Why wouldn’t I try retail arbitrage out for myself?

When I hear about someone starting a business reselling on Amazon that requires little investment and minimal risk, I’m all ears.

Like you, I am a curious person.

Before I started working at StartupBros, I came across multiple videos and articles they had posted online that explained how reselling on Amazon using retail arbitrage can be profitable.

Here’s one of my favorites, check it out:

Best Way to Find Items to Resell on Amazon

Most well-known stores like Walmart, Big Lots, Target, and Home Depot have clearance sections where you can find products that you can resell on Amazon or even ebay.

The idea is to find the clearance item, buy it, ship it to Amazon FBA and make a profit on the margin.

It’s not illegal to do and people do it every day to earn some extra income on the side.

Take a look:

Popular Stores to Source Items for Retail Arbitrage

  • Marshall’s
  • Ross
  • Home Depot
  • TJ Maxx
  • Staples
  • Models’s Sporting Goods
  • Gamestop
  • Craigslist
  • Big Lots
  • Outlet Stores
  • Local Boutique Shops

My Experience Buying and Reselling on Amazon

So, I went out to Walmart, Big Lots, and Target to try and sniff out some great deals.

Unfortunately, I had no luck at Big Lots. Some cheap bracelets at Walmart admittedly stood out to me, but most of what I purchased came from Target: red sticker clearance items are great places to start reselling.


The time it took for me to shop and scan items was about 2 hours.

Truthfully, at certain moments, I was paranoid that store employees were surveying me with their eagle eyes. But the nervousness was all in my head, though – nobody from the store interrogated me, or even approached me at all.

I ended up walking away with 6 unique products, but 13 items in total when you factor in multiple purchases of the same product.

I just couldn’t help my urge to double and triple up on some of the better deals.

The Exact Items I Found to Resell on Amazon

Products purchased at walmart for retail arbitrage

Of course I could have bought more, but I didn’t want to waste any money.

What’s the bottom line?

This was a reselling experiment, so there was no need to go crazy. I set a $150 budget and stuck to it.


Now to Sell the Products with Amazon FBA...

Open a free Amazon Seller account. (Since I was selling less than 40 items a month, I chose the “free” option. That was a no-brainer.)

Reselling on Amazon either professional or individual

Scanning my clearance items into my account was absolutely painless. I just used the Amazon iPhone app and created a shipment to an Amazon fulfillment center.

It gets better: 

I even let Amazon label my items for me. They did charge me a little for this, but I was fine with it. They know what they’re doing, after all.

Now, I live in Florida, and Amazon instructed me to ship all of my items to an Amazon warehouse in Joliet, IL, which is just outside of Chicago.

I thought that was strange, since there are several warehouses much closer to me, but I just went with the flow.

Storage fees for my retail arbitrage products

CRAZY CHEAP shipping to the Amazon warehouse.

The cost for sending this entire shipment, thanks to Amazon’s discount, was only $5.03.

I dropped the package off at the UPS store and never looked back.

A few days later, my items were delivered to Amazon, checked into their system, and placed within the Amazon US Marketplace.

Amazon notified me of every step throughout this entire process, so I was always in the loop.

I Made My First Sale!

To my surprise, I had a sale the very next day.

And then another.

And another.


People were actually buying these items, and I was making a decent profit!

After about a month and a half, I was able to resell every single item!

(Well, actually one item took a little longer.)


The Peanuts blanket didn’t resell until I dropped the price multiple times.

Regardless, the profit from the other 12 items more than made up for it.

After it was all said and done, I made around $100 from selling 13 products reselling using Amazon FBA.

It took around 2.5 hours of my time, which equates to an impressive $40 an hour.

Not too bad for just getting started!

Obviously, there is more to reselling on Amazon than just watching a YouTube video or reading an article.

Here’s the deal: 

So, The reason I wrote this article is to motivate you to stop waiting around for the right conditions, opportunity, weather, [insert excuse here]… Just DO IT already.

You could research things until you pass out.

You can obsess over all of the “what-if’s” until your brain oozes out of your ears.

Or you can just, you know, START.

Therefore, take action, learn, and change direction if you need to.

