Amazon Trade In Program: Hack For Getting AZ Gift Cards For Amazon FBA Sourcing

Sometimes you don’t have to sell stuff to “make” money and in this post I want to show some techniques to use when you know something has value but are at loss to capitalize on it.

You can actually buy used stuff on Amazon. Primarily people know about books, but you can also get CD, DVDs, games, electronics and a whole bunch of other things ( nothing like Health and Beauty, Grocery, etc though)

Pro tip: If you are a RA sourcer, when you see beat up boxes, don’t automatically assume it is unsellable and not scan it. Check to see if it can be sold as used.

With that tip you might ask why bother with anything else that I am going to say next. Well, that is somewhat true but not always ( and there are reasons I will cover later)

Amazon Trade In Program

Amazon has a trade in program that gives Amazon credit ( just like gift cards). It shows up on certain product listings and says something like “ Trade in for $68.21 credit” .

They give you a free shipping label and will ship it back for free if they test if and it doesn’t work/meet requirements.

Generally you get immediate credit to spend on Amazon ( of course if they don’t accept it, they will charge that back to you credit card)

So far, so good.

Now the catch is that the UPC/ISBN needs to match up exactly. So you are going to need stuff with the original box/package.

Also they have a warehouse that test this stuff and sometimes they don’t get it right ( I have a Tivo that they said didn’t work and it worked when I plugged it in it worked just fine)

The trade in price is usually way less than the Used Amazon price or eBay price. ( once again, why bother with this then? )

Why Trade In To Amazon Instead Of Selling?

So if I can sell it for more, why would I bother with trading it in?

First, electronics, games, etc are the place where the scammers live and play. They know that they can order your product, take out the good one and replace it with their broken on, return it and Amazon or eBay will side with them 99% of the time.

So selling these type of items are somewhat dangerous to your bottom line when you have no control of refunds.

Second ( and I am not a tax guy or lawyer so this is not advice) but Amazon doesn’t send out 1099s ( you should always report any income on your taxes). I am not sure if gift card credits are considered income in the tax laws.

So let’s have an example. Say you can sell something for $140 used and after fees, you clear $100. Now say that you can trade it in for $90. Which is better? Well most people will say that $100 is better than $90 but say that you pay 20% taxes on your income. Now the $100 is actually $80. Now which is greater?

Take this a step farther, and say that you return $120 after fees and after taxes you clear about $100. Now the $100 is greater than the $80, which is true, but now you have to consider the risk. Say this is my Tivo and some guy has a Tivo and it is broke. He orders mine and does the swap out and gets a refund from Amazon. Now I am out say the $25 I spent for the Tivo and am at a loss now.

Now if I had traded the Tivo in and gotten $80 and the same guy buys the Tivo and does the swap out, that is Amazon problem and not mine. So is the $20 difference in the trade in vs. the selling used worth it?

Third, some items that I can’t sell on Amazon ( DVDs, CD) will actually trade in for more on Amazon than they sell for on eBay.

When I am at library book sales, I look through the DVDs specifically to trade into Amazon ( most other sellers skip these because they can’t sell DVDs)

Fourth and finally the biggest thing is that there is sort of an arbitrage opportunity with Amazon gift cards ( credit) that you can use if you are doing Amazon to Amazon flips ( AZ to AZ).

Disclaimer: These techniques aren’t for million dollar a year sellers, but more for part time, small time, cash strapped, etc seller.

Let’s go back to my example of the Tivo player. You can buy it for $25 at Walmart but the box is beat up and shelf worn, so you can’t sell it for $249 FBA New, but can sell it for $140 used like- new.

Now you have the option to sell it or trade it in for $80.

If you sell it, you might make $100 after fees but

A) have to worry about if it will be returned ( mine was)

B) The price may drop

C) You don’t know if/how long before it will sell. Figure a week at least to get it into the warehouse and then if it sells that day, up to 2 weeks before you get paid. Overall, probably at least 3 weeks to get $100.

Now if you trade it in, you will have the $80 credit today to spend on AZ to AZ flips.

So you forfeit $20 to avoid the risk and to get your profit today. ( not taking into account the tax due on the proceeds)

Will you be able to make more than the $20 in the next 3 weeks from your AZ to AZ flips with the $80 you have?

Repeatable?

So the guy with only $25 to his name could actually get some traction when he found the beat up box Tivo that all the other resellers past up on, but that is a one off and probably not repeatable, is it?

Well maybe, maybe not. It works great for that stuff you find at the thrift stores that you probably shouldn’t be selling as new ( pro tip: you better only source products from places that have UPC codes on the receipts/invoices and that is considered “new”)

Actually thrift store is a great place to use this technique to buy something for $7 and trade in for $70 like I did with this video game steering wheel.

But how can you or I do this more consistently ?

Well go to the biggest thrift store in the world:

eBay!

Actually there is a little bit we need to look at first.

(There is a video below that explains this a lot better)

If you look at the the discount gift card sites, Amazon cards usually only get about 1% discount. Honestly that is hardly worth the effort to go there and buy the cards if you are just spending a few hundred dollars or less.

So the game plan is this. We look for items that we can buy on eBay and trade in for more on Amazon to get the equivalent of a discounted Amazon gift card.

So here is a simple example:

You have $100 to source with and want to do some AZ to AZ flips, but instead you source from eBay and do the trade in with Amazon to have more than $100.

So you buy some DVDs from eBay. They are brand new, have a UPC code that is easy to confirm matches up with the required AZ UPC and then you do the trade in and have more money to do the AZ to AZ flips.

We buy 3 sets of DVD complete TV series for $100 and the trade in value is $120.

At first the $20 doesn’t sound like a lot for the hassel but let’s do the math.

