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How to Deal with Your Reseller Death Pile for Amazon and eBay

Today, I've got Will Abrams. Will is one of the owners of Axiom Prep Center, and they handle reverse logistics for Amazon sellers. Now if you're not sure what reverse logistics is, this is a really it's actually kind of a massive business outside of the Amazon space. When there are products that don't get sold, when there are products that are returned, especially to, like, direct to consumer companies or, one that I learned about recently was actually, direct to consumer mattress companies. When people decide to not take those 100 nights, on you know, free for the mattress and they return it. Well, it's gotta be dealt with, and so there are companies that Actually, we'll go pick up these mattresses and then resell them on the secondary market because you can't sell a mattress as new a second time. That's really gross. And so we know that in the Amazon space, as we're Amazon sellers, we need to deal with these same types the returns.We've got items, you know, that come back to us and they're just fine and they need these be sent back into Amazon, but it's a headache. And it ends up sitting in a pile in your, prep area or in your office or, much to your wife's chagrin, maybe in the dining room. And then there are items that come back completely wrecked that you need to get reimbursed for, but it's a headache. You've gotta take pictures of the LPN. You gotta take pictures of the item, and you gotta open a case. Then you have to fight with them A few times when they say it's not eligible until you get reimbursed for it. And then finally, you might wanna sell some things on eBay, to recoup some of your capital. Maybe not all of it, in some cases, but at least a little bit of it.And so that's where Will, who was a former Amazon seller, doesn't sell on Amazon any longer, comes into play. So, Will, thanks so much for hanging out with me, man. Appreciate you coming on.Thank you for having me.

Yeah. Absolutely. So I'm sure that I probably didn't do what you guys do complete justice with that opening. So I let walk me through the process of how Axiom works for Amazon sellers.

Absolutely. That was a great intro. So, yes, specifically, you know, as an Amazon as a former Amazon seller myself, returns were a big issue for me. You know, I guess, as an Amazon seller, when dealing with returns, you you really have 3 options. Your first option is To have Amazon dispose of your inventory. There's 2 things wrong with that. Number 1, you're actually paying for that, getting no money back. In fact, you're paying for it.

Additionally, Amazon burns a lot of their excess inventory. It's bad for the environment. They're kinda under a lot of fire for that right now. Your 2nd option is to have Amazon liquidate your inventory if it's appropriate for that. You might get 5% of your original sale price. And then your 3rd option, if you live in the United States, is to have that inventory shipped back to you and for you to deal with it. And that that's that's an issue. That's a problem for a lot of Amazon sellers, especially a lot of Amazon sellers that we've talked to.

A lot of people that we've talked to, You know, they have mounds of inventory in their basement or in their closets or at their prep center, and and really no recourse To recoup any money on on that on those products. So that's that's where we came in. We, we actually got our starter. My aunt is a a seller, And she lives in Israel. And so especially for an international seller, you can't ship it back to your own address. You really have no option but to kinda either liquidate it or dispose of it. And so We had a thought and said, there's gotta be a better way for this. So that that's kinda how our service started, and and specifically what we do, You know, we become our clients' return and removal address.

We get their stuff. If they can go back into Amazon, we'll ship it back in. That's number 1 priority. You're always gonna get the top dollar on Amazon. So that's first. Secondly, if A product can't be sold on Amazon anymore. That could be for a couple reasons. That could be a listing issue.

That could be retroactive gating. That could be an IP issue. That could be just because, you know, someone opened something up and and decided they don't want it, put it back, and now there's a tiny rip. Could be for a variety of different reasons. But if it's not appropriate for Amazon, we will list it and sell it, fulfill it On our clients' eBay accounts. Mhmm. And then we will also file reimbursements for our clients. It's like you were talking about.

There are 2 specific reimbursements that we filed. Number 1 is switcheroos. So, you know, you sold a a new pair of Jordans, and someone bought it and Switched it out for a used pair of flip flops. You can get reimbursed for that. And then, additionally, if items get removed out of Amazon in new condition, That could be you had a brand get restricted, so you have a 100 units of whatever makeup brand gets restricted in new condition but arrives to us, and, You know, the the boxes are ripped and and everything smashed. Again, you're entitled for a a dual reimbursement for that. So It's really just a way for sellers to outsource a part of the business that no one wants to deal with. You know, it's a time consuming and annoying part of the business that especially for a lot of these big sellers that we deal with, it really it makes scaling very difficult.

So It's it's something that need that there needs to be a solution to. Yeah. And so that's that's where we come in, and and people have really, really loved our service.

