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How To

Use the Weekly Deals

May 18, 2019

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Short Term Product Sourcing

There are a number of ways to source product for your store. Speaking in broad terms, you have arbitrage, wholesale, and manufactured (or private label) products. Each one of these types of products has a different time frame involved in adding them into your store.

 

Getting started with Arbitrage can take a lot of time from your day to day activities as it does require an immense amount of research to find the products that are selling low at one location and high at another. Fortunately, Investible’s Weekly Deals can make this task significantly faster and easier, taking the majority of the research work out of the equation for you. If you do not have a subscription to weekly deals, you will need to research retail sites and stores on your own, looking at various sales, discounts, and clearance items to find good deals on products and then compare those prices to online outlets to which you have access to sell products.

One major benefit to arbitrage, in addition to the fact that it is quick and easy to get started in, is that there is low risk. Most arbitrage products will have a limit of how many you can buy at one time, so by its very nature, arbitrage prevents you from putting all of your eggs in one proverbial basket. Because you will be purchasing most of your products from a retail channel, you will also benefit from most retailer’s generous return policies. If you buy a product and it does not work out, you will usually have 30 – 90 days to return it to the retailer for a refund which you can use to purchase a better product.

While an arbitrage-only business model is perfectly sustainable, you will eventually want to add in wholesale and/or private label products into your inventory to round out your business and open up even more lucrative opportunities. However, for the short term, arbitrage is the best way to get started with an online retail store.

Making Your First Purchase

1. What to Look For

Look for products with a minimum of $5 net profit, as shipping is the only cost not factored in to the analysis. It’s often helpful to look for products with a sales rank under 200,000 and a minimum of 2 FBA Sellers.

2. Adding a Product

Prior placing your order on retailer’s website that’s offering the product on sale, ensure that you have proper permissions by adding the product onto your Seller Central account.

After logging into your Seller Central account, click on “Add a Product” under the Inventory drop down menu. (Note: You can also upload products by clicking on “Add Products via Upload”. This method is beneficial for various kinds of products, but if this is your first listing, you may be overwhelmed by the spreadsheets involved.)

On the Add a Product page, you may choose from three methods. First, you can add a product which is already on Amazon. You can do this by searching for the product by name or product ID (ASIN OR UPC).

3. Make Your Purchase

You can now make your purchase with the retailer. You can use handy Chrome extensions to check to see if there are any discounts on shipping. When you’re ready to check out, make sure that the delivery address is set to your home address, as this is where you’ll initially be receiving your products. Once you’re comfortable with this process, feel free to use a Prep or Forwarding Company to receive the products and will prep it and ship the products into an FBA warehouse.

 

What Makes a Good Product?

What differentiates a good product from a bad product?

In the case of online arbitrage, there are several factors that will determine that. While there is quite a lot that goes into product research, which we will cover in further lessons, we want to cover some of the basic criteria here first. Some of these criteria may require specialized tools, but we will also be covering those tools in detail, so not to worry.

#1: Profitability

This one is arguably the most important factor in determining if you want to purchase a product for your online store or not. With arbitrage, everything hinges on getting the product for less than the amount for which you can sell it in a different market. You will want to make sure that the price you plan to sell the product for is viable in the market you wish to sell. For your own store that can be a matter of comparing the price to similar items in your store or comparing the price to the average online price over several markets. For a site like Amazon it is considerably easier; you will just need to look at the current “buy box” price (e.g. the “add to cart” button price).

#2: Sales Volume

This is the second most important factor when deciding if a product is good or bad. You want to know how well this product is selling. There are many online tools to help you determine the sales volume of a product as well as consumer study and review sites to give you an idea of the overall demand of the product. Amazon is probably the easiest marketplace to track this information with tools like Jungle Scout which will estimate the monthly sales for you. The bottom line, however, is if the product is not selling, it will not make you money.

#3: ROI

This is also an important factor as, even if you are making money, you want to make sure your risk to reward ratio is reasonable. If you have to invest (and thereby risk) $100 for a $5 profit, that product is not going to be very practical for your business. While you need a good balance of profitability, sales volume, and ROI, you can generally rule out most products which have an ROI of less than 20%. To determine the percentage of ROI, you will need to follow this formula: ROI = Net Profit / Total Investment * 100.

#4: Unrestricted

Other, Amazon specific questions to ask before buying a product:

  • Am I approved to sell this item?
  • What are my research tools like Jungle Scout and Zally saying? How many per month sales does it show?
  • What is the ROI on Amazon? What ROI are you shooting for?
  • How many Prime and New sellers are on this ASIN?
  • What is the historical price of the product when you use a tool like Keepa?
  • How many units should you buy based on the monthly sales and competition levels?

