In today’s episode of the Full-Time FBA Show, we talk about how replenishables (or “replens” for short), can boost your sales and your profits in your Amazon FBA business. We kick off our episode by defining the term “replens” and unpacking what constitutes a good replen. Next, we talk about our 2020 top sellers and tell you why we think that Amazon sellers should consider adjusting their sourcing strategies to focus on replens.
We touch on sustainability in terms of stock and tell you a bit about each of our relationships with the three methods: retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, and wholesale. We also speak about outsourcing the sourcing process and answer the question of why we don’t see more sellers focusing on replens.
In closing, we consider why replens are not a quick fix but rather hold the power to set you up for long-term success. We point you in the direction of some helpful resources to learn more about how to maximize replens to boost sales and profits in your business. Tune in today and learn how to change the way you approach your Amazon FBA Business for the better.
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Key points from Episode 88:
- A definition for the term “replens” or “replenishables.”
- What constitutes a good replen.
- The story of Stephen and Rebecca’s top replen from last year.
- Why sellers should consider adjusting their sourcing strategies to focus on replens.
- Why replens are more sustainable than other forms of stock.
- Where Stephen has found replens with retail arbitrage and wholesale sourcing.
- How Rebecca has 50% of her replens through OA and 50% through wholesale.
- How replens help you secure consistent cash flow.
- How sourcing replens can be outsourced.
- Why we don’t see more sellers focusing on replens.
- Why replens aren’t a quick fix but set you up for long-term success.
- Some resources to educate yourself on replens and how to maximize them.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Reseller’s Guide to Replenishables: Find Profitable Amazon Inventory to Sell Again and Again.
- Use the limited-time coupon code REPLEN10 to take $10 off the course.
- Free Webinar: How Replens Can Boost Your Sales and Profits on Amazon
- Task Rabbit
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The Reseller’s Guide to Replens
Let’s be honest. If you really want to turn part-time hours into a full-time income, the sourcing activities of clearance aisles, liquidation lots, products on sale, garage sales, and thrifting are not the strategies that will make a full-time income.
The most efficient and profitable way to make a full-time income is to focus on replenishables.
Buying and selling replens is easily one of the most lucrative strategies for stable, long-term Amazon success.
If you’ve been frustrated with your current sourcing strategies, and if you’d like to learn more about how to source inventory that you can buy multiples of, sells consistently, and rarely ever runs out of stock, then our new course, The Reseller’s Guide to Replenishables: Find Profitable Amazon Inventory to Sell Again and Again, is for you.
With this course, you’ll finally have the skills to source for inventory that you can buy multiples of, and you’ll grow your Amazon business to the next level by selling your inventory faster and at higher prices!
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Episode 88 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.
[0:00:22.1] REBECCA: Hello there and welcome to episode number 88 of The Full-Time FBA Show, we are so glad you’re here with us today. We are going to be talking about how replens or replenishable can boost your sales and your profits in your Amazon FBA business. As always here with me today to talk about this is my co-host, Stephen Smotherman, hello Stephen.
[0:00:44.1] STEPHEN: Hi Rebecca, I’m glad to be here today.
[0:00:46.7] REBECCA: Well good.
[0:00:48.1] STEPHEN: It’s always so awkward.
[0:00:49.5] REBECCA: It is super awkward. Like, I’m greeting you for the first time today even though we work in the same office, we live in the same house.
[0:00:56.5] STEPHEN: Right.
[0:00:58.1] REBECCA: This is not our first conversation today… but hi, Stephen.
[0:01:01.7] STEPHEN: It’s my pleasure to be here.
[0:01:04.4] REBECCA: All right, well, let’s get into it.
[0:01:08.4] REBECCA: All right, right off the bat, let’s talk about what is a replen? What would you say is a good definition of a replen is or replenishable? I know the other day, we were recording and I was having trouble with growth hacks. I’ll just tell you right now as we’ve been preparing for this topic, the word replen is kind of sticking in my mind now that sounds so weird, replen. What is a replen?
[0:01:33.9] STEPHEN: Yeah, like you said, replen is short for replenishable. The definition of replenish means to make full again or to complete again by supplying what has been missing or used up. With Amazon sellers, replens are items that you can easily restock once you are selling them on Amazon. You go out, you buy multiples of an item and starts to sell really well and then you continually just go back to the source where you purchased them and restock your Amazon shelves and replenish those items to continually sell them throughout the year.
[0:02:04.5] REBECCA: What types of products are we talking about here, what makes a good replen?
[0:02:08.4] STEPHEN: Well, anything can be a replen and that is something that might be hard for a lot of people to understand, anything can be a replen. Now, there’s certain products that might lend themselves to be more possible replens but anything can really be a replen. In fact, next week on the show, we’re going to be talking about four replens that you need to be selling on Amazon. If it’s selling consistently and you can continually go back to the source to buy it, to restock it then it’s a good replen.
[0:02:33.6] REBECCA: Yeah, I would say even last year, one of our – two of our top selling replens were shoes.
[0:02:40.1] STEPHEN: Yeah.
