This Post is part of the “FREE Wholesale Training Course”. You can view the entire course listing and introduction to the course here.
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Module 2: Wholesale Preparation
- Introduction to wholesale sourcing
- Understanding how the buy box works
- Understanding how Amazon’s Best Seller Rank (BSR) works
- Understanding ROI / Margin
- Analyzing competition and potential volume
- Setting your personal buying guidelines
- Determining your long term strategy
- Distributors / Wholesalers vs. Manufacturer Direct
- Ideal targets for wholesale sourcing
- Tools for wholesale sourcing
You can click on each of the links above to go directly to the area of the module the best interests you. That being said, lets get right into the content!
Want to skip reading the massive wall of text? After the entire course is released, I will make videos for each of the sections for easier consumption. Make sure you are on our mailing list to be notified when it’s released!
Tools for Wholesale Sourcing
Let’s say you recently just bought a house and moved in. You look at the edge of the street and you see the ugliest mailbox ever. It’s one of those standard black mailboxes on a pole, but it’s aged about 20 years. You think to yourself “I definitely want a new one of those!” You stroll over to The Home Depot, and you find this amazing mailbox. In order to install this mailbox, you need a big wooden pole for it to sit on. No problem says the Home Depot guy – he cuts you a piece of wood you can use for a pole. You have your pole and your mailbox. You are good to go! You drive home excited to get started. You open the box the mailbox is in, and start reading the instructions. It says you have to dig 12 inches into the ground to put your pole. Great! I’ll start digging with my hands, let’s go!
What’s your first thought here? Why in the world are you using your hands to dig into the ground 12 inches? It’s going to be extremely hard to do it, not to mention it’s going to take FOREVER. Why didn’t you just use a shovel or a pole digger?
The smart choice here is to use the correct tool for the job. The same can be said about doing wholesale sourcing. You don’t NEED tools to do it, just like you can dig into the ground with your hands. But, it makes it SO much easier and will save you a lot of time.
Now that you understand the importance of using the right tools, lets get into the tools recommended for wholesale sourcing.
The links below are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase any of these services. Don’t worry, it costs you nothing extra, and just helps pay me for the time I spent creating this course for free!
RevSeller is in my opinion, an absolute MUST for any Amazon seller no matter what sourcing model you use. It’s the #1 tool we use now. What does it do? It puts a box on the top of an Amazon product detail page that gives you the information you need to help making a buying decision:
Here’s all the different information it gives you:
- Drop down links to many favorite places such as CamelCamelCamel, Amazon Calculator, Reviews, Prime offers, Google search for title, and eBay search for title.
- Checks to see if you are currently approved to sell the item or not.
- Current BSR of the item, and what category it is in.
- 90 Day price averages for 3rd party sellers and Amazon themselves. Also a 90 day average BSR.
- Shows the number of Merchant Fulfilled offers, and gives you a profit calculation if you wanted to merchant fulfill this item.
- Shows the number of FBA offers, along with a link to the page that shows them.
- Put your buy cost here, and it will calculate the estimated profit for the item after all Amazon fees. It will also give you an ROI and margin number once you type it in!
- Information about the item including Parent ASIN, weight, shipping weight and product dimensions.
But wait, there’s more! (I had to bring out my inner Billy Mays infomercial line for that one…)
When you are on a listing that has variations (sizes, colors, etc), there is a variation viewer that shows you all the different variations, and current pricing:
We literally use RevSeller every single day, and so should you!
Price Checker 2 is a bulk lookup tool for Amazon. It allows you to take a list of UPC codes from a supplier, and checks them against Amazon’s database. Then, you receive a nice, neatly formatted excel file that shows you how much potential profit each item has, along with sales ranks, and a ton of other extremely relevant information. I kind of look at this tool as a bulk version of RevSeller. Here’s a video from the creator of Price Checker 2 explaining more about it:
Every time we receive a price list from a supplier, we immediately run it through Price Checker 2 to find all the good items. It saves an immense amount of time.
Jungle Scout has a chrome extension that you can run on any search or product detail page on Amazon. It will pull all information on search results, or on a product detail page to help you find additional leads.
You can use Jungle Scout in two ways:
- Get an estimated sales volume for an item instead of having to use the estimator on their website. It’s quicker!
- Gauge potential competition when deciding to create a new listing for specific search terms on Amazon.
Here’s an image of Jungle Scout in action on a search term “Jenga”:
You can also go directly to the Jenga product detail page, and run Jungle Scout. It will return results for all the recommended products on the page:
Jungle Scout is a perfect tool to speed up your niche based sourcing method, which we will discuss in Module 4.
Here’s an intro video you can watch to find out more about Jungle Scout:
Viral Launch has a tool called Market Intelligence, which includes a chrome extension that you can run on any search or product detail page on Amazon. It will pull all information on search results, or on a product detail page to help you find additional leads.
You can use Market Intelligence in multiple ways:
- Get an estimated sales volume for an item. I find their estimated sales volume to be more accurate than Jungle Scout.
- Gauge potential competition when deciding to create a new listing for specific search terms on Amazon.
- You can find market trends of an item to see if it’s up and coming, or if it’s declining.
- It will tell you if a product is seasonal or not.
Here’s a video of Market Intelligence in action:
Merchant Words is a tool that can give you an estimation of how many searches per month a given keyword may have on Amazon. This comes in handy when you are trying to determine if you want to bring a new product to Amazon. Take a search term such as “jenga”, and you can get an idea of how many people are looking for that term on Amazon:
The cool thing is, it also gives you other keywords associated with that main keyword. We’ll go into further detail of how you can use Merchant Words when we get into creating new listings.
