It’s totally possible to get started selling on Amazon with hardly any capital in the beginning. In today’s episode, we’ll share eight different strategies you can use to find profitable inventory to sell on FBA, specifically if you have a limited amount of sourcing capital.
The goal with these strategies is to find inventory you can sell for as high an ROI as possible, after which you can roll your profits back into your business and have more sourcing capital to invest into further inventory. Tune into this great episode where we share all of our tips and tricks for getting the best items at better prices in all these categories so that you can build an amazing inventory out of next to nothing!
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Key points from episode 19:
- Eight proven methods for sourcing low-cost inventory.
- How to find items with huge ROI (return on investment).
- Tips for thrift store shopping: which days are best to go sourcing, and even how to get thrift store coupons.
- Locations where you can get very low cost books to resell online.
- Finding low cost inventory at estate sales (plus how to get estate sale items for up to 50% off).
- Websites where you can find super low cost items to sell on Amazon.
- And much more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
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My number one favorite item to buy at garage sales & thrift stores to sell on Amazon is board games! The awesome thing about board games is that they sell for really good money in both new and used (collectible) condition.
In fact, I have discovered the secrets to making hundreds of dollars a week selling new and used board games, and I want to pass on my strategies to you.
While I find profitable board games at garage sales, thrift stores, retail stores, online stores, and so many other great places! I’ll honestly run out of money before I run out of board games to find and resell. It’s because of this abundance of opportunity that I decided to create The Reseller’s Guide to Board Games: How to Turn Play Money into Real Money. This course is a combination ebook and video course that walks you through everything you need to know about making big profits buying and reselling board games.
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Episode 19 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:21.3] STEPHEN: Welcome to episode 19 of the Full-time FBA Show, this is Stephen Smotherman, I’m excited to be here today talking to you about the strategies you can use to find profitable inventory to sell on Amazon even if you have just a little bit of money and I’m here with my co-host, Rebecca. How are you doing today?
[0:00:38.9] REBECCA: I’m doing good, glad we’re talking about this, wrapping up this little series that we’ve had going on how to find more inventory if you’re just getting started and don’t have much money to spend on inventory.
[0:00:52.6] STEPHEN: If you’re just joining us after being away for a while, episode’s 17, 18, and 19 are all kind of connected and so this just kind of, you know, sums everything up and talks about another strategy on how to find inventory if you have little to no money and today, we’re focusing on if you have just that little bit of money, how to best use that to find profitable inventory to sell in Amazon.
[0:01:13.0] REBECCA: These tips that we’re giving are great for beginners and these are things that we did in the early stages of our business and as we pointed out in a previous episode, these aren’t necessarily things that you’re going to want to keep doing indefinitely, you know, three or four years down the road. These methods are going to be far behind you in your rearview mirror. These are things that you really can make great things happen for your business in the early days of getting started with FBA, but, it’s not something that we really look at as a long term method of finding inventory.
[0:01:46.3] STEPHEN: And some of the things that we’re going to talk about today are really obvious, you might think, “I already know how to do that,” but some of them might not be obvious and some maybe you’ve never tried before. Some of the things you might hear, you’re like, “Okay, I’m already doing this,” well, there might be something that you’re not so try some new strategies to see what can help you.
[0:02:06.8] REBECCA: On that note, let’s get started with our topic for today. How to source for low cost inventory to sell on Amazon FBA. We’ve got eight different methods of sourcing that we wanted to talk about. Let’s start with the first one, garage sales.
[0:02:21.2] STEPHEN: Yeah, garage sales have a special place in my heart because man, I love going to garage sales but yeah, garage sales are a great place for you to find stuff for practically nothing. I mean, you can get books for a quarter, you can get board games for a dollar, you can get a lot of things at little cost that you can in turn, sometimes get like 800% ROI, a thousand percent ROI. I mean, you can turn a dollar purchase of a board game into $50 of profit or you can turn a 25 cent book into $30 profit.
Now, that’s not something to expect every single time of course, but there are some diamonds in the rough that you can find that have that type of return on investment. In fact, if you would like an entire webinar walking to you through the strategies that I like to use when I go to garage sales, if you go to fulltimefba.com/garagesalewebinar, I’ll tell you all my secrets.
[0:03:11.0] REBECCA: Yup, that’s a good one to start off with and the second one is similar to it. You’re going to find similar type of inventory at thrift stores.
