See where you can hire new employees for your ecommerce or Amazon business for free.
Consider that posting a job on major sites like Indeed will likely flood you with resumes. This will take even more time to sort through. This is why having clear expectations can streamline the entire hiring process.
Also keep in mind your time to train, so paying a little more to hire and keep good employees will save you money in the long run.
Here are some tips for new businesses looking to hire their first employee so that you don’t waste time. Skip below to see where you can post your job opening.
State the job requirements as clearly as possible so that you don’t waste time vetting employees during the interview process
Write out job duties and expectations as clearly as possible
Have an interview process with predetermined questions
SimplyHired works by posting your job across a network of different job boards like Indeed.
Word of Mouth
Having a recommendation from someone you trust is one of the best ways small businesses can hire. This is made simpler through social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
If you know and trust a person, then his recommendation will go a long way toward helping you decide on your next employee.
Let current and former employees, family members, friends, and relatives know that you’re looking to hire for a specific position. They may know just the perfect person for you!
Your Own Website
If you have your own Shopify store or ecommerce website, you should list any job openings on there. This method works well because you’ll get people who know about your website and want to work for you.
You’ll usually find websites list job openings on the footer along with other contact or company information.
Check out these other websites where you can hire employees. They do charge, but they may be more commonly used in your region:
Thinking about launching your own online business? Learn about the pros and cons of these common ecommerce business models.
Traditional retail models no longer apply today. Businesses that want to succeed today can no longer open a brick and mortar store and expect a captive audience.
New tools allow businesses to streamline and automate. If you’re an Amazon seller, check out our list of apps and tools to see if any can help your business.
Use a combination of these different business models to maximize your revenue!
With this model, you sell products and have another business fulfill the order. This can be a wholesaler or a manufacturer. Many sellers use online marketplaces like Alibaba to fulfill orders, but long ship times may deter some customers.
For instance, you’d set up an ecommerce store or list an item on a marketplace like Amazon. When someone purchases from you, you’d send the shipping information to the business, who would then pack, ship, and provide you with the tracking number.
Low startup cost because you don’t have to purchase, store, and ship products
Lower risk because you don’t have to worry about having old or dead stock due to changing trends or updated models
Add products to your ecommerce store quickly
Sell a variety of products across diverse categories since you don’t need to warehouse products (food, toys, fashion, or other perishables)
No need to handle shipping logistics
You’ll have to rely on the other business to pack and ship the correct products in a timely manner
You’ll have to sell the products, effectively providing marketing and advertising for other brands in addition to your store
A lot of competition because of the ease of entry and low startup cost
No control over order fulfillment (stock, packaging, tracking, etc.) and stock on hand
Less control over customer service since you rely on information provided by another business
Generally lower profit margins than other business models since you’re not buying in bulk
With this model, you’d sell mainly to other businesses instead of the end consumer.
Some wholesalers may sell to customers. Businesses like Costco and Sams Club sell using both business to business and business to consumer models.
You’d need to contact the manufacturer or distributor to open an account. Requirements will vary. For instance, some may require physical storefronts while others may want a website. Others may have a minimum order quantity.
Larger volume of sales since you’re selling to other businesses
Recurring sales to businesses since they’ll want to restock
Other businesses or retailers will advertise your products
Set minimum order quantities so you don’t have to deal with a lot of individual orders
Businesses will seek out your products once you’re established
There’s usually less competition because of the high initial capital investment required
Established customers may be able to purchase on terms like NET30
Requires large warehouse to store inventory
Need a large capital investment so you can get good prices
Requires employees to handle warehousing and support
Selling on credit introduces its own risk
White Labeling (or Private Labeling)
White labeling is the practice of rebranding or relabeling another company’s products with your own label. The white label usually includes some minor changes, though this may not always be the case.
You may be able to find domestic suppliers in the US willing to put your label on their products.
Having a white label today is much easier than it was even a decade ago. The relative ease and low cost of getting products manufactured in China and shipped to the United States make white labeling popular for many businesses.
Amazon sellers may be more familiar with the term Private Labeling, which is a similar practice.
You have control over distribution and pricing of your products
You can add value to the product by bundling it with other products
Your marketing efforts will nurture your brand
Cheaper and easier to white label than to develop a new product that requires research, design, and factory retooling
Less risk than manufacturing and marketing a new product since you’re selling a product that already has a proven demand
Can quickly expand your product catalog to offer complementary products
Higher profit margins than dropshipping
Low cost of entry means anyone with access to more capital can compete with his own private label product
You depend on the manufacturer to deliver products as ordered (miscommunication and quality control)
Potential to have long lead times, missed deadlines, and other issues related to shipping and customs
Need to develop a brand: logo, marketing, website, and packaging
More policing of your brand and products on different marketplaces
Supplier may sell your product to other private labelers if you’re not careful
You’ll be competing against established brands in your niche
Be careful of intellectual property infringement
Manufacturers create the products to sell, generally to distributors and wholesalers.
Many manufacturers are now based outside of the USA because of the lower cost of doing business. Domestic and foreign manufacturing each have their own challenges.
Many of the advantages are similar to distributors, like recurring sales, marketing, and minimum order quantities.
Many people also manufacture or produce in small batches and sell direct to consumers via marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon.
Generally larger volume of sales to wholesalers and distributors
Set your own price for products and implement MAP
Less competition since the cost of entry is so high
Control over quality assurance
You have control over the supply of products
Requires large capital investment for building, machines, and employees
Higher operational expenses
Changes in trends or consumer demands may lead to high retooling costs if products are specialized
The growth and popularity of online shopping have changed how people buy and sell.
Many businesses have now moved to online sales, forgoing traditional brick and mortar stores. Lower operating costs and a larger online audience make ecommerce more appealing.
Many third-party sellers on Amazon, Walmart, or other marketplaces now use a hybrid business model. Businesses may sell as a third party through one marketplace while doing wholesale on another. Check out these popular marketplaces and the fees they charge sellers to see if one is a fit for you.
Offer subscription-based businesses that offer both service or consumer goods
Sell artistic designs through print-on-demand websites like Amazon, Teespring, or Threadless
…and other combinations!
As new technologies are developed, new opportunities will arise for people with entrepreneurial spirits. The explosive growth of Shopify and similar ecommerce solutions have simplified starting an online business. Or start selling on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay without the need for a storefront.
If you want to start an online store for free, there are a few free ecommerce solutions that you can try. Or sign up for a marketplace like Amazon or eBay for free to start selling today.
The ease of starting a business has only made competition tougher, requiring businesses to automate, streamline, and cut costs. The result is that customers have access to a wider variety of products, better prices, and improved customer support.
Check out these Alibaba alternatives for online B2B marketplaces to expand your product selection and search for more manufacturers for your Private Label or generic products. While Alibaba may be a great resource, the marketplace is flooded with suppliers and middlemen. While these aren’t necessarily bad for you, many suppliers increase costs while not providing any value. Or look for other ways to source inventory for your ecommerce store.
We’ll only include B2B marketplaces, so websites like Aliexpress aren’t going to be included since they cater to consumers as well. We’ll list these businesses to consumer websites below for those who are interested. We’ve also included some parts and industrial B2B marketplaces for businesses that manufacture and sell.
As with any other foreign B2B marketplace, do your research before making any large purchases. Most marketplaces have some kind of guarantee, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get your money back immediately if something goes wrong. If you’re selling on Amazon, then check out our list of Amazon integrations to help automate your Amazon business and increase your competitive edge.
* B2B marketplaces that are oriented toward manufacturers (industrial parts) have an asterisk *
This nascent website is a boon for US sellers who want to deal with US suppliers. While costs may be a little higher than their Chinese counterparts, you’ll receive your inventory sooner, and you won’t have to worry about miscommunication issues. The US channel needs a little more work, as some categories have international manufacturers rather than domestic ones. But you’ll be able to easily identify location-based suppliers on the product tiles.
The website has a fairly limited selection, and many of the suppliers are from India or China. You can search for products, services, and suppliers. This works great if you’re looking to sell in specific countries, as having a native business partner can help you navigate the sometimes byzantine processes and procedures.
Chinabrands advertises itself as a global dropshipping giant, but Amazon’s strict policies mean that you’re only using this site to drop ship if you have your own ecommerce store. Most US customers are conditioned to expect fast and free shipping, so shipping and handling times of longer than a few days aren’t as popular.
