5 Things Friday Newsletter Archives

5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (6/25/2021)

"I've found the best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing, and the best way to get a lot of things done is to be under a lot of pressure to pull them off." -Walt Disney

Coffee with Chris

BIG show this week. In a rare move we had a special guest on this week's show, Paul Rafelson, an attorney and someone who spends a lot of time fighting for the Amazon seller via Online Merchants Guild to discuss the multiple bills being debated in Congress. One such bill that could even break Amazon up. Amazon, obviously, raised their hackles at this and it's imperative you understand the importance of these bills. Make sure to watch, like, and share with your Amazon seller friends so they can be informed as well. Also, join the OMG so we have a voice on Capitol Hill.

Click Here to Watch the CWC Replay

Interesting Factoid

The first book Amazon.com ever sold was from Bezos’ garage in July 1995. The book was Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.

Prime Results

250 million+ items were purchased including 600,000 backpacks, 1 million laptops, 1 million headphones, 240,000 notebooks, 40,000 calculators, and 220,000 Crayola products. Amazon states Prime Day was the biggest two day period for third party sellers. The best selling categories included tools, beauty, nutrition, baby care, and electronics. Some of the best selling items excluding Amazon devices in the US were: Waterpik Electric Water Flosser, Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, 23andMe Health DNA Test, iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum, Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker. Finally, Adobe Analytics states that Prime Day sales surpassed $11 Billion with Prime Day growth at about 6% over 2020.

Click Here to Read More Details

*Sponsored Content*

More Profit, More Sales, Less Time

That is the entire goal of using online arbitrage leads. However, not all lead lists are created equally. So, when I find a high quality list I shout it from the rooftops. One such list is OA Leads Pro from Eli Gluckowsky. His leads are hand-crafted, sourced manually, and reviewed by a veteran US seller (Eli himself) before being gently delivered to your email inbox so you can profit from his hard work without much of your own. If you have been looking for a leads list I would highly suggest you visit OA Leads Pro and join before the spots on his brand new Mixed List #4 fill up.

Click Here to Make More Profit, More Sales, and Have More Time

Another Union Fight About to Happen?

Amazon successfully dodged unionization of one of it's warehouses recently. Now, it seems, Amazon may be in for a bigger fight coming from one of the biggest unions in the country. The Teamsters. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters voted Thursday in favor of a resolution to make "building worker power at Amazon and helping those workers achieve a union contract" a main priority, according to a copy of the resolution. Under the resolution, called the "Amazon Project," Teamsters would fully fund the effort, which would include eventually creating a special Amazon Division to aid workers.Teamsters said that 1,562 delegates out of 1,632 representing more than 500 local unions voted in favor of the resolution.

Click Here to Read More

A Course as a Book...

Chris Green is a good friend but also someone who is able to see trends, opportunities, and ways to leverage Amazon and the internet to make an income. As a matter of fact, he's made a fair share of money in several different ways. Selling products on marketplaces, selling books he has written, courses, software, and more. If you have $7 I would suggest you throw it at Chris for his Course as a Book and pay some attention to what he teaches. I've never regretted it as Chris has pushed me in ways that have been both personally and professionally rewarding.

Click Here & Spend $7

Thousand of Items Destroyed Weekly

In the UK lawmakers want to meet with Amazon. Not because of their sales practices. Rather, because of their trash. A report states that thousands of unsold and returned items including TV's, books, sealed face masks, and laptops are destroyed by Amazon regularly. This of course got social media in an uproar and even a response from British PM Boris Johnson. My questions is, how many products might Amazon be destroying a marketplace the size of the US?

Click Here to Read The Full Story

We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.

Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...

Good Selling!

-Chris


Tools I Use & Recommend



5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (5/28/2021)

“As the Island of Knowledge grows, so do the shores of our ignorance—the boundary between the known and unknown. Learning more about the world doesn’t lead to a point closer to a final destination—whose existence is nothing but a hopeful assumption anyways—but to more questions and mysteries. The more we know, the more exposed we are to our ignorance, and the more we know to ask.” -Marcelo Gleiser

Independence Day

The US celebrates Independence Day July 4th. Jeff Bezos "Independence Day comes July 5th. That is when he will be formally stepping down and handing the reigns of CEO over to Andy Jassy who currently runs Amazon's cloud computing arm. Now, Jeff is still going to be involved, lest we think he is drifting off into the sunset on the deck of his new mega-yacht. Bezos will transition to the role of Executive Chair and plans to spend more of his time on Blue Origins, his Earth fund, and other projects. We all know that Jeff's fingerprints will still be all over Amazon. I just wonder if the andy@amazon.com will be as responsive as jeff@amazon.com was?

Click Here to read more about Jeff's "departure"


IP Alert Update (Mobile Version)

We have gotten tons of requests to make IP Alert mobile for those who practice the time honored tradition of retail arbitrage. Stories about how it really sucks to come home with a huge inventory haul only to find the best find is on IP Alert have come across my desk on more than one occasion. Well, we finally got it in gear and have made IP Alert Mobile a reality and it is available now to anyone who is a current subscriber of the program as well as anyone who decides it's time to get their own copy. I put together a video on the instructions to download the app along with a few other updates that have been made. Check it out below and smash the like button for the algorithm please.

