EA 35 Amazon Wholesale Live Q&A

EA 35 Amazon Wholesale Live Q&A

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Are you wrestling with the buy box? Did you know that Amazon is limiting your stock based on IPI score? Was tax season beyond confusing now that you’ve started selling on Amazon? In this episode of Entrepreneur Adventure, we’ve got answers to these live questions and so much more. Stay tuned.

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Buy Box Bummer

As you’ve probably noticed, Amazon is having a glitch (or some would say, new feature) with their buy box. For many, the buy box has not been rotating properly which has of course resulted in lost sales. Some believe the glitch is actually Amazon’s attempt at clearing out overstocked warehouses or shifting the focus to sellers with strong feedback. 

Typically, products with lower prices and better feedback win the buy box. If you’re struggling against sellers with insanely low prices, focus on products that don’t necessarily allow for bigger discounts or negotiate better discounts with suppliers so you too can lower your prices.

Also, some speculate that sellers with high feedback ratings are winning the buy box. Use Jungle Scout to automate your feedback requests each week. If the rumors are true that Amazon is trying to clear out overstocked warehouses, clearance out your slow sellers and focus on better-selling products.

If you’re a new seller, don’t be scared of the buy box. The error isn’t happening on every ASIN. And whatever glitch or new feature Amazon is testing, don’t let it stop you from achieving your entrepreneurial dreams.

Warehouse Management

Amazon recently announced plans to limit stock for sellers with an IPI score (Inventory Performance Index) below 500. So if you’re not managing your inventory well, use free removals to get old stock out and if you have listings that are out of stock and you’re not planning on restocking, go ahead and remove them from your restock list. Amazon doesn’t count that towards your IPI score.

Storefront Strategy

When it comes to brick & mortar stores, it’s not worth opening one just to open an account with a tough supplier. Brick & mortar stores must be profitable businesses and that’s a tough venture to pull off. Not to mention, they must be legitimate. You need store hours, someone managing the store, and an actual location. However, if you specialize in a niche product and have got the extra product, extra space, and extra bandwidth – go for it!

Wholesale vs. Private Label

If you’re contemplating the two, let’s break down the pros and cons. Todd stands by wholesale given that it’s much lower risk. You’re investing (at first, small amounts) in products that you know are profitable and you’re typically shipping domestically so the time commitment is minimal. When it comes to private label, you’re spending much more to score better pricing and you’re often shipping internationally so the time commitment can be steep.

The Amazon Tax

Every year as tax season rolls around, more and more sellers try and sort out tax filings themselves. Previously, sellers were required to open tax accounts wherever Amazon moved their products. Now, most states require Amazon to collect sales tax for sellers. While the rules have simplified, Todd still recommends speaking with an accountant and using tools such as TaxJar for extra help.

Going International

If you’re outside of the US and looking to get in on the Amazon game, Todd recommends starting locally and expanding into other markets only once you’ve learned the ropes. While there may be fewer opportunities abroad, you can still sell in the Amazon.com marketplace using a prep center.

Overall

If this has helped you move your entrepreneurial needle, be sure to share this podcast with fellow doers wherever you’re listing. And stay tuned for an upcoming webinar diving deep into Keepa. Be sure to join our email list for first dibs on the free live stream before it turns into a paid mini-course.

Stay hustling and, as always, happy selling everybody.

Resources From This Episode

Outline Of This Episode

[00:19] Todd’s introduction to this episode

[05:52] What your IPI score means for you

[07:55] Should you open a brick & mortar store? 

[10:37] All about the buy box

[15:35] Wholesale vs. private label

[25:20] Filing your taxes as an Amazon seller

[28:16] International expansion

[31:29] How to beat the (glitching) buy box

[54:50] Todd’s closing thoughts on this episode

Transcript

Announcer (00:01):
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the entrepreneur adventure podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an eCommerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch.

Todd (00:19):
Probably one of the big things that people have been talking about lately, as people start posting their questions is the buy box issue. Some of you out there would probably have been having that issue where as of this last month, some people sales have just like drop off the face of the planet and gone to zero in a lot of cases. My sales personally have been up. So, you know, it’s been okay for me, but some people have just seen a complete drop off in sales and it’s been going around if that’s a bug because Amazon is messing up, you know, they’re not rotating the buy box is what’s happening. People are getting stuck in the buy box. And so that is causing some people lose a lot of sales and it’s really kind of scary because people are like, should I send anything else in? I don’t know, I’m not getting any sales what’s going on. The new thought now is that it’s maybe not a bug. It could be a feature. Larry Lebowski over Watch me Amazon was talking about this today. And it could be a feature that maybe Amazon is trying to clear out warehouses that are overstocked. So they’re just selling sellers who have stock in there, or maybe it is they’re focusing on sellers with a lot of positive feedback rating so that they can make sure that they’re getting good products, something like that. It’s kind of going back and forth trying to figure out exactly what’s going on.

