By Jordan Malik, MBA/MS & Award-Winning Amazon Pro Merchant & eBay Top Seller

Friday

My Crazy Amazon & eBay Selling Predictions for 2012

NOTE: This blog has moved to: http://www.HonestOnlineSelling.com

Disclaimer: My predictions are pretty much 50/50% hit miss. You may have predictions of your own, so feel free to click 'Comment' at the end of this post.

Whatever happens, I think 2012 is going to be another exciting year for online sellers.

Tens of thouands more legitimate sellers will join Amazon, but more Amazon shoppers will also join Amazon Prime. (The influx of Amazon Prime customers means more customers 'buy more stuff' on Amazon because 2-day shipping is free with the membership). This will keep seller competition marginally better or worse vs 2011.

> eBay will continue to dwarf Amazon in overall sales, but they will lead in sales made from mobile devices. Thus, eBay sellers of clothes, shoes, collectibles, and cell phones/PDAs will witness steady or stronger sales (vs. 2011), as those categories comprised the top mobile purchases made on eBay AND (more importantly) Amazon restricts or disallows most mom-and-pop sellers from selling nin those same categories.

eBay sales of most small appliances, kitchen items, and housewares will be almost nonexistant (as I saw steep declines during the holidays of 2011), especially when compared to Walmart.com, JCPenny.com, BestBuy.com and Amazon.com.

> eBay will continue to be a boon for sellers of vintage items, collectibles, and antiques (get 50% OFF my #1 Resource e-guide for these items, when you use code JBMALIK at checkout). I say 'boon' because many eBay sellers have migrated to Amazon, Etsy, or have just plain given up. That leaves plenty of room for savvy sellers who know what to buy and sell on eBay. eBay is still my #1 choice for selling collectibles, vintage items and 1-of-a-kind items that are PLENTIFUL in this 'world of stuff' (and Amazon.com is NO place to sell those).

> Amazon.com seller commission fees will inch up a little again, by the end of the year. Although Amazon is seemingly always deliberately careful not to upset its sellers, it will find tiny, incremental ways to increase revenue via its 3rd party seller/marketplace channel, and I see some fees increasing nominally (in addition to their scheduled 2012 fulillment fee increase).

> A major online retailer will compete against Amazon FBA (your guess is as good as mine, but it will likely be someone like eBay, Walmart or Google). That's good for us  because there will be (finally) another viable selling channel that gives online merchants access to lots of buyers.

> More seller tools will crop up, and all will become easier to use. When I compared FBAPower to Listtee.com, I got really blasted by a well-respected online marketer (whom I can't name, sorry).  But I critqued FBAPower becase it had some glitches (that were still there the last I checked) which a.) made my Amazon inventory disappear, and b.) incorrectly priced items at $0.00 (which were ultimatedly sold on Amazon for $0.00). I know Chris Green (FBAPower/Scout founder) is very smart and he provides generally helpful tools for Amazon sellers, but as another seller said in an online help forum (I'm paraphrasing): "we have to stop thinking that FBAPower and FBAScout are the be-all and end-all of Amazon selling tools."

Listtee.com and other inexpensive applications are cropping up that continue to make selling on Amazon even easier.

> More Amazon sellers during Holiday 2012 season means their prices will be pushed downward for products if their products are sourced online. Alternately, the sellers who use elbow grease to locate the harder-to-find merchandise locally will be in a better position to gain higher margins. That's just a simple fact of reselling retail merchandise: Sellers can experience slimmer margins when they source their goods online, because the 'barrier to entry' is low - any seller can whip out their credit card and buy qty: 24 of a single item, get them shipped to their door, and package it for reselling on Amazon. But 'getting out in the trenches' and sourcing harder-to-get deals in stores usually means less competition for those sellers and, thus, higher profit margins.

>Major online retailers will try (and fail) to control large quantity purchases from resellers. Shoprunner (a service similar to Amazon Prime) did it by banning buyers whom they suspected were reselling the items they purchased; and ToysRus, Walmart.com and Disneystore.com sometimes make some quantity limits on their hotter items (to discourage resellers). But these restrictions are generally hard to enforce because the occasional Aunt Gertrude, who really needs to buy 12 Toy Story Talking Jessie Dolls for all her nieces, is going to go right on Facebook and blast any retailer who restricts her. Any company (like Shoprunner) that gets enough angry customers is going to have a public relations nightmare on its hands.
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What do you think of my predictions? Am I crazy? Post by clicking 'Comments' below.

6 comments:

TraceyV said...

Yes Jordan, you are cRaZy! lol.......No, I agree with you.

Slimmer Margins -
Now that I have gotten my feet wet, I can see it is essential to think outside the box and get creative with sourcing, it is my top priority with this business and it will take some elbow grease. Hoping to see a strategies for selling forum that we can all learn from.

I hope you are correct about another major online retailer competing with AZ, I don't see eBay as being the one to do it correctly.

james said...

I think others are going to jump in also. Once they see a business model that works they can't help themselves but to try to duplicate or imitate.

I have question you may have addressed..I am just now after listing almost 5000 items not sure how to even start in managing my inventory..any suggestion on where to start and how to do it? thanks and lets all have a profitable 2012

Jim

Jordan Malik said...

@James - sorry for the delay on this. Do you mean managing your inventory in terms of repricing it? I use repriceit.com, but my inventory is a lot less (probably more like 500 to 1000 items at any one time).

Jordan Malik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
www.FunFash.com said...

We have been a platinum (now gold) powerseller of clothing on eBay for years now.. It keeps going down and down, despite herculean efforts to maintain top-seller status (try selling plus-size clothing online!). Finally got on Amazon, and doing much (3x) better there (coinciding with Amazon, our own www.funfash.com has also improved). So, for us, Amazon is the better and growing channel.

-John at www.funfash.com

jennai said...

You a crazy man jordan i ma completely agreeing with you