Prices are just as good, if not better than Alibaba, and the product catalog isn’t as filled with junk or copies of the same product that fill page after page. The selection isn’t as broad or numerous, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the products are unique.
The website design can feel a little overwhelming, but the site boasts a large selection of products across broad categories. Like Alibaba, there are tons of the same products being offered at wildly different prices. Images appear to be from the same source, with pricing and seller being the only differences. Competition is good, but having to sort through the same product page after page can be frustrating.
Prices are competitive with Alibaba, but they can vary wildly from seller to seller.
This site allows you to sort suppliers by country. If you’re looking for Korean suppliers, then this is a great B2B marketplace to browse, as there aren’t many major Korean B2B marketplaces. Other countries represented by this marketplace include China, Korea, and the USA, and you can filter by country of origin if you want a specific supplier and country.
This marketplace has a more limited selection, but the categories aren’t filled with the same items over and over. Less crowded marketplaces may be easier for you to research new opportunities and product ideas since you’re not spending time sifting through pages and pages of the same item (or similar items).
This B2B marketplace specializes in industrial and safety equipment, but there are some more common categories like school and office supplies.
Prices are in Singapore Dollars. At current prices, 1 USD is equal to 1.37 SGD, so you’ll have to multiply everything by 2/3 to get a rough idea of the USD price. Or just use a calculator to figure out exact cost at current rates.
ExportHub has a wide variety of categories. Products show up in tiles. Product information is crowded, with a wall of text taking up more than half of the bottom tile. Still, the relevant information is there, though some products could use more (and better) pictures.
If you’re looking for an Indian-only B2B marketplace, then this website is for you. Clicking on the product tile brings up a contact form, so you’re limited in terms of pictures, product and supplier information, and other information you may want, like annual revenue.
Instead of linking to specific products, Floral and Gift Market is more of a directory of suppliers who can provide products based on your search terms. This is useful for some sellers looking for a category of products or a specific supplier of types of products.
If you’re a small seller doing some product research, you’ll have to click through the tiles to the suppliers’ websites to see what they have to offer.
The site lists only US suppliers, so you won’t have any issues with communication that you would with non-native English speakers. You’ll also have certain protections and guarantees that you wouldn’t have with a foreign supplier. We’ve included this since many sellers want US suppliers instead of foreign ones.
This website is owned by an organization promoting businesses in Hong Kong. It lists both B2B services and consumer products.
One good feature of the website is that it groups similar items from the same supplier, making browsing items a lot more convenient. That means one supplier can’t flood categories with hundreds of listings for variations of the similar items. There is a broad range of categories, and the site is fairly easy to navigate and use, with no annoying pop-ups.
This B2B marketplace is focused on Indonesian businesses only. Some of the text is in Indonesian, but the website is fairly easy to navigate since the majority of the text is in English (the link is for the English site). Don’t expect suppliers to be competent in English. You may have some issues with communication.
Categories seem to be limited to industrial goods, though some categories exist for more common household goods, like lighting.
One of the better B2B marketplaces on this list. A huge list of categories, suppliers, and a link to various popular trade shows around the world. The website also loads faster than others on this list.
The articles on Global Sources are also helpful if you’re looking to read about sourcing and products.
This USA B2B marketplace is geared toward manufacturers and other physical operations rather than online retail businesses. As a result, businesses looking for industrial goods made in the USA will find this marketplace useful.
A little better than other Chinese B2B marketplaces, this website loads quickly and the catalog is broad, with few repeats. The product search results contain relevant information, and suppliers are all from China.
Suppliers also have badges that show certain aspects of their businesses were audited. ISO certifications appear below the supplier. Be careful about the audited label. Manufacturers may only be audited for certain aspects of the company (general business information), while other aspects (working conditions) remain unclear.
Most of the suppliers in this marketplace are from China, but you’ll find a few from around the world as well. The English version of the site is linked, though you can also visit the Chinese version of the site.
It’s a great site for manufacturers and industrial businesses. You’ll need to look elsewhere if you’re looking for ready-made products to sell to consumers
This marketplace vets its suppliers and businesses. Businesses listed on this marketplace are ISO-certified, and there’s a range of products and services offered through the site. Whether you’re looking for industrial parts or resale opportunities, this site has them all, though the selection isn’t as expansive as a site like Alibaba.
Suppliers are from around the world, and the ISO certification is great if your sales are B2B and to companies that require ISO certification.
There aren’t very many Thai B2B marketplaces online. All the relevant and necessary information is present on the product tiles, though the MOQ is only visible once you click on the product. Some categories are a bit bare in terms of products.
Another Indian marketplace with only Indian suppliers and services. There’s a wide selection across a broad range of categories. Product tiles look nice, but they’re missing quick information. Pricing and MOQ aren’t transparent, requiring you to send the supplier a message.
This B2B marketplace lists suppliers from around the world. The website frustrates you with sign-up and login requests as you browse their selection. Beware the Google Ad designed to look like a search function for the site.
Many Korean businesses are on this B2B marketplace, but other countries show up as well. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking that you’ll find only Korean suppliers on here. You’ll find both products for resale and industrial uses.
Despite the name, many of the suppliers on this B2B marketplace are Chinese. You’ll still find Vietnamese suppliers, but you’ll have to filter your search results if you want any substantial results. Still, you’ll find more Vietnamese suppliers on this site than others, save for VietAZ’s listings.
Interested in websites for business to consumer (B2C) sales? Check out some popular ones that sell to consumers at low or wholesale prices.
Expand beyond Alibaba. Many sellers focus too much on one B2B marketplace, and they’re missing out on a lot of opportunities as a result. Most Amazon courses, workshops, or guides point to Alibaba, but that just means you’ll find more opportunity elsewhere while everyone else is sorting through pages and pages of the same product on Alibaba.
It’s best if you’re able to work with manufacturers and suppliers in person since you’ll be able to see how they operate. But not everyone can do that. Cultural customs, values, and language barriers ultimately lead to some miscommunication, so be as direct and concise as possible. That means you shouldn’t use figures of speech or slang. It also helps if you have an employee who is fluent in the language.
Many manufacturers and suppliers also expect buyers to haggle. If you negotiate on the price, keep in mind that some manufacturers may agree to a lower price, but they’ll then cut corners in order to make a profit. How they cut corners can seriously affect the quality of the product you sell. And if you sell on Amazon, these low-quality goods can result in lower metrics that can lead to account suspensions.
QuickBooks Online Projects is a new feature available to small businesses so they can track all relevant tasks and transactions related to a job. This feature is only available to QuickBooks Online Plus subscribers, so you’ll have to upgrade your subscription if you want to take advantage of Projects.
QuickBooks Online Projects is similar to job costing. Many small businesses had to come up with workarounds in order to be able to track all income and expenses related to a job.
This would have meant using sub-customers, custom transaction numbers, or any number of methods in order to track jobs. But these workarounds didn’t provide accurate reports, leaving many businesses in the dark about the true cost of a major project.
Now you can track all of the transactions that occur and view running reports for specific projects in one easy location. There’s no need to find some workaround since Projects tracks all of the transactions you enter. Start a Trial version of QuickBooks Online Plus and see if this feature works for your needs. Click on the toggle to switch to Free Trial and select the Plus subscription.
To use QuickBooks Online Projects, you’ll first have to enable it under Accounts and Settings. Click on Advanced, and enable the “Projects” option.
Once you enable this option, you’ll see a new link in QuickBooks Online called “Projects.”
When you click on Projects, you’ll be prompted to create a new Project. Under Projects, you can track the following:
Once the project is complete or at any time during the project, you can run a report to see all of the income and expenses associated with the project by clicking on the “Project profitability” link.
Along with profitability, all Nonbillable time and Unbilled time and expenses can be tracked through Projects so long as you add them to the project. You should track as many transactions as possible so that you’ll have more detailed insight into your business.
That means tracking the number of hours your employees spend at a job site or any additional expense incurred during the project.
If you’re upgrading to QuickBooks Online Plus just to use this feature, then you can create a new project and migrate all of your current project transactions into the proper Project. Projects can be selected through the customer field. They’re stored as sub-customers for tracking. Click on the invoice or transaction you want to move into a Project and then under the “Customer” field, select the Customer and Project you want the transaction to go under.
Chances are the customer will already exist. If that’s the case, then create a new Project. When you select the customer, the Project will automatically appear as a sub-customer. Then simply open each transaction and select the Project (sub-customer).