Todd (03:20):
So let me know if anybody’s had problems with that at all. We can dive into that a little bit more, but it’s definitely been an interesting time. We’re during the pandemic things have been crazy. A lot of weird things have been happening. So hopefully this will go back to normal, but it’s hard to say here, so let’s see, we got some questions rolling in. Legendary econ leads asks, how long have you been doing wholesale? Let’s see. I think since 2015 is when I officially started doing wholesale. More seriously, 2016, 2017. When I really started getting into it here let’s see, Al says you are awesome. Appreciate that Al you are awesome as well. Oscar, how do you ship pallets from a residential address? So I have a warehouse now, so I don’t have to deal with that anymore, but before I got the warehouse, I was shipping out of my garage and basically I was doing it the same as I’m shipping out of the warehouse.

Todd (04:34):
Now a lot of it was, you know, ups, so ups would pick up that. But I shipped pallets as well and the semi pulls up to the house and we loaded the pallet onto the truck. Usually they’ll have a pallet Jack and everything, and they just took it from there. So, you know, I’ve been lucky. I’ve been in areas where they didn’t get upset about that. They didn’t have issues. Like it’s going to depend where you live. If you live in a more urban area, you’re probably going to have more troubles than people living in a more suburban or country area where there’s less, you know, those type of people who are like, eh, I get bothered by everything. So it’s going to depend where you’re live, but pretty much the same as what I’m doing now. Just schedule it and send it out.

Todd (05:26):
You know, if you live in a big city like Los Angeles and New York, it’s probably going to be a little bit harder. You’re going to have to stick to maybe ups and stuff like that. And unless you have a garage or something, but if you’re in those big cities, it’s going to be less likely that you’re going to have that garage. So basically just the same for me though. I don’t have experience out in a big city, so it could be different where you were depending on where you live. All right. So let’s see. Kelvin young. Hi Todd. I was wondering what happens to sellers that have an IPI score under the 50 threshold for fourth quarter. Yeah. So that’s something new. If you haven’t heard Amazon is it’s basically going to be limiting your stock if you have an IPI score and that is your inventory performance index is what that stands for inventory performance index.

Todd (06:22):
So everybody has a score depending on how well you’re managing your inventory. And that has to do with not having too much stock in Amazon, not having too many products out of stock as well. And if that score falls below 500, then your ability to bring stock into Amazon is going to be severely limited. So that’s the main thing that’s going to happen. So you’re going to definitely want to get your IPI score above the 500. And he does a few different ways you can do that. You can use the free removals they have right now to get old stock out of there. That’s going to help. If you have listings that are out of stock and you’re not planning on getting them back into stock, or even temporarily, you can go in there into your performance section and remove them from the restock list.

Todd (07:20):
So there’s a little dropdown. You can remove them and then go into your inventory and disable that listing. And from what I understand that then Amazon doesn’t count that against your IPI score as a product that’s out of stock and that you should be restocking. So that’s one way you can get that up before the cutoff here, which has, I believe maybe tomorrow, beginning of August. So you’re gonna want to do that right now. If that is an issue for you but basically they’re going to limit your ability to send in product because you’re not managing your inventory very well. Carlos says, Hey Todd, would it be a good idea to open a small brick and mortar storefront to increase chances of opening wholesale accounts that otherwise wouldn’t be possible? So I wouldn’t do it only for, for the reason to open up accounts.

Todd (08:16):
If you can open it up a storefront and maybe combine it with your warehouse and you’re going to actually try to make the storefront profitable. Yeah. Then that might be a good idea. Or maybe you already have a warehouse and you can turn it into a storefront successfully. That would be a good idea. To open one only for the fact to open more accounts. I don’t know if that would be the best idea you’re going to want to try to make it profitable, you know, profitable retail business of some kind. So I wouldn’t recommend men doing it just for that, but if it makes sense, like if you’re in a specific niche, like I tell you guys I’m in the sporting goods all the time. So if I opened up a sporting goods store and like the front maybe thousand square feet, I made that a store and then I have another couple thousand square feet or another 1500 square feet behind that, that I can use as my warehouse.

Todd (09:14):
You know, that would make sense because I’m carrying a lot of sports products. So I can put some of those out in the store advertise that storefront, try to get some traffic and stuff like that and make sales there. But you got to keep in mind that a lot of times they’re going to check up on that storefront and make sure it’s a legitimate business. So you’re going to have to have business hours. You’re going to have to some, have someone there Manning the store, selling products, it’s going to have to look like a real store. So you can’t just, you know, get an address and then not actually have a store and say it’s your store. So keep that in mind. It’s something that I’m looking at for the future. If I can have a storefront inexpensively. In addition to the warehouse, it would make sense for me to do that.

Todd (10:02):
But otherwise I’m not sure if it would make sense. It’s just for the fact you open up accounts that you can’t open up. I think that’s going to be changing more, right. Especially with this pandemic. Everything’s going online. So these businesses that are relying on brick and mortar stores heavily, they’re going to be hurting and they’re going to want to go online. So hopefully more of that will loosen up for us. And more of us will be able to buy without a brick and mortar store, but we’ll see what happens. All right. Let’s see, Timothy asks, can you explain the buy box? There are times when I’m amazed at sellers are in the buybacks, I’m always getting undercut to at prices that I don’t even understand how they are making money. So yeah the buy box is basically when you’re going to an Amazon listing, the person that has shows that is getting the sale.

