Many successful Amazon resellers are studying and strategizing for Black Friday sourcing weeks in advance, but many people don’t realize how profitable Black Friday can be by just sitting on your couch at home with your computer. In this episode, Stephen interviews Rebecca about some profitable strategies for Black Friday via online arbitrage (OA).
Not only does Black Friday sourcing online help you avoid all the crazy crowds, but it offers up so many other benefits as well. From avoiding purchase limits, focusing on a particular niche, and collecting info on all the best sales, to outsourcing to a virtual assistant (VA), utilizing coupon codes, and other advanced strategies, there is plenty to learn and implement for OA Black Friday sourcing.
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Key points from Episode 57:
- Why you should source online when it comes to Black Friday – avoid purchase limits, big crowds, and get better deals.
- How to start collecting the information on the best Black Friday sales from the stores that you want to source from.
- Rebecca’s recommendations on how to best organize the best Black Friday sourcing opportunities.
- How outsourcing some tasks to a VA can save time and make you more income.
- How to find the best coupon codes (and cash back options) for squeezing out even more profit from Black Friday deals.
- Top tools for OA that help you source more inventory in less time.
- Our final tip seems counterintuitive but can really help you get faster sales at higher prices.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday (limited-time opportunity)
- Hire a VA from Freeeup, Upwork, or Onlinejobs.ph
- Tactical Arbitrage – Use code FULLTIME10 to get extended 10-day trial
- OAXray – This tool is no longer active.
- Review of Tactical Arbitrage
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I’m excited to tell you that my friend Kristin Ostrander and I (Stephen) created a course called The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday: The Fool-proof Strategy to Rock Black Friday Sales Every Year. In this combination ebook and video master class, we will walk you through, step-by-step, multiple Black Friday strategies that you can implement in your own Amazon business model.
Here’s the cool thing: Kristin and I have completely different Black Friday strategies, yet we are both able to make a killing off of Black Friday sales. She likes to shop Black Friday sales in the stores, while I usually stay home on Black Friday… How can both of these strategies work? We can’t wait to tell you in the latest edition of The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday.
Right now, the cart for the Black Friday course is closed, but you can get on the wait list today! All you have to do is click on this link and you can sign up to be notified when the updated edition of the course is released. I’ll also be sure to send you a coupon code for the course as well.
Episode 57 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 host of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:21.8] STEPHEN: Hello and welcome to episode number 57 of The Full-Time FBA Show. We are excited to give you yet another strategy that you can use to help you turn part time hours into a full-time income selling on Amazon via FBA. The topic for today is Black Friday, it’s coming up, we’re going to be talking about it, and with me to talk about Black Friday sourcing strategies is my wife Rebecca, who is always on the show because, you know, we host the show together. How are you doing Rebecca?
[0:00:48.8] REBECCA: I’m doing great. I’ve got my cup of hot chai here, it is a cold day but I am ready to talk.
[0:00:56.4] STEPHEN: That’s awesome, well, I’m glad you’re ready to talk because, in this episode, I’m going to be interviewing you about some Black Friday strategies. Now, if you are listening and you’re thinking okay, Black Friday, I’m interested in learning about that, we’re actually going to be talking about online arbitrage Black Friday strategies today, so if you are interested in retail arbitrage, Black Friday strategies, stay tuned to the end of this episode, I’ve got a resource for you to help you with that, but we’re going to be focusing on online arbitrage because lot of people don’t realize, Black Friday can be really profitable, just sitting on your couch at home on your computer.
I’m looking forward to talking to you about this today Rebecca.
[0:01:32.2] REBECCA: I’m looking forward to it too.
[0:01:37.3] STEPHEN: All right, before we jump in to some Black Friday sourcing strategies via online arbitrage, why even do that at all? Why even source Black Friday sales online? Aren’t the biggest deals available if you stand in line overnight, and set out a camping tent, and freeze to death to be able to get a really good deal on a TV or something? Why it’s worse online when it comes to Black Friday?
[0:01:59.5] REBECCA: Well, I think what you’re talking about is kind of the stereotypical image that we’ve got in our head over the last decade or so of Black Friday shopping, the advertisements you see, what you see on the local news afterwards that you know, you have to get out there and fight that crowds but, really, you can do a lot of great Black Friday sourcing online. In some ways it’s a lot easier, and there’s a few reasons why it’s even more profitable I think to do online shopping.
