We all know the following equation:
Time = Money
Now I’m not going to get into some complex economic or mathematics equation, but we all need to realize our time is valuable.
So it’s safe to say that if we are able to speed up our sourcing (in regards to online or retail arbitrage), we will be able to make more money (or enjoy our time by the pool or at the golf course).
In this post, we are going to focus on five different ways to speed up your sourcing and continue to find items with high profit margins with killer sales ranks.
Here we go:
Number 1: Source with a partner.
Amazon sellers sometimes shake in their shoes at the idea of sourcing with another seller. What if they find an item that is one of my replen items? Why would I want to share my finds with someone else? Isn’t that teaching someone else to take your business away from you?
I have gone sourcing with my dad, my brother, my sister, my mom, my wife, my college roommates, a few FBA Master Facebook members, and a handful of other people and guess what….I learned more from them then they learned from me (and I know they would say the exact opposite).
With a group of people, you have more people scanning, more brains looking into the archives of past deals and brand names, and just more fun.
I handle my partner outings like this:
– All finds are spilt evenly (If there is an odd number or just one of an item, the person who found it keeps it)
– Any finds that might not be in my business model are shown to the partner and they can choose to keep the find or put it on the shelf
– We have an unspoken agreement not to tank prices (it’s better off for both of us)
– And have fun
You will be amazed at the items someone else might find that you would walk right by. Each time I go out with another seller I am amazed at what I learn.
Number 2: Look into product lists.
There is nothing better than having someone else do the heavy lifting for you. Product lists are a perfect way to outsource some of your sourcing without hiring a full time VA.
Before you think about purchasing a list, I highly recommend that you take the time to read this white paper that explores the different types of list services out there: https://gum.co/gIMOE
There are numerous different options on the market, but they can be broken down into two different categories:
1. One Time Lists – These are lists that have limited number of copies available and once they are gone, they are gone. A great example of this style can be seen here.
2. Monthly Subscription Lists – This is the model where you pay a set monthly fee and get lists on regular time intervals. These are typically limited to a set number of members. A great example of this can be seen here.
Number 3: Hire people to source for you.
What if you could multiply yourself and hit three different cities at one time?
Well with the right system in place, you can make that a reality.
If you can train someone to follow your business model, it is possible to build a sourcing army of friends, family, or local college/high school students, to be scanning stores for you.
There are two basic ways to compensate someone for sourcing on your behalf:
1. Pay them an hourly rate or a flat fee for a day of sourcing. For example: If someone is sourcing for 6 hours, you can pay them $10 an hour and it would cost you $60.
2. Pay them a percentage of the buy cost or of the profits. There are mixed opinions on both of these methods, but I have used them both and each one has its merits (depending on the skill level of the person sourcing on your behalf).
This method is especially beneficial during the holiday season (Q4) when you literally cannot send enough product into the Amazon warehouses.
Number 4: Use sourcing software.
If I have to pick a favorite item on this list, this one would have to be it.
The ability to have technology do the work for me is wonderful (granted you have to know how to use it in order to have it work for you).
There are two specific tools that I use on a daily basis that make my life a piece of cake:
OAXRay – This is my go to online arbitrage tool. I use it every day religiously and literally couldn’t live without it. It makes me over 50% of my profits each month. I even did a whole course to teach you (FOR FREE) how to use this awesome tool.
Tactical Arbitrage – This is the new kid on the block and I just starting using it a few weeks ago. I was skeptical, but once I watched all of the intro videos, I was hooked. It literally works while I sleep. I still need to dive a little deeper into this tool, but I’m already impressed.
Number 5: Become an expert with a certain set of skills.
Think about Taken.
If you are able to focus only on what you are good at, you are able to eliminate tasks that make you no additional money (and waste your time).
Let’s take it to the Amazon world for a second.
I know I am really good at sourcing in two specific stores: Walgreens and Walmart
I know I am really good at sourcing in five specific categories: Toys, Health, Beauty, Electronics, Sporting Goods
Knowing both of those statements to be true, I can reduce my sourcing time tremendously.
Well I can focus on the areas I excel in and pass over those I do not excel in.
So I should load my sourcing trip with as many Walgreens and Walmarts as possible and should stick to my key categories when I stop by a new store.
I hope these tips help you speed up your sourcing and increase your sourcing rate per hour!
Loved this article! Now I will look into sourcing with a partner. I have a co-worker where her and her husband are FBA people as well. Maybe a team-up is in our future?! We shall see.