Watching the UPS driver pull into my parking lot at work is the highlight of my work day. Not only do I get to finally see first hand what Amazon FBA inventory I bought, but it’s just fun and exciting for me to open my boxes.Unfortunately though, there have been a few times when my happiness turned into disappointment when I started the list-prep-ship process and found that I couldn’t sell my products as expected.Before you read any further, I want to point out that my negative experiences are the exceptions and not the norms. Also, online sourcing will continue to be my primary inventory sourcing method as I don’t have a lot of time during the week to visit the retail stores.
Note: All experiences listed in this post were with products found on the online sourcing lists. But the same can happen even with products that you find on your own. So, this is by no means a strike against online sourcing lists. Also, to be fair to those that created and purchased the lists, I’m not going to give out the names of the exact products.
Buying hazmat items isn’t a unique problem with online sourcing. For those that read my Beauty Approval post, I bought hazmat shaving creams in person from Target. Ever since that mistake, I’ve been extra careful to make sure that I don’t buy anything hazmat again.
But my luck ran out when I purchased four salicylic acne treatments that I found on one of my online sourcing lists. My mistake in this case was assuming that all product leads would be fine to sell on Amazon FBA.
So, the lesson learned is don’t assume that products on lists are all 100% safe to be sold on Amazon FBA. Be sure and do your own research before buying.
Since I don’t want to get into Merchant Fulfilling while working full time, I ended up keeping one of the units for myself and returning the other three. The company refunded the purchase price but I still had to pay a $5.95 return order fee.
While shopping in person, I don’t buy any products that I’m selling as “new” that have torn, wrinkled or damaged packaging. But with online sourcing, you take the risk of receiving items that don’t meet your quality standards.
The picture below is an item that I received that looks like it was sliced by a knife. I don’t know if it was shipped to me like that or if I damaged the product with my box cutter while opening up the shipping box. Either way, it doesn’t really matter because I can’t sell it.
The company that I bought it from does take returns. But the shipping fee for me to send the product back will exceed my cost of the product. So, I lost a few dollars on this one.
Whenever I go though my product leads from my online sourcing lists, I double check to make sure that the products on both the store’s website and Amazon’s website match 100%. There have been a few occasions when they didn’t but so far that hasn’t been a big issue.
In this case, both product pages matched and I ordered seven of the same item. I usually don’t go that deep, but I did so in order to qualify for free shipping. When I received the items and went to list them, I noticed that what I received didn’t exactly match Amazon’s listing. It was close, but the coloring was different. I received items with a WHITE rectangle on it even though the pictures on both the store’s website and Amazon’s have RED rectangles.
In my opinion, the color shouldn’t be a big issue as the product will operate the same whether the rectangle is red or white. But, regardless of my opinion, I never want to take any chances of upsetting any of my customers so I decided against listing this product under that ASIN.
I did a product search and found a correct Amazon listing for my product. The problem is that the ranking for mine (the white one) is in the 450,000’s while the red one has a much better ranking of less than 50,000. I ended up listing the items under the correct ASIN knowing that they’ll take longer to sell.
Have you ever received a product that you weren’t expecting? What did you do? Please share in the comments below or on my Facebook page so others will know what to watch out for. Thanks for reading this post and happy selling!