Click Here to See the 2021 IP Alert Update


Get Your Money Back (and I'll pay you)

We know that being an Amazon seller requires cashflow. We also know that Amazon loses inventory, it gets damaged, and seemingly disappears into the ether at random. We also know that we are all crunched for time and often forget that there is often a lot of our money out there to be picked up if we would just go looking for it and open up the right cases to be reimbursed. But, we fail to do so because we need to source and ship and feed the kids and handle the 9 to 5 and well, you get it. Refund Sniper to the rescue! Refund Sniper will find places for you to get your money that Amazon owes you. They will go back the farthest you are allowed (18 months) and if you want they will check your inbound shipments for you too. Plus, they only get paid IF you get paid. If you decide to sign up with them drop my name in the referral box and I'll send you a $50 Amazon Gift Card (just drop me a line).

Click Here to Let Refund Sniper Zero In on Your Reimbursements (and get a $50 gift card)


85 New Countries

Amazon has opened the doors for sellers from 85 new countries to sell on the US platform. Now, before you get upset, it's very likely that anyone from these countries who really wanted to sell on Amazon US probably already are. It can be as easy as opening up a business in a neighboring and Amazon friendly country or even using a partner in another country. There are still a few countries not allowed to sell on Amazon. Mostly countries that the US doesn't want to do business with like North Korea, Cuba, and Iran. It's also notable that only 9 countries have more than 10,000 sellers on the US Amazon platform. Those countries include Canada, U.K., India, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, and Ukraine. It will be interesting to see which, if any, countries really take advantage of this opportunity.

Click Here to Read The Whole Story


Bezos, Jeff Bezos

Amazon has made an offer on MGM that has been accepted as long as regulators approve, that is. $8.45 Billion plus debt for all the rights to shows, movies, and IP that MGM owns including the James Bond franchise. Anything you want me to bring you from Amazon, Moneypenny? Now, the question begs, why would Amazon make this the second largest acquisition they have made behind Whole Foods. In my opinion, and the opinion of people smarter than me, this is a play to keep eyeballs inside the Amazon Prime atmosphere. If I'm watching TV, movies, and even Thursday night NFL games on Amazon I might as well be sure that subscription doesn't expire and while I'm at it order that bonnet I wanted after watching The Handmaid's Tale. A stretch, I know, but I think you get it. It's a smart move and I think sellers should applaud it. More eyeballs = more buyers = more possible sales = more money in our pocket.

Click Here to Read More


Seller Candy

About two weeks ago I hosted a webinar with the guys from Seller Candy. In it they laid out the process they use to handle Suspected IP Claims for their clients. The break down the whole thing, soup to nuts. We also dove into ways to remove bottle necks from your Amazon business (hint: we are often the bottle neck) and free up time to sell more and make more. It was a great webinar and if you have 45 minutes I would suggest you check it out.

Click Here to Catch the Replay with John & Brian


Prime Day Announced!

Well, it seems it is still a "secret" but the cat always seems to get out of the bag early. June 21st and 22nd are the dates that people familiar with the matter have shared and records that have been reviewed by journalists. If this is your first Prime Day as an Amazon seller it can be like a mini-Q4 in the summer. Shoppers flock to the site to grab cheap Kindles and Echo's and leave with much more in their carts than they may have expected which can often be a windfall for you and I as sellers. You may also be able to capitalize on the sales holiday since other retailers will follow suit with their own sales or sales very close to Prime Day. So, gird your loins! Prime Day will be upon us in no time.

Click Here to Read More


Friday Puzzle

This week's puzzle is in honor of NBA Playoff season!

How many times (bonus:what years) have the Los Angeles Lakers and The Boston Celtics met in the NBA Finals? Answer below the fold.


We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris

Tools I Use & Recommend



Puzzle Answers

The answer is 12 times. 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1984, 1985, 1987, 2008, 2010


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (5/7/2021)

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials." -Seneca

$2.6K of Meltables

A 4 year old Brooklyn boy (who's adorable, btw) accidentally ordered $2,600 worth of his favorite cartoon characters poppelganger. In other words, 51 cases or 918 Spongebob Squarepants popsicles and had them sent to his aunt's house. A goFundMe was set up to help the family cover the cost of the little guy's accidental purchase. My hope is that he has an entrepreneurial spirit and decides to take his excess to the street and sell them to local kids since it's beginning to be ice cream weather.

Click Here to Have a Laugh


Seller University Updates

Amazon has released a couple of new trainings on Amazon Seller University. It's always wise to keep up with what Amazon comes out with and changes just to be sure we stay within the lines. The first training they updated is all about identifying customer returns and understanding feedback. The second is how to improve apparel and shoe listings to reduce customer returns (and in turn increase your profit margins). Make sure to check them out. It'll take less than 10 minutes to watch both videos.

