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Wholesale Mine & Refine Method, Finding Gold on Amazon

Sometimes, taking the road less traveled works to your advantage. When it comes to finding profitable products on Amazon, that’s certainly the case. In this episode of Amazon Seller School, Todd walks us through his tips for aiming low to win big. Stay tuned.

Click here to get the Wholesale Mine & Refine Method Master Class!



Click here to get the Wholesale Mine & Refine Method Master Class!

Mine & Refine

Every day, countless Amazon sellers filter potential products by units sold. Most look for those selling hundreds of units per month and join the long list of other FBA sellers gunning for the same product and of course, the buy box. While this method renders profitable products, it also means low ROIs. To offset these low ROIs, Todd recommends finding products with fewer sales and sky-high potential. So what gives away a product’s golden glint?


First, check a product’s reviews. Aim for products with at least five reviews and four stars. Five reviews mean the product has sold well in the past. Because so few customers leave reviews, five reviews likely equals between 50 to 100 sales. And more stars mean the product is of good quality. Just make sure the reviews are recent (6 months to one year) so you’re not buying products that just had a few good months several years ago.

FBA Sellers

Next, find products with no other FBA sellers. Or find a product with an FBA seller who’s jacked the price way up. That way you can immediately take over the listing by becoming the only FBA seller or at least driving the price down.

Optimize Listings

Products with terrible listings are also great places to start. Now that almost everyone’s got an iPhone with a stellar camera, it’s easy to take a great picture. You can also purchase a white box on Amazon and hire someone on Fiverr to clean up the end result. Check out a recent episode with Karon Thackston for more on writing top-notch titles, bullets, and descriptions.


Finally, check out if a product has variations. Maybe a watch comes in seven colors or three sizes. Oftentimes one of those variations is selling better than the rest. Todd recommends creating a parent listing for all of those variations to fall under. That way you grab traffic when someone searches for any one of those seven colors or three sizes. You can also add variations that aren’t yet on Amazon.

Final Steps

Amazon will usually give you control of a listing that’s doing poorly. Simply head to Seller Central and find an option to update a product listing. Next, run a five-cent ad campaign to start driving cheap traffic. And when you’ve bumped a product’s sales way up, reach out to a brand and ask about discounts and exclusivity agreements – you’ve earned it!


For more of a deep dive into the Mine & Refine method, check out Todd’s upcoming webinar and sign up for the waitlist to snag a special discount.

Happy selling everybody.

Resources From This Episode

Click here to get the Wholesale Mine & Refine Method Master Class!

Outline of This Episode

[00:25] Todd’s introduction to this episode

[02:04] Mine & Refine defined

[04:25] Why reviews are key insights

[05:50] Avoiding other FBA sellers

[08:32] Improving listings

[14:15] Using variations to your advantage

[17:10] The final steps

[23:03] Todd’s closing thoughts on this episode


Todd (00:00):
This is how I am finding gold on Amazon and how you can as well. Stay tuned.

Announcer (00:07):
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the Amazon Seller School podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an eCommerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host Todd Welch.

Todd (00:25):
Whats up everybody. Todd Welch here from the Amazon Seller School. And today we are diving into the wholesale mine and refine method. This is how I am finding gold listings on Amazon and how you can as well. And I’m going to break it down for you guys here today, so that you can go out on Amazon and find these listings that are collecting dust, Polish them up a little bit and start selling a lot of products on them and probably have all the sales to yourself for quite a long time. I’ve been doing the wholesale mine or refine method for a while now, and it’s working fantastic for me. So I wanted to share it with you guys out there so you can do it as well. Now, one thing that I’m going to do is actually do a full webinar on this method as well. It’s going to be a paid webinar, but for you guys, or for this first live webinar, I’m going to be giving a significant discount off of the price.

