Using Brickseek For Walmart Sourcing Is Dead: Why I Gave Up Using Brickseek

When I first started selling on Amazon back in 2014, my business model was basically retail arbitrage, and my biggest source of inventory was Walmart. I don’t remember using Brickseek back in 2014, but I remember being at an Amazon Seller conference and hearing about guys that were having a lot of success using it. Brickseek was a wonderful tool back before there was a lot of competition using it. I would source multiple Walmarts in my area, and if I found something, I could check to see if it was available in the other Walmarts in the area. While it wasn’t always perfect, it generally got the amount of inventory in stock right, along with the price. There was one Walmart that was a little bit farther away, and the inventory was never right, and I knew not to trust Brickseek when it told me it was in stock and quantities that were available. But for the most part, Brickseek was pretty close to being accurate.

While this was a wonderful tool, it is no longer a useful tool at all, and I believe you should not be paying for a subscription for this service anymore. I had a subscription for probably six or seven years and was very happy with it. One of the things you have to look at when you’re paying for software for your business is if it’s paying for itself and making money. If not, you need to get rid of it. In this case, I was paying $10 a month for Brickseek, and if I was able to source and make over $10 a month, it was worth having. Sometimes, especially as I phased out of doing Retail Arbitrage, I didn’t go and source as much, but sometimes I would get a really good haul off of what I saw on Brickseek for my local markdowns, and it would pay for itself. Like for example I might have made $200 on one trip, and that would cover the next year and a half of Brickseek. So you have to be getting enough profit out of it to cover the service and hopefully much more or it’s not worth having the service anymore. Don’t pay for subscriptions that aren’t paying for themselves even if it is only a nominal monthly fee.

Brickseek worked great for Walmart up until the time around when COVID struck.

I remember Brickseek lowered their cost to keep subscribers and it was something like they gave you 3 months for the price of one or something along those lines, which was very nice of them to do considering most people couldn’t source. I kept my subscription but wasn’t out sourcing at the time.

When I got back out sourcing Brickseek was no longer able to tell you the quantity of a product available at each Walmart. All it gives you now is an “unknown quantity”, and what this is basically telling you is that this product may have sold at that Walmart location at one time, and if it’s still available there and what price it sells for.

So while Brickseek was a valuable tool in the past, it is no longer as useful as it once was. The quantity of available products at Walmart is now listed as “unknown”, which can lead to a waste of time if the product is not actually available. In the past, I could make a decision on whether a trip to a particular Walmart was worth my time based on the quantity of products listed as available, but now it’s more of a gamble.

I have theories about how Brickseek worked and believe that they had found a loophole or back door into the Walmart inventory system. However, around the COVID time, I believe Walmart may have fixed that back door access, which is why Brickseek can no longer display the quantity numbers.

In their Facebook group, BrickSeek denies the issue with Walmart and the inability to display numbers, and I understand that they are trying to sell a product and don’t want to run off subscribers, but I think that they do not want people to know that they can’t really do much with Walmart anymore. They gave some story in the Facebook group that they would be working on it and whatnot, but it’s never been fixed. I don’t think they can fix it or they would have by now.

So besides the price, the only information you get from Brickseek is whether Walmart has ever had the product in stock before but not if they have it currently in stock. That is not really of any value to me.

You can still use Brickseek to check if the product you’re looking for has ever been sold at Walmart and what its price is, which you can do for free through the Brickseek app or online.

I would also recommend looking at in-store deals for Walmart on the Brickseek website, even though you may not see the most recent ones as the top paid level of Brickseek.

Furthermore, the Brickseek Facebook groups are an excellent resource for finding products and SKU numbers that members post of their hauls, but you still won’t know if the product is available locally. Remember that there are many couponers and regular people using these apps to find deals, making it more challenging to find instock deals than it was in 2015 or 2016 and when items get posted in these groups they don’t last long.

To sum it up, using Brickseek to accurately find Walmart deals like I did in the past is gone and so is my Brickseek subscription. 