Click Here to See the New Trainings


60% Marketplace Growth

Great article from Marketplace Pulse shows that Amazon Marketplace grew 60% in Q1. Check this out: Amazon Marketplace grew 60% in the first quarter of 2021, the fastest in at least five years since the company started reporting third-party seller services revenue. Third-party seller services revenue, which includes transaction and fulfillment fees, grew over 50% each of the past four quarters. Significantly faster than revenue from Amazon’s online sales. Since the fees sellers pay to Amazon are relatively consistent, the revenue collected from that is a proxy for marketplace GMV growth.

Click Here to Read More



#1 UK Amazon Seller Goes Public

This story is just too great not to share. One of the largest sellers on the UK Amazon marketplace has just gone public. The name is MusicMagpie and they sell on both eBay and Amazon. They are actually one of the few companies in the UK that have gone public this year that are turning a profit. $19 Million in profit last year, to be exact, on over $200 Million in sales. The crazy thing. The items they sell are almost 100% used in the music and DVD niches. The buy from the public and in bulk and then resell the item on their own site, eBay, and Amazon. Following their IPO they now have a market cap of around $300 Million.

Click Here to Read the News About Music Magpie



Amazon on Pace to Outgrow Walmart

According to a new report Amazon should be bigger than Walmart by 2025. By 2025, U.S. shoppers will buy US$632 billion worth of products at Amazon and retail affiliates including Whole Foods Market, surpassing Walmart’s US$523 billion, according to the report by Edge by Ascential, which measured the value of all goods sold by each company online and in stores with the exception of gasoline. My opinion is, it seems like there may be plenty of meat left on the bone for 3P sellers on Amazon if growth continues at that pace. We know Amazon can't handle that without us.

Click Here to Read More



Friday Puzzle

It was recently National Park week here in the US. So, this week's puzzle is all about the US National Treasures. Answers below the fold!

1) What is the oldest National Park?

2) What National Park is one of the Seven Wonders of the world?

3) What is the most visited National Park?

4) What state is the Great Sand Dunes National Park located in?



We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris



Puzzle Answers

1) Yellowstone

2) Grand Canyon

3) Great Smoky Mountains

4) Colorado


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (4/30/2021)

“While we are postponing, life speeds by." -Seneca

MCF Fee Changes & Updates

June 1st Amazon has plans to increase MCF Fees. They say about 3% on average but you will want to dig into the fee structure to see where that may hit you the most. One of the interesting things too is that Amazon will allow the ability to block using Amazon logistics for orders if you choose at a 5% surcharge. This is in response to ebay and Walmart disallowing Amazon logistics as a shipping option. Here are some highlights: 1) We will implement moderate increases in fulfillment fees (about 3% on average) to reflect changing fulfillment, transportation, and storage costs. This increase is in line with the industry average increases for fulfillment services. 2) We are adding the option to block orders from being shipped by Amazon Logistics, for a 5% surcharge. Because sales channels like eBay and Walmart prohibit the use of Amazon Logistics, you will be able to block this shipping method at the account level within your FBA settings or for individual orders. 3) We are aligning most MCF product size tiers to the Fulfillment by Amazon tiers and adding a new Small standard size: 2 oz or less tier. We will remove expedited and priority shipping speeds on large oversize and special oversize products.

Click Here to Read More About These Fee Changes



Crushing Earnings & Prime Day

Year over year Amazon sales are up 44% in Q1. Amazon did over 108 Billion in sales and reported more than $15 per share in earnings on its recent call. This, of course, pushed the stock price higher. They did state that they may see lower sales during Q2 as more people are vaccinated and may head back to stores but they still believe it will be another 100 Billion dollar quarter. In addition to that they confirmed that Prime Day will be held in June which surprised me as Amazon is typically tight lipped about the date until it's almost upon us. So, gird your loins as Prime Day will be here before you know it.

Click Here to Read The Breakdown of The Earnings Call



Go-Go ASIN Gadget

Read that to the tune of the opening credits of Inspector Gadget and it may make a bit more sense. If you're reading and you're not old enough to remember that cartoon head over to The Youtubes and check it out. Now, on to ASIN Gadget. My friend Derek Lee built a nifty Google chrome Extension. It's a lightweight tool that does four simple things. Tells you if you can sell an item (restricted or not), lets you know if an item is hazmat, tells you if the item is meltable, and allows you to copy the ASIN with one click to take it to a spreadsheet, software or anything else you may need the ASIN for. My favorite part is that it's color codes. Green for go. Red for stop. That way all it takes is a quick glance to know what is going on. This is also only $27 for a lifetime license at the moment. However, if you use the link below you can grab that lifetime license for only $20 by using code CTS. Less than your takeout lunch order cost.

Grab ASIN Gadget Here for Just $20 While it Lasts (Promo Code CTS)



Raising Wages

Amazon is rolling out pay increases for 500,000 employees. These pay raises will specifically target those who work in fulfillment, delivery, and sorting. This was to be done in the fall but Amazon has decided to roll it out early. Pay increases will be between 50 cents per hour up to $3 per hour. This will be on the top of the already $15 an hour minimum wage that Amazon has in place. Perhaps this is an Amazon seller pipe dream but maybe this will make inbound shipment get checked in faster? Ok, I know you're laughing, I couldn't keep a straight face typing it lol.

