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Are Amazon BOLO (Be On The Lookout) Seller Groups a Scam?

Plus: The Nasty Email I Received...

product sourcing for Amazon - review email

If you're an Amazon seller, you've probably come across 'BOLO' (Be On The Lookout) groups on Facebook or elsewhere.

"What's a BOLO group?" you ask?

A BOLO group is, simply, a group of online sellers sharing product leads with each other.

The product leads are what they've found in stores - some are online - that are selling at those stores for a price far less than on Amazon, and sometimes eBay.

Thus, by joining a BOLO group - usually for a fee - you can be alerted to those product sourcing ideas, too.  Then you can visit your local stores and try to locate the same products with the objective of buying it and then selling it online for a significant profit. (As you know, that's called "retail arbitrage.")

But do those BOLO groups really work?

I'm going to share my experience in a moment...

But first, I want to show you this nasty email I received from an Amazon 'guru.' (it's also at the top of this post. You can click on it to enarlge).

I got that email in response to a newsletter I sent out last January recommending a BOLO group (this one) to my readers.

I'll summarize "Charles'" sordid reply for you:  He said "[BOLO groups] never work for anyone except the seller(s) of the list."

Au contraire, my irate reader.

In fact, the trusted ones generally work pretty well.

And to show you proof, I put my money where my mouth is immediately after I got that, um, polite email.

See, I had already joined this BOLO group myself. When you join, you're invited to receive product leads sent to your cell phone. (You can also access them online).

One of the leads I received was this one, found at a major national retail chain. This is the exact picture alert I received from the group, on my cell phone (click on it for a larger version):

Amazon product resell alert

You'll see I blurred out the store name and the cell phone numbers (those are the phone numbers of the other people in my group who are out 'scouting' for deals and posting them privately.)

So I went out, found that Valentine's Bear for $9.99, and scanned the item's barcode with the free official Amazon seller app (Apple/Android). Sure enough, it was selling for $30+ on Amazon.

At roughly 3x the price I paid for it, it would bring me at least an $9.00 net profit if I sold it via Amazon seller fulfillment*. (You can see for yourself using the free Amazon seller calculator).

*I didn't choose to sell it via Amazon FBA for 2 reasons: 1.) Timing: I purchased it too close to Valentine's Day, and 2.) The $11+ FBA were high for this item, possibly due to its stated size (20").

So I bought the item for $9.99 (and also a red version), brought them home, and listed them on Amazon.

Sure enough, each sold a few weeks later:

Amazon product sale 1

Both the white version (above) and the red version (below) netted me about $9.00 profit each: $29.99 minus Amazon seller fees, minus my shipping cost to the customer, minus the cost of the item.

Amazon product sale 2

Now remember, I tested just one item (well, two if you count the variation) that I received a tip on. By this time, my phone was blowing up with other product tips - daily - from my BOLO group cohorts.

The same day I received another product tip on my phone. This was found for $5 at major game store chain (you can probably guess which one):


Amazon Sourcing BOLO Group Alert 2

Now I couldn't figure out the extra 25% off thing but sure enough I found that exact Nerf blaster (6 of them) the same day I was alerted. Below is my actual sales receipt from the store:

Item found in store to resell on Amazon

That item had, at the time of publishing this article,  a 19,000 sales rank in toys on Amazon, which is well within the top 1% of that category.

Now to be fair, the Nerf blaster's lowest dropped to about $23 in January 2019. I could have made about a 40% profit on each, but that would only net me $2 to $3 per sale. So I priced mine at $26.68 and it sold in early May via Amazon merchant fulfilled. My net ROI: 125% (or about $7.50)

Keep in mind the above items alerts are a fraction of what was sent to me in one day. I - and other members of that BOLO group - are getting handfulls of these specific product tips daily!

Still not convinced? Here's more "profit proof":

The very same BOLO group alerted me last Christmas of a specific Holiday lawn ornament for $89 at a major chain - that was selling for $189+ on Amazon.

So I rented a UHAUL van, visited 3 stores, and bought 15+ of them ... (Sorry I can't share this one - it's way too lucrative and it wouldn't be fair to the BOLO group members)

Did they sell?

