How To Sell On Amazon From Canada

sell on amazon from canada
So you want to sell on Amazon from Canada?

I have to admit, I was so very intimidated by this when I first started selling on Amazon as a Canadian.

We of course do have Amazon.ca and we have 4 or 5 warehouses here in Canada.

But I can assure you that selling on Amazon.ca is nothing like selling in the US on Amazon.com.

You really do want to get your products in from of all those Americans!  Our market here is so small, it is really like selling only in California and not having access to the other 49 states.

In addition, Canadians just haven’t embraced this whole online shopping thing in the same way that the Americans have.  We are in our infancy here when it comes to shopping online!

What is the biggest obstacle to selling on Amazon.com from Canada ?


Yup. It’s the border. Oh the questions I had! Plus I imagined soldiers with guns just waiting for me and selling on amazon.com from canadamy dubious paperwork and incorrect declarations!

  • Can a Canadian seller send stuff to the US warehouses? (Yes!)
  • How do you drive inventory over the border?
  • How do you send inventory over the border?
  • What are the best and cheapest options?
  • How much dollar value can I send?
  • Do I need a broker?
  • Do I have to pay duty?
  • Can I shop in the US and send to a US warehouse? How?

Questions like this and my fears about the border held my progress back for a year!

If you are a Canadian with dreams about selling in the US,  you can learn how to sell on Amazon step by step.  All the paperwork, all the ins and outs of getting goods over the border, all the various options. It’s all here in this ebook from fellow Canadian seller Duncan MacPherson.  I wish I had it 2 years ago.  It has everything you need to know and answered all my questions listed above.

What’s Inside How To Sell On Amazon.com From Canada?

These are some of the topics covered in this ebook:

  • Registering your Amazon.com account
  • Where to find products to sell
  • Importing Products into the US from Canada
  • What you’ll need at the border
  • Forms and declarations
  • US bank accounts and credit cards
  • Prep and Ship companies
  • Freight forwarders (so you don’t have to cross the border!)
  • A list of Prep and Ship companies
  • A list of websites both Canadian and US where you can source products

Like I said, I sure I wish I had this 2 years ago!  Duncan has laid out the groundwork for you to get started without all the hitches and setbacks that I had and that I know he also had in the beginning.

Order Duncan’s book here.

My Other Articles for Selling on Amazon for Beginners

How to Start selling on Amazon with no money  (I did it!)

How a Niche can help your Amazon business

Things to know about selling on Amazon Canada

Things I’ve learned about prepping shipments  and FBA labeling

I hope this information helps you to figure out how to sell on Amazon from Canada and that there are people out there doing it and so can you!  Good luck!

 

 

Make Money With Merch by Amazon

Make Money With Merch by Amazon

Merch by Amazon ReviewThere is yet another way to make money by Amazon!  People who do Zazzle will love this because Amazon now has their own POD (Print on Demand) program called Merch by Amazon.

If you are currently doing POD on Zazzle, Café Press, Society 6 you will want to take a look because Amazon has the market share to pull this off and you can make money with merch by Amazon too.

Cupcake Demon Shirt by Serafiume

I am pretty excited about this because Zazzle has become a nice little steady income stream but so many people don’t even know what it is!

Three days ago I uploaded this image to Merch by Amazon that my son designed a few years ago. This has been sitting on Zazzle for 3 years without a single sale.

Today on Amazon it sold. Three days.

You can bet that I am going to be busy over the next few days! Not only that, the royalty is about 40% and up. To get this much royalty on Zazzle you would need to sell the shirt for way too high a price to ever get sales.

You won’t be abandoning Zazzle because right now Merch by Amazon is still in it’s infancy and the program is only a few months old at the time of writing this article.  While Zazzle has POD products that you have not even thought of yet, Amazon has only tshirts and nothing else.  Not even a mug!  But I’m sure that will change over time.

How Do You Make Money with Amazon Merch?

  • First you need an invitation and you need to let them know you want to be invited!  So do that right away  atmerch by amazon merch.amazon.com because it took 3 months for me to finally get my approval.
  • While you are waiting to be approved, start getting some designs ready to upload.
  • Basically, you will upload your images onto the Merch by Amazon board and place it on a tshirt, choosing up to 5 colors (at this time) per shirt design.  Submit your design to the marketing machine that is Amazon and watch the dashboard for your royalties!

