending Trade Shows.

Trade Show Myths

There are many trade show myths, and these are really myths.

  1. You need to be a big seller to attend trade shows – When you think of trade shows, you may think that you must be selling millions to attend trade shows. That is not the case. If you are set up as a business, you can attend.
  2. “Newbies” can’t open wholesale accounts – Are you a new Amazon FBA seller? Do you feel like you don’t have much experience? That doesn’t matter. Did you know that you can still open wholesale accounts at trade shows? I opened my first wholesale accounts at a trade show when I had been selling less than a year and on a part-time basis.
  3. You must buy a huge quantity at trade shows – Do you have nightmares of pallets of merchandise showing up at your house from your trade show order? Don’t worry. Lots of vendors have a low minimum order quantity or MOQ. In some cases, I only had to order 1 case of product.
  4. You must spend a lot of money at trade shows – Another fear may be that you must spend thousands of dollars to get started. One of my first accounts did not have a minimum amount of money that needed to be spent and another one was only $100.
  5. It is hard to navigate trade shows – This can be true but does not have to be. The first trade show I attended was about 2 ½ hours away and it was fairly small. This was a great way for me to get my feet wet and start to feel comfortable attending trade shows. I recommend that you find a smaller trade show as your first one also.

Trade Shows For FBA teaches you trade show strategies for Amazon Sellers. This course will give you all the details you need to register for trade shows, what you need to be prepared for the show, what to do at the trade show and even how to research the items that you find at the show to determine if they will be profitable on Amazon. This course also includes a trade show directory along with websites.

How To Calculate Grocery Expiration Dates For Amazon FBA

Grocery Expiration Dates

Selling groceries on Amazon can be very lucrative; however, you must pay attention to grocery expiration dates. Here is Amazon’s Terms Of Service regarding grocery expiration dates:

A product that has an expiration date may be listed with FBA as long as the unit is lot-controlled and the remaining shelf life is greater than 105 days from the time of receipt by Amazon. Units that are within 50 days of the expiration date will be removed for disposal by Amazon.

So this means that if the expiration date is not at least 105 days out, you will not be able to ship the grocery item into Amazon using FBA. If you enter a grocery expiration date that does not meet this criteria when you are creating a shipment, you will receive an error message.

Also, once the grocery item is within 50 days of expiration, Amazon will take the item out of your inventory. It will show up as Unfillable Inventory. When you click on the number of items that are unfillable, it will say expired. You have two choices at this point. You can get it shipped back to you or you can have it destroyed. Both of these options require you to create a removal order.

One thing that I have done more than once while doing Retail Arbitrage is to buy a grocery item and then realize its expiration date is not greater than 105 days. The way I get around this now, is by using a free app called Date Calculator. This app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

The Date Calculator app allows you to calculate the duration between dates and calculate the date if you input a date and a duration. This is how I use it to make sure I am buying grocery items that I can send into Amazon.

This is the picture I see when I open the app. I select the “Date+Duration” option.

Date Calculator ScreenShot 1

If I want to know what the expiration date needs to be for buying things today, I put in 105 in “the number of days here” row.

Date Calculator Screenshot 2

I hit the “Calculate” button and the result is Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Screenshot 3

I would add some days to this to account for the time that the item is shipped and checked in to the warehouse.

This little free app has saved me a lot of headaches and made my grocery Retail Arbitrage trips stress free. No more grocery expiration dates that are too short.

Review of The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday

Black FridayIf you sell physical products on Amazon, then Black Friday can be one of your best days of selling. If you approach this day as a consumer, you are looking at the ads and standing in line to buy gifts for Christmas. If you are a reseller, you are researching the ads and purchasing items that will earn you a profit on Amazon.

In order to get the most out of Black Friday, you must do advanced research. What is in the stores? What is selling already? What is profitable? There will be deals on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some stores will even have Pre-Black Friday sales. In the past, most stores were closed on Thanksgiving. Lately, this trend has changed. However, this year, there are a stores that will not be open on Thanksgiving.