Click Here to Read Amazon's Announcement



Interesting Stats

Many times sellers look to sell in places and niches where Amazon may not have a large foothold. Well, SmartScout Pro has some data on where that is and I found it interesting. Of course, we would expect Amazon to have a strong hold on the category that got them started and that seems to be the case based on these estimates. But, once you did into some real niche areas you can see there are still a lot of corners that Amazon doesn't really focus on. Check out these numbers of the Amazon share of sales (estimates based on data): Books - 72% share of $1,400,000,000 monthly revenue Video Games - 50% of $43,000,000 Baby products - 45% of $1,200,000,000 Appliances - 40% of $69,000,000 Pet Supplies - 36% of $1,000,000,000 Those subcategories are: New, Used & Rental Textbooks - 17% share of $190,000 monthly revenue Microconsoles - <1% share of $336,000 Pregnancy & Maternity - 2% share of $25,000,000 Laundry Appliances - 9% share of $7,000,000 Reptiles & Amphibians - 5% share of $13,000,000



Friday Image

Instead of a puzzle this week I saw this image Amazon shared of one of it's planes against the backdrop of a lightning storm and thought it was too great not to share. Enjoy!


We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (4/16/2021)

“We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application—not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech—and learn them so well that words become works.” -Seneca

The OA Challenge

April 19th at 6 PM EST is when we start the second OA Challenge for 2021. We have had 1,000+ smart people come through the challenge, participate, and grow their businesses together. There have even had a few side hustles created out of the challenge for new service providers to Amazon sellers. If you have been looking for an intensive, affordable way to really get a grasp on the art & science of online arbitrage you won't be disappointed. We start in just over a week and I look forward to seeing you all there!

Click Here to Join The OA Challenge



Flammable Storage Decreasing

It seems that flammable storage is decreasing across the Amazon FC network. I saw some notes that some folks could not find their flammable storage at all. I then checked mine to see I had 5 cubic feet (I know I had more at one point). Sure enough, an email comes through. Here is what Amazon had to say: We are reducing flammable hazmat capacity in our Fulfillment Centers and your account will be affected. We are decreasing your flammable capacity allocation from 15 Cubic Feet to 5 Cubic Feet, effective immediately. Why is this happening? Due to the CoVID-19 global pandemic, we have seen increases in Selling Partners requesting to utilize Flammable storage in our FCs. To maintain a level of safety for our associates as well as your products, we are decreasing the amount of on hand inventory we currently store in our FBA network from the Sellers utilizing flammable capacity the most. We have identified your account as utilizing a high percentage of flammable capacity in the US and we require your participation in decreasing the total flammable storage in our FC Network. Per Section 5 of the FBA Dangerous Goods Program Terms and Conditions we reserve the right to modify your inventory storage limit. You can view your current storage limit and usage for the Program at the bottom of your Shipping Queue on the Manage FBA Inventory page in Seller Central. As your account will be in excess of your granted flammable capacity allocation, we will be waiving your overage fees for April-May to allow you to sell through or remove your units. In addition to this temporary fee waiver, we are exploring ways in which we can provide free unit removal promotions in the near future to Selling Partners affected by this reduction initiative.



Meltable Data Required

To help improve the customer experience, we’ve added a melting temperature attribute for ASINs. Starting April 22, 2021, this attribute will be a required step when you fill out information for the following: New ASINs All existing ASINs when you update any attribute on a product information page For meltable items, such as chocolate, lip balms, and wax-based products, select Yes for is heat sensitive and provide information about the product’s melting temperature. Although melting temperature is currently an optional attribute, we recommend that you update your affected ASINs now so that they are current as of April 22. If you offer temperature-sensitive ASINs that Amazon also offers, the product attributes may have been updated already. NOTE: While I think this may cause some issues with bad actors and people who may be lazy about meltable attributes the rest of us should be fine. Meltable information is really only a few keystrokes away with Google. You actually may be surprised at the melting point of some items or find yourself reading about the different kinds of candle wax and how different the melting points can be. At least, that's what a friend told me...



MF'ing Replacements

Well, first it was refund at first scan. Now we have replacements for MF items. From Amazon: We are now offering your customers an additional resolution option: receiving a replacement item at no extra cost as part of our continued efforts to improve the seller-fulfilled returns experience This can preserve your sale instead of turning the transaction into a refund. Replacement is an option for eligible items as part of our Prepaid Return Label program for seller-fulfilled returns. In addition to requesting a refund for an item that is damaged, defective, or different from what was ordered, customers now have the option of asking for a replacement product. Customers will continue to receive prepaid return labels for their items, regardless of whether they are requesting a replacement or refund. Under the replacements program, the customer has seven days to return the original item. Once the prepaid return label is scanned and we receive confirmation of the customer’s return, we will notify you to send a replacement. For items that are eligible for returnless refunds, customers will have the option of a returnless replacement. To protect you from bad returns, you will be able to file reimbursements through the SAFE-T claim process in cases where the condition of the original product is used, damaged, or materially different from what was sent to the customer.

