Tips For Making Money Selling Online

Why You Should Be Using 3rd Party Shipping Sites When Selling On E Commerce Websites

In this post,  I hope to pull back the curtain and reveal why you need to be using a 3rd party shipping service for all your online selling. I haven’t been doing this until very recently and to be honest, it was a lack of knowledge and not seeing the hidden big picture. 

After I explain the concept, I will then show an example of how I am using it myself.

I will be the first to admit that I have left a lot of money on the table in my years of online selling and I know many sellers that use 3rd party shipping websites but I never connected the dots ( and nobody went of their way to explain it to me) 

There are several services you can use to ship your online sales with besides the built in shipping of say Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Mercari, etc. If you have ever had to ship something you have sold from say eBay for example on USPS, you know it is a pain to do all the copying and pasting of the address and then going back and putting in the required tracking code.  Most of these sites do it automatically for you. 

I  personally have been using Pirateship for eBay and Etsy orders and but I haven’t taken the time to set up Shipstation for Amazon yet ( it would cover eBay and Etsy too).

To be honest, the reason I have been using Pirateship for eBay and Esty is that they offer cubic shipping for USPS Priority. ( Amazon already offers that in their shipping console) and that saves you tons in shipping cost. 

Cubic shipping can be a massive savings for you. If you go through the Pirateship training, they show you have to maximize your savings. 

So that is a big benefit, that is not really the real reason you should be using Pirateship ( or any other service like Shipstation)  

It is about cashflow! 

So let’s say you make a sale on Ebay and you go through their shipping. 

First the money from the sale is already in your Paypal account ( this is a big advantage over sites like Amazon and Etsy) but when you buy the shipping, that cost is withdrawn from your Paypal. 

So you have less capital to work with. 

Say the sale was $100 and you spent $20 on shipping.  You now have only $80 at your disposal to reinvest into inventory. 

Now if you use the 3rd party shipping service, the cost of shipping will be charged to your credit card and you can use the money for free for the 30 day billing cycle. ( This is a very important concept to pick up)  

So for example, I know an Amazon seller that does most MF ( Merchant Fulfilled ) and during Q4 , ships upwards to 500 packages a day via a 3rd party shipping website. 

Now with Amazon the effect of using free money is sort of the same except with 2 week payouts, the numbers can get very large if you realize the scale of say 500 packages a day.  

If you ship through Amazon, they will take that out of your payment. 

Now if you use the 3rd party shipping, it is all being charged to a credit card and depending on the billing cycle, you can use the credit cards money for free for at least 2 weeks ( which could be huge during Q4) and maybe longer ( or bite the bullet and make a minimum credit card payment for a month or 2 and have a lot more capital to work with during that time) 

Well that is all fine and dandy, but I just sell FBA you say. 

Well the guy I am referring to sells Prime, Seller Fulfilled Prime that is and if you understand how all this works, cash flow is very important when you can source and have your products up and available “prime” in the same day. 

So none this honestly applies to me. I do utilize the cubic shipping of Pirateship but I don’t really need to worry about the cash flow.  I never seem to get maxed out and run out of funds, but this next part is why I need to use the 3rd party shipping websites. 

That same seller I am referring to, seems to disappear each year after Q4 and travels a lot. I see him making almost weekly weekend trips all around the US on top of other bigger trips.

This is the thing that took awhile to click in for me. How was he doing all that traveling? 

Well the quick answer is credit card points. 

He uses a Southwest rewards card for all his 3rd party shipping. 

So some quick math. 1 Southwest point is worth about $.015, which doesn’t sound like much but let’s say he pays $10 shipping on each package and is shipping 500 packages a day. 

That works out to $75 a day worth of free flight money. ( you could also do the same thing with a cash back credit card) 

So this is what I wanted to do and didn’t know how to do it.

So here is the real world example of how I am using the credit credit reward from all my shipping expenses

I did sit through a credit card reward session at a FBA seller conference and was totally lost on all this stuff ( I think it was for advance people, not newbies) 

Finally my son explained the whole Southwest companion pass thing to me ( this is what you want) 

So you get a companion pass which basically allows someone to fly free with you ( it is actually like $11 round trip in fees but basically free).

