We have spilled a lot of ink on this blog about replenishable items:
One of my favorite articles is An Ever-Expanding Circle of Knowledge
John also wrote about Replens.
Jason had a course on Replens.
Chris wrote about why he ‘Hates Replens‘ but really loves them.
Nevertheless, it seems to me that a lot of sellers are after the quick, glamorous, buck. Every day I field questions on Facebook or via private message about people wanting to know the secret sauce. They want me to tell them which one item they can buy at WalMart or Target or ToysRUs for $10 and sell for $60. Occasionally, items like this pop up. It might be an Amazon-to-Amazon flip, it might be clearance, it might be a Chewbacca mask or a Pie Face game where insane demand is driving even crazier profit. These are an important part of the business. You simply cannot afford to ignore these high profit items.
But, I truly believe that if you want to grow your business, you must invest the time necessary to create a stable of replenishable items. The problem with these items is that they aren’t glamorous at all. More than that, they’re often lower rates of return. Here’s an example:
Here is a representative example from my inventory. Buy for $6.20, pay $.25 in shipping, and sell for $14.80 for a $3.07 profit. Every week 24 of these get shipped to me and I send them off to Amazon. That’s about 100/month that I sell of this product. This item has been selling for the same price for the past two years.
Now, I can already hear the naysayers: “Only 49% ROI, I’d never take something that low. I need 80%+, maybe 100%+.” Or, “Only $3.07 net profit, that’s not high enough. I need $5+.” You’ve heard it all before, just like I have. Some of these are decent rules when you are first starting and they’re good rules when you’re talking about items that are likely to have substantial price erosion (national clearance, for example). However, I really think that this can be detrimental thinking for people who have figured out how to make money at this but haven’t figured out how to take it to the next level. This single item makes me about $3500/year. When you start adding 5, 10, 50 items like this, it really can grow your profits.
Now, there’s no substitute for hard work on this one. This reminds me of a Chris Anderson post this week. If you haven’t read it, check it out. The gist, though, is that there aren’t any magic bullets. You just have to do the work. Whenever I see people who say that they can’t find replens, I just want to ask them to show me Amazon Seller App screen shots of 500 items from WalMart health and beauty aisles or 500 grocery items from Target. Show me that you’ve done that and haven’t found replens and maybe I’ll just give you some of mine. But, that never happens. If you put in the time and the work, they are out there to be found.
So, please, for your own sake, make a commitment to growing your replen list. If you want some ideas or some advice, check out some of the articles at the top of this blog. But, for the most part, it isn’t a lack of knowledge, but a lack of getting out there and scanning that is the problem. Whatever the problem is, though, make a commitment today to fix it. Get out there and find some items that you can sell over and over, every single week, for months at a time. Those few dollars here and there add up when you’re selling hundreds of units. Make it happen!
As Always, Best Wishes