Online arbitrage is a selling method that can be used across a number of platforms, but the most popular would be eBay and Amazon FBA/FBM. Online arbitrage, for the uninitiated, is where you source deals for a reduced price and then sell them for closer to the normal price. Today we are going to look at my tips for sourcing products for Amazon FBA and online arbitrage. I hope you enjoy them. They can really help expedite your journey to success and make it a lot easier!
Manual sourcing of goods
This is traditionally how most of us start out. It is the easiest to get started with and importantly the cheapest. Manual sourcing of products is a good way to get started. One of the main benefits of manually sourcing your products to sell on Amazon FBA or eBay is that you have the freedom to wander down to corners of the internet that automated sourcing software might not find.
It can take a bit of effort, but it is rewarding when you find them. That said, you can still pick up bargains on your high street retailers that aren’t priced the same on Amazon. For example, I quite like to go to the TK Max websites or shops and see what I can pick it up because they come with good brand names.
Once you’ve found a product, you copy and paste it into notepad or your tracker if you have one and then head on over to Amazon enter the product details into the search and compare. Make sure that you are searching for the most popular selling result delve into the product to check the lowest priced offer to reduce the risk.
Amazon will consolidate listing for the same product as strictly it’s against the Terms of Service to have multiple listings for the same product.
How To determine your profit margin on Amazon
Now that you’ve found some products you need to analyse all the other factors to ensure you aren’t going to lose money on this. This an absolute must-read for all the tips for sourcing products for Amazon FBA. There are some fantastic pieces of software out there that can help with this, but if you are doing this manually then here is a list of the basics you should be checking:
- Hazardous Material
- Number of Sales/Does it Sell
- Is it a seasonal product?
- Are you selling at the right time?
- How much other competition is there?
- How much stock do your competitors have?
- What are your Amazon fees? Monthly, packaging, shipping etc.
- What impact does tax have for you?
- Is the price stable
- Is Amazon on the listing – If they are, are they sharing the buy box
Once you have analysed the deal and determined it to be successful then you need to decide how much of the product you should buy. If you have a tool like Jungle Scout or BuyBotPro then you can check the SPQ (Suggested Purchase Quantity) but if you don’t you need to work out how many sellers/how much stock/how quickly it sells etc. vs your budget. I would be cautious, to begin with, by buying a small quantity to test the market and see your returns then scale up. Start small, scale fast.
To help you get an appreciation for different products consider going wide and shallow rather than deep and narrow or all in on a product. Market testing is key to finding the right products to sell. Let’s be clear, you won’t hit a winner every single time and it may take a few products to even find one. This isn’t a hands-on get rich quick scheme…they don’t exist!
Now purchase the goods, package them up and get them shipped to Amazon for sorting and stocking. Monitor your analytics and if that worked scale fast. Buy more, in line with your budget. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself because you sold a unit! This will involve a lot of copy and paste work. You could look to hire a virtual assistant to assist with this.
Bundling Products for Amazon
This approach is a gem in our tips for sourcing products for Amazon FBA. With individual products you are up against the competition, however, bundling can help with that. First things first a bundle and a multipack are two different things. A multipack is selling the same item in multiples.
A bundle is a set of different products, likely related, bundled together to create a new product offering. An example would be a hair grooming kit that contains a comb, hair products, and a mirror. You can keep up to date with Amazon’s own Product Bundling Policy in this link.
Bundles are a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Let’s keep going with the hair grooming kit example. Perhaps you’ve found some excellent hairbrush’s but when you did your analysis you realised there is a lot of competition in this area. Now you can’t create a new listing for just the hairbrush, however by creating the luxurious brand x grooming kit so can create a brand-new listing that set you apart from the crowd.
How to make a GREAT Amazon Bundle
This is so easy you won’t believe it. Are you having a bit of a mental block on creating bundles? Amazon, and pretty much every online retail (and high street to a degree!) store, are here to help you. When you buy something on Amazon and you scroll down to the reviews you pass the other recommended products and the “Frequently Bought Together” area. This is the perfect way to build your bundles! You can do this on other sites too with the other people bought information. I love this tip for sourcing products for Amazon FBA.
How else can we make money sourcing products?
Let’s talk about how you can make some extra cash. Whilst you are out sourcing goods from big companies and small, uncovering all those great deals there is another way you can increase your profits. To make the most out of online arbitrage make sure you are also utilising cashback websites as well as these can really help with making a products a valid sell. I’m a big fan of Quidco and TopCashBack. Ebates, now owned by Rakuten, is also great.
When I’m sourcing deals I use a tool called OnlineArbitrageDeals.com which is a portal that does all the manual lifting and profitability checks. A cool feature is it checks a number of cashback sites as well so you can instantly hook up that extra saving and profit.
So, I admit this is not a sourcing method, but a complementary approach so well worth the addition to our tips for sourcing products for Amazon FBA.
What about Wholesale sourcing?
Wholesale has been the basis for the retail industry forever. It can been an incredibly profitable way to source goods. The key tip to making wholesale work for you is to build a relationship with the dealer and if you can try to keep it local. You will be tempted to run out there and start hitting up AliExpress, but the experience can be mixed.
Often wholesale deals on the internet are not that good and won’t make the grade for selling on Amazon. Do not think you can cheap customers. They will make it known straight away if the quality is not up to scratch.
A great way to start building those connections is to attend trade shows and meet traders and build those connections. Trade shows are full of everyone from wholesalers to manufacturers to customers! You will learn an awful lot from just attending.
Secret Sourcing HACK
This sourcing tip is a little different, it will take practice, but it will be worth it! The browswer extension, Keepa, has been the best friend to Amazon sellers for a long time, but new entrants into the arena don’t now about it! Keepa provides the following:
- Comprehensive price history graphs
- Price Drop & Availability Alerts
- Browser extensions – once installed the Keepa price history graph will be displayed directly on each Amazon product page
- Compare international Amazon prices
- Amazon Locales Support [ .com | .co.uk | .de | .co.jp | .fr | .ca | .it | .es | .in | .com.mx | .com.br | .com.au ]
- Registration Optional
- Wish List Import
- Deals, an overview of recent price drops
The browser extension gives you essential sales data and graphs to understand the marketplace. The software can also find deals and leads on products that can be purchased and sold on Amazon. One of its functions can be found under it’s deals section that shows sudden price drops directly on Amazon. Keeping on top of these allows you to do Amazon flips easily. However, don’t just buy something due to a price drop. You need to ensure some other elements are in place:
- Has there been a long period of price consistency before the sudden drop?
- If Amazon are on the listing after have they gone out of stock in the past especially after a price drop?
- Is there an opportunity to sell the product in one of the European markets?
If you can answer any of these then it’s a candidate for the usual profitability checks. You should use your business account to purchase the goods though as doing this can solicitate a warning or worse from Amazon. Think about how profitable that becomes on special events like Black Friday or Prime Days. You will need the premium version for this, but it’s well worth it at £14/month.
What is Reverse Searching?
Rather than going straight to our source sites where you find your online arbitrage deals then comparing how it fares on Amazon. Reverse searching is where you start your search on Amazon. You find a product that is selling well and you think will be available in your sourcing sites. Then use Google comparisons to see what deals you can get.
I hope you’ve found the tips for sourcing products for Amazon FBA interesting. Leave me a comment below and fee free to pin the image below to Pinterest so others can enjoy it.