Use any of our Merchant Words links, and you’ll save 75% off the original price – only $9 per month. (Ignore where it says “summertime discount”. They are currently building out a page specifically for us, and this is a placeholder page they made valid for us.)
Restock Pro is absolutely essential to our business. It helps us keep track of items to ensure they are in stock at all times. We are able to place our purchase orders in Restock Pro, which our warehouse staff receives from to verify what we received matches what we ordered. We will discuss more about Restock Pro in Module 6. For now, you can watch the video below to learn more about Restock Pro:
Bitrix 24 is a tool that you’ve probably never heard of. But seriously, you need to. It’s FREE up to 12 users for most of the modules. Here’s what Bitrix 24 can do:
- Task and Product Management (Similar to tools such as Asana and Trello)
- Communication between people (Similar to tools such as Slack and Skype)
- Store files and documents (Similar to tools such as Google Drive and Dropbox)
- Calendars (Similar to Google Calendar)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (Similar to tools such as Insightly and Sales Force)
- Social Intranet (Similar to Facebook for your company)
- Time Tracking for Employees and Contractors (Similar to tools such as Humanity)
- A lot more. Check out the features here.
If you have employees or virtual assistants, this tool makes it extremely easy to move projects and tasks between them. In addition, you can integrate the CRM and task process for your wholesale leads. As you grow, an integrated tool makes life a lot easier. Bitrix24 can replace a bunch of tools. Teaching employees and contractors one tool is a lot easier than teaching them five or six. There are over 1 million companies using Bitrix24. You should too. Here’s a short video that explains some of the general features of Bitrix24.
OnlineJobs.ph is a hiring website where you can find virtual assistants (VA) in the Philippines. This is where we have found our existing trustworthy Filipino VA’s. It’s like Monster or Career builder for VA’s. You can post a job, or you can sift through existing resumes. They even have their own time keeping tool, so you can verify VA’s are doing what they should be doing at specific times. We use VA’s currently for wholesale research and initial contact via email. Here’s a video showing how OnlineJobs.ph works:
Inventory Lab is a software tool we use to list products on Amazon, and create shipments. Since we still personally use other sourcing methods, we haven’t totally moved away from Inventory Lab to 100% Restock Pro. Restock Pro has the ability to create shipments and print labels, just like Inventory Lab does. But I find that Inventory Lab is more robust in this manner. In addition, it has a lot of reports on your business that Restock Pro doesn’t come with. They also give you a mobile app called Scoutify, so when you are at trade shows, you can scan items to see if they are on Amazon.
HowMany? is a Chrome Extension and web app that can help you determine the stock quantities of your competitors. If you are doing research on a specific listing, and want to know how deep your competitors pockets are, running the HowMany? extension can tell you exactly how many each seller has in stock. Let’s look at how many each competitor has in stock for Jenga:
HowMany? also has a web app that has a nice clean interface to bring you back the same information:
Overall, HowMany? is a great inexpensive app that can help you determine how many of an item you should purchase.
Tactical Arbitrage is a tool that was originally created to help people that source via online arbitrage methods. But, they’ve started releasing tools that are specific for wholesale. In addition, there are existing tools that can help you with wholesale. Here’s the different ways I’ve found Tactical Arbitrage to be helpful for wholesale sourcing:
- It’s a data intensive tool that can go on websites, scrape the information from the websites, and then check the information against Amazon’s database. It can be used for Online Arbitrage or Wholesale. There is an “advanced site” feature where you can add any wholesale websites that are not password protected. You can also use a 3rd party tool called Tactical Bucket to use password protected wholesale sites. This is perfect for companies that have price lists on their website, but don’t give you updated information in other means. The “advanced site” feature does take some effort, and if you aren’t familiar with the word “x-path” you may need to hire someone to setup the advanced site for you.
- It can take an existing wholesale UPC code or title list and do a search on Amazon as well. This is similar to what Price Checker can do.
- If you want to see how good of a wholesale price you are getting, you can do a reverse search on your ASIN / UPC code list from your supplier. This will bring back pricing from all the retailers in their database. It’s also a good way to know if the supplier is selling products in a lot of other big box stores too.
- Use the “Amazon Flips” feature to find products Amazon runs out of stock consistently. These are items you may be able to source via manufacturer or distributor.
The owner of Tactical Arbitrage has worked extremely hard to continuously add features, so I can only imagine there will be more wholesale centric features as time moves forward.
Here’s an intro video to Tactical Arbitrage:
Storefront Stalker Pro is an amazing piece of software to “stalk” other Amazon sellers. This is a chrome extension that allows you to download a list of Amazon ASINs from any search page or Amazon seller storefront. How is this useful?
- You find another Amazon seller that seems to have a lot of wholesale accounts. You can download ASINs from their catalog of products, and use them to find wholesale leads.
- You have a specific niche you want to find products in. You can narrow down the category through Amazon’s standard interface. Run Storefront Stalker Pro, and it will download all the ASINs from that specific category.
- You have a specific search term you want to find some leads from. Run the search through Amazon’s standard interface. Run Storefront Stalker Pro, and it will download all the ASINs from that search.
Now, what do you do with these lists? You can import them into Tactical Arbitrage or Price Checker 2 to filter out items based on whatever criteria you are looking for. (Filtering is something we will go through during the data research portion of the course). This is one way you can find potential wholesale leads without doing a ton of heavy lifting.
Wow…that’s a lot of tools! But, don’t worry. They all pay off. The amount of time you save by using these tools vs. paying someone manually to do the same tasks is astronomical.
As we go throughout the rest of this course, I’ll be referencing these tools, as we specifically use them in our processes.
This concludes Module 2! I hope you’ve gained some golden nuggets of knowledge from this module. Now, it’s time for Module 3 – Value Propositions for Amazon Sellers.
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