Todd (10:59):
Sometimes it’s Amazon. Sometimes it’s someone else. Whoever has the buy box is the person that’s listed there underneath the price. Usually it’ll say like so buy XYZ fulfilled by Amazon, right? That’s the person in the buy box. And Amazon typically rotates that. But like I was saying in the beginning, right now, there is a, either a feature or a bug that is causing that buy box to get stuck. And we all compete for that buy box. And sometimes yes, you get those people who are undercutting you on price and driving down the price. And I’ve also seen it, you know, wondering why or how is that person making money. And it all depends because their business model might be different for one. So if you look at big businesses like e-tailers or river trading colony, they are going for velocity and trying to sell a ton of product.

Todd (12:04):
And they’re okay with getting 10% or 15% ROI on those product sales. So they are going down because they’re selling hundreds of millions of dollars per year, 10% on a hundred million is $10 million in profits. So they’re okay with doing that. And that’s their business model that they’re going after. Other people, it might be that they’re getting a better price than you. That is the name of the game in wholesale is making your money on the buy side, right? When you’re buying, that is where you’re getting your profit. You need to make sure that you’re getting the best discount possible. You’re probably not going to necessarily get the best discount upfront. So sometimes you might have to take a little lower ROI and build up that account that you have open to get future discounts. You know, if you ask them sometimes, like I just asked the company, you know, your prices are higher than this other distributor that I’m working with.

Todd (13:10):
And they let me know they have $50,000 in sales in a year or in purchases in a year. I can move to tier three. If I get a hundred sales in a year or in purchases in a year, and I can move to tier three, if I get a hundred thousand dollars in purchasing the pricing. So I get a difference of those different negotiating then that you can do. So there’s always those different negotiating than you that you can do. And, you know, you can get additional discounts on top of that by boxer, for example, you know, Scott the, one of the owners of by boxer, he talks about how they routinely are looking for distributors, where they can buy truckloads. So entire semi full of products. And so they are negotiating bigger discounts. So you might ask, you know, how is it possible we can even compete with that?

Todd (14:05):
Well, you know, you gotta find the products that don’t necessarily allow for those bigger discounts. There are some companies that will do that. Discounting some companies that will not, and you gotta find the products that are profitable, even at the smaller value. If you’re just getting started and work your way up to the larger volume. And as you go up, make sure you’re asking for those discounts along the way after you build that relationship. Now you can start asking, Hey, if I start ordering a larger amount, or what amount would it take for me to get an additional discount on this? Or, Hey, if I fix some of these listing, if you’re talking directly with the brand, could I maybe get an discount? I think I could get sales from this to this and see what they say. I’ve worked out agreements with like that I’ve got one, a discount or a couple, actually a one is additional five percent discount that nobody else is getting because I improve their listings on Amazon.

Todd (15:09):
And another one is I am the only one who is allowed to buy direct from the brand. Everybody else has to buy through the distributors. So of course that’s going to be a markup. So those are not easy to get, you know, you get those after you build a relationship and they know like, and trust you, but you can definitely do that. That opportunity is out there for you. So hopefully that answered your question on the buy box.

Todd (15:35):
Let’s see. M M K. Todd, can you tell us pro and con about wholesale and private label? Yeah, I can touch on it briefly here. I’ve got a video. If you look on my channel, comparing the difference between retail arbitrage, wholesale private label. So that goes in more depth. We want to research it but you know, whole sale, in my opinion, lower risk.

Todd (16:02):
You’re buying usually established products or brands we’re buying in small quantities, you know, to do our test orders, maybe 12 ,24, 36. And with private label, you’re buying literally maybe 250 or 500 or a thousand to get the good pricing and bringing it in. Maybe you’re shipping it from China or India or Korea or something like that. And so it’s taking a long time to get here as well, where with wholesale, we’re buying mostly in the USA or Canada or wherever you live. And so you can get that product in a week or two. And so it’s a lot smaller timeframe as well. It’s not as big of a commitment upfront. And we can also look at the keepa graph, which I’m going to be doing a deep dive on the keepa graph, by the way, I’m putting together a webinar that I’m going to be going into a deep dive on the keepa graph.

Todd (17:01):
It’s not going to be here on YouTube or anything. So watch for a link on that. But with the keeper graph, we can look at the history of a product and see get a really good idea on the price history and the sales velocity, and know most likely be able to project into the future, what that product is going to do. So to me, wholesale is a lot lower risk. I like private label. I’ve gotten my own brand. I’m trying to build that, but I’ve had multiple failures in that as well, where with wholesale, it’s just a lot easier. And if I do have a failure in wholesale, I just clearance it out, moving on to the next product and I’m good to go. So those are the main pros and cons.

