Updated: Jul 26
This sounds like it is too good to be true. On the contrary, getting free inventory, weather it's books, dvd's, video games, or electronics, it can be done with a smartphone or a computer, a few apps and websites and some mode of transportation. Most people trying to establish a business have access to all of these things, even though finances might be tight. This tactic has personally landed me with thousands of dollars of profit and even a pick up of over 3000 books in a single haul. If you are looking to work more on your Amazon FBA business and not use any of your own money, then this article is for you!
Why Would Anyone Give You Free Stuff?
Well that is a great question isn't it? Typically people will give stuff away for many different reasons but in more cases or not people tend to collect things throughout their life and eventually things get cluttered. Some people will become hoarders and keep their stuff until death, but most people feel the need to declutter at some point. This would be your target audience. Targeting an audience is crucial to triggering a customer to buy one's product or service. In this case, the customer is the person who has the clutter aka inventory and the service is actually taking the stuff they are trying to get rid of. People will generally be more inclined to give you stuff if you have a bigger purpose than just yourself interest. For example, If you're trying to collect books, maybe it's because you want to fill a nursing home that is lacking reading material. Whatever the reason, be sure to use something that people can relate to as well as empathize for the particular cause. Pairing the need to declutter and empathy for your cause will be enough for people to want to give you stuff, but in today's day in age people are lazy and will opt in for easy most of the time. The best way to make it painless to donate goods toward your cause is to offer free pick up on qualifying donations.
One way to qualify people even more is by adding that free pick up is only available for a certain quantity of items such as 100 books or 100 dvds. I would leave that out of a social media post but qualify that lead with such once they are in my Inbox. There you have it, an effective but simple way to ask people for inventory as well as creating a cause that could have a huge impact on your business. Before you identify your cause, please have actionable steps to follow through with whatever it is you hope to achieve.
The Art Of Reaching Your Audience
Reaching an audience in today's day in age is easier than ever. We are lucky to be in the digital age where thousands of views are just a click away. Typically when looking for inventory the best place to start is in your area. You can advertise free clutter removal on a variety of platforms like facebook and nextdoor. These are my favorite apps for connecting with people who are local to the area. With facebook there are several options for finding leads to donate goods for your cause. One of the ways that can help if you live in your hometown and have many connections is to just simply make a post that tells your friends what you are looking for, and how it can help the cause. Another option, is to use neighborhoods, a feature inside facebook that connects you to people in your neighborhood, and make a post there as well. My favorite option of all is using buy/sell groups on facebook to get the word out. Most of the time, there are buy sell groups for smaller communities within a big metropolitan area and you can focus on areas that work best for you. Lastly, Nextdoor is an app like the neighborhoods feature on facebook where neighbors come to post and socialize. These 4 places will create opportunities for you to be able to reached for anyone who decides to donate towards your cause. Some other options can include other buy/sell apps like offerup and craigslist. Posting on these sites will be essential for you finding the people you are looking for! My best advice is to post twice a week to as many places as possible and always be descriptive and include some photos that are relevant.
Pick Ups And Profits
Once you have got messages coming to your inbox it's now time to qualify and proceed with picking up your newly sourced inventory. When it comes to qualifying customers, I simply ask questions regarding what they are wanting to give away such as "How many books do you think it is?" or "what kind of items are you wanting to part with?". This usually gives me an idea if it is worth my time to go and pick it up. I typically try to look for big donations, but small ones can be good as well if its books being donated by someone who was interested in a particular niche such as sword making or civil war history. I try to find out as much information as i need to make a decision. Also, if there are a lot of books like my haul of 3000 books, it may take several trips if you dont drive a spacious vehicle. Be prepared for anything, Someone may be looking to clean out a house of a relative that passed and you never know if its going to be dusty or dirty work. Once you have picked up the goods, it's then time to scan the items using the amazon seller app or Scoutly, an app that makes buying decisions for you based on the going prices of that item on amazon. You should expect about 5-10 percent of the items you receive to actually be worth selling on amazon. The other 90-95 percent will go towards your cause that your customers expect you to carry out. Bonus points: post a follow up with pictures of your cause coming to fruition. In my case, I posted pictures of the residents of a nursing home picking out books to read that I donated. This led to more people wanting to help with my cause and I always disclosed that 5-10 percent will be sold to pay for gas in order to serve the cause. And Just like that you are creating a supply of free inventory that will benefit more people than just you and your business.
For more information, check out this video!