Hi Everyone… Today is Sunday and I’m feeling a bit better. (Been under the weather and out of touch for about 2 weeks) I thought I’d share a thought or two (or many) here about sourcing products to sell on Amazon FBA.
For those of you who have been “at this sourcing thing” for a while… you will know what I mean by “Widget Sourcing”.
What IS “Widget Sourcing”? We will sell anything with a barcode and that will make a profit. This can be sourcing at the Thrifties OR Retail Arbitrage… where you would scan anything (I mean ANYTHING) with a barcode.
A few things that I’ve found at the thrifties – over and over – (diaper pail liners, CD Stomper refill packs, Zip Disks for older computers… etc.) are products I don’t even need to scan any more. I just pick them up and know they will sell for a very nice ROI.
I’ve also had products that I’ve scanned (a product I know nothing about) and stood “dumb-struck” in the aisle when I see the profit potential.
You may also be sourcing Retail Arbitrage… where you go into the clearance or food aisle in a major Big Box Store and just start scanning everything… loading your cart(s) up with profitable products.
This is Widget Sourcing. Scanning what you “see”. Scanning what you can hold in your hand. Scanning what is available at the Big Box Stores.
Have you gone into a “NOT Big Box Store”? Small mom&pop stores, farm implement store, local craft or pet stores… etc? What have you found that is NOT available on Amazon?
What products are available for customers to buy on Amazon?
- Have you ever scanned a product and it’s NOT available on Amazon?
- Does this product have a product page but it’s “currently unavailable?
- Does the product even have a page on Amazon?
- Have you sold a product that you wish you could find more of?
- Do you just scan what you can get your hands on in the stores? What about all the “stuff” that isn’t on Amazon. (I know you think that “everything” is on Amazon-right?)
Okay… so you’ve been widget sourcing for a while… and you know you have found products that are always good sellers (those things you just pick up without scanning).
You have also bought/sold products that were just “Wow!” Who knew someone would pay so much for “that”?
You might have also become quite the expert at sourcing via Retail Arbitrage from the Big Box Stores.
Now… What Should You Do With That Information?
Should you continue on widget sourcing OR should you try “Deep Sourcing”? This is a “Beyond Thrifting” idea!
Are you sourcing for Sea Glass laying on the beach or have you trained to be a Deep Sea Diver and Going For The Lost Treasure?
Are you sourcing (as most of us “thrifters” do) the surface and not going deep? Where are you headed with your business? Have you found products at the thrifties that you always “know” will sell well/fast for nice big profits? (Those products that you see sitting on a shelf that you don’t even need to scan to know they are a GREAT buy).
What have you done with that information?
Because I use a spreadsheet to keep track of everything I sell on Amazon FBA… I am starting to note a bunch of products that would be “GREAT” to sell over and over again (if I could just find them).
Because I’ve been selling on Amazon long enough – they continue to send me emails of “popular out-of-stock) products that they wish I would “restock”… LOL. (If I could just find them again).
Because I don’t have my head in the sand and am always reading/listening to what successful sellers do in their business – I know that I should go DEEP into a “niche/category” on Amazon. AND/OR That I should be trying to find products that I can source over and over to fill Amazon’s “Out-Of-Stock” requests.
OR… should I?
- Should I continue to source at Thrift Stores (for the Great Products with High Profit Potential)? SAFEEST
- Should I continue to source in the consumable categories where I’ve found products that sell fast (over and over) and have decent profits? Fairly SAFE
- Should I Go Deep – Knowing that this is one way to make it “Big” (Consistent Sales With Enough Profit To Make It Worth The Effort)? Not So SAFE
Deep Sourcing is a Game Changer… and it could put you completely out of the Game if you don’t know what you are doing. If you are RISK adverse… Going Deep may not be the right path for you.
