Category Archives: BOLO

To Share or Not to Share a BOLO

man-looking-through-binoculars2In our last blog post, we talked about how to capitalize on a BOLO. We shared many ideas of how to make the most out of both your time and your money when it comes to a BOLO.  Note: In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing retail store BOLOs (not garage sale, thrift store, or other types of BOLOs).

As you may know, BOLO stands for “Be On the Look Out” and generally refers to a hard-to-find product that you need to be looking for in order to buy cheap and flip for high profits. It only takes a few months of doing FBA to recognize that you keep finding a specific product that seems to resell fairly fast. Most BOLOs are  hard to find (i.e. limited production or out of print items), but sometimes it’s an item that can be found many places. You’re always on the look out for these items and sometimes hop from store to store looking for them. It could be clearance or regular priced, but you always are looking for them to buy and flip.

Some resellers are totally against sharing BOLOs while others share them often. So what should you do when you find a BOLO? Should you share it or keep the find to yourself? The choice is up to you, but I’d like for you to consider a few things before making your choice.

1. Is it really a BOLO?

Just because you scan an item and all the Amazon sellers are asking big bucks for it, doesn’t make it a BOLO. The rank and the ROI (return on investment) both need to be good. It would help if the product has good reviews and is a brand name. Just because you scan “Miss Suzy Cries A Lot” (a toy with no sales rank) and everyone on Amazon is asking $200 for it, doesn’t make it a BOLO.

2. Is it possible that this item really isn’t that hard to find?

Hard To FindThink of what would happen if you shared a BOLO that could be found at almost every Walmart store. Sure, you keep buying that item for $5 and selling it for $25, but what would happen if 100+ other resellers started doing the same thing? Chances are that, over time, the price would most likely be lowered significantly, and you would not resell your item as fast as you were before. Maybe you have the patience to wait for the prices to rise back to what you’d like to sell it for, but the timing for that possible rise is completely unknown. If the item is not hard to find, then it might be in your own best interest to keep this find to yourself.

3. Are you OK with revealing someone else’s BOLO?

Sure, you may have found a great item from Walgreens to flip. In fact, you drove all over town to visit all 10 Walgreens in your area to buy them out of that particular item. You sent the items in to Amazon, and they sold fast. You keep going to Walgreens to see if they will be restocked, but they never are. You decide to share your BOLO find online so you could help others, but someone else isn’t too happy about it. You see, they too have found that item and have been reselling it on Amazon for months. Their stores keep restocking, so they keep reselling. But now, someone else has shared this item online and what once was a quick source of income for them has now slowed down dramatically.

4. How would you feel if someone broadcasted your personal BOLO?

I’ve had one of my BOLO items broadcasted, and I wasn’t too happy about it. But it also didn’t ruin my day. I know that this is just part of business, and I expect it to happen again sometime.

I’m not telling anyone what decision to make when it comes to sharing BOLOs, but I do think that we all need to think about these things before we post a BOLO publicly.

So, what do you do if someone shares one of your precious BOLOs and you’re not happy about it? How you respond to this happening to you could either make or lose you money in the long run, so it’s very important to think about how to best respond.

1. Respond with respect. Most of the responses I’ve seen online to BOLO broadcasts have been rude and disrespectful. This kind of response does no good for anyone.

2. Respond with a direct message. Consider sending a direct message to the one who posted the BOLO and explain your situation. Perhaps they’d consider removing the post if they understood where you are coming from. I think most people would understand and possibly remove the BOLO broadcast.

3. Decide how you want to react with your current BOLO items on Amazon. If you think that hundreds of your BOLO items are headed to Amazon, do you want to sell out as fast as possible, or will you hold on to the item and wait it out? I teach that patience brings profits, but I also know that some of you work with a business model that focuses on quick flips.

BOLOs are great, but don’t focus your business around them. They are nice every now and then, but eventually others will find out about this item or the store you buy them from will not restock them anymore. A business model focused around BOLOs will not survive in the long run. You need to have a well rounded list of inventory items (long tail, short tail, BOLOs, etc).

