How to Get the Most from Your Online Arbitrage Subscriptions

OA Subscriptions
I want to follow up on a couple of posts I’ve written about using online arbitrage (OA) in our Amazon FBA business. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should check out The Perfect Online Arbitrage Starter Kit and How to Take Online Arbitrage to the Next Level.

In these posts I talk about my favorite online arbitrage subscriptions: Cyber Monkey Deals for general online buys, Gated List and Your Sourced Inventory for online buys in the gated categories of shoes and clothing, and the OAXray Chrome extension. When I first got started with OA, I had some reservations about paying money to get daily deal lists or a Chrome extension:

  • Is it really worth the money?
  • Will I really find enough items to purchase from these subscriptions?
  • Will these lists be sent to so many Amazon sellers that anything I buy from them will increase in competition and decrease in selling price?

1f48f1fAs I’ve gained experience in using deal lists and extensions, I’ve developed a way for deciding whether or not a OA tool works for me as a reseller. I’ve tried out more lists and more paid Chrome extensions than the ones mentioned above, but these four products are the ones I’ve stuck with and received the most benefit from.

Each time I try a new OA tool, I follow the same set of guidelines so that I can make an objective decision about whether it is good for our Amazon FBA business. I’ll share my steps with you below, but know that your own guidelines may vary. The great thing about selling on Amazon is that you can conduct your own experiments – you’re your own boss, so decide what you want to try and how you want to try it, play around, and have fun!

Here are the ways that I get the most out of my OA subscriptions:

free_trial1. Use free trials when they are offered.

Most subscription services offer a 3-day or 7-day trial or a money back guarantee period. If they don’t offer one, ask for one. If they still don’t give it to you, that’s a red flag for that service.

The great thing about a free trial period for a service that provides you with leads on items to resell is you can use the money you make from those items to buy more months of the subscription. If you can’t find enough during the free trial period to pay for your next subscription plus plenty of profit, then you know that particular service isn’t for you.

Calendar2. Subscribe for a month to test the tool even further.

Free trials are great, but 3 days or 7 days still isn’t that long. If you subscribe for one month, you’ll get a better sense of what the product offers on a regular basis. This isn’t like signing up for a cell phone contract — you won’t be committed to subscribe for two years. Just try a month, see how it goes, and make your decision on whether you want to keep subscribing. Don’t forget to set a reminder in your calendar to assess the situation when it gets close to time for the month to end.

parameters3. Set strict buying parameters for yourself.

Every list service has different parameters for the deals they provide: the minimum net payout, return on investment (ROI), sales rank, etc. Find a list that most closely resembles your buying parameters, but then don’t get caught up in the excitement of buying off the list and throw your own guidelines out the window. I keep a piece of paper with my minimum ROI, net payout, sales rank, favorite shoe sizes, maximum number of color variations, etc, near my computer while I’m sourcing OA, so that I remember to stick with it. A deal list is only helpful if YOU already know what types of deals you’re looking for.

Decision-Making-Image-2-YoYo4. Use filters within the list to help your decision-making process.

Another way to help you stick to your buying parameters is to use the filters provided by the maker of the subscription list. The very first thing I do when I start looking at a list each day is filter out items below my minimum ROI requirement. I also filter out items from certain stores I’ve had trouble with in the past. If I can eliminate a few items right off the bat, I can save myself time in not having to look at them and keep myself from being tempted to buy something that doesn’t fit my guidelines. You know how you’re tempted to buy something, anything, just to keep from walking out of a store empty-handed when you’re doing retail arbitrage? The same phenomenon happens with OA, but you can prevent it by using your filters well.

laptop_letter_pen_200474214-0015. Keep detailed notes about your free trials or test months.

You won’t be able to make an objective decision at the end of a free trial or a test month of a subscription if you don’t pay attention to what you’re actually doing with that subscription during the trial. Keep a notebook or spreadsheet with notes about how many items you purchase, how much money you spend, how many items sell, how quickly they sell, and how much the selling price differs from the time you sent it in.

6. Follow rabbit trails.

The great thing about deal lists is that they set you off in the direction of deals…but then you’re on your own! You have the freedom to buy the exact item on the list, or you can buy other items similar to it. If you’re only buying the exact items on the list, you’re limiting yourself as a reseller. Spend the extra time to do some research on the rabbit trails, and you may find even better deals that no one else knows about.