Todd (17:57):
Let’s see, Brian, maybe I’ve misread. Do the new holiday requirements, ask for 25 seller fulfilled orders before a certain date. Does that mean FBA? Maybe I’ve misread, but do the new holiday. I am not positive on that actually, Brian. Seller fulfilled or so I’m not sure on the 25, I had not read that, but I’m assuming seller fulfilled orders would be a combination of FBA and merchant fulfilled. I’m not sure if maybe they’re setting a limit for new sellers. They don’t want new sellers this holiday season. So you have to have some kind of a track record. That could definitely be the case, but if it’s seller fulfilled, I would think it would mean probably both FBA and merchant fulfill, but I could be wrong on that. Unless you’re doing merchant fulfilled, maybe then they’re meaning that, but I am not positive on that, Brian, sorry,

Todd (18:54):
Anthony does the amount of time you’ve been an active seller affect your eligibility to win the buy box. What is a good strategy for new sellers to succeed? So it used to be that the answer to that was no. Now though it seems that the answer to that is maybe yes. I was talking about that buy box glitch or feature that Amazon, or that has happened on Amazon this past month. One of the opinions out there is that the people who are getting stuck in the buy box and that are staying in the buy box, are the sellers with high high feedback rating, high seller feedback rating. I’ve been a strong proponent of getting seller feedback and requesting seller feedback. In the past, I do that. I have my virtual assistant using the jungle scout Chrome plugin. Every week she’s going to the orders page and hitting that request feedback button that jungle scout puts there for you. And because on every order, there’s a button now that says request a feedback and review and jungle Scouts, plugin automates that.

Todd (20:04):
So she just goes in there, sets it to show 100 products or whatever the max is, hits that button, wait for it to go through, finish the process, goes to the next page. He hits it again. Next page hits it again. Next page hits it again. And every week she’s doing that for me. So I get usually usually one, two, three, maybe up to five or six new seller feedback every single day. So it’s going to depend on your sales velocity, right? Because I’m doing last, I checked, I think around 5,000 products per month that I’m selling and I’m getting a handful or less of feedback per day doing that. But I’ve been doing that since the very beginning. I learned that from my private label days, because you always wanted to request reviews and stuff. And along with that would come seller feedback.

Todd (20:59):
So I just continued doing that in wholesale and I highly request everyone else to do that because it does. I mean, it definitely is going to play a role. Right. Why else would Amazon have the seller feedback if you have positive seller feedback and alot of it? Of course Amazon is going to trust you more. It’s just like, you know, you’re looking at businesses on, you’re trying to find a place to take your car, to get it repaired. Do you go to the auto repair shop that has, you know, three reviews and three and a half stars, or do you go to the place that has four and a half, five stars and a thousand reviews? You know, you’re probably going to go to the one that has a thousand reviews and four and a half stars over the one that has three reviews, even if it is five stars because they’re more established.

Todd (21:51):
So I definitely think it’s something that’s important and it’s probably going to become more important going forward as Amazon matures. Government is getting more on Amazon as well. They’re pushing them harder to provide better products, stop knockoffs, support their sellers better and things like that. So it just makes sense that they’re going to start looking at that stuff more. So now, if you haven’t already, I would get the jungle scout plugin and start doing that every week, or have your virtual assistant doing that every week, requesting that seller feedback. And it also helps to get reviewed. I use that as a benefit for trying to get exclusives and stuff. You know, I follow up with buyers and I request reviews for our products and I request seller feedback to make sure that we did it good to be back, but you can use that as a benefit to the brands and stuff out there as well.

Todd (22:51):
Right. Because you’re doing it and you can offer that to the brands out there also. So I’ve definitely used that when talking with brands let’s see, Al says what person in a big company has the power to decide, to make an exclusive agreement. Gotcha. All right. So in a big company, you never know, it’s hard to say most of my exclusive agreements, all of them act. So in a big way, honey, it’s going to be a lot harder, if not impossible, to get exclusives, not impossible. But it’s going to be harder. You’re going to have to talk to probably to a eCommerce manager. Some kind of manager level is probably going to have to make that decision. You know, you might even have to go up to like the VP vice president of sales or something like that, to be able to do that.

Todd (23:47):
But you’re gonna have to be a lot more proven and have a track record probably. Don’t let that stop you from trying, you know, never, if you don’t try the answer’s always no. So you got to at least try it. Doesn’t hurt to ask. Once you’ve developed that relationship, you don’t want to ask upfront, right? You want to build that relationship for a few months, get some orders, get some sales, and then maybe address. Spam calls you on the telephone. You probably get spam calls all the time and you know, Hey, we want to sell you a wait I’m not interested. If somebody called you and said, Hey, you have a Amazon business. I’d like to take over all of your advertisement. You want to sign this exclusive agreement with us. You know, you’re not going to just take some guy off the street who calls you.

Todd (24:40):
So keep that in mind, you need to build that relationship. And with a big business, that’s going to even be more important get to know your sales rep and then approach it. You need to get your sales rep on your site. Your sales rep can take that to their manager. You don’t want to tell the sales person what they should tell their manager. You let the sales person get you and your salesperson, a meeting with the manager. Explain it. And your sales rep can give you credibility because he’s built their reputation with them. So that’s something to keep in mind as well. All right, right here. This question was from Kathy. No one talks about the very necessary, but boring topic of taxes. Can you talk about how to handle the collecting and paying of state taxes? I have a resale certificate and filed my taxes, which was zero.

Todd (25:35):
Since I have not launched yet in my home state where my LLC is set up. Do I have to obtain a tax registration number for other States and set this up and seller central, thanks again for all your time and information. So great question, Kathy. And I appreciate you asking it, and this is an ever changing answer. So it was not too long ago where yes, we did have to open tax accounts all over the place. You know, wherever Amazon moved your products to that is where you then had supposedly nexus and you needed to open up a tax account in that state and file taxes for that. So I use a company called tax jar to collect all that information and file that, those taxes with the different States. Now I paid for their service. It’s $25 for every filing. And so they would just do it for me.

