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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all

I sell a LOT of things on eBay and Amazon that are prepper stuff. Knives, crossbows and parts, medical sponges and sutures and fish tank treatments and knives and machetes, etc

My monthly volume is about 8-10,000 per month and I clear about 1/3 of that in profit.

I see a lot of potential for someone that is so inclined and knows how to sell stuff, some of the things I have been considering are:

1. Soap making supplies
2. Knife sharpening supplies
3. bulk resale of Lighters
4. bulk resale of Batteries or chargers.
5. sandbags
6. Candle making supplies
7. Plant Seeds
8. Solar panels

The list is almost endless but the concept is to buy product from distributors in bulk and sell them 1 at a time to individuals on auction or retail sites.

If the economy doesn't collapse you can make a bit of money, if it DOES collapse you have a great stock of prepper items to barter or trade for what you need.

When I started looking into selling on eBay I found a great resource from this:

Set of 7 Books Making Money Turning Trash Into Cash Wholesale Products | eBay

The 7 book series covers all there is to know about selling on ebay and gives you great tips.

I currently have an unknown amount of prepper items in stock (maybe $30,000 worth) that are for sale on ebay and amazon. They sell very well and when I get short I restock them. If the SHTF I have so much extra prepper stuff on hand that I need a trading post to get rid of it.

Just a little fizzle to the formula, don't try to get into anything GUN related, (Amazon and eBay are very anti gun and restrict selling items in that category).

Good Luck
 

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So with out giving away your trade secrets do you just buy in bulk to generate the savings needed to make 30%?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't do drop shipping, never could find a way to make money doing that plus it defeats the second purpose which is to have tHe stock at home when it hits the fan.

1 of the books in that eBay selling system is called " turning trash into cash" which shows you how to sell crap laying around your house you don't use and turning it into money. You could do that and use the profits to start investing in inventory to sell.

When searching for suppliers look for "distributors", if you start searching "wholesale" you will rarely find any good sources. I've purchased local stuff that sell well in the Internet as well, search the close outs for good items to sell, it helps to be able to search the Internet while looking over close outs to see if you can make any money on an item.
 

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So whats your take on the bill in congress (the house) that will require internet retailers to collect sales tax...
 

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Five states have ZERO sales tax. (AK, DE, MT, NE and OR) It could be a good idea to secure an address out of one of these locations.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
So whats your take on the bill in congress (the house) that will require internet retailers to collect sales tax...
The bill will make you pay your local sales tax not the sales tax of the state you sell from so besides the eBay and amazon collecting taxes it affects me very little. But still anytime the price goes it hurts sales so I'm not for it.

But of course Obama promised not to raise taxes so I'm guessing he will veto the bill

Hahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahah
 

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Ahhh, if I understand the legislation correctly YOU as the vendor will have to collect the sales tax and see to it that it gets to the appropriate state tax collection agency...

That could be a real headache since sales tax is not uniform from state to state, you'll have to figure the sales tax rate for each sale according to state and then see to it that it gets posted.

So if it passes...you are not beholding to just one state tax agency you are under the thumb of every state that collects sales tax...how progressive...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If that is the case, I'm done selling online. I would propose the eBay and amazon would automate that .
 

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If that law passes he could have to pay both his state sales tax and the sales tax for the state he ships the goods to.
That law only applies to businesses that do a million dollars in sales (equates to those who make more than about $30,000 income)
 

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If that is the case, I'm done selling online. I would propose the eBay and amazon would automate that .
Amazon and Ebay from what I understand have a bring it on we can handle it attitude. They are big enough to take it in stride and not even blink. It's the small independent vendors that will be scrambling or hanging it up if this thing passes. Can you imagine being hounded by every state tax collection agency that thinks you owe them...wow
 

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I think the bill is going to make you pay sales taxes for wherever the order come in from. A massive nightmare, designed to knock out the small mom and pop internet sellers like yourself. There will be something like 1000 separate state and cities to consider, each with a different tax structure. No way a small business can figure it all out.

This is why the big retailers love the upcoming Internet tax laws. Eliminate the competition using the power of the government. Brilliant.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't see how this is enforceable for smaller retailers like me. I think the big retailers will oppose it the most as they already have huge online stores and wouldn't want the added expense of dealing with this.

I see the big pushers of this as the states right now, but I also see the federal government pushing it because once the system is set up, they could pass a federal sales tax and just add it to the existing system.
 
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Yeah, I agree it sounds like they are highly interested in exploiting the internet as a tax revenue source. I'm not sure where the lofty speeches about supporting small business fits into that...since many of the small businesses they say the want to encourage are engaged in internet sales.

What gets me are those who are quick to point out that brick and mortar retail outlets suffering because of internet sales. Yet if you do a search you will find most brick and mortar retailers also have an internet store front. Yet that misinformation gets passed off as a legitimate.
 

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The internet tax only applies to businesses that have a million or more dollars in sales annually. It is NOT designed to get rid of the small sellers. It is designed to tax both the purchaser and the seller because his taxes must be paid on the sales he makes and then the taxes must be paid for the buyers state. It is designed to make it less attractive to buy on the internet while collecting taxes that are lost on sales now.

