Editor’s Note: Anthony Christenson joins us this weekend for a guest post. I (Mike) have only known Anthony for a few months but he was one of the guys who immediately saw the potential of OA and quickly fulfilled that potential. I can honestly say that Anthony is one of the best new OAers I’ve ever met… and I connect with a lot of sellers. We’ve talked through a couple dozen deals and his logic is almost always spot on. I feel compelled to point out his credentials lest anyone think the metaphor he uses is the only reason I published this piece!!
You know that movie “21” about the college students from MIT who form a team and take down Vegas by counting cards? The real main character from that movie is my Uncle.
Ok, that was a lie, but when I was in college I did buy a DVD that taught me how to count cards. I even bought a shoe, and trained myself to have conversations while I was counting as to not look conspicuous. I was good. And I played a lot in college. A lot. Man do I love me some BlackJack. When a table is hot, there are few things better. Just a few weeks ago I went to the Casino and quickly got down $700. Not good. I sat down at a hot table, made $1500 and walked out of there $800 richer, and a happy man because my wife wasn’t going to kill me. And one more thing about Blackjack. If anyone tells you not to split 4’s when the dealer is showing a 5 or 6. They are wrong! Get as much money on the table as humanly possible! But I digress. The reason I started with my affinity for Blackjack is because I believe it equates to finding and analyzing Amazon flips very nicely. They are similar in the sense that you analyze all the data you have in front of you and make an educated decision based upon it. When counting cards you have the dealer’s up card, your cards, and the count. With AZ to AZ flips you have Keepa, camelcamelcamel, price history, rank history, seasonal trends, number of other sellers on Amazon as well as other information. With Amazon you have an almost unlimited amount of information in order to make an educated decision. I like Amazon better. Here’s why: If I make a mistake with one of my purchases on a flip I can return it to Amazon. I don’t think I could do that a casino. “Um…I’m sorry I didn’t mean to bet $100. I didn’t know I was going to get a 16!” Good luck with that. We saw what happened in “21” when they found out they were “cheating.”
So here’s an example of a deal that found, and shared with the man himself, Mike Garner. I found this car rack on Keepa searching for price drops. I was new to AZ to AZ flips and I wanted Mike’s input to see if it was a good buy. It was mutually beneficial to both of us. He gets a product to flip, and I learn more about AZ flips and I feel confident in the purchase.
As you can see in the graph, the price dropped all the way from around 180 to 55. For what reason I don’t know, and I don’t care. All I know is I could make money. The rank was good, the price history was good, and even though it was an oversized item, it didn’t matter. I used my nifty profit calculator and realized that I could make around $65-75 per unit for around 30 minutes of work. Not too bad. It took a while for the racks to get to me, and Mike actually sold his before I sold mine (what a joke!), but once mine hit the warehouse I sold 7 in less than a month. (Editor’s note: True story, but I sent mine before him and only had 6 units.)
So what’s the point of my blog post today? There are three things I hope you take away from this article.
- If you are playing blackjack and you are dealt a pair of fours with the dealer showing a 5 or 6, split the fours, hope for a double down opportunity, and make it rain.
- Network with people who are smarter than you. When it comes to Amazon, Mike is smarter than me. He has been doing it longer and has way more experience. No one is going to give you their secrets or do it for you, but the beauty of Amazon is the market is so huge and growing, most successful sellers will gladly help you along your journey.
- Add value. As much as Mike has helped me along the way, I was able to add value to him as well. I am sure he didn’t mind me sharing a deal with him that netted him over $400 in less than an hour of work. And I was happy to have his reassurance that making this purchase was a good buy. I am sure we will continue to share deals with each other in the future and both of us will be better off because of it.
As much as this business is about the dollars and cents relationships are key. If you can partner with others and add value to one another, I promise you will make more money and have more fun along the way.