Yeah. That's that's awesome. So I guess one thing I'm curious about is, like, who is your who's your ideal client? Because you brought up your your aunt, and she lives in how long has she lived in Israel, by the way?

I think maybe 6 years now. She's originally from the US and then moved to Israel.

Okay. Gotcha. So I've got I've got several friends, who who live over there who like, this would be a great service for them. And, heck, some of them might actually be clients. But, so what I envision is it's absolutely great for, anybody outside the US to, you know, sells on the US platform, which is it's actually a fair number of people. And and then, of course, There's the, you know, the Amazon seller here in the US. When does it make sense? And and I know this is gonna vary a little bit, but When have you seen it make the most sense for a US seller to use your service rather than bring this in house?

Right. And so, yeah, the majority of our clients are US sellers. And I think what it really comes down to is how much is your time worth. Mhmm. Yeah. I know for me as an Amazon seller, when I was selling on Amazon, I was additionally working a full time job. So Time was not really a luxury that I had. And so, yeah, thinking about it through that lens, it's really is my time worth more dealing with these returns, or is it worth more sourcing? What am I getting a better bang for my buck? And so that's really our ideal client is someone who's looking outsource part of their business.

You know, I think there's a a spectrum of Amazon sellers, people who wanna do absolutely nothing and people who wanna Have their hands in every single thing.

 

And I think that's that's who suits us best is someone who's willing to say, my time is better spent elsewhere.

Like sourcing, which is really where we need to be spending our time. Absolutely.

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Okay. So Walk me through the process. You I send you a bunch of my, the inventory that needs to be pulled. For me, that's gonna be things like, beauty and, you know, supplements, that kind of stuff. What do you guys do with it As it comes in, how do you, you know, reconcile? And, I guess, what are the kind of the next steps of of what you do for your clients?

Yeah. So from the 1st step of getting a package, the first thing we would do is open it up and look at the slip. That would tell us if something we think is gonna be eligible for reimbursement. So if it says, let's say, Overstock on a slip and, You know, it's it's beat to heck. We would take the specific pictures to be able to file that reimbursement later. So So that would obviously be pictures of a slip, of the shipping label, of the LPN, of the damages, all that. So that's first. We look for the reimbursement.

The next, we take pictures of the items, and these are professional pictures in a light box, you know, the the whole 9 yards. And So that'll set us up to later be able to make eBay listings or if it's getting shipped into Amazon, we go to Amazon. And throughout that process, we are inspecting it. We're checking expiration dates, you know, sticker removal if necessary, all of that. And then it gets processed, and and it goes into it gets a custom SKU in our software. So so we actually built a software for this specifically. Again, you and I were talking about it's a bit of a niche. And so, really, all the, you know, all the standard prep software, it just didn't exactly fit what we wanted to do, So we built our own, and that's something that all of our clients have access to.

They can see the whole process of their inventory for when it gets processed. Alright. Now it's listed. Now it's been filled, and now it's been shipped back into Amazon. So, yeah, you know, open up, Picture, process, list, and then fulfill. And I think that's part of kinda what sets us apart is Our ability to make a decision. You know, there's there's a couple couple clear indicators. Alright.

Is this not in new condition? It's it's gonna go to eBay. But but then also, You know, we we know how to read Keepa graphs. If if a Keepa graph is graph is going up like this and then completely drops down, we know what that is. So, You know, we'll assign, is this going to Ebay? Is this going to Amazon? And and and, again, the client can see that whole process. And, you know, we don't take any cut of the profits, nothing like that. And, you know, they they can enter you know, there's there's a couple different They can enter brands they only wanna sell on eBay, for example. Say someone got an IP claim. You know, a client could be as involved or not involved as they want On that part of

it. Okay. Let me ask this. Let's say that let's say you get some beauty products back and they're, you know, they're in a box. They're they're little the boxes are damaged, but the products are fine. So maybe they're eligible for a reimbursement from Amazon. When that happens, will you then take the items and sell them on eBay for me as well, or do they need to go in the trash? What do you guys do there?

No. Absolutely. Those are our Our favorites and our clients' favorites. You know, we've seen for example, I think I don't think this is a secret, but there's a a maker makeup brand. I think Shiseido or something? Yes. Yep. Just got gated. And I'm thinking of 1 specific product where It was a it was a bigger makeup.

We got it in, filed a reimbursement, got $75, and then sold it on eBay for 50. So the in terms of the capital recovery that we're seeing for our clients, it's it's pretty amazing. Obviously, the stuff that goes back to Amazon, you know, you're you're Hopefully, getting at least what you paid for it. Usually, it's a couple months later than when you initially bought it and thought this was gonna be profitable. But, obviously, Amazon is great. And then eBay is really the 2nd best in terms of SEO, how many people they have looking on their marketplace. You know, we we really see great capital recovery, whether the, you know, box is blemish or it's a slightly new shoe. Whatever it is, eBay is a a great marketplace.

