New 10% Discount on all Amazon Fulfillment FBA Supplies

10% DISCOUNT on all FBA Supplies
I just talked to Mark Le Vine​ from BubbleFast, and he agreed to make all Bubblefast FBA Supply orders get 10% discount by using COUPON CODE: FBA

Yep 10%

Poly Bags w/Suffocation notices,
dymo labels,
Avery 5160 labels,
Labels like “This is a Set”, Clear Round Seals (for closing this boxes to make them look better),
Scotty Peelers,
Stretch Film,
Reverse Tuck Mailers,
Impulse Sealers,
Tape & Dispensers,
and Scales.

Yep, all that, and this NOT an affiliate link,
just savings to YOU,
for your business,
so go there today and use Coupon Code: FBA

(this is a limited time offer)

For Coaching (Amazon FBA Mentor/Teacher), see:

Posted in Amazon, Amazon FBA, arbitrage, Coaching, eCommerce Business, Online Coaching, Online Selling, product sourcing, Seller Coaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Reducing Your Shipping Costs as an Amazon Seller – Guest Post by Jodie Pride

Tips for Reducing Your Shipping Costs as an Amazon Seller

by Jodie Pride

If you’re an Amazon seller, you can reduce your shipping costs in a number of different ways.

Shipping supplies

Your shipping supplies, which will generally consist of boxes, tissue/newspaper, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap and tape, have the potential to cost you a lot, but there are ways you can source at least some of these items free of charge. Visit your local shops and ask for any boxes and packing materials going to waste – stores often have to recycle these themselves. which takes a surprising amount of effort, and is sometimes costly; they’ll be glad to give them away. Gift shops, electronics stores, and other places which sell a variety of fragile items often have frequent deliveries of goods which require a large amount of packing materials and sturdy boxes, so these are a great place to start. Grocery stores are also a good ideas as they often have daily deliveries of fresh produce, meaning they have plenty of boxes going to waste.

On that note, ensure that the items are well packaged too, so that they are protected during the shipping process, especially fragile items which are more susceptible to damage in transit. A layer or two of bubble wrap should do the trick for larger items, and a padded envelope is usually enough for smaller pieces. You can usually get these at discounted rates if you source them in bulk from suppliers – try negotiating with them to reach a price you both agree is reasonable.

Shipping Charges

If you’re only a casual seller, there’s not a lot you can do to reduce shipping costs, which is unfortunate. However, if you’re a high volume Amazon seller, you may be able to negotiate rates with your couriers, such as FedEx and UPS. Contact the companies and ask how much you need to ship to get a discount.

FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon)

If you’re an Amazon seller, you can take advantage of Amazon’s own fulfilment service. You can use FBA to send your goods to Amazon so that they can sell it on your behalf. You still have control over the prices, but Amazon handles customer interactions, packaging and shipping for you in return for seller and handling fees. This service is great because it requires far less time and effort than selling each individual item by yourself.

Perhaps the best thing about this service is that items tend to sell a lot quicker because they qualify for free Amazon shipping. This includes both Amazon’s policy of offering free shipping for orders over $25, and free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members.

Because Amazon charges some FBA fees per item, so you can reduce fees as a percentage of the total by selling higher priced items; and because Amazon charges FBA fees for storage and weight handling, you could choose only to sell items that are small and light in order to reduce these fees.

You should also take advantage of Amazon’s Zero Fee Fulfillment where possible. Amazon states the followingL “Standard-Size units that sell for $300 or more on are eligible for Zero Fee Fulfillment. You pay nothing for Order Fulfillment fees, which include Order Handling, Pick & Pack, and Weight Handling. Other fees such as Inventory Storage, optional services, and Selling on Amazon fees still apply.

A few other things to remember:

Always remember to send your orders out within two business days. Marketplace terms require shipping within two business days, so keep that in mind when you list items. If you’re not sure if you’ll be able to get an item out in a timely manner, don’t list it.

You should communicate with the buyer through Amazon’s “contact buyer” section. Even if it’s just to send a shipment notification email

Don’t lie about the dimensions and weights of your packages because you will be found out, and you will be charged extra!

Posted in Amazon, Amazon FBA, eCommerce Business, Online Coaching, product sourcing, Seller Coaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated Restricted Products on Amazon – Guest Post

Megan Williford (Guest Post)

My first experience with restricted products came when I was getting ready to list a TON of Bliss products I had sourced at TJ Maxx. With a huge smile on my face, and dollar signs dancing in my eyes, I got busy adding the to my inventory, only to discover that they were restricted.

