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


My Crazy Amazon & eBay Selling Predictions for 2012

NOTE: This blog has moved to:

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,, and

> 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 is NO place to sell those).

> 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, 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." 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, and 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.

What do you think of my predictions? Am I crazy? Post by clicking 'Comments' below.


Amazon Reveals its Holiday Hits; FBA Success

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Amazon just sent out a press release with some revealing info for 3rd party sellers like us, including:

> "Billions of dollars" of merchandise was sold by 3rd party seller, worldwide, during the holiday season.

>The # of sellers selling more than $5,000 worth of merchandise increased by 44% (versus last year's season)

I witnessed first-hand other FBA sellers 'making bank'. I received emails from (my other site) like these (members' names removed but exact quotes):

"Jordan, I just wanted to thank you! I made over $40,000 selling on Amazon, a minimum 1/2 of which is pure freaking profit...That's going into it totally blind. NO experience. Thanks again!!!"

"My final profits are over $16,000 in just over 2 months. A large majority of that success can be attributed to you, Jordan!"

Now that the Holiday season is over, it's a great time to start selling via Amazon FBA (if you aren't already) by finding used books, CDs, and DVDs locally (although toys and other merchandise still sells great year 'round)

Here's a FREE GUIDE that shows you step-by-step how to get started (it's the same one I used when I started 2 years ago).
Talk soon,

Jordan Malik


I Reveal My Holiday Sales $. Plus: Hits & Misses on Amazon and eBay

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Hi, online sellers.

After every Holiday, I give readers a glimpse of which toys were profitable for Amazon/eBay merchants, and which toys were flops. I did pretty well this year, with Nov 1 -December 27 Amazon total sales of $30,000+

The below 'hits' and 'misses' are based on how most Amazon sellers (like me) make sales: by buying discounted products online or in stores (before the Holiday shopping craze) and then selling them for their retail price (or higher) when demand picks up.

Before I continue, I should say that eBay has become, by comparison, nowhere nearly as profitable for sellers of 'mass-appeal' toys. However Amazon can't match eBay for selling one-of-a-kind, vintage and collectible items.

Here we go...
Hits: Traditional Brands (i.e., Barbie, Toy Story, Disney Princes, Batman, Fisher Price) were almost bulletproof (as they are every year). If you sourced such toys at up to 50% off, you likely enjoyed a 50% to 150% ROI during the Holiday buying rush, like I did.

My examples of profitable items (click on each for Profit Proof):

Fisher Price Imaginext Transforming Batmobile
Imaginext Batcycle
Toy Story Plush Bullseye Horse 
Muppets Whatnot Build A Muppet Set (blue)

Hit: Magna-Tiles - This really small company got a runaway hit on its hands that turned an under-$50 toy into a 'must have' trinket that commanded $300 to $500 on eBay and Amazon:  Huge shortage around the holidays = big profit potential for eBay Sellers and Amazon if you were lucky to get some. By the way, there was absolutely NO WAY to predict something like this in advance. (No, I didn't sell them).

(Note: Magna tiles sales are further proof that some of the toys that sell well every year are simple 'building'-type toys that allow children to use their imagination).

Miss: Air Swimmers. Their retail prices were way too high for Amazon merchants like me to profit; plus I believe they had limited appeal for the end consumer. Why? They required too much messing around with helium tanks (for more $). ToysRus' CEO claims they were a hit, but certainly demand wasn't as hot as hyped.

Miss: My Keepon - I 'drank the Kool aid' and believed the media pre-hype about this intelligent 'robot' toy, but it ultimately got lukewarm reviews and it appears that ToysRus stores had plenty in stock.

Miss: The Kindle Fire ('s 1st ballyhooed new e-reader). Both Skip Mcgrath and I predicted this would be like the earlier Kindles from previous Holidays, and become  ultra-hard-to-find. Alas, Amazon did a great job anticipating demand and kept manufacturing them, without missing a step. Thus, margins for resellers like you and me were slim to none.

Miss: LaLaLoopsy dolls: The reason these dolls were a boon for eBay and Amazon sellers last year (2010) is because last year, there were only 8 different dolls, all one size. This year, however, store shelves were full of LaLaloopsy merchandise, from Dolls to figurines to backpacks to accessories. Some consumers paid double or triple the retail price on Amazon or eBay when the craze started earlier in the season, but that was a mere flash in the pan as stock was generally plentiful and prices came back down to earth. 

See the common theme for all the 'Misses' above? They were generally 'brand new to the marketplace' items AND manufacturers released them far ahead of the Xmas season so they could guage demand and control manufacturing accordingly. Lots of Amazon and eBay sellers were hoping for the next 'Zhu Zhu' craze but that was a very unique scenario (in 2009) because they started out very small and grew to epic proportions almost overnight, creating a perceived - and real - shortage that drove prices up to $60.

So for 2012 Holiday Season, stick to finding traditional 'known' brands and characters (see my list of 'hits' above) and purchase that merchandise when it goes on sale for 50% or more (start looking in late October 2012, right through the 2nd week in December).

I am sure you have a lot to add to this (be sure to click 'Comments' below this post and contribute your story.

-Jordan Malik, Founder &