You will never know everything there is to know. You will constantly learn new and improved ways to grow your business.

And that’s just fine.

Experimenting with Retail Arbitrage Taught Me...

  • Create an Amazon Seller account
  • Use Amazon Seller Central
  • Ship products to Amazon FBA centers
  • Label products to buy and resell on Amazon FBA
  • Set up my bank account to accept payments from Amazon
  • Understand the importance of Amazon FBA and using Prime

And, naturally, there were boatloads of other tiny lessons learned along the way.

The real-world hands-on education I received just by taking a very small financial risk and leaping into action was worth thousands of dollars in itself.

So, this took less than 3 hours of my time, and about $150 in startup costs in order to pay for the products up front.

And personally, I look at the $100 I made in profit as a BONUS.

Have you ever been curious about buying and reselling products on Amazon?

Retail arbitrage is a great way to get started with very little risk.

Go ahead, give it a shot!

Use our Retail Arbitrage Business Guide to turn this into a business.
Exact Steps to Start a Retail Arbitrage Business

If you end up enjoying the process, and you’d like to grow as an Amazon seller, the next logical step would be to private-label a product.

Do I Need an LLC, Business License, or Import License to sell on Amazon?

We have incredible resources to get started from product photography to Amazon ranking hacks to get you up and running quickly!

Don’t forget that if you have questions about retail arbitrage, reselling on Amazon, or private-labeling a product, we have a live Q&A session weekly. Ask away, and we’ll be more than happy to lend you a helping hand.

So, what are you waiting for?

Because, if you’re looking for an 7,000 word all-inclusive step by step guide to learn how to sell on Amazon with videos, checklists, and detailed to-do’s then check out our Amazon article!

If I can get started selling on Amazon, so can you.


Don't forget to post your questions. We want to help you understand the whole process and make sure you don't leave with doubts!

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Avatar for Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the Startupbros about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

  • Avatar for Cam Cam says:

    A question about selling as new vs used. I have a plan to buy 2 bedspreads from Amazon (both new). I will then cut one of them and sew a patch (say 3 foot by 4 foot) from the second bedspread onto the top of first full size bedspread. The two amazon sellers will notice I was a buyer of theirs reselling. If they put in a complaint in to Amazon which requires my POA, what is my best strategy? Should I list as slightly used to avoid their complaints?

  • Avatar for G G says:

    Sounds easy but you failed to mention about the many fees that Amazon charges that will eat up into your profits. Best to be transparent so that new sellers will know exactly what to expect.

    • When you find products and scan them using the Amazon seller app it tells you all the fees you’re going to pay. And it tells you the amount you’re going to profit so there is not way to be mislead.

  • Avatar for Clarence Houston Clarence Houston says:

    Dear Mr. Will , how do yo know what products to buy when you’re doing your retail arbitrage?/ trying to make money shopping in stores doing retail arbitrage ? ……
    And do you know of any good courses in retail arbitrage or better yet, could you lead me to the same videos and articles on getting started in retail arbitrage by the startupbros that got you started experimenting with it.
    Thanks ! ….
    Clarence Houston

    • Hey Clarence, thank you so much for reaching out and for reading the article. I would absolutely love to help you out. In general you want to look at clearance sections of stores and look for products where the brands aren’t as important and people would pay more than $15 for. Things in those categories tend to be decorative pillows and candles. Clearance sections at discount stores tend to have plenty of products that have a big enough discount where you can make great money. I would love to help you out more and send you some of the resources that helped me. Send me an email will@startupbros(dot)com

  • Avatar for Tiffany Tiffany says:

    This post is great. Very informative. I want to jump in and do the whole amazon fba but honestly I don’t think I know enough just yet. I know the basics. But I really need someone to explain in depth what I need to do. I would like to start out like you did tho. Thanks

    • Hey Tiffany the best way to start out is by starting small. Spend a few hours with the Amazon App and go to a store and start scanning. You would be surprised at what you can find. Especially with clearance pillows and candles. There is awesome margin on those!

  • Avatar for Fahad Rasheed Fahad Rasheed says:

    Very nice….

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