My go-to tool that I use to do my Black Friday research is The Reseller’s Guide To Black Friday. This guide gives you the links to 4 Black Friday websites. You can get electronic copies of all of the best ads including ads from Toys R Us, Walmart, Target and Best Buy. When you look at the ads, pay attention to the days of the deals, any quantity limits, available price matching and if there are any guarantees if the deals sell out.

This guide shows you how to do sales rank and sales price history research using Keepa and CamelCamelCamel. If you want more information on sales rank, Keepa and CamelCamelCamel, check out this free video.

Lastly, the guide has updated information about brand and category restrictions. The main take-away is to do your research and make sure you are approved to sell everything you plan on buying for Black Friday.

When you purchase the guide, you also get the following:

  • Access to the 2015 Black Friday Master Class Webinar and Q&A Session
  • Access to the 2016 Black Friday Master Class Webinar and Q&A Session
  • Black Friday Checklist
  • Black Friday Buy List
  • The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday BOLO List

As you can see, you can be very successful during Black Friday if you are prepared. I recommend this guide to get you prepared.

The Million Dollar Side Hustle

Side Hustle

Image by InvestmentZen

So what is a side hustle? Wiktionary defines a side hustle as “a secondary job that brings in extra cash”. Some may define it as a part-time job, but I tend to disagree. These days, people’s side hustle is something they do on the side that could potentially turn into their full time gig at some point. At lot of people start their businesses as a side hustle while they still have a full-time job. This is exactly what I did.

Well on November 7, 2017, Good Morning America did an interview entitled the Million Dollar Side Hustle. They interviewed a guy that sells physical products on Amazon. Now I am sure that prior to that interview, there were a lot of people who had no idea that ordinary people could sell products on Amazon. Yes they can and so can you. They are called third party sellers.

So exactly how does this work? Well, you use an app on your phone to scan products to determine if they would be profitable on Amazon? If so, you prepare them, pack them in a box and ship to one of the Amazon warehouses. Amazon has warehouses all of the United States and in other countries as well. When the item sells, Amazon packs and ships the item to the customer. They also take care of customer service issues. You can also take advantage of Amazon Prime so the package is delivered in 2 days. This is all due to the Fullfillment By Amazon or FBA program.

So you may be thinking where do I get these items? Basically, you can find profitable items anywhere. You can find items at retail stores, discount stores, club warehouses, convenience stores, drug stores, grocery stores and even dollar stores. When you purchase items at a store, you are employing a technique called Retail Arbitrage. You can also purchase items online and this is called Online Arbitrage. There are other methods you can use such as Wholesale and Private Label but you should stick to Retail and Online Arbitrage in the beginning.

You may be thinking that this is similar to eBay and it is and it is not. Like eBay you are selling physical products. Unlike eBay, you are not storing the products in your house and shipping individual orders. Unlike eBay, you do not have to handle returns if you are using the FBA program. I believe that there are some items that are more suited to eBay and some that are more suited to Amazon. If you have unique one-of-a-kind items then eBay is more suited for these items. If you have brand new items, then Amazon is perfect for them.

Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, you are probably very curious about the FBA program. The Amazon FBA Jumpstart program is a perfect way to get the training you need. This training consists of 4 live webinars that cover everything you need to get started with this lucrative side hustle. The training is all recorded so you will have access to it after the live sessions. Don’t settle for a traditional part-time job when can sell physical products on Amazon.

Top 10 Tips For Amazon FBA Sellers

Amazon FBA Seller Tip

If you sell on Amazon or are thinking about selling on Amazon, there is a lot of information out there. Some of it is paid and some of it is free. The problem is that some of it is not accurate. You must do your homework and make sure you double check the information by reading the Amazon Terms of Service. Below are the top 10 tips for Amazon FBA sellers. Do these things to keep your account in good standing.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #1 – Ensure Your Product Matches Listing

When you are looking to list your product against a listing that already exists, make sure your product matches the product exactly. I ran into an issue, where the product listed against the UPC was the same product but it was a 12 pack. I contacted Seller Support and opened a case. I had to submit pictures of the product along with the UPC. The listing was fixed. If I had just sent my product in because the UPCs matched, I am sure I would have had some returns.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #2 – Don’t Ignore Negative Feedback

