From Hobby to Business: The Magic of Repeatable Processes

The Magic of Repeatable Processes

This post is by Todd Ryan, a Florida-based IT manager who has been selling online since 1999. He currently concentrates on the Amazon marketplace, growing 100% year-on-year and employing three people in the business.

A lot of sellers find themselves in between a hobby and a business. They start selling as a hobby, just to make a little extra income, and enjoy the process of buying and selling. But after a while it’s not as much fun as it used to be. It takes more and more time, and a lot of the work becomes frustrating and repetitive. It’s no longer a good hobby.

But it’s often not a great business either. It may be profitable, but only just. If you are in this situation, you can find yourself working a lot of hours, but discover – when you properly calculate all of your costs – that you are making less than the minimum wage.

Many sellers struggle with making the leap from hobby selling into building a legitimate business. Making that change isn’t everyone’s goal, but it was certainly a pivotal point for me and my business. This post is about what I’ve learned in taking that path, and I hope it helps you if you’re on that same journey.

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Selling Jewelry Online: eBay, Amazon, Etsy and Beyond

Selling Jewelry Online

This post is by Igor Nusinovich, the CEO and co-founder of Valigara. Valigara provides a multi-channel marketing platform for selling jewelry, diamonds and gemstones online. Valigara also provides ecommerce outsourcing services to jewelry retailers, managing all their online marketing, sales and customer service.

Now is an exciting time for jewelry sellers. Global sales are expected to grow by 5% to 6% each year, reaching a projected $250 billion by 2020. Consumer demand fell during the last recession, but it has since recovered and is now stronger than ever.

Demand has increased, but so has the level of competition. The wide variety of businesses who sell jewelry – including designers, retailers and manufacturers – now have to cast their net wider to find a receptive market and generate healthy sales.

In this guide I will take a broad look at the world of selling jewelry online. I’ll provide a primer on the main categories of jewelry that are sold, then look at the businesses that sell them and the latest buying trends.

I’ll cover the challenges faced when selling jewelry online, and the most important sales channels including Amazon, eBay, “alternative” online marketplaces, and independent webstores.

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Hard Lessons Learned on My Sourcing Trip to China and the Canton Fair

Sourcing Trip to China

This post is by Danny McMillan, a London-based Amazon Seller who sells in Europe and the US. Danny has previously worked in the music industry and with tech start-ups. He is now a public speaker and regularly co-presents at the UK’s largest Meetup group for Amazon sellers on subjects including PPC and conversion optimization.

The Canton Fair is a great place to choose for your first product sourcing mission. But to get the most out of the experience, you have to properly prepare for your visit. That can take a lot time when you are learning everything from scratch. I hope that this article will slash your prep time and save you some of the pain my business partner and I went through on our first visit.

During my first Canton Fair, I actually over-planned and as a result, most of my plans did not pan out as expected. However, it was still an amazing experience and we learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Here are just a few of the things I wish I had been told pre-Canton. I’ve also included some great tips from six Amazon experts I met along the way: Will Tjernlund, Michael Michelini, Chris Davey, Manuel Becvar, Ashley Thompson, Ashish Monga and Greg Mercer.

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The Top 10 Headaches When Selling on eBay at Scale

Headaches Selling on eBay at Scale

This post is by Jonathan Pollard, CEO of eBay integration software company Codisto. Their products include Xpress Lister, a free eBay listing creation tool for spreadsheets, and Marketplace Connect, which provides full eBay catalog synchronization for Magento and WooCommerce.

eBay sellers generated $80 billion of revenue last year, from 17 million buyers who show up on the marketplace every month. For sellers, eBay is an incredible opportunity too good to miss.

But tackling eBay selling at scale can be a real challenge. Strategies and tools are needed to overcome the scaling difficulties. These will set yourself apart from competitors and allow you to make the most of the lucrative eBay marketplace. Let’s take a look at what’s involved.

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QC or not QC? All About Pre-Shipment Inspections for Your Product Imports

Pre-Shipment Inspections

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.

Recently I listened to an interesting podcast from Scott Voelker aka The Amazing Seller. He shared a story about a quality problem with one of his Amazon products which led to a listing suspension.

The problem was with a bundled product. Apparently some of the products had missing pieces and customers were returning them. Amazon noticed the unusually high return rate so they suspended his listing!

This meant all his sales stopped on this listing. Scott was smart to take action and file for a removal order to take back the defective inventory. Obviously he wasn’t going to ship them back to China (too expensive and time consuming) so he decided to fix them himself. Meanwhile he switched the listing from FBA to merchant-fulfilled to start selling the product again.

But in the process he lost a ton of sales from the time the listing was down to when he fixed the problem and shipped them back to Amazon. And he had to spend his own time and hard-earned money to fix the problem. What can we learn from this? What could Scott have done to prevent this nightmare?

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