Monday, July 30, 2012

Hunting for Inventory

I have been finding and selling discontinued products for 6 years online now. People seem to think there is a magic list, or a site you can go to that lists all these things. Don't know where that idea came from, but that isn't how it has worked for me. Here are a few ways I have found out about these things in the past.

1. PAY ATTENTION. Look at store shelves in regular stores (grocery, Wal-Mart, Target, drug stores), especially health and beauty aisles. Look for empty spaces on the shelves where a product should be but it not. Read the tag and research the product. You may be able to find it somewhere else.

2. Along the same lines, look at the signs stores display that say "temporarily unavailable" or "sorry out of stock." Research those. Sometimes the store doesn't know the situation - they just aren't getting any more of a popular product so they put up the sign.

3. Listen to the people around you in the store. This is the best way to find out! This happens to me all the time. People are shopping, the product they want is not there, they either say something out loud to themselves or to the person they are with, or to a nearby stock clerk. I usually go like this, "Ugh! Why are they always out of ______? I am so sick of this! I can't ever find it anymore!" If they don't say the name of the product in their rant, ask them what it is. They will tell you even more about why the product is so great and their frustration finding it.

4. Listen to the national news, or read trusted sites like USA Today, Huffington Post, New York Times. You will find lots of info on products being taken off the market, a plant being moved, an ingredient being investigated. I am not talking about recalls or product bans, but just news about product productions. Happens all the time. Case in point - the Today Sponge shortage was on the news.

5. Pay attention to your own sales. Is something selling unusually fast, or are people buying in larger than normal quantities? Has a slow mover now become a fast mover? Last year I was selling some hard candy, and I noticed as soon as they hit FBA I sold out, and the buyer would buy all I sent. PAY ATTENTION!

6. Talk to stock clerks and understand the store's markdown and tagging system. Ask questions about what the tags mean, DON'T ASSUME. For example, when Wal-Mart is not going to carry a product anymore, they put a red sticker on the shelf where the price is displayed. The sticker is not put on the product, and it is not always marked down. It is not always put in a clearance section. Just the red sticker on the shelf. The product may not be carried anymore because it isn't profitable, it isn't popular, they are making room for something else to go there, or the manufacturer is discontinuing it, there may be a packaging change and it is coming back later, etc.. Look for the red stickers and investigate on your own further. The stock clerk only knows that it is going away from the Wal-Mart shelf.

I have several right now that are in short supply and I learned about them through the methods above. Keep your eyes and ears open!

Related posts:

Strategy for Using Grocery Stores as a Source for Inventory

Source for eBay Inventory – Hallmark Stores

5 Ways to Get Free Inventory to Sell on eBay

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Etsy Asks Sellers for Tips

Image courtesy of is an online marketplace much like Etsy’s product offerings are usually vntage items or handmade items created by the sellers themselves. If you sell on, then you may be aware of the Etsy Seller Handbook. The handbook, which is really a mini-site found on, covers lots of information to help the Etsy seller be more successful. To help make the handbook more relevant to the Etsy seller, Etsy’s Seller Education team has decided to go to the source for help!

Etsy sellers are being invited to provide any advice or tips they have learned to the Seller Education team. Thos e tips will be added to the online handbook. The team had noticed that many sellers were sharing lots of great information through forums and other seller communities and thought it would be a great idea to get some of those tips on the site.

If you are an Etsy seller and have something to share for the handbook, please click here to find the submission form.

Related posts:

How to Sell on Etsy – Part One

eBay Not Working for You? List of eBay Alternatives

Selling on Artfire – Another Online Marketplace

Monday, July 23, 2012

Does a Red Background on an Auction Bring Higher Bids?

I have always heard that the color red has a psychological effect on a buyer. This is the reasoning behind sale and clearance signs in a store having a red hue. Maybe there is some truth in that since we really love to scout during sales and in the clearance sections.