How did this happen? Did I miss something? Google is my friend and I turned to it in this great time of need, gently weeping over my 12 bars of Bliss Mammoth Minty Scrub Soap.

I came across numerous sites that had “Unofficial” Amazon lists of restricted brands. I have tried to hit every list and Seller Forum and here is what I came up with:


Health & Beauty




Bare Essentials cosmetics


Billy Jealousy



Butter London


Buxom Buxom

Cane + Austin






Crabtree & Evelyn

Cult Cosmetics


Dr Brandt

DR. DENESE (aka SkinScience)

Dr Dennis Gross Skin Care

Deborah Lippmann

Dolce & Gabbana



Excedrin Sinus Headache


Georgio Armani

Gianna Rose Atelelier


Goldfaden MD


Jack Black



Juice Beauty


L’ Occitane

La Bella Donna



MAC cosmetics

Mario Badescu

Mary Kay

Molton Brown


Nature’s Sunshine




Oral B

Oscar Blandi

Perfume samples

Perfume testers


Peter Thomas Roth


Ralph Lauren perfume



Skyn Iceland

Somme Institute

St. Tropez



The Art of Shaving

Theraflu Caplets


Urban Decay

Vincent Longo




“Beats” by Dre



Canon Cameras – used only

Franklin Electronics


Lifeproof Phone cases


Monster Audio headphones

Nikon Cameras -used only

Ninja Blenders

Otter Box


Sony Cameras – used only

Speck iPad/iPhone cases

Spigen Phone Cases

T-Mobile Prepaid Phones

Most major manufacturers require that you must be an authorized Seller.

Media: DVD is now a Restricted Category

Adobe software

Beach Body / P-90X

Disney DVD



Rosetta Stone Language


Warner Brothers


Dunkin Donuts

Wedderspoon Organic Honey

Williams-Sonoma – Recipe Books are okay, grocery items are not.


ERGObaby or ERGO Baby


Discovery Kids – Check, not all are restricted

Disney Frozen – Again, not all are restricted

Snoopy Sno Cone Machine

Zoomworks Stuffies


Asics – Must be an authorized retailer

Brooks – Must be an authorized retailer






New Balance Shoes — Inventory must be removed by March 7 , 2015


Tommy Hilfiger

True Religion Brand Jeans

Victoria Secret





Adidas Originals




Marc by Marc Jacobs



This list is ever changing, and certainly not Official. Amazon claims that they do not maintain a Restricted Brands List.

Amazon can and will be adding Brands. If you have a question about a specific ASIN, contact Seller Support.

There is no way this List is complete, so if you see a Brand missing or you get a notice, please let me know so I can keep this list as up to date as possible.

To Your Success on Amazon,

Megan Williford

Posted in Amazon FBA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Guest BLOG from Lisa Suttora: 5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Amazon Holiday Sales

5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Amazon Holiday Sales



With 237 million active shoppers around the world, Amazon is the #1 most shopped marketplace during the holidays.

But where there’s money, there’s competition.

And even though there’s a flood of holiday buyers coming through Amazon’s front door,  these five common mistakes can bring your Amazon holiday sales to a standstill…

1. Not Optimizing Your Amazon Product Page for Search and for Buyers

There’s no point in going to all the work of sourcing great products, only to list them against a poorly optimized product page.

Amazon uses these four “keyword zones” when determining whether or not to display a product page in a buyer search results.

  • Title
  • Features
  • Description
  • Back-end keywords

Unless a product page is well optimized, the chances of your product getting found by holiday buyers in Amazon search diminishes significantly.

Add to that, your conversion rate (the number of visitors to the page who actually buy) will decrease when you don’t give buyers the RIGHT (or enough) features and benefits to help them make the buying decision.

Unfortunately most Amazon sellers pay little attention to optimizing their product pages.

Make sure that you review every product page you list against to ensure that it’s doing the best job of selling your product 7×24.

  • Do you have the most important keywords/keyword phrases in the title?
  • Do the Features bullet points highlight benefits of the products as well as features
  • Are those features described using the top searched phrases that a buyer would use?