When you consider the billions of dollars made in internet sales the taxes mount up fast. The problem is thay most sellers don't sell a million dollars worth of inventory in a year. The defense to this tax is that sales are supposed to be taxed at the point of sale. There is no physical point of sale with internet purchases. It is all done in cyber-space where there is no physical retail outlet. Since E-Bay and Amazon are so successful the taxes on those two businesses alone could mean a bix tax revenue. E-bay doesn't actually sell anything so they may not be touched by this new tax unless it includes taxes for services - which I did not find specific language in the bill to include.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Small?

A million dollars worth of sales is still a small seller, with a 20% profit margin a full time operation employing several people might still decide to go to of business.

Lost revenues to the Feds in income taxes and SSI, lost GNP,lost postage charges, just so the bankrupt states can pretend they are fiscally sound.

GAH it's a sign of the tims
 

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That is correct - to those who have never done it, a million in sales is just making a basic living after factoring in all the expenses, employees, etc. You might bring home after taxes about $50,000 a year for yourself.

AND keep in mind you will have to pay all of your own medical expenses, insurances, etc 'cause you are self employed. You are also working 70-hours a week. No, my friends, a million dollars in sales only sounds like alot.

But the big boys - this is their plan...

Your small business has maybe three or four employees. If the tax structure becomes too complex, you have to hire a couple more people just to do the books and take care of the rats nest of mixed up tax laws over states, cities, counties etc. Wow. MASSIVE hit on the bottom line.

Now lets examine how Amazon would do it: they already have probably 10,000 employees. So they hire a couple more to handle the new complexities of the tax laws. A tiny drop in the bucket - no problem for them to add .01% more expense to their operation.

Result: your small business goes out of business. Amazon cleans up, gets your business.

Brilliant.

It's brilliant because the majority of voters do not know what it is like to run a small business. They think a million dollars in sales is really raking it in. Maybe even jealously plays a role. But the fact is, a million in sales is not much.

Then, you KNOW they will go after half-million dollar businesses. Then quarter-million dollar businesses. Eventually ALL businesses. Divide and conquer - one of the best tricks in the book.

Mark my words: when big business succeeds in knocking out the small businesses - then they've got you!

And they are going to do it using the power of the government against the small businesses. That's the American way!
 

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Gary is right - Companies like Amazon and Google love this. I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure Amazon is one of the primary supporters of this legislation. If passed, Amazon will just expand their services to process transactions for small retailers like Montana Rancher to take care of calculating, collecting and submitting the sales taxes - for a few percent of the transaction. Already, the credit card companies are grabbing a few percentage points for processing, then a company like Amazon comes in and takes their vig, what is left of the margin for the businessman?

And what about the company that does $5 million or even $10 million per year in revenues? Those sound like big numbers, but in reality that is still a pretty small business - maybe 50-100 employees.

This is a shakedown pure and simple.

The government's line is that on-line retailers have an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses because brick-and-mortar businesses have to collect sales tax. If that is the big concern, then drop the sales tax for the brick-and-mortars.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
"I'm considering selling various prepping related items online, which I know you have been doing for a while. I'd love to get some input from you. You said you gross about $8-$10k/month and net about 1/3 of that...that sounds like a pretty good margin, congrats! What sort of monthly time commitment does that take? Do you advise the eBay/Amazon route over creating your own website? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Warm Regards,"

Hello all
I received this message from a member and thought I would answer it in public in case anyone else had a similar question.

First I use only Amazon and eBay because they are 2 of the top retailing sites and each have very loyal customers that I can take advantage of that. Yes each of them charge me about 15% of my sale price as a commission but I don't have any overhead for hosting my own site, monthly charges for credit card processing, and no advertising, etc. Once you sell for about 3 months and have decent feedback you can get to be a Powerseller and Top Rated Seller which puts you closer to the top on the search results on eBay, with Amazon you get to be a Featured Merchant.

I spend about 1 hour a day working my site, answering questions and reordering product. And maybe another 1-2 hours a week making up listing for new products.

I pay my daughter to ship for me, she works Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday for 3 hours (9 hours a week). Shipping is the tedious part so I am happy to help her make her car payment and save me the hassle.

If you want to find suppliers goggle for "distributors" when you search, words like wholesale or bulk will not help you find true distributors. A distributor is a person that orders in bulk from his suppliers and then sells in smaller quantities to people like me. Usually I buy 2 dozen or 4 dozen of an item and sell out of that stock so I can ship fast and cheap.

eBay and Amazon are rabid liberal organizations so do some research before you buy something and see if it is allowed. You can sell some reloading supplies for instance but not brass, primers, powder or bullets. (though you can sell bullet molds and lead)

Again I try and stay only with items that are prepper oriented and will have some barter value after the SHTF so it not only helps me make some extra bucks but my "stock" also becomes a prep.
 
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So in your expert opine let me ask you. If I order 50 M1A magazines (20 rounds) at the price do you think I could clear 15% selling them that way? If I paid ebay/amazon 15% and charged the actual cost for shipping and handling and marked them up 30% would I still be in the market or is magazines too competitive?
 
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