If you’re already using sub-customers to track projects in your own way, then you can merge the sub-customer with the new QuickBooks Online Project. Here’s how you’d do that:
Create a new project with a different name under the same Customer as your current job that you saved as a sub-customer
Go back to the Customer list and click on the sub-customer (your job that you want to merge) to edit
Rename the sub-customer to the name of the new Project you created earlier
Click on Yes to confirm that you want to merge
Tracking your job costs through QuickBooks Online Projects has never been easier with this new feature. Now you’ll have more data and a better understanding of your income and expenses per project. Armed with this information, you can better adapt to the ever-changing business landscape. Increase your competitive edge over businesses that don’t track their expenses in such detail.
Third-party UPC vendors can be an alternative to GS1 for some sellers on Amazon and eBay. Before you purchase UPCs from any one of these third-party UPC vendors, you may want to read our article on using UPCs on Amazon.
If people search through the GS1 database with your UPC, then they’ll find it attached to a defunct company. That’s because the UPC prefix you purchased was assigned to some other entity in the past. This may not matter for some sellers, but others who want to establish a long-term legitimate brand may want to consider official barcodes. For instance, if you want your product on shelves at a major retailer like Target, you may need official GTIN codes. You may also need GS1 codes for retailers that participate in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
If you’re ready to proceed, then take a look at the third-party UPC vendors below. They’ll sell you blocks of UPCs ranging from 1 to 10,000 for far less than what they’d cost through GS1. Visit the US GS1 website to learn more information about pricing, prefixes, and more!
These websites may be a better option than eBay since you’ll be able to access your account and see your purchase history. They’ll also provide some certificate of authenticity. But those certificates won’t mean much to anyone outside of the vendor.
Prices reflected in the screenshot are from the date of the article and may be different when you visit the site. We’ll list the price for 1,000 UPC barcodes as a frame of reference.
SellerZen is not affiliated with any of these services, nor does SellerZen endorse any of these services. We’ve created this list only for informational purposes, so do your own due diligence before you sign up with any services listed in this article.
BarCodesTalk has several useful links on its website, including a label designer that many sellers may find useful. There are also some useful links for new sellers, including how to list on Amazon and a link to search the GEPIR database of GTINs.
This third-party UPC vendor offers these features with purchase of barcodes:
This vendor has a 110% Price Match Guarantee, which would make your barcodes cheaper thanks to a quick overview of this article. At standard rates, prices are slightly higher than other third-party UPC vendors on this list. With a purchase of the barcodes, you’ll get the following:
Free barcode image tools with EPS, JPG, GIF, and PNG formats
Product Barcodes states that its UPCs work with Amazon, eBay, and Walmart Online. When you purchase their package, you get UPC and EAN codes, barcode images, and lifetime technical support. What that technical support entails is a bit unclear.
Speedy Barcodes sells UPCs by bundles, so you won’t be able to get a specific number like 103 barcodes. The website lists that its barcodes will work with websites that don’t require a GS1 certificate. Interestingly, Speedy Barcodes lists Amazon as verifying barcodes through GS1’s GEPIR database. If this is true, then some barcodes may not work. Link to their questions and answers here.
With the purchase of barcodes, you’ll get:
Certificate of Authenticity that proves the transfer of ownership to you
UPC and EAN numbers
Excel and PDF spreadsheet of your barcodes
Digital barcode artwork for your barcodes in EPS, JPG, and PDF formats
The price for 1,000 UPCs is normally $230, but with the promotion, it’s $180.
Barcodes purchased from SnapUPC come in a CSV file. There are no additional features advertised through this site, so if you’re looking for artwork for your UPCs, you’ll have to come up with your own or look elsewhere.
1,000 UPCs sell for $175.
Third-party UPCs can be a cheap alternative for Private Label sellers who sell solely online. If you only need the barcodes to be able to create new listings, then these vendors may be a better option than having to go through GS1.
Most, if not all of the third-party UPC vendors listed above offer the same guarantee: you’ll get a block of UPCs assigned to you from their database.
One thing to consider: if you’re purchasing small blocks of codes from different retailers, a search on the GS1 database will reveal many different businesses. If you want to keep your UPCs consistent, you should consider purchasing a larger block of codes.
But purchasing smaller blocks of UPCs can give you different blocks of sequential UPCs. You can use these blocks for different product categories for your own recordkeeping.
However, if you’ve gone through the trouble trademarking and brand registering your business, then you’ll likely want to purchase official GS1 codes as well. By purchasing official codes, you’ll have less trouble later if you expand to major brick and mortar retailers like Walmart, Target, or Costco. You’ll also get your own company prefix.
Amazon’s recommendation is that you use GS1 codes. Should they ever enforce verification, then third-party UPCs will no longer be viable. Other marketplaces like eBay and Etsy are sure to follow.
So when considering third-party UPCs, think about the long-term goals for your business. Reassigning UPCs for all of your products later can be a nightmare. For some marketplaces like Amazon, you’ll have to create new listings for new UPCs, and you’ll lose all of your sales histories, reviews, and rankings.
Check out these other useful articles for your Amazon or eBay business:
Looking for classifieds marketplaces outside of eBay where you can get the most for your used stuff around the house? Don’t waste your time with an app that only has a few thousand users at any given time. Make the most of your limited time by listing on a marketplace that gets hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of views per month. Sell your used stuff sooner, get money faster, and reduce the clutter around your house! Or if you’re a designer or artist, you can sell on Etsy or other Etsy alternative marketplaces!
You may have to try several different marketplaces before you find one that works best for your region. For some regions, Facebook Marketplace may be the “go to” classifieds to use, while other regions may prefer Letgo. Craigslist is probably the one exception to this rule since it is one of the earliest classified marketplaces. Don’t be afraid to list your items on a few of these marketplaces. Just don’t forget to remove those items that sell, or you’ll be receiving random emails for months about something you no longer have. Read our article for more places to source inventory.
5miles has a very visual, tiled layout that emphasizes the pictures more than the text. Users may find it similar to Pinterest. In that way, 5miles is optimized for the mobile experience since users want to see pictures more than they want to read. One convenient feature of this service is that it lists the seller’s location. So customers can quickly see the seller’s location. Buyers can click on the product they want and “Make offer.”
There’s a broad range of categories similar to Craigslist. You can sell anything from pet supplies to cars and rentals.
Sellers have a simple thumbs up or thumbs down rating system with customers having the opportunity to leave comments.
Some other notable categories in addition to products:
Classified Jobs Listings
Free and Donated Listings
One problem with “Make offer” is that it implies all prices set by the seller are negotiable. While this may be true even for Craiglist, it may force sellers to artificially inflate their asking price and then negotiate down to the real asking price. This kind of environment may be discouraging for people who want more transparency and who hate to haggle.
5miles is free to list, but there are fees for certain categories. For cars and auto parts, you’ll get 5 free listings and each additional one will cost you $4.99 per month unless you have a membership.
This marketplace is marketed toward “design lovers,” and as such, its listings are for home decor, art, and household goods. The difference between Chairish and other services on this list is that Chairish works on a consignment model. You submit the listing, Chairish approves it, and when the item sells, you get 80% of the proceeds. Shipping is also available to customers.
Basically, Chairish takes 20% of the sales price up to $2,500. Then it takes 12% on the next $22,500 and 3% on the next $15,000 on any price above $25,000.
Because Chairish approves listings, this marketplace tends to have better quality items. You won’t find some dirty bicycle someone rescued out of a dumpster for sale here like you might find on another classifieds site.
Craigslist really needs no introduction. Founded in 1995, it’s the most well-known classifieds site in the US. And perhaps the best part? The design and “feel” hasn’t really changed much since.
In fact, it’s probably the one website a visitor from the late 1990s would still recognize today. Unless there’s some Geocities website with cheesy clip art still around.
All listings are free unless you’re a dealer. Then you may pay a small listing fee depending on the category.
Many of the marketplaces and apps listed on this site are slowly siphoning users away from Craigslist. For instance, many people now go to Poshmark or Depop for fashion and used clothing rather than Craigslist. But Craigslist is still great for categories like cars and rentals or consumer electronics.
Depop is becoming a popular marketplace for many sellers. The audience is creative, artistic, and stylish people. In fact, Depop boasts over 10 million users. You’ll find a lot of fashion, accessories, and apparel o this marketplace.
Depop takes a 10% commission for every sale in addition to what Paypal charges for its transaction fee. That’s usually 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction, so overall fees are roughly similar to eBay, with the exception of certain eBay categories.