USPS, UPS And FEDEX: Which Is The Best And Which Is The Worst For Online Sellers To Use

There are three major carriers that online sellers can use for shipping. I want to give my opinion on which service is better to use.

The three services I’m referring to are USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

My number one favorite service is UPS. The one I use the most is USPS, and the one I avoid at all costs is FedEx.

I rank USPS as number one because I believe they always do a good job in shipping, whether it’s for personal use or for an online seller like myself. They are accustomed to handling a lot of packages, and they have a large fleet of trucks to handle the load. My local USPS mail carrier drives a small mail jeep, and they don’t handle large packages as well as the other carriers.

UPS is cheaper than USPS, especially for packages larger than 1 cubic foot. The Postal Service made an effort a few years back to get out of the large package business by increasing their rates above the 1 cubic foot mark to discourage people from shipping larger packages. It’s hard for USPS to process large packages through their system, and they wanted to leave that to FedEx and UPS, which specialize in that area. I can also schedule a pickup with UPS up to 1 p.m. on the day of the pickup. The general UPS route in my area is in the morning, and they deliver in the afternoon, so I can get my products out easier that way. I don’t have to be a day behind in my shipping. I can get orders up to the 1 p.m. cutoff time or even after, and I can still schedule a pickup. My UPS usually shows up between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., which gives me the rest of the day to add to that shipment. Also, I have a sunroom where they pick up the products, and they also deliver products there, so it saves me from having to go out in the weather.

When it comes to choosing between FedEx and USPS, it’s honestly a toss-up. However, I choose USPS over FedEx because I don’t like FedEx at all.

USPS has slowed down their shipping service to save money, and now a lot of products shipped through Amazon take a while to arrive. This also applies to eBay. During COVID, there was an issue where packages shipped around Black Friday were not put in the system and showed up six weeks after Christmas. As an online seller, I can’t have people ordering Christmas presents three to four weeks before they need them and then receive them six weeks after Christmas. That resulted in a ton of returns, bad reviews, and bad feedback. Since then, I haven’t been super happy with USPS, as they’ve raised rates on all their packages, increased rates on very large packages, and slowed down their shipping times. The only real plus I have for them is that when I have smaller items, I can slide them into my mailbox, and I don’t have to go to the post office and drop them off. When I’ve had large amounts of product going out, the post office has demanded I use scan sheets, and they get upset when I show up with two or three hundred packages at a time, even though I see other people dropping off truckloads of packages while I’m there. I definitely rate them lower than UPS, but I still use them more than I use UPS.

FedEx is at the bottom of the barrel for me. FedEx seems very disorganized to me. They hire a lot of independent contractors for delivery, and when I get stuff delivered to me at my house, I never know where they’re going to put it. They deliver at odd times, including weekends like Saturdays and Sundays I receive packages late at night, and I think that’s due to the independent contractors FedEx uses. However, they never put my packages inside my sunroom like UPS or USPS. I have had packages sit out in the rain, and they have delivered my packages to the wrong address. There is an apartment complex across the street from me, and a few years back, they delivered 10 or 12 very large boxes to somebody’s apartment. It was posted on a local Facebook page that people were looking for me because I had the packages at their apartment. I had to go pick them up myself and make two or three trips to get them all back to my house. I tried to contact FedEx the next day, but it was almost impossible to do so. They do not have a help number, and their chat is automated and just turns you in circles. Additionally, FedEx uses the USPS sometimes, especially if you’re selling on Mercari. This is a lower-cost option where FedEx delivers it to a postal hub somewhere, and then the post office ends up delivering it, which adds to the time frame it takes for stuff to get delivered.

When I sell on Amazon, customers want their stuff quickly, but FedEx is really bad about it. Even eBay customers want their stuff quick. I have used FedEx on my own account, and they offer different discounts. I used it one time to ship a package, and when I checked my bill, it was substantially higher than the quote. I do not know why they raised the price. I also know some other resellers that used to be able to sort of hack the FedEx shipping. They got a good discount, and they were using some sort of bag that was provided by FedEx, and they could fit the product in it in a certain way and get discounted shipping and a really good price, and it was pretty fast. This worked great for them until they found out after Christmas when they had the pickup, they were getting charged $4 extra per item with a pickup, and they had a humongous bill because they were shipping hundreds and thousands of product items a day. Because of this, I avoid FedEx unless I absolutely have to ship it, and when I do ship it, I drop it off at Walgreens, which just adds another step for me that I don’t want to do.