7328ec013a198ac1044a70aef5d37d247. Don’t get lazy about going through your deals each day.

The worst thing to do with an online subscription list is ignore it. Set aside a specific time each day to work through your list or play around with an extension like OAXray. If you don’t put it on your calendar, you’re much more likely to forget it or slough it off. Be consistent and you will develop a habit of doing solid OA each day. Most lists are released at around the same time each day, so figure out when it will be in your inbox and set a reminder on your phone to look at it as soon as possible after it’s released.

I hope these tips can empower you to try a new online arbitrage service and find success in this aspect of your Amazon FBA business. Do you have any tips you would like to add? Please let us know in the comments.

16 responses to “How to Get the Most from Your Online Arbitrage Subscriptions

  1. Great piece. Especially the one about the rabbit trails. Thanks.

  2. Great post. I have 2 questions.

    1. Do you have a post that talks more about rabbit trails?
    2. If you had to order the lists which one would be 1st, 2nd and 3rd?

    • Rebecca Smotherman Rebecca Smotherman

      Thanks for the questions!
      1. We don’t have one yet, but we keep getting this question, so I’m sure we’ll be working on that topic for the blog and YouTube soon.
      2. I can’t really put them in order because it’s like comparing apples to oranges. It really depends on your business model, whether you’re ungated, etc. I do recommend trying these lists or others for the trial period and seeing what you think about them for yourself. What works well for me might not work well in your business model.

  3. Thanks Rebecca!

  4. I agree with every point here. I think what would help is, even though each of us may have a different business model, customer service is very important, how they respond to questions, concerns, etc. I recently had one who replied in ALL CAPS, TELLING ME TO BASICALLY DEAL WITH IT.! I responded with a “how do you stay in business with a response like that” I later got another email saying he was the owner and said as soon as he finds out who sent that they will be fired, funny thing is, both emails were signed by him. He then sent me another saying the person was having personal problems and it wont happen again…what? So I would hate to have someone else go through this. But yeah, trial and error.

  5. Good info. I’m ungated for both clothing and shoes. Do you know of or can you recommend an OA list for clothing?

    • Rebecca Smotherman Rebecca Smotherman

      Other than Your Sourced Inventory, which includes shoes and clothing, I don’t know of any other list that is 100% clothing.

  6. Marion Steinbrenner

    OAXray gaves the 6 days free but not with the list, but with all the other parts. How will that help me make a good decision if I can’t test it.

    • Rebecca Smotherman Rebecca Smotherman

      Hi Marion,
      OAXray is not a list. It is a Chrome extension that scans retail websites. If you’re wanting a list, you will need to subscribe to a separate service.

      I highly recommend watching the videos on OAXray’s YouTube channel when getting started with OAXray. They have detailed tutorials for how to use the extension.

  7. You mentioned that you have tried several lists that provide daily deals. I am looking to try a list but I want to make sure that I invest in the best one, How can I find a list of these type of services? I was not able to find any other beside Cyber Monkey Deals? Thanks for your help

    • Rebecca Smotherman Rebecca Smotherman

      We don’t know of a list that has all of these type of services compiled in one place, but if you find one please let us know about it. We personally use Cyber Monkey Deals, Your Sourced Inventory, and Gated List on a daily basis. If we’ve tried a list and didn’t find it to be useful for us, we don’t post that information, so that we don’t harm anyone else’s business.

  8. Hello,

    I am looking into purchasing a list from cyber monkey deals and noticed that they have a few different subscriptions for their lists. Which one would you recommend? I see they have a top 1%, top 3% and top 5%. which would would be best?

    • Rebecca Smotherman Rebecca Smotherman

      Hi there,
      We have used both the top 1% and top 3% of CMD. Over Q4 last year we had a subscription to both at the same time. Definitely check out Matt’s comment below if you haven’t seen it already. We’ve seen similar results to what he describes. We set our ROI parameters a little lower (sometimes 50%, sometimes 75%, depending on how much capital we have available and the rank of the items in question). We don’t necessarily find something to purchase every day, but we do find several deals per week.

  9. I am currently using the top 5% list of 25 deals a day for $50 at CybermonkeyDeals. I sort through this list for 100% ROI items to purchase. I don’t find great items to buy every day, but maybe 2-5 deals a week off of this list. It all depends on what kind of turnover you are looking for,what your ROI parameters are for making purchases and what you are willing to spend. Hope that helps.

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