Todd (26:34):
Now a lot has changed as of recently because a lot of States have been passing laws that are requiring Amazon to collect the sales taxes for you. Majority of States have that. Now a few big ones, like I think Florida and maybe Texas don’t have it yet. So you still have to file there. So I’m still using tax jar to file for those States. And so you’re going to have to check and see where you’re getting sales. I definitely would recommend a service like tax jar and there’s other ones out there as well, but they’re going to collect all the data for you and say, okay, if this is what you should probably pay for taxes in this state, and then you have to decide, remember I’m not an accountant or anything. So take this with a grain of salt, but then you have to decide, do I want to take the time to open up a tax account with that state and pay it, you know, weigh your risks and decide.

Todd (27:35):
So if you’re making a lot of sales in that state and you have to pay sales taxes, open the account there and start paying the sales taxes. But the good news is the majority of States. You don’t have to worry about that anymore. So yeah, it’s definitely not a fun topic, but an extremely important topic to make sure you’re doing it right. Especially if you’re going to do this business seriously. So definitely talk with an accountant check out tax jar. I believe Avalara is another one out there that you can use that can get all this information for you. So hopefully that answers that question for you.

Todd (28:34):
Greetings, mr. Magoo says, jumping on this Late. Is this viable for Canada? I have been researching private label seems to have a lot of risks associated for beginners. Yeah. Wholesale model is definitely possible in Canada. I’ve got a lot of people who I’ve been on coaching calls with, and a lot of people I’ve talked to that, do this in Canada. So they do it a couple of ways either they sell in Canada. Now you just have to understand the sales velocity is a lot lower in Canada because I think Canada is like 30 million people or something like that. And the U S is 360 million people. So it’s about 10% of the U S. The products are different in some cases that sell well as well. So there’s less of an opportunity in Canada, but what a lot of Canadians do is that they sell in the amazon.com marketplace. And you do that using a prep center that can receive your products, get everything ready, you know, make sure you received everything, put the labels up, put them in bags if necessary, and then ship that into Amazon for you.

Todd (29:30):
So that is usually how they’re doing it, selling in the U S market. The same goes for people living in the UK or Australia or Germany or Japan or wherever they happen to be. They’re doing that the same way. So you can sell really from anywhere in the world. The tax thing is a little bit different. You got to figure that out. So talk with an accountant to make sure you’re doing that properly, but it’s definitely possible. And I know people who do well just selling in Canada as well. You know, the sales are less, but the competition is less as well. So definitely a good opportunity. And wholesale is a lot less risky than private label, in my opinion. Especially with a lot of the coaches and stuff out there with private label are selling still the idea that you can just find a product on Amazon, make it a little bit different, throw it up, advertize, it, launch it, and you’re going to be a millionaire, right?

Todd (30:32):
But that doesn’t really work that well anymore. You really have to build a brand, build an actual business. If you’re going to do private label, you know, that’s what I’m doing with mine. I have a product, it sells decently on Amazon, but I’ve built a website. I’ve got hundreds of blog posts on there now that are driving traffic from Google. I’m out of stock on my product right now. So I threw up a preorder page and I have pre-ordered thousands dollars worth of pre-orders in the time that I’ve had that up. So you want to build an entire brand. If you go to the private label route with wholesale, we’re selling other people’s products. So it’s there a problem to build that brand, but we can help them sell more on Amazon, potentially with exclusive agreements and things like that as well.

Todd (31:23):
So hopefully that gives you a little bit direction and help on there. I don’t want to discourage you from doing private label. Building a brand is awesome. But wholesale is my bread and butter where I’m at right now. So Andy chin says, what would you recommend to do with the ongoing buy box algorithm changes buy box, not rotating as before. So, you know, again, I watched a video from Larry Lebowski, watch me Amazon. So I don’t want to say this is all coming from me because this is, I just watched itself. Some of this is fresh in my mind. But he was talking about, you know, that the very possibility that they’re trying to clear out warehouses that are overstocked. And so if you have products that are not selling and you need to free up that money, you can’t leave it, sit there for a little while and see if it comes back, you’re going to have to significantly cut your price.

Todd (32:24):
You know, maybe 10% or something like that. You’re just, you know, not just a few pennies, like normally you’re going to have to go a dollar or 50 cents and try to get that buy box back so you can clearance that stuff out, get it into other another thing that I was contemplating was maybe make a small order of that product. That’s not selling, create a new shipment and see if it’s going to a different warehouse than previously and send it in and see if it, then it starts selling. Maybe it’ll go to a warehouse that Amazon wants to sell from. And it’s hard to say, there’s, you could test it out and play with it or just clearance them out and get different products that are selling well for you. If you’ve got products that are selling well, focus in on that, get the money, any other products that are not moving and put them in the products that are moving and be more cautious adding new products.