Click Here to Learn More



First and Last

Jeff Bezos has penned his first Letter to Shareholders since announcing he will be stepping down. This will also be his last letter, I presume, as he will transition from his current position to Executive Chair in Q3. Some notes from the letter. Last year, Amazon hired 500,000 employees and now directly employ 1.3 million people around the world. Amazon has more than 200 million Prime members worldwide. More than 1.9 million small and medium-sized businesses sell in our store, and they make up close to 60% of our retail sales. The rest is a bit boring and reflective, of course but the link below will take you to it.

Click Here to Read Jeff's Shareholder Letter



Friday Puzzle

One song has spent 260 consecutive weeks (five years) on the UK's Top 100 list, setting a new chart record. What's the song?

Answer below the fold 👇


We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris



Puzzle Answer

"Mr. Brisghtside" by The Killers


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (4/9/2021)

“Apply yourself to thinking through difficulties—hard times can be softened, tight squeezes widened, and heavy loads made lighter for those who can apply the right pressure.” —Seneca

The OA Challenge

The next OA Challenge begins on April 19th, 2021. Just a little over a week away. However, we decided to put together an early bird special this time around which expires in just a little over 2 days. On top of the 14 days of live training, the nike ungating guide, topicals, and grocery ungating guide, and all the other bonuses we have packed into The OA Challenge we will also be doing a pre-challenge private webinar. You'll get to ask questions before everyone else and even help guide what would be helpful to be covered during the 14 day challenge. Sound good? Early bird ends Sunday night!

Click Here to Join The OA Challenge Early Bird Special!



Backend Processing Down

This morning, April 9th, Amazon stated that they were experiencing an issue that is impacting the availability of our back end feed processing systems. Feeds will be queued for processing and, once this issue has been resolved, will resume flowing through the system. It may be mitigated by the time you read this but if you were having any issues this may be why.



Interesting Data

SmartScout Pro came out with some really interesting data recently. For example, do you know what state houses the Amazon Sellers with the highest average sales per seller? It's not California or New York. It's the corn husker state, Nebraska. California, New York, and Florida are the top 3 states for total sales volume on Amazon though. Those states also account for the highest number of sellers in a state. Lots of other interesting data point in their report as well. Check it out and I'd love to know what kind of insights you take from it.

Click Here to Read More on this.



Mall Grave Robbing?

Amazon, who many blame for the death of the mall, has been robbing those graves where malls rest in peace. Between 2016 and 2019 Amazon picked up and converted 25 or so malls into distribution centers. I mean, the location of these malls makes perfect sense. They are likely close to people since they aren't outlet malls, and they already have a ton of space. Amazon buying up these properties hasn't stopped and there have even been discussions about turning empty anchor stores into fulfillment centers. The future of the mall and Amazon is surely interesting.

Click Here to Read the Article



20% Growth in 2021?

Trackr, a parcel tracking platform, did an analysis and they believe Amazon could grow to $500 billion in revenues by the end of 2021 based on the growth Amazon reached in 2020. They say that COVID has shifted the growth of e-commerce by at least 5 years, prime memberships are poised to break 153 million by 2022, and Amazon is continually trying to better their logistics to remove inefficiencies.

Check out more of the study results here.



No More Customer Info

As of April 8th Amazon removed customer details from reports. If you fulfill orders yourself you will still be able to see customer information but that data will no longer be available for download. This was used in the past by private label sellers to build custom audiences, mail out postcards, and other activities that Amazon stated was against their terms of service. If you were using that data for tax remittance in states that still do not participate in marketplace facilitator Amazon has rolled out a new report for that.



Friday Puzzle

This week's puzzle is in honor of all those players getting back into the swing of things on the diamond. What iconic baseball stadium is under the red rectangle? Answer below the fold 👇


We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris



PUZZLE ANSWER

Fenway Park. Extra virtual points if you pronounced it Fenway Pahk in your head.


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (4/2/2021)

“Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

Wholesale Leads

Our VA team has put out more Wholesale Leads than we can handle again. So, our excess is your gain. All of the Wholesale leads include phone number, website, and email for every lead. Also a link to the contact form if it's available. All leads have to sell at least 100 estimated units per month and at least $10,000 estimated monthly sales. Tons of other info is included as well like listing quality score, estimated sales from multiple softwares, estimated profit per unit, etc. Plus, these are less than $3 per lead which should easily pay for itself if you were to secure even one profitable wholesale account. There is a STRICT LIMIT to 30 people only when these are available. Check out the info as well as the video i put together to show you whats included and grab one (if you will use it) before they are sold out.

Click Here to Grab Your Wholesale Leads



Coffee with Chris Replay

This week we discussed Lil Nas X and the Nike spectacle that is happening, Amazon's twitter army rising up, the growth of e-commerce grocery (again), refund at first scan, FBA New Selection, and a breakdown of the number of seller new to the Amazon platform (hint: it's more than 1 per minute in 2021) as well as the reason not to let that scare you off.