To get this companion pass, you need to earn 125,000 points in a year. This is what got me confused. I was thinking that meant I had to spend $125,000 on the credit card and that is some serious spending on a credit card for most people. 

So this is not how it works. 

If you sign up for a personal credit card with Southwest, after you spend $1k ( in 3 months), you get 40,000 points ( plus the 1000 points for the $1k of spending) Now I got a bonus of 50k points for $2k of spending  for signing up via an inflight offer. 

These point will go to your Rapid Rewards account. 

Next you open a Southwest business card. This gives you a 70k point bonus after spending $5k.  ( so 75k points after your spend) 

These both go on the same Rapid Reward account.

With the bonus offers, it really doesn’t take much spending at all to reach the companion pass level since 110k or 120k is from the bonuses.  There are a few tricks to make it even better. If you start this in January and say you reach the 125K level in July, you get the rest of that year and the whole following year for the companion pass.

So this is how the Amazon seller I know  travels all over the place ( for free at that) . He charges all his shipping to his credit card which gives him points and he has the companion pass for his wife, so they fly free. 

As you can see, I have been missing out on getting all this free travel ( and paying full price for the airfare I have been using) simply because I hadn’t signed up for this program ( I had the shipping spend but it wasn’t counting for anything) 

There are multiple other ways to benefit from the spend you have for shipping with the various credit card offers but you will not receive any of that if you just use the shipping service provided but the e commerce sites you sell on.  

 

How To Source Video Games At Walmart Bins For Non Gaming Old Dudes (Or Dudettes)

So I haven’t played video games since Atari ( Atari 2600 , well actually we had the Sears version).

My kids grew up playing video games but I couldn’t tell you what they played, so I am really in the dark when it comes to being knowledgeable about video games.

What I do know, is that the there is a ton of money to be made from selling video games on Amazon and eBay. I have sold games in the past but never regularly.

In this post, I want to show how to find the deals in the bin of video games that seem to be at every Walmart.

So there never seems to be any price tags on these games, but here is the secret : There are all sorts of deals to be had in these bins if you take the time to look through them, but more importantly the techniques I will show can make you tons of money even if you have lots of competition in your area.

The angle is simple. Most resellers are going to pass on scanning anything that doesn’t have a price on it ( or a price on the shelf for it) .

Most people aren’t going to take the products to the price check scanner station to check every product ( remember, time is money).  I know I personally wouldn’t do that.

So what are we to do?

Simple. Not everyone knows this but the Walmart app actually has a scanner built in that you can scan a product and will give you the price at that particular store.

Basically this is just like having the price checker scanner right in your hands.

***Hint, sometimes the lowest clearance price sticker isn’t the lowest price. You can sometimes find the price is lower and has been left on the shelf by other resellers. You can find this out with the Walmart app scanner.

So when I see this big bin of unpriced video games, I have no clue on what is worth something, so I have to do some old school scanning.

My approach is to use the Amazon Seller app to scan the video games. Sometimes the bin is sort of neatly packed so that you can sort of have a system to work through the box, sometimes it isn’t so easy.

So you have to have some sort of minimum selling price to investigate more and I generally use the $15 price point. The video game needs to be selling for more than $15 on Amazon or it gets tossed  back into the pile.

The common discounted prices are usually $3, $5, $7, $9 and $11, so the $15 baseline really only works on the $3 and $5, but you have to have something to sort with.

****** If you get a $.03 price, that is the code for them to destroy the product. My suggestion is to take that through self checkout or they won’t sell it to you. Sometimes you might get lucky taking it through a regular checkout but why chance it?