How is Merch by Amazon different from Zazzle?

This section is for those of you currently using Zazzle. There are a few differences both good and bad.

  • The royalties are higher, much higher.  My son made $8 on a $19.99 shirt. You can price the shirts higher than that and Amazon’s portion doesn’t change, so you can make more than 40%.
  • You can have private listings so if you design a special shirt for a private function or group, you can sell those shirts at cost if you want and they are also not in the marketplace.  Just give your group the URL for ordering.
  • You don’t have an actual store front like you do on Zazzle or on Amazon as a normal Amazon third party seller.  Amazon is the store front and is selling your shirt.
  • There isn’t as yet a place to put behind the scenes keyword phrases as there is with product listings.
  • There are only 2 items, a relaxed fit shirt or a closer fitting shirt.  No long sleeve shirts or tanks or hoodies.  I think this will come in time.

What Do I Need to Make Money With Merch By Amazon ?

Not a whole heck of a lot!

That is the beauty of it!  You can finally sell on Amazon without buying any Inventory!  All you need is images just like on Zazzle.  You can use your own photos, artwork and made up images and slogans.  I use Photoshop Elements as it gives you the power of Photoshop but it’s not overkill.  You get exactly what you need.  You can also use Gimp which is free.

Amazon provides templates that you can download into photoshop, adobe and gimp.  All you need after that is your imagination!

I did buy this Merch Life book to get me started.  Each page in the book has a link to a short video to walk you through the steps.  I also highly, highly recommend Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.  And no, it’s not about stealing, it’s about finding your own creativity and is very inspiring!

Merch Life: An Introduction to Using Merch By Amazon to Design Shirts and Make MoneyAdobe Photoshop Elements 14Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

 

Well, I hope to be writing more about how to make money with Amazon merch as I get more into it and figure out what sells and what doesn’t!  I just wanted to tell you right away so that you can get your invitation in there!

Happy Merch Life!

 

 

 

How To Earn Cash Online with Ebates!

how to earn cash online with ebatesAre You Earning Cash Online with Ebates!?

I am about to give you some very good news and yet another stream of income to add to your arsenal of how to earn cash online. If you have never heard of ebates before, this will blow your mind!

 

Last week I got a cheque in the mail in the amount of $1.59. I staredHow to Earn Cash Online with Ebates at it for a few minutes wondering why on earth? How on earth? And then it hit me! I had signed up for ebates and I forgot about it, except for this one purchase I made and then got paid for with my $1.59 cheque. So why am I so excited about a lousy $1.59?

Having just done my quarterly taxes for my online Amazon FBA business, it dawned on me just how much money I had left on the table! Last October through December  I could have earned somewhere around $700! For doing what I was already doing anyways!

And that is just my business purchases!  What about all the times I have ordered online for gifts, collectibles and other hard to find items or just about anything on thousands of sites!

The good news is that just in the last week or so, I have earned another $36 in ebates.  I figure that this will be another $100 a month in my pocket of what is basically FREE MONEY!

The Ebates Cash Back Toolbar

This is by far the easiest way to use Ebates.  This Ebates plugin is available for Chrome and Firefox.  It sits on your toolbar waiting to point out cash back opportunities.  So let’s say you decide to check something out at Macy’s.  As soon as you pull up the Macys website, you get this reminder that there is cashback to be had.  All you have to do is click the giant red button and continue your shopping!  The Ebates Cash Back Toolbar will even let you know if there are any coupons available!

ebates cash back toolbar
By the way, I thought I had to download the toolbar for both Canada and the US because I shop in both countries for my Amazon FBA business, but I noticed that I have money accumulating on both ebates.com and ebates.ca! And it’s with one Ebates button, but you need an account on both sites. So if you are Canadian, here click on this little box to sign up and earn too!
Ebates.ca

How to Earn Cash OnlineWhat Retailers Are On the Ebates Stores List ?

A whole lot of them!  Big retailers like Walmart, Target, Amazon.  Macy’s, Sephora, Ebay. In fact, there are over 1800 stores that you can shop online and earn cash from home in your pajamas!  Ebates will also make sure you know about coupons available and you can also take advantage of any online sales the retailer is having.