Does this thinking hold true with online auctions? I recently read an article from that says auctions with red backgrounds get higher bids. The article covered a study by two authors. Rajesh Bagchi of Virginia Tech and Amar Cheema of the University of Virginia wrote this statement in their study that was published in the Journal of Consumer Research: "Red background color induces aggression through a feeling of arousal and it increases aggression relative to blue or gray backgrounds. This causes individuals to make higher bids in auctions but lower offers in negotiations."

Now I am curious! I would like to hear from any of you who may have tried this in your auctions and if you think it made a difference. Feel free to post your comments below.

Related posts:

Are You Using Your eBay Packaging as Advertising?

eBay Business Strategies – 9 Tips for eBay Success

Tips for Selling on eBay – Huge List of Resources

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Amazon Considers Same-day Delivery

Amazon is working toward revolutionizing ecommerce yet again. To place itself in direct competition with retailers like Walmart and Target, Amazon is focusing on developing a business model that will allow it to deliver products to its buyers the same day the order is placed.

One change Amazon will have to make in order to move to this type of business successfully is revising how it handles state sales tax. Amazon is known as a fighter of internet commerce sales tax. It has excluded states like North Carolina, for example, from its affiliate program and its fulfillment warehouse plans due to the state’s instance on requiring Amazon to pay state sales tax. To make the same day delivery, Amazon will have to “play nice” with more states to create fulfillment centers that will allow its orders to qualify for the same day delivery option.

Amazon has become more willing to pay state taxes recently. The company is opening a new fulfillment center in New Jersey, a state that had pursued Amazon for state taxes in the past. Amazon has agreed to begin paying taxes to that state within the next year and a half. New Jersey will benefit from the additional sales tax along with income and property tax, as well.

How will this affect us as sellers? One by-product may be shipping products to additional fulfillment centers. Instead of having a couple of larger shipments to a few main warehouses, we may be shipping smaller boxes to more warehouse locations. Of course, this may also result in shorter distances for our shipments to reach more local warehouses and possibly the opportunity for our shipments to be checked-in more quickly.

There have been other companies that have attempted to use same day delivery for its online stores but on a very limited scale. Sites like Kosmo and Urbanfetch offered same day delivery of their goods to Manhattan. Kosmo offered books, games, and DVDs while Urbanfetch offers medicines, groceries, and DVDs. Amazon currently offers same day service to many metropolitan areas throughout the country, which include:

  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Indianapolis
  • Las Vegas
  • New York City (and parts of New Jersey)
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Seattle
  • Washington, D.C.

  • It will be interesting to see what it will take for Amazon to roll out this service on a larger scale. To find out more about the current same say service known as Local Express Delivery, click here.

    Related posts:

    First eBay… Now Apple?

    Amazon Plans New Fulfillment Centers for 2012

    Amazon .com Rolls Out its Locker Service to the Nation’s Capital

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Niche Products - Back to School Items

    Recently, you may have seen a few articles that talk about the items that appeal to buyers this time of year. The niche that is popular right now is back to school. There are many items that are big sellers right now. Hold on to your hats because this is a rather lengthy list (courtesy of eBay)! Remember many of those items are great sellers all year long.

    Happy Scouting!

    Women's Clothing
    • Denim: True Religion (printed, color, skinny, slim, bootcut)
    • Denim: Jeans, Seven for All Mankind (printed, color, skinny, slim, bootcut)
    • Denim: Jeans, J Brand (printed, color, skinny, slim, bootcut)
    • Denim: Jeans, Miss me (printed, color, skinny, slim, bootcut)
    • Denim: Hollister (printed, color, skinny, slim, bootcut)
    • Denim: Levi's (printed color, skinny, slim, bootcut)
    • Tops: J Crew (tees, knits, sweaters)
    • Tops: Anthropology (tees, knits, sweaters)
    • Tops: Gap (tees, knits, sweaters)
    • Outerwear: Northface, Denali, Nuptse (denim, peacoat, cropped motorcycle, military)
    • Outerwear: BB Dakota (denim, peacoat, cropped, motorcycle, military)
    • Outerwear: Michael Kors (denim, peacoat, cropped motorcycle, military)
    • Outerwear: Free People (denim, peacoat, cropped motorcycle, military)

