Online arbitrage (OA) is a great way to buy inventory online with the purpose of selling that inventory for a big profit on Amazon. With OA being such a popular way to source for Amazon inventory, there are many possible tools that you can subscribe to that promise you both time saved and money made! With so many possible OA tools to use, let’s talk about how you can get the most out of your online arbitrage subscriptions. After selling on Amazon for over a decade, we’ve tried out our fair share of OA subscriptions (including multiple deal lists and many OA tools). We’ve also done a lot of testing over time and worked hard to find the best of the best.
Today on the show we talk about three different types of OA subscriptions and share our seven-step process on how to get the most out of your online arbitrage monthly subscriptions. Our goal for this episode is for listeners to learn how to squeeze out every last drop of profitability and productivity from their online arbitrage subscriptions.
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Key points from Episode 207:
- The three different types of OA subscriptions available.
- The seven-step process on how to get the most out of your OA subscriptions.
- 1 – Make use of the free trials whenever they are offered.
- How to maximize your free trial.
- 2 – Subscribe for a month to prolong your testing of the tool.
- 3 – Set up strict buying parameters for yourself
- A leads list is not a buy list.
- 4 – Use filters in a list to help you make decisions.
- Watch out for empty cart syndrome!
- 5 – Keep detailed notes about your free trials and test months.
- 6 – Do further research and exploration on the rabbit trails you come across for great profits.
- 7 – Don’t get lazy about going through your deals each day.
- 1 – Make use of the free trials whenever they are offered.
- Listen to all the details about the 7 steps above on the podcast for a more well rounded understanding.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Tactical Arbitrage
- Tactical Arbitrage Academy
- Use the code FULLTIMEFBA50 to save $50 off the course
- Keepa – Amazon sales rank and pricing history tracker
- Use the code FULLTIME to get $20 off your first year
- Our Most Recommended Deal Lists
- Episode 60 – How Amazon Sellers Use Deal Lists For Maximum Profits
FINALLY MASTER ONLINE ARBITRAGE
If you want to add or improve your existing online arbitrage (OA) sourcing skills, then check out our course: The Reseller’s Guide to Online Arbitrage: Grow Your Amazon FBA Business With Online Sourcing Profits.
The course is a combination video course (5+ hours of OA training) and a 100+ page ebook. The videos and book both share the exact same content (so you can pick the format you most like to learn from). The course also comes with six time-saving and money-making bonuses all at no additional charge!
As a Podcast Perk use the code ONLINE25 and we’ll take $25 off the cost of the OA course (limited-time coupon code).
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Episode 207 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.
[0:00:00] STEPHEN: 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.
[0:00:20] REBECCA: Hello there, and welcome to this episode of the full-time FBA show. We are on episode number 207. Today, we’re talking about How to Get the Most from Your Online Arbitrage Subscriptions as an FBA seller. Today, talking with me is my co-host, my husband, my business partner, Stephen Smotherman. Welcome to the show, Stephen. Are you ready to talk about online arbitrage subscriptions?
[0:00:43] STEPHEN: I am, because after selling on Amazon for over a decade, we’ve tried out a lot of subscriptions. We’ve done a lot of testing, and a lot of work. We’ve honed our strategy on how to make the most of these, so I’m looking forward to talking about this today.
[0:01:03] REBECCA: When it comes to online arbitrage, this is the process of sourcing for inventory online, where you’re finding items to buy at a lower price on retail websites in order to sell them for a higher price on Amazon. With that, or otherwise online arbitrage, otherwise known as OA, there are many different tools that you can use that promise to either speed up your sourcing process or streamline the tasks that are involved or to increase your OA profits. Most of them are going to require a subscription of some sort to use, usually a monthly subscription.
If you are using any OA tools or thinking of adding some, you might be wondering, am I really going to get the most out of these subscriptions with these tools in order to make good profits with my business? In this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show, we’re going to share with you how to squeeze out every last drop of profitability and productivity from your online arbitrage subscriptions. Also, we’re going to try our hardest to say subscriptions and not descriptions or prescriptions. I’m just saying this has been really hard for us in getting ready for this episode, so.
[0:02:15] STEPHEN: Yeah. At the end of every episode, I always talk about next week on the show, and I think we had to take four takes, right?
[0:02:21] REBECCA: For last week’s episode.
[0:02:23] STEPHEN: Yeah. It was hard to say subscriptions.
[0:02:25] REBECCA: For your online arbitrage descriptions. Okay.
[0:02:29] STEPHEN: Yeah. If you catch – we’re going to try to edit them out, but anyway, we’re going to have fun with it. But yeah, before we tell you how to best get the most out of your OA subscriptions, you need to understand the different types of OA subscriptions that are out there. There might be more, but most of the OA tools can be divided into three types. Number one, online arbitrage deal lists, also called lead lists, that provide you with some inventory sourcing suggestions to help save time with sourcing. These tools look for online arbitrage inventory for you.
