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Going Broke and Listening to Podcasts to Recover

Back in 2012, I was in a really big financial slump for my online business. I had just moved to a new town, and all the thrift stores seemed to be dry.  I lost my confidence, and I wasn’t sure where I was going. I wasn’t making enough to pay the bills, and I was getting (multiple) $35 overdraft fees from the bank – going deeper into debt.

I was lost and depressed.

I eventually had to get a full-time job to get myself back on track. While the job was a good experience, it just reminded me how much love entrepreneurship. I was really motivated to get back to my online business lifestyle.

When I quit the job after 9 months, I promised myself that I was going to pursue this online business full force, and never look back. I was going to commit to selling books on FBA, blogging, and any other complementary income stream.

But I needed some serious inspiration…

So I started listening to business podcasts in my car while driving to thrift stores and library sales.

Here are my top 3 podcasts in no particular order.

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
Pat is an expert in blogging and multiple income streams in general. He is known for his transparency and he posts his income reports on his blog every month. He posts his expenses, income (to the penny), and lessons learned. This podcast inspired me to post my book sale and book-sourcer results on my blog.

 

Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas
John does a Podcast 7 days a week, and he interviews successful entrepreneurs. I learned so many nuggets of wisdom from his guests, I feel like I should be sending him a check every week. Just seeing people (like me) who are trying to make it on their own was very comforting. You see, being an Amazon seller can be a lonely experience. No one quite understands what you’re doing. Friends and family are often confused, and think I’m weird cause I don’t have a real job. Hearing other entrepreneurs’ ups and downs gave me the confidence that I was on the right track.

 

Silent Sales Machine Radio with Jim Cockrum
This is a new one, and I’ve only listened to two episodes. But there have been golden nuggets of information in there already. I showed you my backstory with Jim Cockrum in a recent email broadcast, but I will share it again here.  ​​​​​I read one of Jim’s eBooks (Silent Sales Machine) in 2009 and it BLEW me away. All these creative business ideas started trickling in my brain. I realized that I could be an entrepreneur.  Not just an Amazon seller.

Conclusion

After listening to these podcasts and reading a few business books, it gave me the confidence to add these income streams:

1)     Blogging and how to monetize it
2)     Email Marketing
3)     Creating and selling software (you don’t need to know how to code)
4)     Affiliate marketing
5)     Writing a free (valuable) eBooks to create an email list
​​​​​​​6)     Creating YouTube videos on how to monetize it
7)     Hiring a Book-Sourcer
8)     Another creative way to obtain books (which I haven’t mentioned yet)

I highly recommend listening to these Podcasts to expand your online business horizons.  Once again, FBA is a great place to start, but I think it’s just the beginning of creating a successful online business.

 

 

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The $900 FBA Markup

Last July, I had a couple crazy FBA book sales.  One book sold for $969 and the other sold for $395.  The kicker is that the lowest merchant fulfilled price was low (very low). Meaning that the customer could have saved a lot of money buying the merchant fulfilled book.

Here are the books:

  • Title: Beyond Tears:  Zimbabwe’s Tragedy
  • Low Merchant Fulfilled Price at time of sale:  $1.44 + shipping (very good condition)
  • Sale Price:  $395 (very good condition)
  • Sale Date: June 30th, 2016

 

 

Here’s the video, I made after the sales.

 

Now, I was a little skeptical since Amazon buyers can return any item within 30 day.  I’ve also heard, that they can return an item within 60 days by calling an Amazon rep in a case by case basis.  So, I waited over four months to show the results.

Here are the results….

1. The first book, Beyond Tears, bad news and good news.  The customer did return for a refund on August 6th.  BUT, Amazon reimbursed me the full amount on September 17th.  So I did end up making $334 after fees.  Here’s the screenshot that I took on November 16th.  Click to enlarge.

screenshot-2016-11-16-08-53-06

 

2.  The second book, What Your Preschooler Needs to Know, held up without a problem.  No refund.  Here’s the screenshot as November 16th.  The charge says $1020 because the customer also added a $50 to this order (as seen in the above video).  Click to enlarge.

screenshot-2016-11-16-08-55-42

 

 

A couple questions for you.

  1.  Why do you think someone would pay so much for a book when they could get it cheaper?
  2.  Why did Amazon reimburse me for the $395 after the customer got the refund?

Please post your answers in the comments.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Profits from Hiring a Book Sourcer

Here are my latest numbers from hiring a book-sourcer.  It’s been about one year, so I thought it would be a good time to post an update.

In this video, I show:

  1. Profits
  2. Percentage of Books Sold
  3. How to Track the Numbers
  4. FAQ’s like, “What prevents him from starting his own FBA book business”

If you would like more information such as the trigger settings on the scanner, and how I pay my book sourcer, please download this free guide.

Here’s the link to the tracking spreadsheet as well.

 

 

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ScanLister’s Box Content Solutions for Amazon FBA Sellers

On November 1st, 2016, Amazon will be requiring sellers to provide box content information for their FBA shipments.

What is box content?

Basically, Amazon wants to know the exact units in each box.  If you have more than one box per shipment, you will need to provide this information.  Or you can can opt-out and pay Amazon 15 cents per unit.

Fortunately, ScanLister now has two ways to enter box content information (works for both Mac and PC).

  1.  Printing 2D barcodes for each box
  2.  Uploading a pack list file for each FBA shipment

 

Here’s a video tutorial on printing 2D Barcodes

To enable the use of 2D barcodes, go to your Seller Account — Settings — Fulfillment by Amazon — Inbound Shipment.

 

 

Here’s the video on uploading a pack list file 

 

Conclusion
It is also important to note that you do not have to use ScanLister as your listing program to use the box content features.  If you have another listing program that you like, you can still use ScanLister’s box content features.  All you need is your FBA Shipment ID and your ready to go!

You can try ScanLister free for 8 days.

 

Existing Users
If you are an existing ScanLister user, please update to the latest version.

  1.  For Windows, click on settings and click on ‘check for updates’.  You should have v1.55 installed.
  2. For Mac, click on the ScanLister tab on the top left.  Then click ‘check for updates’.

screenshot-2016-10-28-09-21-44

 

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How to Embed the Sales Rank into your SKU Number

Have you ever checked  your Amazon sales and wondered what the sales rank was at the time of listing?  For this post, I’m going to show you how to do that. Plus, I’m going to show examples of books that sold recently with a bad sales rank.

Embed the Sales Rank into your SKU Number

The best way to do this is to attach the sales rank to the end of your SKU number.  It can be very tedious to do this manually, but you can do it automatically using ScanLister.  On top of ScanLister, select “sales rank” on the SKU Prefix #2 box.  See screenshot below.

Screenshot 2016-08-02 10.13.15

As you can see the SKU of the first book scanned is BookLister-000001-11837.  The sales rank (11837) is now at the end of the SKU.

 

Examples of Books that Sold with a Bad Sales Rank

Here are some examples of books that sold within 3 months with a sales rank above 2 million.

Example #1

Title: Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventism

Rank at Time of Listing: 4,155,841

Date Listed: April 13, 2016

Date Sold:  May 18, 2016

Days Until Sale:  35 Days

 

Example #2

Title: The Church, the Clergy and the IRS

Rank at Time of Listing: 3,232,387

Date Listed: April 4th, 2016

Date Sold: May 16th, 2016

Days Until Sale: 42 Days

 

Example #3

Title: Cannabis: From Pariah to Prescription

Rank at Time of Listing: 2,959,485

Date Listed: April 21, 2016

Date Sold: May 12, 2016

Days Until Sale: 21 Days

 

For more examples, please watch the video below.

 

 

 

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