If you take the $100 and divide it by the $120 ( 100/120= .83) you get 83, which means you are getting a 17% discounted Amazon gift card,

But wait, you go through eBates and get 2% cash back from the $100 you spent. So you are getting close to 19% bump on the products that you source on Amazon to do the flip.

So if you have a flip that would pay 30% and add the 19%, you are looking at 50% flip.

So it really can be looked at it as a way to bump up our ROI or in more simple terms, it allows you to buy more and make a little more. The end result is more money in your pocket.

You “made” $20 extra and then made the 30% ( $6) on the flip so you actually made $26. I know this doesn’t sound like a ton of money, but over the course of a year it can be a lot of extra money.

If you are trying to build a bankroll, after the first cycle without using this technique you would have $130 ( $100 plus the $30 profit) .

Using this technique, you would have $156. ( $100 plus the $30 plus the $26)

After several cycles, the 2 examples will really start to separate as the “extra” starts to earn more and more.

So How Do I Find These?

Nothing special is needed to find these. You look through eBay, have the AZ Trade In page open and do copy and paste of UPC/ISBN. Do this over and over until you find items that trade in for more than they cost

Now I am lazy and have a Chrome extension (eBay To Amazon Trade In)  that sort of make this easier and  I show how to do this ( and give a few more tips) in this video.

How To Find UPC Codes On Walmart.com Website

Walmart is one of the largest retailers in the world and many Amazon FBA sellers source products from there.

One of the issues resellers have is finding the all important UPC codes. Walmart has them on the site but they are hidden away in the source code.

In this post I want to show how to find these codes.

UPC Codes For Both OA and RA

First, let’s look at why we even bother with finding these UPC codes.

There are actually a lot of different whys to finding these codes.

I personally am not using them for OA ( online arbitrage) but for RA ( retail arbitrage). I want to use either the Brickseek website or the Walton app to see local stock levels to pick up stock.

Other people want to do a Google search of the UPC to hoping find other sources of stock on other websites to do OA.

And there are probably other reasons, but these are the 2 that stand out to me.

Digging Into The Code

So I am not a techy, but here is the process to find the hidden UPC code in the Walmart code. ( there is an easier way that I will show after this)

First you need to be on a Walmart product page (duh!)

Next, you hit Control “U” This opens up the source code of the page

( now don’t be freaking out because of this)

Next hit Control “F” . This is to open up the search function

Next type “UPC” and hit enter

You will see UPC highlighted and the UPC next to this.

Now you can copy this code.

Note: If this is a 3rd party seller on Walmart.com, you might not find a UPC code.

The Easier Way

So this is too much work for me, so I built a Chrome Extension for this.

WM UPC Finder

So on this same page, I just click the WM UPC Finder icon and it pulls this up automtically ( along with an actual bar code)

That is a lot less work!

Using The UPC For Sourcing

I made a video on how to use this for sourcing but first here are the tool I use in the video

When searching the UPC code I am using an extension called OA Highlight for this but you can use Google search for this.

I am also using RA Seek to be able to highlight the UPC and shortcut to the Brickseek page to see local Walmart stock levels.  You can manually do this by copy/paste the UPC code on the Brickseek website

I am also using the Android Walton app to do the same thing as Brickseek with my phone

The video below will show you how to make all of this work

 

How To Check Product Restriction And Hazmat Status When Doing OA For FBA

How many times have you sourced product via OA ( online arbitrage) for Amazon FBA and when you sent them in, you found out you were restricted or that they were hazmat?

If your answer is anything other than “never”, then you know the sting of eating the cost on those products.

In this post I am going to show how to do this manually and show you my simple work around to make it even easier.

The Hard Way

Most people are going to tell you to try to list it and see if you are allowed to sell it.

This in essence is the right answer, but it is a pain in the butt to do this if you have a lot of 1’s or 2’s of a products.

Since I do mostly RA ( retail arbitrage) I am using the Amazon seller app and it simply tells you (***most of the time) if a product is restricted or hazmat.

This works great if you have the product in hand like you do with RA but when you are doing OA, you don’t have a product to scan.

The process is simple.

You go to seller central and try to list the product.

Then this should pop up.

Now you would enter the UPC or asin ( or do a title search)

In this case, if I try to list Nike socks, it show that it is restricted for me

So pretty simple but time consuming. The AZ seller app would have just put a big red RESTRICTED across the screen.

So now I will tell what I know about determining if a product is Hazmat:

I don’t know! Truthful.

Either I see it with the AZ Seller app warning or when I try to ship it in and Amazon says I can’t.

Here is a Reddit about it

Yeah that sort of sucks.

The East Way

So here is the easy way. I actually built a Chrome extension for seeing if a product was restricted and after people started using it, they were like “Hey you can find out if a product is Hazmat with this”.

Simple dumb luck that I made it but if it works, let’s go with it.

So with this extension you highlight UPC codes and it turns them into barcodes. Then you can scan the bar code with the Amazon seller app which tells you if it is restricted and if it is hazmat.

The Chrome extension I am using is call UPC Detective and you can get it here:

https://gumroad.com/a/118043763

When you highlight a UPC, the barcode pops up and you can scan it with your AZ seller app

This works great if there is a UPC code on the page. Sometimes there isn’t a UPC code and you need to grab the ASIN and take it to a ASIN to UPC converter website

http://www.upcbarcodes.com/dashboard/asin-gtin-converter/

Then you would highlight the UPC code it spits out and then scan the barcode with the AZ seller app

In this case here is the scan from the AZ seller app and notice the hazmat warning on the right side

So there you have it. That is the easy way to check restricted and hazmat product on Amazon FBA when you are doing online arbitrage.