Top 4 Tips for Amazon FBA Sourcing in November

november-sourcing-tipsWow! I can’t believe it’s already November. While the weather may be getting cooler, the opportunities to make big profits via Amazon FBA are getting hotter and hotter. You probably have noticed a slight increase in sales in October, and this month the numbers of sales will continue to rise. This is an exciting time.

To help you make the most of every opportunity for the rest of Q4, I’ve put together a list of my best tips for FBA sourcing in November. While most resellers are focusing on toys, toys, and more toys, I want to help broaden your thinking on other ways to make this Q4 profitable. In fact, only one of the four tips below mentions toys . That’s because I think that toys is the most obvious thing people are sourcing, and I wanted to give you other ideas of profitable items to source that others might be ignoring. Yes, toys are awesome to sell during Q4, but if you only look at toys, you are leaving a lot of other money making opportunities on the table

1. Halloween clearance. 

rbk-kids-halloween-costumes-super-mario-lgnHalloween clearance sales provide a great opportunity for profitable items. Halloween candy (especially candy corn) still sells well throughout the year. And certain children’s costumes are big sellers year round. Many kids love getting a costume of their favorite TV, movie, or video game character as a Christmas or birthday gift during the year… so if you happen to come across any Halloween costumes still on clearance, scan and buy those things up. If a store still has costumes on clearance, it’ll probably be up to 90% off by now. What awesome ROI! Note: If you are not approved to sell in clothing, then be sure that the costume is in the toy category. From my experience, about 75% of the costumes I’ve looked at are in the toy category, while the other 25% are in clothing.

2. Winter related items

doc-mcstuffin-fleece-blanketNovember is here, and so is the cold. In many places across the US, arctic fronts are hitting soon (or have already been) and this signals a huge increase in winter related products. If you see anything on clearance that is winter related, scan it as soon as possible. This especially includes themed winter merchandise such as blankets with children’s characters on them (Doc McStuffins Fleese Throw), Snuggies (with the local college logo all over it), and anything else winter related with a TV, movie, music, or sports theme.

The best thing about winter related items is that they will often still sell year-round. Even during the hot summer months in the US, it’s still cold somewhere in the world, and customers want to get their winter related items from Amazon. You want them to buy from you! I’ve sold Thomas the Train fleece throws and Hello Kitty Snuggies both in November and in July. So while the next 3 months are going to be the best time to sell winter themed items, you don’t have to worry if they don’t sell now… because it’s likely to sell (if priced competitively) sometime later.

ice-scrapperOf course, there are a million other winter related items that sell well while it’s freezing outside other than blankets, fleeces, and Snuggies. Put on your thinking cap and come up with other cold related items that people buy between November and February. Just brainstorming I can think of winter boots, vaporizers, ice scrappers, wool socks, lotions and skin moisturizers for dry skin, ice fishing supplies, car covers, snow blowers, ice skates, hot chocolate mixes, hand warmers, fireplace tools, bags of rock salt, cough and cold medicines, and space heaters… and that’s just off the top of my head. Keep your eyes open for these items (some regular price, but especially clearance priced) because they may sell very quickly.

3. Summer related items 

It might seem obvious to sell winter related items during the winter, but did you know that summer items sell well this time of year too? In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll find summer items that are clearanced up to 75% or even 90% off retail prices.

Even though it may be winter weather where you are, there are many places where it’s still warm. I’ll never forget when I was in middle school and went swimming on Christmas day in Houston, Texas. Sure, it was a rare winter season where the temps never got close to being cold, but I know there are plenty of states in the US (think of Florida, Arizona, and Hawaii too) that stay warmer than the rest of the US… and they still might be buying summer items right now. Also, some families take winter vacations to warm weather destinations, and need to buy summer related items. You want them to buy from you! And if you’re set up with FBA Global Export (you are by now, aren’t you?) then people all over the globe can buy your summer related items while it’s summer weather for them.

black_thinking_capAgain, put on your FBA thinking cap and think of all the spring and summer items that sell well. These include inflatable pool toys, sandals, grilling tools, grilling seasonings, swimsuits, air conditioners, box fans, camping gear, water balloon and squirt gun toys, sprinklers, plant seeds, lawn tools, lawn ornaments, car wax, beach towels, baseball gear, sunglasses, wedding related items (most weddings are in the summer), swimming pool supplies, and coolers are just a few ideas to get you thinking of summer items.