Restricted Products

Known Brands with Restrictions

Air Hogs
Alex Toys
Bandai
Barbie
Cloud B
Cloudpets
CMON
Colorama
Crayola
Creativity for Kids
Disney ($1000 Fee)
Disney Princess
Educational Insights
Elf on the Shelf
Etch A Sketch
Exploding Kittens LLC
Fingerlings
Fisher Price
Frozen
Furby Connect
Furreal Friends
Green Toys
Gund
Hasbro
Hatchimals
Hexbug
Hot Wheels
K’nex
Kidkraft
Kosmos GyroBo
Leapfrog
Learning Resources
Lego ($1000 Fee)
Lil Woodzeez
Little Tikes
LOL Surprise
Magformers
Manhattan Toy
Marvel
Mattel
Melissa & Doug
Minecraft
My Little Pony
Nerf ($1000 Fee)
Nickelodeon
Ozobot
PJMASKS
Play Doh
Pokemon
Radio Flyer
Ravensburger
Schleich
Seedling
Skip Hop
Sphero
Spiderman
Spin Master Games
Star Wars
Teddy Ruxpin
Tegu
Think Fun
Tomy
Transformers
Tsum Tsum
VTech ($1000 Fee)
Zoomer
 
 
Amco
Avalon Bay
Belkin
Bentology
Big Mouth Mugs
Black & Decker
Bogzon
Breville
Calphalon
Char-Broil
Cuisinart
Cupture
Dewalt ($1000 fee)
Dyson
Farberware
Fred & Friends
Hamilton Beach
Harley-Davidson
Honeywell
Joseph Joseph
Keku
Keurig ($1,000 Fee)
Kilner
KitchenAid
Lasko
Le Creuset
LED Lenser
Lodge

New Metro Design
Norpro
Oxo Good Grips ($1000 Fee)
Palais Glassware
Plow & Hearth
Proctor Silex
Progressive
Pyrex
Qooltek
Richards Homewares
Roommates
Rtic
S’ip by Swell
Simplehuman
Spark Innovators
Stanley
TCP
Tide
Weber
Wilton
Work Sharp
Wusthof
Yankee Candle
Yumco
Adidas
Adidas Originals
Armani Exchange
Brightz, Ltd
Citizen
Diesel
DKNY
Emporio Armani
Fossil
Guess
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Michele
Seiko
Skagen
Columbia
Eagles Nest Outfitters
Hydro Flask
Outdoor Research
RTIC
Stanley
Yeti
Adidas ($1500 fee)
Anne Klein
Birkenstock
Brooks
Champion
Clarks
Converse ($1500 Fee)
Disney
Dockers
Dr. Scholl’s
Nike ($1500 Fee)
Northside
Puma
Reebok
Skechers
Teva
Toms Shoes ($1500 Fee)
Uggs
Vans
Arm & Hammer
Bayer ($1000 fee)
Furminator
Kong
Lasko
PetArmor
Petsafe ($1000 fee)
Sentry Pet Care
Wahl
Adidas
Armani
Bali
Brooks
Burberry
Calvin Klein ($1500 Fee)
Canada Goose
Carhartt
Champion
Chanel
Coach
Dockers
Ferragamo
Fruit of the Loom
Hanes
Harley-Davidson
Harry Potter
Herschel Supply Co.
Icebreaker
Kate Spade ($1500 Fee)
Levi’s
Lucky Brand
Michael Kors ($1500 Fee)
Mountain Hardwear
Nautica
New Balance Shoes
Nike ($1500 Fee)
Nintendo
North Face
Original Penguin
Patagonia
Playtex
Polo Ralph Lauren ($1500 Fee)
Puma
Quicksilver
Ray Ban
Rothco
Speedo
Timberland
Tommy Bahama
Tommy Hilfiger
Tory Burch ($1500 Fee)
True Religion
Uggs
Under Armour ($1000 Fee)
Volcom
Aden & Anais
Baby Einstein
Baby Zen
Boppy
Bright Starts
Delta Children
ERGObaby
Evenflo
Graco
Munchkin ($500 Fee)
Philips AVENT
Prince Lionheart
Safety First
Skip Hop
Summer Infant
The First Years
Blue Diamond Almonds
Green Mountain Coffee
Hamburger Helper
Healthworks
Heinz
Jif
Kind Bars
Lipton
Nabisco
Nature Valley
Nestle
Newman’s Own
Peet’s Coffee
Pepperidge Farm
Pillsbury
Planters Nuts
Quaker
Quest Bars
Ritz Crackers
Smuckers
Snyder’s
Starbucks
1 Body
Ahava
Aidance Skincare
Algenist
Amope
ANSR
Babyliss
Baire Bottles
Balm Cosmetics
Bare Essentials cosmetics
Baxter
Benefiber
Billy Jealousy
Bioderma
Blinc
Bliss
Borghese
Burberry
Burt’s Bees
Butter London
Calvin Klein
Cane + Austin
Cargo
Catrice
Chanel
CHI
Clarins
Clarisonic
Claritin
Comfort Zone
COOLA
Crabtree & Evelyn
Crest ($500 fee)
Cult Cosmetics
DDF
Dermalogica
Dolce & Gabbana
Dr Tobias
Elizabeth Arden
Eminence
Enfamil
Epicuren Discovery
Erno Laszlo
Escada
Essie
Eyeko
Fitbit
Georgio Armani
Gianna Rose
Gillette
Glad
GNC
GrandeLashMD
Greens First Boost
Gucci
Hot Tools
HydroPeptide
Jack Black
Jane Iredale
Japonesque
Jouer
Juice Beauty
Juicy Couture
Julep
Kiehl’s
Korres
L’ Occitane
Lancome
Lorac
LVX
MAC cosmetics
Melaleuca
Mario Badescu
Marvis
Maybelline
MDSolarSciences
Menaji Cosmetics
Michelle Phan
Molton Brown
Mustela
Nature’s Bounty
Nature’s Sunshine
Neutrogena
Nia 24
Nivea
Norelco
Now Foods
NuBrilliance Skin Care
NuFace
Nuxe
Olay
Optimum Nutrition
Oral B
Oribe
Orlane
Ortho Molecular
Oscar Blandi
Pampers
Paraso
Patchology
Perfume samples
Perfume testers
Perricone
Peter Thomas Roth
Phyto
PMD – Personal Microdermabrasion Device
Prevagen
Proactive
Pureology
Reserveage Nutrition
Rodial
Sachajuan
Sara Happ
Sheer Strength Labs
Skinceuticals
Skyn Iceland
Somme Institute
St. Tropez
Standard Process
Starwest Botanicals
Stila
StriVectin
T3
Tarte
The Art of Shaving
The Body Shop
Urban Decay
Vimerson Health
Vincent Longo
Wen by Chaz Dean
Zirh
“Beats” by Dre
Apple
Audio-Technica
Belkin
BodyGuardz
Bose
Canon Cameras
Cobra
Franklin Electronic
Hp ($1000 Fee)
Klipsch
Lg ($1000 Fee)
Lifeproof Phone cases
Logitech
Microsoft ($1000 Fee)
Motorola
Native Union
Neewer
Nikon Cameras
Ninja Blenders
OtterBox
Samsung
Skullcandy
Solio
Sony Cameras
Speck iPad/iPhone
Spigen
T3

