I am at heart a RA ( retail arbitrage) kind of guy. I love the thrill of the hunt and high ROIs that I get flipping products that I find locally to Amazon FBA.
With at said, RA has become harder and harder in the last year or so. There is more competition and many retail store have gotten wise to the fact that people are sourcing products to flip to Amazon and aren’t pricing products out at crazy low prices anymore.
I am not saying RA is dead, but what I am saying is that RA needs a little help from OA ( online arbitrage) to help with keeping the bottom line in the black.
With that said, there is only one obvious choice now for finding OA deals and that is the Tactical Arbitrage sourcing software.
For a Tactical Arbitrage review , see my post here
If you don’t have it, sign up for a free trial here ( do that now so that you can follow along with what I am going to show in this post)
Tactical Arbitrage is a great program to use but it has one big drawback.
It is expensive!
In this post I want to show you how to make enough money to cover the monthly cost in the fastest way possible. You need to understand that it is a tool to help make you money. It cost $99 a month, so it needs to make at least that much for you ( actually more than that) to be worth your while. If you pay $100 a month and make $500 a month, that is good business. If you pay $100 and make $50, that is bad business.
Before we go any farther, sign up for your free trial. If you don’t plan on using it or “don’t have time”, then stop right here. Signing up and half assing it will not do. “ Oh, I tried it and it didn’t work” doesn’t cut it when you logged in only once or don’t follow the steps I am going to lay out for you in this post.
Tactical Arbitrage is somewhat a geeks program. This is an issue because most of us sort of want simple, easy, push a magic button type software.
So the first step is to watch this video my son made on how to use Tactical Arbitrage’s interface. If you don’t understand how to get around the program, you are destined to fail at finding OA deals.
This takes about 45 minutes to watch and is where most people will get bored and drop off. Just that much better for those that commit to learn how to use the software.
Now that you understand how to use the software, now it is time to find some products.
First we need to think about this realistically.
While people occasionally find products from say Walmart or Target, these are probably the most searched sites. Not that we shouldn’t look at these sites but we need to realize that these sites might be more about timing (basically you get lucky to buy before the website runs out of stock).
Now these sites are great for the stacking of discounts which is one reason they are so popular to source but you will most likely find better products on the lesser known sites.
Next thing to look at is what products you can sell ( ungated in). There no reason to scan categories that you can’t sell. This is an issue if you purchase a bulk list for sites.
These list are great if you can sell everything but many people can’t and there is the fact that you wouldn’t scan every section if you were in the store doing RA. While Tactical arbitrage can basically run constantly, having a bunch of stuff show up that you can’t sell will make it hard to weed out the deals ( of course you could do some horse trading with the products leads that you can’t sell)
So where am I going with this?
I might be best to build a bulk list ( and you SHOULD be building bulk lists) that are for multiple, lesser known sites that are in categories that you can and want to sell in ( similar to RA) You should basically run this list over and over because the prices on websites do change all the time ( remember I said timing is important?) Also remember that sales and discounts will play into this.
Now it is possible to get a list too big and it times out before it can run all the way through. The simple fix to have multiple bulk lists and rotate them through.
Now this is one function of Tactical Arbitrage. You can actually run multi functions at once. You want Tactical Arbitrage to be running every single possible scan 24/7. You set it up, check the results daily ( or several times a day) and see if the deals work for you.
I love to sell books on Amazon but I know many people don’t. Well they don’t because many just don’t understand books. I get that but here is a little secret. While books are generally onesy or twoesy type thing, they can total pay for the cost of Tactical Arbitrage with only a few MF to FBA flips each month. ( I actually know a seller that made $13k on just 2 college textbook flips. It was a large purchase but it was a thing of beauty)
Tactical Arbitrage has a book search feature call the the library search and it basically works that same as any other search but it is a separate feature so that you can run it at the same time that you run other searches. ( as you will see by the time we are done, you will have multiple searches running at once)
Just like typical searches, you want to use bulk lists. You can build these yourself very easily. I have a post that shows how to do that.
Now since I am a book seller, it was easy for me to make up my own bulk list. I used my knowledge of local book sourcing and just did Amazon searches to find the same kind of books ( MF to AZ flips).
So now that we have the library search running we will move on to the reverse search.
I have mostly done RA my whole FBA career and love to find discontinued products because they sell for a premium on Amazon. The problem is that once I clean out say all the Walmarts in my area of a product, then I can’t get anymore of it.
Now we have to remember that our local Walmart in this example isn’t that only place that has ever sold this product and there are other retailers, online stores and eBay that are likely to sell this product. Grant it, they might not be selling it at clearance prices but then again, they may be selling at a price that is still profitable if we flip it to Amazon.
Once again we are going to make a bulk list but this time it is of ASIN that you have sold in the past. You will need to go through your inactive inventory to find the ASIN numbers. If you delete your inactive inventory like I do and use Inventory Lab, you can look up old sales and grab the ASINs that way.
While there is a chance to some websites might have these available, the best source will be eBay. Inventory pops up all the time on eBay, so this list should be run daily ( and once again, this can run while other searches are running).
With eBay, you will get a lot of mismatches results due to the titles. ( UPC sites always have better results) but the visual matching makes it easy to see if you should skip over the find or take a closer look.
A side note: You can also scrape other sellers storefronts and use this feature to find out where they are sourcing from.
Next we can use the Amazon flips feature. Now this is a little be more time/knowledge intense. Basically you are looking to find products that Amazon drops the price on and then set alerts to catch them doing it again. Then you buy them and flip them back to Amazon to sell at a profit.
Obviously the more you run this, the bigger you build your alert list, the more future deals might come your way.
This video show how to use this feature.
Next you can actually do RA via Tactical Arbitrage. Now this is very hit or miss but it does work.
We are looking to find products that we can just run and pick up in store to flip to Amazon faster than if we ordered them online and had to wait until they arrived then shipped them to Amazon. Sometime this time frame can make the difference between profit and the race to the bottom.
In store sourcing is my preferred method for souring grocery and HBA products ( anything with an expiration date) . Too many times I have ordered something online and when it gets to me, I can’t send it in because it is too close to expiring.
Also we want to find say a product on the Walmart website, click on it and see that it is out of stock. Then we check to see if it is in stock at our local Walmart.
Here is a video on how to do this
The final feature I am going to show is the geekiest. Tactical Arbitrage uses Xpaths to run the searches.
You can actually create your own ( or pay someone else to do it) to use for website not already on the Tactical Arbitrage list of site.
This is where the real advance users are making the big bucks. They are sourcing where very few people are and using software to make it easier.
This video tells about using Xpaths
Is Tactical Arbitrage worth the price? Yes if you are willing to actually take the time to learn how to use it and have multiple searches running at once. You should have a constant supply of leads to source from. If you are a person that has bought lists in the past, now is the time to switch over to Tactical Arbitrage. Once you get it set up, there really isn’t much more time involved in using it.
I hope this has helped and make sure to sign up for your free trial. Then take action during your trial period.