    Men's Clothing

    • Denim: Hollister (straight, bootcut, slim, loose)
    • Denim: Quicksilver (straight, bootcut, slim, loose)
    • Denim: Levi's (straight, bootcut, slim, loose)
    • Tops: Abercrombie & Fitch (graphic/logo tees, Polos, Rugbys, Henlys)
    • Tops: Hollister (graphic/logo tees (short and long sleeve), Polos, Rugbys, Henlys)
    • Tops: American Eagle (graphic/logo tees (short and long sleeve), Polos, Rugbys, Henlys)
    • Tops: Aeropostale (graphic/logo tees (short and long sleeve), Polos, Rugbys, Henlys)
    • Tops: Ralph Lauren (graphic/logo tees (short and long sleeve), Polos, Rugbys, Henlys)
    • Outerwear: Northface, Denali, Nuptse (walking coat, peacoat, distressed leather, moto jacket, military)
    • Outerwear: Patagonia (down sweater, walking coat, peacoat, distressed leather, moto jacket, military)
    • Outerwear: Kenneth Cole (walking coat, peacoat, distressed leather, moto jacket, military)
    • Outerwear: Marc New York (walking coat, peacoat, distressed leather, moto jacket, military)

    Women's Footwear

    • Women's Uggs, Classic, Tall/Short
    • Steve Madden Wedge Sandals
    • Steve Madden Boots
    • Jeffrey Campbell Wedge Sneakers
    • Nike Air/Shox

    Men's Footwear
    • Vans, Classic Skate
    • Converse, Chuck taylor (Hi & Low tops)
    • Reef flip flops
    • Sperry Top Sider
    • Nike Air Jordan

    • MICHAEL by Michael Kors handbag/totes (top handle)
    • Jansport (backpack, messenger bag, bookbag)
    • American Rag (backpack, messenger bag, bookbag)
    • Kipling (backpack, messenger bag, bookbag)
    • Le Sport Sac (backpack, messenger bag, bookbag)
    • Northface (backpack, messenger bag, bookbag)
    • Kenneth Cole (backpack, messenger bag, bookbag)
    • Fossil (backpack, messenger bag, bookbag)
    • Oakley Sunglasses (Aviator, Wayfarer, Wrap)
    • Rayban Sunglasses (Aviator, Wayfarer, Wrap)
    • Northface (scarves, gloves, hats)
    • J Crew (scarves, gloves, hats)
    • Gap (scarves, gloves, hats)
    • Patagonia (scarves, gloves, hats)
    • Tommy Hilfiger (scarves, gloves, hats)

    Home & Garden

    • Samsonite luggage (carry-on, luggage sets)
    • American Tourister luggage
    • Coleman luggage
    • Toaster ovens
    • Toasters
    • Microwaves
    • Hotplates
    • Coffee Maker (4-cup, single serve)
    • Mini Fridge
    • Blender
    • Sheet Sets (Twin, Twin XL sheet sets, Queen sheet sets)
    • Down comforter (Twin, Twin XL, Queen)
    • Duvet (Twin, Twin XL, Queen)
    • Bath Towel & Towel Sets
    • Desk lamps
    • Floor lamps
    • Desk organizer
    • Mirror
    • Prints/Wall Art
    • Shower Caddie
    • Bathroom Scale
    • Electric shaver
    • Electric Toothbrush
    • Straightening/Curling iron
    • Hair dryer

    Computers and Tablets

    • Sony/HP, S Series/F Series, Core i7, 15", 4GB, 500GB
    • Sony/HP/Asus, Ultrabook, Core i5, 13", 4GB, SSD Drive
    • Acer/Toshiba, Aspire/Satellite, Intel, 15", 3GB, 250GB
    • Apple iPad 3, 16GB, Wifi
    • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, 16GB, WiFi
    • Viewsonic/Samsung Open, 24" monitor
    • Samsung/LG, Open, 24" monitor w/ TV Tuner
    • HP/Dell, All in One Desktop, 22-24" Touchscreen
    • Canon/Epson, Wifi Printer + Airprint for iPad/iPhone
    • WD/Seagate, 2TB External HD
    • WD/Seagate, 1TB External HD
    • Laptop back up
    • Logitech/Microsoft 2.4 Ghz Mouse
    • Apple Magic Mouse, Bluetooth Mouse
    • Acer/Toshiba/HP/Sony/Apple, Laptops/Desktops, Ultrabooks
    • Acer/Toshiba/HP/Sony/Apple, 13-17" laptops, Touch screen desktops
    • Acer/Toshiba/HP/Sony/Apple, 22" all in one desktops