Awesome. And are you guys, like, creating full eBay listings with, like, really nice descriptions and stuff like that?

We we don't do the descriptions. Uh-huh.

Okay.

And and, frankly, that's mostly because, for some reason, buyers on eBay can be a little bit meticulous And a little bit detail oriented. And so, you know, the listings are not bare bones. I wouldn't say it has everything that that a A buyer would need in order to make a buying decision, but, you know, we we try to not include 10 different model numbers. So the, you know, know, person buys it and says, hey. This isn't exactly you know? We we try to avoid that. Here are the pictures. Here's what it is. Here's the color.

Free shipping. No.

Nice. And and I know that this you really already I everyone should already know, but, you guys store it and ship it to the eBay customer when they buy as well, so there's nothing to do on my end.

Exactly. Really, the only part of the deal that we can't access through user permissions is buyer messages.

some reason, Ebay just doesn't have that in their software yet. But aside from that, there's really nothing that that that a a client needs to be involved We handle all the storage. We handle the shipping. You know, we ship Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so there's no way that we can ever miss an order. The the lowest handling time is 2 business days. So from a client's perspective, it's it's completely outsourced other than, you know, checking your eBay messages once a week.

Okay. Yeah. That's that's awesome. So we've got 1 question, and then, and I've got I've got a few more of my own as well. So, One person's asking, they're Canadian, but they also sell on Amazon .com. Do they just need to create removal orders and send those items to you for inspection so you can make a decision On the next step?

Yeah. So any any removal orders, any automatic, you know, there there's a bunch of places you would need to change. Amazon, for some reason, makes it really hard. It was about 5 different places. But yeah. So, you know, it it goes to us, and and, again, a client can have As much or as little input and where those things is got are going as as they want it. It's it's not that it's not that, you know, our clients don't have any input. It's It's just, you know, I'm gonna enter in 15 brands that I can't sell on Amazon and then just not worry about it.

And I would imagine Your custom software probably has, like, a customer portal so that they can see all that stuff.

Yep. Yeah. And they they can make support tickets and and do the whole 9 yards.

Perfect. Yeah. That's that's awesome. I know that this is something that I've always struggled with in my own business because Yeah. I just I have so many other irons in the fire that Hold on. You get something back and heck. I've got I have so many beauty products that My wife has given away 2 girlfriends and family that has come to stay, because I just never get to it. Yeah.

So, yeah, it's It's be a massive time saver. Of course, what people are gonna wanna know is what's this gonna cost me, you know, because we're already we're already worried about the thinning margins due to having to get inventory back, etcetera. And so what's what's it gonna cost? And then I've got a follow-up to that as well.

Awesome. Yeah. So I you know, with the with the pricing, We are meticulous in how we price because we want this service to be a net positive for our clients. We want people to come out on top. If that weren't the case, we'd be doing something wrong. So our pricing is 29.99 a month. That's a flat fee that covers access access to our software, covers, you know, just having a US based return address, all that good stuff. And then If something goes back to Amazon, it's $2 per unit.

If something goes to eBay, that's listing, fulfillment, storage, all 9 yards, $4 a unit.

That's that's more that's yeah. That seems more than fair. Yeah. So and that's So on the $2 per unit let's talk Amazon for a moment. On the $2 per unit, that is if it goes back to Amazon. What if you are filing for reimbursements? How does that portion work?

Right. So we take a a commission on those reimbursements.

Okay?

And that would be, you know, invoice at the end of the month. So and, again, that's happening through our client's account.

Perfect. Do you charge the $2 per unit on top of the commission for the reimbursements.

We would. Mhmm.

Okay. Perfect. I just so I just wanna I wanna make sure it's clear because

Love it. Yeah. Absolutely.

And, and then what kind of what kind of results are you seeing? Like, what kind of capital preservation? What kind of, or, I guess, capital preservation is not really the best word for it. But, what kind of capital recapture are you seeing for for your clients?

Yeah. And so I would say it varies a a tiny bit in what specifically you're selling. I'll give you a good example. If someone is selling 100% grocery Mhmm. Might not be ideal. In terms of capital recovery, that's gonna be On the lower tier of of our clients, but especially for things like beauty, for things like shoes. I mean, we're at at least, I I can't give you an exact number, but there's there's no way we're under 60 or 70% of what it's selling for on Amazon.

