We get a lot of question on Amazon Flips in our Sourcing Simplifiers Facebook Group so we’ve put together this quick FAQ. If you feel we are missing anything comment below or shoot us a note in our Facebook group and we will get it added.
What is an Amazon Flip (aka AZ Flip)?
An Amazon flip is when you buy an item from Amazon with the intent to sell the item on Amazon.
Can I buy an AZ Flip with my account?
You can NOT use your Prime benefits (2 day shipping) to buy an Amazon Flip. The Amazon Prime Terms and Conditions specifically state, “Prime members are not permitted to purchase products for the purpose of resale, rental, or to ship to their customers or potential customers using Prime benefits.”
Can I buy an item with my Prime account to sell on other platforms (e.g., eBay)?
No see above statement about AZ
Are you sure I can’t buy with my Prime account to sell on other platforms? I’ve seen other posts/blogs by gurus suggesting its OK?
Yes, I’m sure. The Terms and Conditions are crystal clear. Anyone else that tells you different doesn’t know what they are talking about. Period.
If I can’t use Prime to buy AZ Flips, what do I use?
The recommended approach is setup a second buyer account (assuming your first has Prime). Then setup that account as a business account. Having a business account three advantages:
- Can purchase your items tax free
- Ability to get 2 day free shipping
- Ability to check in stock status of Amazon even when a quantity limit is in place
Can I use my Prime account, if I don’t select Prime Shipping?
This might be OK based on Amazon Prime Terms and Conditions, but if you take advantage of one of their promos ($1 digital credit etc.) I’d suspect that you’d be violating their terms. It’s not clear to me exactly what counts as Prime benefits, but we’d recommend setting up a separate buyer account to avoid any potential issues.
I executed an AZ Flip when using Prime before I knew it was against AZ T&Cs, am I going to get suspended?
Your greatest risk is your buyer account not your seller account. However, if your Prime buyer account is connected to your seller account and your buy account gets shut down so does your seller account. I’d immediately stop doing this and setup a separate buyer account.
What items are best for an AZ Flip?
Ideally you want an item in which the price is much lower priced now then it historically is. There are generally two types of items that fall into this category:
- AZ can’t keep item in stock: AZ has history of pricing items extremely cheap and when they go out of stock many times the third party sellers can price at a much higher price and still make sales.
- Random/Seasonal price drops: Amazon randomly deeply discounts items even more than their regular everyday low prices. Sometimes these drops are large enough that a nice size profit can be achieved by buying low and selling high. Ideally, Amazon will sell out, not replenish and you just need to share buy box with other 3rd However, other times you will be hoping AZ will share the buy box.
Why does Amazon randomly drop their price?
Hard to know for sure, but some reasons are: price matching another store (e.g., Walmart, Target), price matching 3P seller, clearance ( just like any other store), too much stock, glitch in repricer/pricing mistake.
How do you find Flips?
- Keepa Deals: Here is a video showing you how to find deals with Keepa
- Scanning Amazon site looking for deeply discounted items
- OAXray also has a nice little AZ flip tool that helps automate scanning Amazon. You can get a 10 day free trial via our Affiliate link
What other tools are recommended for AZ flips?
RevSeller is my favorite new extension. It allows me to quickly calculate potential profit, ROI, Margin as well as see rank and % rank within a category. You can see a demo here and can use our affiliate link to get a 30 day free trial ($99/year after that).
Can you give me an example of a good AZ Flip?
- In Amazon Flips Part 2 we walk through multiple examples of good flips and is a good read. Also on the Sourcing Simiplifiers Facebook group we frequently post analysis of potential flips under #learntoAZFlip.
- Check out this video: Analysis of a bad Flip
I notice you guys post lots of shoes/clothing, how do you quickly identify the profitable variations?
Revseller also has a variation tool that will give you a list of all variations, their price and number of sellers. This list can be easily sorted or even exported to a .csv file. This just helps you identify the cheapest variations. To understand what variations sell best and what price you need to do further due diligence by reviewing Keepa to understand price history and reviewing reviews to get an idea of what variations sell the best. You can see a demo here and can use our affiliate link to get a 30 day free trial ($99/year after that).