Sure, not all of your summer merchandise will sell during the winter months, but just think how awesome it is, that for only a few pennies a month, Amazon will store these items for you until they eventually sell. Come spring or summertime, these items will be back to flying off the shelves, and the ROI you get will make your wallet very happy. And if you’re worried about long term storage fees, since you’re sending summer related items in after August 15th, you won’t be charged any long term storage fees until August 15th of next year. You’ll have almost all of summer to sell these items.

Note: Don’t just assume all summer related items will sell during the winter. Do your due diligence and check the data from CamelCamelCamel and/or Keepa to see if you can expect sales.

4. Black Friday

Black-Friday-LineAnother big event in the life of a reseller in the month of November is Black Friday. This year, Black Friday falls on November 25th, but that doesn’t mean that all the best deals happen on that specific day. Retail and online stores still want to bring in customers and make profits on the days both before and after Black Friday. In fact, some pre and post Black Friday deals are the best deals all year.

Did you know that many of the Black Friday deals are honored online? That’s right, you can order from home many of the same deals that others are camping out overnight to get. Another way to take advantage of Black Friday deals is that Amazon often price-matches Black Friday ads. Do your due diligence to find out which ads they are matching, but for many items, it’s well worth the time to get Amazon to price match. That way, you could buy from the retailer (who will often limit your purchase to a small quantity) AND you could buy from Amazon (who will also limit your purchasing numbers). This way, you could get double what you would normally get if you only shopped from the retail store’s website.

book-and-masterclass-black-friday-2If you want to be properly prepared for Black Friday, check out The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday: The Fool-proof Strategy to Rock Black Friday Sales Every Year. In this combination ebook and master class, Kristin Ostrander (the Queen of Black Friday) and I walk you through everything you need to know to make big profits before, during, and after Black Friday. The ebook will walk you through multiple Black Friday strategies so you can pick the one that best fits your situation and skills. The live online master class will be an opportunity for Kristin and I to show you how we make our best Black Friday sourcing decisions using actual Black Friday ads. There will also be a time of Q&A during the master class where you can ask both Kristin and I any Black Friday related questions. With a 30 day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose. Learn more about The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday.

Profit-graph-260x259I really love sourcing in November. Amazon’s Q4 sales have started to increase, and there is more money to source with than usual. The more money you can source with in November, the faster you can get inventory into Amazon to flip… which leads to even bigger payouts, and more capital to source with in the next disbursement… and then the cycle starts over and over again!

So how about you? What tips do you have to share about sourcing in November? Do you have a plan of attack for Black Friday? I’d love to hear how you plan on making November the most profitable it can be. Comment below with your awesome ideas.

10 responses to “Top 4 Tips for Amazon FBA Sourcing in November

  1. Great post, Stephen! While a bulk of my sales are toys, I have found that other categories have less competition. My grocery sales (Thanksgiving and Christmas = lots of big meals) are doing great. I plan to stay home with my family as well. I might get online for some deals, but I prefer to enjoy the holiday rather than get stressed in large crowds.

  2. Great info. Thanks for the post!

  3. Great stuff as always Stephen! And you;re right..in the last week I have sold blow up pool toys and beach towels!

  4. Thanks for sharing your experiences and wisdom with the reseller community. I value the advice you give. Keep sharing. God bless you and your family.

  5. Great post and tips, as usual. Thanks so much for the ideas, Stephen.

  6. Michael Belfield

    Thanks so much for the additional sources, and causing me to rethink purchasing out of season merchandise. I am probably going straight to hell. I am considering shopping on Thanksgiving day hoping the crowds will be less. I live a lone and don’t have any family here so I just may try my luck.

    • From what I hear about Black Friday shopping, the crowds are usually about 5x to 10x the usual… it’s really crazy in the morning, but it calms down somewhat during the day. It should be busy, but not too crazy. Best of luck! Let me know how things go.

  7. Just read this post again, and must say, like yesterday’s it’s timely. These are some of the best ideas I’ve heard that confirm some of what I’ve been considering as I look for ways to move away from the herd of sellers in more “obvious” areas. Online shopping for me on Thanksgiving and BF.

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