All posts by David

Blog Posts – Dumpster Diving

Blog Posts – Dumpster Diving

My Experiences / blog posts:

I was going to go dumpster dive at a very small local college. When I got there with my 2 daughters and other family in the car, there was a policeman out by the dumpster. I asked him if he minded if we take a look, telling him we were looking for books. He said there are no books in there, but there are a ton of free books by the table in the hall by the other door. Sweet! So I take my two girls, and we go into the college by the other door. There was the equivalent of a large shipping box, half full of textbooks. As I start getting excited though, I realize that the box is for Better World Books. They have already made an arrangement with the school to have donation bins in the school, with 10% of the proceeds going to a clean water project. I sat there for a few minutes, and discussed this with my children. There were probably 1-2,000$ worth of books in this box. I explained to them that the people that donated those books expected them to go to help that cause, and that these books in fact were not free. Someone else had already made a deal, and done the work. Then we walked away. There are unlimited opportunities in this world.  I used this one to show my children how the easy answer is not always the right one.

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May 15, 2017 at 11:05AM
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Blog Post – Achievements to Unlock

Blog Post – Achievements to Unlock

Achievements – a future post:

 Writing:

Write a post

Get a like on your post

Have someone else share one of your posts

Start a Facebook page

Start a Facebook group

Write an article

Write an e-book

 Merch:

Sign up for Merch by Amazon

Get approved by Merch

Upload your first design

Sell your first shirt

 Digital Marketing:

Sign up for an affiliate account for something you use

Make a deal for an affiliate program with someone that does not already have one

Create a landing page

Create a mailing list

Tags:
May 15, 2017 at 11:05AM
Open in Evernote

Blog Post – Achievements to Unlock

Blog Post – Achievements to Unlock

Achievements – a future post:

 Writing:

Write a post

Get a like on your post

Have someone else share one of your posts

Start a Facebook page

Start a Facebook group

Write an article

Write an e-book

 Merch:

Sign up for Merch by Amazon

Get approved by Merch

Upload your first design

Sell your first shirt

 Digital Marketing:

Sign up for an affiliate account for something you use

Make a deal for an affiliate program with someone that does not already have one

Create a landing page

Create a mailing list

Tags:
May 15, 2017 at 11:05AM
Open in Evernote

Translating Amazon sales rank into useful information – for any category!

When you are sourcing products to sell online, it is important to know if the product you are going to sell is a faster or slower moving product. We are going to be using a site called BrowseNodes to find out the percentage of sales rank in ANY category. We are going to use the numbers that are available from BrowseNodes to do some simple calculations, to give us an idea of how well a product will sell.

First, a little background explanation.

Sales rank on Amazon is a classified algorithm that basically shows the amount of time since a product last sold. When a product sells, the sales rank jumps. Then it slowly lowers over time, and as other items sell. The smaller the number, the better the sales rank. The better the sales rank of an item, generally, means the more units sell per day.

Nodes are Amazon’s way of categorizing items in their catalog. Think of these as sub-categories of similar products.
The basic process is like this.

Find sales rank of item you want to research. You can find this number either from Amazon.com (on the product page) or from your favorite scanning app (we recommend Scanpower)

Look up category on BrowseNodes. (Or compare against the spreadsheet you have already updated)

Look at Details to get total number of active offers in that category.

Do the math, or plug the numbers into a spreadsheet. (To get yours free, sign up for our mailing list here).

What we are looking for is products that sell quickly, in order to recover our investment as soon as possible. Sales rank by itself is not a good reason to buy a product, but is an important piece of information that can help to make better decisions. The lower the number, the more likely it is to sell quickly.

Basically, we are going to choose our category, and then look at the number of ACTIVE offers that Amazon has in that category. This will give us a rough guide of the top 1%, 5% etc. in each category.

For example, lets look at an Lego Minecraft Nether Fortress Kit. ASIN B00WHY9I1O

sales rank post 1

You can see on the bottom of the listing page that this product is ranked #1,061 in Toys and Games.

sales rank post 3

From the www.browsenodes.com home page, you can see the node for Toys and Games.

sales rank post 4

The link that says “Detailed Information about Browse Node 165793011 “ is the one that has the information that we want. When we click that one, it takes us to the details summary for the Toys and Games Node.

sales rank post 5

The number that we want is the one that is listed under “Search Index Product Count”. In this case, the total number of ACTIVE items is 4,913,032.

sales rank post 6

To find out how our sales rank compares, simply divide the sales rank of our product by the total number of active offers.

