What happens when you cannot source inventory for a week?




Editor’s note: This guest post comes from Lynn Cherry and is quite timely as it is replacing Chris Wilkey’s

blog this week as he finishes up his week vacation with a trip to the doctor!  Also, since I snuck it in

on the weekend, just letting you all know I made my first video which was a review of Nate’s new

Storefront Stalker extension.  Check it out here (AFTER reading Lynn’s article)! 

Most sensible people would say, you eventually lose money because you cannot sell products if you are

not sourcing. This is definitely true for those doing online or retail arbitrage and to a lesser extent for

those focused on private label or wholesale.

I had this situation happen to me this week and it’s not because I was on vacation or sick. It happened

because my server crashed and my database was wiped out so no more using web scraping to find

online deals until everything could be restored.

How frustrating and unexpected is this? It could have been worse if the prior weekend my significant

others were out of town so I spent the whole weekend sourcing online. Of course, it’s still frustrating to

log on Monday morning and not be able to reach my server. I decided not to get too upset and started

working on other things to benefit my business even though I wasn’t sourcing.

As it turns out, these are the things in my business which I dislike doing so they never get done.

However, pretty quickly I realized I could recoup thousands of dollars if I did them and potentially

make more money than if I spent all week sourcing.

So here’s what I did.


I don’t ship a lot as I use a prep center. However, I do enjoy shipping as it’s good exercise and I order

from retailers who will not send to the prep center. So, I spent most of Monday making sure I shipped

everything out I could. From a bottom line perspective, I’m not really making up for my lack of

sourcing but it felt very good to clean up my sun room which doubles as my shipping room.


I dislike returns in any form. These can be customer returns from Amazon sales or returns to retailers

when their merchandise is not up to par so I cannot send it to Amazon. The latter category, however,

means I get money back into cash flow that was just sitting on my shelves. Again, I’m not making up

for sourcing but I’m not leaving money on the table. The same is true for Amazon returns. I need to

inspect and ship back in the merchandise worthy to be on Amazon.


Here is where some money can potentially be made in an unexpected form. Of course, I had a lot of

minimum prices to set for my repricer, AppEagle. Fortunately, I started putting the cost of goods in my

sku’s so when the product shows up in my repricer, it was easier to set my minimum price.

I started doing this for a couple of hundred items and as I went a long I found some great sourcing

opportunities! Some might say, how do you use a repricer to help you source?

It was actually quite easy as I looked for large differences between my selling price and the lowest

competitor. While this may seem like a situation where I need to lower my price to compete, it’s a

buying opportunity if the difference is large because most of these items are seasonal so the price will

rebound in the fall.

One of the products was selling on Amazon for $2 more than my purchase price but I can still make

100% ROI in the fall if I buy from Amazon. I did this and also found the product was a great rabbit

trail so I ended up buying hundreds of dollars of product from Amazon just because I was working on

repricing. This definitely was an unexpected place to be sourcing!


I’m not sure if any of you have purchased the Complete Guide to FBA Reimbursements by Ryan Grant

but I highly recommend it. It helps to recover money from Amazon that you are owed but have not

been reimbursed.

I’ve just gone through the first two chapters of the book and already netted almost $1000. The first

chapter covers Lost, Damaged, and Destroyed Inventory and the second is on Reconciling Customer

Refunds and Reimbursements.

It is so well written that even my VA can perform the tasks without supervision from me. And, the best

part is I am able to bring in money from Amazon even though I am not sourcing this week.


Chris Green convinced me to write a book on using web scraping for online arbitrage. I started in mid-

December while I eased back on sourcing since the 4th quarter was almost over. I wrote a couple of

chapters and then after the New Year started I began sourcing again so my book was on hold.

With my unexpected extra time this week, I picked back up on writing the book and will hopefully be

done next month. While this does not directly bring in any dollars, it is setting me up for multiple

streams of income in the future.

Moving Forward

The good news is my database has been restored today so I can start sourcing again! If I had more

time, one of my next priorities would be getting set up in Tax Jar for state taxes. I’m not sure when I

will get to this but since I have a well-trained VA now, I hope it will be soon.

But first, more sourcing and finishing my book!


Lynn Cherry

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  1. If you can’t source for a week, nothing goes to the warehouse for a week, so sales go through the floor for a week.

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