Every now and then, you will get negative feedback. Sometimes, it is not justified. If that is the case, then open a case with Seller Central and try to get it removed. If the review is a product review, mentions price or has inappropriate language, it is pretty easy to get those reviews removed.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #3 – Answer All Inquiries Within 24 Hours

If you receive an inquiry, you need to respond to it within 24 hours. Lately, I have been getting a lot of inquiries that are definitely spam. You can mark them as spam and also mark that no response is needed. Do not just ignore these messages.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #4 – Don’t Ignore ASIN Changes

When there are changes to an ASIN, you can set up your account so you are notified by email. Do not ignore these changes. These changes can cause your product to no longer match the listing. If you do not agree with the change, open a case with Seller Support. The only drawback is you are not notified of changes to pictures.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #5 – Make Sure Product Passes 3 Foot Drop Test

If you are sending in a product that is fragile, you must make sure that you packing it so that it will not break. Fragile products must pass the 3 foot drop without breaking.  The 3 foot drop test consists of the following:

  • Flat on base
  • Flat on top
  • Flat on longest side
  • Flat on shortest side
  • On a corner

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #6 – Make Sure You Are Allowed To Sell Product

In the last several months, there have been lots of brand restrictions or even individual ASIN restrictions. If you are using a 3rd party app to scan, I recommend that you also scan with the Amazon Seller App. You want to make sure that you are allowed to sell the product. There is nothing worse than getting the products home and realizing that you can not sell it on Amazon.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #7 – Check Expiration Dates Before Buying Beauty & Grocery Products

You must check the expiration date of your beauty and grocery products before you send them into the warehouse. Grocery products must have an expiration date that is at least 150 days out in order to list a product. When a product will expire in 50 days or less, the product is removed from your inventory. It becomes part of your stranded inventory. If need help finding the expiration dates of beauty products, check out The Mystery Of The Beauty Expiration Date.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #8 – Ensure Package Is In New Condition If Listing As New

If you are listing a product as new, make sure it looks new. The packaging should be in pristine condition. Do not list products as new if the box is beat up. Make sure that the packaging is in gift condition.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #9 – Check Sales Rank & Price History Before You Buy

When you are looking for products to buy, you must look for more data than just the current sales rank and profit. The sales rank changes many times and you must look at the sales rank history. You must also look at the price history. Keepa and Camel Camel Camel are free tools you can use to review sales rank and price rank history. How To Keep Camel is a course that teaches you how to interpret this data.

Amazon FBA Seller Tip #10 – Be Careful With Some Brands

Some brands are riskier to sell on Amazon than others. If you using the Retail Arbitrage or Online Arbitrage model, you should be careful with sport leagues such as NFL, MLB, NCAA, etc. If you are going to purchase these types of products through wholesalers or distributors, make sure they have the appropriate licenses. Also, make sure you have the paperwork that gives you permission to sell those products.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that you have to take into consideration when you are selling physical products on Amazon. If you would like more information about selling on Amazon, pick up your free report, Get Started With FBA.

The Mystery Of The Beauty Expiration Date

Beauty Expiration DateHas this happened to you? You are out scanning and you come across a great beauty product. It has great profit, great sales rank, not too many sellers, no Amazon on the listing and you are approved to sell it. You bring it home, start processing it and can not find the beauty expiration date anywhere.

You look over the entire product and all you see are some numbers and letters but no beauty expiration date. You have no clue what these cryptic letters and numbers mean. More than likely, it is the batch code or lot number. If you can decipher these, you will most likely know the production and beauty expiration date of the product.

Most beauty products do have a shelf life. A lot of skincare products have a 2-year shelf life. According to Amazon’s Terms of Service, you must make it clear the beauty expiration date of a beauty product. In order to comply, you must figure out what that date should be.

There are online tools that you can use to find out this information. The one that I like to use is Cosmetic Calculator. With this tool you can select the brand from the drop down menu and enter in the batch code. You then select calculate.