So once we find a video game that is selling over $15 on Amazon, then we switch to the Walmart app and scan it to see what the price is. Now this is a numbers game and most games will still be too high to make a profit ( I personally am looking for probably 70% + profit on the games but will take 50% if it is a very low sales rank)

Speaking of sale rank, what are we looking for?  Well that depends. In general, I am grabbing anything 5k ish and under. ( heck up to 10k doesn’t really worry me) Now if I see 25k or more, I might want to see why.  It could be that there just isn’t much supply or some crazy high priced ones on Amazon. This also depend on how much the profit is. First I am not going to waste a lot of time if it isn’t a very profitable game. Second it depends on the cost of the game. I am more willing to take a chance with a $3 game than say a $11 game. Also the number of copies I can buy.  I don’t want 25 copies of a 50k game but a copy or 2 is ok.

Now some pointer here:

First, you need to remember what you have scanned already.  There is no use in rescanning 10 copies of the same game. This goes for both good one and bad ones. If you see you have a copy in your cart, then just toss anymore of them you find into your cart.

Do be cautious because the same game on a different platform doesn’t mean they are both worth as much. On one platform it may be really valuable and the other platform it may be worthless.

So basically you just work your way through the bin like this. Not everything gets scanned with the Amazon seller app because if it was already a dud, you don’t rescan it and if it is already a winner, you don’t rescan it, you just toss it in your cart. So very few of the games need to be scanned with the Walmart app.

**** Hint, just because you wouldn’t send a video to Amazon with a slightly torn wrapper, doesn’t mean you can’t sell it on eBay, so don’t just automatically toss it back into the bin.

So now that you have all the valuable videos out of the Walmart bin, this isn’t the end of making money.  Having this games with the UPC codes available is like gold because we are going to us them to find more copies at other Walmarts.

***** Hint, this is actually the biggest takeaway you should get from this post ( that is if you don’t already know this)

For this, we are going to use Brickseek. When I am processing my shipments, I sign into my Brickseek account and us my hand scanner to scan in the UPC code.

Now this isn’t exactly the best time to be sourcing since I am busy processing, so I actually just take a casual glance at the results but I then I just add it to my local alerts so that it is saved back and I can come back and look at it later.

If you aren’t a Brickseek subscriber, you can simply open at Notepad document and if you scan the UPC, it should print it in the document. You could then add a quick note.

Hint***** You should be doing this with everything you source from Walmart!

Also if you are in the small Facebook group chats of other AZ sellers like I am in, then that is something you would share sometimes. That is how good relationship get formed and how you all make more money.  ( just don’t go posting stuff like this in public Facebook groups because it will tank your prices)

So this is the simple process I use to source video games from the Walmart bins.  

 

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 Tactical Arbitrage Killed OAXray And Zen Arbitrage ( And Why You Need Tactical Arbitrage To Do Online Arbitrage)

Online arbitrage has evolved at a rapid pace over the last few years. If you are trying to do OA with manual techniques that worked a few years ago, you will not see much success. Basically, you need to be using software to do the searching for you or you need to focus on other forms of sourcing.

Flashback

Probably the best collective work on doing manual OA was the book, “Online Arbitrage” by Chris Green. This was groundbreaking when it came out in Fall, 2014.

Most of the techniques used involved Chrome extensions. These extensions would basically look at sites that they were affiliates of (that is how they made their money) and tell you if you could get the product cheaper (or in stock) somewhere else.

Most people probably still have these installed and do this technique to some extent (I have all mine turned off).

This worked great at first when there weren’t as many people doing OA, but the problem was that the extensions only had the incentive to show you results from sites that they could insert an affiliate link into, but as people started using cashback sites, many extensions had their affiliate link canceled and the cashback site made the commission.

This alone, with the fact that some extensions have websites (and there were some stand alone “deal” sitez) had their Amazon affiliate accounts shut down (AZ did play favorites on this), many extensions and sites had no incentive to keep handing out free information.

Software For OA

During this time, there were computer savvy FBA sellers that started developing their own software for scraping websites and using the data to find deals.

There is no way to know how many people were doing this and how many still are, but they weren’t going to tell or share what they were doing.

Then along came OAXray.

Now I do not profess to know the whole or real story behind OAXray, but I believe it was used for deal finding for a private group before it was released to the public (that is just heresay and I may be wrong).

