Guest blog post by Stephen from Full-Time FBA blog

It really happens. Amazon, from time to time, goes completely out of stock on items that sell often. Not only does Amazon go out of stock, but sometimes the 3rd party sellers also go out of stock. When nobody is in stock for a product, Amazon usually hides that product page from customer search results. Amazon is all about providing the best customer experience, so they don’t want customers to find product pages of items that are sold out (sold out product = unhappy customer).

But what if you, as a seller, need to find an item on Amazon, but it’s hidden because no one is currently selling it? Also, what if you wanted to find out which items are sold out on Amazon so you can go source those items yourself and meet the demand (for a pretty penny, of course)?

How can you find out of stock products on Amazon?

Here’s how:

  1. On Amazon.com, enter in the search bar the item you are looking for (Note: this works on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or the full Amazon site on your smart phone’s browser app).
  2. Scroll through the first few pages of results to see if you can find your item.
  3. If you can’t find it, scroll up to the top of the page and pick a category to narrow your search results. Pick the most likely category.
  4. After you pick a category, a new search button will appear on the left column. Near the bottom of the “Show Results For” section, you can click the button for “Include Out of Stock.”
  5. Now you can scroll though the results again and see the items that are both in and out of stock. The out of stock items will not have a price listed with the image. You might find what you are looking for.

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Let’s look at the process with a product example

Imagine you are out at a thrift store and find a brand new Masters of the Universe Castle Grayskull. You scan the barcode on your smartphone, but get no results. You try a keyword search on the Amazon app, but you still get nothing.

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Open the browser app on your smart phone and go to Amazon.com. If it shows you a mobile version of Amazon, be sure to click on “Full site.” In the Amazon search bar, type: “Castle Grayskull”
  2. Scroll through the first few pages of results to see if you can find your item.
  3. If you can’t find it, scroll up to the top of the page and pick a category to narrow your search results. For this item, the category will be Toys & Games.
  4. After you pick a category, a new search button will appear on the leftScreen Shot 2014-12-11 at 9.20.56 AM column. Near the bottom of the “Show Results For” section, you can click the button for “Include Out of Stock.”
  5. Now you can scroll though the results again and see the items that are both in and out of stock. Remember, the out of stock items will not have a price listed with the image.
  6. This is what your search results look like at the bottom of the first page:

Amazon product page

CamelCamelCamel

You found it! Now you can do some CamelCamelCamel research and see if this item is something worth selling.

Here’s a tip: If an item has been out of stock for a long time, then obviously the rank of that item will be very high (or zero), but don’t let that stop you from considering selling it. It may have sold well in the past, and if it’s a toy, it might sell come Q4. Remember this blog post on why I bought a toy ranked over 1 million? That toy sold very quickly. Rank is not always an indicator of sales velocity.

Another tip on discovering if an item will sell quickly is to look at the Amazon product reviews. If people have posted multiple recent reviews, then it should sell fairly quickly.

If CamelCamelCamel does not contain enough data for you to make an informed buying or pricing decision and you still need help getting more information, then another tip is to look on eBay. You can use the Advanced Search link on eBay to see what buyers are paying for that item. Basically, do as much research as you can to make a smart sourcing decision.

If you do all this searching and don’t see the item you are looking for, then you could potentially have a very high priced item on your hands. You can either create an Amazon product page for that board game or consider selling it on eBay. If you want to create a product page on Amazon, then here are a few resources that can help you create and optimize it for quick sales:

  1. The Beginners Guide to Creating Professional Amazon Listings
  2. Amazon Advantage: How to Create Product Listings That Sell

BONUS TIP 1 —If you found an item so rare that both Amazon and eBay are not selling it, then here is a tip that might make you a lot of profit. If you are patient and don’t need to make a quick return on this item, then I would price it at least four times what I assume I’d actually be able to sell it for.

Since you are the only person offering this item, you could possibly command a huge price. If, after a month or so, you don’t get a sale, then I’d start to lower the price by about $25 a month until it finally sells. Remember, if you only have one left of an item in stock, Amazon puts that information on the sales page, so it’s very likely that someone will want to pay a high price for this very rare item.

BONUS TIP 2 —Win 6 months of RepricerExpress, Amazon repricing software, for FREE! Find out more

Now it’s your turn. See if you can find this exact Lion Pillow Pet on Amazon following my instructions.

Note: This toy is currently ranked 162,000 in Toys & Games so it might not be sold out for long!

*A version on this blog originally appeared on Full-Time FBA blog.

About the author:
Stephen Full-Time FBA blogMy name is Stephen, and I love my job! I get the honour of working for myself, at home. I’ve been using Amazon FBA since 2011 and have been able to completely support myself and my family almost from the beginning.
On my FBA blog, we talk about what it takes to make FBA a full-time job.
http://www.fulltimefba.com

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