To be sure Santa puts coal in my stocking, here are five small rules to break that make money and save time.
The best rewards will always come to those work smarter and not harder. If you’re not questioning and constantly seeking loopholes, you’re in trouble.
So here they are: Five small rules I break that save me tons of time and make me significant money.
Ignoring most “No scanning” rules.
You’ll see these at many book sales, and many other places with a ruthless bookselling community – Places that boldly declare that no scanning or other bookselling implements are allowed.
My decision to ignore these rules most of the time is based on numerous conversations I’ve had with various “people in charge” wherever I see these. I don’t reveal my hand as an
I’ve only gotten three types of answers:
Amazonsellers take all the good stuff”. Amazonsellers represent a threat to their ego (using superior tools and business sense to turn their 50 cent book into a $10 book). Amazonsellers make a mess / are rude / hoard and then abandon books / etc.
The third one is 100% legitimate. I’ve seen absolutely abhorrent behavior from
That’s not me. So breaking this one doesn’t violate the spirit of the rule, just the letter.
The second one is too silly to legitimize with a response.
And the first bothers me. A lot. Because you rarely see these rules in a for-profit setting. You see these rules in places that either serve the public and need the money, or serve a select group who believe volunteers are maximizing the return on their their donations, and that the money raised will then be put to good use.
Take, for example, a public library. Friends of the Library chapters are generally run by retirees who, despite their volunteer efforts, may or may not have an interest in furthering the library’s mission. Often, its a simple way to kill time during retirement. They simply have no skin in the game.
And while the library board (and public) trusts them to work in the interests of the library, they’re willing to forfeit profit that could go to the library by enacting frivolous rules. Among them: prohibiting people from buying books, and generating revenue for the library.
And that’s why I ignore (most) “no scanning” rules. I keep it very covert, and fly way under the radar.
Looking over both shoulders & removing any price sticker that covers a barcode
I don’t think sources do this deliberately to stymie
Among these places is what has been one of my top sources for several years running. I can’t even begin to quantify what impact it would have on my revenue if I didn’t militantly drag my fingernail across every price sticker at this source.
Is this against the rules? I’m sure this minor property damage would be frowned upon were I ever caught (which I never have been). I do my best to leave the integrity of the price sticker intact (not preventing it’s ability to be read by a cashier), so I consider this victimless.
And in any case, it directly translates into more sales for the particular source: The more stickers I scratch off, the more I buy. Win-win.
Added bonus: Because most
(Sometimes) not weighing my FBA boxes before shipping
This is a small rule I bend primarily when I’m doing FBA sourcing while traveling. Nobody really checks FBA box weight, so when I’m anywhere that my scale is not, I take a wild guess.
UPS always gets what they’re owed from
Shipping all my rejected and stranded FBA inventory right back to
Another small one that usually isn’t against the rules. Just sometimes.
Items become “stranded” in your Fulfillment by
Whatever the case,
I place a removal order, have the stranded inventory shipped back to me, and 95% of the time I ship it right back in.
When inventory is marked as damaged, unless the damage is severe there is a 99% chance the FBA warehouse worker who receives it the second time won’t have the same assessment as the first.
One example: I shipped in several dozen bundles of coffee bags. A warehouse worker was apparently offended at how worn the bags were (they were obviously unopened, but clearly had been in storage for awhile, and I mentioned this wear clearly in the item description). The entire lot was declared unfit to be sold.
When I got them back, I relisted them and sent them right back in. And they’ve all since sold. With zero customer complaints, of course.
Listing restricted DVDs in other categories
But there’s a loophole: You do find the errant product page for a DVD outside of “Movies & TV.” You’ll see this particularly in the Sports category, where a lot of fitness and other DVDs have product pages.
When I find one of these, I don’t hesitate to list my “restricted” DVDs in these other categories, where they are outside of the reach of DVD restrictions.