But wait, there’s more!

Once you are signed up with Ebates there is another way to earn cash.  Ebates will pay $5 when you refer a friend. How sweet is that!?

Ebates is a win/win situation.  Whether you are doing Online Arbitrage for your Amazon FBA business or ordering diapers and baby formula every week, Ebates can be like getting a bonus check every month!

Check out Ebates here and get ready for those Big Fat Cheques!

ebates button

 

 

Are you Canadian? If you shop online with Canadian retailers like Amazon and Walmart, you can get in on this too!
Ebates.ca

Happy Shopping!

Learn to Blog For Money!

Learn To Blog For MoneyLearn to Blog For Money!

Do you have a blog?  Why did you start that blog?  I am fairly active in  several blogging groups and there is such a diversity of people of various ages, backgrounds and motivations who call themselves bloggers.  Precious few make any money blogging.  Most of those would say that they don’t do it for the money.  Yet, with a few tweaks here and there they could actually learn to blog for money.

Is there anything wrong with just writing for the pleasure?  No, of course not!  In fact if you start a blog and it gives you no pleasure, then you will likely soon abandon it.  I have abandoned a few myself! I believe that one of the secrets in learning to blog for money is choosing your niche well.

I know a person who created a website with over 350 blog posts and never made a cent. Nobody writes 350 articles unless they are truly motivated and honestly love what they are writing about.  Still, we all have to make an income and as long as you are not compromising your ideals in any way then there is nothing wrong with learning to blog for money!

On the other extreme are the people whose blog is one commercial after another.  They receive free goods and write about them.  That’s one way to get paid but then you have to keep on doing it over and over again.

Maybe I’m a little old fashioned but I prefer the cold hard cash!  And I’m not talking about someone paying me to write an article, again that is trading my time for dollars.  I’m talking about learning to blog for money in a way that pays you over and over again for years.

Almost three years ago an ad came across my newsfeed on Facebook.  That ad showed a woman who lived in a make money blogging at homemobile home and she had just upgraded to a cute little bungalow.  I was intrigued by it because I was being bombarded with ads that showed people who earned money online and were apparently buying mansions and driving big black fancy cars. I had even fallen for some of those ads and paid for expensive courses and I still didn’t make a cent!

Robin’s Pajama Affiliates course was the polar opposite of these.  There were no promises of easy money and lavish incomes.  She shared what she was earning and said she would show how she did it.  It was so opposite of what I had already been exposed to that I thought it had to be real!  I am so glad that I took that chance!  Not only was Robin Cockrell very real, I was soon earning actual dollars.  And there were no monthly fees and upsells and now you need this $1000 item or that $500 tool.  Robin keeps all her courses at an affordable level and I have even heard that she lets people who are struggling buy on layaway!  She holds crazy sales and sometimes her courses are cheaper than a Starbucks drink and pastry order!

I have been in Robins small Facebook group for almost 3 years now.  In that time I have made tens of thousands of dollars as a direct result of things she has taught me.  Just yesterday I went and paid cash for a new $700 clothes dryer using my ‘Amazon money’.  Three years ago that would have not been possible!

If you are not sure about taking this plunge even though the course prices are so low, then why not come into the Facebook group and just check us out for awhile?  The group is free and even just being there you will probably learn something you didn’t know. It would be nice if you let them know I sent you but if not, that’s ok too!

I can’t finish this without mentioning Robin’s new partner, Lesley Stevens.  She is the icing to Robin’s cake.  I have always called Lesley the Amazon Queen! She makes more Amazon commissions in November and December than most people make in a regular job all year. Lesley has done the content for the Amazon Masterclass and some of the Blogging modules and I learn something new every time I look at it!

This link will take you to Robin’s site where you can get an idea of the courses that are available.  Looking is free, the Facebook group is free.  And the courses are really affordable. And there is no pressure.

Who knows, maybe you will look back in three years and be writing a thank you article just like this one!

