US Sales Tax Holidays: What Online Sellers Need to Know

Sales Tax Holidays 2016 State Map

This post is by Jennifer Dunn, Chief of Content at TaxJar. Throughout her writing career, she has specialized in demystifying tricky income and sales tax concepts for business owners. Connect with Jennifer at @TaxJarJenn.

“Tax-free weekend.” “Severe weather preparedness holiday.” Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you may see sales tax holidays crop up in your state from time to time. As a buyer, they can be a great way to save a few bucks on school supplies or a new, more energy-efficient washing machine.

But as an online seller, sales tax holidays can present a major headache. If buyers are buying school supplies from your out-of-state online store during the tax-free weekend, they’re going to expect a tax-free purchase. If you aren’t prepared, you may end up with some unhappy customers.

But before we get to how online sellers should handle sales tax holidays, let’s back up. What’s the deal with sales tax holidays anyway?

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Avoid These 5 Amazon Product Research Pitfalls On Your Path To Success

Amazon Product Research Pitfalls

This post is by Greg Mercer, the founder of Amazon product research tool Jungle Scout, and a solution for Amazon product reviews, Review Kick.

The formula to finding a perfect product to sell on Amazon is deceptively simple: find a product with enough demand, limited competition, and enough profit margin at the end of the day to make it all worthwhile.

Through my experience researching and launching dozens of products, I have learned many lessons the hard way. There’s no need for you to go through my learning experiences yourself. In this post, I will outline five mistakes that Amazon sellers make when they research products.

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How to Find a Private Label Niche and Product to Sell on Amazon

How to Choose a Private Label Niche and Product

This post is by Manuel Becvar, Founder & CEO of sourcing education site Import Dojo. Manuel has been living and working in Hong Kong for the last 11 years. He runs several businesses including a sourcing company and a private label business selling products on Amazon, as well as public speaking and providing online courses.

How do you find a private label product to sell? This is the number one question I get asked on an almost daily basis.

I have no definite answer for you today but I will break it down in two parts including a step-by-step example of how I select products. Hopefully you’ll get a few ideas!

We will look at:

  1. How to pick a product niche, by looking at your personal situation.
  2. How to pick a product to private label within your niche.

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Amazon’s New UPC Policy: What it Means for Sellers

Amazon's New UPC Policy

This post is by Leah McHugh, an ecommerce consultant for 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. This post is an extended version of Decoding Amazon’s New Barcode Policy, published on the ecommerceChris blog.

Earlier this year, Amazon quietly made a change to its Product UPC and GTINs policy (Seller Central login required). It now states:

We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. We recommend obtaining your UPCs directly from GS1 (and not from other third parties selling UPC licenses) to ensure the appropriate information is reflected in the GS1 database.

What does that mean for sellers?

Well, first you need to understand why Amazon has made this change. Right now, Amazon has millions of duplicate listings, where someone has slapped their own barcode onto an existing product in the catalog. Duplicate listings are not good for buyer experience. It confuses customers and dilutes product reviews.

The GS1 policy gives Amazon tighter control of what constitutes a valid listing and reduces the chance of duplicate listings. How? Let’s take a look at how barcodes work.

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How to Use Trademarks to Protect Your Amazon Private Label Business

Amazon Private Label Trademarks

This post is by Eric Perrott, a trademark attorney at Gerben Law Firm, PLLC, a firm founded by Josh Gerben. Eric has extensive experience handling trademark matters for Amazon sellers, helping clients have more than 1,000 infringing listings removed.

Whether you are white labeling or private labeling, it’s important that you understand the role that trademarks can and do play in your Amazon store’s success.

White labelers order unbranded goods from a manufacturer and apply custom packaging, while private labelers procure and offer products exclusive to their Amazon store. Both approaches allow sellers to build a brand and market products under that brand, charging a premium for their items.

Let’s take a look at a few trademark tips that these Amazon sellers can’t afford to ignore.

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