And so that's great. And then we've also seen you know, specifically, people will send us 5 Home Depot boxes, you know, the large ones Full of stuff that they've accumulated at their prep center or at their home. Mhmm. And a lot of times, these are New eBay accounts as well. I I think that's probably a common question that's gonna come up for people listening to this is, I don't have an eBay account. Is this Is that okay? Can I still use your service? The answer is absolutely. You know, there's a specific person I'm thinking of Who we both know that, sent us a a whole bunch of Home Depot boxes, and we're at about 4 or 5 grand in sales per month on eBay. So

Oh, that's awesome.

Yeah. So in terms of capital recovery, I mean, frankly, I had been So impressed by eBay. I've I've never when I think of buying something, eBay is not the 1st place I go. In fact

Me neither.

I don't think I had ever bought something on eBay. But but, again, I've I've been really surprised about how successful we've been on on eBay.

That's great. Do you have any, this is just for out of my own curiosity. But based on the number of listings that you create, do you have any, statistics on what your sell through rate is?

You know, I don't know. I would guess very high. You know, we can see when a listing has been ended. Like, you could set, you know, this is only gonna renew 3 times. So I I frankly, I haven't seen a lot. And so and I guess on that, that's a that's a good question to answer. You know, what happens if something doesn't sell? So We we have a 3rd we have a 90 day shop clock in terms of of a buy now. So on eBay, you have 2 options to sell something.

It can either be buy now or as an option. And so we give our clients 90 days to sell something by now. Meaning, you know, we're gonna price this at $30, and hopefully, someone buys If after that 90 days, it hasn't sold by now, it turns to an auction, and the buyer pays shipping, and it will will get shipped for Whatever it sells for. You know, that could be this is a small item. It's gonna ship 1st class, so buyer pays $5 in shipping and then bids a dollar, and we'll ship it for that or And at that point, if it doesn't sell, we would either donate it if it's appropriate or dispose of it. Yeah. But, frankly, I mean, that's I I can think of 20 products thus far that we've had to do that with.

That's that's really solid. I mean, I don't know the I don't know the volume that you guys are doing, but that I think that's pretty solid. And it's also good for people to know because, I mean, you guys obviously You're going to be limited by how much space you have just like

Right.

On Amazon fulfillment center. So it's only fair that you do put a shot clock on it. I think that's That's great.

Yeah. Well and and I think too, you know, the items that we're getting are are proven in a way. You know, they've been sold on Amazon before. Someone's not buying something if it doesn't have traction on Amazon. And Right. Yeah. I'm I'm sure in your experience, you know, the sales rate can be pretty high, but if you price it aggressively enough, it's probably So so Yeah. Yeah.

All the things that we're we're we're getting are, you know, items that our clients have said, I have I I really think this is gonna sell on Amazon. So as it translates to eBay, when things are priced aggressively enough, it's it's probably gonna sell.

Awesome. And you don't do any other marketplaces. Right? No no let go or offer up or Craigslist or anything like that. Just eBay.

You know, well, sir, we handle returns for any of those marketplaces because it's it's the same. You know, if you're a Walmart seller, it it's really the same thing. We have had specific circumstances where, you know, people have removed 8 fridges, and we have made some face for marketplace sales, but that's only in rare occasions. So so now we we've done a little bit of Mercari, but, really, with the thing that's so great about eBay is, number 1, the SEO reaches a lot of people, Text with Google, all that, but, also, you can you can do quantity. And, additionally, you can set user permissions. Yeah. There there are a lot of marketplaces that that just aren't there yet. Mercari is a good example.

Yeah. You

know, We we just couldn't manage a 150 different Mercari accounts. It just it just wouldn't work.

Yeah. Absolutely. And sorry. You said you said someone was selling refrigerators on Amazon? That's that's crazy.

I mean, we've got some some wild we've gotten bathtubs. Yeah. We we've got some great stuff.

That's that's insane. I I have thought about selling things like bookcases, and I know some people who sold mattresses before, But I don't I I don't I don't want my prep center to hate me, so I've I've never traveled down that, that path.

Yeah. I have not either.

Yeah. So, any any other questions that you guys get quite frequently that maybe I'm not even thinking of?

Questions that we get quite frequently. You know, I think there's usually a lot of con confusion in terms of well, number 1, the biggest thing is how to how to change your return or removal address. Don't know if you have any experience with that, but there's just about 5 different places that you need to do that. So we have a a detailed video of how to do it, also how to give us permissions, All that good stuff. And then I think sometimes people are a little bit unclear about specifically what kind of reimbursements we're talking about. You know, I think Sometimes people would just associate it with a, a software like Sifted or coming up short on other ones, but but that will, You know, scan your your inventory and get you reimbursements for lost warehouse items or missing shipment items. That's not what we do. And so that'll be a common question is, can I use your software? Can I use your reimbursement service in addition to my Software that's already handling my reimbursements? Absolutely.