Here is an example. I have some Dove Nutritive Solutions Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Conditioner. It does not have an expiration date, but I see the following on the bottle: 01157JU38. I use the Cosmetic Calculator and here is what is displayed.

Check Beauty Expiration Date

You see that this product was manufactured on January 15, 2017. It has a shelf life of 36 months so the expiration date would be January 15, 2020. You are now compliant with Amazon.

If you are shopping at close-out stores, then I recommend that you check the expiration date or shelf life while you are still in the store using your phone. It is nothing worse than getting a product home and then realizing that you cannot send it into Amazon.

14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

Amazon FBA ChallengeDay 1 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

Welcome to Day 1 of the 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to send in a shipment of at least 25 items to Amazon in 2 weeks. If you are experiencing slower sales, one way to combat this is to continue to send in shipments on a consistent basis.

My name is Adrienne Dupree and I am from Maryland. I have been selling on Amazon since November 2014. I also sell on eBay. I do Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage, Wholesale and Private Label. I would love for you to join me in this challenge.

So let’s start. In the comments, please do the following:

  1. Introduce yourself and tell everyone where you are from
  2. How long been selling on Amazon?
  3. Do you sell on other platforms? If so, which ones?
  4. What methods are you using in your Amazon business? Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage, Wholesale, Private Label

Day 2 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon. Amazon FBA is a program that allows you to buy products, ship them to Amazon fulfillment centers, sell them and have Amazon ship them to the customer.

You may think that this is impossible to buy products and make a profit, but it is not. You would be surprised at how much some products are selling for but there are a lot of reasons for this. Some products are seasonal which means they are not always available. A lot of seasonal only products may be hard to find in stores. Some people in rural areas do not live close to stores so it is easier to buy things on Amazon. Also, some people like the convenience of shopping online and getting their merchandise in 2 days.

With Retail Arbitrage, you go to stores and find products that are selling low enough that you can make a profit by selling them on Amazon. Online Arbitrage is similar to Retail Arbitrage except you are shopping online instead of physically going to stores. A lot of the brick and mortar stores have an online presence as well.

Some people do not like to go stores to shop, so Online Arbitrage is a better option. Also, you can send online orders to a prep company. The prep company will prepare the shipment and send it into Amazon on your behalf.

I love Retail Arbitrage because I like the hunt. I also do a lot of Online Arbitrage as well.  The one thing I like about Online Arbitrage is you don’t have to deal with stickers which can be a pain. Have you ever tried to get multiple clearance stickers off without damaging a box? It is definitely an art to it.

What is your favorite, Online Arbitrage or Retail Arbitrage? Tell us why. If you are not doing either one, which one will you start with and why?

Day 3 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

Products that you sell on Amazon are broken down into categories. Some of these categories are wide open and some require you to get approval before you can sell. You must get approval for the categories that have a star. Below are the categories:

  • Automotive*
  • Baby
  • Beauty*
  • Clothing and Accessories*
  • Grocery & Gourmet Foods*
  • Handbags*
  • Health & Personal Care
  • Home & Kitchen
  • Jewelry*
  • Luggage & Travel Gear*
  • Office Products
  • Patio, Lawn & Garden
  • Pet Supplies
  • Shoes*
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Sunglasses*
  • Tools & Home Improvement
  • Toys & Games
  • Watches*

Even if a category is not restricted or you are approved in a category, there still may be products that you cannot sell. There are some brands that you cannot sell until you get approval. Most of these approvals require you to turn in some number of wholesale invoices. There may also be a letter required from the manufacturer as well as an application fee. In some cases, the entire brand may not be restricted but there may be products that are restricted. However, if you are restricted for a particular brand, sometimes the approval is automatic so always try.

Ungated is a free Chrome Extension that shows you the categories that you are already approved in as well as provide you with information to make the process of getting approved in restricted categories easier.

What are you favorite categories to sell? Mine are Clothing, Groceries and Toys. Start thinking about the what categories the products will be in that you send in to Amazon.