Depop’s layout is unique in that it’s very visual. You won’t find any descriptions until you click on the item. Products show with the picture and a price only. No other information like text is there to “clutter” the screen and distract viewers.
Facebook Marketplace started a decade ago and then closed soon after. It re-emerged in late 2016. Facebook Marketplace is becoming more and more popular in some regions since many users are on Facebook and it’s easy to express interest in an item through messages.
Browsing is easy, but there can be a lot of used stuff that is too expensive or just not very appealing. Accuracy of the listings can be hit or miss. You may be browsing smartphones and come across someone’s childhood teddy bear.
Still, with the number of users on Facebook on a daily basis, you can reach a very wide audience in your area. Listing is free, but make sure you take your item down as soon as it sells or you’ll constantly get messages about it if it’s a popular product like an iPhone. You’ll also find a lot of people expressing interest but never replying to your responses.
US residents have Craigslist. Canadians have Kijiji and Craigslist. In the US, eBay turned Kijiji into eBay Classifieds.
This is one of the most popular used marketplaces in Canada, outranking even Craigslist Canada. If you’re looking to sell on the Canadian used marketplace and want a broader reach than what Craigslist can offer, then Kijiji is your answer.
The user interface is reminiscent of eBay and even Craigslist, so many users will find the layout familiar. Simply choose a location and start selling your used stuff within minutes to access the Canadian classified marketplace.
Letgo has a very easy to use interface with tiles that show the product, price, and location. If you’ve used Mercari, you’ll recognize the design and layout. The presentation is also similar to 5miles, but the filtering option allows users to quickly navigate categories. It’s also a very popular app with an average of 4.4 stars and 281,000 ratings on iTunes and almost 1 million ratings and 4.5 stars on Google Play.
One drawback is that products are sometimes miscategorized, so you’ll see jewelry in the housing category. Customers can quickly express interest by clicking on the “I’m interested” button or the “Chat Now” button if the seller is online. Other pre-populated messages customers can click on are for availability, price, and condition. While these buttons make shopping more convenient, it may mean sellers have to spend more time answering questions for window shoppers rather than serious buyers.
The Chat Now feature is a great way for customers to quickly connect with sellers, but if you’re a casual seller, you’ll find yourself constantly handling customer service if you have a popular item like the Apple iPhone.
Listia is unique in that the auction-style marketplace transacts with Ink Protocol (XNK) ERC20 token, a cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum blockchain. You’ll have to read up a little bit and learn about how blockchain technology works, but at the very least, you can always cash out immediately at current prices. Or you can exchange or hold onto the tokens for other transactions.
Listia markets itself as a trading marketplace, so holding onto XNK makes sense if you sell and buy on the platform, effectively trading the used stuff you no longer want for stuff someone else doesn’t want. You can also cash out by trading XNK for USD or ETH, but that increases the difficulty a bit. Don’t forget about those exchange fees if you trade to ETH and then to USD.
Browsing through the listings, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of exciting items like high-end consumer electronics or more desirable products, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find something you like.
The layout is fairly standard, with tiles displaying a picture of the product along with the bid and prices. As of the time of this writing, 1 XNK is roughly 1.33¢, so you can determine the USD price by multiplying the display XNK price by .0133.
Mercari and letgo have a very similar layout. You may be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. If you travel abroad, Mercari is also available in Japan and the United Kingdom. There’s also a filter on the left where customers can sort by specific features. eBay users will find Mercari’s user interface very familiar, albeit a little cleaner than the eBay of today. It was perhaps the first to popularize the use of icons and buttons to represent categories rather than simple text.
Mercari is perhaps one of the more popular marketplaces on this list, having roughly 40+ million visitors per month, according to SimilarWeb’s estimates. For reference, SimilarWeb estimates Craigslist gets over 514 million visitors a month. As such, you’ll probably have an easier time selling your used stuff on this app rather than another app.
OfferUp is another marketplace that is modeled after Pinterest’s layout and user interface. The entire page is filled with tiles of items for sale near the user, so browsing for stuff to buy is a fairly easy task, though it can be a bit overwhelming. One nice implemented feature is the endless scrolling. Category browsing is a little bit hidden as it’s accessed through a text drop-down menu.
Poshmark is perhaps one of the most recognized marketplaces for fashion. While initially popular amongst women, Poshmark also has listings for men’s fashion. This marketplace is great for selling used, branded clothing. If you are looking to empty out your closet of designer clothing and fashion, then this is the marketplace you’ll want to list on.
Fashion listed on this marketplace may be in better condition and priced higher than marketplaces like Craigslist. But the quality should be better since sellers and buyers will know the value of the clothing.
thredUP is a second-hand consignment store that sells fashion for women and kids. Instead of handling the listing and service, you’ll send thredUP a “Clean Out” bag of your clothing and they’ll handle the rest. Shipping is completely free. thredUP accepts over 35,000 brands, so chances are they’ll take something you no longer want.
You’ll have to do some work since thredUP only accepts on average 40% of the clothing people send. The condition of the clothing has to be excellent, so avoid sending in clothes with tears, stains, or other damage since those will just be rejected. Think about it this way: if you wouldn’t wear it because of some flaw, then someone else wouldn’t as well. You’ll be able to adjust the price for your clothes.
Since thredUP processes, lists, and ships the clothing, the website is a lot more uniform. Clothing and fashion are professionally modeled and photographed, creating a better experience for customers. And prices are competitive with other major secondhand stores. If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with arranging meetings, negotiating, or even shipping, then consider this service.
Some examples of payouts from common brands:
GAP women’s zip-up hoodie $1.35
H&M women’s short sleeve top 35¢
Banana Republic cardigan $3.15
Nordstrom’s tank top $2.47
Some other notes for the clothes you send in:
Clothes have to be laundered and clean
Must be from a name brand
High-demand items (found on their Clean Out page) will get you a payout once they are processed
For items on consignment, you’ll get a payment once the item sells
You’ll earn an extra 10% if you send in luxury designer brands like Oscar De La Renta or Dolce & Gabbana
Tradesy is similar to thredUP, but it handles only luxury designer brands. It acts more like a marketplace for luxury designer fashion, but you’ll handle the listing. Once your item sells, Tradesy will send you a shipping kit that has nice packaging and a pre-paid shipping label. You’ll pack the item and drop it off at the post office.
Tradesy will also handle returns, even going as far as taking the hit on the return provided you didn’t misrepresent the product in some way. That means you won’t take the loss for customers who “rent” your nice dress for an evening or two. There are other requirements and policies as well, like shipping and handling times.
The commission is fairly straightforward. For sales under $50, Tradesy takes a flat $7.50. For anything above, Tradesy takes 19.8%.
VarageSale markets itself as a virtual garage sale. The idea is fantastic unless you happen to live in an area that isn’t covered by VarageSale. However, you’ll find communities in most parts of the United States.
To use VarageSale, you’ll have to be verified. You can do this through Facebook. Then you’ll join a community that is near you and start listing on your own VarageSale store. If someone wants to buy your item, then you’ll “Reserve” the item for them until they pick up.
When you meet up with the buyer, you can be paid through the VarageSale app or with cash. You’ll just need to make sure either you mark the item as sold or the buyer marks the item as paid.
Because users list their own items on VarageSale, the quality of the pictures can be low and the pricing can be a bit too optimistic. You’ll also find some spam posts and other businesses using the platform to advertise.
Vinted acts like a marketplace for sellers to list their used clothing. There are no restrictions on brand or condition like Tradesy or thredUP, but sellers are expected to disclose any flaw.
Vinted takes a slightly different approach from its competitors Poshmark or Depop. Instead of charging seller fees, it charges the customers 5% of the selling price + an additional 70¢. When a sale happens, the buyer pays for shipping and you’ll receive the label. Drop it off at the post office, and when the buyer clicks on “Everything’s okay,” you’ll see the sales proceeds in your Vinted wallet.
Vinted is another good solution for those who want to sell their own clothing and keep the proceeds rather than giving up to 20% of the sales price or more to other marketplaces like Tradesy or thredUP.
Want to see what items sellers from around the world are listing on their classifieds marketplaces? Check out the links below to browse through some of the most popular classifieds marketplaces from across the globe. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find something interesting:
So long as the used stuff you have is in decent condition (or sometimes even when it’s not), you’ll be able to find some interested buyer somewhere. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” That’s not to say that your used stuff is trash, but you may have considered throwing some of it away at some point. You’ll also want to read our article on some common buyer scams to avoid being cheated if you plan on shipping.