Thanks Robin and Lesley, I’ll always be grateful!

make money blogging for beginners

 

My Favorite Amazon FBA Software and Apps

amazon fba softwareMy Favorite Amazon FBA Software and Apps

There are a few Amazon FBA software tools, widgets and apps that I seem to use over and over again and I’m never sure if everyone already knows about them or not.  So I thought I’d get them in a list for people to know about them! Some of them are free and some are not.  You’ll have to decide what your time is worth when considering the non freebies.

Amazon FBA Calculator Widget

This one is free and you need to be using it!  I am in a lot of Amazon groups on Facebook.  I mostly lurk but I read everything to stay current.  And sadly there are many, many posts where people are completely taken by surprise at what they pay for Amazon fees.  So many newbies would avoid costly mistakes if only they would use this little bit of Amazon FBA software!  People seem to buy and send in stuff without having a clue about what the fees are and how much they will get when it sells.

Now I admit that when I was new, I went by the rule of thirds because I didn’t know about this. (The rule of thirds is I pay $10 for an item, I sell it for $30 and when it sells I get $10 profit, I get $10 to cover my cost and Amazon keeps $10 for fees).  That got me by but I really like this little tool.  You enter the ASIN or UPC of the item, it tells you exactly what the fees will be and what your payout will be.  I deduct my item cost and a buck for shipping and I know exactly what I’m going to get as profit.  Simple!

I give details about how I use this tool here.

This Amazon FBA calculator works for the US, Canada and Mexico and is available for Firefox and Chrome.

Download Chrome version here and Firefox version here.

 

ListLabelShip

Ok, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this must have Amazon FBA software called ListLabelShip and my awesome DYMO Thermal Printer! These two things really do go together and so when I’m mad at one of them, I’m mad at both and vice versa. ListLabelShip is 5$ US a month and I don’t think I could function without it! I use it for selling on both Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

Here are the things I love:

  • ListLabelShip offers a quick way to print Expiry Date labels, suffocation warning labels, This is a Set labels print amazon fba labelsand they look very professional
  • ListLabelShip works very well with the Dymo printer
  • ListLabelShip has awesome support from the company owner Robert.  If you email support, he will get back to you and help you.
  • There is so much less label waste with the DYMO Thermal Printer and the labels are way cheaper per label than the 30 up label Avery sheets.

And here are the things I hate!

  • ListLabelShip doesn’t have a way to do a custom label like if I want to print labels for file folders.  Yes, I am supposed to be able to do that with the Dymo software that came with my printer but I have never been able to get that to work.
  • ListLabelShip no longer works on Chrome (at the time of writing October 2015).  Since I do most of my work using Chrome, when I am ready to print labels I have to stop and switch to Firefox.

But if you are going to use the Dymo printer, then ListLabelShip is a must and you save both time and money.  When ordering the labels be sure to get Removable labels (required by Amazon), you can tell because most of the time they will have an R in the name.  I use these 30334-R Labels by House Labels.

Read more about printing Amazon FBA labels here.

Jungle Scout

Right now Jungle Scout is my most favorite bit of Amazon FBA software. I’ve only been using it for a few weeks but I figure it has saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars in potential buying mistakes.  In addition it has pointed me to products that I might not have noticed. How does it do that?

Well, it is a simple little icon that sits on your tool bar.  When you are looking at an item on Amazon you click the little Junglescout icon and it brings up a chart.  The chart shows the item price and rank and how many will sell in one month.  Further more, it brings up similar items and this is where the hidden gold is!  Is shows you who is selling those items (Amazon/FBA/Merch).  I have successfully been able to find items that are profitable with the BuyBox occupied by an MF seller.  These are products that I will source! You can see what I mean in the screen shot below of a Doc McStuffins bag that I was looking into.  I am now much more interested in the item below it that sells for $27.48, is Merchant Fulfilled and sells 943 a month!  And check out that rank! Do you see why I am excited about this!?

amazon fba software

 

Jungle Scout is not free, I paid $87 US for a one time fee.  Worth. Every. Penny.  I have made that cost back over and over again.  If you are interested, check out the Jungle Scout demo here.  Please note that JungleScout does not yet work for Amazon.ca.

(full Disclosure, I make $20 if you buy this.  But you should know by now that I only share things I absolutely love!)

