Referrals are now live!

Referrals

Starting today, JoeLister users subscribed to a paid plan will be able to send out referral links to other people, and for each new user who signs up and subscribes to a JoeLister plan, the referrer will get $50 in credits, spendable on any JoeLister plan. Essentially a month (or nearly two) of free JoeLister, depending on which plan you’re on. The referral link is normally shown to the right of the “Payment Method” box, but is visible only to paid members.

Once enough credits are accumulated, there will be an option to receive additional credits in cash – we haven’t decided on that cap yet, but once we do we’ll be sure to announce it here.

Referrals are now live!

eBay+ | A Catch Up Game with Amazon?

A portion of this post is from The Verge, posted just yesterday morning. Relevant for eBay and Amazon sellers, as this is potentially an early-stage version of eBay’s equivalent of Amazon Prime.

Alright, from The Verge:

ebayy

eBay tests subscription loyalty scheme to match Amazon Prime

eBay is testing a customer loyalty program to rival Amazon’s Prime initiative, offering buyers speedy delivery and free returns on items for an annual fee. The program reportedly dubbed eBay+ is currently being trialled in parts of Germany, with plans to roll out the service to the whole of the country scheduled for the second half of the year. The loyalty program is being tested with a handful of top-rated sellers, and although pricing has yet to be announced, it’s thought that the annual subscription fee for buyers could be somewhere between €15 and €20 (around $17 to $22).

Participating sellers will get preferential treatment in search results

“Through this new program, sellers will have the opportunity to commit existing customers even more strongly to themselves and to gain new customers in addition,” Maike Fuest, eBay Germany’s director of communications, told The Street. According to the company’s website, participating sellers will receive an unspecified discount on the sales commission they pay to eBay, while their products will also be “marked and highlighted” in search results.

What does this mean? (Not from the Verge)

As it currently is, Amazon’s logistical network enables FBA shipments (products solid via Fulfillment by Amazon) to ship in two days, an option for everyone but free for Prime users. We end up with a huge market of Amazon buyers, partially due to this move and a few others as well. If eBay provides the equivalent to free two-day shipping on its part, then eBay becomes that much more attractive for potential buyers, not just ones from Amazon but those from Walmart or elsewhere. eBay stays in the game.

But of course, this program is just rolling out in Germany for the time being. If successful, a rollout in the US market would perhaps occur sometime later.

If you are selling on both Amazon + eBay: then you would want this to happen. An increase in buyers on eBay could translate to increased sales, and perhaps Amazon would compete even more aggressively by implementing newer programs (such as Prime Now, which is currently doing two-hour delivery in Manhattan/Brooklyn/Baltimore/Miami). Being on both platforms would be a plus, as you’d have access to buyers in both markets. JoeLister is one of the ways to do this, although other options are available.

eBay+ | A Catch Up Game with Amazon?

From the Shopify Blog – Pros & Cons of Selling on Amazon + eBay

This post is from the Shopify blog, posted a long while ago but still relevant for people deciding to sell on Amazon and eBay. Also relevant because Shopify IPO’ed this week and seems to be doing quite well:

“Shopify Prices IPO at $17 a Share” | from Wall Street Journal

“Tech IPO Scorecard: Shopify Skyrockets 51%” | from TechCrunch

Anyhow, the post. For one of the cons – the issue with syncing across markets – JoeLister offers a comprehensive solution. Check it out at www.joelister.com.

How_to_Sell_in_Online_Marketplaces_Shopify_Ecommerce_Blog

Pros of Selling on Amazon & eBay

1. Increased Sales

The chief draw of selling on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay is the scale of their online presence. Amazon alone draws nearly 85 million unique monthly visitors – that’s a heck of a lot of eyeballs! And those eyeballs can translate into higher sales volumes. According to an Amazon executive, sellers report an average 50% increase in sales when they join Amazon Marketplace.

2. Customer Acquisition

Nobody visits Amazon or eBay searching for your store. But they may be searching for – and discover – your products. Products they may not have discovered otherwise, or that they may have purchased from a competitor.
Once you’ve got a customer in the door, even if it is through a marketplace, you’ve got a chance to win repeat business through excellent service and fulfillment. This is especially the case if you’re selling products in a category that encourages frequent, repeated purchases such as hobby supplies or fishing gear.

3. Marketplace Infrastructure

Marketplaces are all about strength in numbers. This is as true for online marketplaces as it is for real world examples like farmers’ markets, shopping malls, and food trailer parks. The variety and all-in-one aspect of the marketplace can draw in lots of customers who prefer that kind of shopping experience. Online marketplaces also bring the additional layer of single-stream checkout and fulfilment support in order to create a seamless experience for buyers.

Cons of Selling on Amazon & eBay

While there are some significant upsides to selling on marketplaces, there are also some drawbacks that need to be considered.

1. Marketplace Fees

Setting up shop on a marketplace can potentially supercharge your sales, but it also exposes you to another cost center – marketplace fees. Most marketplace fees are deducted as a percentage of each sale, and can vary from site to site and even category to category. Before selling your products on a marketplace, you’ll want to make sure you have a good sense of your margins and a firm understanding of the marketplace’s fee structure. In highly commoditized, low-margin categories, the numbers may just not add up. See fees for selling on Amazon, and fees for selling on eBay.

2. Marketplace Infrastructure

While the marketplace infrastructure has many advantages, it’s important to remember that it can cut both ways. Marketplaces don’t exist to help you, but to help themselves. They want the focus to be on the products, not the sellers. And that means they might restrict the degree to which you can brand your presence, communicate with customers, dictate what items you can and cannot sell, and so on.
Additionally, there’s nothing to stop marketplace owners – in the case of Amazon, Sears, and so on – from “going to school” on third-party sellers, identifying popular products and stocking them themselves.