There’s a niche marketplace for almost everything you have in your house. From clothing to video games to vehicles, you’ll find a marketplace for it if you look. But with our list, you won’t have to spend too much time searching.
Get started finding a new home for the used stuff around your house that you no longer need or want. You’ll feel less guilty about what you spent on it, and you’ll feel good knowing it’s going to be useful for someone else. Make some money while saving someone else some money. An additional bonus is that your used stuff isn’t going to a landfill. You’ll get some money back, someone else will save money, and the environment won’t suffer from yet another item rotting away in some landfill!
Try out these completely free eCommerce stores to start selling online at no cost to you! If you only have a handful of products to sell, then you shouldn’t pay enterprise pricing unless you need all those features. Many people can do with just a free basic store with a few products.
For anyone who wants to try setting up a store or to test some new product or idea, these websites give you a completely free store with limited features. But you can start own online store with a great, professional template and list your products within 10-15 minutes.
We’ll list only the free eCommerce stores. And we’ll exclude the services that give you a free trial. These services are great for entrepreneurs who have just a handful of products and want their own eCommerce store. These stores give you the ability to list 5 products up to unlimited products for your store.
Any of these would also be great for hobbyists or anyone wanting to learn about the world of eCommerce without paying anything upfront. No matter what store you choose, you’ll still have to pay transaction fees when you make a sale. These transaction fees average about 2.9% + 30¢ per sale. Some payment processors may charge less.
We’ve compiled these 8 free services that can get you started with your own free eCommerce store.
Once you master the basics of running an online store, you can then upgrade to their premium features or just move onto a different eCommerce platform.
eCRATER is unique in that it gives you a free store and it maintains a marketplace for products similar to eBay. They take no fees unless you get a referral sale from their marketplace. Then they take 2.9% of the sale, but you keep 100% of the sales proceeds from any sale you make. Read about major marketplaces you can sell on and their fees.
eCRATER has numerous features, but some of the more prominent ones are:
Unlimited products with up to 10 images per product
Unlimited disk space
Advertising tools like promotions, Google AdSense, and feedback system
Ecwid gives you a basic store with the ability to sell through multiple platforms like WordPress and Weebly. There are no transactions fees or setup fees from Ecwid, but you’ll still have to pay those transaction fees for whoever processes your payments.
This eCommerce site is in its beta stage. But the prices are very competitive for what the service offers. If you decide to upgrade, then their popular Pro plan gives you your own domain name and the ability to list up to 2,500 products.
The free version features:
Up to 25 products
Drag and drop visual store editor
Numerous store templates and designs
All plans have most of the features of the store, with the difference in prices being the number of products and domain name
Allow shoppers to browse the store in multiple languages
Spreesy is service based on an increasingly popular trend known as Social Commerce. You can have your own Spreesy store, and it integrates with all major social media platforms.
If you have a large social media following, then you can easily drive sales with their integrations. For example, customers can just comment with their email address on your shoppable Instagram post. They’ll then get a secure checkout link to purchase your product or digital goods. The same is true of other social media outlets like Twitter and Pinterest.
Other features of Spreesy:
Manage your Spreesy account on your mobile device with the Spreesy app
Supports major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest
Integrates with ShipStation, Etsy, Google Analytics, Shopify, and more
Storenvy’s model is like eCRATER’s model, but Storenvy has a more modern interface and design. Storenvy charges a 10% referral fee for each sale that takes place on its marketplace. But you get to keep 100% of the sales proceeds from your own store.
You may already be familiar with Square. It’s a popular POS system for many small businesses. But Square also offers a free online store with its own subdomain. You can use your own if you have one. There are no other fees than the transaction fees you pay when a sale happens. Like many other websites, Square has different themes you can use for your store.
Other features about Square stores include:
Drag and drop visual editor
Integrated hardware like POS systems and card readers
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools like Customer Engagement and Square Gift Cards
People who want to start their own businesses with minimal startup fees should seriously consider these free eCommerce stores and marketplaces. Starting with one of the options listed in this article will allow new business owners to learn the ins and outs of running an ecommerce site. Then moving or upgrading to another platform will be less intimidating.
The other option is having to register a domain, find web hosting, dealing with SSL and HTTPS, or optimizing a website can be too complicated for business owners who aren’t quite tech literate. Even those who are tech-savvy can have trouble with web technologies.
Expand your business with Google Shopping Actions. If you’ve been suspended on Amazon, then you’ll know how devastating it can be for your business. Companies with millions in annual revenue have collapsed in just a matter of months with an Amazon suspension.
Some of these suspensions may be valid, while others may be well out of their control. Whatever the case, one of the most important lessons these businesses learn is to diversify.
Going beyond Amazon will mean an account suspension will still give you a source of income to pay for operating expenses while you appeal. This means you’ll want to expand to marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, or even start your own Shopify site.
One of the best ways to expand is to sell on a marketplace with wide appeal and broad reach. In addition to the marketplaces mentioned so far in this article, you should seriously consider Google Shopping Actions. Having your inventory and store on Google’s products (Express, Assistant, and Search) will increase your sales and protect you from the loss through one suspension.
With billions of searches conducted on Google every day, you’re missing out on hundreds, if not thousands, of potential sales if you don’t sell through Google.
Shopping Actions retailers have some serious benefits that can help promote brands and increase sales. We’ll go over some of the important benefits of Google Shopping Actions and how much it costs in this article.
Shopping Actions Benefits
There are two main benefits to Shopping Actions:
You’ll appear across Google Products like Google Assistant, Google Search, and Google Express. Your products and your store will be promoted across these services without having to list them individually across three different platforms.
You’ll promote customer loyalty since your store will be featured better, not Google. Amazon sellers now work really hard to grow their business. Too often, Amazon gets the credit for customer service even when sellers are the ones taking the loss. So there’s not much customer loyalty toward merchants who sell on Amazon.
Other benefits of Shopping Actions include:
Universal shopping cart across Google platforms
Instant checkout with saved payment information
Up-to-date pricing and stock availability for customers
Compatible with Google Assistant for voice-command shopping through Google Express
As a Shopping Actions merchant, you’ll have your store and products featured across Google’s products. This will drastically increase your visibility since Google is the top search engine in the world. You won’t have to pay a monthly fee or subscription in order to access Google’s users. Instead, you’ll pay a commission rate listed in the table below.
Google Shopping Actions Commissions
Like every other marketplace, Google charges a commission based on the product sold. The rates are extremely competitive, averaging about 12%, which is between eBay’s 10% and Amazon’s 15% commission rate. Below is the rate table for Shopping Actions.
Online shopping is expected to increase year after year, and the competition for market share is only going to become more fierce. As competition heats up, sellers should take advantage of any available retail platforms.
If you don’t expand to these marketplaces, you’re allowing drop shippers and other sellers to dilute your product and brand. Protect your brand reputation and increase sales at the same time by listing your inventory on Google’s products.
Become a Google Shopping Actions merchant and gain more exposure for your products and brand. Increase your visibility and profits by taking advantage of the billions of searches conducted on Google every day. Diversifying your sales channels will only protect you in the event that you’re suspended from one marketplace.
Introduction – SellerZen Amazon to QuickBooks Integration
SellerZen’s Amazon to QuickBooks integration automatically imports Amazon seller transactions into QuickBooks. Setting up your accounting software properly and handling transactions correctly are time-consuming tasks. They’re also prone to mistakes that can take hours to discover and fix. The time it takes to enter documents, reconcile, and fix mistakes can cost you much more than a service like SellerZen.
Additionally, disorganized records mean you’ll end up paying a bookkeeper more just to handle your accounts. With SellerZen, you can be sure that once you configure the platform properly, all your transactions will be accurate. As a result, you’ll save money on employee and bookkeeping costs. Another benefit is that you’ll have insight into your business that you didn’t have if you’ve just been lumping your income and expenses every settlement.
In this article, we’ll go over what the normal process is for entering transactions into QuickBooks. Then we’ll discuss some of the common transactions that sellers forget to enter, like inventory adjustments. We’ll also go over how Amazon sellers can use SellerZen’s features for more convenience.
Amazon FBA and FBM sellers have a slightly different need for handling sales invoices in QuickBooks Online. First, FBA sellers don’t have a critical need to enter sales invoices immediately since their inventory is stored elsewhere. And FBA sellers are paid when Amazon ships the order, so payment is immediate when orders are shipped.
