Tips For Making Money Selling Online

How To Source Walmart When RA Is Dead: A Case Study

I want to give an example of that thought process/techniques used to source a picked over Walmart and how to make money on a product that has too many other sellers ( and some hidden problems)

I start my sourcing with my laptop while sitting my LazyBoy. I use Brickseek to see what has gone on clearance at several Walmarts in the area.

I saw these phones with a sales rank of #24 in cordless phones. That means they are flying off the shelves at Amazon. They are selling for $24ish Prime, so without any app, I know that these are profitable ( probably at least $8-$12 profit each), so I want all I can get at $5.

Now you can’t always depend on Brickseek quantities being accurate. Sometimes stuff sells before you get there. Other times in is in the back/lost/stolen. You will find certain stores are almost right on the money and some are always off big time.

So here is what the AZ Sellers app says we can make on these

So I found these in the clearance section at Walmart.

 

As you can see, the price on the shelf says $15. This is why the competition has left them on the shelf ( about $2 profit on $15)

So I know that Brickseek says they are only $5 but I am not going to try to a price check scanner ( halfway across the store and a waste to time)

So I pull the Walmart and use the built in scanner to do a quick price check, which verifies that they are $5.

So this appears to be a good deal and a good product, but did you spot the problems?

You are probably saying that here are 94 sellers. Well that would be a problem is it wasn’t for it being ranked #24.

What real problem is that there is only 1 FBA seller ( Amazon). Now while the apps doesn’t say it is hazmat, I can almost guarantee these are or there would be some other FBA sellers. You are asking for nothing but trouble sending these into the warehouse.

Well crap. Do we just toss them back onto the shelf?
Nope! Not at #24 sales rank. We can MF these.

So FBA price is $24ish, so we need to be able to sell at a price low enough to get people to buy MF instead of FBA from Amazon.

My first thought is that in need to be like $2 or so less and at $22ish we can still make money. ( with free shipping)

These will fit in a Priority Padded envelope, so that is about $7.50.

So quick math in the store. $5 buy cost, $7.50 shipping and probably $2 fees, gives about $15 and if we sell for $23, we are looking at about $8 profit on a $5 investment.

Here are the actual fees/revenue

As you can see, I am fairly close. We obviously would make more FBA but I don’t want risk sending these in to the warehouse ( plus inbound shipping). I think these will quickly sell MF and still make a good profit.

Some would ask why free shipping or say “you will pay less fees if you price lower and charge more for shipping”. Well it doesn’t make that much difference on the fees to worry about and you will sell more and faster with free shipping. The real trick here is that it will fit into the Priority padded envelope which sort of limits our maximum postage cost. ( I would much rather it be First Class but these were a little too heavy)

My results?

I listed these MF and sold out in a few hours.

Another thing to consider is that these went on clearance all across the country at Walmart and there may be a ton of them coming into the warehouses ( if I am wrong about them being hazmat). This will drive the price down in a race to the bottom. The $12 might turn into a loss or break even thing ( yes I would love to make $12 instead of $8 but with 100 sellers on a product, I see it going down not up)

I have found that in the new selling environment on Amazon, you can make more selling fast or holding for a long period of time before sending into AZ. Once the herd sends all theirs in, you get stuck selling for a loss/break even or holding in the AZ warehouse for way too long and have long term storage fee issues.

So basically on these Walmart nationwide clearances, you have to either sell really quick ( either MF or get them in to FBA quickly and price to sell) or stick them on a shelf and hold for 6 months to a year.

****Hint, there were several stores that still have these for $24.40, so I have them marked as a “local alert” in Brickseek and will be alerted when the price drops, which I expect will be $15 at first and then $5 again

 

 

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

 

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