A second type of tool is a OA scanning tool, like tactical arbitrage that takes inventory spreadsheets or store websites to help you match those items from the store website that you’re buying from to the Amazon product page where you’re going to sell on and gives you sales ranks and profitability and other helpful information to save you from doing all that research yourself. Then there’s a third type OA analytical tools like Keepa or RevSeller that provide you with a deeper level of understanding that helps you make a more informed OA buying decision.
[0:03:35] REBECCA: When you first start considering whether or not to subscribe to an OA tool, you might be asking yourself, is this really worth the money? Will I really find enough items to buy using these subscription tools? Also, another question that we hear a lot is, will this tool be used to help other sellers find the exact same items that I’m going to find and lead to an increase in competition or a decrease in the Amazon selling price? Those are all legitimate questions.
As I personally have gained experience in using DLS and OA tools over several, several years of online arbitrage sourcing, I have developed a way to decide whether or not an OA tool works for me as a reseller. Stephen and I have tried out more lists and paid for more Chrome extensions than the ones we’ll mention in this episode, way more. I would say. But the list and tools that we mentioned in this episode are the ones that we have stuck with and receive the most benefit from. We’re going to put all of our most suggested deal lists and tools and if applicable coupon codes to go along with them on the show notes page from this episode. So, be sure and check that out fulltimefba.com/207.
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 this is going to be a good fit for our Amazon business. We’ll share our steps with you in this episode, but know that your own guidelines may vary. There may be factors that you find more important or less important than I do. The great thing about selling on Amazon is that you can conduct your own experiments. You are your own boss, so you can decide what you want to try and how to try it.
[0:05:17] STEPHEN: All right, so here is the seven-step process on how we know if we’re getting the most out of our OA subscriptions, and don’t worry, we’ll be sure to have these listed also in our show notes fulltimefba.com/207.
Number one, use free trials when they are offered. When it comes to deal lists or lead lists, it’s pretty rare to actually find one that offers a free trial, and that makes sense. I mean, they’re doing almost all the work for you by giving you exact product leads, but for online arbitrage tools, most subscription services offer maybe a three-day, seven-day or 10-day trial or a money back guarantee period. So, if they don’t offer one of those, I would reach out to them and ask for one. If they don’t give it to you, that might be a red flag that that service is not good for you. So, unless you’ve heard others rave about a certain tool, if they don’t have any type of free trial or money-back guarantee, then I would not try it at all.
Now, here’s a tip to maximize your free trial for the services who do offer it. Most people sign up for a service, let’s say a seven-day free trial on day one, and they sign up in for that service, and they spend multiple days and hours learning about that tool. By the time they actually start using the tool, they’re already halfway through their free trial or worse toward the end. Our big tip here about free trials is to learn how to use the tool before you sign up for the trial.
Most tools will have some training videos on YouTube that you can watch, you can get familiar with the tool before you start your free trial, that way, when you’re ready to be up to speed on the tool and you can actually start testing things out on day one and maximize your free trial. If you do that right, you might be able to make enough money of potential profits ready to cover your first monthly subscription if you play your cards right.
[0:06:57] REBECCA: Our second tip is to subscribe for a month, so that you can test the tool out even further. Free trials are great, but three days or seven 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 going to be like signing up for a cell phone contract or something where they’re asking you to commit for two years or you have to pay a big buyout fee.
Just try a month. See how it goes, and make your decision on whether you want to keep subscribing. Don’t be afraid of a one-month trial. Just don’t forget to set a reminder in your calendar so that you can assess the situation when it gets close to time for that month to end and you can cancel it the same way you cancel Apple TV when Ted Lasso is over for instance.
[0:07:41] STEPHEN: Preach. The third tip is to set strict buying parameters for yourself. Now when it comes to deal lists, every good list service has different parameters for the deal list they provide. They let you know the minimum net payout, the return on investment, the sales rank, minimums, things like that, or sales rank, maximums, things like that. Find a list that mostly resembles your buying parameters. Don’t get caught up with the excitement of buying off the list and throw your guidelines out the window.
The leads list is just a suggestion. It’s a leads list, not a buy list, and not everything on that list will line up with your own personal sourcing parameters. In our early days, we kept a piece of paper close to our computers with our minimum ROI, our net payout, our sales rank parameters, and all the other things near our computers, so that while we were sourcing online arbitrage, we would remember and stick with it. A deal list is only helpful if you already know what types of deals, you’re looking for. Keep these strict parameters close during your free trial, especially and as you continue on with the service.