What this means for FBA sellers is that they can enter their invoices when they get a chance since they can create invoices and receive payments right away. They’re not too concerned about having precise inventory counts since their FBA inventory is separate even if they sell on multiple marketplaces. Read more about the advantages of FBA and disadvantages of FBA.
FBM sellers have a slightly different process. When customers submit an order on Amazon, FBM sellers have to create the invoice in QuickBooks Online. Afterward, they’ll ship and mark the order as shipped on Amazon. Only then can they go back to QuickBooks and click on “Receive payment” to close the invoice.
This workflow is important since FBM sellers store their own inventory. Failure to create the invoice in QuickBooks can lead to inventory discrepancies, and if FBM sellers sell on other marketplaces like eBay, their inventory quantity will be incorrect. This workflow has a lot of potential errors in a business where different employees handle different aspects of the business. Miscommunication between different employees can lead to issues that ultimately result in lower seller account metrics because of canceled orders.
When creating invoices in QuickBooks Online, all the line items on the invoice should match the line items Amazon displays for the order. The process in QuickBooks can be a little confusing because QuickBooks uses the term services for line items.
To add line items to QuickBooks Online, you’ll have to go to Sales > Products and Services > New > Service. These services are connected to specific accounts in QuickBooks Online Chart of Accounts. So if you want to view certain fees like Amazon Sales Tax Collection Fees, you should create the corresponding account under Accounting > New. Be sure to select the proper Account and the Detail Type that matches the service. You may want to use Other Miscellaneous Service Cost or Other Primary Income for the Detail Type if you’re unable to find one that is close.
Naming the service and choosing the right account is important for viewing detailed reports. If you sell on multiple marketplaces and you map all of the services to the same account, you won’t be able to run detailed reports for each marketplace. As you create invoices for your Amazon orders, you’ll eventually create all the necessary services and accounts for your business. You only need to make sure to receive payment for the invoices when you mark the item as shipped on Amazon.
If you’re using a different Undeposited Funds account, be sure to select that before you click on Receive payment. It would be incorrect to select your bank account since you haven’t received money yet. Once Amazon’s disbursement arrives, you would create a bank deposit to your bank account after you’ve reconciled the settlement.
Believe it or not, it’s actually quite easy to lose money selling items on Amazon if you’re selling items for less than $10. Sellers can make pricing mistakes, or FBA workers may measure a product incorrectly, leading to higher than expected fees. If this is the case for some of your invoices, then you’ll have to process these transactions properly.
QuickBooks Online doesn’t allow negative invoices. You’ll have to zero out the invoice and create an additional document with the line item and the remaining amount so that the balances are reconciled. You’ll also have to create proper documents when customers are issued refunds or when they return items, even when these refunds or returns are scams.
Whether you use FBA or FBM, SellerZen will automatically create the proper documents for you. If you’re FBA, then the process is completely automated. We’ll create the invoice and receive payment for the invoices. All of this is done reliably, consistently, and accurately no matter the case.
Using SellerZen, you can create and link the service items you create to any account you want. Then simply map those service items to our platform, and we’ll automatically create the correct invoices in QuickBooks Online every time. Our platform can link any Amazon line item to a service item of your choice.
We require the most common line items, but every seller is different. You can map the FBA Labeling Service fee to see how much you’re spending for that service. Then you can run reports in QuickBooks Online to see just how much you’re spending every month on the label service. You may discover that you’re better off printing the FNSKU on the package or putting on your own labels.
For fees that you haven’t mapped, we’ll use the “Other Fees & Expenses” service item so that the invoice is created in QuickBooks Online. You can always look through that account later and create any service items you’ve missed. Then map those new service items in SellerZen under “Other Line Items Mapping.” Future invoices will properly reflect the correct fee.
Amazon FBM sellers may find our service particularly convenient since we create invoices as the orders become available through Amazon. Sellers can focus on shipping their orders. We’ll close the invoice as soon as the status change is available through Amazon. FBM sellers no longer need to worry about inventory counts. Because SellerZen imports data in real time, FBM sellers can focus on picking, packing, and shipping rather than setting time aside to enter transactions into QuickBooks Online.
Whether you’re FBA or FBM, you’ll eventually see reimbursements from Amazon for one reason or another. FBM sellers may have reimbursements for Item Not Received (INR) claims when purchasing shipping through Amazon. FBA sellers may be paid for damaged inbound shipping or lost warehouse inventory. Whatever the reasons, many sellers don’t accurately record these transactions, but these transactions can have a significant impact on their business. This is even truer if Amazon loses or damages a large amount of inventory.
Let’s take a common scenario: as an FBA seller, you send in 100 units of inventory. Amazon receives only 50, and after you open a case for investigation, Amazon reimburses you. Amazon may reimburse you for the purchase price or for the sales proceeds price (your sales income after fees). Regardless, few sellers record this transaction properly. This reimbursement isn’t technically a sale. Recording it as such may lead to poor inventory forecasting if you’re using some kind of inventory forecasting tool and you may end up spending money on inventory that doesn’t necessarily sell quickly when you can instead spend it on inventory that moves.
If Amazon reimburses you with inventory, then you may be tempted to ignore the loss and reimbursement since you received back what was lost. However, you should consider recording these two transactions in the event you receive counterfeit or defective goods. SellerZen will log all transactions so you’ll have a record of them if you ever need.
Because all the inventory adjustments happen at the warehouse, you don’t know what condition the items are in. They could be new but slightly damaged or flawed in some way that might result in more returns. Ultimately, you’ll have to trust that any reimbursements with inventory are in excellent condition. The only other way to find out is to create a removal order. You’re still not guaranteed to get the affected item back unless you remove everything. Even then, you wouldn’t be able to tell which ones Amazon gave you unless there was an obvious difference. If you remove inventory during their free inventory removal promotion, you will not be able to send the same ASIN back until later.
In the image above, the customer received a refund but didn’t return the product. Because FBA handled the customer service, Amazon funded the loss automatically. A customer return, lost warehouse, or lost inbound will all result in a similar document in QuickBooks Online. In an ideal world, you’d issue the refund and receive a return that is still in new and sellable condition. But that’s hardly the case on Amazon.
Instead, you should create a refund receipt that will increase the inventory count by 1. Then create another sales document for zero dollars to decrease the inventory by 1. If Amazon reimburses you inventory or cash for the failed return, you’ll have to create another Vendor document to reflect the transaction. When you create the proper documents, your inventory will be synchronized. If you only create the refund document, then your inventory will be out of sync with Amazon.
FBM sellers generally issue refunds after they receive and inspect the return. But FBA sellers don’t have the same luxury since customers return orders to Amazon. Amazon sometimes issues refunds without the return. When customers receive a refund before returning the order, they may not feel obligated to send items back. Since they’ve already received their money, their priorities shift.
For low-cost items, Amazon may even allow customers to keep the product since return shipping and fees may exceed the cost of the item. Sellers who sell low-cost items should look into returnless refunds. This option will save sellers time and money from having to process refunds and returns.
Creating a refund document in QuickBooks Online when customers haven’t returned the item isn’t accurate. A refund in QuickBooks automatically increases the sellable inventory. The only time this is correct is when the customer returns the item and it’s still in sellable condition. FBA sellers may not see the condition for 60 days since customers can request a refund 30 days from receipt and then have an additional 30-45 days to return the item.
Managing refunds accurately can be a frustrating process for both FBM and FBA sellers. The process is worse when customers open an A-to-Z claim since failing to respond properly results in an automatic loss. Read more about how avoiding some common mistakes new sellers make. Sellers who don’t respond to A-to-Z claims in a timely manner will lose both their product and the funds. They’ll also take a hit on their seller account metrics.
Another scenario sellers may face is when Amazon issues a goodwill discount or partial refund to customers. When this happens, sellers have to create the proper documentation as well. Many sellers may be tempted to create a refund document with the product, but this is incorrect since doing so will increase inventory. Instead, sellers should create a refund with the Goodwill Discount service item and associate the order ID with the document. This case is further complicated if customers later return the item. Then sellers would have to create an additional refund document with the remaining amount and an additional document if the product is damaged.
Creating all of these documents can be confusing since selling on Amazon and keeping track isn’t straightforward. You’ll have to periodically check for reimbursements or returns so that your QuickBooks Online will be synchronized with Amazon transactions. Most sellers don’t bother with this level of detail since proper recordkeeping requires such an investment in time. And it’s nearly impossible to manage if sellers have thousands of orders a month.