Click Here to Watch the Replay (Please Like and Share)



Refund at First Scan

As part of our effort to offer a seamless and convenient return experience for both sellers and customers, we are introducing the Refund at First Scan (RFS) feature to all sellers who use the Prepaid Return Label program starting May 4, 2021. Products returned through Amazon’s Prepaid Return Label program will automatically be eligible for RFS. This mandatory feature is new for seller-fulfilled items and already required for sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon. With RFS, you will no longer need to rush to process a refund within the two business day SLA. Customers will receive a refund after the first carrier scan when they drop-off or ship back their return using an Amazon prepaid return label. You will continue to be notified about refunds by Amazon notification emails for all refunds processed with RFS. Amazon’s return and refund policies will apply to refund amount calculations for RFS eligible orders. Refunds issued through RFS will be eligible for SAFE-T reimbursements, if you receive a damaged or materially different return due to customer fault.

Click Here to Learn More About RFS



SMB's Eligible for 500K from SBA?

Beginning April 6, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is expanding its Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Small businesses who originally took out an EIDL loan for up to $150,000 for six months can extend that loan for up to 24 months and receive additional funds for a total of $500,000 in relief. You won't have to resubmit any paperwork and if you did take a loan they should be reaching out to you via email (check those other folders in your email service provider!). The SBA has also extended the deferment period for both EIDL and PPP Loans. Make sure you are up to date on all of this if you took some funds from either of these programs.

Click Here to Read More on this.



An Infographic

295,000 sellers have joined Amazon in 2021. Well, that was as of March 21. The number is higher now. Broken down that is 3,734 new sellers per day, 155 new sellers per hour, or 2 every minute. Don't fret, not all of those have been in the US marketplace. 26% have joined the US market, 10.1% in India, 7.5% in Canada, and 6.8% in the UK. Also, remember from our discussion on number of sellers recently. Only 1/6th of "active" sellers on Amazon ave made enough sales to even solicit a single feedback in the past year.

Click Here to View the Infographic



Grocery Goldmine?

I'm fascinated by the growth of grocery e-commerce. First, i think it may be because it really is a small piece of the overall grocery landscape. But, the growth curve seems to beat expectations at every turn. 2020 and 2021 have had some special circumstance but I hypothesize that the professional prognosticators may still be undershooting the growth that grocery can expect. Even so, they do say that online grocery will hit 100 Billion in 2021. Another crazy milestone and the growth should continue in part because people get more comfortable but also because budgets for food seem to be growing.

Click Here to Read Grocery Goals for 2021


Friday Puzzle

What common English word has the letters "WSP" in that order, without any letters between? Answer below the fold 👇


We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris



Puzzle Answer

Newspaper


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (3/26/2021)

"Don't just say that you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person." -Epictetus

Coffee with Chris ☕️

The weekly live all about Amazon news and opinion was back this week! We talked about stolen coins, important dates, TikTok Amazon Products, Amazon pricing lawsuits, PPP Loans for sole proprietors, Easter Spending (don't sleep on MF), and more. Click here to watch the replay on Facebook. Do me a huge favor and share this with your Amazon friends! 🙏



Important Dates 📆

Most of these things have been touched on in previous weeks emails but deserve a reminder. 1) 4/5/2021 - Carrier Names Required. You'll have to give Amazon the carrier names when you confirm shipments via bulk feeds, APIs, or other integrations. My opinion is this is step one in trying to police dropshippers. 2) 5/3/2021 - Amazon will validate tracking details for all seller fulfilled orders and warn you of invalid tracking numbers. Step 2 in policing dropshipping, imho. 3) 5/31/2021 - Seller who use a bank account or other paout method from a non-participating payment service provider approved by Amazon will see longer payout periods of up to 21 days. Step 3 in dealing with dropshippers, imho. especially dropshippers from overseas. 4) 6/21/2021 - Amazon referral and fulfillment fees change. In 5 Things Friday on 3/12/2021 you can see all the links that will help you undertsand the changes but Amazon states the net effect will be 2-3% increase overall. 5) 7/15/2021 - Payments to non-approved payment service providers will cease until sellers switch to a participating PSP. This will likely not affect any US based sellers for the most part and may be the final step in trying to deal with overseas dropshippers and scammers.



Y'all Got Some of Them Leads? 💵

Truly, one of the emails, DM's, and questions o get asked is, "Where can i find a reputable Online Arbitrage lead List?" I do my absolute best to keep great ones in the rolodex but they are often sold out. Fortunately, the referral i offer today (without an affiliate link) is from a friend and incredibly smart seller Eli Gluckowsky. Eli runs OA Leads Pro and his leads are farm to table, hand crafted, and gluten free! Seriously though, all of them are sourced without using software and vetted by a US seller before they make it to your inbox. His beauty list is one of my favorites. He has a few openings across his leads lists. Make sure to check them out and sign up if you are in the market. Eli answers a ton of questions for his clients as well so if you have a question never be afraid to reach out. Join OA Leads Pro here.