If you go through this list, you may agree or disagree with me, and that is fine. This is my personal experience of being a full-time online seller for over 9 years. I know other sellers that rate FedEx as number one and despise the USPS. I normally don’t hear them ever complain about UPS. So, I would say, use what’s the most cost-effective and the most dependable that works for you and your business.

UPS And Fedex Shipping For Small Town Resellers

Here is a quick hack for online sellers using UPS and Fedex shipping instead of USPS shipping

The USPS has scheduled a pickup, so you can schedule it via Pirate Ship or the actual USPS. However, a lot of times, you may end up shipping with UPS and FedEx. While you can pay to have UPS and FedEx picked up at your house (for UPS, see my article on scheduling this via Pirate Ship for a cheaper cost), I personally have never scheduled a FedEx pickup as I prefer not to ship anything but FedEx. But I do sometimes ship with FedEx when I sell on Mercari, and you can also ship with FedEx on eBay.

That being said, I live in a small town that doesn’t have a UPS or FedEx store nearby, and to get to the nearest one, I have to drive about a half an hour away. However, there is a workaround for this. For example, you can go online and find out about UPS drop-off points at other businesses. In my case, in my town, the Ace Hardware Store and Advance Auto are two places where you can actually drop off your UPS package, and UPS will pick it up. I don’t do this when I have really large packages for my shipments into Amazon or a big item I sell on eBay. But if I have a small item that I can carry and I’m going to be out (the Ace Hardware store is not very far from my home), I will just run it in there and drop it off. I prefer the Ace Hardware store because it’s easier for me to get in and out of, but I do this all the time. I’ve even taken bigger boxes there, and I have a cart that I can use to carry and roll them in. But in general, I tend to just take packages that I can carry in my hand, and only when I have just a random package here and there. If I have multiple packages or big packages, I definitely schedule a pickup because it’s only $4, and it’s a lot more convenient. But this is a choice that you have to make.

As for the FedEx store, I take packages to the Walgreens store. However, I must warn you that they only accept boxes up to a certain size. But there must be a lot of people who take packages there because they immediately know when I walk in carrying a box, and they head back to the photo area to scan it in. They’ll scan it and send the receipt to your email address or your phone, which I usually get as a text. Now, if I have a large box (which I’ve had for some pools that I sold on eBay during COVID), I had to take those to the actual FedEx store, which was like a half an hour drive from my house. I was taking these in on a dolly, and I had another box of something (I forget what it was). I tried to stop off at Walgreens, but when I went to scan it, they said it would not scan because they’re not allowed to take anything that big. I’m not sure how that’s coded, but that’s what they told me.

So, do a Google search and see if there are places in your town that offer these pickups, especially if you’ve been driving a distance or paying to have pickups. If you’re selling items that you’re making a small profit on, and you have to pay to have a pickup, it might not be worth it and may cut too much into your profit when you could just drop these off at these businesses. As a small-town seller, you might not be at that big of a disadvantage as you might think.

Find ASIN Information That Amazon And Google Says Doesn’t Exist: The Secret To Bin Store Profits That Your Competition Doesn’t Know

Identifying Amazon return products, their details and specifications based on Amazon ASINs and listing pages can be the ideal way to enhance your item description on eBay. However, finding this information can prove difficult at times. In this post, I want to share my biggest secret that I use while sourcing at the bin stores and when I’m listing on eBay.

A lot of products in the bin stores are Amazon returns, and many of those returns are private label items. Some private label items are okay to sell, while others are not. But sometimes, you need to identify the specific item, like a lawn mower blade hub, which is something that has a lot of private label versions. In this case, you need to know which models it is for. While the brand name may not matter, knowing which mowers it fits is crucial, and this information is generally available on the Amazon listing page. However, you have to find out which listing that is.