I have been down many paths of sourcing… some GREAT and some not so great... Now that I’ve been “At This” (selling on Amazon FBA) for about 2 years I’ve learned that I am not Risk Adverse (and probably should have been at times).
I’ve also learned that I need to “step it up” a bit. I am feeling the NEED to Grow. I do NOT feel that I am following the heard (the next big idea). NOW IS the Right Time for me to jump to the next level.
This may not be something you are ready for – YET. Just knowing that you CAN– at some time – grow your business to the point that you KNOW you need to change things up to Grow is HUGE. 😎
What? Not Thrifting?
No way… I’ll always THRIFT! The return on time/money is just tooooo good to leave. I can see (because I know my numbers) that I have gotten really good at it… and I have a profitable – easy to run – business. Like all thrifters – I love the “thrill of the hunt” and scoring BIG.
What Does Deep Sourcing For Me?
You have heard the saying “Go Big or Go Home” – Right? Or for those of you that love “Big Dog” Products – “If You Can’t Run With The Big Dogs Stay On The Porch!”
Go BIG! I’m ready to Go BIG (ish). I am NOT ready to jump in with both feet and sink-or-swim. (I am willing to take a leap, but I’m not such a dumb-blond that I don’t know my limitations).
I am ready to get my feet wet with Wholesale Sourcing!
Beth and I both listened in on Kat Simpson’s podcast last Monday with Lisa Suttora regarding buying and selling Wholesale Products on Amazon FBA. We had a chat a few days later about selling wholesale and a few key points were repeated over and over:
1. Beth and I have always said that THRIFTING was our way to grow the capital to invest in “other sourcing”.
2. It’s very hard to look at the return we get from Thrifted products and correlate those GREAT returns with other ways to source/sell on Amazon.
4. Widget Sourcing at the Big Box Stores (Retail Arbitrage) is something I currently do… but it’s annoying as all get out.
I’ve been thinking about sourcing Wholesale Products for over a year... and learning/watching/listening/reading everything I could before I made the leap. This was NOT a path I would take easily nor would I take without much more education.
Sometimes – a different path is not really what we are doing to grow our business… it’s just a wider path in the same direction.
Thrifting is a great low-stress business! Once you learn the “ropes” it’s a bit like riding a bike. Scan (looking for Great Products with High Profit Potential), Process, Ship… Repeat. Why would I want to add anything to my business that will cause me a bit (or a lot) of stress?
I’m Ready For It! It’s Time! I’ve Been Waiting For IT!
Beth and I have worked very hard to “Improve Our Business!” We have learned to make Better Buying Decisions. We have learned that we need to “Know Our Numbers“. We have learned that Retail Arbitrage is OKAY – but it does not really FIT our business.
Both of us have seen our business Improve and Grow over the last year. We are both so much BETTER at Buying now… it’s amazing what a difference a year can make.
1. We make the Best Buying Choices now. We have taken the emotion out of the equation and learned to use the tools (like Profit Bandit) that make the choices much easier.
2. We have learned that by not knowing what our “real numbers” were… hurt our business. Numbers! Numbers! Numbers! Know what you are doing that IS profitable and what is NOT profitable at all times. Take Action on the knowledge.
3. We both know that we can NOT work hundreds of hours a month on our business. We just don’t have that kind of time!
4. We knew we needed to build (and keep building) our inventory and increase profitable sales – so that we would have a “funds” before we even thought about investing in wholesale products.
5. We are learning more about short tail vs. long tail buying/selling.
You will see Beth and I talking more and more about Wholesale Sourcing (Deep Sourcing). Why? Because we want you to watch us grow our business (in very small increments) and we hope this will help in some small way for you to start thinking about growing your own business.
Wishing You Profitable Sourcing!
P.S. Do you have questions about selling on Amazon FBA? We invite you to ask them in our Free Facebook Group HERE. (Not a member yet? Just click the “Join” button on that page and we’ll add you ASAP).
And, of course, you are welcome to post comments and questions below too!