Todd (01:27):
So you’re going to want to head over to M I N E, to check that out, you can also find that link in the show notes, 38. Since this is episode 38. And in that webinar, you’ll be able to visually see me going through all of the steps and such that we’re going to talk about here today. So you’re definitely gonna want to check that out again. Entrepreneur forward slash mine, M I N E. And you can get more information on that. So let’s go ahead and dive into this right off the bat. So what is the wholesale mine or refine method? So basically what I have been doing for a while now is instead of looking well, in addition to looking, cause we’re all looking for those products that could sell 500 or a thousand per month, right?

Todd (02:24):
But when you find those ones, usually there’s going to be 10 or 20 other sellers on there. You’re competing with a good price is going to get driven down. You might be may able to make 20 or 30% ROI. So what I do to offset that low ROI, because those fast selling ones are really nice. But if we can find these ones, these listings that are collecting dust and maybe make 75 or a hundred percent ROI or more, and have all the sales to ourselves that really helps increase our profit increase our return on investment overall in our business. So I’ve been doing this for quite a while and essentially it’s finding listings that have been forgotten about, or maybe just have not had the right touch to really get going. So what do I mean by listings that are collecting dust when you’re getting those lists from the distributors or brands?

Todd (03:29):
A lot of times we’re using filters in our software, whether we’re using tactical arbitrage or analyzer tools, formerly AMZ analyzer, or price checker 2, is another one out there. There’s all these little filters that we can set to find products. And so a lot of times people are setting their filters to filter out the low selling products. And maybe they say the minimum of 50 orders per month or a hundred orders a month or a minimum sales rank or something like that. I kind of flip that on its head. When I’m looking at these lists, after I look for the fast selling products, now I’m going to do a little mining, right? Digging for gold in that list. And I’m resetting those filters and setting the filters to mainly just look at reviews and that Amazon is not selling on the listing. So I’m looking for five reviews or more, and then four stars or better.

Todd (04:30):
I want to see listings that have got sales in the past. And I can know that by having reviews, right, because for every one review, there was probably 50 or a hundred sales to get that one review because a lot of people don’t leave reviews. So we know that it’s sold in the past and then I want it to be a good product. So four stars or better preferably even four and a half stars or better to make sure that it is a good product. I don’t want to find a bad product that people are going to end up returning. So that’s what I’m filtering on. Primarily in those softwares, whichever one you are using out there. Now, in addition to that, I’m also setting the filter to make sure Amazon is not currently selling on the listing because obviously we don’t want to compete with Amazon.

Todd (05:19):
Now you’re going to have a pretty good list, depending on the size of that original list. You’re going to have a nice list of potential gold products that we can sell. So from there, I’m clicking on those listings, jumping over to Amazon and really digging into the listing, the kipa graph and checking out the history of this item. So some of the things that I’m really looking for after those reviews is number one, that it doesn’t have any FBA sellers, or if it currently has an FBA seller, the price is super because those are two things that you can play with to immediately jump the sales. So if there’s no FBA seller, maybe there’s no seller currently or only an FBM by becoming that FBA seller fulfilled by Amazon. You can just double or triple sales just by doing that one simple step. And it’s crazy how many listings I find out there that only have an FBM seller and have had that FBM seller for months or years and have never had an FBA seller.

Todd (06:31):
There’s a lot of people, a lot of sellers out there that seem to not understand the benefit of having that FBA listing, or they just think that listing is such a slow seller. It’s not worth them sending in. Well, we can take advantage of that, be that FBA seller and grab 100% of the sales that are currently on that listing and probably automatically double or triple that as well. Now I’m going to jump back to the reviews for a second because something we want to look at there with the reviews is the make sure that there’s been a recent review. And I say recent review probably within like the last year, preferably even within the last six months, what we want to make sure is that when we click on those reviews and then sort it by the latest that the latest review, isn’t something like four years ago or three years ago that this product may be had a brief period in time that it was popular and now it isn’t anymore.