100%. Those those are connected. So that's a common question. And and, you know, we like to do a, you know, 10 minute phone call when someone reaches out just to kinda explain any question that someone might have.

Okay. That it's a great segue because I was gonna ask what is the onboarding process look like? So You usually pick up the phone and and chat with somebody just to make sure both sides are are familiar with how the service works?

We like to. We like to. You know, if someone doesn't wanna get on the phone, that's totally fine. But, so normally, people will fill out a contact form on our website, And that will give us their email, all of that, and they will get a link to set up a time on Calendly. And From there, yeah, just 15 minutes to get to know one another and answer any questions that come up, give another description of our service, Kinda things to expect, all of that. And then yeah. I mean, we send them to our portal, and they sign some terms and get to see all of our onboarding Onboarding info, permissions, changing return removal, all that. And then that gets them into their software, and They can see the 1st day something arrives and then from their business as usual.

Awesome. And You mentioned something a little earlier I should have pulled out, but, you said that you've got 1 client who who we both know who sent you, like, Home Depot boxes worth of stuff. So if someone becomes a client, it doesn't have to just be the items that, they've got at Amazon. I could go in and send you my death pile as well. Right?

Yeah. Absolutely, Conan. And in fact, other than that, I mean, we've just, yeah, just the other day, we had someone walk up to our warehouse and and say, hey. You know, I have a garage full of Medical equipment that, you know, we got removed as a distributor when we're selling this. It's $30,000 worth of medical equipment, and Said, sure. We'll sell it for you on eBay. I mean, there's there's really no difference, and so, yeah, if if you have, you know, inventory that's accumulated at your prep center, at Your home, that family member's home, whatever it is, we'll absolutely take it. You know, put it in a Home Depot box, ship it our way.

Can't guarantee that it's gonna get done in a day, but but that's absolutely something that we handle.

Awesome. And do you offer any, Do you have any, like, discounted shipping rates that you've negotiated with UPS or FedEx or anything or just need to use ShipStation?

Exactly. That that's what I was gonna say.

No.

We don't get any special rates, you know, through UPS, and and we we actually hear from from a lot of our clients A level of shock as to how much it it cost in comparison to, Amazon's partner carrier. I I don't think I ever realized how cheap that was until Trying to ship some heavy stuff stuff through UPS?

Absolutely. Yeah. We are we are absolutely spoiled as Amazon sellers.

I mean, it's it's unbelievable. I think the other day, we shipped £230 worth of stuff in 24 different boxes, and it cost $220, about 88 or $9 a box, and I was just sitting there. I mean, it's ridiculous. Amazon is is a giant and very cheap.

Yeah. Absolutely. Last thing, and I'll I'll let you get back to, to handling your own clients. But, little bit of a special deal if People use the the link below. Right? Can you explain, what they'll get for, for using my link?

Absolutely. Yeah. So For the clear the shelf community, we wanna do we wanna waive that 29.99 for your 1st month. It's a a a great way to kinda just get to know our service, Get a feel for it, and, yeah, just completely waive that 29.99 for anyone coming from Clear the Shell.

Perfect. Awesome. Thanks so much, man. I appreciate hanging out with me. I I really do think this I think you guys offer 1, it's it's unique. There's not really a lot of, I don't think there's a lot of competition for what you're doing. And it's something that every seller has the best intentions when it comes to gated products, returns, and things like that. You know? Yeah.

We're gonna we're gonna create that eBay listing. We're gonna get it sold. But the thing is is we don't, and it Sits in a pile and, oh, well, we'll get to it, you know, whenever, and that time just never comes. And so it it hurts the bottom line. It it's not great to look at. It doesn't make you feel good when you're looking at that pile in the corner. And so I I think you guys are, you guys are off on a great service here. So, if if anybody wants to sign up, you get your 1st month for free.

Of course, it would not, negate the the fees for listing on eBay or shipping it back into Amazon, but you get the membership for free for the 1st month to give them a shot. You can use The the link right below the video, it's axiomprepcenter.comforward/cleartheshelf. And, I'm not a client yet, but I probably will be. But I've only heard good things, and I reached out to a few people who are are using them and, have have heard wonderful things. So, Will, I appreciate you taking the time and and kind of explaining how all this works for me, man.

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