[0:02:40.8] REBECCA: I think people don’t normally think of shoes as a replenishable item for their Amazon inventory. A lot of times shoes are like one-offs that you buy but I had a really good source and was selling them quickly so I was buying them and selling them, buying them and selling them and we ended up having two of our top selling A – well, not even two of our top selling ASINs but it was spread across several ASINs but two of our top selling products were shoes last year.
[0:03:04.6] STEPHEN: Yeah, I know for me as a customer, I like to go, if I like a pair of shoes, I like to go buy it again and those items just sold really well and yeah, it’s awesome.
[0:03:13.3] REBECCA: All right. Why should sellers consider adjusting their sourcing strategies to focus on Replens? If replens are something that could help boost your sales and profits for your business, how is that and why would you consider this sourcing strategy as supposed to others?
[0:03:31.5] STEPHEN: Well, I think this might be the type of sourcing strategy that should be the main focus for people who are wanting to make a full-time income. Now, people who are beginners selling on Amazon, maybe they’re looking at garage sales, thrift stores, clearance aisles at retail stores, clearance sections and online stores, those are items that are lower price than usual.
That gives us a higher ROI but garage sale thrift stores, clearance house, you’re not going to be able to restock those items, you know? A clearance section online, you’re not going to be able to get that throughout the year because it’s called clearance for a reason, they are clearancing and clearing out their shelves. It can be really exhausting when you’re only buying maybe one or two items from those locations but replens most of the time are purchased at full-retail price.
It’s for some reason, selling much better on Amazon and so with replens, they bring more sustainability and more of a steady stream of income and so I really think the end goal for Amazon sellers should be focusing on replens.
[0:04:29.1] REBECCA: Yeah, you were talking about a lot of times, beginning sellers are not focusing on replens but they’re focusing on these methods of clearance shopping or thrifting, garage sales. I would say also, sellers who aren’t necessarily trying to make a fulltime income or they haven’t decided to do that yet. I’m thinking of peopled who are doing this as a hobby, it’s just something that they find fun and it’s also a great way to make some money or people who view it as a side hustle right now.
That they have a full-time job but they’re wanting to make some extra money that those types of sourcing work really well and you can make good money out of it. Yeah, if you’re wanting to do this as your full-time income, moving away from one-offs into more replenishable items is definitely one of the goals that you should be looking towards.
[0:05:14.0] STEPHEN: Absolutely.
[0:05:15.4] REBECCA: Okay, you and I both sell replens, this is not something I would think that we necessarily set out to have as a goal. It’s just kind of what has happened over the years and now that we see it, we’re like, “Yeah, this is what we should be telling other people.” That this should be a goal of yours. Why don’t you tell me what are some of the replens, how do you go about finding the replens that you saw in a consistent basis and then I’ll share kind of what I do as well.
Are you doing RA, OA? How are you finding replens that you sell?
[0:05:47.2] STEPHEN: I’ve been able to find replens with retail arbitrage. I like it on the clearance aisle but I like going through the regular price aisle too and it takes a lot longer to go through canned items in a regular price isle but doing that can bring you and you can help you find replens and so I think having a really good balance, I do retail arbitrage, I every once in a while do online arbitrage but I also do wholesale and find replens, sourcing via wholesale and so it’s always good to have multiple income streams and so retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, wholesale.
All three of those have been really good. I mostly focus on RA and wholesale and there’s different strategies of finding replens with each method. Wholesale items might be a good replen because you’re buying it at a lowest possible price direct from the brand and that’s been a great opportunity and then retail arbitrage just finding stuff in regular priced isles that are selling for more on Amazon. What about you? What have you been doing with finding replens?
[0:06:41.4] REBECCA: For me, my main focus for years now has been online arbitrage and then this past – this year, 2021, I’ve really gotten into learning more about wholesale and I feel like the two kind of go together, they’re both done online and so OA is coming from retail sources and then I’m doing wholesale sourcing from suppliers and straight from the brand, yeah, I would say that right now, I’m finding kind of maybe 50/50, I don’t know how I haven’t sat down to crunch the numbers but maybe I’m finding 50% of my replens through OA and 50% through wholesale.
My goal is to build up wholesale to be a bigger proportion of it but both of those I’m doing through scanning a website or scanning a manifest from a wholesale supplier and then going through and picking out which items are matched with the Amazon catalog and sell consistently at a good price.
[0:07:39.2] STEPHEN: Yeah.
[0:07:40.2] REBECCA: how would you say that replens can help your business when it comes to cash flow, this is a big question for sellers to make sure that you have consistent cashflow.
[0:07:49.1] STEPHEN: Yeah, well, one of the things I love about replens, once you get a steady stream of replens, it takes a while to get it ramped up but once you get a steady stream of replens that you’re continually replenishing on a consistent basis, then you never wonder again where your next inventory will come from.
With doing retail arbitrage or garage sales or thrift stores or things like that, you always head out with the unknown, am I going to come home with five items or if I’m going to come home with a hundred and five items. You never know. With replans, there’s a consistent stream and that just makes things more predictable and more dependable when it comes to cashflow, those items are out there and once you find them, you can get that steady stream.