In this case, our product has a sales rank of 1,061 of a total of 4,913,032 total listings available.
This gives us a sales rank percentage of about .02%. This means that the item we are looking at is on the top .02% of all of the items in the Toys and Games categories that Amazon has to offer. That is a very good rank!

You can also use this information if you have the rank for a specific product. For example, you have scanned a toy using your favorite scanning app, and gotten a sales rank of 150,000. Simply divide 150,000 by the total number of active listings 4,913,032 and you will know where the toy you are looking at is ranked compared to other items in this category.

Ex: 150,000 / 4,931,032 = top 3% of all Toys.

This information is useful to determine if you have a toy that people want to buy, or one that is going to sit on the shelf in the warehouse for a long period of time.

There is also some other interesting information available on this page. There are four bullet points here that are also worth researching if you are going to be selling or specializing in this category. Top Selling Products, New Releases, Most Wished for Products, and Most Gifted Products.

Browsing these lists will give you a very good idea of what customers are looking for when they are searching this category of product.

Keep in mind that the same percentage means different things in different categories. A top 1% Toy for example, will probably sell more units per day than a top 1% Home and Garden.

I encourage you to search around on this site, and learn more about the niche that you intend to compete in. If you are not specializing in a niche, then use these numbers to get a little bit better of an idea about which products sell quickly.

For the categories that you are going to be sourcing in often, I recommend updating the numbers about once a month. I have uploaded a free spreadsheet that you can use. To get access to the spreadsheet, simply sign up for our free newsletter here.

More useful sales rank resources:
Camelcamelcamel.com – shows sales rank and price history for items on Amazon
GDFR.com – an interactive calculator that will show the top percentages in categories, or tell you what percentage your item is

My UPC is on Amazon, but my product is not!

My UPC is in Amazon, but my product isn’t!
My item is not in Amazon’s catalog, but the UPC is already being used!
I want to sell a puzzle, and there are 15 other puzzles with the same UPC!

These are all part of the same problem, today I will tell you how to fix it.

I have run into a problem a few times, where the item that I want to sell has many variations listed on Amazon. It just does not have the variation that I want. The problem is I am confronted with two options, to select a product that Amazon has in its catalog, or to create a new product. The product I want does not have a listing. When I create a new listing, and I enter the UPC, it tells me the listing already exists, so I can’t make a new one! How do I get around this? The answer is to put all the information into an existing ASIN, and then have customer support split the pages up appropriately.

Most often this is with puzzles, although I have run into the same problem with printer ink, some types of books, some dead tech, or collectibles as well. I have noticed this problem when there are a lot of variations, like on Furbies. Here is how to fix that problem.

The first thing to realize is that this is going to take a day or two. The basic process is as follows:

1) Input all of the information for your product on a listing for a different product. (Make sure to include pictures and a great description!)

Screenshot 2015-08-26 20.54.39

2) Contact customer support, and let them know that the information you entered was for a different product, and provide proof that your item is different that the one on the listing.

3) Wait for the response from customer service to fix the listings for you.

Screenshot 2015-08-26 20.54.18
I have come across this problem several times, and it always made me worry. Here are the things I worried about, and here is why you shouldn’t worry at all.

Worry 1: If I put in information on a product that doesn’t match, I will mess up the original listing.
If you have been selling for a while, you have received emails notifying you that an ASIN has changed some information. This is because when another seller wants to modify a listing, a notice goes out to people listing against that ASIN. this gives sellers a chance to fix or dispute the information. When you make the changes you are attempting to make, you are not going to impact the original listing.

Worry 2: The two products information is going to get jumbled up, and both listings will be junk.
For the same reasons as worry number one, this is not going to happen. Just trust in the system and it will work out fine.

Worry 3: When I create the listing, it won’t allow me to put in the pictures, because it is against a current ASIN.
You are correct, Amazon will not allow you to upload pictures over an existing ASIN. However, in the “My Offers” section, you can upload your personal pictures. These are the pictures that Amazon will use when creating your new product page.

