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The Amazon Sourcing Strategy That Really Works

By Andrew Tjernlund

The Amazon Sourcing Strategy That Really Works

Grow your Amazon business with the best tools for optimizing listings, managing ads, improving your feedback and much more.

262

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1245

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Grow your Amazon business with the best tools for optimizing listings, managing ads, improving your feedback and much more.

262

LISTINGS

1245

REVIEWS

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Jeremy G

Jeremy G

4 years ago

Loved the article! I’m from MN and met your brother actually.

I’m just getting started and trying to figure out the best way to get my feet wet. Building a broad catalog from the get go sounds pretty intimidating for me since I don’t have a ton of cash and I’m just getting started.

Would you recommend starting in a category where I see potential for expansion and pick one or two products to start? Or diversify early on from day one and get a few products out there?

This article was inspiring and very helpful. Thanks for the value! And brilliant Upwork trick!

Irene

Irene

4 years ago

Great article, thank you.
My question would be: Can you list some US suppliers for us to look into. I find it hard to find them. The only one that I found is Kole imports, but their products are not good quality.
Thank you, that would be of great value.

Andrew Tjernlund

Andrew Tjernlund

4 years ago

This is way too broad of a question for me to answer specifically. There are thousands out there. Pick a theme (sailing, mountain biking, roofing materials, fingernail biting) and just start searching as if you were shopping. What brands do you see? How is their success on Amazon? Any brands have products with a lot of reviews, but are have many products that are NOT on Amazon? Any products have a lot of reviews with no one Prime? These are no-brainers.

I will add that it sure helps to pick a category for which you have at least some knowledge. You know betters terms to search and can browse through suppliers faster because you have a better understanding of their place within the industry.

To be clear regarding Kole Imports: I am not suggesting one domestic supplier to provide everything, but rather legitimate manufacturers or brand owners that will sell to you as a distributor.

Andrew Tjernlund

Andrew Tjernlund

4 years ago

Thanks for the question, Jeremy. I would recommend starting with a category for which you have at least some knowledge. Even a hobby or a small interest. If you know enough to be able to compare products and brands for the category then you probably know enough to reach out.

A broad catalog is the end goal–you won’t reach it right out of the box. However, the point I try to make is that going all in on one product is fraught with risk. Let me explain by example: Let’s say you are going to offer Halo Sweatbands (google it). They have a large line with many versions and colors. Rather than buying a ton of just one or two of their best sellers consider buying at least a dozen of almost everything and then with any leftover cash put it toward the volume movers. If you get competition on a few skus then you are not sunk, plus you learn a lot more about the entire line.

*I have no association with Halo Sweatbands.

Brent

Brent

4 years ago

Thanks this very useful article Andrew. I currently sell a private label brand on Amazon and have come across a domestic brand I’d like to approach to see if they will allow us list their products on Amazon.

They currently do not sell on Amazon (FBA or FBM) and the price of their products is quite high ($150 – $300 range). I was thinking of asking if they dropship and go the FBM route. My first question is would the FBM/dropship route be a little risky if they don’t fulfill the orders on time, putting our account in jeopardy? Second question, how would you normally get the sales and reviews going on Amazon with FBM and dropshipping? From Merchant Words I see they their brand already gets a few thousand searches a month on Amazon so maybe it wouldn’t take much.

Thanks!

Andrew Tjernlund

Andrew Tjernlund

4 years ago

Brent, my advice would be not to spend your time trying to optimize their listing. Make the connection, put up an offer and move on. Take what comes easily and then move on. I guess one of my main points is that time spend optimizing a listing after a certain point provide little and ever decreasing returns. So, adding another product is become a lot better use of your time.

You won’t know if the dropship stuff will work in terms of them hitting lead times or getting you a good price until you ask. Some stuff simply won’t work and you would have to use FBA, others will. That will have to be decided on a case by case basis after discussion with the supplier. If the margins are there you can always have them expedite the shipping. You can’t control their lead time, but you can control how fast it ships.

Lauri Flaquer

Lauri Flaquer

4 years ago

Andrew this article is brilliant. You’ve done a really great job of explaining high level strategies that can help people make some real money on Amazon. I am glued to YouTube learning all I can about how to increase my revenue from my Amazon store but you have been instrumental in helping me figure it out.

Thanks so much for appearing on my show and if anyone wants to get some more solid principles from Andrew they could tune in to hear what he has to say here, https://youtu.be/VY92Nsvy0uc.

Thanks Andrew you rock!

Cynthia

Cynthia

4 years ago

Thoughts on using web sites that offer “Honest” product reviews in exchange for free or deeply discounted product to their subscribers? We have been standing on principle and not participating in that process. We were first with this niche product and have about 150 4-5 star reviews that grew slowly over 2 years. Nothing breeds competition like success – now we have 5-6 new competitors using that service, each adding 20-30 positive reviews per month – all with the “product for review” disclaimer in review. Are we fighting a loosing battle? Do we jump in the mud with the rest of them?

Andrew Tjernlund

Andrew Tjernlund

4 years ago

Cynthia, the whole product for review is a shell game. The number one determinant of search rank is sales, short of maybe being sold directly by Amazon. Number of reviews is a small factor in the search engine algorithm and if your legitimate sales are a lot more powerful than a massive number of review. Plus, and this is not scientific, but once you reach a certain number of reviews you are already in the “legitimate” category and they lose there influence. A better value with 350 reviews is not going to get crushed by a similar item for 10% more that has 500 reviews. Keep focusing on being the best value for your customers and not getting sidetracked by wannabes and you will continue to succeed.

Ivan

Ivan

4 years ago

I said it once and I’ll say it twice: you and your brother are the smartest people I know in the Amazon game. Anyone that follows your advice will get far in this game (hopefully it’s me!).

Great article Andrew! I just hope you wrote articles like this more often 🙂

Andrew Tjernlund

Andrew Tjernlund

4 years ago

Thanks! I’ll let Will know too!

Viet Bui

Viet Bui

4 years ago

Hello Mr. Tjernlund thanks for the article. I’ve learned a lot. I never thought about going to a US Supplier because all I ever hear about is China(Alibaba). One quick question when you list your product do you create your own listing or do you piggyback off an existing one?

John

John

4 years ago

Andrew,

That’s a second vote on you and your brother being on it. The two best Amazon pieces I’ve read period.

So I have 2 brands I want to approach, love what your saying, but don’t yet have a track record to point to or industry connections. My question is it possible to get exclusivity at the start, or do I need to become a seller of them on Amazon (do the brand registry) and once I’m moving enough product push exclusivity with them?

thanks

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