Yup. My net profit per unit sold was $40 to $50 each. So for one day's work of running around to stores, then prepping the items for Amazon fulfillment, my total take was $675:

Product found in store to resell on Amazon

And lastly, here is a support email that the BaLance group received from a new (and highy skeptical) user of their service:

Amazon BOLO Group testimonialNow, to be fair, no one is going to "get rich" using a BOLO Group. And where some products  they alert you to can be 'quick flips', margins and turnover rates (=how quickly it sells) can vary.

But I love BOLO groups (the trusted ones) because they save me a lot of time. Without a BOLO group, you'd have venture into retail stores on your own and figure out 'what to buy' to resell on Amazon.

But with a BOLO group, most of the work is done for you. But it's always good to do your due dilligence with those product alerts before you buy - check out the sales rank, the price of the item over time (free via CamelCamelCamel), the # of competing sellers, etc.. And if you're relatively new to selling on Amazon, you'll want to learn the "basics" before you start buying any products at all. (I recommend this free 7-day course from another trusted partner of mine - The Selling Family).

So, now that we've debunked Charles' unsubsantiated claim, you're probably asking "How can I join a trusted BOLO group, and how much is it?"

There are a few trusted BOLO groups. Of course one of my favorites is the one that brought me the above results - BaLance, which is run by Barrington McIntosh and Lance Wolf:

Barrington McIntosh Lance WolfI begged Barrington and Lance to provide my readers (that's you) with inexpensive access to their incredible service. And they agreed!

Their BaLance group is a steal at $397 for the rest of 2019. That's a one-time charge, not recurring.

Joining is easy, immediate and a true bargain. And under $2.00 a day you get.

  • Local finds organized by stores, so you can easily create your shopping list - several new finds are added daily! (You'll be placed in a private small BOLO group to minimize deal saturation)
  • 'How to Source' Webinars - live and replays available - learn how to source online and in stores, like the pros!
  • Online arbitrage and research tips and ideas
  • Lego Masterclass (how to source and sell - this is gold)
  • Full VIP access to Q4 2019 (Xmas season) BOLO groups and training too!
  • Much more (view everything here).

So if you're stuck on 'what can I sell' this year, get access to today risk free as it's backed by a 30-day, no questions asked 100% money back guarantee.

Have fun and keep me posted!

-Jordan

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Kyle May 10, 2019, 12:49 pm

    Jordan,
    With The BaLance BOLO group, are you able to buy the daily products that they put for the BOLO, or is it a case of the price tanks due to competition and better off finding a variation of the product?
    Thanks

    • Jordan Malik May 10, 2019, 3:49 pm

      Hi Kyle. THe potential of a price tanking can occur regardless of how/where you source for online arbitrage/retail arbitrage – the BOLO group can’t predict that. Re: variation, yes there have been cases (like me with the Red version of the Valentine’s bear) where I purchased a variation of the items shared in the Bolo group (They originally posted the white one only, but I found the red one when visiting the retailer).

  • Fairgun May 7, 2019, 10:06 pm

    How do I get the bonuses from this subscription? I just signed up a week ago but I haven’t received access or link to these bonuses (Lego masterclass, brickseek, etc). Do I get these from you or from BaLance? I emailed BaLance and I haven’t had any reply from them. Thank you!

    • Jordan Malik May 7, 2019, 10:11 pm

      Hello, I will alert the owners of BaLance. If you don’t hear from them by Thursday 5/9/19, email me at:jordanmalik@gmail.com

      • Fairgun May 8, 2019, 9:21 pm

        Thank you for the quick reply. I have just received the email with access to these bonuses today from BaLance.

  • Brian Guy April 26, 2019, 4:28 pm

    Hi Jordan.the Lance and Barrington group sounds great.Are the majority of their products not restricted or ungated.I can use OA for these groups,i presume.Cheers Brian.

    • Jordan Malik April 26, 2019, 6:10 pm

      Hi Brian, restrictions and gated/ungated policies vary widely by seller. More help on that here. I don’t know what you mean by “use OA” – maybe you mean “Are the deals OA (Online Arbitrage) or RA (Retail Arbitrage)”. As the article mentions, many deals are RA but there is a significant number oF OA deals too.

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