The reason OAXray worked so well was that it wasn’t based on only searching websites that paid an affiliate commission. Their business model was to charge for the software and profit that way.

They weren’t worried about if you hit a cashback site. In fact they want to and they allow you to figure discounts within the software to help you turn unprofitable products into profitable products.

The decision that you had to make was if it cost $XX per month, will it make me more than $XX. If so, it was a good investment.

People sourcing via OAXray started eating the manual OA sourcer’s lunches. Life was good if you paid for a subscription and actually used the software. It made you money!

As a side note, around this time, a bookseller named Peter Valley came out with a software called Zen Arbitrage.

It turned the book sourcing world upside down because it was used to do AZ to AZ flips. Buying MF seller books and sending them back into AZ and selling FBA, which makes you big money.

This software had something going on for it that was better than OAXray (more about this later) that actually is OAXrays achilles tendon.

There Goes The Neighborhood

So life is great if you are the only software in town. You don’t exactly have to keep delevoping the software. You have happy customers that really don’t have much more of a choice (and you are making them money).

Then this Aussie named Alex Moss shows up. He has a software called Tactical Arbitrage that he was using for personal sourcing and it has more sites (lots more sites) that what OAXray had.

But it is sort of a screwed up software. You needed to have an Amazon affiliate account (lost mine long time ago) to get some keys to access data.

Getting and setting up an Amazon affiliate account was not as easy as paying a monthly fee and does require one to be a little computer savvy.

This pretty much kept away a lot of users. (The computer geeks jumped on this super fast).

So OAXray was still king of the hill. The software from that Aussie was too hard for common people to use, so life was still good.

Here is the problem. Alex is real good at accepting feedback and making changes. He was embraced by the computer geeks using his software. They were more than willing to help him and he had one goal: To have the best sourcing software out there.

The one day, Tactical Arbitrage no longer need you to have an Amazon affiliate.

Shit just got real!

Now I can’t say that I know when, where, or exactly if, but OAXray sort of saw the writing on the wall. They were making a lot of changes and adding a lot of features to OAXray. (side note, I have met these guys and Alex and they are all great guys)

But here is the problem and the Achilles heel of OAXray. It is a Chrome extension. This limits some of what can be done with the software as compared to Tactical Arbitrage with is server based (I don’t claim be a programmer).

Like I say, I am not a programmer. Alex may or may not have realized this when he thought up Tactical Arbitrage. But the OAXray guys already have a customer base that likes user friendly software. Changing things up may not be an option for them.

So Alex is constantly making changes to Tactical Arbitrage. It is sort of the culture there. Whereas many of the users of OAXray don’t want to keep having to learn how to use the software. (many probably don’t even use many of the newer features that the OAXray guys have come up with)

So while OAXray is a great product, they are sort of trapped by their user base and the user base is basically all fighting to use the same sourcing sites.

Now the Tactical Arbitrage user base is not afraid of new stuff and wants to keep adding more and more sites and features to the software. The results are that they are making lots of money off using the software. (that is a basic principle, the cost of using the software should be less that than the money it makes you)

Then there is the fact that OAXray needs you to sort of be present to run it.

Alex wanted you to be able to let the computer run while you were doing other things and spit out the results. Tactical Arbitrage #1 feature is the ability to use bulk lists. Instead of clicking tab after tab, you just upload CVS files to TA and let it run. Then you come back later and check out the results.

Time out

What about that Peter guy?

Well Tactical Arbitrage has a feature that allows you to basically scan books like Zen Arbitrage does.

WTF?

Yeah, you get to have a software that scans similar to OAXray and also Zen Arbitrage for the same price as one of those softwares.

Now I am not a rocket scientist but that is a way better deal.

Summing It Up

In a nutshell, the fact that Tactical Arbitrage is server based allowing it to handle more complex tasks than what an extension can and the ability to upload bulk list that don’t require you to have to click webpage after webpage is why TA is the better choice over OAXray.

With Zen Arbitrage, it is simply the fact that you can do more than search just search books for the same price.