This isn’t just because you know – some of the reason that you might decide to do it online versus in stores is just your personal preference, do you want to get out, do you have the time to get out, what’s going on with your family holiday, and all of that, but some of it really does have to do with strategies. For one thing, if you’re out there doing retail arbitrage and you’ve got some items that you’re wanting to purchase from a store to resell, you might run in to purchase limits. Some stores are going to put up a purchase limit for people coming in for those hot ticket items. You can kind of get around that if you’re doing online shopping, and focusing on items that are only going to be available to purchase at these great discounts, or with coupon codes or whatever online.
Obviously, you can have some people help you with the purchase limits if you hire people or have friends of family to help you. But, one really big way to get around that is to just not even do it, to focus more on online shopping where you’re not going to run in to that. You’re just going to have your normal purchase limits.
Another thing is that OA really is not just a Black Friday event, and I think this is becoming more and more the case, and probably especially in 2020 with retail arbitrage as well. There’s just so much we don’t completely know about what’s going to happen over that Black Friday period this year. But it’s always been the case, for online arbitrage, you’re not going to just find deals that are limited to Black Friday itself or even the day after that weekend. You’re going to find I think this year more than ever that your online deals are going to start before Black Friday, even a week or so before Black Friday.
There’s going to be a lot of competition with online retailers to get sales in the week leading up to Black Friday, during that weekend, and then after. Even beyond Cyber Monday and into that next week, there’s going to be a lot of deals, because online retailers are really going to be competing with each other this year.
I mean, honestly, a lot of us are just not going to be able to get out as much as we were in the past or not want to get out as much as we were in past years. This year, with it being such an exceptional year.
[0:04:34.1] STEPHEN: Yeah, these stores don’t just want to make money on one day of the year, Black Friday, they’re going to have some amazing sales before Black Friday, during, and after. So, say the listener is thinking okay, I want to do some Black Friday sourcing online, where do I even start? How do I know about all the big Black Friday deals, what can I do to make it easier on me, what do I do next?
[0:04:55.8] REBECCA: Yeah, it can seem overwhelming because again, with RA, you’re going to be limited to what’s available around you, but with OA, you have so many options like basically any store that you can access online, you’re going to be able to shop there for any Black Friday deals that they have going on. That can be overwhelming, and I think that the best way really to get started with knowing about what deals are going to be available is to just kind of hone in on your category that you focus on or, you know, your limited number of categories that you focus on selling on Amazon, and then also the stores that you typically like to source that online.
If this is new to you, just kind of – it’s going to be an experiment that to pick a few stores, and then get on their newsletter list, and really pay attention. Sign up for their email newsletter list, pay attention to when they’re announcing these sales, what kinds of information you’re going to be getting, if they’re putting out any types of flyers for upcoming Black Friday deals or holiday gift guides, and what not, and just start collecting that information, and making notes about it.
Getting on those store newsletter lists is really important because you’re going to get a lot of information that way that you might not get collected in one spot. It’s a really good way to collect all of it that information in one spot that might be harder to kind of compile if you’re just always bopping around in the websites and checking in on that each day. Instead, you want to get it sent to your inbox every day. One thing that we really recommend with that, to kind of streamline that process, is to start, set up a new email if you haven’t done this already, set up a new email address that you use strictly for your online shopping, and strictly for all of your online work, and then use that dedicated email to sign up for these newsletters so that, if you have an email account that you don’t want becoming cluttered with all of these promotional emails, you can have it all go to this one spot instead.
For instance, I don’t particularly enjoy having emails from online retailers flooding my inbox every day and believe me, they will be flooding your inbox when it gets to be that time. You might be getting multiple emails per day form one store. I don’t like having all of that mixed in with my emails too and from family, or for other business purposes, and other personal stuff that I’ve got going on with email, because it’s just too cluttered. If you set it up so that you have a different email address, that will keep it all separate, and it also kind of helps with spam in the future and whatnot.
Another way also that we’ve recommended to deal with that is to have – if you have a VA, a virtual assistant, you can have them help you, you can even have them check that email address for you and compile all that information. They can set it up in a spreadsheet for you, what dates these sales are going to be, or what type of sale is going on per day, because a lot of times these are going to be popup sales too.
