Educated Sourcing: 5 Things to Consider When Making Buying Decisions [Series] #3

Not everything you scan will be worth sending into Amazon for resale. How do you know which items are?
 In this series, I'll discuss the top FIVE factors that I use to decide whether or not I purchase an item for resale. Making educated sourcing decisions is important for the growth and survival of your business. Incorrect decisions can lead to holding onto inventory for too long which can lead to limited capital to reinvest. This can start a snowball effect. So let's start off making smart buying decisions from the start using the information available at our fingertips.

In this series so far, I've shared the ins and outs of sales ranks and how competition affects my buying decisions.  Today, I'll be discussing buyer reviews and why they can be hurtful and helpful to your sales.

What are people saying about the product? What are the problems that people are talking about?

Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. If you find a product on Amazon that looks like it will fit your needs but has a one or two starred review, stop and further consider what you would do… Do you still buy the item or do you think twice and look to see what those reviewers had to say? I know that I’m more likely to question if a product will be a good fit for my needs if it has negative reviews. Items with better product reviews tend to sell better and more consistently. People want quality products that will solve the problem as promised.

How to take advantage of less than perfect reviews.

Buyer reviews are important in considering what products to buy for resale and which to steer clear of. An item that often arrives damaged or doesn’t meet customer expectations may be a good item to leave on the shelf. It could also be something for the savvy seller to take advantage of. What are buyers unhappy about with this particular product? Did it break easily or come without a certain part? You can use your findings to find other products in the same niche that better meet the customers expectations and stock those. Or, if the item was missing something that would have made the item work better, consider making a bundle of those items together. Take the steps that your competition isn't to differentiate yourself.

What do you do if your product is the one getting poor reviews?

Creating listings is part of my Amazon business. I find products that aren't currently being sold on Amazon and take the time to take a couple of photos and create a listing. Listing creation comes with both its advantages and disadvantages. If you play your cards correctly, you'll get to own the buy box 100% of the time thus limiting your competition. While you squeeze out your competition, you are also the one who takes responsibility for unhappy customers.

If negative reviews show up on one of my listings, I take the time to read what the buyer was unhappy with about the product. Sometimes a buyer doesn't like the shade of blue. That's personal preference and not something that I am able change. However, if the item is arriving broken or without a part that would make it easier to use then I reevaluate the product and decide if I try to fix the problem or abandon the product. I tend to want to fix the problem, but sometimes there isn't enough profit margin in an item to make that worth it. Let me give you an example.

A friend of mine decided to sell some gingerbread house kits last year during Q4. They sold remarkably well and then almost ALL of them were returned due to damage in shipping. Ugh! Lots of unhappy customers. The solution would be to individually box each one to prevent damage on the long journey to the buyer. Due to the size of the item it would require a custom size box or additional time and money spent on packing material to secure the item. In the end, she decided to abandon the product.

Deciding to fix or abandon a product depend on your business model. It's up to you!

Bring on the 5 Star reviews!

While negative reviews can sting, positive reviews can help increase sales. If you sell a product that meets the need of a buyer then you're likely to get a review. I had a product that I started carrying last summer that met a need for moms and dads at the beach. Within a few weeks, I had a couple of five-star reviews and saw my sales go from a 1-2 per week to 1-2 per day. With that being said, I don't buy product reviews (Amazon doesn't like that – see here) so those reviews were truly customers being satisfied with the product. Provide a great product that meets and need and the positive reviews will follow. 

Check back next week! I have more educated sourcing tips coming your way to help you make smart buying decisions in Q4 and all year round. If you aren't already signed up to get notifications when new content is posted make sure you sign up in the right sidebar.

MORE FREE CONTENT Remember to catch me later today on Periscope. If you haven't downloaded Periscope [ iOS | Android ] to your smartphone or other mobile device (iPad, tablet, etc), make sure you do it before 2:30pm EDT so you're ready to ask your questions. You can follow me @amy_feierman. See you there!

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