Todd (33:23):
I have not really had a problem because a lot of the new products that I am bringing on are products that only have FBM sellers. So I’m been doing a lot of that lately, where I’m the only new FBA sellers, I’m just automatically getting the buy box. So I haven’t really seen the problem of new sellers coming on and not getting the buy box too much. But it definitely could be an issue. So like what we always talk about start small. Order a small quantity, you know, a case 12, 24, 36, 48, whatever the smallest amount they’ll let you order and send it in, test it and see if you start getting sales on that product or not. We’re just gonna have to deal with it right now until it either is fixed. If it’s a bug where we figure out more about it, it’d be nice.

Todd (34:14):
If Amazon would come out and say something, these are the kinds of things that are really irritating when it comes to selling on Amazon, they are not very good at communicating sometimes. And this is just one of those cases where we’re just going to have to wait and see how it plays out for us.

Todd (34:31):
Prod. Hello, thanks for joining us. No, I’m not going to sing for you. I do not have a very good singing voice. I don’t think anybody would want me to hear me singing.

Todd (34:44):
Let’s see, miss Kat, I rebooted my computer. Sorry. If you answered my question, I missed it. The IPI and the new limit. Is it 200 days since units or cubic feet. I’ve read conflicting info on various Facebook groups. So I am not a hundred percent on the 200 ACE and limit, but I have not seen that yet myself.

Todd (35:06):
But what I do know for sure is that they’re going to limit the quantity. So on a lot of my products, the limit I can send in on an ACIN in is 200 units, but it’s going to be severely limited. You might only be all ascending five or 10 or 15, and you’re going to have a cap of how many you can actually send in for, you know, because you’re already overloaded. That’s why they’re limiting you because you have not done a good job on handling your inventory. That’s currently in Amazon. So there’s two things. Either. You have old inventory, that’s not selling. And so you need to take advantage of the free removals to get that out of there, Or you have a lot of listings that you haven’t restocked and are out of stock and Amazon thinks you should restart.

Todd (35:58):
What you’re going to want to do is since tonight, I believe is the cutoff. We’re recording this on July 31st, go into your inventory performance and go to the restock page and anything that’s out of stock. Just remove that notice from there and then go into your inventory and disable or close that listing. And so from what I’ve read is by doing that, that will help bump your score up and hopefully get you above that 500 threshold. And I actually tested this and I did see my score go up. He took a day before the score changed. So there could have been other factors, but I tested it out with some products and my score did go up some I think my score is like a five 70 or something like that. So if you’re below 500, you need to do everything you can right now to get that up before the cutoff.

Todd (36:55):
And so that you can send in enough products because otherwise, who knows what else they might do. If your IPI score is not good, maybe they’re not going to give you the buy box. You know, if your IPI score is low, because you’re not managing your business properly, the way that Amazon wants you managing it so doing whatever you can to get that fixed. Hopefully that answers that question for you.

Todd (37:19):
Anthony says, do you anticipate it taking some time for new sellers to make money due to the buybox glitch or can new sellers be successfully successful immediately? You know, it depends on the ACIN. Not every ASIN is having this buy box, you know, glitch or feature or whatever it ends up being here. So you’re going to have to test small orders, like I mentioned, and see what happens when you get that product in there.

Todd (37:50):
You know, I wouldn’t let this hold you back. You know, you’re making those small orders anyways, so still move forward. I mean, you’re going to kick yourself six months from now. If you didn’t take action now, so don’t let this buy box issue, stop you from getting started. If you’re just starting just use caution, make those small orders, send them in, see how it goes. If they sell then reorder more. If they don’t sell, clearance them out, get your money back and try a different product and save that product for the future because eventually, hopefully this’ll be sorted out and you’ll be able to get rotated back yet.

Todd (38:32):
Let’s see, Ahmed, my question, selling wholesale internationally. Do you sell globally? What do you think of it? And do you recommend a specific markets? So I do sell in Canada and a little bit in Mexico.

Todd (38:47):
I actually have product in Canada, Mexico. I just utilize the remote fulfillment service that Amazon provides for North America. And I get some sales from that there. So, you know, if you’re in the us, I would recommend testing out Canada and see how it goes and see if you can get some sales there. If you’re whatever country you’re in, I would start there though. So if you’re in the UK or you’re in you know, Saudi Arabia or you’re in Australia, or you’re in Japan, start in that local market, get your feet wet, learn it, and then move to other markets. Obviously the U S is the biggest market for Amazon, but they’re growing and moving into a lot of different places. So test out the markets, that’s pretty much what you have to do with everything and see how it goes. And now with the the Brexit thing with United Kingdom, the whole European issue is happening where you’re not going to be able to fulfill from the UK to the rest of Europe like you were before, unless they come up with some agreements.

Todd (40:01):
So it’s an ever changing platform. You gotta keep that in mind. You’re always have to be learning. You know, I can teach anybody how to sell on Amazon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be successful. If you don’t have a entrepreneurial mindset where you’re always learning, you’re always gaining new knowledge. You’re always trying new things always growing as a person, you know, expanding your mind, expanding your knowledge and things like that. You always have to be doing that regardless of what business that you’re in. All right.

Todd (40:37):
Let’s see. Timothy says, sorry, can you explain the rotation and the buybox again with FBA and FBM it glitched bad? Yeah, so FBA FBM, FBA pretty much always gets the buybox over FBM except for a little while. FBN was getting it over the top of FBA because Amazon was overloaded.

