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How to do Manual Sourcing Step-by-Step Guide for 2023

In this article, let’s learn the basics and master manual sourcing.

Are you interested to know how to do manual sourcing step-by-step? If you’re looking to start an Amazon business or you’re already an Amazon seller, you know that finding the right products to sell is crucial to your success; and manual sourcing is one key to finding those products. You’ll learn about the basics of manual sourcing, and how it differs from other sourcing methods. Understanding how to do manual sourcing can help you find profitable products and be a successful Amazon seller.

What is manual sourcing?

This is the most generic way of sourcing a product for your Amazon business. Wherein you go through different websites to find products to resell on Amazon. It may sound simple but it is very time-consuming, and personally, learning and understanding this method will allow you to discover new techniques in sourcing products. 


For example, going to Disney.com, scanning for different offers and discounts, then manually checking if the product matches the products sold on Amazon. Then, check if it matches your sourcing criteria like profit, Return on Investment (ROI), and sales rank.

Why should you do manual sourcing?

If you are asking this question since we’ve got computers that can automate information and data. Well, simply because when computers give us data, we still need to check the quality that the computer is giving us. So while there are systems or tools and services that are going to help you, you still need to do the fundamentals of manual sourcing. And that is checking to ensure that the deal you found is great. 

Pros and Cons of manual sourcing


Boring and Time-consuming

Since manual sourcing is manual. Of course, it could be boring and sometimes not an enjoyable experience. Although some people may enjoy manual sourcing, personally, not a big fan. You have to have enough time to manually go to different websites and check one by one which product will be most profitable for your Amazon business.


Something you need to know

As mentioned earlier, whether you use a software or service, you still going to check those deals you’re getting from that software or service. And that is a part of the manual sourcing process, so learning is going to help you in terms of checking the quality of the deals. You will also be able to find more opportunities to find good deals with manual sourcing. So, that is a big advantage to know. 


Note: If you have found an amazing deal from software or service, you can then use the manual sourcing technique to go and find other deals. For example; you find that red-colored coffee is a great deal. Maybe, the orange-colored coffee is also a great deal as well. And in order to do that, you will need to do manual sourcing.

Cheap way to find products

Since it’s manual, it’s free. It’s your time and you don’t have to pay any software to do the sourcing for you. It will keep your cost to a minimum.

Allows you to search all stores that are not on sourcing software

Manual sourcing allows you to find weird items that maybe the software doesn’t pick up. To give you an idea, if it’s a pack of two, the software might not be able to pick it up. You should be looking for products that other people can’t find and obviously if they can’t find them, they can’t sell them. And since you found that product, you are then going to be earning more by selling them for a longer time. 

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How to do manual sourcing step-by-step?

Step 1: Look for online stores

Manual Sourcing step by step 1

Step 2: Find a product or category you like

Manual sourcing step by step 2
manual sourcing step 3

Step 3: Search product name on Amazon

manual sourcing step 4

Step 4: Review the listing on Amazon

manual sourcing step 5

What to look for? Make sure that the actual products are the same in terms of name, image, quantity, size, and weight. 

30 cm doll
Check if same product manual sourcing step by step

Since the height of the product is the same, we can safely assume that it is the same product. You can also see the barcode in some products and you can actually check that; just copy the barcode and paste it directly into Amazon’s search bar. It will come up with the same product or even a different listing with the same product.

Using the FBA multi-tool, simply, look at the eligibility to sell. If you can’t sell the product on the Amazon marketplace, then there’s no point in buying the product. You don’t want to be buying stock on an item you can’t resell to make money. 

Next, Hazmat. I always sell everything through the FBA program fulfillment by Amazon and I make sure that the products aren’t hazardous.

checking if can i sell

Profit and ROI

I want to make sure they meet my criteria and a general rule of thumb; a lot of people work to £3 profit and 30% ROI. That’s a good starting point but you can make money way under that. Obviously, there’s a lot of opportunity to make money using different models but £3 and 30% ROI is a really good thing.

checking profit roi


Using the FBA multi-tool again, look for the sales estimator. We’re looking at if the product is selling well. And as we can see, it is selling 20-23 products. If you want to look at the sales in a more advanced way, look at the Keepa graph below the Amazon listing. You can look at the sales rank, which is the green line – and that’s really going to help you out. 

Check sell estimate

Things to consider when manual sourcing

IP complete

Intellectual property is a danger to your account. There are brands that you want to avoid so be careful with that. If you see that there are 1 to 2 sellers on the listing that is a good sign that the brand is an IP; that means that the manufacturer is keeping the sellers low. You can also jump over to the Fast Track FBA Brand Intellectual Property Checker and search if a product is an IP.


If an Amazon listing is showing you that the product is Hazmat, stay away. You need to be very careful not to sell this kind of product for the fact that if you were to buy it, Amazon will not accept it in their warehouse. Make sure that if you’re buying products, always make sure that you can ship them to Amazon VIA the FBA program. 


They may look exactly the same but they might not be. So always make sure to double-check the name, weight, image, size, color, quantity, etc. You can see the information about a product if you look at the description of the product.


The last thing you want to do is buy the wrong product thinking you’ll make loads of money and realizing it’s the wrong product. Obviously, not only have you shipped it to Amazon, but you’ve probably sold it to a customer and got a complaint about it. Getting your stock back isn’t going to make you any money.

Top Tips in manual sourcing

Check the 6 Fundamentals

  1. Make sure products are the same
  2. Make sure you’re eligible to sell
  3. Make sure not Hazmat
  4. Profit
  5. ROI
  6. Sales per month

Does the product actually sell? There’s a lot more we go on after it but as a fundamental. Those six checks are going to really help you out and if you do it in that order; should make your process a lot more efficient.

Collect and save data

I would recommend making sure that whenever you buy your deals, you’re saving them onto a sheet. A lot of people use Google Sheets as their buy sheets and tools like FBA multi-tool. They are going to allow you to automatically save that deal information from the supplier link onto a Google Sheet. 

Time to use Manual Sourcing!

Now that you know how to do manual sourcing step-by-step, it’s now time to learn how to use Keepa for Amazon, also known as Keepa Sourcing. You can also read an article we previously created that tackles 2 more methods of sourcing.

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