Day 4 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

In order to find profitable products on Amazon, two things that you need to understand is the Best Sellers Rank (BSR) and sales velocity. BSR is based on sales and is updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on This number is by Amazon categories. The lower the number, the better the item has sold. For example, a BSR of 1 is better than a BSR of 1000. However, the lower the BSR, generally the more competition you will have.

You also need to take into consideration the category. For example, a BSR of 100,000 in Home & Kitchen is better than a rank of 100,000 in Toys & Games. There are approximately 61,195,359 products in Home & Kitchen and approximately 5,708,201 products in Toys & Games. A rank of 100,000 in Home & Kitchen is in the top 0.2% and only in the top 1.8% in toys. You can download a complimentary Sales Rank chart and even get on a list to receive an updated chart monthly.

Sales velocity is the rate at which a product sells. This is usually measured by the month, the week or the day. Typically, products with a lower BSR have a higher sales velocity but you must also take into consideration the category. Some categories are more popular than others. You can download a complimentary Sales Velocity chart.

Two free tools that help you interpret sales rank history and sales history are Keepa and Camel Camel Camel. To ensure you make the best buying decision you want to evaluate all the information that is available to you. Not only do you want to look at the current information such as BSR but you want to look at a product’s price and sales rank history. CamelCamelCamel is a site that allows you do to do this. You want to make sure that you just don’t have a temporary spike in BSR or is this a product that has been performing over time. It can also help you evaluate seasonal products. Keepa is another tool that has comprehensive price history graphs as well as price drop and availability alerts. This tool will even show if Amazon is in stock.

If you want to learn more about CamelCamelCamel and Keepa, I recommend Stephen Smotherman’s course, The Reseller’s Guide to How to Keepa Camel: Using Amazon Sales History to Make Smart Sourcing Decisions. This course will break down exactly how to use CamelCamelCamel and Keepa to make smart sourcing decisions. There are also some complimentary videos on Sales Ranks, CamelCamelCamel and Keepa.

I like to stay in the top 5% of the sales rank in a category but will go to 10%. You need to determine what you are comfortable with. Please study the sales rank and sales velocity charts so you are familiar with the percentages. I suggest you take a copy when you go shopping or save it to your phone.

Day 5 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

Outside of checking the Keepa and Camel Camel Camel charts to determine if I am going to buy a product, there are some other factors such as:

  • How many other sellers
  • Amazon on listing
  • Profit
  • ROI

If there a lot of other sellers on a product, then I tend to stay away from it unless it has a very low rank. I like to typically stay under 10 to 15 sellers. If Amazon is on the listing, I move on. Some people like to compete against Amazon but I am not one of them. Lots of people will tell you that Amazon shares the buy box but that has not been my experience. You need to determine what is the lowest profit you are willing to take as well as the ROI?

Now there is a difference between Profit and ROI or Return on Investment.  Revenue is your sold cost or how much you sold the item for. Profit is your Revenue or Sold Cost minus your Costs of Goods Sold. Costs of Goods sold includes how much you paid for the item plus sales tax if applicable. Some people also include the cost of shipping materials such as polybags and shipping to Amazon. I do not.

  • Revenue = Sold Cost

  • Profit = Revenue or Sold Cost – Costs of Goods Sold

Profit Margin is a measure of profit over cost. It is calculated once your initial investment is recouped.

  • ROI = (Revenue – Cost) / Cost

Would you buy if Amazon was on the listing?

How many is too many other sellers?

Do you have a ROI that you use when making purchases?

Do you have a Profit Margin that you use when making purchases?

Day 6 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

The biggest question new sellers or sellers in general have is where do I find products to sell on Amazon. The question is everywhere. You can find products in almost any store. There is a misconception that you must find clearance or sale merchandise to find profitable products. That is not true. There are plenty of opportunities to find profitable products that are not in the clearance aisle. You can find products in stores and online.

Below are some of the places that you can find products in retail stores:

  • Discount Stores
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Kmart
  • Dollar Stores
  • Drug Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Wholesale Club Stores
  • Toy Stores
  • Convenience Stores
  • Specialty Stores
  • Thrift Stores

Almost any store will have products that can be sold. Be creative and have an open mind. You will be surprised what you can find. Don’t overlook “Mom & Pop” stores or a store that you only have in your area.  Products that are only available in your region can be very popular on Amazon.