Todd (40:59):
So, and that could happen again in the future. We’ll see what happens for fourth quarter as sales ramp up. But typically FBA gets the buy box over FBM and less FBM is like 10% or more lower price than FBA. And then price is important. You know, if, if both sellers are FBA price is gonna play a factor. Previously, if you undercut by like a penny, you’d get the buy box. Now it’s not rotating as much right now. So a feedback is important as well. If your seller feedback is blow like 80, 85% positive. that can Start removing you from the buy box as well. So you want to increase the feedback. And one of the things that we’ve heard about this new buybox issue is that potentially it’s skewing towards people who have a lot of feedback and a lot of positive feedback because Amazon can then be more assured that you are a good seller. So lots of issues or lots of things that go into the buy box, but those are the main, main things for it.

Todd (42:12):
Let’s see Ahmed says for the U S market, what do you consider is too many sellers on specific products. In other words, if more than three or four sellers. So it’s not really the number of sellers, but the number of sales you’re going to get. So whatever tool you’re using to guesstimate sales, if it’s jungle scout and jungle scout says that the listing is getting 200 sales, you know, and their are nine other sellers on the listing, you’re going to be the 10th. That means you might get around 20 sales per month. So what’s your profit on that? If you’re making $10 profit per item, that’s $200 profit per month, is it worth the effort for you to send in that product at $200 profit? You know, everybody’s going to be different. If you’re a big seller, it might not be, if you’re a small seller just getting started, you probably would be happy with that.

Todd (43:03):
So you need to focus on that more than the number of sellers is the number of sales that you will potentially get of that product every month. Keeping in mind that the number of sellers will fluctuate. It trends up usually, but sometimes it will go down as well. So you gotta keep that in mind also.

Todd (43:22):
Alright. Is that a book that you recommend for people to read while they are building their wholesale business, maybe for help to build confidence when speaking over the phone? So there are no like really good Amazon books. The, for speaking over the phone, you really just want to read some of the top sales books. So if you go to Amazon and search for sales books or a phone sales, and just look at the top rated books, the bestselling books and start reading those I just did one recently and I forgetting the name of it.

Todd (44:06):
Let me see if I can pull it up here quick while I’m going over it, but I interviewed about the book, but yeah, you just need to do some reading and then get testing and actually doing it, nothing beats experience, you can read a million books, but nothing is going to beat experienced. So Frank Soma was the sales professional that I interviewed in his book was B to B is really P to P said, a letter B the number two, the letter B is really P to P and that stands for business. The business is really person to person. That book was really good. I liked it a lot. So I definitely recommend that one check that one out, but also look at some of the other top sales books that are out there. If you got entrepreneuradventure.com and click on resources, I’ve got some other books at the bottom of that page as well that I have found really helpful.

Todd (45:07):
Some of them are more like mentality books, like mindset and things like that. But you can check those out also. If you’re looking for some books to read, alright guys, so we’re coming up on where I need to cut this off here. I actually have product in the back. My father-in-law is helping me prep some products back there, so I need to get back there. So we’re going to cut it off here at the question Andy Chan just asked. So once I get to there, we will be done, I won’t be taking any more.

Todd (45:47):
Let’s see, mr. Magoo, not sure if you have a course or not. What resources slash courses would you recommend for a beginner? I have everything set up including U S bank accounts, professional accounts incorporated, et cetera. So YouTube is a really good option for finding free content.

Todd (46:06):
There’s a lot of good free content out there. I am going to be coming out with a webinar, as I talked about earlier for analyzing a listing and analyzing the keepa graph in depth to determine if a product is worth buying. So you can be more confident in buying it where we check out the history and kind of project that into the future. So if you’re interested in that, stay tuned, make sure you’re on my email list. You can sign up for that on entrepreneuradventure.com. And I’ll post a link in the video here as well when I have that webinar coming out. But you can definitely check that out. Larry Lebowski watch me. Amazon has a really good course. The wholesale Academy. It is a couple thousand dollars, so it’s definitely not cheap, but there’s a lot of really good content in there.

Todd (46:58):
I bought that when that comes out, because you don’t know what you don’t know. And I learned a lot of really good info from that. But otherwise, you know, there’s a lot of other FBA and Amazon gurus and stuff out there that I’ve interviewed. So go through some of the interviews like mommy income, if you’re looking at bundles and things like that. But otherwise just stay tuned. I’m going to be coming out with some stuff very shortly that you guys will be able purchase to help you do better in Amazon and wholesale and things like that. So stay tuned for that as well.

Todd (47:39):
Anthony says, I appreciate all your advice. I appreciate you for watching Anthony.

Todd (47:44):
Ahmed says, friend of mine has a brand, has local stores in our state and it’s successful, but knows nothing about Amazon and asked to do sell asked me to sell it for him on Amazon, but it’s in a high competition product.

Todd (47:59):
Should I? I don’t know if I can answer that question for you. It’s kinda up to you and you know, how much work is your friend willing to put into it and how much is he willing to pay you for doing it? If he’s able to pay you, you know an amount for doing it, maybe you can come to an agreement on that where if you see a potential in it and you think you can get it selling, maybe you can come to an agreement on a percentage of profits. You know, if you split profits on Amazon or something like that, you just have to make sure it’s going to be worth your time. I know you said, it’s your friend and you always want to help your friends and stuff like that. But you have to make sure it’s worth your time and effort, because if you’re doing that for him, you’re not going to be able to be able to do other things.