So that is basically how Tactical Arbitrage knocked off all the competition.

Using Tactical Arbitrage

So besides the fact that I am tired of typing, I think a picture is worth a 1000 words and I am going to just title a feature/technique/how to and have videos that talk about it.

Some are mine, some belong to other people.

Here is the deal. People are lazy. You probably won’t watch these videos.

They teach you how to make money, but who will spend 10 minutes watching these?

Well the people that are successful at FBA will. Which are you?

First here is a list of sites TA covers

https://tacticalarbitrage.com/sites/

Ok, let’s get TA set up.

No video here but a PDF on how to do it

https://tacticalarbitrage.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Setting-up-Tactical-Arbitrage-New.pdf

Here is the dashboard and TA looks on the inside

Here is a basic search Part 1.

Part 2

So now I will show you some of the ways I use TA.

Ok, I like to sell books and here is how you do book scans. (who need Zen Arbitrage anyway?)

But you can source other places for books.

I know, books bore you. Well I like video games too.

You don’t have a video game list? Well here is how to make some mad money doing the onesy, twosey video game flips from eBay.

Oh, you thought that TA was just for OA. No, you can do RA with it. (now you are seeing what the full time FBAers are doing)

So you found some products on clearance or the source has dried up? Yeah TA has a way to find more.

Ok, here is one that I haven’t figured out yet, (or got the settings right) but it has so much potential that it is crazy.

There is a whole lot more you can do with TA but I have probably lost 99% of the people by now. If you are still here, you can get a free trial of Tactical Arbitrage here.

Click here for a free trial

Tell them Jason sent you.

Cell Phone Hacks For Retail Arbitrage

Finding Products That Don’t Scan

Many times other sellers list products under a different UPC code to throw other sellers off. You pick up a product to scan and it doesn’t show up as being in the Amazon catalog but actually it is.

The first way to try to find it that most people do is typing in the name of the product.

Total pain in the butt to do.

The biggest tip is to type as little as possible. If you type too much, it might be too specific and not show up in the search. Start with the brand name. People also change the title of products and if you put in a big long title, it might not give you a search result.

There are better ways to do this.

The Amazon seller app ( along with Google and the Amazon buyer app) has a dictation feature.

Look for the microphone

Cell Phone Hacks For Retail Arbitrage

Just push the microphone button and speak the product name into the phone.

This is a hit or miss thing. Some words just don’t pick up right, but it can be a time saver.

So here is the ultimate trick.

Amazon uses a image recognition function on the Amazon buyer app ( not your AZ seller app). There is also a stand alone version of this called Flow,

On the Amazon buyers app, it looks is the camera icon

IMG_4006

And here is the stand alone Flow app

flow

You just start Flow up and aim the camera at the product. It has these crazy little light things that run around the picture and tries to figure out what the item is and then pulls it up in the Amazon catalog.

The catch is the it bring it up in the Amazon buyer app and you need to grab the ASIN from the Features & details section

This works really good. It actually works better than typing or dictation methods.

This is also a trick to use when you can’t hold a product ( like video games that are in the glass cases)

Bonus Tip : Using the Flow app for sourcing online

AZ Buyers List

If you are using product sourcing lists, you can use the Amazon sellers app for having a visual shopping list

Using The eBay App

The eBay app has a bar code scanner built in.

When you hit the search on the app, the scanner icon comes up.

ebay

Many times you find a good deal on a product that isn’t selling on Amazon ( or restricted) and this is great for checking if a product is selling on eBay. I also use the scanner to scan the bar code and create my eBay listings on my phone. I then go back and edit the listing on my computer.

Keeping A Charged Cell Battery While Doing Retail Arbitrage

One of the simplest way to charge your dying cell phone battery is to use a rechargeable power block.

IMG_4009

Just pull your phone into it and charge your phone right in the store.

When you are in your car, if you put the phone on Airplane Mode while charging it, it will charge at least twice as fast.
If you turn the phone completely off, it will charge 3-4 times as fast

There are a brand of cell phone cases called Incipico that have a build in battery. It basically doubles the life of your battery. When your phone gets low, you press a button on the case and it recharges your phone.