When you are sourcing products in discount stores and thrift stores, please ensure that the products are new if you are listing them as new on Amazon. The packaging must be in pristine condition as well. There should be no dings or dents in the boxes.

One book that I recommend on Retail Arbitrage is Arbitrage: The authoritative guide on how it works, why it works, and how it can work for you by Chris Green. He also has a Retail Arbitrage online course, Arbitrage and Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) Program.

If you are interested in sourcing in dollar stores, then I recommend the following book: Dollar Store Arbitrage: How to Make $100 a Day Selling Dollar Store Finds by Abigaile Hunt. I started selling on Amazon in the middle of November 2014 and I bought many things and continue to buy from dollar stores.

If you are just starting out and do not have a scanning app, then download the Amazon Seller App. You can either find it for free for your iPhone or Android phone.

Your assignment is to go shopping and find 5 profitable items.

Day 7 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

We are halfway through the challenge. I hope that everyone is on track. Remember, you need to send in 25 items to Amazon as part of this challenge. It can be 25 of the same item or 25 different items. Today’s post is more about scanning products. You can use the Amazon Seller App which is free or you can use other 3rd party tools. I also use Scan Power MobileScanPower Mobile is also a 3rd party application that you can download on your phone. It is free if there are free licenses available. You can also view CamelCamelCamel and Keepa charts on the ScanPower Mobile app. This app is free but sometimes it is not available. You will have to try back if it is not available for free.

restrictedEven though I use ScanPower Mobile, I always scan with the Amazon Seller App to make sure I am allowed to sell the product. I could be restricted from the brand or the category. The picture to the left shows you what is displayed on the Amazon Seller App when you are restricted.  Also, the product could be considered HazMat. If so, you can not send it into the warehouse. You would have to sell it Merchant Fulfilled instead. In the beginning, I just used the Amazon Seller app but the reason I switched is because I can easily get additional information very quickly with other apps. While you are scanning, make sure you are buying products that you can actually send in to the warehouse.
Did you complete your assignment from yesterday? Did you find 5 profitable products that you are allowed to sell? Today’s assignment is to find 5 more products that you can sell. If they are profitable, actually purchase them. Leave a comment and let us know how many products you bought today.

Day 8 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

By now, you should have found some profitable products to send into Amazon and now you need to get your products ready for shipment. If your products have price stickers on them, then you need to take them off. You need to do this carefully so you do not damage the packaging. I use Scotty peelers and Goo Gone but there are other things you can use. Some people use a heat gun or even a hair dryer. Check out my post, How To Get Labels Off Your Products, for more information.

If your products are not completely covered, then you will need to put them in polybags. I also use these to protect items. I use the self-sealing ones that already have the suffocation label printed on them. This way I don’t need suffocation warning labels and don’t need a heat sealer to close the bags. For more information on polybags, check out Polybags And My Amazon FBA Business.

Once you have prepared your products, you now need to put them in a box. You can buy boxes from Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart or a variety of other places. You can also order them online. If you spend at least $50, UHaul will deliver for free. You can also use free boxes. The boxes do not have to be new. The only type of boxes that you can not use are alcohol boxes.

Once you pack everything in your box, you now need to add packing material to secure your products. You can use bubble wrap, craft paper or plastic bags. Newspaper and packing peanuts are not allowed. If you use plastic bags, put the bags inside of one of the bags and close it up. If your box is much bigger than it needs to be, you might want to resize it.

Once your box is full, you tape it up and weigh it. Now you are ready to print your shipping labels and send your box to Amazon. To find out more about the supplies you may need, you can check out our supplies list.

Do you have all of your supplies? How did you take your labels off? Where are you getting your boxes? What type of packing material do you plan to use? Let everyone know.

Day 9 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

Did you know that there are various ways to send your shipment into Amazon? You can use FedEx or UPS. FedEx was added in January 2017. I have never used FedEx. I always use UPS. If you use UPS, there are several ways to get your packages to UPS. You can drop them off at a UPS Store, Staples, UPS or even have them picked up. You can sign up for a Smart Pickup account which is free for the first year.

