Before I get into the strategies here, please understand that I'm not trying to brag with this post. There are many people who sell exponentially more than this. The goal here is to share a few of the simple strategies I know work for me and that I'm positive can work for you. If you want to make more money selling on Amazon with online arbitrage, read on...
Let’s dig into the details.
My name is Chris Grant. Besides being a dad and a husband I also try to be as helpful as I’m able to be in the Amazon seller community.
I help facilitate the FBA Today Facebook group for Amazon sellers, I have a blog at ClearTheShelf.com, created revROI, co-created IP Alert, and am one of the co-founders of this very site and accompanying OA Challenge.
This is also not my first rodeo. I’ve been around the Amazon block 9, maybe 11 times now. I’ve lost count.
Before I share the strategies that were used to sell $143,092.45 of one product line it is only fair that I show my work.
I took the sales report from Amazon and lined everything up for you to see along with totals at the bottom.
I did have to blur the ASINs and the titles as some of these products are still profitable to sell.
This product line was sold from October 2020 through December 2020 but this was not a single line of trending toys or anything that might be considered a hot product during the holiday season.
As a matter of fact, I have continued to sell this brand of products up until now.
Full disclosure: The profits have dipped as more sellers have come onto the listings. This is the nature of running an Amazon business. You find opportunities, ride them as long as you can and when they stop being profitable, we move to new opportunities. It's a predictable cycle that works, but it requires adaptation.
Strategy #1 Getting Clever to Find Deals
I’ll be frank. I don’t recall how I came to know about this product.
It may have been shared by a friend (more on that later), it may have been something I happened to find at a local store while picking up some other items, or it was found using Tactical Arbitrage. Particularly the product search function.
I’ll dive into each of these strategies briefly.
Strategy #1a Referral from a Friend
Perhaps it doesn’t make sense that a strategy would be a referral to this product from a friend. One of the things that I have noticed in the game of reselling is many people think that you need to keep your business and the products you sell under wraps.
Like you are some clandestine agent buying secret products online or in stores to make a profit on.
Once you realize that the pie is pretty big and you are willing to trade back and forth with a few people you will see the speed at which your business grows much quicker than if you decide to cloister yourself from the public.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I want you to go out and share your profitable products with the almost 50,000 people who are in a group like FBA Today. But, if you take the time to be helpful, answer questions, and just offer value in general you will end up finding “your people”. You can then have a small group where you can be much more open about your business, trade ideas, and even share products that may be profitable.
Strategy #1b Serendipity While Shopping
Always have your head on a swivel.
Whenever I have to go to the pharmacy or anytime my wife cons talks me into going to Costco or Ikea with her I'm always on the lookout for deals. You can find profitable products even in some unlikely places.
While we may be out casually browsing or buying another 320 pack of toilet paper, I'll also be scanning or manually searching for products on the seller app or in the buyers app. I'll scan things that I find intriguing, are on a special sale, or my gut says may be a good flip on Amazon.
This isn't the most efficient method of finding new products to sell. Every now and again though you knock one out of the park, over the wall, and into the parking lot.
The product line I sold is one of those products and if I did find this while I was out and about it was one of those finds that will keep you coming back to the plate looking to hit the long ball again.
Strategy #1c Product Sourcing with Software
This final sub-strategy is all about automation. Tactical Arbitrage is one of the most powerful tools you can use in your Amazon business. The particular product line this post is about could have easily been found using a product search in Tactical Arbitrage.
It is sold at several places that have both online presence only and some places that have physical locations as well.
If you were running Tactical Arbitrage product searches regularly AND browsing the results in the way that we teach during The OA Challenge this would have been a very easy product to find.
Strategy #2 Go Deeper
This second strategy is all about finding more of a profitable product. When you do hit a homer I’m all about putting my foot on the accelerator until you run out of gas.
One of the issues that can arise when you do arbitrage (or any form of selling on Amazon) is that you can run into supply issues.
If you are doing retail arbitrage, your local market may run out of stock. Unless you're willing and have the ability to take a road trip you may be at the mercy of the store manager and their distribution channels.
Online arbitrage makes this a little easier. You can use Tactical Arbitrage to run what is called a reverse search on any ASIN or ASINs on Amazon and the software will go out and find suppliers you may have never even thought of to source your winning product at.
This method might sound foreign and confusing if you're not familiar with Tactical Arbitrage. Don’t worry, if you take The OA Challenge we cover this as well.
I would also suggest using the most powerful search engine in the world. Google. If you simply search for the name of a product you will likely find multiple places you can source a product you’re looking for. There will be Google Shopping results but also pages scattered with both retail sites and articles about products you may be looking for.
Spend some time saddled up to the keyboard and manually finding those sources. You may also find yourself a new "honey-hole" in the process.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that once you find some alternative sources for any product you may be looking to flip. Make sure you take a few minutes and find discount codes, cash back sites, and discount gift cards. Leverage those into higher profits and better margins.
Once these methods are exhausted it’s time to call in the reinforcements.
After I had purchased all I could locally and online I leveraged my network again and reached out to another Amazon seller and friend of mine in another state. We came to an agreement for me to pay for the product and they handled buying out all of the locations in their local market. Once the item sold we split the profit on the units they picked up 50/50 (your agreement may vary but I prefer to err on the side of being very fair).
This requires some trust, of course, but it can and did pay off handsomely for both of us. My only regret is that I did not reach out to a few other people to see if I could have replicated this method across more states.Here you can see how we kept track of what they purchased and what I needed to pay them to reimburse those purchases.
Strategy #3 Build a Moat
This final strategy is about building a moat around the product or products you are selling.
In the arbitrage game the easier the product is to find both on Amazon and in retail stores or online shops the more likely the chance is that the price may come down.
This is just a simple fact of the inverse relationship between supply and demand curves. As the supply increases and demand stays the same the price will come down. You can clearly see this on Keepa charts across the whole of Amazon.
Now, there are ways to combat this. One of the easiest ways is to go look for listings on Amazon in multipacks or bundles. That is one of the first things I did when I came upon the product I was selling.
Here is an example of variations you can find.
Note: These are not the product I was selling, just an example. While the below is not a perfect example you can see that the number of competitors is far lower on the multi-pack listing while the per unit sale price is also higher. Even though it may not sell as well, the sole FBA seller is dominating the buy box, getting most or all of the sales and selling them for more per unit than the other sellers scrapping to get their time in the buy box on a much better ranked product.
There were many variations to choose from in this case. Most of them were multi-packs of various sizes of the product or flavors of the product. Depending on what you may be selling there may be a variety of flavors and sizes, or bundles with other products that may be easy to find for you.
Because these types of listings are just a little harder to find, I mean, as hard as doing some searches on the Amazon platform, you will often see that the number of competitors is not as high.
Most people don’t want to do the work that may be involved and choose the easier route of following the price down to sell their inventory rather than find a way to build a moat around their profits.
That’s not you though. I know that because you’re willing to read a lengthy blog post to learn and then implement some new strategies into your business.
Let me know in the comments how this may help you in your business or what I may have missed.
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