Todd (07:32):
Those are going to be a little less likely that you can get them going. It doesn’t mean you can’t, but that’s something that I look for is having that review one of the reviews within the last year, preferably the last six months to make sure that this product is still at least like slowly selling on Amazon. All right. So after you look at the reviews and then the FBA seller, if there is an FBA seller, perhaps their price is at maybe this product, we can buy it for $5, but they have it selling for $30. And you look at the history on the keepa graph. That price has always been at like 25, 30, $40. We could come in and maybe sell it for 19.97 or 14.97 and still make a hundred percent profit on that. But that will also help kickstart the sales. So that is something that I look for as well, historically high price.

Todd (08:32):
Now, in addition to that, we want the listing to be really crappy, really bad, right? Because then we can go in there and update the listing and make it better. So I’m looking for maybe only one photo, a blurry photo and not very good photo. You know, Amazon likes to have the product on a white background. So a lot of times these listings you’ll find them. Maybe it’s just like a photo. Somebody took on a desk or outside or something like that. So we can fix those photos. Now I just bought a photograph booth on Amazon for like a hundred dollars. And I use my galaxy S 10 phone, which has a really awesome camera on it. And I can just take some photos and then you can work with someone on Fiverr or some other service to remove the background for you and make it look kind of nice. Upload those photos and boom, you got some really nice photos on there.

Todd (09:34):
It’s not extremely difficult. You don’t have to go really crazy upfront down the line. If you want to, you can work on making some like infographics, adding text to the photos and things like that to boost sales even further after you get the ball rolling, but you don’t have to upfront. We’re just looking for a little better photos, better than what’s on there. And a lot of times it’s not very hard to take those better photos, especially if you have a phone, like one of the newer Iphones or a newer galaxy phone or any newer phone is going to have a relatively decent camera on it. Get yourself a nice white box from Amazon or wherever. And you can take those photos, have someone clean it up for you, really easy to upgrade the photos from what they currently are. All right. So now also looking at the title, the bullets and the description.

Todd (10:28):
So a lot of times that these listings you’re going to find the title is like a few words, or maybe it’s just like the product number is in the title or something like that. No keywords, no search terms, anything like that. Sometimes the bullets will just be like seven inches long made in China and that’ll be it. Or maybe there won’t be any bullet points. And so we can really build out those bullet points and optimize them. If you haven’t looked at the previous episode on optimizing, that is episode 31, where I sat down with Karen Faxton over at marketing words and we dug into optimizing listing You’re definitely going to want to go and check that out, because that is what we’re doing with the title, the bullets and the description. We’re optimizing those adding in keywords and making it look nice and have the information that a customer is looking for. So this is kind of where it helps to be in an area that you’re somewhat familiar with because you know, some of the terms in that world.

New Speaker (11:34):
So like if it’s a hobby or a past job or something that you’re interested in learning about can really help in this area with optimizing the listings and making them look good. But even if you don’t know anything about it, you can always go to the manufacturer, the brand’s website, look at what they have on their product page, or go to, you know, search for that product on Google and find other websites that are selling it. You don’t want to just copy it and paste it because that is technically illegal. That’s copyright infringement, but you can look at what they have reworded in your own words and use that for your title, the bullets and the description. And now Amazon is all of a sudden going to go like, Oh, that’s what that product is. So I should start showing it for the search terms, because if the bullets and the title and the description are really bad, and there’s not any information there, Amazon doesn’t know what that product is just from a photo or something like that.

New Speaker (12:32):
So Amazon needs to know what it is. And by updating that title bullets description. Now Amazon is going to be able to start showing it for those keywords or search terms that people are typing into Amazon. So that is going to help boost your listing as well. Now, another area that we can do is in the back end. So when you’re editing the listing, there’s a field called search terms. That is where you can put all of the main search terms that people are looking for. And one of the softwares that I use to do that is scope from seller labs. That tool allows us to have a little icon at the bottom of every Amazon page. We can click it and it shows us all of the top search terms that this product is potentially showing up for it.

