Reselling is an effective, if non-traditional path for manufacturing spend, meeting credit card sign-up minimum spend, and generally generating miles, points, cashback and hopefully profit. This guide is a collection of posts to help you effectively maximize the use of Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service for reselling.
Introduction to Retail Arbitrage
I spend most of my time talking about Online Arbitrage, which is purchasing products online, usually through shopping portals
, then selling them via FBA. Well, there’s yet another option, that is, Retail Arbitrage (RA)! RA is when you happen to be in a store, and see something priced well, and think to yourself, “Hey, this is a great price, wonder what it is on Amazon?” Or more likely: “Hey, I could totally clear the shelves and sell this for a profit!”
Right on, so, yeah, Retail Arbitrage, most simply defined is, buying from a retail outlet, and selling for more than you bought it for. There is excellent opportunity in this arena, but it could really be a pain without the proper tools, and while there are plenty of paid tools out there, Amazon had the good sense to put out the Amazon Seller App for free. It’s really worth being on your mobile device (aka phone) if you do reselling.
Enter: Amazon Seller App!
The Amazon Seller App is in my opinion, a hugely powerful app that belongs on anyone’s phone that plans to do any level of reselling. Here’s the home screen:
Amazon Seller App Home Screen, ignore the dreary numbers, it was taken at like 1am from Australia (I swear!).
As you can see, there are plenty of things that the FBA Seller App will allow you to do. It is not as powerful as Amazon’s Seller Central, but, you still have a fair amount to do. I would argue the greatest value of this app, is the fact that you can search for products in store. You can do it via text, just like you would searching on Amazon.com, or, you could leverage your phone’s camera, and scan barcodes. I still don’t get tired of scanning barcodes, I mean, it’s just so easy! And most of the time, the App finds stuff. Easy!
Walking through the Retail Arbitrage Benefits of the Amazon Seller App
So, you’re wandering through a large store who’s name I won’t mention (because it’s more fun that way), and you see a product on sale. First you think, hmm, this could make sense to sell!
So, as any logical human being, you pull out your phone, fire up the Amazon Seller App, and scan away!
Normally, the scan will result in finding a product, like this:
Now lets say, maybe you chose poorly (cue the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade clip!), Lets say you get this:
Insert Frowny Face
So, what do you do? Using the same example from above, you perhaps will type in the description of the product, like so:
Be sure to select “search” on your keyboard, because if you hit the big yellow button, it’ll just switch to the camera (and expect you to scan a barcode). Don’t worry, I do it a few times a day, at least. But alas, I digress. So here’s what you get:
Now you’re at your best guess. Of course, if I were the one making a guess, I’d skip the first on the list, the ranking is too high, I’d move right to option number 2, and a ranking of 663, it’s totally a winner. Just remember my post on analyzing products
. Anyway, so here’s your selection, this is where things get awesome.
So here you have all the data you want. You have what the low price is, the estimated amazon fees, and how much you’ll make on the deal. You can of course price differently, but lets focus on this graphic. What other really important data point are you getting? I’ll give you a clue, it’s just over the “Amazon.”
Yep, you got it, is Amazon selling this product? Nope! In fact, the statement is “None.” For me, this is a green light! Ok, moving on. So now you’ve found that the product is not sold by Amazon, perhaps the price is such that you can make some money, you want to list it, so you don’t forget about it when you get home. So anyway, here’s how you list it. There was that little button above aptly entitled: “List”, so you click that, and the below screenshot is what you get.
This doesn’t show everything, but it is important to note, you generally want to sell things as “new.” lets scroll down on the app a bit more, here’s where you enter the price:
Of course, you also select that you want Amazon to ship and provide customer service, aka, you want to Fulfill by Amazon. Always a very wise move, in my humble opinion.
Then you’ll get a confirmation, asking, “Are you really sure you want to sell this?” my answer, is always a resounding “Yes!!” But, I just click the yellow button:
Finally, you get the confirmation, which may give you a warm and fuzzy, or, you’ll just keep tapping “Return to Home!”
Of course, after you’ve made it through this, you may ask:
Are there other valuable aspects of the Amazon Seller App?
Well, look at all these options:
You can respond to customer communications (which should be few and far between if you do FBA, unless you’re an over-achiever).
You can also look at your shipping queue, because, if you’re like me, you always want to know when your shipment will be received, because, time is money, after all!
The Amazon Seller App is a hugely powerful tool, that just so happens to be free. Even if you start out doing Online Arbitrage, there is value in the app, because you can just tap in the product you are searching for, and get a simple to interpret page telling you the lowest selling price, whether Amazon is a seller, and what your anticipated Amazon Seller Fees will be. Most of the time, it will also tell you the rank. If you happen to consider retail arbitrage, then I’d argue it is even more powerful. Are there other paid options out there? Of course! There’s clearly a market for more robust applications, and if you need one, evaluate it and by all means enlist, but for me, I find this to be pretty darn effective.