    Computer Accessories

    • Laptop bags
    • External hard drives
    • Wi-fi printers
    • Additional monitors
    • iPad accessories
    • iPhone accessories
    • USB
    • Barnes & Noble eReaders
    • Electronic dictionaries
    • Translators

    Keyboards, Mice and Input
    • Logitech/Microsoft Bluetooth Mice

    • Xbox 260 4GB System
    • PS3 Consoles
    • Handhold consoles
    • Media/Bluetooth remote (Xbox 360 media remote, PS3 blu-ray remote)
    • PS3 3D monitor
    • Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard
    • Live Cards

    • Samsung UN46ES8000
    • Samsung UN55ES7500
    • Panasonic TCP50ST50
    • Roku 2 XD

    GPS Navigation
    • Garmin GPS 1450LMT
    • Garmin 1490LMT

    iPod and MP3 Accessories
    • Beats HD SOLO WHT headphones
    • Klipsch IMAGE S4 headphones
    • SOL Republic headphones (multicolor, fashion headphones
    • Skullcandy headphones (multicolor, fashion headphones)

    DVD and Home Theater

    • Onkyo Dorm sound, sound bar explosion
    • Polk Dorm sound, sound bar explosion

    Digital Cameras
    • Nikon D5100 16.2 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black (Body Only)
    • Canon-EOS-Rebel-T3i-180-MP-Digital-SLR-Camera-Black-Kit-w-EFS-1855mm-IS-II-Lens
    • Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black (Kit w/ EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens)
    • Nikon J1 10.1 MP Digital Camera - White (Kit w/ VR 10-30mm Lens)
    • Nikon D3100 14.2 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black (Kit w/ AF-S DX 18-55mm VR Lens)
    • Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 12.1 MP Digital Camera - Red
    • Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera - Black
    • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V 16.2 MP Digital Camera - Black
    • GoPro HD Helmet HERO Camcorder - White
    • Sony Handycam HDR-CX190 Camcorder - Black

    Cell Phones & Smart Phones
    • Apple iPhone 4S 16GB, Black (AT&T) Smartphone
    • Apple 4 16GB
    • Samsung Galaxy II, III, HTC, Evo
    • Samsung One
    • Free phones with plans

    Photo - Camcorders
    • GoPro Hero2 digital camera

    Sporting Goods
    • College Fan Apparel
    • Mountain Bikes
    • Camping & hiking backpacks
    • Footballs and attire
    • Basketballs and attire
    • Volleyball
    • Swimming and attire
    • Gym, Workout & Yoga attire
    • Pedometers, heart rate monitors
    • Mountain bikes
    • Road bikes
    • Golf shoes, men
    • Golf shafts

    School & Art Supplies
    • Notebooks
    • Looseleaf paper
    • Pens/pencils/highlighters
    • Pencil cases
    • Binders/folders
    • Electric pencil sharpeners
    • Backbacks
    • Rulers
    • Staplers, staple removers
    • Crayons
    • Markers
    • Construction paper
    • Glue
    • Scissors
    • Paint/brushes
    • Dictionary
    • Combination locks
    • Musical instruments
    • Calculators
    • Removable locks
    • Reusable water bottles

    Gift Cards
    • eBay gift cards and e-certificates
    • Subway
    • Red Robin
    • Applebees
    • Jack in the Box
    • TGIF
    • Pizza Hut
    • Sephora
    • American Eagle Outfitters
    • Aeropostale
    • Justice
    • Boscovs

    Related posts:

    Niche Products - School Supplies

    Summer Clearance Items to Sell on eBay

    Back to School Means Selling Box Tops for Education on eBay

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    $1.2 Million for Video Game Collection

    Image courtesy of

    When you were growing up, did your parents tell you that playing video games would amount to nothing? This story may just prove them wrong. If you have been considering video games for your next category on Amazon FBA, then keep reading because this may motivate you.