New Speaker (13:22):
So I can go look at some of the main competitors to this product. Look at the search terms they’re showing up for and put that in the search term field in the back end, as well as misspellings and things like that. We want to keep it focused around the product, but you can also use that to build your title, bullets and description, as well as that backend search terms to get those keywords and search terms that people are looking for in your listing. Because the more we can do that, the better. Now you want to make sure you stay focused on this. Don’t put like things that don’t actually have to do with it because that can hurt the listing. But again, check out that episode with Karen Faxton. We’ll put that in the show notes,, and you can watch that up. So we’re really diving into optimizing listings. Another thing that we can look for is a variations of this product. So let’s say this product has different colors or different sizes, and we can search for the different sizes and the different colors on Amazon. And let’s say they’re all separate listings. Maybe one of those listings is doing decent. So it has maybe a sales rank of 50,000 or 75,000. Got a little more reviews than the other ones. We can now create a parent listing. All right. So you can go into Amazon, create what’s called a parent listing and combine all those colors or sizes or whatever the variation is under that parent listing.

Todd (14:57):
And now it makes it easier for the shopper, right? All of this we’re thinking about what’s going to make it easier for the shopper to find and buy these products. So if they have a variation, let’s say it’s a car paint, right? And you have red and black and yellow and blue, and each one has a separate listing. Well, maybe the black one is the most popular and it’s showing up in listings, but that’s not what somebody is looking for. They’re looking for the yellow or the blue. Those ones are so far down in the search that nobody’s finding them.

New Speaker (15:34):
So if we can make apparent variation and put all the colors underneath that parent. Now, when someone clicks through to that black, they’re like, Oh, they have blue and yellow and red as well. And it’s the yellow one that I wanted. They can just click on it right there on that listing. And we’re benefiting from all of the sales traffic for all of those listings now get rolled into one listing. And so all of those variations are potentially going to get more sales. So that is something I do a lot to take advantage of. And then in addition to that, you can even add additional variations that maybe are not on Amazon. So once you combine those listings into one, if that listing starts taking off, maybe they have a white paint and that’s not even on Amazon yet. You can add it as for the first time on Amazon, put it under that variation. And now you’re the only seller of maybe that color and that color can potentially start getting some sales.

Todd (16:35):
Now, these are all things that remember, I’ve mentioned a hundred times before we’re buying very small quantities. We’re not buying a hundred units. We’re buying 10, 12, 24, whatever their minimum order is on that, to test this out and see if we can get it selling. And then once you get it selling, now you can make the larger orders and things like that as well. So keep that in mind, but variations and bring things together in a variation is a really good way to kickstart sales on a listing. Now you might be asking, okay, Todd, this was great to update all this stuff, but how am I going to update it? If I don’t have control of listing, I didn’t create it. Now. The good thing is that a lot of these listings that we’re looking at are really bad. They’re not getting very many sales.

Todd (17:25):
So a lot of times you can just go into seller central, edit that product, make the changes in your account, and they will just go live. It is a lot easier with these low hanging fruit products, because Amazon’s like somebody do something to get some sales on this listing because Amazon is not making any money if the product’s not selling. And a lot of times other people have not edited it. So you can make the listing or make the edits on the listing, amazon will just give you control. If they don’t, if you make those changes and like an hour later, they haven’t updated on Amazon. What we’re going to be doing is going into seller support and there is actually an option to update product listings. And we can use that tool to try to update it. If that tool can’t do it, then it’s going to open up a ticket and seller support we’ll look at it. With seller support you’re going to be wanting to include like photos of the item and a link to the manufacturer’s page, where the changes that you’re looking to make are showing on there. And 9 times out of 10 seller support will help you get that updated as well. So you can definitely usually make those changes on listings that are not selling very well because Amazon wants that product to start selling. They can start making commissions and fees off of that, and that’s how they make their money. So they are usually more than happy to allow you to update those listings that are not doing very well right now. Now, if you’re looking at the good selling products, those are a lot more difficult. They usually want a lot more proof to make those changes, but the low hanging fruit, you know, the gold mining products that we’re looking for, it’s a lot easier to make those changes.