The Ebates Cash Back Toolbar

The Ebates Cash Back Toolbar will alert you when you are shopping on a site that offers cash back.  For those that do online arbitrage, this is a goldmine!  The Ebates button will even alert you to available coupons.

ebates cash back toolbar

You can read more about how Ebates works in this article.  

 

 

 

 

Merchant Words

Merchant Words is a keyword research tool created by Amazon for Amazon.  It is a must if you do bundles, private label or make your own product listings.  It is free, sort of.  Most people can get away with using the free version because it allows up to 10 free searches a day.  With the PRO version ($30 a month) you get unlimited searches and also some extra information.  For my use, I’m happy with the free version. I make bundles and gift baskets.  When I was playing around I found out that 29,000 people a month search for a certain type of gift basket.  Guess what I will be making!?

Check out Merchant Words here.

Profit Bandit

Profit Bandit is a scanning app on your phone.  You can scan items when you are out and about and get an idea of profitability.

I like that I can switch back and forth between US and Canada quite easily and Profit Bandit is reasonably accurate.

I’m a little on again, off again, on again with Profit Bandit.  It’s $10 US a month and even though I don’t do a lot of RA, when I am in a store and I see something, I want to scan it.  That said, a friend in this business recently showed me the Amazon Sellers app which is free.  I’m experimenting with it and I might just have to switch again, we’ll see!

Amazon FBA Software – I’m sure there’s more good stuff out there!

I promise that I will add more Amazon FBA Software, Apps and widgets as I find that I can’t live without them.  If you have any that you think I should look at and add, then please let me know!

Please feel free to come and find me and ask questions in Amazon Sales Ninja Facebook group!

 

My First Year Selling Amazon FBA – Happy Amaversary!

selling Amazon FBAWoohoo, my first year selling Amazon FBA! The summer of 2015 marks my 1 year Ama-versary. And yes, the summer is almost over so I’m a bit late to my own party but that is because selling Amazon FBA keeps me pretty darn busy!

Did I do anything to celebrate this milestone? Why yes, I did! I celebrated by taking advantage of the Amazon North American Unified account (3 countries, 1 monthly fee) and sent my first box of goods over the border to a warehouse in the US. It took only 1 month to match the volume that took 6 months to sell here in Canada.

I spent the first year of my Amazon life selling only in Canada. I have to say that I learned an awful lot and I am happy that I went this route. It allowed me to slowly ease into this venture. Selling on Amazon FBA Canada can be frustratingly slow, but it meant that any mistakes I made were minor. I am in several ‘Selling on Amazon’ facebook groups and I have seen people come in, build very quickly, make a few mistakes and then have to fight to get their account back.

There is a learning curve to this, yet many come in from expensive courses that feed the idea of a GRQ (Get Rick Quick) and things go off the rails. This is an actual legitimate business that requires a lot of hard work, hours of research and getting your hands dirty while you learn.

My very first exposure to selling Amazon FBA was a $29 course that was basically a series of videos that gave an overview and a few basic how to’s. It was quite sufficient to get my feet wet. Whatever course you take or book you read, your very next step should be to immerse yourself in Amazon’s Seller University, which is free.

The best advice I can give anyone is to not fall for the idea that you need to spend thousands of dollars to learn the art of selling Amazon FBA. It is simply not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge believer in continuing education and Amazon is no exception. I have bought several books, I join pertinent groups and I learn from the experience of others.  I have paid for some private groups and coaching to get further education and I buy ebooks that cover the specific information I need.

But as a newbie, you must first learn exactly what Arbitrage is, the psychology behind it and then try it out for a bit. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats actual hands on experience. THEN you can decide what sort of coaching and further info you need. But as a newbie you don’t know what you don’t know and it’s easy to be snowed over by slick marketing.

Ok, so off my soapbox! This has been one of the most exciting years of my life and completely satisfies my life long dream to have my own gift shop, only it’s better. I pay no rent, I decide what to stock in my store and how much, I can go on vacation and the store stays open 24/7! Amazon deals with customers and returns. It really couldn’t be better!

If you do want to see what it’s all about and you don’t have a few extra thousand dollars laying around, take the Amazon Sales Ninja course for $29.  Not much to lose there, but I do know the price will be going up in 2016. Spend your thousands on inventory instead!