[0:08:28.7] REBECCA: Okay, let’s talk for a second about outsourcing. We barely touched on this on our last episode when we were talking about finding quality inventory that we should be asking the question of how we can find more quality inventory for our business and you know, I had mentioned that one of the aspects of quality inventory to me is inventory that I’m not the one that has to be doing it.
That I can outsource that so that I can get help from somebody else to multiply the potential that I have as one person to get inventory. Talk to me for a minute about how sourcing replens can be outsourced.
[0:09:04.7] STEPHEN: Yeah, there’s a lot of different ways. You know, I’ll talk about a few right now about how replens can be outsourced. Say you go to Target and you find four or five replens that are really good, well, if you live in a town that has multiple Targets, you can outsource having someone else go to the other Targets to pick up the items.
You can have a friend or a trusted student, someone that you know or you can even go to a website like TaskRabbit to hire someone part-time to go to a particular store, pick up the items and bring them back to you. Another strategy would be if you’re doing online arbitrage with curb-side local pick-up, you can order it from the comfort of your home and have somebody go pick it up for you and bring it to you but there’s a lot of different ways that you can outsource that and the opportunity is really good to outsource replens and it just helps maximize your time and your profits.
[0:09:56.2] REBECCA: All right, at the top of the show, you had mentioned that anything can be a replen. If that is the case and I believe that’s true, why is it that we don’t see more sellers focusing on replens?
[0:10:08.4] STEPHEN: I think it’s because replens require patience. When you find a clearance item usually you’re like, “Oh, I find one or two, I can sell one of those really quickly. I’m getting a really good price and good ROI” but replens are the long game. It’s all about the quick fix versus long-term success. If you need a quick fix, then do the clearance aisle or a garage sale might help you feel better at first because you’re finding really great ROI and you’re going to sell it quickly but the real long-term success, the real full-time income with part-time hours comes from focusing on replens.
Think about two situations, would you rather go to a store, go to the clearance aisle and fill-up a cart with 40 different ASINs that you’re going to sell maybe once or twice and that you know, it’s awesome. You have a full cart, that’s pretty cool or would you rather go to that same store and find only two or three ASINs but you can sell about 40 a month of those potentially all year long. If you compare those, the long-term success answer is finding two or three ASINs that you’re going to sell on a consistent basis, 40 times a month that you can find two or three there and buy 10 of those and go to other stores to purchase even more, so the opportunity is just really big with replens.
[0:11:18.8] REBECCA: Yeah, I would choose that second one.
[0:11:20.8] STEPHEN: Yeah.
[0:11:21.2] REBECCA: If we’re choosing, that’s the one I want to do.
[0:11:23.9] STEPHEN: Yeah, so if you want to learn more about replens, I got a couple of resources for you, fulltimefba.com/replenwebinar is a webinar that will walk you through introducing you to replens, where you can find them, what type of items replens are and how it can help your Amazon business even more than we talked about today. You would want to check that out and then we have a brand new course that is launching, fulltimefba.com/replens.
It’s the reseller’s guide to replenishables and it’s a course that will walk you through finding replens with retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, wholesale and will open up your mind to the potential that replens can help you with your Amazon business. We’ll have a special coupon code on the show notes page so be sure to check that out and you’ll be able to see exactly what you can do with replens and how it really can help your Amazon business get to the next level.
[0:12:09.4] REBECCA: All right, so the links that Stephen has mentioned along with the transcript of this podcast episode could be found at the website page for this show in the show notes at fulltimefba.com/88. That’s the number 88 because this is episode 88 and that will also include that coupon code in the link for the new course.
[0:12:30.1] STEPHEN: Yeah, this is lucky episode 88.
[0:12:31.8] REBECCA: Yes, lucky episode number 88 for all of our Chinese listeners.
[0:12:35.8] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:12:39.8] REBECCA: Well, we’re so glad you were here with us this week for episode 88. Next week, we will be back with you talking about replens a little bit more. We’re going to talk about four replens that you should be selling on Amazon and we hope that you’re here for that episode with us again on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:12:58.3] 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.
Hi Stephen, I am brand new here. I want to sell Replens (and become very successful) & learn how to use the Keepa app. What course do you recommend I should take?
Stephen Smotherman says
These two courses will help you big time: https://www.fulltimefba.com/replens AND https://www.fulltimefba.com/keepacourse But if you don’t know how to sell on Amazon at all, you need this beginner course: https://www.fulltimefba.com/jumpstart
How much upfront available money should one have in order to start this method in a decent-sized way? Also, I’ve never sold anything but books, and am not ungated in most other categories. I do know, however, that there are multiple categories that are automatically ungated without having to deal with invoices, etc. I’m only interested in this method for categories in which I don’t have to go through an ungating process. Book sales have plummeted as most used books are sold by mega-sellers that plunge prices down to total unprofitability. I also like the idea of selling new items. I need a change.