Taking the time to improve and/or create a well optimized product page will translate to increased sales.

redsm_check_013 If you’re not sure how to optimize your Amazon product page, Karon Thacktson’s new digital book will get you started!

2.  Going ‘Out of Stock’ and Decreasing Your Chances of Getting the Amazon Buy Box

The worst thing you can do during the holiday season is let your product run out of stock.

While the obvious reason, ‘no product = no sales’, is a critically important, what you may not know is that every time your product goes out of stock it also hurts your chances of winning or sharing the Amazon Buy Box.

Amazon hates an “out of stock” product page. They feel it’s a bad customer experience for a buyer to land on a product page with zero inventory. In fact, Amazon will even suppress “out of stock” pages from being found in search.

When the Buy Box algorithm looks at all the all the seller variables to determine which seller to assign the Buy Box to, inventory levels are one of those variables.

redsm_check_013 Make sure to replenish your inventory in plenty of time, so that you can get it shipped from the supplier and checked in to FBA BEFORE your current stock is gone.

3. Replenishing Inventory Too Late in the Season (and not having a Plan B)

Hopefully you already have the bulk of your holiday inventory ordered and the first round listed on Amazon.

However, replenishing that inventory when levels run low can be another story.

Wholesale suppliers are often out of stock on their best sellers as early as September.

Place your replenishment orders now. You can request to stagger delivery (and payment) from most wholesalers at the time you place your order.

And if you can’t replace your best sellers? Have a Plan B for what you’ll source to replace that inventory. Otherwise, any income projections you made for Q4 will be out the window.

The only way you can make money on Amazon during the holiday season is to have the in-demand products that buyers want.

redsm_check_013 Always have a back-up plan in place for alternative inventory to source so you can keep your numbers up.

4. Not Creating Amazon ‘Product Bundles’

Speaking of in-demand inventory…

Competition is hot on Amazon and to pull ahead of the pack, you need to differentiate your product offerings. You can’t be a “me too marketer” selling all the same products that everyone else sells.

The biggest untapped sourcing opportunity that sellers don’t take advantage of is ‘creating’ their own unique in-demand product through product bundling.

A bundle is a combination of two or more complimentary existing products, combined to form a new unique product.

Bundling is not a new concept in ecommerce, (in fact, I first spoke about this successful way to create a “new” product at Ebay Live 2005) but it is highly underutilized on Amazon!

With a product bundle you can breathe new life into saturated products, come up with a unique holiday gift that no one else is selling and provide the ideal solution for holiday buyers looking for that perfect gift.

redsm_check_013 I’ll be sharing more here about how to bundle, later this week!

5. Not Marketing Your Products On Pinterest

If you think think you can count solely on Amazon to bring you holiday buyers this year, you’re making a big mistake.

Remember that as an Amazon seller you have to compete with all the other sellers at the Amazon product page level.

And how do many Amazon sellers “compete”?  On price.

Instead of playing the downward spiral price game, take your holiday sales into your own hands and drive traffic directly to YOUR offer on Amazon by using Pinterest.

Pinterest is now considered the #1 social marketing tool for ecommerce merchants.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to get new customers you wouldn’t get any other way andincrease your holiday sales!pinterest_holiday

  • Pinterest users’ average order value is $123.50 vs Facebooks users’ average order value of $54.64
  • 54% Pinterest’s 70 million +  users spend their time during the holidays sharing GIFT ideas
  • This year mobile ecommerce transactions through Pinterest went up 77.62%, mobile revenue has gone up 224.1% and average order value went up 79.3%

But you can’t simply “be” on Pinterest and expect it to generate holiday sales. You have to apply the right Pinterest strategy and use it correctly to get new customers and make more sales.

In fact, Pinterest is so important, I’ve just released my brand new Pinterest for Holiday Sales program….

The only step-by-step, leading-edge program available for online merchants that teaches specific, business strategies for using Pinterest to increase your holiday sales!

redsm_check_013 Grab your copy of Pinterest for Holiday Sales today at this special introductory price!

You only get one chance at a profitable holiday selling season!

If you want to give your business and your sales the competitive edge, you need to do what your competition isn’t doing!

Avoiding these five common mistakes will help you both increase your sales and help you make this your best holiday selling season on Amazon ever!