I just bought a flip and Amazon still has a lot in stock at a low price should I panic?
No. If you’ve done your homework beforehand you should be confident that the price will rise to the previous average selling price or AZ will eventually sell out. Be patient and give it some time.
How fast do Flips sell?
Some sell as soon as they hit warehouses and others take months. There are a lot of variables at play here. For example, if flip was limited stock or just such a great deal that everyone jumped on it and then you get your item into AZ quickly you may own the Buy Box and sell through quickly. Other times AZ will not sell out and may take some time to raise to your goal price. Then even when they raise to your goal sell price, you are hoping they will share the buy box. In most cases they will (new books seem to be the exception), but sometimes it takes time for them to share or they only give it up for short periods of time. Also in general shoes are slower turns due to the number of variations so even if AZ is out of stock can easily take 60 days. Lastly, many flips are out of season items like snow boots in the summer, shorts in the winter, out of season sporting goods. These items sales velocity won’t pick up until they come back in season. So while you may sell a snow boot in July, its certainly not going to be at the velocity they will sell in December.
Should I send me AZ Flips in right away?
This really depends on your business model. A common theme is, it won’t sell if you don’t send it in. You certainly want to send in items that AZ has sold out and price is already at your goal selling price. However, if you have bought a bunch of snow boots in May you might want to evaluate whether it makes the most sense for you to send it in knowing they most likely won’t sell until October. Short term storage fees are typically pretty low and cheaper than other storage fees so in many cases it still makes sense to send it in. However, for people that have storage space available and want to save a few bucks in storage fees may consider holding some flips for a bit before sending it in.
Would you recommend a sourcing model of 100% Flip?
I would not recommend it. It can be done, but I think its best to mix in other sourcing models. While Stephen may give it a shot this summer to avoid RAing in the AZ heat, I wouldn’t recommend it for a long term sourcing approach.
How do you get around AZ quantity limits?
On many AZ flips, Amazon will have a limit of 3 to 5 you can buy. I do NOT recommend trying to get around these limits. Instead I just check back occasionally and see if I’m able to buy the item again. I’m not exactly sure what drives the limit restriction being removed though if AZ goes OOS and then comes back in stock I typically find that I’m able to buy the item again.
Do you offer a service that can help me find flips?
We have a lot of free videos on our videos section of our blog. Additionally, we have a paid AZ flip group in which we post at least 50 flips a week and 300 a month. Additionally, members of the group get access to AZ Flip train videos that aren’t publicly available. We’ve received great feedback on the group so far and the group is currently full. However, you can join the wait list if you want to join in the future.
In addition, we frequently post free flips (#AZFlip) and teaching opportunities (#Learn2AZFlip) in the Sourcing Simiplifiers Facebook group. On Fridays, we frequently give out free trainings and other free stuff so be sure to check the group frequently.
If your paid AZ Flip group has 65 people in it, won’t prices tank?
With any type of shared BOLO there is a chance of prices tanking. In reality anything you buy has a chance of tanking. Just takes 1 or 2 people to drive the price down. However, in general we have found that AZ flips tank much less than your standard OA/RA BOLO. Here are the some of the reasons why we believe flip group prices are relatively stable:
- Not all 65 people are going to buy each flip. Many of the flips we post may only have 1 to 5 items left until AZ is OOS.
- Most items we post have quantity limits which means even if a person or two decide to tank the price they frequently sell out quickly and price recovers
- Higher barrier of entry into our group. The group isn’t cheap which tends to lead to more advanced sellers in the group that are less likely to start a race to the bottom.
Honestly, with AZ flips I’m rarely concerned about other people tanking the price. I’m more worried about AZ not going out of stock or not sharing the buy box when they are in stock. Or of course AZ tanking the price!
What other AZ Flip resources do you have?
Check out our page dedicated to AZ Flips