Where To Find Merchandise, And How To Know If It Will Sell

Last week we started talking about selling on Amazon with FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). Why people would buy from you rather than purchase themselves and the basics of how it all works. This article will go in to detail on how to find items to sell, how to tell if they will sell, and how much should you buy before you ship everything to Amazon.

Be A Pro Seller

I highly recommend that you buy the pro seller account before you start this, and will discuss that more so later. I bring it up now only because if you sign up for the account without it first you don’t get the option of a month free so sign up now, I’ll wait, and then proceed to the rest of the guide.

Which Stores Should You Shop For Amazon FBA Items?

When I first started doing this I only shopped at drug stores such as Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid. These don’t sound like that great of places to shop at but here is why they are.

Drug stores are small in comparison to large department stores. Because of this most of them have all their merchandise on the shelf because they don’t have enough room in the back to store everything. Because of this it is more important for them to get rid of things they are no longer selling as quickly as possible. So even though they don’t have much variety of items, what they do have is usually pretty discounted.

The next place you should look is large department stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.

What I have found to be the case with department stores though is that even though you will find good items to sell, you won’t find much that are a few dollars like you will at the drug stores. I have found things that made me over 100% profit but had to spend $25 to get it, which is a really good ROI.

How Can You Tell A Item Is Going To Sell on Amazon?

No business comes with a guarantee, and make no mistake rather you do this as a hobby or to replace your main income stream, this is a business.

Many people ask me “How do you know that it will sell on Amazon?” well the first thing I look at is the Rank on the seller app. Let’s take a look at a few screen shots.

The first thing you look at here is the “Gross Proceeds” because that’s the estimate of what you would make if the item sold right now for that price. First look at how much you will be buying it for and than decide if it’s something you would want to buy.

When looking at this at the store it was around $15 which means that if it sold my estimated profit would be $23.87 which is a good profit. However looking closer this is ranked a little high for me. For most items I want them to be ranked 150,000 or less and this is 244,611. That doesn’t mean it won’t sell just that it will take longer. It’s possible that in the months and years to come when I have more capital and time to wait for income this may be a good deal. However, right now with my limited resources and need for income quick I’m going to leave this one at the store.


This one was $38 in store which means it wouldn’t have been a good buy. The reason I wanted to show you this though was to show what an item you can’t sell looks like.

There are ways to get access to be able to sell items like this and I will most likely work on that in the coming months but as of yet I have not done so. For now, if something says restricted I put it down right away.


This was on clearance for $4.99 which means my profit is around $3.59 or 42% (I prefer looking at percent more than amount). The good thing about this is that they had more than just one on the shelf so I bought all of them. The rank (only 23,826) is well within my range, so I know it will sell relatively quickly, it will give me a nice profit and, I get to deploy a lot of capital on one thing I know will make me money.


This final one is an ideal item for me. The rank (57) is amazing, the price was $19 and my profit will be $24.20 or 56%.

Now just a fair warning, I usually scan many many many things before I find just one good thing worth selling. It does take time and the numbers I’m giving you don’t take into consideration your gas, or shipping charges (which we’ll discuss more next week) and are just a way of gauging if it is worth buying and sending.

How Much Should You Have Before Sending A Shipment To Amazon?

The goal is to make as much money as possible, with that in mind it’s not unusual to want to send in your merchandise as soon as you buy it. But, you need to hold off till you have enough to make it worth sending in.

You are going to be shipping to many different locations and each box is going to eat at your profits so make sure that what you have to sell will at least make up the loss of shipping.

Also as a pro seller you need to sell at least 40 items every 30 days for you to make your money back.

To find a balance I try to have at least 40 items, or be sure I will make enough to make the loss of shipping worth it.


Finding items to sell is probably the hardest and most fun part of selling on Amazon. It takes time, but it almost feels like a treasure hunt. Most people look at the same things I do and have no idea it’s worth like when I found a old style micro-cassette recorder that was on clearance for $6.99 and sold it for $269.99. That had been there for a while and even my wife said it would never sell.

If you find good items, then buy and sell but don’t get discouraged well looking because you can look a long time before you find something worth it.

What are some of your strategies for shopping for merchandise? Are you interested in learning more? What is your fear about selling on Amazon?

Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are ready to start selling Amazon FBA and making a major change in your financial future, check out the same guide that helped me grow this into a multi 5 figure business. Note this is an affiliate link meaning I will receive a small commission at no charge to you. If you have any questions please contact me and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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