The 6 Million (Wo)Man Marketplace 📦

Marketplace Pulse recently released a study showing that the Amazon marketplace hit a milestone. 6 Million unique sellers. Half of them (51%) selling on the the North American marketplace. Amazon is also adding between 700 and 800,000 or 2000 new sellers per day when adjusted for duplicate accounts. One huge footnote is that most of these sellers seem to no longer be active. Out of the 6 million sellers the number of sellers active enough to get at least 1 single feedback in the past year is only only 1 million. Click here to read the whole study.



Peep These MF'ers 🐣

Those who sell Peeps and other Easter staples may not want to sleep on MF'ing products as we close in on the holiday. The National Retail Federation expects higher than usual spending on Easter this year with individual spend being in the neighborhood of $180. That breaks down to $31 on gifts, $52 on food, and $25 on candy. Some 79% of the country will celebrate in some way and total spending is looking to be about $21.6 Billion for the holiday. The $180 per consumer is the highest number recorded for Easter spend on record. Click here to read the article.



Self Employed and Gig Workers eligible for PPP 💰

According to CNBC self employed and gig workers are now eligible for forgivable loans under the PPP. The window to apply ends on march 31st unless congress acts to change the rules again. You can also use a new calculation to figure how much you may be eligible for. Now you can use the gross income instead of net profit from a schedule C. I would suggest you do some homework to figure out how you may be able to have this loan forgiven. I give no financial advice I just report the news. Click here to read the article from CNBC.



Friday Puzzle

All of the following words, except one, share a common characteristic. Which word is the odd one out? (Answers below the break)

1) town 2) events

3) flour 4) heater

5) exist 6) water

7) note 8) fervid


We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris


Tools I Use & Recommend


PUZZLE ANSWER:

Water. All the other words contain scrambled versions of the numbers from one through seven. This puzzle was hard and kind of stupid lol. Maybe because I couldn't figure it out.

not= one

tow = two


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (3/12/2021)

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state, but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him." -Victor Frankl

Coffee with Chris

The weekly live all about Amazon news and opinion was back this week! We discussed GMV compared to GDP, Amazon employee pisses away future prospects, meltables, webinars, and more. Head over to Youtube or Facebook to check it out and please make sure to smash that like button to appease our social media overlords. Click here to watch the replay on Facebook.


Walmart & Amazon Battle it Out

Walmart and Amazon seem to be neck-in-neck for a race to holding the most power over the American wallet. Will the tortoise (Walmart) be able to stay ahead of the hare (Amazon)? Surging online shopping during the pandemic saw Amazon's share of retail sales spike higher last year and come within striking distance of overtaking Walmart, new data analysis from PYMNTS shows. The online giant’s 9.2 percent portion of overall retail spending now nearly matches the chain store leader’s 9.5 percent share of retail activity. While Walmart’s 9.5 percent share of 2020 retail sales was up from the 8.9 percent level it posted in 2019, the impact of the ongoing digital shift was amply evident in Amazon’s new position, which saw its share of total retail jump by roughly one third from the 6.8 percent retail stake it held in 2019. Click here to read the full article.


Amazon Fresh

Amazon has opened 11 Amazon Fresh grocery stores since September of 2020. That's just 6 months or 1.83 stores per month and they have 28 more stores slated to be open this year. It seems they plan to offer low prices to try and woo would be Walmart customers but also keep a hold on Whole Paycheck (Foods) customers with easy pickup options. In a time when online retail doesn't seem to be slowing down Amazon knows that grocery is still largely a brick and mortar game and are taking a dive in the deep end quickly. These stores won't have the cashierless technology yet but reports say they will be testing it. Interesting times ahead. Click here to read the full article.


Returnless and Free Replacements

From Amazon: We continuously improve the seller-fulfilled returns experience. From April 15, 2021, we will offer your customers returnless and free replacements as an option for eligible items as part of our Prepaid Return Label program . This change will provide you additional return resolutions, and offer customers the option to receive a replacement item at no extra cost. In addition to the option to request a refund for an item that is damaged, defective, or different from what was ordered, customers now have the option to ask for a replacement product. This can preserve your sale and not turn the transaction into a refund. Customers will continue to receive prepaid return labels for their items, regardless of whether they request a replacement or refund. Under the free replacements program, the customer has seven days to return the original item. We will receive confirmation of the customer’s return when the prepaid return label is scanned and notify you to send a replacement. For items that are eligible for returnless refunds, customers will have the option of a returnless replacement. Make sure to learn more about this especially if you're an avid MF'er. Learn more here, and here, and here.


Have you heard of T-Commerce?

Albert Cheng, an Amazon Exec, says that the era of "T-Commerce" is here. That is, the selling of goods directly through TV screens. Amazon is reportedly looking to further the reach of their products through the power of Prime Video. We have seen this with Walmart and TikTok, Youtube and merch, and even things like HSN but the breadth and depth of the Amazon Prime reach is massive. I mean, who doesn't watch shows on Amazon Fire TV? While it's still the early days of this kind of commerce I'm fascinated by it and am excited to see what people think of to push products while watching entertainment. Click here to read more about it.


