Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Move Over!

There is a new ugly clothing item in town! Auction Humor has found a new ugly clothing niche.

eBay Seller “earthfinds” has listed a very colorful Kolorway Painted Blazer. Auction Humor has designated the jacket as the “World’s Ugliest Blazer!” According to the listing, the blazer “features a baby grand piano, with open music, wine, as well as a white kitty sitting in a windowsill. Through the window you can see the man in the moon. The back is a reflection of the front.” To top it off, the seller describes not only the jacket as fierce but considers the buttons to fall into that category as well!

Below is a screenshot of the actual listing:

Unfortunately, no one felt worthy of this unusual find. “Earthfinds” even listed it a second time but no buyers stepped forward. It’s not too late to email “Earthfinds” if you are interested!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tebow Fans, You Could Call This a “Cheesy” eBay Listing!

The end of the football season is no reason to not have a touch of Tebow, Tim Tebow that is, in your life. One eBay seller recently offered a grilled cheese sandwich that seemed to resemble the NFL’s Denver Broncos quarterback.

According to the listing, eBay Seller “carlspackler76” of Roanoke, Virginia, was just quickly making lunch with a less than perfect frying pan one day when he was “thoroughly amazed by the image staring back [at him]... the now iconic "Tebowing" pose of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow!”

The auction began at only 99 cents on January 13, 2012. After receiving 46 bids, it ended on January 20, 2012 at a whopping $85.00! And just think, this success story started with two slices of bread, a slice of American cheese, and poorly performing cookware.

Below is a screenshot of the actual listing on eBay after the bidding was over.

After the seller froze the sandwich and carefully packed it with dry ice, the package was shipped to it winning bidder. As I write this, the buyer has not provided any feedback. I can’t help but wonder if it ended up as lunch anyway!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Goodwill Goes Upscale in Florida

eBay Seller Pam Greenman recently shared shared this information:

The Ponte Verda, Florida area has a new Goodwill store but it is not a typical one. Two Goodwill executives have opened Bluetique, a Goodwill retail location for higher end items. The store has a department store feel that Goodwill stores usually do not have. Amber Russo, vice president of retail sales for Goodwill, and Amy Koebrick, the Marketing Manager for Goodwill’s Northeast Florida region, modeled the project after a similar store in Rochester, NY.

The store is designed to look like a regular department store from the layout to the displays. Its design rivals a Stein Mart or Marshalls. The store’s inventory is about 75% items that have been donated through a local Goodwill donation center while the other items are from brand new items from closeout stores. The donated items are being pulled from the nearby Ponte Verda Goodwill donation center and that location has been setting aside about 600 items a day for this Bluetique location.

The store layout and higher end items are not the only differences in this store. Unlike a typical Goodwill, the pricing structure is not a set one. Instead of finding a one-size-fits-all price for items, there is no price ceiling for items at the Bluetique. An item is priced to reflect more of its market value. Even with the slightly higher prices, the items will still be priced at 50-90% off retail.

With the difference in pricing, is the Bluetique a good source for resale items like its Goodwill predecessors? Yes it is. Right after the store opened in November 2011, its inventory included a Chanel handbag that was priced at $799. At that time a similar bag was selling on eBay for $1325.

As with other Goodwill stores, the money collected goes into the Goodwill’s GCF job training program.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Amazon FBA Scouting Tips - Things I've Learned Along the Way

Scouting locally for FBA inventory can seem overwhelming at first, and rightly so. Large stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R US, Walgreens, and TJ Maxx have thousands of items. How do you know where to start? Your comfort level will grow as you become more experienced. Here are a few tips for learning what types of products to scan and consider for FBA.

Here are a few things I learned about how to scout for toys this past holiday season:

Go to Kmart, not just Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us. Kmart stores are dwindling – there aren’t as many as there used to be. You can often find products that are Kmart exclusives or other products not found in Walmart and Target. And many of your competitors won’t even have access to a Kmart.

Try some items priced $50 or higher. The more expensive an item is, the fewer competitors you will have. According to an informal survey on my Facebook group, 75% of the FBA sellers asked won’t pay more than $10 per item when buying inventory. So if you have the cash flow, and you are not terribly risk averse, try some high dollar products and see what happens. You may see a nice profit and a fast turnaround due to lack of competitors.

Scan items that have fewer quantities on the shelf. For example, maybe there is only 1 purple mermaid Barbie, but 7 yellow ones. This tells you that the purple one is more popular than the yellow, since shoppers may have purchased almost all of them. Or, maybe the store didn’t get as many of the purple because they are in shorter supply. If there is only 1 or two of a variation of a particular item left, this is a clue that the item may be a good seller. Over the 2011 holiday selling season, the pink Fijit sold for about $20 more than any other color. Also, the Pink Leapfrog Leap Pad sold for more than other colors, because not as many pink ones were produced. Look for things in short supply.

Listen to the shoppers around you. Listen to what the kids are asking their parents to buy. If you feel comfortable and it is appropriate, ask a question or two. For example, I was scanning a toy that has about 25 variations. A mom and her 5 year old came to that section and the child wanted a particular one. I asked the mom, “Do you know about this toy? Why is that particular one so popular?” The child actually answered, and said, “Because he is the hero and always saves everyone else.” And guess what. It was an $8 toy. The one the child wanted, that was out of stock, had a 5% ranking and sold for over $30. Listen to what is going on around you!

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Amazon Plans New Fulfillment Centers for 2012

Image Courtesy of

With the growth of the sales of the Kindle Fire and with the increasing number of sellers using FBA, Amazon will add new fulfillment centers to reach more customers in a more efficient manner. The centers are planned for locations within Virginia, Tennessee and other states. With two new centers planned for Chesterfield and Dunwiddie counties, Virgina, the new centers are projected to bring approximately 1,350 jobs to that one state alone.

The growth is not focused on only US locations. Later this year, Amazon plans to open its first fulfillment center in Mumbai, India. In addition to the India location, Amazon will also add fulfillment centers in Nanning, China and in the cities of Koblenz and Pforzheim, Germany.

If you have ever wondered what the workings of an Amazon fulfillment center looks like, here is a YouTube video that will give you a peek:

The following are just a few of the new US fulfillment centers set to open in 2012:

• West Middletown, Delaware
• Spartanburg County, South Carolina
• Chattanooga, Tennessee (Opened 2/2/12)
• Lebanon, Tennessee
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
• Dinwiddie, Virginia
• Meadowville, Virginia

What does this mean for the FBA seller? You may encounter additional shipping locations to forward your inventory. You may experience stock movement as inventory is transferred to other locations. While it may be a slight inconvenience to split your inventory, it is still a very efficient process. When you consider the time saved in shipping each item individually and warehousing your inventory, Amazon FBA is still a great alternative. Also, the additional centers shows the growth of As the company reaches more consumers, so will your products.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Got the USPS Rate Increase Blues?

If you are still learning to adjust to the recent US Postal Service rate changes, a new guide has been released that may help you figure it all out. is offering a free guide to the pricing change. The “Ultimate Guide to the 2012 USPS Postage Rate Increase” is now available online to help.

The guide takes you through all the various rate increases by level of service. From Express Mail to Priority Mail to First Class Mail, the guide has lots of information about new product offerings and details about the new pricing. The details for each price and service even includes pros and cons to help you decide which USPS mailing service would be best for your package.

To grab your copy of the guide, please click here.

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