And if like me, you also have no money for inventory read how I started this business with no money!

Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions.  What have you got to lose?

 

Amazon Prime Day (Why We Should Care!)

amazon prime dayAmazon Prime Day (and Why We Should Care!)

Next week is Amazon’s 20th Birthday!  To celebrate, Amazon is having a global Amazon Prime Day on July 15, 2015.  So yes, this includes those of us selling on Amazon Canada!

Amazon is spreading the news far and wide and saying that there will be more deals than Black Friday.  The sales will start at midnight and there will be new deals and Lightning Deals every 10 minutes throughout the day.  There will also be unlimited Prime shipping.

Amazon Prime Day is a Win/Win/Win situation for all.

  • Amazon wins because they will undoubtedly sign up more Amazon Prime memberships
  • Buyers win because there will be so many deals
  • Amazon FBA sellers win because there will more people shopping and our inventory qualifies for Amazon Prime Membership benefits
  • Even non FBA sellers will win because there will be so many more eyeballs on Amazon that day, sales are bound to happen.

Since it is only one week away, if you have anything to ship to the Fulfillment Centres, ship it now!  You don’t need to be slashing your prices unless you want to.  Buyers will be looking for deals but they will also buy other things while they are at it.

Do you have any inventory sitting around that might be subject to the August 15th Long Term Storage Fees?  This may be a perfect opportunity to mark it down and get it sold!

If you are a buyer reading this, you may want to consider Amazon Prime membership.  What are the Amazon Prime DayAmazon Prime Membership Benefits?

  1. Free 2 day shipping
  2. Watch unlimited movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video
  3. Unlimited music streaming
  4. Unlimited photo storage
  5. Early access to Lightning Deals
  6. Free Amazon Prime books  (over 500,000 titles)

The Amazon Prime Member Fee is $99 a year in the US and $79 a year in Canada.  There is even a 30 day Free Trial if you are not sure.

If you are an Amazon seller then you are likely also a buyer and why shouldn’t we get some of those amazing deals as well!?  Just remember not to use your Prime account to buy items for resale as that is against Amazon TOS.

Ok, so are we ready for this!?  Happy selling! And buying  :-)

 

My Failed Amazon FBA Bundles for Mother’s Day

failed amazon fba bundlesMy Failed Amazon FBA Bundles for Mother’s Day

My Mother’s Day Amazon FBA bundles didn’t turn out as expected. I’m not 100% sure why, so this article is really just me trying to explore the situation and hopefully learn from it for next year.

Those that know me and my store, know that I absolutely love making themed gift baskets, which in Amazon speak we refer to as Bundles.

On Amazon, a bundle is a group of two or more complimentary products. This is different from a multi-pack which is two or more of the same identical product.

Example of Bundles vs Multipacks. Three identical boxes of Oreo cookies would be a multipack, while a variety pack of three different flavours of Oreo cookies would be a bundle.

Please be sure to read up on Amazon’s policies regarding bundles and multipacks. Bundles and multipacks usually require various sizes of poly bags which I buy from Amazon of course!

My Successful Amazon FBA Bundles in 2015

In January 2015 I decided I was going to give themed gift baskets a try to take advantage of seasonal sales.

The first seasonal sale period is Valentine’s Day.

I made 4 different varieties of bundle all consisting of a cute Valentine plush, some Chocolate and a few amazon fba bundlesvarious trinkets. They were in the Amazon FBA warehouse by mid January and began to sell within a few days of arrival even though they were new products that I created and would have had no ranking.   In fact, I sold the last one on something like February 3rd, so I could have probably doubled my inventory and still sold out.

Valentine’s Day Bundles:

  • Target buyer: Men buying for their wife or girlfriend
  • Presentation: Traditional Valentine pinks and reds, traditional product choice of cute plush and chocolate. Packaged ready to give, just add card.
  • Price Points: $25 to $35

The next seasonal sale I decided to hit was Easter

Amazon FBA bundlesAgain, I made 4 different varieties of Easter bundles. These all consisted of some kind of plush and of course chocolates and candies. I also threw in other novelties and trinkets. All sold out in plenty of time before Easter leaving me to think that next year I will increase my efforts there.