Managing refunds and reimbursements correctly will allow you to keep your inventory levels synchronized with Amazon and accurate. For FBA sellers, inventory management is not as urgent since inventory is stored at Amazon. Only FBM sellers may encounter some issues if inventory levels are inaccurate. Since FBM sellers may sell on other marketplaces, inventory management is more critical.
Using SellerZen, sellers can automate the entire process. No matter the case, we’ll handle the proper documentation in QuickBooks Online. Sellers will always have an up-to-date view of their Amazon business since our automated data entry is done in real time.
Many sellers start looking for an accounting solution only when they need it. If sellers keep information on a spreadsheet, they may be missing important information. Or they may be logging information that isn’t necessary. Either scenario is a waste of time for sellers.
Few sellers also look for an inventory management system when they first start their business. They may keep a simple spreadsheet with their first few SKUs and not think about recordkeeping until later. Eventually, the spreadsheet grows organically, and a lot of data is missing, misplaced, and highly disorganized. Sellers just want to sell their products and grow their business. So keeping track of inventory can be frustrating and time-consuming.
In this section, we’ll go over some of the issues sellers have with inventory when using QuickBooks for the first time. To create a new inventory item in QuickBooks Online, go to Sales > Products and Services > New > Inventory (or Non-inventory). We recommend that you use the default QuickBooks accounts for inventory. They are the Inventory Asset, Sales of Product Income, and Cost of Goods Sold accounts. SellerZen uses these default accounts if you want us to create the inventory items.
One mistake Amazon sellers make here is that they use the Amazon SKU field for the QuickBooks Online SKU field. And why not? The labels both match. However, the QuickBooks Online SKU field is not unique, meaning sellers can create several inventory items with the same SKU. Sellers who do this can potentially make mistakes or incorrectly map inventory items. This can also lead to a lot of confusion later.
Instead, you should map your Amazon SKU to the QuickBooks Online Name field. The Name field is a unique identifier, so you won’t be able to have two items with the same Name. Here’s what we recommend for the fields so that you can create the proper inventory items.
Below, is what you’ll see on your Amazon account when you click on Manage Inventory. We recommend you use the following names for the QuickBooks inventory fields. The Inventory sales information (description) isn’t really necessary since that may change.
When you create a new inventory item in QuickBooks Online, you’ll see the following fields.
Enter the initial quantity on hand. For the As of date, you should use the date that the first transaction occurred for this product. That can mean a sale, purchase, or reimbursement. Many sellers just use the current date. However, QuickBooks Online won’t allow you to create documents for inventory with dates that precede the As of date.
For example, if you choose an As of date of May 1, 2018, then all documents for that item must have a date of May 1, 2018 or later. All transactions for the inventory item you create needs to have a date of May 1, 2018 or later even if the transaction happened before. If you do this and run reports, your amounts for the year will still be correct, but your amounts for the month may be different because all transactions use the As of date from the inventory item.
Why shouldn’t you use the Amazon Product Name in the QuickBooks Online Inventory Name field? Some sellers like to use their product titles or descriptions in the QuickBooks Online Inventory Name field. But doing this can be problematic since QuickBooks Online restricts the number of characters you can use in that field. Also, if the Amazon Product Name changes, you’ll have confusion amongst employees who need to work with your QuickBooks company. You can change QuickBooks Inventory Names, but this can be confusing since it’d require a lot more tracking. You’d have to revise the Name field every time there’s a change on Amazon if you want to keep the two synchronized.
You wouldn’t have to constantly revise inventory if you use the Amazon Seller SKU for the QuickBooks Inventory Name. The Amazon Seller SKU doesn’t change. And you can change the Product Name without worrying about your QuickBooks Online inventory item.
With SellerZen, you’ll have the option of mapping your Amazon Seller SKU to Inventory Name or SKU. We recommend that you use the Name field since that’s a unique identifier in QuickBooks Online. If you use our setup wizard, then we’ll use the Name field and we’ll use the ASIN for the SKU.
If you want us to create inventory items, then we’ll use the date of the first transaction we process for the SKU. This may not necessarily be the correct date since we don’t know when you first started selling the item. So if you set the As of date for this month, you’ll see all of your refunds and reimbursements from as far back as you’ve synced dated to this month for the product. Your annual reports should still reflect the correct amounts.
If you enter the Inventory Cost, we’ll calculate and display your true profit per sale on our Order Dashboard. This quick view can alert you to any pricing or issues you have per item or invoice. You can easily see your profit per invoice and investigate further if necessary.
Some sellers don’t need or want to track inventory. If that’s the case, then you don’t necessarily need the QuickBooks Online Plus subscription. Use the “Use the following item for all (Amazon US) SKUs” option and choose the Non-inventory account you want us to use for all of your Amazon SKUs. We recommend that you name this Non-inventory item using your marketplace region. This way, you can connect other marketplaces and separate the sales reports. Something like “Amazon US SKUs” will allow you to run better reports if you later have multiple Amazon marketplaces connected.
You can also map your Amazon SKUs to both Inventory and Non-inventory items through SellerZen. Read our guide here for how to configure custom SKU mapping.
While your own bookkeeping methods may make sense to you, they may not be so clear for other people. Employees, bookkeepers, and accountants aren’t mind readers. By using best practices in QuickBooks Online, you’ll minimize the amount of confusion for other people. And you’ll ultimately pay less for an accountant because your books will be in order. With SellerZen, you won’t have to worry about whether or not someone has properly categorized an expense. You’ll set it up the first time and it’ll always be correct after.
Reconciling Inventory on Amazon & Filing Claims
Keeping track of your inventory on Amazon can be a stressful task. Amazon delays reports anywhere from 24 hours to a week, so knowing your exact inventory level can be difficult. In this section, we’ll go through some tips for checking your inventory status on Amazon.
If you use SellerZen, we’ll reconcile your Amazon and QuickBooks inventory. Any discrepancy between QuickBooks and Amazon means that Amazon has yet to reimburse you for it. You should be filing reimbursement claims for these if the loss or damage occurred more than 30 days ago.
FBM sellers don’t have many reimbursement cases because they store, handle, ship, and refund on their own. Sellers can file for reimbursement claims for Item Not Received claims if they’ve purchased shipping through Amazon. They can also file reimbursement claims for cases where customers exchanged items, though Amazon has become more strict about these claims.
Amazon delays the inventory reconciliation report in the image above by a week. But you can run reports like the refund, customer return, and inventory event detail report for current information. You should reconcile these two factors:
“Inventory Received” should match what you sent in
Lost and Found numbers should match
If the inventory received doesn’t match what you sent in, then look at the FBA shipments report. Confirm that they received what you sent in. Otherwise, you’ll have to investigate and open any cases regarding the discrepancy. If the lost and found numbers don’t match, then you’ll have to look at the Inventory Adjustment report. Amazon may have already reimbursed you, so remember to check your reimbursement reports for that particular SKU.
Requesting claims for customers Amazon refunded but who haven’t returned items
FBA sellers should look at their Inventory Reconciliation report. You can find this under Reports > Fulfillment. This report is delayed by a week, but you can look up any necessary information through other reports: Inventory Event Detail filtered by Shipments will tell you of any inventory sold, while a Payments > Transaction View report will show you refunds.
Compare the refunds here to what customers have returned under Reports > Fulfillment > Customer Returns. Make sure Amazon hasn’t already reimbursed you for these cases. Customers have 30-45 days to return the item. If the refund is fairly recent, you’ll have to check back later.
The easiest way to find out whether Amazon owes you for failed customer returns is to download the refund report, the return report, and the reimbursement report.
Copy and paste the Order ID column from the refund report into one column on a new worksheet. Then copy and paste the Order ID column from the returns and reimbursement report into another column. Use conditional formatting to match and highlight or delete matching values in each column. You can download an add-on in Google Sheets to do this for you as well. Investigate the remaining order IDs on the refund column since customers haven’t returned those and Amazon hasn’t paid you.
You should open a case for any refunds with no returns past 30 days once you’ve checked Amazon reimbursements.
Requesting claims for lost or damaged warehouse items
Another common reimbursement scenario is inventory that Amazon workers have lost or damaged at the warehouse. You can find these under Reports > Fulfillment > Inventory Adjustments. Enter your SKU and look at the inventory adjustments. The balance should be zero between the misplaced and found inventory. Be sure to view the reimbursement report to confirm before you file a claim.