I have observed that where my boxes are dropped off affects how long my merchandise gets to Amazon. UPS comes to the UPS Store once a day in the evening to pick up packages. I have 2 UPS centers close to my house. One is very close, so I use them if it is close to closing time or I don’t want to deal with traffic. The other one is about 20 miles away but the traffic can be very bad. The one further away is a hub, so things move quicker. They are also open on Saturday. I have also observed that when I send packages on Friday, they typically don’t leave UPS until Sunday night or Monday.

You can track your packages by going to your Dashboard, click Inventory and then click Manage FBA Shipments. You should observe how long your packages take to get to Amazon so you are prepared during Q4 to get them to Amazon as quickly as you can.

How do you plan to send your 25 items into the Amazon warehouse?

Day 10 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

When you sell your products are Amazon, there are some fees associated with it. There are FBA fees, storage fees and even fees is you Merchant Fufill.

Amazon FBA Fees

If you are using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), below are the following fees that you must take into consideration:

  • Per Item Fee
  • Fulfillment Fee
  • Referral Fee
  • Inbound Shipping Fee
  • Weight Handling Fee
  • Storage Fees

Per Item Fee – If you have a Professional Account, then you do not pay a per item fee. If you have an Individual Account, then you pay 99 cents per item sold.

Fulfillment Fee –  This fee includes order handling, weight handling and pick & pack. Pick & Pack is when Amazon picks your items out of the warehouse and packs them in a box to deliver to the customer.

Referral Fee – The referral fee for most categories is 15% of the sales price.

Inbound Shipping Fees – There are shipping fees associated with shipping your merchandise to Amazon. These fees must be taken into consideration as well.

Weight Handling Fee – The outbound shipping weight is calculated for each order by adding the packaging weight to the unit weight. For most products that weigh over a pound, the greater of the unit weight or the dimensional weight will be used. The total is rounded up to the nearest pound. The outbound shipping weight is then multiplied by the weight handling fee.

Storage Fees – The are two types of storage fees: Monthly & Long-Term. These fees are charged for all merchandise that is stored in an Amazon fulfillment center. It is charged based on cubic feet. The monthly storage fees are charged monthly. There are two types of long term storage fees – 6 months and 12 months. If an item has been in the warehouse at least 6 months on the 15th of August or the 15th of February, you will be assessed 6-month long-term storage fees. If an item has been in the warehouse at least 12 months on the 15th of August or the 15th of February, you will be charged 6-month and 12-month long term storage fees.

Amazon Merchant Fulfilled Fees

If you sell items using the Amazon Merchant Fulfilled program, then you will pay referral fees and variable closing fees if applicable.

Day 11 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

Now that you know how to determine if a product is profitable, you have your shipping supplies and you know where to find products, it is time to ship your items to Amazon. At a high level, there are basically 10 steps to get your inventory to Amazon.

Step 1 – Go Shopping and Find Bargains

In previous days in this post are instructions how to find bargains.

Step 2 – Add Product to Your Inventory

Once you bring your merchandise home, you need to start the process of preparing it to go to Amazon. The first thing you must do is add your product to your inventory. As a newer seller, I recommend that you only sell items that are already in the Amazon category. You can add new products but that requires more work and you must drive traffic to the listing as well.

Step 3 – Determine Price

Based on what other sellers are selling the item for, what you paid for the item and the Amazon fees you will be charged, you need to determine the price of your item. Make sure you take into account all of the fees you will be charged.

Step 4 – Add Product to a Shipping Plan and Enter Quantity of Product

Once you determine your price, you need to add your products to a shipping plan and enter the quantity that you will be sending in. You will need 30-Up labels for printing.

Step 5 – Print Labels

Once you have added all your items to your shipping plan, you must print out your labels.

Step 6 – Put label over barcode/UPC

Now that you have printed the labels, you must put the label over the barcode. This is also called the UPC.