Easter Bundles

  • Target buyer: Parents buying for their kids
  • Presentation: Traditional Easter plush with pastel colors and lots of candies and chocolates. Packaged ready to give.
  • Price Points: $25 to $55

Spurred on by the success of Valentine and Easter gift baskets, it seemed like a no brainer to do Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is a huge shopping day both online and offline. I made 3 different bundles.

Mother’s Day Bundles

Bundle #1: I found some ceramic measuring spoons and measuring cups at Michaels. They were sort of a Tuscan theme. I was lucky enough to also find some attractive gift boxes at the dollar store that were a perfect fit. This bundle sold out within a couple days of arrival.

Bundle #2: These were based on some high quality Kitchen Towels that I found at Winners with a great logo: “The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home”. I bundled them together with a bag of candy and a tea strainer in a cookie tin. Sold out.

Bundle #3: I thought this was going to be a big winner! The theme was “Strawberry Tea Social”. In failed amazon fba bundlesthe package was a bag of Strawberry Rooibus Tea, some strawberry candy, a silicone tea infuser shaped like a strawberry and a bag of strawberry vanilla course sugar. All packaged in a cookie tin. Only 3 out of 20 sold.

Mother’s Day Bundle specifics:

  • Target audience: Anybody with a mother, aunt, sister
  • Presentation: All of the items fit perfectly in that cookie tin, so it was ready for gift giving but I don’t think that was clear in the photos or the description. And in hindsight as I look at the listing there is a sickening amount of pink!  Also, I ordered Strawberry Rooibus Tea, which is what I got, but I have no idea why the package says ‘Good Luck!’
  • Price point: The bundles that sold out were $29.97 but the Strawberry Tea bundle was $39.95. I eventually dropped the price to $29.97 but that didn’t make a difference.

In hindsight, I am reminded of how important being targeted can be. Trying to appeal to a wide audience does not always translate well online. The measuring spoons/cups and the kitchen towels are very clearly something that you think of with Mother’s Day. Very traditional gift for Mom as opposed to the whole tea and cool infuser idea which is not so traditional.

What will I do with these 17 failed Amazon bundles?

Luckily it only costs 50 cents each to recall them back to my home. I plan to dismantle and sell as a tea bundle. I’ll save the tins for next year, and bundle up the tea and sugar with cellophane and ribbons and send back in. I’ll update this article with a progress report on that.

I still love doing bundles and plan to continue. In fact my Father’s Day bundles are already in the warehouse and have been there for 2 weeks without a sale.  Am I worried?  YES!  But now all I can do is wait and see.

Would love to hear any of your Amazon FBA bundles stories, both good and bad! Please leave me a comment!

Other supplies you will need for prepping/shipping Amazon FBA

Printing Amazon FBA labels

 

 

 

 

 

Things to Know About Selling on Amazon Canada

selling on Amazon CanadaThings to Know About Selling on Amazon Canada

 

While this guide is primarily written for Canadians who are looking at selling on Amazon Canada, US sellers who want to list and sell on Amazon Canada would benefit as well.  I just want to hit a few important points for you to consider.

How is Selling on Amazon Canada Different from Selling in the US?

The market is a lot smaller.  While my fellow US sellers enjoy dozens of sales every day, I think a good day is more than 10 sales! Our market is about 10% of the US market.  And it’s not just population numbers, Canadians just have not yet embraced buying everything online the way that American’s have.  This will hopefully change as the product catalogue expands.

The margins are bigger.  While I may have fewer sales in number, I do make more money on each sale.  Here in Canada we just do not have the same selection and availability of product.  So we charge more, sometimes a lot more.

The competition is less.  This of course will change over time but generally speaking, when I go to list a product there will be no other FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) sellers, and at most maybe one or two.  What’s more, the existing seller on the listing will more than likely be a US MF (Merchant Fulfilled) seller who is charging a crazy amount that I have no trouble competing with.

The shipping is a killer!  In the US, Amazon has a deal with UPS and so US sellers get a sweet shipping deal.  I am currently using Flagship (please mention this blog if you sign up with Flagship) but also check out Shiptime.ca especially if you are a Costco member.  For more info, I wrote this article on shipping. My first shipment cost me $7 per item to ship!  But now I am able to keep that below $2 per item.

