Winning the Buy Box on Amazon is usually a very difficult task. Amazon has very strict criteria on how sellers get the most prominent spot on each listing, but by finding products where you are the only seller, you can seize the buy box.
Why is the Amazon stock status important?
The Amazon inventory is constantly changing according to buyer trends. Nobody would have predicted in 2019 that face masks and hand sanitizer would be in demand, and suppliers who could fulfill this need made huge profits in 2020 and 2021. When products go out of stock in Amazon there is a huge opportunity for sellers to own the listing and sell products completely unchallenged – effectively winning the buy box by default as the only supplier.
To help identify opportunities like this quickly, we have added a new feature that allows users to identify products that are currently out of stock at Amazon.
How do I check Amazon stock status with SourceMogul?
SourceMogul automatically checks the Amazon stock availability each time you run a search and the status is displayed on the Results and Wishlist pages. If the bar is in orange, it’s ‘out of stock’ at Amazon:
Using the filters section it is possible to hide or show products, based on the Amazon stock status:
Hide in stock: only ‘out of stock’ products will be displayed. This is especially useful for identifying listings where you can fill a gap in the current Amazon inventory.
Hide out of stock: only ‘in stock’ products will be displayed. This is helpful if you want to perform analysis on the current suppliers and get a feel for whether you can compete with them. (Note: we also have a “Merchant fulfilled only” checkbox which can filter away products where Amazon is the seller).
So this could make me extra money?
If a product used to be the best seller in Toys and Games at a Sales Rank of 1, and then sells out at Amazon, two things happen:
- Lower Sales Rank than Normal? As it’s Out Of Stock, Amazon obviously can’t sell it. So its Sales Rank will go from 1 to 200 to 15,000 pretty quickly.
- If someone restocks the product, there is historic proof of demand for that item.
Some advantages of trading in this way:
- Low competition: You may well be the only supplier on the listing, so that Buy Box is coming your way. Of course, once it regains its sales rank, you’re likely to have other sellers on the listing, but quite often you may only be able to buy a limited quantity at a great price so it may not matter in practice as you will have sold out and moved onto the next listing.
- Better margins? If you know that it was selling at £25/$30, and you’re the only seller, you may be able to raise your price a little while you are the only supplier.
To help identify opportunities like this quickly using SourceMogul, simply use our “Amazon stock” filter on the Results page that allows users to identify products that are currently out of stock at Amazon.
Is there anything I should be aware of?
There is some skill in identifying the best opportunities. Fortunately, we are able to show you all the data you need to know, so here’s our troubleshooting guide to avoid common pitfalls.
- Listing is for a Used or Collectible condition item. Watch out for this.
- Amazon IS out of stock for the ASIN you selected, tries to be helpful and redirects to a different size / variant.
- Amazon has duplicate listings for the product with different ASINs. While this should not happen, it does. Amazon will sometimes redirect to same product but with a different ASIN.
- Variations can be misleading. B08L89P489 and B01MQY2251 (two different colour variations of the same shirt, both Amazon OOS) both currently return a similar sales rank for the ‘Clothing Shoes & Jewelry’ category (see below). It is recommended that you use the sales rank from an ‘in stock’ period of time as a guide.
- Watch out for price spikes. When there is only a couple of items left, some sellers will increase their price. As we only pick up the last known price, make sure you look at the 30/60/90 day average for some certainty. You don’t want to buy 10 items to sell at $60, if the regular price is $35!
Online arbitrage is all about exploiting price differences between marketplaces, and in the guide we have hopefully managed to demonstrate how SourceMogul can enable sellers to profit from these differences.
Knowing the current stock status of products on the supplier site, and the Amazon listing, can provide very useful insight for sellers. It can unlock potential opportunities to fill a gap, provide you with a tool to check when your target products are back in stock, or save you time by only focusing on products that you can buy right now.
If you are a current SourceMogul user, feel free to get in touch with our support team with any questions or feedback – we’d love to hear your suggestions for improving this area of our software.
If you are not a current user, but are looking for an Amazon product sourcing tool, then look no further. SourceMogul scans millions of products every day to keep on top of the latest price changes and highlight profitable buying opportunities before anyone else.
Why not try our free trial today to see for yourself!
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