It’s not that they’re going to announce a week ahead of time. Sometimes they do, but it might be that they announce the day of, hey, we’re having a flash sale. If you outsource this to VA then if they’re working even overseas and you get up in the morning, they can have it all compiled for you, here’s what’s going on today at these different stores, here’s the different coupon codes, here’s the percentages off. All of that information, you can have them compiled it for you, so that all you have to do is just start shopping.
[0:08:29.5] STEPHEN: Yeah, sometimes, you can even find a VA that will even search for the Amazon product page for each item that is being sold or on sale for Black Friday, and can match that up and put that on your spreadsheets. There’s different ways to find a VA that can do this, we’ll put some links in our show notes to help you with that. Yeah, we’ll do that, fulltimefba.com/57 for our show notes.
Are there any other ways that you can save money on top of these Black Friday deals that you get in your inbox, or you see on TV, or whatever advertisements are coming at you? Is there any way to squeeze out some more profit?
[0:09:05.1] REBECCA: Of course, there is, that’s like a given. We’re always looking for more ways to get a better deal because, if you can get a better deal, it means you’re going to get more profit on items when you resell them and your ROI, your return on investment, is just going to increase. Yeah, you’re definitely looking for items that are on sale, and stores that are having sales but, beyond that, you also want to make sure that you are looking for any coupon codes that might be out there.
Whether it’s coupon codes that are for a limited time, or that will get you free shipping, you know, sometimes they’ll be just free shipping for anything, other times, it’s a much lower amount of free shipping than they normally would have. Normally if it’s $99 purchase will get you free shipping, they might have it low or the $49, things like that. You want to make sure that you’re getting any coupon codes that go with that, some stores will automatically give you that if that’s the dollar amount in your cart. Others make you do the coupon codes so make sure that you’re checking on that before you check out.
There’s website are yeah – websites that you can use and they also have a lot of these websites will have Chrome extensions that will kind of help you manage these coupon codes and will even give you reminders before you check out. I’m talking about websites and Chrome extensions like Rakuten is one that we use, and Swagbucks, and Honey. Those are all really good ones that we’ve used in the past that will help you to kind of manage your coupon codes, to make sure that you’re not missing out on any percentage off, or dollar amount off, or free shipping promotions.
The other thing with those particular websites and extensions, you need to sign up for an account with them, and then just be logged in to them, and you can either go directly through the website, or you can click on the Chrome extension while you’re shopping on an online retailer. Either way, it’s also a way that you can get cash back on your purchases.
In addition to making sure that you have all the coupon codes you need, these websites, they’ve got a deal worked out with their online retailers that, if you go through their website or their link or their Chrome extension, you will get a percentage of cash back on your purchase, from either Rakuten or Swagbucks or whatever. You’re not going to pay any more for these items or by going through these websites, like Rakuten and Swagbucks, but you will save money, so there’s really no reason not to do it. It is just one click extra to click on a Chrome extension, if you’re using your Google Chrome browser to buy these items to do your online shopping.
You can get a percentage back, it changes per store, and it changes per day. One of the really awesome things about shopping around the Black Friday period is a lot of these stores will up their percentage of cash back quite a bit. So, for instance, Rakuten is really good about making a big deal about how, on Black Friday, or on Cyber Monday or something, or it could be any random day but I haven’t figured it out. Sometimes it is obvious like they are going to do this on a big shopping day but then other days it is just out of nowhere like, “Hey, we are having a 12% off promotion,” or a “12% cash back promotion.” Keep an eye on that well.
It is good to either get the promotional emails from Rakuten and Swagbucks for these things, or just visit the Rakuten website every day to kind of see like, “Oh they are having a big promotion” – they’ll make it very clear on their website that they’re having a big cash back promotion. If you can get 12% cash back on your purchases as opposed to the normal 3%, that’s a huge deal. So you might want to really plan your shopping around that and say, “Oh I was going to make a big purchase tomorrow but I might as well go ahead and do it today while I could get 12% cash back because I don’t know how long this 12% is going to last.” Do it today so that I can get more money back.