[0:08:46] REBECCA: Our fourth tip is to use filters within a list to help you make your decisions. When it comes to deal lists, another way to help you stick to your buying parameters is to use the filters provided by the maker of that subscription list, if it comes in the form of a spreadsheet, which oftentimes those do. The very first thing I would do when I would start looking at a spreadsheet every day is to filter out items that are below my minimum ROI requirement. I would also filter out any items that are coming from stores that I’ve had problems with in the past and I don’t like to source from, or maybe I will filter out any categories that I don’t want to sell in.
If I can eliminate a few items right off the bat, I can save myself time by not having to look at them and keep myself from being tempted to buy something that doesn’t fit in my guidelines. Then when it comes to OA tools that scan websites like Tactical Arbitrage, you can set your tactical arbitrage filters right within the software and filter out anything that doesn’t match your parameters.
You know with retail arbitrage, how you might go into a store and then be tempted to buy something, just anything just to keep from walking out of a store empty-handed. We call that empty cart syndrome. The same thing can happen when you are doing online arbitrage sourcing. You can get to where there’s nothing in your online cart. You just want to find something anything to put in that cart and to check out, but you can prevent that syndrome from taking over your sourcing if you just use your filters well.
[0:10:19] STEPHEN: Absolutely. The fifth tip and the one you’re going to be tempted to skip, but don’t is to keep detailed notes about your free trials or test months. Why? You’re not going to be able to make an objective decision at the end of your free trial or test month of a subscription if you don’t pay attention to what you’re actually doing with that subscription during the free trial. Keep a notebook, a spreadsheet, maybe even a journal and make some notes about how many items you purchase.
If you didn’t listen to the last episodes, you don’t know why I’m talking about journaling in that tone, but write down how much money you spent, how many items you purchased, how many items you sold, how quickly they sold, how much they’re going for, selling price that might differ from the time you sent it in versus the time you sourced it. Things like that and review your notes objectively to make a decision on that tool.
[0:11:10] REBECCA: Yeah. A lot of this is just experimental. If you’re not making detailed notes about how your experiment is going you cannot analyze the results of that experiment. This is like sixth-grade science, right here. All right so our sixth tip, and one of my favorite, when it comes to doing online arbitrage and getting the most out of the tools that you’re using is to follow rabbit trails. The great thing about using deal lists and scanning software for online arbitrage is that they can set you off in one direction with the deals that they are providing you or with the items that you scanned, but then after that you’re on your own and you have the freedom to either buy those exact items off of the list that you’ve generated or you can buy other items similar to it.
If you’re only buying the exact items on a list of deals that you’re paying for, you’re really limiting yourself as a reseller. You want to spend the extra time that it takes to do a little bit of research on the rabbit trails that you come across so that you can find even better deals that no one else knows about. Say a deal list gives you a great deal on a grocery item. If it’s a good lead and even if it’s not, maybe take a few more seconds to check out other variations of that grocery item.
Follow that as a rabbit trail and you might find even more profits than what you would have received if you just follow the list and you’ll also find things that might have less competition and greater profits because other people who are getting that deal list aren’t sourcing those items or maybe a deal list would introduce you to a new online store that you’ve never heard of and you could follow that rabbit trail and explore other areas of that online store than just the one of the deal that you were provided and see if you can find something there. Follow all of these as rabbit trails and you will find great profits.
[0:13:00] STEPHEN: The seventh and last tip that we’re going to talk about today and this is one I can personally attest to learning the hard way is this. Don’t get lazy about going through your deals each day. The worst thing to do with an online subscription tool or list is to ignore it. Set aside a specific time each day to work through your list or play around with the scanning software, because if you don’t put it on your calendar, you don’t set aside that time to do that you’re much more likely to forget it or slough it off.
So, be consistent and develop a habit of doing some solid OA sourcing each day, because most deal lists, they’re released on a daily basis or at the same time each day. Figure out when it will be in your inbox and set a reminder for yourself on your phone or what calendar or whatever to look at it as soon as possible after it’s released. For an OA tool that you’re using to – if you don’t set aside time to do it, you’re not going to do it. Put it on the schedule so you can get it done.
[0:13:57] REBECCA: I know we’ve mentioned a few specific OA subscriptions on the show today, but if you want our complete list of suggested OA deal lists and tools head over to the show notes for today’s episode and we’ll put the names and links in some cases we even have coupon codes and you’ll find them at fulltimefba.com/207.
We really hope that these tips can empower you to try a new online arbitrage service that will save you some time make you some money and help you find success in this aspect of your Amazon FBA business.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show, as always you can find the show notes and the transcript for this episode at fulltimefba.com/207.
[0:14:41] STEPHEN: Next week on the show we’re going to be talking about this question, Should You Consider Selling on Amazon Internationally? No matter where you are right now, should you consider that selling on international Amazon platforms. We’ll detail that and go through those questions and answers next week on The Full-Time FBA show.
[0:15:00] ANNOUNCER: That’s 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.