When you’re out sourcing, one of the things you need to consider is your competition. Say you’re out sourcing at Big Lots and come across an item with a great ROI. You research the item with your favorite scouting app and see that there are other FBA sellers selling this item. Do you join them? Or pass and look for other items with less competition? It’s something to consider when making reselling decisions.
In the past, some scouting apps were able to tell you how many of an item a certain seller had in stock, but Amazon changed the way these scouting apps get their information, and now it’s a complete mystery. Or is it?
When a scouting app returns the current data for a particular product, it will usually show you current prices, some of your competition, sales rank, and other pieces of information. Wouldn’t you also like to know how many of an item one particular seller has in stock? It could make a big difference in whether or not you decide to buy an item for resale. It could be helpful information to know if a few of the lower priced sellers have 5 to 10 of an item in stock before you decide to add yourself as a seller of that item.
Even more critical is knowing how many of an item Amazon has in stock. With Amazon’s buying power, they could easily have hundreds or thousands of an item in stock at any given time. When Amazon has that many in stock, it’s often a good idea to pass on selling that item.
There are two main ways you can find out how many items your competition currently has in stock. One way is to use an app that will find the data for you, and the other way is to find out for yourself with a manual method. I’ll break down both of these methods for you here:
1. How Many Manually
Here are the steps to manually find out how many items someone has in their current FBA inventory:
1. Go to the Amazon sales page for the item in question.
2. Click on the link that shows all of the current product offers (new, used, collectible, etc).
4. Click on the “edit your cart” link.
6. Type in 999 (the highest number allowed) and click update.
7. If that seller has under 999 items, then it will state, “This seller only has XX of these available.”
There ya go! You now know how many of that item that particular seller has in stock at a FBA warehouse. This method works with 3rd party sellers as well as with Amazon themselves. Note: These methods only work for seeing Amazon’s stock level when Amazon doesn’t have purchase quantity limits. Amazon sometimes limits purchases to 3 units, in which case they may have hundreds in stock, but you will only see 3 units available.
8. I almost forgot! Don’t forget to remove these items from your cart. I once had almost $30,000 in my Amazon shopping cart when using this method. I wouldn’t want anyone to accidentally buy everything in their cart.
The pros of this method are that it’s free, and you can do it both on your desktop and on your smart phone with the Amazon buyer’s app. The main cons of this method are that you can only do this trick for one seller at a time, and if you have multiple sellers to research, it can take up a lot of time.
My favorite method to find out stock levels of my competitors is to use the How Many? app. When you sign up for How Many? you get access to both the Chrome extension and the smart phone app. The How Many? extension can be easily installed on the Chrome browser and be up and running in no time. When you open up an Amazon sales page and click on the How Many? icon, you’ll see the inventory levels of every seller selling that item (both FBA and MF), even if the seller has buyer limits on his listing. To learn about many more features of How Many?, simply click here.
How Many? also has a mobile app that you can use anywhere you have a connection. Simply scan the item’s barcode or enter in the UPC or ASIN, and you’ll see immediately the stock levels every seller has for that item.
There is a free version of How Many? (which allows 5 free scans per day) and a paid version that has unlimited scans, but for the time it saves, it’s well worth the cost for us. For that one monthly fee you get access to both the Chrome extension and the mobile app.
Knowing how many items your competitors have in stock is not only good for when you are out sourcing, but also when you are pricing your items. If the three lowest priced sellers all have just one item in stock, then depending on the rank, you might want to price your item higher then theirs, knowing they might sell out while your item is headed to a FBA warehouse. On the other hand, if you see that the lowest priced competitor has 100 in stock, you might want to price more competitively to get a quicker sale. It’s all about strategy and what works best for you.
Ok, now it’s time for you to put your new inventory research skills to the test! Here is an item that I want you to research. Take a look at the three lowest priced FBA sellers and let me know in the comments how many they each currently have in stock.Product: Paw Patrol Chase’s Spy Cruiser, Vehicle and Figure
Don’t peek below at what others are posting. In fact, others may have done this exercise at a completely different time than you and will have different results. In any case, you never know if someone bought this item on the same day as you are reading this blog post, and the inventory levels have changed. Comment below how many the three lowest priced FBA sellers have in stock.