Then one last thing that you can do to get even more money off of your purchases is to buy discounted gift cards and we like to use a website called Raise, where you can go there and buy these discounted gift cards for a percentage off of the dollar amount of the gift card. It is just one more way that you can get a little bit of percentage back. Every percentage point that you can save on your purchase is that much more ROI that you’re going to get when you resell your items. We’ll have all of the links for these different websites and the places where you can sign up for your accounts with them, if you haven’t done that already, on the show notes for this episode, again, we are on episode 57. So, fulltimefba.com/57.
We’ll get you all of these links. We’ll have everything compiled there. So if you are driving while you are listening, you don’t have to worry about taking notes.
[0:13:55.5] STEPHEN: Yeah, definitely. Just remember it is episode 57, so you will find the show notes, fulltimefba.com/57. Are there any tools out there that can help us like shave time off of our work when it comes to online sourcing during Black Friday?
If there is unlimited places to source online, I mean being able to save sometime while we’re sourcing is probably key to being able to maximize our time and maximize our profit. So, are there any tools out there that can help us with this?
[0:14:23.6] REBECCA: Yeah, I wouldn’t say there is unlimited stores out there. There are several hundred though. I mean there’s like several hundred online retailers that you have to choose from and then, within each of those retailers, you are going to have hundreds of items to look through. Again, you’re going to want to just narrow it down. Focus on a particular niche, or a particular store, or a group of stores, and then go from there and methodically searching through to see what items have really great Black Friday deals before, during, or after the Black Friday sale.
One way that you can really save even more time is to use a tool that will scan a website. There are several tools out there that will do this, that will take a website, an online retailer, and they will pick a category or a page out of that online retailer’s website, and scan it for you, and produce results that you can then kind of easily look through to see whether or not items are a great deal, as opposed to having to click on each item and then compare it with Amazon catalog, manually, yourself.
There is a couple of tools that we, in particular, really like to use. One is Tactical Arbitrage and the other one is Oaxray, and both of them are really great. We get a lot of questions about these two tools and others you know, which one is better, which one do you prefer and we have a blog post that goes over in more detail the reasons why we recommend both of those products, Tactical Arbitrage and Oaxray, and it is hard to say, which one do you like better or which one is better.
That question is always like, “Well it depends.” I mean which one is better, that’s so subjective but there are pros and cons to both of them depending on your circumstances. So be sure and check out, we’ll have that link too in the show notes to that blog post where you can read in more detail about those two, but I will say that I pretty much just will not source without doing any type of online sourcing, without one or the other of those tools, because it’s just such a great timesaver.
It helps with doing a lot of number crunching, and it saves so much of the clicking, and copying, and pasting, and all of that. If you can use Tactical Arbitrage or Oaxray to scan these online retailer websites, you are going to save hours and hours, and that is not just going to save you the frustration of having to put in that work. It is also going to find you more deals in a quicker amount of time, so that you can make more profits.
[0:16:57.2] STEPHEN: Yep and that’s what it’s all about for sure. My last question here, do you have any tips when it comes to Black Friday sourcing? Anything that I haven’t asked about that you think is really important for the listener to know and understand?
[0:17:09.0] REBECCA: So, my favorite tip that I always point out to people because, again, as resellers, I think that a lot of us just have this save money mindset, and I want to get everything for free if I can. My biggest tip is to look at upgrading your shipping. Pay for upgraded shipping when you are doing OA at this time of year.
I know that is so counterintuitive for resellers to pay for something like that when ROI is on the line here, and it is also just counterintuitive when it comes to doing OA, because usually my advice throughout the year, when you are doing OA, always buy enough to get free shipping. You know if there is a threshold for free shipping, make sure you are buying enough units to make sure that you get that. But, this time of year, it is totally worth it, even if you already met the threshold for free shipping, to look into buying the upgraded shipping so that you get items next day or two days. If it is going to be a week of waiting as opposed to two days.
Whatever the time period is. Upgrade your shipping so that you get items faster because, this time of year, every day counts. Every half a day counts. You just really want to make sure that you are getting your items to your prep center, or to your own place of business, where you are going to process it, as fast as possible, so that your turnaround time to get it to the FBA warehouse is as short as possible.