Worry 4: What if someone buys it from me before my new product hits the warehouse?
What I did here was create the item as a Merchant Fulfilled (MF) item. This allowed me to put in my pictures, and enter all of my listing details while I was still working on that product. In this case, I priced the puzzle at 99.99, well above value. This ensures that I will have time to change it to FBA and send it to the warehouse after Amazon fixes the listing page.

After all of your information is added and updated, including the age, manufacturer, an awesome description, etc., Amazon will say “Congratulations your item is for sale”. It will be under the item listing that you already chose, NOT the actual item listing you want to sell. Copy down the ASIN, and open a support ticket with Amazon.

Here is the format that I used to successfully complete this process. Remember to send them pictures of the product with the UPC visible.

Customer Support,
I am trying to make a new listing for a puzzle that has multiple variations under the same UPC.
ASIN: B0026RI9O4
UPC: 0021081033428
I put in all the details under : Ceaco Crowd Pleasers – Crazy Harbor
It should be listed as Caeco Crowd Pleasers – The Antique Show
Pictures proving UPC are uploaded to the listing.
Please create new detail page, thank you.

ASIN or SKU (optional): B0026RI9O4
Approximately one day later, I received this response.
Dear Seller,

Thank you for contacting us.

As per your request, I have worked to create new ASIN for SKU:FH-84ZH-119F which earlier was associated with ASIN:B0026RI9O4. I am glad to inform you that new ASIN for this SKU is B013TY0GMU. Your listing is live on Amazon.

Details:

SKU: FH-84ZH-119F

Old ASIN: B0026RI9O4
New AISN: B013TY0GMU

You can check the same from the below link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B013TY0GMU/?seller=ARF1P6LGMATY1

Please find the screenshots of the same attached to this email. Kindly note that images of the same will reflect in 24 hours.

This is the same process that you would use if the item that you are using has a UPC, but that UPC is listed under a totally different product on Amazon. Add all your information, open a support ticket (with proof), and let Amazon fix their catalog for you. That is all there is to it! As always, feel free to leave comments below, or email us at Amusingtreasures@gmail.com if you need help.

Some quick tips when listing Collectible Games on Amazon

I wanted to just write some quick tips that came to mind while listing collectible games on Amazon. (We are working on some right now.)
1) Make sure that you are reading the product description carefully. Some games have multiple years under the same UPC. Check the cover art, the year written on the box, the year on the instructions, or any other distinguishing dates and marks.
2) Check the other offers that are available for your buyers. Here is a screenshot of a game that we are working on right now.
Screenshot 2015-08-01 14.17.46
If you read the actual offers, you will see that many of the games are not complete. This is a violation of Amazon’s listing policies, and it is very common. Instead of worrying about them breaking the rules though, let’s focus on what it means for us. It means that the first complete set, with a complete box, is listed at $76.00.
This is one of the reasons a lot of repricing software does not reprice against collectibles
3)Replacement parts. If your game is close to complete, then you can usually find the replacement parts on Ebay for cheap, then list the complete game.
Screenshot 2015-08-01 14.36.25
Another idea is to part out your board game and sell the individual pieces. In this case, you can almost make as much from parting out the game as you can from selling it on Amazon. It would just take a little longer, with more steps. Either way, there is value in looking at the game and the pieces.
You can also hold onto the games until you find another one, and put them together.
Good luck, and happy hunting!

Fixing Stranded Inventory from Scanpower

I was searching through my inventory the other day and realized that I had 81 stranded items, totaling several hundred dollars worth of merchandise. These are the steps that I took to get them unstranded, so that they did not have to be shipped back, saving me some money.
Step 1 – Resend the feeds on ScanPower.
Look at your archived shipments, and click the Fix Listing button. Many times that will fix the problem immediately. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.

Step 2 – Click the “Incomplete” button next to the listing on Amazon.
Screenshot 2015-07-25 23.57.22

Step 3 – Copy the picture from the Amazon listing page by opening the listing
Screenshot 2015-07-25 23.57.49
and then clicking “see this image” underneath the photo on the page.
Screenshot 2015-07-25 23.58.00
Right click the picture, use “Save image as”.
Screenshot 2015-07-25 23.58.12

Step 4 – Upload the newly copied image into the Main Image. Update your price. Click Save.
Screenshot 2015-07-25 23.58.35

Screenshot 2015-07-25 23.58.41

Screenshot 2015-07-25 23.59.14

Step 5 – Be patient! Changes can take up to 15 minutes.
The error seems to be triggered if the item has a picture on the listing, but does not have one as the “Main Image” in the listing details.
If you have any questions, you can contact me at amusingtreasures@gmail.com.
Good Luck!

