My Worst Sourcing Mistake In 9 Years Of Selling Online: I Got Greedy And Lost $20k

Looking back at my 9 years of selling online, I want to share my worst sourcing mistake. While this mistake didn’t cost me money, it cost me the potential of making money. You see, there was a product called blister stick, which I believe was by Band-Aid. It could be used to keep from getting blisters from shoes. Later, I found out it was widely used by large women to rub on their thighs to reduce friction. This product was discontinued and was selling for about $35 on eBay. You could sell it on Amazon too.

I found at a local flea market, and the lady there was buying skids of liquidation and putting them on the shelves. I kept finding these packs of blister sticks, but generally, they were pretty beat up because they were shelf pulls and weren’t in the condition that I could sell them on Amazon. But I could easily sell them on eBay, and every time I listed them, they would sell very quickly. I would go to the store and find four or five, and then the next time I went, I’d find more. I kept doing that for quite a while.

Then one day, I asked the lady if she had more. As a background, I sort of knew who she was because she was the wife of a physical therapist my wife had gone to after her stroke. She told me she had probably over a thousand of those in the back. This is where I made my mistake. I was very excited and told her I would buy them all. I was very excited about buying them and she hemmed and hawed about it, telling me she didn’t have time that day to go find them and to come back the next week.

I showed up before the next week and asked her if she had found them, and she got rather upset with me. I showed up on the day she told me to do it, and she gave me the story that she hadn’t had time to go find them. What I actually think happened was that I clued her into the fact that they were worth a lot of money by being so excited about buying them. I don’t believe that she had a thousand back there. That would be a lot of product. She probably did have a lot back there, but I don’t know how much.

I think that she looked them up and found out how valuable they were and decided not to put them out on the shelf and sell them herself. To this day, I still go there and look to see if some show up on the shelf in the rare chance that she was telling the truth and just never found them and put them out there. But I believe she sold them herself on eBay.

My failure was that I should have just kept buying four or five at a time. I got greedy and approached her about it. I should have just kept buying them like I was doing and possibly caused myself maybe $20,000. The moral of this story is sometimes don’t show your hand when you’re sourcing. You might want to leave some on the shelf. You might just want to buy at random times. You might want to figure out a different strategy on how to get the product without drawing a lot of attention because every time you feel like carting up a product, you’re going to draw attention to other customers, the owners, or the staff. If they know about online selling, they may just take and look it up themselves and keep you from buying them and profit themselves from it.

Stop Paying Income Taxes On Sales Tax Collected By Amazon : Some Amazon FBA Sellers Are Really Messing Up

Although I am not a tax expert, I want to discuss a potential issue that many Amazon sellers may face. In the past, Amazon did not collect sales tax for items sold unless the seller’s account was set up to do so, which meant that the seller had to submit the sales tax for each state themselves. However, after facing legal challenges, Amazon eventually started collecting sales tax on behalf of sellers. This was a positive development for sellers as it was previously costly and time-consuming to submit taxes to each state. However, there is a potential problem when it comes to paying income taxes on the sales tax collected by Amazon.

When you receive your 1099 from Amazon, it includes the gross sales amount, which also includes the sales tax that Amazon collected on your behalf. If you use this number as your gross sales, you will end up paying income tax on the sales tax collected by Amazon. This is not ideal, and it’s important to adjust this number by subtracting the sales tax collected by Amazon. You can find this number easily using software such as Inventory Labs, but if you’re just using the number listed as Gross Amount ( box 1a) on your 1099, it can cause problems.

On the second page of your 1099, there is a section that shows the sales tax collected by Amazon. This number must be taken off the gross sales amount when calculating your taxes. It’s essential to bring this to your accountant’s attention because this could result in significant savings. If you sell on other sites such as eBay or Etsy, it’s important to note that they do not include sales tax collected in your gross sales amount, so your accountant needs to be aware of this too.

It’s worth noting that if you haven’t adjusted for this in the past, you may be able to amend your tax returns. However, this may not be worth the effort if you’re a small seller. Still, it’s crucial to make these adjustments going forward to avoid paying taxes on income you did not receive. In conclusion, while Amazon has made progress in collecting sales tax, sellers need to be aware of the potential tax implications and adjust their gross sales accordingly to avoid paying taxes on sales tax collected by Amazon.