3. Keeping Inventory in Sync

A marketplace is essentially a second point of sale. And one that sometimes can’t be configured to talk to your shopping cart. In effect, both draw down the same inventory, but don’t sync with one another, making it challenging to understand your stock levels without lots of manual reconciliation. Fortunately, applications exist to help you aggregating orders from multiple sources and making sure your inventory stays in sync across all your stores.

How to Choose a Marketplace

As you weigh the pros and cons of selling on a marketplace, it’s also worthwhile to consider which marketplace you would join. The tempting answer is “all of them!”, but each marketplace has its own system, its own processes and limitations and quirks. Learning to navigate those can take time you probably don’t have, so it’s best to stick to one or two marketplaces unless you know you can support more.
Two of the largest and most well-known marketplaces are Amazon and eBay. Amazon’s Marketplace takes the sharper retail tack, and as a retailer itself Amazon provides tools to help third-party sellers become part of a seamless shopping experience, including “Fulfillment by Amazon”, which involves shipping your inventory in bulk to Amazon and letting them handle shipping.

eBay, on the other hand, is essentially a massive marketplace. Where Amazon focuses on the Amazon shopping experience, eBay offers seller tools and features that make it easier for you to feature your brand, as well as sell non-standard items.

From the Shopify Blog – Pros & Cons of Selling on Amazon + eBay

How to Use the Amazon FBA Calculator (for FBA sellers)

Are you selling via Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)? Confused about how the calculator provided by Amazon works? Fear no more – we have a concise, visual explanation here.

1. Enter an item in the “find your product” search bar. Just your item by name; items on Amazon will then show up. Select your intended item.

You’ll end up at this interface.

Calculator Screen

2. You’ll see two columns; one says “your fulfillment”, and the other says “Amazon fulfillment”. What’s confusing about this tool is the fact that the two columns do not interact with each other whatsoever. “Your fulfillment” is the column that describes what it would be like if you fulfilled the product yourself (i.e. ship it out to the customer). “Amazon fulfillment” is what it would be like if you shipped it to Amazon, and Amazon just takes care of all the shipping and storage for you (hence “Fulfillment by Amazon”).

To find out how much Amazon FBA costs for your item, enter the price you want to sell the item for in the box corresponding to “Item Price”

Amazon Fulfillment

(It’s the one on the top-right corner.)

3. Take a look at the bottom, where this is shown:

Cost totals

Ignore the left column; we’re only interested in the right, as we’re selling via fulfillment by Amazon. The number corresponding to “Fulfillment Cost Subtotal” is the cost of Amazon storage/shipping fees; the “Cost Subtotal” is that cost, plus the commission that Amazon takes in the “Cost” section a few lines above.

The fee for Amazon FBA is the cost subtotal. 

What you’re left with is the line below, the “marginal impact”, which is how much you (the seller) earns on selling your product.

4. Is the cost subtotal/fee always going to be -4.79?

Nope. It’s going to be a little different depending on the dimensions of your item. What we have here as an example is a book; other products might be a little different.

Happy calculating! You can find the calculator here: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/hz/fba/profitabilitycalculator/index?lang=en_US.

This is one of the posts in our “answering simple FBA questions” thread, where we answer questions that are frequently googled in concise, straight-forward responses. 

How to Use the Amazon FBA Calculator (for FBA sellers)

What/how much does Amazon FBA cost?

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES.

1. This Book, selling at $10

Miracle Man

It’s a normal book, with dimensions 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches. FBA costs $4.79. 

2. This Lamp, selling at $25

This lamp

It’s an Ikea lamp. FBA costs $10.35. Do take note that the more expensive the item is, the more commission/”referral fee” Amazon charges on the item; however, it does seem to be the case that the higher the selling price, the less the referral fee is as a percentage of the selling price.

3. This Bike, selling at $179

biking

It’s a road bike. Here, the weight brings up the cost of FBA a lot; it’s $35.38 for the weight handling, to be exact. FBA costs $70.63 for this bike. It weights in at 29.5 pounds.

Curious how other items costs? Take a look at our blog post about using the Amazon FBA calculator (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/hz/fba/profitabilitycalculator/index?lang=en_US) and search up any item on Amazon.

This is one of the posts in our “answering simple FBA questions” thread, where we answer questions that are frequently googled in concise, straight-forward responses. 

What/how much does Amazon FBA cost?

Does Amazon FBA Cost Money?

Yes. Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) costs money. 

How much money? 

More details from the official Amazon page can be found here (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161240), but we’ll also have another blog post giving you example costs for various items.

This is one of the posts in our “answering simple FBA questions” thread, where we answer questions that are frequently googled in concise, straight-forward responses. 

Does Amazon FBA Cost Money?

Where We’ve Been

SkipEver heard of Skip McGrath? He’s been working in the e-commerce area since 1999 at http://www.skipmcgrath.com/, and he’s accumulated quite a following since then. On a pretty recent post about using Amazon Fulfillment to ship eBay orders (http://www.skipmcgrath.com/articles/ship-ebay-orders-fulfillment-amazon.shtml), he’s given us a shoutout:

I’ve found a new way to increase sales of FBA inventory by cross-listing to eBay with one click.  The service is called JoeLister.  It’s your one-stop shop for launching and fulfilling eBay listings from your Amazon FBA listings. Easy setup.  Free listings.  Quantity Sync.  It’s pretty sweet.  Check out JoeLister and see if it’s a good match for your online business.”

We’ve also been featured on That Kat Radio, an e-commerce podcast:

That Kat

Not bad thus far.

Where We’ve Been