Buy a Bundle, Game for Free!

So you love to play video games. You also love to make money (that is why you are here!) You want to get paid to do it. It is easier than you think, with some simple steps and a little patience. It breaks down into a few simple steps.
-Find a bundle deal on Craigslist or your local Facebook group. A bundle deal is video games with the console and some accessories.
-Sell off all of the items in the bundle you are not trying to add to your collection.
-Enjoy your cost free gaming!
First, look at the local Craigslist ads or Facebook groups. You are looking for the words “Lot”, “Bundle”, or “Games”. If you are looking for a specific title, you can search for that title instead. Determine whether you can make money on this bundle at that price while keeping the games that you want. Video games are fast sellers, especially newer titles and consoles (defined as XBOX 360 or PS3 or newer). You are going to use the lowest price on Amazon as your calculation point. Assume that you are going to lose about 1/3 of the cost to fees. All you need to do is to break even, but of course the more money you can make the more money you can put directly into your pocket!
You do a simple comparison. Use the lowest price of everything you can sell, and multiply by 2/3’s. If that value is higher than the price you can negotiate on the bundle, then go ahead and buy. Things to keep in mind:
When you sell the console, you should include one controller, the charger, and the cables to hook it to the TV.
The games might be scratched, so inspect them carefully before you buy. Light surface scratches are ok, but anything more than that you will need to pay to get them professionally refinished. That will run between 1-3 dollars per disc.
Once you find a bundle, you should contact the seller. One thing I’ve learned over time was that your first offer should make you feel slightly embarrassed. I usually offer somewhere between 50-60% of the asking price. Make sure to mention that you can bring cash and pay them today. Don’t be surprised if they say no at first, just be polite and ask them to keep you in mind. Often they will contact you back within a day or two. If you don’t hear from them, email them back a little later and ask if they still have it available. Between no shows and people not needing or wanting everything that is in the bundle, they will often still have the bundle available. Don’t worry about missing out on a particular deal, there are new ones every day.
When you go to pick up the bundle, make sure you inspect the items carefully. Do not feel pressured to buy if the items are not pristine. Have them turn it on for you, if you are comfortable going to their homes. Remember, you are not obligated to buy anything.
What you are going to do is keep the pieces you want, and sell off all the pieces you don’t at enough of a price difference to pay for the entire bundle. Every part of a video game system is usually easy to sell, especially the newer models. Xbox 360 or PS3 or newer.
My favorite way to sell them is on Amazon. You can sign up for an account to sell on Amazon in about 5-10 minutes. You do not need a pro-seller account, which makes listing your items free. The difference between a pro-seller account and a free account is an additional one dollar fee per item. If you are selling more than 40 items per month, then you should sign up for a pro-seller account, as you will break even.
Keep in mind that almost everything gaming related can sell, and you do not have to settle for the lowest price. The chargers, the controllers, the cameras, the headphones, and the games can all be sold separately.
You want your money back quickly, so the simplest way is to just match the lowest prices on Amazon. List them on Amazon, and write a good description. Read the condition guidelines, and make sure you are following them. Make sure you are on the right listing, especially on consoles. There are different versions of most gaming platforms, and a few minutes of research will show you which is which. This may sound intimidating, but it is really very simple.
Read the descriptions of the people you are competing against. Especially at the lowest price, people often do not take the time to write a good description of the condition. Use their laziness against them. Use a better description, and you can demand higher prices!
There are different versions of most gaming platforms, and a few minutes of research will show you which is which. This may sound intimidating, but it is really very simple.
When the customer orders your items, you will get an email. Package the item the way you would like to receive it, safe and pretty. Once the orders are in (remember that you will lose about 1/3 of the cost in fees), you will get paid every two weeks from Amazon. Sit back and enjoy all of your free games!
This is a very simple way to expand your gaming collection exponentially in a very short period of time. Have fun, and Happy Gaming!
-David Manning @ AmusingTreasures.com