[0:03:19.8] STEPHEN: Yeah, thrift stores are pretty awesome. I live in Texas so garage sales can get kind of hot. So, thrift stores having air conditioning, I love that. Thrift stores will have a lot of stuff that you can purchase for resale when it comes to Amazon profits and again, for almost next to nothing. Different thrift stores will have different type of like buyer coupons or if you spend you know, $10 10 different times, you can get a $10 off coupon for future things and my biggest tip when it comes to thrift store sourcing is Mondays and Tuesdays are usually the absolute best days to go to a thrift store.
Why is that? Because people drop off garage sale left overs on Saturday, when they’re done or on Sunday the day after the garage sale is done and so Monday and Tuesday usually has the freshest inventory that other people haven’t seen yet.
[0:04:05.3] REBECCA: You’ll also, if you look in your area and find several thrift stores that you go to on a regular basis, if you’re consistently going to thrift stores, you’ll be able to find inventory easier and also, pay attention to when they have special discount days. If certain categories are on sale on certain days or if they have discounts for certain holiday or things of that nature. Be sure and pay attention to that because you can save even more money and increase your profits, increase your ROI as you’re finding those items for your FBA business.
All right, the number three way to find low cost inventory to send to FBA is library sales.
[0:04:46.0] STEPHEN: Right, libraries have books that either there’s not much interest in, people didn’t check them out, or maybe sometimes people donate books to a library and the library and the library decides, “Thanks for the donation but we’re not going to keep it.” They have sometimes once a year or twice a year, library sales where they will advertise a library sale and they’ll have a special part of the library where it will be you know, all these books are a certain price.
You can go through and you know, buy books for a dollar, buy books for 50 cents or things like that and have opportunities like on the last day, a lot of times they cut their price. They’re just trying to get rid of all these books to get more shelf space for all the new books that are coming in. There’s always new books coming out that people are more interested in and libraries just get rid of the ones that aren’t interested anymore by that local area.
Now, that doesn’t mean that just because that library that that there’s no enough interest to purchase that book there, that is not going to be interested by people on the Internet. Obviously, there’s a lot more millions of people looking on Amazon for certain books and you can find books very cheaply at library sales. Just be sure to try to get there early.
A lot of people focus on library sales as an income opportunity and so they want be there first so always just try to be there early on the first day to get the best selection.
[0:06:04.2] REBECCA: As you’re talking about the library sales and finding books for really low cost that that, I thought about – I guess this would be point number 3.5. This is kind of a bonus tip for people that live –
[0:06:18.0] STEPHEN: Bonus tip.
[0:06:18.0] REBECCA: Yeah, this is kind of a bonus tip for people that live in the DFW area. I don’t know if they have this in other parts of the country. If they do, let us know. Comment on the show notes or something to let us know about this. But, if you sell books and you are in the DFW area, you probably already know but maybe you don’t, that once a year, Half Price Books has a clearance sale that take all of the left overs, clearance books, books that haven’t sold and not just books but also music and other items from all of their different metroplex stores and they put them all together in Arlington. Is it the Arlington convention center?
[0:06:57.6] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:07:00.5] REBECCA: There you have a big sale. I think it lasts three days and again, get there early on Friday. I think it’s the Friday, Saturday Sunday. Because there will be other Dallas Fort Worth book sellers there. But we have found some really great stuff at that sale too along those lines. I don’t know if they have that, if they have something like a Half Price Books in other parts of the country or if there are Half Price Books in other parts of the country or even the state of the Texas that do something similar where multiple stores will pool all of their clearance inventory into a one big annual sale.
That’s a really awesome book sale that you can keep an eye out for.
[0:07:35.3] STEPHEN: Right. With libraries and even Half Price Books sales, it’s not just books. It’s books, it’s audio books, it’s CD’s, it’s DVD’s. It’s all sorts of type of media and so, if you’re approved to sell it on Amazon, then go and check out these opportunities and the way we learned about the Half Price Books sale is because we’re on their email list and so get on their email list and you can find out when the next one is in your area.
[0:07:59.3] REBECCA: All right, so that was three and I just made up 3.5 and number four is estate sales.
[0:08:06.9] STEPHEN: So estate sales, they are usually not too profitable on the very first day but mostly because most estate sales are run by professional companies that know how to price their items and they price their items to make a profit for the person who is behind the estate sale and so – but I always go to the last day of estate sales because that’s when things are half-priced. They have the “everything must go” mentality and sometimes we’ll even take negotiated prices a little bit lower than half-price. So estate sales are a great chance where you can get not only books but even other opportunities for items that you can sell on Amazon.
[0:08:43.5] REBECCA: All right, number five. This is a big one that you can find a lot of really great stuff for your FBA business at retail clearance isles or endcaps.