You Don’t Pay Income Taxes On eBay Fees

First, let me give you the normal “I am not an accountant, this is not tax advice” speech, but look, that said, I was sitting on a cruise about a month back at breakfast and got to talking to the lady next to me. She asked what I did for a living, and I told her I was an online seller that sold on Amazon and eBay. She said she was an accountant and did taxes for a lot of people that sold online. She quickly asked me if I was paying taxes on eBay fees. I know that eBay fees are tax-deductible, but apparently, many of her clients didn’t.

The first thing is just basic business math. You have your costs of goods, which is the amount you pay for a product. If you sell a product for $20 but you paid $10 to get it, you can take the $10 off of the number that eBay gives you on the 1099 to get your income for the year. If you’re not doing that, you’re way overpaying your income taxes. People also didn’t realize that the selling fees they were paying on eBay also come off of that. It’s also part of your cost of goods; it’s not income that you’re making, it’s actually eBay’s income. Shipping also applies. If you paid to ship the item, that can come off, but if you’re charging for shipping, and it cost you $10, and you charge $15, the $5 difference would be income to you.

The eBay fees, typically 15%, and if you’re advertising, say, at 5%, so there’s 20% of that sale. If you sold an item for $20, and your cost of goods is technically $14, your income on that would be $6 and not $10. This is not a big deal on one item, but if you add this up over the course of the year, it becomes a rather large number. People may have been smaller sellers and eventually got bigger, and maybe it was the first time they got a 1099 for it. (You are required to pay taxes even if you don’t get a 1099.)

If you have not been doing this, you need to take some time out and learn how your cost of goods are figured. This is a very basic business thing. Second, you need to be keeping records of this. You can get this from eBay. They give you a monthly invoice of the fees that are charged. You can actually download a more detailed spreadsheet of this. More than anything else, you need to get a tax advisor and have somebody do the taxes for you. It will more than pay for itself because they understand what you can and cannot take off of your taxes. In this case, if you were paying tax on money that you didn’t earn, you’re overpaying your taxes. Running a business is always a learning experience, but you definitely need to understand it if you’ve been making this mistake.

Generally, everything that it costs you to sell an item is going to come off of your gross sales, and what’s left is going to be your profit. As a seller, there are a lot of expenses, such as shipping materials, internet access, and other things that your accountant can help you with. You will be surprised how much it will lower your tax burden each year.

Green and Affordable: Where to Find Free Shipping Materials for eBay Sellers

If you’re an eBay seller, finding affordable and eco-friendly shipping materials can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are several places you can find free or low-cost shipping supplies that are both budget-friendly and environmentally conscious.

  1. USPS The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a variety of free shipping supplies, including boxes, envelopes, labels, and packing materials. You can order these supplies online or pick them up at your local post office. Not only are these supplies free, but using USPS shipping materials can also save you money on shipping costs, as their flat-rate boxes have a fixed shipping cost regardless of weight.

From an environmental perspective, using USPS shipping supplies can also be a greener option than purchasing new materials. By reusing boxes and envelopes, you’re reducing the demand for new packaging, which saves resources and reduces waste.

  1. Craigslist Another great resource for free shipping materials is Craigslist. Many people give away boxes, bubble wrap, and other shipping supplies after moving or receiving packages. You can often find these items for free on the “Free Stuff” section of Craigslist or by searching for “shipping supplies.”

Not only can using Craigslist save you money, but it can also be an environmentally conscious choice. By reusing boxes and packing materials, you’re reducing the demand for new packaging, which helps conserve resources and reduce waste.

  1. Local Businesses Many local businesses receive shipments in large boxes and packing materials and may be willing to give them away for free. Consider asking your local grocery store, pharmacy, or hardware store if they have any extra boxes or packing materials you could take off their hands.

Not only can you save money by getting free shipping supplies, but you’re also helping to reduce waste by reusing materials that might otherwise end up in the landfill.