Posted in Amazon, Amazon FBA, arbitrage, Coaching, eCommerce Business, Online Coaching, Online Selling, product sourcing, Seller Coaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post from TaxJar Find a Human in every State to talk to about Sales Tax

How to Talk to a Human about Sales Tax in Every State

sales tax questionsIn our Sales Tax for eCommerce Sellers Group on Facebook, an eCommerce seller with a specific question sometimes has no choice but to contact his or her state’s taxing authority. This can be easier said than done. State customer service phone numbers can be hard to find, and then callers can be directed through a maze of options before getting your answer.

To make your life a little easier when calling your state’s taxing authority, we put together this list. Find the state you need to call below and follow the steps to get to an actual helpful human who can answer your sales tax questions.

Sign up for TaxJar:

Phone Number: 334-242-1170
A representative immediately picks up! However, depending on your specific question, you’ll likely get bounced around to various people first.

Phone Number: 602-255-2060
Press 1 for English then 0 for the “next available rep” option.

Phone Number: 501-682-7104
A representative immediately picks up!

Phone Number: 1-800-400-7115
Press 1 for English, 7 for Main Menu, 2 for Sales & Use Tax, finally 8 for All Other Tax Questions.

Phone Number: 303-238-7378
Press 4 for Sales Tax & More, then 5 for Sales Tax, finally 0 for Account Manager.

Phone Number: 860-297-5962
Press 5 for Representative, 2 for Sales Tax, finally 3 for more options to get someone for your specific problem.

Phone Number: 1-800-352-3671
Press 1 for English then 0 for Representative (hidden option).

Phone Number: 877-423-6711
Press 1 for Business then 4 for Sales Tax Questions.

Phone Number: 808-587-4242
Press 1 for Touch Tone Phones then 0 for Representative.

Phone Number: 1-800-972-7660
Press 0 for Representative or just stay on the line.

Phone Number: 1-800-732-8866
Say “Agent,” then “Sales Tax,” then say your Illinois tax number.

Phone Number: 1-800-457-8283
A representative immediately picks up!

Phone Number: 1-800-367-3388
Press 4 for Other Tax Questions then 3 for Sales and Use Tax.

Phone Number: 785-368-8222
Press 5 for Other Tax Representative then 2 for Sales and Use Tax Representative.

Phone Number: 502-564-5170
Press 0 to speak to an Operator.

Phone Number: 855-307-3893
Press 2 for Business Tax then 3 for Other Business Questions.

Phone Number: 207-624-9693
This is a number specific for sales tax division number, so you can listen to all the various options or just hit 4 for “All Other Calls.”

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Try a 30-Day Free Trial!


Phone Number: 1-800-638-2937
Press 1 for English then 5 for Business.

Phone Number: 617-887-6367
Press 2 for Business, 1 for Sales Tax, and finally 3 for Other Inquiries.

Phone Number: 517-373-3200
Ready for this? Here we go: press 3 for Sales Tax, 2 for Registered Sales Tax Questions, 3 for Sales Tax, 1 for Sales Tax (yes, again), 4 for Other Questions, then finally enter your account info.

Phone Number: 651-296-6181
Press 5 for Other Sales Tax Options.

Phone Number: 601-923-7015
Press 2 for All Other Sales Tax Options.

Phone Number: 573-751-4450
A representative immediately picks up! However, expect to be transferred around to find the answer you need.

Phone Number: 402-471-5729
Press 2 for Business then press 5 for “Other.”

Phone Number: 866-962-3707
Press 1 for Sales Tax and Other Tax Questions.

New Jersey
Phone Number: 609-292-6400
Press 5 for Sales Tax and Other Business Tax Questions. Be prepared to wait!

New Mexico
Phone Number: 505-827-0700
Press 7 for All Other Inquiries.

New York
Phone Number: 518-485-2889
Press 1 for English, 3 for Other, finally 5 for Other (again).

North Carolina
Phone Number: 877-252-3051
Another ridiculously convoluted one: Press 1 for English, 4 for Sales and Use Tax, 2 or Sales and Use Tax, 2 for Sales and Use Tax (seriously, three times), 6 for Other, 0 for Agent, then finally 3 for Continue.

North Dakota
Phone Number: 701-328-1246
A representative immediately picks up!

Phone Number: 888-405-4039
Press 2 for Sales and Use Tax, 1 for Sales and Use Tax, 9 for Representative, 2 for Additional Info, finally 2 for No Account Number.

Phone Number: 405-521-3160
Press 0 for a Representative.