Todd (48:50):
So you’ll have to come to an agreement. I would recommend it having some kind of partnership agreement in place, even though you are friends, you know, crazy things have happened and business can cause and money in general can cause a lot of friction and issues. So you want to have everything clear and in place exactly what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it when you’re going to do it, what you’re going to get paid for doing it. So everyone knows exactly what’s going on. There’s no surprises and nobody can get upset or upon anything. And if anybody does get upset, you can say, well, this is what we agreed to. This is what’s going on. That’s why I did it. But you know, I can’t answer that for you. You’re going to have to figure that out, but analyze it and figure out if it’s an opportunity that makes sense for you.

Todd (49:43):
Chris says, do you ask for discounts on your first order on a new account or do you buy a normal price and try to profit? So I always ask pretty much always occasionally if it’s a brand that I am wanting to improve the listings and I’m going to be the only FBA seller, I don’t ask for a discount up front, but otherwise usually I ask it very passively, like, Hey, do you have any order quantities that allow me to get additional discounts on top of the price, on your price sheet and see what they say? You don’t want to push really hard upfront, but it’s worth asking kind of in passing almost, you know, like I’ll get the wholesale list, I’ll analyze it. And then I’ll ask, you know, do you guys have any price levels that I can get additional discounts or order quantities that I can get additional discounts on it?

Todd (50:39):
I’ll even go through the whole list and maybe do like a 20% off or whatever, or find the products that are selling well that I potentially want to order how many I think I can order per month and then say, this is what I’d like to order. What’s the best pricing you can give me on an order of this size and see what they say it’s normal in wholesale to ask for discounts, especially from distributors and bigger brands. So they’re, they’re kind of expecting that. So it’s okay to ask, you know, just don’t push really hard until you’ve had, you’ve built that relationship out. Let’s see.

Todd (51:18):
Chris asks again, do you find most of your profitable items from distributors or brands? Both. some of my biggest orders are from distributors and some of my biggest orders are from brands. Typically my brand orders are smaller than my distributor orders but it varies.So it kind of goes back and forth.

Todd (51:36):
Let’s see. And the final question here from Andy, how is your warehouse going? What was the biggest challenge finding your current warehouse? So, so far so good. It’s going well, I’m starting to get some processes in place, my software restock pro, which is really good for when I had the prep center, because they have really good like forecasting and ability to track all your inventory and syncs with Amazon and everything. So that part is really good, but they’re really lacking in the warehouse management side of it. So I’m still trying to figure that out. I’m looking through other software, seeing if I need to switch or what but we’ve got a nice workflow. So going down you know, all the products come in, I received them in and then they get paid, go on the shelves.

Todd (52:32):
And once a week, usually we’re doing a big shipment into Amazon and sending it all in. So far so good in terms of finding it. It wasn’t too, too bad, you know, I just used a, what website was that there? Actually I found the most on our local classified website. So here that’s KSL.com for in the Utah area. I found a lot of really good ones on there. Otherwise there’s a business website, a warehouse space, let me just search . They should be the one on the top results. loopnet, L O O P net.com found a bunch on there and I just went and visited them and then got a hold of the person who was renting it check them out when inside, see if it worked for me, if it did after I found a few, then I negotiated the rent.

Todd (53:33):
I got a hundred dollars discount off of what they were asking for it on the rent and just did that, right. It worked pretty smoothly. I had a lot of opportunities here in the Provo, Utah area where I live. There’s a lot of warehouse space and with everything going on right now, you probably have a better opportunity to even get a discount from the rent that they’re asking for as well. So overall good. I like being in the warehouse because I get to see more of my products, everything before it was going to the prep center, which is fine. If you want to do that model, it worked for me for a long time. But getting the products in my hands, being able to maybe take new pictures of them, see them. It just seems more real for me. And I’ve also found new products because of that.

Todd (54:27):
I’ve actually had some products shipped to me by mistake from a distributor and added those to my inventory. And it’s more easy for me to do the tests. I can send them to the warehouse, check out the products and, you know, see what kind of opportunities there is so far, so far. So good. All right. So that is about it. That wraps up this live. I really appreciate you guys out there listening and supporting me in this entrepreneuradventure that we’re all in and, and helping me grow the channel, share it. I would really appreciate you guys sharing this out to anyone that you think is interested in this, share the podcast, whatever the case may be. But thank you for being a part of my adventure that I’ve got going on here and helping me grow it again, stay tuned for that kipa, a webinar that I’m going to be doing.

Todd (55:25):
I think you guys would all get a lot of information out of that. So if you’re not on the email list already head on over right now to entrepreneur venture.com. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, there’s a little form. You can jump on that email list and you’ll be sure to get notified when that comes out, because the way I’m going to be doing that is I’m going to be doing the live stream of the webinar for free, but then it’s going to become a little like paid micro course. So you’re going to want to be on the live stream for that. Again, appreciate everybody out there for everything. Entrepreneuradventure.com and other than that Todd Welch, signing off. Happy selling everybody.

Announcer (56:12):
This has been another episode of the entrepreneur adventure podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take it.

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