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Incipio-offGRID-Express-6s-Black/dp/B00RZV2MT4

Reading Bar Codes

The Amazon seller app camera seems to have a hard time focusing compared to Scoutify.

One trick is that if you touch the screen on the AZ seller app, it causes the camera to focus faster.

Bonus Tip If you are at Walmart and trying to use the price checker and it doesn’t seem to want to read, touch the bar code image on the screen, it make it read the bar code

The Scanning App Running Really Slow Or Not Working

Sometimes you are scanning in a store really good and then the scanning app just seems to stop to running or is super slow.

I have found that if I get near the Walmart photo area ( or electronics dept) that my phone hooks up to the Wifi and the wifi sucks.

I have also had this happen at Meijers.

So check to see if your phone has hooked up to Wifi and turn it off to make the scanning app start working again.

Now if there is no cell signal at all, then look for a wifi source to hook up to. You might be able to sweet talk an employee for the password or my son has had luck with using xfinity when there is no cell signal.

In low signal areas, it seems like Scoutify will work when the AZ seller app won’t.

Checking CamelCamelCamel And Keep Charts

You should be check CCC and Keepa charts before buying but if you are using the AZ seller app, it is a pain in the butt because there is no built in function for this unlike Scoutify, Profit Bandit or ScanPower.

Here is a video that shows how to easily check the charts if you are using the AZ seller app

Listing Product Merchant Fulfilled In Store

If you are an MF seller or you MF during Q4 for hot products, the Amazon seller app allows you to list a product through it right there in the store.

You can literally list a hot product and have it sold before you even check out.

Up To Date Data

Amazon doesn’t give other scanning apps access to the current pricing data. They have to basically have data bases that they access that may be hours or days old.

The Amazon seller app uses the current prices, so if you scan on Scoutify and then scan the same product on the AZ seller app, you will many times see a different buy box price.

Bluetooth Scanners

Using a bluetooth scanner will really speed things up and it saves your cell phone battery.

They are also pricey, but I use a generic one called the TC30.

You can find PL versions on Amazon for about $80-$85

http://www.amazon.com/BLUEHRESY-Portable-Bluetooth-Wireless-Compatible/dp/B01AHYMCZY

I got mine off of eBay for about $70. I looked for the ones that are shipped from the USA.

Mine works great but the Amazon seller app doesn’t work good with it because you have to touch the search box each time before scanning. ( that is faster than the camera works but not really easy to do constantly in store)

It works great with Scoutify. I can just whip through items in the store with it.
The instructions that come with the TC30 suck but it isn’t hard to set up.

Bonus tip  The scanner by default beeps every time you scan but if you use the code below, you can turn the beeper off.

sound

Using Contextual Search For Online Sourcing For FBA

Contextual search for online arbitrage is one of my favorite techniques to use. It is so simple but so powerful that many people overlook it

What Is Contextual Search?

Generally contextual search is just highlighting and either copying and pasting into a search engine like Google or highlighting and using a Chrome extension to do the copy/paste.

Here is a more detailed explanation : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contextual_searching

Here is a quick video on how it works

How Online Sourcing Extensions Work

If you do a lot of online sourcing, you most likely are using Chrome and have several extensions installed to help you find sources for products.

I don’t claim to know how the extensions actually work but in general they are grabbing info off the pages you look at and do a sort of contextual search hoping to find a match and get you click on it and set their affiliate link ( yeah that is the only reason they build the extensions, they are trying to make a commission on your purchases )

Most of the times that works pretty good but they aren’t human and can’t make decisions to on stuff that doesn’t match up perfectly.

That is where search engines come in.

Search Engines

Google, Bing, Yahoo and a host of other smaller search engines have bots ( spiders) that crawl web pages and try to figure out what is on the page and classify it ( think SEO, search terms , meta data, etc)

When a user types in something to the search bar, it tries to match up the most relevant pages to the search. Each search engine does it different and returns different results. That is why going with the same search engine all the time might not help you find deals others are finding.