Look into if it is not crazy expensive, if it is a reasonable price, I mean sometimes it is like a five to eight dollar charge to upgrade your shipping. It is totally worth it if you are buying several hundred dollars’ worth of items or even a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of items to pay that extra five or eight bucks to get this stuff to you faster, so that you are not going to lose out on those sales, or have the price lower on Amazon before you can get that stuff turned around.
[0:19:03.0] STEPHEN: Well, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to hang out with me.
[0:19:07.4] REBECCA: Oh my goodness.
[0:19:08.2] STEPHEN: And answer some questions about Black Friday and online arbitrage.
[0:19:11.8] REBECCA: That’s so funny that you say that because we always host this together, but okay.
[0:19:15.6] STEPHEN: Yeah, I know that is what I usually tell my guests I guess. So I am just being silly.
[0:19:20.0] REBECCA: What was I going to do say no?
[0:19:21.9] STEPHEN: Right.
[0:19:22.5] REBECCA: No, you do it yourself.
[0:19:23.9] STEPHEN: Dang it. Okay anyway, so you’ve given us tons of great tips about Black Friday. What do you have for people who want to learn more about Black Friday, maybe even do some retail arbitrage Black Friday sourcing, what can you say that can help them?
[0:19:38.5] REBECCA: Yeah, so we do have a really great resource that we would love to point you towards if you are interested in more information about sourcing on Black Friday, or the time leading up to Black Friday, whether you are doing retail or online arbitrage, and that is The Resellers Guide to Black Friday. This is a course that comes to you from Full-Time FBA, in conjunction with Kristen Ostrander of Mommy Income. If you are familiar with her you know she’s great.
She has really quality educational materials about selling on Amazon and she has a really great perspective on selling from Black Friday sourcing. We got together with here a while back and put together this resource, The Resellers Guide to Black Friday. Be sure and check that out. You can find it at fulltimefba.com/blackfriday and, if you’re listening to this podcast episode on the day that it drops, there is a coupon code that is available for the next couple of weeks.
And that is the code BFSALE. That code is going to save you $10 off the cost of the Black Friday course, and that course is an eBook, along with a video, and some other PDF’s that you can download and print out to help you with your research. That’s the key for Black Friday, is research. You don’t – this is not the time to just waltz into a store and be like, “I’m going to scan this isle,” no. It’s going to be crazy in there and you don’t want to be spending your time half a day in a store.
You want to do all of your research upfront and Kristen does an excellent job in this course talking about how to do that research ahead of time. So again, be sure and check out fulltimefba.com/blackfriday. The code for that course is BFSALE and it saves you $10 if you get this, if you download this podcast and listen to it within the next two weeks after that it drops. If you get this after that time period, be sure and get on the waiting list because that will be what you find when you get to that link if you are listening to this later.
[0:21:50.3] STEPHEN: Yeah, this is a course that we only open for two weeks out of the year. The rest of the year, the course if closed. You are not able to get it but, beginning today, the course is open for two weeks. fulltimefba.com/blackfriday is where to go to get the course and if you happen to find this course after the course is closed, yeah, sign up for the waitlist just like Rebecca said so that you could be notified the next time the course is open.
That coupon code again, BFSALE. A lot of people think that means Black Friday, it really means best friend because that is the host of my show. She’s my best friend. Okay, it really means Black Friday. Anyway, we are giving you $10 off coupon code for The Reseller’s Guide to Black Friday. Kristen, who wrote this course with me, was able to turn five hours of sourcing into $3,000, and she walks through everything that she does to make sure that happens with retail arbitrage, and then Rebecca and I walk through our online arbitrage strategies for Black Friday, even more than what we’ve talked about in this episode.
We are looking forward to sharing that with you and we hope your Black Friday is amazing.
[0:23:00.0] STEPHEN: So we said this link about a 100 times, we’ll do it one more time in case you decided not to write it down. All the links for everything that we’ve talked about, our show notes, you can check it out a transcript of this episode, anything that you want about this episode, fulltimefba.com/57 is where you can download all of that information and get the notes that will help you maximize your Black Friday sourcing.
Next week on the show, we’re going to be talking about 8 November sourcing ideas and strategies so that you know exactly what you need to be doing in the month of November. We’ll talk to you next time on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:23:37.1] 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 including a free e-Book. 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.