Todd (19:16):
All right. So one of the last things here that we can do, let’s say, once you do all the optimization, you become the first FBA seller. You start getting some traffic on this product, start getting some sales. Now we can create an advertising campaign. And the advertising campaign that I like to start with is that 5 cent advertising campaign that we’ve talked about in the past. And you can just throw the product into that 5 cent auto campaign and start getting some advertising and usually very cheap advertising. It’s not going to cost you much, but it starts getting some more traffic to that listing. And then you can play with maybe 25 cent auto campaign, maybe start doing some exact campaigns or phrase campaigns to start boosting the sales on that product. And since you have it all to yourself, you’re going to be benefiting the most from that.

Todd (20:10):
Now, eventually people might start coming into these listings and selling it, but it’s usually in my experience going to take awhile because they’re not products that people have been historically looking at. But if you get the sales rank up, people are going to start looking at that. So others might jump on those listings, but what we can do here is now we can go to the brand maybe and say, Hey, look at this listing that I took care of for you. It wasn’t getting any sales or maybe five sales a month of 10 sales a month. I’ve been able to flip it to get 50 or a hundred sales per month, just by optimizing that listing. Maybe we can work this into an exclusive agreement where I can be your main seller on Amazon, or you can give me an exclusive discount on these products that other people are not getting.

Todd (21:03):
And I can do this for your other products as well. We can get all of your products selling really well on Amazon. So this is how I have worked into exclusive agreements with brands and things like that. It doesn’t always work out that way, but put yourself in the brand’s shoes, right? Someone just calling them up. Hey, I want to sell your products. Can you make us an exclusive click? No, hang up versus someone who is buying product, selling it on Amazon has increased their sales significantly on Amazon, made their product look beautiful. And now you’re potentially trying to get that exclusive agreement. You have a better leg to stand on, and they’re going to be more likely to listen to you. Now, it’s still not necessarily going to happen all the time, but it makes your shot a lot better, right? So that’s kind of the path that I am going down.

Todd (22:01):
And I’ve been doing that for quite a while. It’s definitely work. You know, it’s not just finding a product, that’s selling a thousand and throwing your listing on there and getting a hundred, 200 sales per month. And then someone drives down the price. And now you’re not making any profit anymore. That happens over and over in wholesale, right? Those big products are awesome when we can get them. And as long as we can keep them profitable, they’re really nice. You definitely don’t want to stop looking for those. I’ve got a lot of those and they’re great, but adding this wholesale minor refined method into your quiver, into your arsenal of things that you can do and start getting those 75, a hundred percent ROI products that are really nice, potentially work those into an exclusive agreement. It really helps bring up the overall ROI and profit margin of your business and helps you make a lot more money selling less units.

Todd (23:03):
So it’s definitely something that I recommend that people add into what they’re doing out there. Now we went over it all really fast here. There’s a lot of stuff to unpack. If you want to get into the webinar, we’re going to be doing a one time live webinar of this, where we’re going to go through all of this step-by-step you can get your questions answered. It’s not going to be free because there’s a lot of information that we have to go into. So there’s going to be a price. The price after the live webinar is going to be $47 for these recordings. But for a limited time, you guys out there are going to get it at $27 for this live webinar. So again,, M I N E. And you can get on that wait list and find out when we’re going to be doing this live webinar, which is coming up soon here after the live recording of this webinar.

Todd (24:03):
Now, if you’re watching this after a while after you can get those recordings and everything that we touched on here, And you can grab those and walk through all of this step-by-step as well. So definitely going to want to check that out. Hopefully this has helped you guys out there. Hopefully you can maybe do this on your own. If you want the extra help, or go to the show notes, So I really appreciate you all listening out there, remember to like, and share this with your friends, help us grow this community. Head on over to for all of the other episodes as well. So with that, this is your host, Todd Welch signing off. Happy selling everybody.

Announcer (24:58):
This has been another episode of the Amazon Seller School podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours if you take it.