  1. Friends and Family Another great option for free shipping materials is to ask friends and family if they have any extra boxes or packing materials they no longer need. This can be a win-win situation, as you get free shipping supplies and they get rid of clutter.

Using shipping materials from friends and family can also be a greener choice than buying new materials. By reusing materials, you’re helping to reduce the demand for new packaging, which saves resources and reduces waste.

  1. Freecycle Freecycle is a nonprofit organization that promotes reuse by connecting people who have unwanted items with those who need them. You can find free shipping supplies on Freecycle by searching for your local group and looking for posts related to boxes or packing materials.

Using Freecycle to find shipping supplies is not only cost-effective but also eco-friendly. By reusing materials, you’re helping to conserve resources and reduce waste.

In addition to these options, there are also several eco-friendly shipping materials you can purchase that are made from recycled or sustainable materials. Some examples include:

  • Recycled bubble wrap
  • Biodegradable packing peanuts
  • Recyclable paper tape
  • Plant-based packing materials

Using eco-friendly shipping materials can help reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainability. By choosing recycled or sustainable materials, you’re helping to conserve resources and reduce waste.

In conclusion, as an eBay seller, finding affordable and eco-friendly shipping materials is possible. Whether you choose to reuse materials from USPS, Craigslist, local businesses, friends and family, or Freecycle, or purchase eco-friendly shipping materials, you can reduce your environmental impact and save money at the same time. By making sustainable choices, you’re helping to conserve resources and reduce waste, which benefits not only the planet but also future generation

Saving Money on eBay Shipping: How Understanding Cubic Dimensions Can Help

Shipping is a crucial aspect of selling on eBay, and it’s essential to understand how shipping costs are determined to ensure that you’re not overpaying for shipping. One of the critical factors that determine shipping costs is the cubic dimensions of your package. In this post, we will explore how understanding cubic dimensions can help eBay sellers save money on shipping.

When you sell an item on eBay, you need to ship it to the buyer. The shipping cost is determined based on the size and weight of the package. The weight is measured using a scale, and the size is determined by measuring the length, width, and height of the package. The size of the package is crucial because it determines how much space the package takes up in the shipping vehicle, whether it’s a plane, train, or truck.

To calculate the cubic dimension of a package, you multiply the length, width, and height of the package. For example, if the length of the package is 10 inches, the width is 5 inches, and the height is 8 inches, then the cubic dimension would be 400 cubic inches (10 x 5 x 8). This calculation is used to determine the amount of space the package will take up on the shipping vehicle.

Most shipping companies have a maximum size limit for packages. This limit is based on the size of the shipping vehicle and the amount of space available for packages. If a package exceeds the maximum size limit, it may not be accepted for shipping, or additional charges may apply.

Understanding cubic dimensions is essential for eBay sellers because it can help them save money on shipping costs. When shipping companies determine shipping costs, they consider both weight and cubic dimensions. If you have a package that is relatively light but takes up a lot of space, you will be charged more for shipping because the package takes up valuable space on the shipping vehicle.

By understanding cubic dimensions, eBay sellers can pack their packages efficiently, which reduces shipping costs. When packing a package, you want to make sure that it takes up as little space as possible. This can be achieved by using the right size box or envelope and packing materials that compress easily. By packing your package efficiently, you can reduce its cubic dimensions, which will reduce your shipping costs.

Another way eBay sellers can save money on shipping costs is by using free shipping materials. Many shipping companies offer free shipping materials, such as boxes, envelopes, and packing materials, to their customers. These materials are designed to fit the maximum size limit for packages, which means that you can use them to pack your items efficiently and reduce your shipping costs.

In conclusion, understanding cubic dimensions is crucial for eBay sellers who want to save money on shipping costs. By packing their packages efficiently and using free shipping materials, eBay sellers can reduce their shipping costs and increase their profit margins. As an eBay seller, it’s essential to take shipping costs into account when pricing your items to ensure that you’re making a profit while still offering competitive prices. By keeping shipping costs low, you can differentiate yourself from other sellers and attract more buyers to your listings.