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Monthly Archives: March 2016

March 4, 2016

Why I wouldn’t be without Roboform Password Manager

If you’ve spent more than a week online you’ll know that most websites ask you to log in in order to obtain the most functionality out them.  It’s a necessary chore when shopping online and it’s mandatory for a lot of other sites, particularly if you manage any of your own.  Years of working online have taught me the vital importance of password management and this why I wouldn’t be without Roboform Password Manager.

Why you need a password manager

Do you have locks on the doors of your house?  Your windows?  Your car?  It’s pretty obvious isn’t it, yet despite this people still leave themselves wide open to theft, vandalism, and the distress and upset that can be caused if someone gains access to your online profiles with malicious intent.

I’m going to assume you’ve got enough gumption to realise:

  • Weak, easily guessed passwords offer no protection
  • Hard, obscure password are a necessity
  • Storing passwords securely is as important as storing your house and car keys securely

Essential functions of a good password manager

Password managers are software products which store your usernames and passwords for all the sites you visit and use.  However, the good ones do much more than than act as an online copy of your scribbled post-it notes. The data needs to be stored in such a way that it cannot easily be seen.  It needs to be kept up to date across all your devices.

Roboform‘s functions include:

  • Storing all the password data in encrypted files.  If anyone steals any of your computers, tablets, or phones they would need to know the master password to get into your password files.
  • Synchronises between devices.  You might have a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet, and a phone.  Roboform can synchronise between all of them so that your list of usernames and passwords are always up to date on each device.
  • Automatically generates passwords.  You’re using a new site which stipulates that your password ‘should contain at least 8 characters, one upper and one lower case character, one special character, and two digits’.  Don’t sit there staring at the screen or scribbling notes.  Use Roboform’s password generation function to create a new password that matches the criteria.
  • Prompts to store new entries.  When you register at a new site and create new login details Roboform spots this and offers to save the details as a new entry in the master file for you.
  • Prompts to update existing entries.  Your stored password has expired.  You have to generate a new one.  Roboform gives you the option to update the existing details.
  • Fill out forms with one click.  Tired of filling out forms with your name, address, date of birth etc?  Do it once and store it as an identity.  The next time you have to register at a site that asks for all these details Roboform will complete the form with one click.
  • Password management on holiday.  Imagine you’re somewhere with no wifi, no phone signal, and your only access to the internet is using a public PC in a internet cafe or hotel lobby.  How do you find all those passwords?  Carry Roboform with you on a USB stick, or log in to your account on the Roboform homepage.

Password Management = Time Management

Imagine you log in to several sites every day.  You’ve followed the best practice of creating unique, obscure passwords for each site and although you’ve stored them securely you have to keep looking them up and typing them out manually.

Now multiply that time consuming chore by the number of times you have to do it each week, month, or year. and then consider how time you would save if only the process was semi automated in the way that Roboform can do it.

I’ve been using Roboform for about six years.  It’s probably one of most useful software tools I’ve ever bought.

Trial Download | License Type Selection

Roboform Password Manager

March 3, 2016

How to make money selling on Amazon

How to make money selling on Amazon

How to make money selling on AmazonAmazon is huge, and it’s still growing.   This is a market place in which everyone, from small independent online sellers working part-time from home, to large corporations trading by the shipload, can make a profit.  Here are a few tips on how to make money selling on Amazon and what tools to use to make the process simpler to learn and more efficient in practice.

Most people assume that nearly all the products sold on it are sourced, stored, and desptached by Amazon, but the fact is that only about 60% of the products you see listed are sold in this way.  The rest is made up by independent retailers who sell on Amazon in all the various countries in which it operates.

Let’s start with some basic terminology:

  • Merchant Fulfilled.  The merchant buys or creates the product, stores it, advertises it on Amazon, and despatches it on receipt of an order.  The advantages of this method includes lower storage and processing fees (paid to Amazon).  The disadvantages are the higher administrative costs.
  • Fulfilled by Amazon.  The merchant ships the products to Amazon who store it and despatches it on receipt of an order.  Your fees to Amazon may be higher but they process all the orders for you and deal with returns.
  • Private Labelling.  Source a product and brand it as your own.

