Helping You with Your Amazon FBA Business

Finding & Buying Inventory That You Can Replenish

Happy Q4 Everyone!  Right now it’s natural to start purchasing more holiday items and I’ll be focusing on toys.  But I’m also stocking up on my basic, boring inventory items that are not holiday-related and can be bought and sold all year long.

These items are what I call Replenishables.  I don’t know if Replenishable is a “real” word because spell-check always marks it as being wrong.  But I’m going to use the word anyway and in this post, a replenishable is an item that:

  • is easy to find
  • is in demand
  • makes you a profit all year long

A replenishable differs from a clearance item that you find at a super-low price but may never find again.

It also differs from the hot toy of the season that sells at a high price for a short time.

Last Q4, I made $ selling this game before the prices dropped.

Stocking Up on Replenishables at the National Stores

Many people that do wholesale are selling replenishables.  Once they find their supplier and inventory that consistently sells at a profit, all they have to do is call in a new order when they’re running low on their products.

But having replenishables isn’t limited to wholesale.  The national retail stores are full of profitable items that you can buy over and over again as well.  But don’t worry if you don’t live near any of the chain stores because most have websites that you can order from.

Last weekend, I spent a few hours stocking up on my replenishables.  In this post, I’ll share with you some of the stores that I went to, how I found the replenishables and money-saving tips.

Also, with some of my replenishables, I pay full price for them and for others, I buy them at a discounted price.  Getting a lower price on these items is pretty easy and I never have to wait very long before I can stock up on my supplies.

Unfortunately, replenishables don’t always last forever.  I’ll tell you about one of my items that became restricted and another where Amazon came on the listing and lowered the price.  But I solved that one by making a bundle with the item.


I have two craft replenishables that I’ve been buying off and on for over a year.  The secrets to Michaels are to scan in every variation of the same product and to use their coupons.  Here are two of my products:

Product #1.  I found this product by scanning.  Only one color sells fast, the other colors sell slow.  This product rarely goes on sale but I can buy it at regular price and make an $8.00 profit on it. However, to sweeten the deal and make a larger profit on it, I purchase it with a Michaels 40% or 50% off coupon. With the 50% off coupon, I buy it for $6, sell it for $26 and make a $13 to $14 profit on it with over 200% ROI.

Product #2: I also found this product by scanning and again, the colors make a big difference on if it will sell quickly or not.  This product is not profitable when purchased at regular price.  However, about every six weeks or so, Michaels puts it on sale at 60% off.  Usually at the same time, Michaels has a 25% off coupon that includes all sale items.  So when I stack the coupon with the sales price, I can buy it at 70% off and make a nice profit on it.


Keep your coupons in your car so they’re always available!

Tips:  Scan all colors or variations of the same product.  Find items that are regularly on sale.  Find items that always has a coupon.  Stack the coupon and the sale price when you can.  Check your Sunday paper or go to the Michaels website to get your coupons!

National Niche Grocery Store

This is a store that I just found a month ago.  Right now, I’m keeping the store name a secret as it’s a very small store that carries a small inventory of products.  If I gave out the name, we would all be selling the exact same products and the prices would most likely drop to where there’s not any profit for any of us.

How did I find this store?  I was at a shopping center and noticed this store because it wasn’t there before as it’s new to the area.  I went inside to scan, but couldn’t because they have store-specific barcodes.  Therefore, to look up their products on Amazon, you have to do title searches.

Instead of standing in the store researching items on my small phone, I went home and researched them on my computer.  I used Jungle Scout to help me identify the products with the better rankings and profits.

Jungle Scout research.

Jungle Scout research.

I made a list of eight products and went online to their website and bought one of each.  They were checked into Amazon on Sept 22 and six of the eight sold in the first nine days!  Depending on the flavor, each made between 62% and 110% ROI and all profits are over $6.00 each.  It’s not a large profit, but it’s an easy profit.

So during my shopping trip, I drove to the store and stocked up on more.  I didn’t realize it until I returned home and started listing them, that the store gave me a 30% discount on them.

Tips: Try out new stores and search by title if you need to!

Update: After including these products in 2 shipments, it’s now restricted from me.  However, it appears that I can sell what I already sent in.  I’m going to lower the prices and sell them while I can.  I didn’t go deep on this product.  So another tip is to go wide, not deep.  You never know when you’ll become restricted in something.