Step 7 – Prepare Product

Depending on the product, there are different preparation steps that are required. If the product has a price tag, you need to remove it. Using a Scotty Peeler makes this much easier. Some items need to be put in a polybag or bubble wrapped . If the item contains more than one item, then you want to make sure that you include a “This Is A Set label. If you are using a bag and it does not have a suffocation warning on it, then you need to affix a suffocation label to it if the opening is 5 inches or more. I also do this if I bubble wrap something that is not put inside of a bag.

Step 8 – Approve Shipment

Once you approve the shipment, you will know where you are sending your products. Sometimes everything goes to one warehouse and sometimes not.

Step 9 – Pack Boxes & Weigh Them

Once you know what warehouse your products are going to, you can pack your boxes. You should try to use boxes that are as close to the size of the items you are packing as possible. If your box is too big, you can always use a box resizer and a box cutter to resize the box. You can use craft paper to fill the box and protect its contents. You can also use plastic bags. Put plastic bags inside of one plastic bag and tie it up. Once you have secured your boxes with tape, you must weigh them.

Step 10 – Print UPS labels and Take Boxes To Be Shipped

Now that you have weighed your boxes, you can now print the shipping labels. If you are shipping via UPS, you can get free shipping labels from them. You affix the labels to the box and you can now take your boxes to be shipped. You can drop them off at UPS or a UPS Store. Staples will also accept UPS shipments.

Day 12 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

By now, your merchandise should be on the way to the Amazon warehouse. While you are waiting for it to be checked in, you can track your shipment. Go to your dashboard and select Inventory. Once you select Inventory, select Manage FBA Shipments. Select your shipment and you will see how it travels across the country to the Amazon warehouse.

If you are using UPS, you will see the following three statuses as your package moves from one UPS facility to another:

  • Package arrived at a carrier facility
  • Package received by carrier
  • Package has left the carrier facility

Once it arrives at the Amazon warehouse, the first status you will see is Delivered. This means that UPS has reported that your shipment has been delivered to the Amazon warehouse. The next status is Checked-In. This means Amazon has reported that your shipment has been delivered. Once your shipment has been delivered, it will move to Receiving or Processing. This means that the contents of your shipment are being scanned and added to your inventory. Once your shipment has been fully processed, it will move to a Closed status.

Day 13 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

We are on the home stretch. This is the next to the last day of the challenge. Please leave a comment and let me know how many items you have sent into Amazon. Once your items have been checked into the Amazon warehouse, you may see something strange when you look at Manage Inventory. The items are active, they have been fully processed but the quantity is 0. Where is your inventory? This happens to me on a regular basis. Most of my items are shipped to the Charlotte, NC warehouse which is a distribution warehouse.

A distribution warehouse gets your product and then ships them to other warehouses. This is good and bad. It is good because I don’t have to ship to a lot of warehouses. It is bad because my items end up on backorder until they are shipped to their final destination. Your inventory is in a reserved status. Find out more by reading Why Is More Inventory Reserved?

Day 14 – 14 Day Amazon FBA Challenge

Today is the last day of the Amazon FBA Challenge? Did you meet your goal of sending in 25 items? If no, reread this post and send your items in. This challenge was focused on using the Retail Arbitrage Model. If you would rather not go to stores, then you can use online arbitrage. With this model, you buy products online.

Many of the brick and mortar retail stores also have an online presence. There are also stores that are only available online. If you really don’t like to shop in stores or you are in a remote area, you might want to consider shopping online.

If you shop online, please make sure that you take into consideration the extra time that will be involved. You must wait for the merchandise to be delivered to your home. Some stores have an option to order online and pick up in the store. This normally gets rid of shipping fees.

One book that I recommend on Online Arbitrage is Online Arbitrage: Sourcing Secrets for Buying Products Online to Resell for BIG PROFITS by Chris Green. He also has an Online Arbitrage online course, Online Arbitrage – Buy Products Online to Resell.

You can also use tools to assist with Online Arbitrage such as Tactical Arbitrage. For more information on Tactical Arbitrage, read My Go To Online Sourcing Tool – Tactical Arbitrage.