Filter by “Damaged” to see any damaged inventory at the warehouse. You’ll see these possible reasons under the reimbursement report. You should open a case for any inventory that Amazon has damaged and not reimbursed after 30 days. Reimbursements with inventory instead of cash show up as “Transfer from holding account.” “Transfer to holding account” usually happens when Amazon damages inventory, moves it to your unfulfillable inventory, and then to its own holding account.
It’s not easy keeping track of all your inventory on Amazon. There are numerous cases where Amazon has lost or damaged inventory and has never reimbursed sellers. Amazon may owe some sellers thousands of dollars for lost and damaged products. Amazon also reimburses for out-of-policy refunds. Sellers should monitor their accounts regularly in order to catch these reimbursements and get their money.
Sales tax has become much more complex for Amazon 3rd-party marketplace sellers in 2018. Amazon began collecting and remitting sales tax for certain states, and this is certain to expand to other states in the near future. These taxes show up on orders as the Marketplace Facilitator Tax. This new tax has been the cause of some confusion for many sellers. Because this tax shows up on the sales order, Amazon sellers must have some way to record it.
In this section, we’ll go over how sellers can document what Amazon collects and pays as evidence for states. This is particularly important if sellers later need the documentation for their accountant or for the state tax boards. Read more about how SellerZen handles this tax.
As of July 2018, Amazon collects and remits sales tax for three states: Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Washington. To accurately process invoices, you’ll have to configure Sales Tax in QuickBooks Online for those states. This is necessary because QuickBooks Online creates the proper liability accounts when you create a sales tax rate. The sales tax Amazon collects for the Marketplace Facilitator Tax should be deposited to a bank account that you use to offset the sales tax liability accounts for the states.
To summarize, sellers will have to configure tax rates for the affected states in QuickBooks Online. Sellers also have to create a bank account to offset the liability accounts QuickBooks creates for sales tax. Sellers will also have to create a Marketplace Sales Tax service item that they’ll link to the offset bank account. Doing all of this will allow sellers to properly account for the Marketplace Tax.
If the Marketplace Sales Tax exists, sellers will use the Marketplace Sales Tax service on the invoice. All money collected for this tax is then deposited into the offset bank account. Ultimately, you’ll use the Marketplace Tax bank account to reduce the balance on the sales tax liability accounts.
Once sellers have configured all of the product, service, and account items, they’ll still need to deal with the non-order transactions. These transactions can include expenses like storage fees and reimbursements for damaged warehouse inventory. Some sellers will want a detailed breakdown of these expenses, whereas other sellers want them lumped into one account. You should talk to your bookkeeper to see how to organize and categorize these expenses for your business.
Many sellers don’t enter these transactions individually since they take so much time to organize properly. That’s because you’ll have to look through the settlement, create the proper QuickBooks document, and make sure they go into the right accounts. Chances are they’re lumping all the fees and expenses instead.
Using SellerZen, you can choose which accounts you want for these transactions. We’ll automatically handle it for you every settlement.
For the settlement transaction mapping in SellerZen, we recommend that you separate some of the expenses. You should map expenses like inbound shipping, storage fees, and reserve amounts so that you’ll know what these are. A high storage fee alerts you to slow items while knowing your reserve amount can help you plan purchases.
When you map your reserve amounts to one account, you’ll know what to expect if you request payment earlier. Otherwise, we’ll put the transactions into the income or expense account depending on the transaction type.
Unlike traditional brick and mortar retailers with customers who live nearby, Amazon customers come from all over the world. And they are loyal to three values when it comes to shopping: price, quality, and shipping. That’s why having the lowest price, the highest reviews, and the Fulfilled by Amazon tag are such important factors in a product’s success on Amazon.
This also means that a list of Amazon customers in QuickBooks isn’t as important as it would be for a traditional retail store. Not only is a list not as important, many customers can and do disable messages from sellers. In the past, sellers bombarded buyer emails with automated emails to get reviews, prompting customers to disable all messages from sellers.
That’s why we highly recommend that sellers use a default customer per marketplace. If you use this option for SellerZen, you’ll still be able to search for information in the shipping address field. But your customer list won’t have tens of thousands of customers that will slow down your QuickBooks performance. With a massive list of customers, search functions and reports take longer.
Even if you keep individual customer names and information, you’ll eventually get a lot of customers with the same name. You’ll need to distinguish them somehow, like using John Doe 1, John Doe 2, and John Doe 3. If you enter invoices manually, using a single customer account for each marketplace will save you some time as well.
Conclusion – Amazon to QuickBooks Integration
At SellerZen, we believe in empowering businesses with tools that will help them succeed and thrive. Automating data entry from Amazon to QuickBooks frees your employees from performing mundane, repetitive tasks. Your employees can then focus on other aspects of your business, like sourcing and sales. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your company’s financial data is secure and that your accounting is accurate. You’ll also save money from having to pay a bookkeeper thousands of dollars to sort through your Amazon account.
But perhaps the most powerful feature is that an up-to-date set of books allows you to run crucial reports. If you don’t consistently keep track of your sales, you could be losing money on several SKUs. You could never know because your only insight into your business is the settlement summary. But many sellers don’t even look closely at their reports or individual sale. Instead, most sellers are content knowing that their settlement net income is positive even if they’re losing hundreds or thousands of dollars on some SKUs.
You could be losing money on some SKUs, or your margins could be so low that it’s no longer worth the labor involved in sourcing, managing, and selling those items. Read more about SellerZen’s layout to see at a glance whether or not some items are losing you money.
One of the biggest obstacles to a company’s growth is the lack of manpower. There’s only so much one person can do on his own. The cost of hiring and training an additional employee can be prohibitive for most small businesses. That’s why automation can be a vital tool for streamlining processes and improving profit. Using SellerZen, you can integrate your Amazon and QuickBooks Online accounts and focus on selling and growing.
Most web users now understand that their activities online are being monitored in some form or another. So it’s crucial for website owners to establish a sense of trust with their visitors. To that end, if you own an ecommerce store or any website, you should move your site over to HTTPS. This is especially important if you’re hosting your own website.
What’s the difference?
The difference between HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption. Essentially, SSL and TLS are security protocols for establishing a secure link between server and client.
The communication that happens as a result is encrypted, so even if third parties were to intercept the information, they wouldn’t be able to interpret it without the private key.
Why should I migrate over to HTTPS?
There are several reasons why you should migrate over to HTTPS.
First, major search engines like Google will rank your website lower if it isn’t secure. Users of Chrome versions 56+ will see this message:
Secure websites will have the word “Secure” to the left instead of an exclamation mark:
A warning about the site’s security may discourage visitors from purchasing products or services. Even if you have an established and recognized company, such a warning message makes you appear unprofessional.
Below are some other reasons why you should migrate over to HTTPS.
Bad SEO or search engine optimization can ruin even a company that provides a good service. That’s why it’s important to optimize your website for as many criteria as possible. Images, links, and keywords are all important, but all aspects being equal, if your website is HTTP and another is HTTPS, search engines will rank the secure website higher.
You can find a guide and learn how to migrate your website over to HTTPS for free from Let’s Encrypt.
Let’s face it, customers have countless options when it comes to products and services online. If they suspect that your website is not secure, then they’ll go somewhere else. No one wants to deal with the headache and frustration that is identity theft or credit card theft. Users who see the word “Secure” next to your URL will feel more confident browsing your website, purchasing, and signing in.
HTTPS gives visitors a sense of security knowing that their data is more secure.
Protect against Hijackers
Without SSL or TLS, any information transmitted between server and client can easily be decoded and manipulated. This can lead to a “man in the middle” attack, where hackers divert the customer from your website to another one. Other entities may use HTTP to interject ads or other malicious data.
Mobile devices are becoming the primary device people use to interact with websites. Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project now requires HTTPS, and with Google indexing mobile sites, having HTTPS will give your site better ranking and visibility.
Many apps, services, and websites now require SSL or TLS in order to integrate. Without HTTPS, you’ll increasingly be locked out of their services and benefits. Most, if not all, financial institutions require some kind of security to process transactions.
Competition amongst websites for viewers and users is fierce because of the sheer number of websites that are not only online, but coming online on an everyday basis. That means your websites needs all the advantages it can get in order to rank high on search engines and get views. Not only does HTTPS provide better security, but it’ll give you an advantage over websites since higher rankings and views begin a cycle of more and more views. And this result can mean the difference between success or failure.
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