Monday, September 16, 2013

Cut Through the Clutter When Sourcing

When people give advice on sourcing you will hear them say, "Scan everything." which sounds good in theory, but is ridiculous in practice. You cannot truly "scan everything", so what I tell people is to scan what you buy. To me this is the best way to get a feel for what kind of items are popular on Amazon and at what price point.

The one thing that helps me cut through the clutter when sourcing is Brand Names and Character Themes.

Here are some examples of popular Brand Names and Character Themes that have served me well.

Hasbro, Lego, Nerf, Transformers, Sesame Street, Marvel Super Heroes, Star Wars, Disney, Cars, Toy Story.

Home & Kitchen
Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Oxo, Sharper Image, Simple Human.

Health & Personal Care/Beauty

Aveeno, Braun, Conair, Philips Sonicare.

The list goes on and on, but I think you get the idea.

If you happen to come across a great brand with a well know character theme then you get items like this:
Lego Captain America
Sesame Street Chutes & Ladders (this was a FAST seller at $15)

Here are a few other examples of Great sellers whose names we all recognize:
Oxo SoftWorks Salad Spinner
Braun 32B

So, the next time you are out sourcing look for easily recognized brands and character themes, check the rank, and see if you can find some treasure.

Thank you for your time, please ask questions or leave comments below.

~Duane Malek


  1. Great work Duane. I appreciate how you can provide plenty of information by getting straight to the point. It cuts out a lot of the guessing.

    1. Thank you, Brando! I hope the information helps next time you go sourcing.

  2. Great stuff as always. I heard the same thing. HOW long of time do these people have to source when they say scan everything. I appreciate you breaking this down for us. Especially by category. This post along with your last one on rank go great together. With the big purchasing season, this information will be very helpful. The examples you are giving are bigger ticket items (I think) so I am assuming these are items you are not looking to multi-pack or bundle. Is that correct?

    1. Thank you, Sydney for the wonderful compliment! Toys and Home & Kitchen I do not multi-pack. There may be some items that could be bundled, but I haven't done it. Health & Personal Care/Beauty, on the other hand, make Great multi-packs! Here is an example of a Health & Beauty multi-pack that I have sold recently: I didn't go very deep on this product, but I sold one every few days for a short time.

  3. That was an interesting example because it had 23 sellers with 10 of them being FBA. Most of the coaches I have heard say stay away with so many FBA sellers. I have to think that you may have had coupons to have a low price to price yours lower than the competition. Is that correct?

    1. Hi Sydney,

      Sorry it took so long to respond, I'm still new at this blogging thing! :). I did not have coupons, I paid $8 for a pack of 2 and sold them for $18 within a few days. I don't mind competition on a well known brand with a decent rank. It does look like the rank has risen some from when I sold mine, but I found four more for $6 per 2 pack and sent those in today. I think they will sell within a month, and if I am wrong I have only tied up $24.

  4. Very sound advice Duane. I think the scan everything advice is helpful when you are a beginner or researching opportunities outside of your comfort zone but when it comes to actually making purchases...brand names/popular themes definitely cut out a lot of time and frustration (especially if you NEED quick sales to scale your business).

    1. Thanks Gil!

      I completely agree. You need to learn by scanning for hours and hours at first, but you should soon learn what sells, what doesn't, and be able to cut your scanning time down significantly within 1-2 months. Eventually you almost go on autopilot while sourcing your regular route.

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