Saturday, October 22, 2011
Strategy for Using Grocery Stores as a Source for Inventory
Grocery stores can be a gold mine for sourcing both eBay and Amazon inventory. And its not just about hitting the clearance section - there are other creative ways to find inventory that work for selling online. Grocery stores are a great way to find products that you can sell consistently with very little (or no) competition. It just takes some searching to find products that work.
When you use your regular grocery store to source products, you don't feel the pressure to over-buy like you might at Big Lots or a closeout store. These products will be available to you any time you need to restock. A grocery store can be like your own personal warehouse with thousands of items to choose from any time you want.
Did you realize that some stores flag items on the regular shelves with special closeout tags before moving them to the clearance area? If you are only checking the designated clearance aisle or kiosk, you won't find these deals - you are leaving many opportunities behind. Closeout products are offered at a reduced price because they may not be moving well at that particular store, the manufacturer may be doing a packaging change, the store may be resetting the shelves for a new season, or a number of other reasons. These markdowns happen every single week.
If you know what to look for, and use a scouting tool or have internet access on your phone, you can find these items (and check the online selling prices) as you do your regular grocery shopping. The photo above shows a closeout item on the regular cosmetics aisle at a local grocery store in my area - look at the price cut and look at how many items are available to purchase. Score!
You may not think selling groceries is very glamorous or profitable, but consider these points:
Not everyone has access to what you have in your stores or geographic area. This is the #1 assumption that causes sellers to walk right by profitable opportunities.
Groceries are consumables and buyers will purchase multiples - consumables are where you get those wonderful quantity buyers!
Grocery items are easy to find and abundant - grocery stores stock thousands of different items and are constantly adding new products.
More and more consumers are buying online - they like the convenience of having merchandise delivered to their door, they save time and gas by avoiding having to drive around, and Prime customers on Amazon get free shipping, so they utilize their membership whenever possible.
Baby Boomers are loving the convenience of online shopping, especially in the winter months - trips to the grocery store can be physically demanding.
Online shopping can be less expensive and is definitely less hassle than regular shopping.
Knowing what the shelf tags mean and how the store positions the items is crucial to finding these opportunities.
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