Some of the products you find in the bins will have the ASIN printed on the tag or the box. Although this is not rare, the majority of the products will not have it. You will usually see a line or a pull tag on the product, or the MSUK number on a tag, but not always the ASIN. The easiest way to identify the ASIN is to look for a number that starts with the letter “B”.

If you find the ASIN, you can put it into Amazon to see if it will pull up the listing. However, this will not always work if the product is no longer being sold on Amazon. Alternatively, you can try to Google the ASIN number, and sometimes, it will show results of the product, even if it’s no longer available on Amazon.

If neither of these methods works, here’s a big secret: use the Amazon Seller app.

(If you’re not a seller on Amazon, sign up for an account, and download the app.)

Then, click on “Add a product” and paste the ASIN number that you’ve been trying on the regular Amazon app and Google. This will pull up the product even though Amazon said the ASIN didn’t exist in the other methods. When you go through the seller app, the product still exists, and you will be able to click on it and see the product page, which will give you the information you need. You can also do this through Seller Central on your computer.

This process has been helpful for me, especially when I found grill parts or replacement parts like the lawn mower blade hub that seems to be something that pops up a lot in the bins. Finding out which models these parts fit and correct part numbers and details can help me research them on eBay.

I generally don’t use the brand name on eBay; I just say replacement part for XYZ model 1221 or whatever on my listing, because these are basically generic parts. But having the information I need has been valuable, and I’ve been able to sell them on eBay year-round for a good profit.

To summarize, if you’re lucky enough to find an ASIN, you can look it up and determine exactly what the product is. This is very important if you don’t even know what’s in the box, and it gives you an advantage over other people trying to buy from the bins. Make sure to copy the ASIN number when you’re doing your searches, so you can paste it as you go along your searches. If you put it into Amazon, copy the ASIN from there and use it for your Google search or Amazon Seller search. This will make your search easier and faster. I hope this helps you find value in the items that other people are leaving behind and sell them profitably, which will lead to happy customers and more profit.

Why You Can’t Sell Somethings On Amazon Ever For A Profit: The Lowballer Groups

There are three types of sellers who make it nearly impossible for others to profitably sell products on Amazon. Let me break down these three groups for you.

The first group consists of credit card sellers, who I didn’t know much about until I attended an Amazon Seller conference. At the conference, I learned that these sellers were buying and selling extremely low sales rank items without making a profit, just so they could accumulate credit card points to travel. They were selling hundreds of units a day, without worrying about profit. While I believe they were likely showing a small amount of profit on their tax returns so they could claim expenses and deductions on their taxes, they were not concerned with making any real profit on Amazon. This made it difficult for other sellers to compete with them on certain listings, as they were not concerned with making money. If you are on a listing and can’t figure out how the other sellers are making money, this might be the reason especially if it has a very low sales rank.

The second group is couponers.

Many couponers have a very low cost of goods, as they are often able to get products for free or at a steep discount. They are also taught to sell products at half of retail price, which is great for local sales, but not on Amazon. Amazon has fees and shipping costs that must be considered, making it difficult for sellers who purchase products at retail price to compete with couponers. While couponers may make a small amount of profit, other sellers will struggle to compete with them and may not be able to sell the product at a profit. If you see products in couponer groups, you should avoid getting on those listings.

The third group consists of new sellers.

When starting out, many new sellers are afraid that their products won’t sell, and they may read blog posts or watch videos that tell them they won’t be able to sell as a new seller. They may also have family members who are critical of what they’re doing, which adds to their fear. In an attempt to sell quickly and avoid losses, many new sellers sell products at a break-even point or even at a loss. This may be encouraged by gurus who suggest selling at a loss initially to get feedback and be able to sell in the future. This can lead to an oversaturation of certain products, making it difficult for any seller to make a profit. If you see bolos posted in beginner groups, avoid getting on those listings.