Checking for Restrictions

Before you add a new listing, you will want to make sure you’re approved in that category first. Amazon has several categories, brands, and items that are restricted from public sale for various reasons. There are ways to have these restrictions lifted, but you will want to first check if they are present for your account.

One of the easiest ways to check for restrictions is by using a tool called Zally. This tool is an extension for the Chrome browser which will auto-load into an Amazon window. As long as you’re logged into your seller central account while using this tool, it will tell you in the top right corner of the tool’s window whether or not a product is restricted to you or not. You can learn more about this tool in our Zally lesson.

If you do not have Zally, you can see if a product is restricted by copying it’s “ASIN” number or UPC code and searching for it in the Seller Central’s “Add a Product” page. This page can be found by going to the Inventory menu and clicking “Add a Product.” Once you run the search, it will tell you what restrictions, if any, apply.

If you do run into a category or brand restriction, you can click the button that shows up next to the item to learn what the requirements are for lifting the restriction. For a brand restriction it is typically an invoice from a recognized supplier with at least ten of that item on the invoice. Category restrictions often have different requirements but they typically involve providing some kind of documentation regarding your business.

Major name Brand (MOQ)
High
Profitability of Selling Major Name Brand
Low

4. Creating a Shipment

Since this is your first shipment you select Create a new Shipping Plan. If you are adding items to an existing plan then you would select the other button. Hit the button and you will see this next:

Notice that I have filled in the quantities. I would not normally send in a shipment this small, but wanted to keep it simple for this example. (If you look at the ship from address I have blurred out my home address. You will also see my real name is Harry McGrath [Skip is my nickname and pen name])

You can’t see the button in this screenshot but if you scroll down the page there is a button that says Continue. Hit that and go here next:

Notice the drop down button that says Merchant under who preps. There are two selections: Amazon and Merchant. Amazon will prep items for you, but they charge fees for this.

We have not gotten to label our products yet (we do that in the next step), but before you do that you want to prep them. If your product is in a standard retail box and is not fragile, you can just put your labels right on the box covering up the existing UPC code on the box. If your item is fragile or not in a retail box, what we like to do is bubble wrap the item, poly-bag it and seal them with a heat sealer. You can also use a fitted box, but that can get expensive. Here is a photo of an item we send in fairly often.

Now you are almost ready to ship. Put all your items into a box and use newsprint or bubble pack as filler and cushioning. (Note: Amazon does not allow Styrofoam peanuts or shredded paper as filler. If you have a lot of Styrofoam peanuts and want to get rid of them, you can place them in polybags and use for filler, but Amazon just does not want loose peanuts, as they tend to screw up their automated handling equipment.

Next weigh and measure your box and fill in the information in the weight and size fields. Then hit the button that says “Calculate.” After you do that a shipping estimate will appear and you need to check the box that says “I accept shipping charges (Amazon gives you 24 hours to change your mind and void the shipment).

Once you accept the shipping charges the button that says “Print Shipping Labels” will appear. Click that button and it will download a shipping label to your desktop. Print that label out on your computer using Avery number 8465 full sheet labels.

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Resource Directory

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