    A young man in France has just auctioned off a huge video game collection on eBay. The 32 year old named Andre took the time to collect every game made for 22 different game consoles. This totaled approximately 7000 games for not only the popular Sega console, the various Nintendo systems up to the Gamecube, but even lesser known NEC systems.

    This eBay seller actually collected the games just for the challenge of it. Each game in the collection was still factory sealed. Some of them are more than 25 years old.

    By now, I am sure you are wondering if Andre’s auction had a winner and how much the winning bid was. The winner, who lives in Canada, offered one million Euros which equals about $1.23 million. Unfortunately, as of July 9th the winner had not paid for the auction. For those of you who dabble in international shipping, I am sure you are wondering just how much the shipping charges will be. It has been estimated that it will cost approximately $1000 to ship the games from France to Canada.

    Andre is ready in case the buyer does not pay for the auction. He has plans to either re-list the games on Ebay or list them on a few Japanese auction sites. Will this be the end of Andre’s eBay selling days? Probably not. He says this is just a part of his collection and that he still has thousands of other games he could sell.

    Related posts:

    Invent Your Own Product to Sell Online

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    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    First eBay... Now Apple?

    Image courtesy of

    There is no doubt than Amazon has changed the way we sell online, the way we read, and much more. Now the company is working with an international manufacturing firm to create its own smartphone. The phone is set to rival today’s most popular smartphones.

    Is this just a rumor? Signs point to no. The company is currently working with Foxconn International to create the new product. Amazon is currently registering patents to protect itself from possible infringement claims and has hired a new patents director. With this phone still in development, there is little information about pricing or features.

    Just as Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a cheaper alternative to the Apple iPad, the smartphone being developed would be a cheaper alternative to the iPhone and the Android.

    It will be interesting to see what impact an Amazon smartphone will make on the market.

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    Yes, Virginia, I Really Sell on eBay!

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    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Improve Your Listing Photos with This Free Tool

    The photos of the items for your listings are a very important part of marketing your items. They represent your item first in terms of attracting customers to your listing. People often use the look of the item in the photo as a way of determining the condition of the item. With that in mind, I suggest that you may careful attention to the photos you take for your listings. Once that is done, you may need to do a few things to clean up the picture.

    Adobe Photoshop is an expensive option for cleaning the images and making them more attractive to a potential buyer. At nearly $700 for the latest version, that software may not be the best option for the typical seller. Thankful, there is another tool that can help and it will not make that large a dent in your budget. is an online image manipulation tool that can be used to clean up your listing photos. The free tool helps convert the photos to look as if they were taken by a professional. Below are a few before and after photos.

    You take the photo, upload it to Fotofuze, highlight the item and its shadow, and process. The process takes less than a minute work. There is even an option to create 3D views of your product. The tool can be connected to Etsy (just choose this option when you sign up). With that connection, you can even enhance the photos on listings that are already live. It is hard to believe it but yes, this tool is free!

    Take a look at this quick overview of how to use Fotofuze.

    Click here to sign-up.

    Related posts:

    Make Money on eBay – How to Photograph Items

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    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    eBay: On Location Plans Philadelphia Event


    Image courtesy of Flickr

    If you are looking to meet other eBayers from across the country or to learn ways to build your eBay business directly from the company itself, then you should register for an eBay: On Location event. The next one will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 5 and 6.

    During the two-day event that is held twice a year, eBay and its sellers get the opportunity to interact and improve the partnership between them. Sellers are given the chance to find out more about eBay, new developments, new tools, and how to become better sellers. eBay gets the chance to talk directly with its users and to find out what is working and what is not.

    There are many courses you can attend no matter what your level of experience. There will even be a few of eBay’s top buyers there for the eBay Buyer Panel who will be able to provide insight on their experiences.

    For more information on this event, click here. Registration to attend opens July 17, 2012.

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