Alex Knight is a staff writer for Web Retailer.
A journalism graduate from City University, London, Alex has written for a range of publications including City Metric and Sky Sports News. He has also written and produced a short independent documentary on the battle to save London's Norton Folgate.
Alex's topics of interest are ecommerce, sport and architecture. He considers himself a multimedia specialist having produced written content, podcasts and video reports.
BULQ brings the liquidation industry into the 21st century by offering a manifest guarantee, flat-rate shipping and the ability to source on the go
Historically, the liquidation industry has had two main problems. The first affected retailers, who had to send their stock through inefficient and costly liquidation channels, which resulted in returned and excess inventory going through a lot of middle-men, before it would eventually reach buyers that would resell to the consumer market.
The second affected buyers who were purchasing liquidation stock, only to find that when it arrived, the stock was completely different to what was included in the manifest (if there was a manifest). They were also left confused by the various shipping costs and were sometimes hit with hidden fees.
Enter BULQ, who is bringing a different, more modern, approach to the liquidation industry in order to solve these two problems. They work with some of the largest retailers in the United States and connect their excess and returned inventory directly with entrepreneurs who buy the stock and resell it.
BULQ is also making the process quicker and easier for buyers. Not only do they offer flat-rate shipping direct to your door, they also offer a manifest guarantee if the contents of the lot is off by more than 2% in terms of condition or quantity.
Will Tjernlund, Greg Mercer and Bernie Thompson talk about private label pricing, from costs and competitors to products and positioning
There is a common misconception about private labeling on Amazon that simply taking a generic product and slapping a logo on it is a recipe for success. In most cases, there are other factors that play a key part.
One of these is price. Unlike wholesale or reselling models, where a manufacturer will often provide you with a retail price, and there are usually many competitors selling the same product, there are no such guidelines with private labeling – the price is totally down to you.
This can be daunting, as not only do you have to analyze market pricing, and decide on your initial place within it, but you also need a strategy for altering your price to react to market changes and your competitors.
To shed some light on this topic, I spoke to three private label experts – Will Tjernlund, Greg Mercer and Bernie Thompson – to get their advice on how to price private label products. Continue reading →
Alex Knight interviews attorney Paul Rafelson about US sales tax for Amazon FBA sellers, and the MTC’s amnesty. Should you opt in?
As you may have seen, sales tax is a rather hot topic for Amazon sellers at the moment, following the Multistate Tax Commission’s decision to hold a US sales tax amnesty for online sellers.
With the October 17th deadline looming, there is much debate about whether Amazon sellers are even liable for sales tax, and whether they should make a voluntary disclosure under this amnesty. This week, I spoke to Paul Rafelson, a state and local tax attorney, to get his opinions on both of these topics.
What Paul said surprised me, as it was very different to the orthodox view of FBA and sales tax. Ultimately, he believes that Amazon sellers who fulfill their orders using FBA may not be liable for sales tax at all. His contention is that sales tax “nexus”, usually the key consideration for Amazon FBA sellers, is actually irrelevant, because Amazon itself is the “retailer” under sales tax law and should be responsible for collecting sales tax themselves.
We also talked about the MTC amnesty, which Paul believes Amazon sellers should not comply with because, in his opinion, it is a bad policy, based on a weak understanding of the realities of selling on Amazon. He also fears that if sellers comply, they could be hit with further taxes, such as income tax and franchise tax, and end up crippled by a huge compliance burden.
You can watch the full interview with Paul above, and we’ve also included a full transcript of the conversation.
Twice a year, the Global Sources Summit hosts the leading speakers on sourcing and private labeling from every corner of the Earth
For Amazon marketplace sellers, private labeling remains one of the most popular business models. This is where sellers source a generic item, create a logo and custom packaging, and then offer it on Amazon under their own brand name and listing.
But the private label model is more difficult than people think, and one of the most difficult aspects is sourcing products from China – especially if sellers have no previous experience of importing. They often make simple but costly errors, like miscommunicating with their supplier or having the wrong export documentation.
This is where the Global Sources Summit comes in. It aims to help established Amazon sellers source more efficiently, by learning from the world’s top sourcing and private label experts. It also gives sellers the opportunity to source products from two co-located trade shows, and to visit Chinese suppliers in person.
Selling internationally? Avoid unnecessary currency conversions, pay suppliers, and transfer currency balances with this new service
Currency conversion company WorldFirst have been testing an innovative new service with their customers since May this year: the World Account.
Now it’s available to all online sellers in the UK and the EEA (European Economic Area). Businesses in the USA and worldwide can register their interest to get a World Account when they launch globally.
For years, sellers have been using WorldFirst’s receiving accounts to bring funds home from international marketplaces. But online selling has evolved, and sellers need more than just an account to collect their payments. They need to pay suppliers, settle VAT liabilities, transfer between currencies, and manage their accounts on the move.
That’s where the World Account comes in. It’s a big leap forward in currency services for online sellers.