What do you think? What experiences do you have with BOLOs? Is there a good time to share a BOLO? What have you learned about BOLOs that you’d like to share with the group? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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How to Capitalize on a BOLO (Be On the Lookout)

Woman looking with binocularsLast week we talked about how to have a highly profitable Q4, and this week we’ll talk about another timely topic: how to capitalize on a BOLO.

What is a BOLO? It’s an acronym for “Be On the Look Out” and generally refers to a product that a reseller should be looking for to buy cheap and flip for a high profit margin. Usually, a reseller will share a BOLO when they’ve found something worth flipping, have run out of that particular item in their area,  and want to share that find with others. Most often, a BOLO is a hard-to-find item. In recent days, the topic of BOLOs have come up quite often on FBA forums and Facebook groups. In today’s post, we’ll talk about how to best handle a BOLO and how to use them to increase profits.

How to capitalize on a BOLO:

1. Double check to make sure that the item is worth reselling. Sometimes one man’s BOLO is another man’s NONO (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Ask yourself these questions: Does it have a sales rank you are comfortable with? Is the ROI (return on investment) high enough for you to take a trip to find that item? Make sure that this item fits into your definition of an item worth reselling.


Here is the Tuesday Morning inventory hotline number

2. Once you know it’s worth going after, search all of the stores for that item. If a BOLO is shared about a particular item at Walgreens, go ahead and visit as many Walgreens as possible. Also, some stores have a phone number you can call to see if that item can be found at a store near you. For instance, you can call the Tuesday Morning hotline and give them the item number (found on the Tuesday Morning price tag) and your zip code, and the system will tell you all of the stores in your area that have that item (as well as how many they have!). Other stores can tell you their individual store inventories on their website. No need to go out looking for an item if you know ahead of time the store near you doesn’t have it.

3. Don’t just go into a store looking for one item. Search for other items in that store that you can be on the lookout for as well. Before heading out the door to Walgreens, do an online search for “BOLO Walgreens” and see if anything comes up for searching for.

IMG_84834. When you’re at the store, scan other items too. Don’t just go into the store and only grab your BOLO item. Start scanning so that you can find more potential items to resell. Check to see if the store has a clearance section. Look at the sale items. Look at everything, if you have time. Chances are, you’ll find even more great items to resell.

5. Make your purchases, get back to your computer, and send these items in ASAP! With other people also looking for the same item, you’ll want to be the first to get your items in to the Amazon warehouse. The more people who buy the BOLO, the more competition you’ll have, so you want the Amazon customer to find your item first.

Buying a BOLO item has the potential to be a great profit maker, but it also has some downsides to consider. Like I stated above, once someone makes a BOLO public, then everyone who sees it can go out and buy it. It brings about the potential for Amazon to have a high number of that item in its warehouses. Unfortunately, the more competition there is for a specific item, the more likely the item’s price will come down. Sometimes the prices lower slowly, but other times the prices reduce quickly. This is something to keep in mind when you are spending your hard-earned money on buying these items to resell. Be smart. Do your research. And don’t get involved in the race to the bottom.

blog-profitMy attitude toward a BOLO is to approach it with patience. I know that others might come in and try to undercut the current low price. I know I have no control over that, so instead I make sure I’m mentally ready for it. They can sell out at their low price, and I’ll sell mine later at the higher price I chose. With the holiday sales rush coming soon, I know that the sellers who price “too low”  will sell out rather quickly and I’ll eventually get the higher sales price I want. Remember, patience brings profit.

Some resellers are totally against sharing BOLOs. In our next blog post, we’ll talk about when to, how to, and if you should share a BOLO. We’ll also discuss what to do when someone else shares a BOLO that you thought only you knew about.

So how about you? How do you capitalize on BOLOs? What else do you do to make the most of your time and money when it comes to BOLOs? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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