One National Store with 3 Replenishables

I’m not giving out the name of this store because my online friend shops here also.  But most towns have this store and in my area, they are all over the place.  This means that if I felt like driving, I could easily spend the day driving to every store buying up all of their inventory.  Here are the types of items that I’m buying from this one store:

  1. This is a kitchen item that I found by scanning.  The store always has a small section of these items and the buy costs are typically between $2.50 and $5.00.  They sell on Amazon for between $14.00 and $18.00.  I may not get the exact same product each time, but I always get a similar one.  It just may be a different brand or color.  I’m paying regular price for it at all times.
  2. My online friend told me about this item and it’s a common item used by millions of people.  So, in this case, I never discovered it on my own.  It’s good to have at least one person that you can work with privately.  We tell each other about our days, what we’re working on and once in a while, share a few finds.  However, sharing finds is just a minor part of our discussions.  I’ve been selling this product for 5 months now.
  3. This is a clothing item that I found using the EPS Clothing and Shoe list.  When they posted this item on their list, it was shown in a different store.  But soon I learned that this item is sold in this store too and I just always ignored it.  This clothing brand has turned into a good product for me.

Tips: You can find replenishables by scanning the regular-priced items, by sharing finds with a trusted friend and through online lists.


Sears is a great place to buy tools.  The secret with Sears is to join  Then each time you shop at Sears, Kmart or other participating stores, you earn points that are redeemable as cash at the time of purchase.  This means you use your points/cash at the checkout stand when you’re buying your products rather than waiting for a rebate check to be mailed to you.

Another cool feature with ShopYourWay is that they often give you “Surprise” points which are points that you earned without having to make any purchases.

My current points.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a tool accessory from Sears and ended up making a new product listing for it.  I bought two of these accessories and they both sold on the same day that they were checked in.  *** I must have made an awesome listing!  

On this trip, I bought two more of these items.  With the Sears sale and my ShopYourWay points, my price for each one was $8.92 instead of $14.99.  I sold my first two at $34.95 each.

For another tool example, go to: How I Bought a $39.99 NEW Item for $3.63.

Tips: Join ShopYourWay and go to Sears and start scanning tools.

More Sears Tips: To minimize your running around time, check the Sears website for stock availability at your local Sears.  Then earn cashback by either using Ebates or another cashback site and pay for part it with your ShopYourWay points.  Then pick up your items at your local Sears or have them shipped to your home.


My new online sourcing tool revROI found numerous cashback sites for Sears.  To learn more about revROI, please go to: revROI: An Online Arbitrage Tool That Will Save You Money.

Famous Footwear

As you know I love shoes and a great way to find shoes (or any other product) is to check your inventory and buy what you recently sold.  I have one shoe that I purchase from Famous Footwear about once a month.  However, I cannot buy it at regular price and make a profit on it.

My strategy with this shoe is to buy it when I can purchase it at a discount.  So each time I’m near a Famous Footwear, I go in there and see if it’s on sale and see how I can lower the pricing.  During last weekend’s shopping trip, the shoe wasn’t on sale so I looked at other shoes.

I found a Skechers shoe with a good ranking and the regular price is $59.99.  However, it was on sale for $29.99.  I also had a $5.00 rewards certificate and a 15% off store coupon so my final price was $21.24.


Even though I didn’t purchase my replenishable shoe on this trip, the shoe is still there and I’ll get it next time it goes on sale.  Then I’ll stack the sale price with my other rewards certificate and a store coupon.

Tips: Go through your sold inventory to find products that you can sell again.  Try and stack sale prices with coupons and rewards certificates to lower your buy cost.

Office Depot for Bundle Supplies

If you’re having trouble finding replenishables, then consider making a bundle with easy to find supplies that you can buy over and over again.  I have a bundle that I created almost 2 years ago and talked about in Creating a Bundle to Sell on Amazon.

This bundle is made up of computer accessories and has always sold well but I quit selling it a year ago because Office Depot raised their prices on the bundle items.  But a few weeks ago, I received a $10.00 rewards coupon from Office Depot and I used it to purchase the products to make two bundles.  I sent the two bundles in and they were received at Amazon on Sept 22.  The first one sold on October 1!

I went to Office Depot again on October 2 to purchase the items to make one more bundle as I want to start stocking this item again.  My profit is not very high if I buy the items at regular price, but I still make money from it.  Office Depot does have coupons, but I’m unable to use the coupon on the bundle products. 🙁

My new plan is to find the bundle items at a lower price or find similar products at a lower price and create the same type of bundle.

Tip: Create a bundle with common items.  Use good keywords and describe the benefit of the bundle.  If the cost of your bundle items goes up, then look for a better price to lower your buy cost.

Another Tip: Sign for the Office Depot Tax-Exempt Program so you’re not paying sales tax on your inventory purchases.