Sometimes it takes a human eye to see that a page may actually be a possible source. You may have to go several pages down in search results to find the sources that other aren’t finding ( that is where the gold is)

Context Menu Search

Context Menu Search is the normal Chrome extension that people are using. It can be customized to the search engines you choose.

Get it here https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/context-menu-search/ocpcmghnefmdhljkoiapafejjohldoga?hl=en

I have used this on for a long time and it is free. Works pretty good but you do need to take time to set it up for your own preferences .

I have recently changed over to a new paid extension called OAhighlight.

It does basically the same thing but is somewhat more convenient ( as you will see in some of the following videos)

It is also customizable but it does come with a lot of search engines already installed.

Here are a few videos that show how I use contextual search for online sourcing

Here is something to look at if you are a book seller. I use these 2 on Firefox and haven’t taken the time to figure out the search to add to the OAhighlight extension yet

Bargain Book Mole

http://www.bargainbookmole.com/

Book Burro

I don’t know if you can find the right search links or not ( and I can’t even find the Book Burro webpage) but someone more tech savy than me may be able to. ( If not, at least you know that you can use them in Foxfire and that is another sourcing trick)

Conclusion

Everyone nowadays thinks that they need software like OAXray to source online. The truth is that everyone is doing that and the deals are getting harder and harder to find ( some people are still doing really good at it) but contextual search is an old technique that you should look to use to find hidden gems. It isn’t a fast technique, that is why I recommend using the new extension that does save a little time but you can still do it for free if you take the time to set up the free extension.

Sourcing From Amazon To Sell On eBay

Amazon is a really big retailer and as such, they are a good source of products to resell on eBay. They are really no different from Walmart or any other big box store when to finding product to resell. Well actually, they are better.

First you can shop on line, which is a big plus. Second, they deliver it right to you door. Third, the products are new ( they don’t have the clearance box wear or tags to be removed) And finally, you can use online tools and alerts to be notified when Amazon is in stock or lowers the price on a product.

In the video below, I show an example of how you can source from Amazon and exactly the products sells for more on eBay ( usually FBA is considered the best place to get the highest sales price, but not this time)

Sourcing And Selling DVDs On eBay That Can’t Be Sold On Amazon

For most people, selling DVDs on Amazon is not a possibility due to the fact that DVD is a gated category, but there is a lot of money to be made on selling DVDs. This is why you need to look at selling DVDs on eBay,

You are not looking at selling just they average DVDs that you find at Goodwill for $1, but brand new DVDs ( sets are great) that you source from Amazon

Amazon does some crazy pricing on products and that is when you need to buy them from Amazom and flip them to eBay.

In this video a show a trick that uses Keepa and sourcing from Amazon.ca ( Canada yeh). I had $7 in a DVD sets that I sold for $40 on eBay.

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How To Sell Tanked Products For A Profit

Sometimes we make buying mistakes.  It happens to everyone at one time or another.  Too many other people find the great deal to and then the supply rises and the price tanks as everyone is trying to unload inventory.

There are other platforms to sell on besides Amazon and if you are willing to do a little extra work ( your competition probably won’t) you can turn the potential loss into a profit.

Here is a current product that has been tanked and I don’t see a chance that the price will rise anytime soon.  The buy cost for most people was $25 and it is selling for $37, which currently is about $3 profit before inbound shipping ( and there is 47 sellers right now (expect more) )

D’Addario NS Electric Traditional Bass String Set, 3/4 Scale, Medium Tension

Most people thought they could sell for about $100-$125 but Amazon is sitting at $87, so that won’t be happening even if the lowballers are cleared out.

In this video, I show how I would try to turn this potential loss into a profit. ( Warning, this takes a little work )

I have also posted a couple of my older videos on how I have done this in the past myself.

 

Here is an old example of how I did this on one of my buying mistakes

Here is another example of how to beat the race to the bottom by going over seas ( the price did come back on these though) and in this case how to even make more than you could have on Amazon FBA