[0:08:54.4] STEPHEN: Yeah, almost every store ever has a section where they are just trying to get rid of their products. Clearance isles where – I think about Walmart, they got the big huge yellow signs and sometimes yellow balloons and everything is on clearance or I think about Target. They’ve got endcaps where they got the red signs with the white lettering of clearance. Just walk around the store, take a look and see if you can find a clearance section.
Maybe you could ask one of the employees where you can find the clearance section and just a few tips when it comes to clearance buying. Sometimes items will be on “clearance” – why do I keep quoting myself? Maybe sometimes they will price an item in clearance where it is regular priced $45 but it is clearanced for $44.95 and that’s not clearance at all. That is just five cents off. So be sure to check if it is an actual clearance type price because you can find items that are 30%, 50%, 75% sometimes 90% off in clearance isles or clearance endcaps around retail stores.
[0:09:55.6] REBECCA: Okay, so then we have – six, seven and eight on our list go together. We’ve got – number six is Facebook Marketplace, number seven, Facebook buy/sell/trade groups and then number eight is Craigslist and we are putting all of those together. They are different enough that I think they belong as their own point, six, seven and eight but they are similar enough that let’s just, let us save everybody’s time. We want to make the best use of your time and our time and talk about it all together because there are some similarities.
[0:10:28.9] STEPHEN: Right, these are locations and don’t worry we will put the links to them in the shownotes at fulltimefba.com/19 but these are opportunities where you can find really low priced items that might cost you just a few bucks and be able to find it to sell on Amazon. You can look at the item that is being sold on the Facebook marketplace. Maybe you can go to a Facebook group that is in your local area and they focus on buying or selling or trading items or going to look at the For Sale section of Craigslist.
You can search different categories and you can find items that you can purchase very cheaply and be able to sell on Amazon and sometimes they’ll lot them together like they might, you know in the past I purchased a lot on Craigslist of 15 board games and I was able to sell about half of them on Amazon in collectible condition and the other half I just kept in my garage until I found the missing pieces that were missing. That is a whole other story.
Maybe another whole other podcast sometime but you have that opportunity to find inventory pretty cheap there online. Just remember again, if this is something where you’re going to have to meet somebody in person to pick up an item, meet them in a public place, bring a friend with you maybe or have a friend on the phone with you, meet in a place that is well lit. If it’s toward the evening just be smart to help protect yourself and make sure you get home after that and list it on Amazon as soon as you can.
[0:11:52.0] REBECCA: All right, well that wraps up our list of eight different ways that you can find profitable inventory to sell on FBA if you have limited amounts of sourcing capital to work with and the goal in all of this is to find inventory that you can sell for a high return on your investment, a high ROI and then you can take your profits and roll them back into your business and that overtime, you will be able to have more sourcing capital that you can invest more money into inventory. So this is a long term process but it’s one that works. It is one that we have seen work in our own business and other people have used it too to get started with their FBA business.
[0:12:30.4] STEPHEN: Absolutely and it is – one of the great things about it is that the time is flexible. You know you can do these things on your own time and be able to make some money to find stuff to purchase on Amazon for some good profits.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:12:45.5] REBECCA: All right, so again, if you want to find any of the links that we have talked about or if you want to see the transcript of this episode, be sure and check out the shownotes at fulltimefba.com/19. That is the number 19 and you will find all the information that you need there.
[0:13:01.1] STEPHEN: And next week, we are going to be talking about how to improve your feedback score while still following Amazon’s terms of service. Amazon has recently updated their terms of service and it can impact how you deal with your feedback in trying to increase positive feedback or delete negative feedbacks that might not be working out for you and we are going to be talking about that and how you can do that within Amazon’s terms of service and we are looking forward to talking about that with you.
[0:13:26.9] REBECCA: All right and be sure, we wanted to let you know to be sure and follow us on Instagram. It is another way that you can connect with us that you can see Full-time FBA posts. We’ve got Instagram Stories that we do and we’ll be sharing videos, Stephen gets on and does videos from time to time and we also have posts and articles and links that we share there and it’s just another way that you can connect with us and find out more of our tips and tricks for building a Full-time FBA business by using only part time hours and that’s at fulltimefba.com/Instagram.
[0:14:04.4] STEPHEN: Well that is it for today. Thank you so much for hanging out with us. We have enjoyed talking with you and giving you some ideas to help you grow your Amazon business.
[0:14:12.8] REBECCA: All right, well we will see you next week and we look forward to talking to you then and in the meantime, have a great week, find lots of good inventory and keep working on your FBA business.
[0:14:23.8] STEPHEN: Have a great day everybody.
[0:14:27.5] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the show notes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you have learned today so you can find success at turning part time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.
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