Monthly Archives: January 2017

Product Sourcing Tools: the Essential Guide for Online Sellers

Software and services for Amazon/eBay market research, importing, private labeling, arbitrage, wholesale, liquidation and dropshipping

Good sources of inventory aren’t just lying out in the open for everyone to see, you have to go looking for them. But the quest to find profitable products is not easy – it’s almost like searching for buried treasure.

First, you’ll need some sort of map to guide you, rather than just wandering around at random. But don’t expect to have an X marking the perfect spot.

You’ll also need “pieces of eight” to invest. The more gold doubloons you have at your disposal, the more options and leverage you will have with suppliers.

Then you’ll need the right tools for the job. A compass and telescope won’t get you far, but there are software and services available that can help a great deal.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Product Sourcing category of the Web Retailer directory. It covers market research, product evaluation, importing and private label, online arbitrage, wholesale, liquidation and dropshipping.

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How to Carry Out an Annual Review of Your Chinese Suppliers

Identify key problems, work together on solutions, and grow your business together – or fire them!

This post is by Gary Huang, an American based in Shanghai, China. Gary has been working in sourcing since 2008, and is the creator of 80/20 Sourcing which teaches online sellers and small business importers how to save time and make more money when sourcing from suppliers in China.

When sourcing from suppliers abroad, oftentimes we are so bogged down in the day-to-day communications, fixing problems, placing orders, and handling all other parts of our business, we rarely take a chance to evaluate how the supplier is performing. One of the best ways is to do this is with a performance review.

Does the sound of that make your skin crawl? The thought of meeting with your boss and having him pick apart all the good and bad you’ve done all year. We hate that feeling when someone gives you negative feedback despite the fact it’s “for your own good”. The idea is that this way you recognize your weaknesses, and ideally identify ways to work together to improve upon them.

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Getting Seen on eBay: 21 Tips for Cracking the Cassini Search Engine

This post is by Carlo Silva, founder of ecommerce outsourcing company 2nd Office. Carlo has 16 years of experience selling on eBay and is a former eBay Titanium Power Seller.

UPDATE January 2017: this second edition has been completely reviewed and revised, with three new tips added.

Do you remember the days when you as a seller could leave negative feedback for bad customers?

Do you remember the days when you could list multiple listings and flood eBay’s search engine with auctions, Buy It Now listings and get tons of sales?

This is when eBay was still using their search engine called “Voyager,” which was built around 2002. Voyager was clearly more about the seller and not so much about the buyer because, if you knew how Voyager worked, you would be banking in on all the sales.

If you’re an old school eBay seller like me, then you experienced the glory days of eBay from the early 2000’s to 2008. I still remember those days. I also remember when everything started to change.

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False Infringement Claims are Rife on Amazon

How unethical sellers abuse the system with bogus IP, trademark, copyright and patent reports

This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Amazonian and founder of ecommerceChris.com. For Amazon sellers, having their merchant account suspended means losing time and money trying to get back in business. ecommerceChris shows sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.

UPDATE FEB 2017: A follow-up to this post, How to Fight Amazon Rights Infringement Claims, covers Amazon’s changing attitude to false claims, how to create a Plan of Action, and how to file a DMCA counterclaim.

As demonstrated in a recent CNBC article about Samsung sales, Amazon scarcely has any process in place to vet disputes over sales rights or to filter counterfeit claims from alleged rights owners.

In order to meet a minimum liability standard, Amazon only acts upon properly submitted and completed notice claims of infringement. They notify specified marketplace sellers which party reported them on what listing, and how to reach that would-be rights owner via email. The rest is up to you.

Unfortunately, now word is out that anyone could submit a form without any true vetting or verification process on the other side. Investigators merely check the form for completed content in all the right spaces. They don’t independently verify that any of the information is actually correct, or valid. The rights owner makes a legally-binding declaration in the form, and signs it. What if you can’t locate a party who submits a false form?

If anything there does not square with reality, then it’s up to you to chase them down.

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7 Leading Marketplaces in Asia from Coupang to Zalora

This post is by Craig Agutter, EMEA Ecommerce Manager at international currency transfer provider World First.

For online sellers across the world, Asia is already a lucrative market but it is the rate of growth and scale that really sets it apart. China’s online retail market is already the world’s largest with over US$600 billion of sales in 2015 according to research by McKinsey.

However, forecasters believe the current size has barely scratched the surface, with China’s low tier cities along with other countries in Southeast Asia beginning to benefit from the ecommerce boom. In Thailand, 85% of consumers not living in major metropolitan hubs use mobile devices for their online purchases.

So, the question every ambitious online seller should be asking is: how can I tap into these active and growing markets in Asia? Below, we look at the top marketplaces and give you tips on taking advantage of the opportunities for online sellers in Asia.

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