Make sure that you take sometime this month planning out your long & short term retail arbitrage strategy. I know the very real temptation is there to be narrowly focused in this business. It is so easy to watch those monthly, weekly and daily sales numbers and lose track of the big picture. Typically when I’m out sourcing I am looking for product that I can buy now and sell now, but maybe this is not always the smartest approach. Wouldn’t it make sense, at least in some cases, to buy product now, when it is on clearance at rock-bottom prices and demand is low, hold, and sell it months down the road when the demand and prices are up?
When our Amazon selling business was founded a few years back, we needed to buy now and sell now to survive. I really needed to convince my wife that this whole online selling thing would work, which meant that I needed results, now!
Now that we have been selling online full-time, and there’s some stability to our business, we have slowed down things a bit and have been employing more long-term and short-term strategies to product sourcing.
With that in mind, I have put together a strategy for tackling the month of April. I hope that together we can learn to have a more progressive-minded approach to this business:
When looking at the calender, the first thing that we should note are national holidays, and there are only two in April.
Holidays Worth Mentioning
Easter (April 5th – times nearly up!)
Earth Day (April 22nd)
Mothers Day (May 10th)
Easter Sunday (April 5th)
People spend a lot of money around Easter. If you haven’t prepared and listed something for sale by now, you may have missed the boat this year. It still may be worth a little time to consider the holiday. We should be asking ourselves questions like; “What sort of things do people buy for Easter?” and “If we were to prepare for Easter 2016 what items should we source now?”
By doing a quick Google search I have discovered that Easter is the nation’s second biggest candy selling holiday. Not a huge surprise, but may have been an important fact that was overlooked. Once Easter candy goes on sale, it may be a good idea to buy some of it up at rock-bottom prices in order to hold, and sell for next year (just be mindful of expiration dates). Thanks to CamelCamelCamel we have access to lots of valuable price and rank information, use it to evaluate product. There’s a chance that some of this Easter candy will sell before 2016. It can be very hard, if not impossible, to find Cadbury Creme Eggs & Marshmallow Peeps in the Summer, Fall & Winter. So, if you’re one of the only Amazon sellers who is selling this candy you maybe able to turn a nice profit before sooner than you think. Just remember that meltable candy can’t be stored in the Amazon Fulfillment Centers from April – October.
Here is the top 5 selling Easter Candy in order:
1. Cadbury Creme Eggs
2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
3. Marshmallow Peeps and Eggs
4. Jelly Beans
5. Milk Chocolate Bunnies
Since I sell on Amazon I thought that it would be helpful to see exactly what’s selling on Amazon:
In addition to the “Top 5 Easter Candy Sellers” hopefully these best sellers on Amazon will give you an idea of what kind of candy people are spending money on these days.
I searched “Easter” on Amazon curious to see what else would come up, beyond the Easter candy, and this is what I found:
Hopefully I have gotten your creative juices flowing. Do some research on your own, see what’s selling now, before Easter is here and gone, so that you know what to capitalize on next year.
Earth Day (April 22nd )
Although it may be too late for Easter 2015, there’s still time to prepare for Earth Day. Of course this holiday doesn’t have the consumeristic thrust that holidays like Easter, Halloween and Christmas have, but it’s still a holiday worth doing some market research for.
Google Search “Earth Day EPA” and you should find a PDF article published by the Environmental Protection Agency entitled 40 Things That You Can Do to Help Save the Planet. Look for things on this list that may require a purchase, such as; Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, Instal water saving fixtures in the bath and kitchen or Create an organic vegetable garden. Any opportunities there to make some money? If a lot of people are following the EPAs advice, what could we bring to market to serve our customers better and turn a profit this time of the year?
Another helpful article for brainstorming which type of products to sell this April is www.wikihow.com/Celebrate-Earth-Day
Once you have a list of things that you’d like to consider buying and selling this month, in anticipation of Earth Day, go to Amazon and CamelCamelCamel.com and do some research.
Mother’s Day (May 10th)
Mother’s day is not in April but it’s fast approaching. People are already buying Mother’s Day merchandise and gifts on Amazon, but you haven’t missed out on this opportunity yet, there’s still time!
Just like we did with Earth Day, do the same with Mother’s Day. Simply start out by doing some Google searches to find out where people are spending their money in anticipation of Mother’s Day. I typed in “What do people buy for Mother’s Day?”, which lead me to this post by Esquire Magazine (pretty influential, right?): http://www.esquire.com/style/advice/g1147/stylish-mothers-day-gifts-0512/
Again, you’re just looking for ideas. Maybe there’s still some opportunities out there that you can capitalize on before the Mother’s Day Holiday Surge truly kicks off!
Here’s another interesting article:
After you’ve made a list of items that you’d like to research more, go to Amazon and CamelCamelCamel to do a little more research. Here you’ll be looking at what is selling on the Amazon website and what the price history and rank has looked like over the years.
You’ve Done the Research, Now Where Do You Find the Product?
Since this is a Retail Arbitrage post I would suggest hitting the stores in search of these things. This may not be the most ideal time to buy Mother’s Day, Earth Day and/or Easter related items (because demand is up) but you never know. If you can’t find anything with the ROI (Return On Investment) that you’re looking for, don’t dismay. Look to buy these things after the holidays. Retailers know very well that there will be a dip in demand for some of these items after the holiday has come and gone, which means that they will probably try to clearance them out pretty quickly (within a couple of weeks). Now that you know what is selling well now, at the height of it’s demand, you’ll be able to better anticipate what may be a good resale opportunity in 2016.
I hope you’ve found this article to be helpful, stay tuned for more Retail Arbitrage articles that will be coming out soon!
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