Tools mentioned below:
If you are reading this, I assume the following situation has happened at least once to you:
When I scanned it at the store (or made the purchase online), the product was just fine.
I forgot to even check to see if I was restricted in that brand. Now what do I do?
Let’s face it. It happens to the best of us – New and veteran sellers included.
I have a shelf in my garage that is designated as the “I made a mistake shelf.” Especially during this busy time of the year, my shelf starts piling up.
So the question becomes:
How do we prevent this from happening?
Well. I’ll just be frank.
You will mess up and purchase something you were not supposed to purchase or Amazon will restrict a brand before you can sell an item that you purchased.
It’s just going to happen.
What we can do is try to reduce the number of times we make said mistakes or turn what some might see as a mistake into a money making activity (more on that in a second).
Here are a few things that you can do to help reduce the number of products you buy “on accident”:
Always go through the process of listing an item on your Amazon account before making the purchase. This might take an extra 2-3 minutes per item, but it can save you a ton of time down the road if you prevent yourself from having to return an item or items.
Time saving tip!
Since I do a lot of online arbitrage with OAXRay and Tactical Arbitrage (OA), I decided to invest a little money into a tool that helps speed up the process of figuring out which products I can and can’t sell. It has saved me a ton of time and I highly recommend you think about it if you do a lot of online arbitrage (or even pre-sourcing retail scouting). The tool is Can I Sell It and it can be found here.
When you are sourcing in the store (retail arbitrage), make sure to scan every item you purchase. I don’t care if you have sold the item 100 times before, you still need to scan it each time you purchase it. This is to double check to make sure there are no new brand or item restrictions on the product. When scanning, you should look for two things:
The first one is pretty obvious. It’s the little red warning sign that say “Restricted Product.” If you see this, the item is restricted for YOU to sell on Amazon (that should be a no brainer, but I try to be as clear as possible).
The second one is the one that will sometimes get me by surprise. I have had a handful of items slip through the cracks by not scrolling down far enough and making sure I can sell the product in “new condition”. If you see that you can’t sell it in a certain condition, make sure that you can sell it in another condition (for profit) or on another platform.
So these are pretty straightforward ways to prevent you from purchasing products you are restricted from selling on Amazon (I mean. You all probably already knew these, but like I said before, I want to make sure you understand exactly what to look for before making a product purchase).
But what happens when you make a mistake?
First – Cry.
Second – Regain composure and think about doing one of the following:
Number 1: Sell it on another marketplace.
This might be a little known fact, but Amazon isn’t the only place you can sell things online.
You can actually sell things on marketplaces such as (and not limited to): eBay, Mercari, Bonanza, Facebook, and even Craigslist.
If a deal is just too good to pass up, it might be a good idea for you to use one of these other marketplaces to make a quick buck (or two).
Number 2: Partner with another seller
If there is good money to be made from selling this product on Amazon (and you don’t want to sell it on another marketplace), it might be time for you to partner with a seller who is not restricted from selling the item. I have a handful of sellers that I trust and will send them products if I can’t sell them (after I confirm they can). This builds a pretty incredible network for your business and gives you extra ways to profit from great deals.
Number 3: Return it to the store
Some people hate doing this, but sometimes it is something that needs to be done. If you can’t sell the item for a profit on another marketplace or partner with another seller, your next best move might be to return it to the store.
Number 4: Give it away
If you can’t bring yourself to returning the item to the store, you might want to think about giving it away as a birthday, Christmas, or another holiday present. You might have gotten the item really cheap, but it might be the perfect gift for your second cousin that you see once each year.
Number 5: Keep it for yourself
This one is easy. If it’s awesome, keep it for yourself. I have added a few speakers to my garage (for pack and prep entertainment) due to an item that I couldn’t sell.
So it’s pretty simple to make sure you aren’t buying restricted products when you check before you purchase by using the app, Seller Central, or Can I Sell It, but you can also still make money (or friends) if you do make a purchasing mistake.
All the best,