Huge Update for Shipping to Amazon Canada FBA! 

Exciting news (March 2016).  Canada now has the same deep discounted shipping via UPS that they have in the US!  The price is amazing and now about 75% less.  I am saving probably $100 a week or even more.  After you approve your shipment in Seller Central, choose the Amazon partnered shipping.  You will get a UPS prepaid label as well as the usual Amazon FBA label (on the same sheet) for each box.

Once you have completed the shipment, log in to UPS.ca and create an account and schedule your pickup!  You can also drop off to your nearest UPS location if you prefer.

Your dollar and my dollar are not the same!  I am adding this paragraph in the summer of 2015.  If you are a US seller you need to know that our Canadian dollar is at historic lows.  If your payout from Amazon is $100 Canadian, you will only get $70ish.  Be sure to factor this in to your price. (Update Winter 2016.  Sorry now you only get $60 bucks for that $100 payout)

The ranks are kind of meaningless.  This has been an interesting learning experience.  When I was a newbie to selling on Amazon Canada, I was watching a lot of US based you tube videos and reading US based articles.  So I would make decisions based on their recommendations and the product would sit and sit.  At some point I realized that our product base is so much smaller than in the US.  So a toy with a rank of 40000 might be a good seller in the US, but here in Canada I need to be looking at toys under 4000 rank.

An item with no rank is not necessarily a bad thing.  In the Canadian Amazon marketplace we have so many products without a rank.  When I was new I avoided those like the plague.  But now I know that rank is only 1 piece of the purchasing decision.  Many of these items without a rank have only one or two sellers, usually from the US.  For example a Collector Hot Wheels car was listed for over $2000.  The item had no rank of course because who would ever buy it at that price!  I paid $3 for that car and listed it for $29 and it sold.  Then I sold 2 more at that price and now it has a rank.  This is an extreme example but I run into this issue several times a day and I no longer hesitate to list an item with no rank, as long as it is a product with a solid brand.

You will need to be comfortable creating a listing from scratch.  Again, this is because our Canadian catalogue is so small and we have fewer sellers.  I have to create brand new listings almost every day.  I actually really like doing it because I have more control.  A bad listing might never get seen.  New listings absolutely must have good keyword use in the Title, bullet points, Description and the Keyword tab.  I rely on my keyword tool jaaxy for this, but even some basic common sense is better than what I see on some listings.  For example there was a Valentine Gift Basket that did not have the word valentine anywhere on the listing and did not come up in the search results when I was researching valentine.  I came across it when I searched for chocolate.  Dumb!

What if I am a Canadian and I want to Sell on Amazon.com?

Shortly after I wrote this article about selling on Amazon Canada, I ventured over to Amazon.com and started sellingsell on amazon from canada product there.  I was absolutely blown away by the increased sales velocity!  It’s worth the smaller margins because you sure make up for it volume.  And I have now discovered that if you can source out products are hard to find in the US, the margins are huge along with the sales velocity.

But the biggest hurdle that we as Canadians face is that darn border!  Every single day I get questions from fellow Canadians wanting to know how to get their products into the US.

Luckily, fellow Canadian seller Duncan MacPherson has written a guide for us that has all the information that I wish I had 2 years ago!  He tells you what all the options are and about the forms, really everything you need to know!  All excuses are eliminated!

You can order his book right here!

Other things you can read

I have written other articles that are geared to newbies.  These apply to would be Amazon sellers from any country:

Book Recommendations

I would say that the biggest jump I had in my business is a result of further education.  I am one of those people who is willing to pay for more information/education because I know that I will earn that money back in the form of a bigger better business.  Any time I am stuck I either buy a book, get extra coaching, join a focused group, pay for a course on that subject.

I am most impressed by this series of books written by Chris Green, Arbitrage, Retail Arbitrage and Online Arbitrage.  If you can only get one and money is an issue, then get Arbitrage, it is only about $10.  The insight provided? Priceless.  Then as soon as you are able, buy the other two books.

I can also recommend Silent Sales Machine by Jim Cockrum, having recently read that one.

Best of luck in your new business!

 

 

 

 

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