Phone Number: 717-787-1064
Press 0 or enter you Tax ID then 3 for Sales and Use Tax.

Rhode Island
Phone Number: 401-574-8955
Press 2 for Sales and Use Tax.

South Carolina
Phone Number: 803-898-5000
Press 3 for Sales Tax then 2 for General Information.

South Dakota
Phone Number: 1-800-829-9188
Press 1 for Sales Tax.

Phone Number: 615-253-0600
Press 1 for Sales Tax then 1 for Sales Tax yet again.

Phone Number: 1-800-252-5555
Press *(star) to bypass Tax ID then 0 for Agent.

Phone Number: 1-800-662-4335
Press 0 for Representative then 2 for General Tax.

Phone Number: 802-828-2551
Press 3 for Sales and Use Tax.

Phone Number: 804-367-8037
Press 4 for Agent then 1 for Sales Tax.

Phone Number: 1-800-647-7706
Press 1 for Touch Tone, 0 for Tax Specialist, 7 for Other, then finally 0 to bypass the Tax ID option.

West Virginia
Phone Number: 1-800-982-8297
Press 3 for Other then 3 for Other again.

Phone Number: 608-266-2776
Press 3 for Sales Tax Info then 3 for What is Taxable?

Phone Number: 307-777-5200
A representative immediately picks up! Expect to be transferred around, however.

This information was accurate as of the publish date of this post. If you find anything wrong, please let us know in the comments.

Posted in Amazon, Amazon FBA, Coaching, eCommerce Business, Online Coaching, Online Selling, sales tax, Seller Coaching, taxes | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Amazon & RESTRICTED / Gated Categories in Health/Personal Care, Beauty & Grocery

OK, everyone has probably heard all the discussion about how Amazon lowered the boom and Restricted the Health/Personal Care, Beauty & Grocery categories (Gated).

That is TRUE.

But, is is easy to apply, and get APPROVED if you are already selling in these categories.

I applied last night at midnight and got a phone call, and e-mails and was approved for all 3 by 10am today!!!

So Chicken Little, the Sky is NOT Falling !!!

Here is the link to apply:

In a few cases, if a Seller was not selling in one of the categories, they are requesting 3 invoices with your name on them.  If you primarily buy from local stores, just go Online and buy a few items and use the Invoices as proof.

It really is Easey-Peasey !!

Take a DEEP BREATH, and apply, and life WILL continue….


UPDATE: There is now some different answers coming from Amazon, different Reps are saying differing things (typical Amazon).   When someone has not sold in a category they are requesting Invoices with your name on it (that seems consistent).   The part that is not consistent, is where you need to order from.  Some reps are telling people it needs to be a Manufacturer, some are saying Distributors/Wholesalers, some are just saying Invoices.  At least one seller was approved by ordering online.  Who knows what the correct answer is?  Apparently, not Amazon.   It depends on who reviews your request.

So, YMMV…..

Posted in Amazon FBA | Leave a comment

Amazon RESTRICTED Vendors/Products

A completely unofficial and possibly out-of-date list of Restricted Companies









Bare Essentials Cosmetics

Beach Body/ P90X

Beats By Dre



Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar


Buxom Buxom cosmetics


CHIChicco (Artsana)




Discovery Kids

Disney DVDs

Dr. Brandt

Dr. Dennis Gross/MD Skin Care

Dunkin Donuts

Excedrin Sinus Headache




Giorgio Armani

Green Pasture


Hasbro Fur Real Adult Cookie Dog

HBO Season DVD’s









MAC Cosmetics

Meissen (Meissner) Porcelain

Michael Kors


Molton Brown


Nature’s Sunshine

Need for Speed Rivals (Xbox 360)

Oral B



Rosetta Stone


Sensa Diet

Showtime DVD’s


Speck iPad/iPhone cases




Theraflu Caplets

True Religion Brand Jeans

Urban Decay

Victoria’s Secret

Warner Brothers

Wedderspoon Organic Honey

Your Baby Can


For some strange reason, Amazon does not seem to publish this information, you have to find about items as you list, or even after you have sent in to Amazon FBA. 😦

Bob Willey –
Proud Member of Jim Cockrum Coaching


Posted in Amaon, Amazon, Amazon FBA, arbitrage, Coaching, eCommerce Business, Online Coaching, Online Selling, product sourcing, Seller Coaching | Tagged , , | 4 Comments
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