You're part of the 50th Largest Economy

If Gross Merchandise Volume wer GDP the Amazon marketplace (3P sellers only) would be the 50th largest in the world accounting for 300 Billion in sales. That is more than the GDP of South Africa which weighs in at $282 Billion. The other really cool thing is not only are businesses supported by this marketplace but employees, software companies, services, courses, virtual assistants. The amount of people impacted around the globe due to the sales of 3P sellers is really astounding. Of course, there are some drawbacks. This article by Market Place Pulse dives deep into the Amazon marketplace as an economy. Check it out here.


Friday Puzzle

This weeks puzzle is nautical themed as I will be headed for a short spring break vacation with my family to the beach next week for a little R&R and we overlook the marina from the place we rented. Can you name all the parts of the sail boat? (Answers below the break)



We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris

Tools I Use & Recommend



PUZZLE ANSWER:

A. Mast
B. Jib
C. Deck
D. Bow
E. Hull
F. Keel
G. Rudder
H. Stern
I. Cockpit
J. Boom
K. Mainsail


5 Things Friday - Amazon Seller Edition (3/5/2021)

"When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love..." -Marcus Aurelius

Wholesale Leads

Our VA team has put out more Wholesale Leads than we can handle again. So, our excess is your gain. All of the Wholesale leads include phone number, website, and email for every lead. Also a link to the contact form if it's available. All leads have to sell at least 100 estimated units per month and at least $10,000 estimated monthly sales. Tons of other info is included as well like listing quality score, estimated sales from multiple softwares, estimated profit per unit, etc. Plus, these are less than $3 per lead which should easily pay for itself if you were to secure even one profitable wholesale account. There is a STRICT LIMIT to 30 people only when these are available. Check out the info as well as the video i put together to show you whats included and grab one (if you will use it) before they are sold out.

Click Here to Grab Your Wholesale Leads


I Appreciate This Guy's Pluck

An online merchant spent 18 months and $200,000 in legal fees fighting Amazon.com Inc. after it booted him off the shopping platform and seized his inventory. In the end, he received about half the $1.4 million in restitution requested. But he did get something few of his colleagues ever do: acknowledgment that the world’s largest online retailer treated him unfairly. Amazon rehashed their response from a year or so ago stating that very few people have actually gone to arbitration and most sellers have their issues solved amicably with the company. Click here to read more about this.


Gargantuan Grocery Growth?

Online grocery will swell to 21.5% of total U.S. grocery sales by 2025, more than doubling its current share of the overall grocery market, a new study by grocery e-commerce specialist Mercatus and research firm Incisiv projects. For 2020, online grocery’s percentage of the $1.04 trillion grocery market is pegged at 10.2%, or about $106 billion, up from 3.4%, or $34.54 billion, of the $1.02 trillion market in 2019, according to the study, titled “eGrocery’s New Reality: The Pandemic’s Lasting Impact on U.S. Grocery Shopping Behavior”. By 2025, online grocery’s dollar share stands to climb to $250.26 billion of the estimated $1.16 trillion overall grocery market. Click here to read more about this.


Unsuitable Inventory Investigations

Starting March 19, 2021, we are adding the unsuitable inventory investigations policy to our program policies. Under the new policy, if we suspect that you may have been engaged in the sale of counterfeit products or other illegal goods, we may require additional information about the affected Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) inventory. If you do not provide the requested information, or we investigate and find that the inventory constitutes unsuitable units, we may dispose of it. Click here to read more on this.


JungleScout Raises Some Capital

Jungle Scout picked up some cash someone had laying around. $110 Million in equity to be exact. They'll be using part of that to acquire Downstream Impact who specializes in Amazon advertising and was founded by two former Amazon execs who worked in the early stages of Amazon's advertising push. JungleScout also states that some 500,000 brands and entrepreneurs are already using their software. Really crazy how quickly they have grown. Click here to read more.


Disney Doldrums

Disney has announced that they will close 60 North American stores to shift their focus to ecommerce. This is only about 20% of its total retail footprint worldwide but shows what the future is. Less in person shopping experiences and more online shopping. The locations inside stores such as Target will continue to operate even as Disney stores close. The same goes for retail locations inside parks. Personally, I imagine that Disney will be able to weather this change much like Nike has with its own push into more ecommerce and less physical presence. Click here to read more.


Friday Puzzle

Today’s puzzle is all about the Earth's journey around the Sun. Can you identify what each number represents? Numbers 5–8 are seasons while 1–4 are the specific days that mark the beginning/end of those seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.



We'll wrap it up there this week. I will see you right here next week at the same-ish time.


Have a great weekend, be kind to each other, wash your hands, and as always...


Good Selling!


-Chris

Tools I Use & Recommend



PUZZLE ANSWER:

1. March (vernal) equinox
2. December (winter) solstice
3. September (autumnal) equinox
4. June (summer) solstice
5. Spring
6. Winter
7. Autumn
8. Summer