Go Find Some Replenishables & More on Bundles

By taking the time to scan the regular products that aren’t on clearance or on the Best Sellers list, you’ll find profitable products to add to your inventory.  What’s nice about them is that when you start running low on stock, you just go out and buy more.  You don’t have to spend your afternoon scanning in new products if you’re short on time or don’t feel like it.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to sell your replenishable products forever.  I had a great sponge replenishable that I was selling for $12 to $13.  Then Amazon came on the listing and lowered the price.

So to keep my “sponge-selling” going, I made a bundle using it as one of the bundle items.  I sold all of my sponge-bundles but am not making that bundle anymore.

So, if you can come up with a good sponge-bundle idea, this Libman sponge is a great product to add to it!  I buy the sponges at Fred Meyer & WinCo, but I’m sure you can find them at other places too.  You can learn more about my sponge-bundle at Remove Your Competition by Making a Bundle.

If you have a replenishable, I would love to hear how you found it!  You can always reach me here or on my Facebook page!

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Ree Klein October 8, 2016, 5:41 pm

    Hi Diana ~

    As usual, your post is full of great information and useful tips! I noticed a comment that caught my attention:
    “After including these products in 2 shipments, it’s now restricted from me.”

    It appears that Amazon recently changed its policy and is now “gating” certain bigger brands. Shoe brands like Nike were mentioned in this recent CNBC article:

    The article also states “The broader concern for merchants is that Amazon is slowly eliminating the very popular practice of retail arbitrage. The many businesses that shop around for liquidation and clearance sales and turn around and sell items for higher prices on Amazon now have to consider what happens if the e-retailer only allows listings that come from authorized resellers.”

    “At the conference, George Lawrence, founder of shopping search tool, referred to the group as “worried arbitragers.” He said he doesn’t expect the practice to be eliminated anytime soon.”

    I’m wondering if you suspect your restriction was due to this new policy. What are you hearing in your retail-arbitrage circles about this?

    Glad to hear you are doing great with the model overall and I hope Amazon doesn’t go deeper with the implementation of this new policy.


  • Diana October 11, 2016, 1:41 pm

    Hi Ree,

    That restriction for me sure was discouraging. I’m all excited for finding a nice replenishable product with low competition and then boom, I can’t sell it anymore. This is a smaller brand, so I’m kind of suspecting that the manufacturer requested that Amazon restrict the item as they don’t want too many FBA Sellers on the listing. That’s just my thought as this brand is very unknown compared to the bigger brands such as Nike that have to deal with the counterfeiters.

    Amazon’s new policy for restricting products is affecting many Sellers (including me). It does seem though that if you sold a product consistently before, that you are grandfathered in and can still sell the product. For example, at this time, I can still sell NIKE shoes where many others can’t.

    I do understand that some brands may need to be restricted due to counterfeiters. However, I just don’t like how Amazon goes about it with no warning to Sellers. It would be nice if they notified us that the brand(s) will become restricted in 30 days. It’s very hard buying a product today not knowing if you can sell it tomorrow. Plus with Q4 and toy restrictions, it’s hard going deep on the toys.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Sorry for taking so long to get back with you, I missed the notification that I received a comment. 🙁 I hope all is going well with you and I hope that since you are doing mainly PL that these restrictions aren’t hurting you at all.

    • Ree Klein October 12, 2016, 3:20 pm

      Hi Diana,

      Thanks for replying with your thoughts on this Amazon change. I agree that while Amazon does a great job of looking out for buyers, 3rd-party sellers are a big part of their platform and it would be nice if they gave them just a bit of consideration. A 30-day warning would be a good step in that direction.

      But, with that said, don’t think that private labeling is exempt from the whims of the Giant! For example, the recent change to their review policy is a big hit to PL sellers. Now you cannot incentivize for reviews with a discounted or free product. So that means it will be much harder to gain visibility with newer products until you get reviews. Review make buyers feel comfortable taking a chance on an new product/brand.

      Regardless of the business model we choose, when you sell on Amazon you’re subject to their policy changes for the good and the bad. But like they say, if it were easy everyone would be a successful seller!

      Let’s keep at it!

      • Diana October 12, 2016, 4:26 pm

        Hey Ree,

        You’re right about the new review policy hurting the PL sellers, including you.

        Another recent whammy is to new FBA Sellers that haven’t sent in their first shipment. Now they can’t use the FBA program until after Dec 19th. No warning for them on that one either.

        We just need to keep adapting and moving forward. I think you and I are in good positions to survive and if Amazon did go away for either of us, we still have our other income streams to keep us going.


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About Diana

I am working towards creating a full-time income by selling on Amazon. It's a lot of work but very fun! If you're interested in selling on Amazon, be sure to follow my blog as I'll be providing you with lots of tips!


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