The future of FBA bookselling: Introducing the concepts of Blindspot Sourcing & Social Sourcing, and how to buy tons of books to resell for big profits on Amazon
Two innovative concepts in FBA book sourcing
In the last few months, I’ve had some major epiphanies about selling on Amazon. I’m going to share two of them with you.
These aren’t new concepts – and certainly not ones I invented – but I’ve been thinking about them lately in more specific terms, and how most of my Amazon revenue can be attributed to these two concepts.
- Blindspots: Identifying inventory most Amazon sellers don’t believe or don’t know will make them money.
- Social Sourcing: Making bulk buys driven by relationships (aka getting tons of inventory by talking to strangers)
Blindspot Sourcing: Profiting from what other Amazon sellers can’t see
Over Christmas, I was reading a book about the most successful jewel thief in history. He figured out that most balcony doors on the 2nd story or up are left unlocked, because the balconies are perceived by their owners as being inaccessible.
And I thought: “This is how I make most of my money on Amazon.”
Not through thievery, but by exploiting blindspots. Money laying around unguarded that other sellers don’t notice.
That’s where the money is.
The core concepts of Blindspot Sourcing
- Sleepwalk Sourcing vs. Blindspot Sourcing: Nearly all Amazon sellers follow the Sleepwalk Sourcing approach. That is, they take the cream off the top (i.e. “textbooks,” etc) and are completely blind to other 99% of the inventory pie. Blindspot Sourcing is the opposite: Defying conventional wisdom, and understanding the real money on Amazon is in what other sellers miss.
- The Amazon inventory landscape has changed. When it comes to sourcing, most FBA sellers are walking around with a decade-old mindset. They think there are “eBay items” and “Amazon items.” What these obsolete dinosaurs don’t realize is that everything has changed. Today, anything will sell on Amazon. It’s not 2010 anymore.
- The only way to make money on Amazon is to look at where other sellers are getting inventory, and do something smarter. What else do I need to say…
Now, for an overview of an equally exciting concept…
Social Sourcing: Where the real money is
Within the subject of “blindspots” is another huge category: “Social sourcing.”
Social sourcing is tapping into the hidden iceberg of inventory that isn’t for sale – you have to ask for it.
Otherwise known as:
- Social engineering.
- Relationship building.
- Getting employees to give you tons of stuff.
Have you heard stories about people picking up unwanted books dumped off at bookstore buy-counters? Or arranging to buy library book discards?
That’s social sourcing.
These concepts are the future of FBA inventory sourcing
He drew the distinction between two kinds of FBA inventory sourcing: Single Sourcing and Social Sourcing. The Amazon inventory you cherry pick one at a time, and the bulk buys you make by getting outside your comfort zone and talking to people. (And the inventory you obtain from talking to people usually isn’t for sale until you ask).
And the exciting reality is that the vast, vast majority of Amazon inventory is only obtained from Social Sourcing. I’m talking about 99%, easily.
Let’s take books. If every possible unwanted book were represented by a chart, this image captures is what Single Sourcing represents:
This is a HUGE subject, with even huger potential. How did I get a local second hand store to sell me their unwanted books at a rate of $10 per shopping cart? Social sourcing. I have countless other examples of huge book scores obtained only through talking to strangers and making deals.
These concepts are the future of sourcing huge amounts of profitable books to resell on Amazon.