Make money selling on Amazon 9 Step Guide

This graphic provided by the chaps at Junglescout.com explains the process in easy to follow steps.  As you can see, the trick is to find the right product to sell.  That’s where most of the work occurs; research, but the research tool Jungle Scout makes that task a lot easier.
Read through the graphic then check the notes I’ve added underneath.  I’ve tried this, and it does work!
How To Sell Online, Fulfillment By Amazon

My Tips for selling on Amazon

My tips for selling on Amazon refer back to the infographic above.

  1. The devil is in the detail.  Identifying the product isn’t easy and takes effort.  Many people drop out here and give up at the first sign of any effort.  Those who perservere at this stage will find the rest relatively easy.
  2. Note the price point and the size/weight suggestions.  There are several good reasons for these but these are the main ones.  First of all, shoppers tend to impulse buy at that price range.  Any less and there’s too little profit.  Any more and shoppers are more likely to hesitate before committing to a purchase.  Lightweight goods with a smaller footpring are cheaper to ship and can be shipped by air.
  3. Create a shortlist then choose one that shortlist.  Don’t be tempted to over complicate things the first time around.  The whole process is a steep learning curve.  Once you’re familiar with the process then you can add new products.
  4. You’ve found a suitable, lightweight product that you think will sell well at the correct price point.  Now you need to find a supplier.  Again, more research here is needed.  Alibaba.com is your main resource, but be prepared to negotiate on both price and quantity, and to ask for samples before placing an order.  You’ll need to convince the suppliers of your professionalism and that you’re a bone fide merchant (and not someone working from home on a part time basis!).
  5. You’ve placed an order. The supplier has labelled it for you, packed it, shipped it, and it arrives at the Amazon warehouse.  You’ll need to learn how to generate the barcode labels to send to the supplier.  Happily, there are extensive help sections within your Amazon Seller account that explain this in detail.  You can have the goods shipped to yourself as well, of course.  This is what you’ll request when ordering samples.  You can then label them and ship them to Amazon yourself.
  6. When it comes to the selling part make sure your listing is fully complete and rich on detail.  Use high quality images and several of them.  Amazon will flag any weak areas but it’s up to you to make it better than the competition.  Your customers need to find your products from among tens of thousands, so good quality listings with keyword rich descriptions are essential.
  7. Getting reviews is another important step.  Consider your own shopping habits; faced with the choice of three identical products with no reviews, a few reviews, or 100+ reviews which one do you think you’ll choose to buy?  You can request reviews but be very careful about how you go about this task.  Amazon will close your account if they suspect you’re paying people to write positive reviews for your products.  Howevr, you can offer discounts for honest reviews from confirmed purchasers.
  8. Amazon provides it’s own PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising system, very similar to Google Adwords. You can set this up to run automatically at a fixed daily budget and for a specified timespan.  There is a cost of course, but it does generate sales, so do the maths, test it, tweak it, and monitor results.
  9. Once you’ve developed confidence and have proved to yourself that the system works it’s time to scale it up.  Remember all the lesson learned and don’t blow your budget on a bad choice or by ordering too much at the wrong time of year.  Continual monitoring, managing, and research is needed here.

Resources, Training, and Tools for Selling on Amazon

There’s plenty of help available for those who want to try this business model.  I recommend you start with a training course that explains the process in much more detail.  The knowledge given in this course will give you the confidence to try the techniques it describes.

  1. I’ve bought this course myself and found it to be easy to follow with clearly explained steps. Alun Hill’s delivery style and explanations combine to turn complex steps into easy tasks. He seems like a down to earth person who describes the essentials without unnecessary diversions.
    Home Business – Amazon FBA – How To Turn $10 Into $15,737
    Learn Amazon FBA marketing
  2. Jungle Scout.  This is a product research tool that is invaluable for finding products.  It’s also well supported and development of it continues to keep up with improvements and changes to the data that Amazon supplies.