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.

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.

Additional resources you might be interested in:
9 Methods to Make Money on Amazon in 2019
Amazon Seller Income Tax and Sales Tax Reporting: The Ultimate Guide
3 Amazon Product Research Tactics You Need in 2019
Top 20 Most Successful Job-Killing Amazon Products of All Time


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!

131 comments add your comment

  1. I have a seller account but still don’t understand FBA do I send the products in one box for them to complete??

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. Can you source inventory from websites of target big box sellers? I am from Canada and want to do retail arbitrage in the US. I do understand the financial aspects including banking, however not sure how to source products online in the US from my position in the Canada!

    • Hey Seemab, thanks for reaching out! What you’re looking for specifically is called “Online Arbitrage” That’s where you buy products from one online store like Target or Walmart and sell it on Amazon. Retail arbitrage is when you physically go to a store but Online Arbitrage is done completely online!

  7. I love your article and how detailed it is. I wrote a program that scans Amazon products and looks for similar items on Alibaba and other wholesalers.
    I think anyone can easily find products to flip for profit. It’s pretty accurate and you only wait half a second for the result.
    Curious to have your feedback.

    • Hey Anne, you should try and take off any clearance stickers or markings. If the price is written on the box there is not much you can do. Stickers should be removed though!

      • If the price is written on the box in permanent marker, try using a little Endust, Pledge or Lysol sprays on a rag. A gentle rub should remove the ink.

  8. When purchasing items from Walmart, Target, etc. will Amazon accept the receipt I have for the purchase without any issues? Also, when I scan the item at the store will it tell me if the item is approved to sell before I make the purchase? I’m currently selling makeup bags black and pink on Amazon under the seller name SerenaRose. I purchased them from AliExpress for $0.80/per bag and currently selling it for $6.99. Made good profit so far, but would really love to purchase items myself close to home. Thanks in advance for the tips in this article.

    • Hey Benazeer, awesome to hear that you’re taking action that’s what’s most important! Our experience is that they are okay with the receipt from the store. The Amazon seller app will tell you if a product is restricted or gated when you scan. I would recommend though since you’re already selling on Amazon that you should increase the number of products in your category that way you have more to offer buyers of your bags 🙂 Both are great ways to move forward.

  9. How do You get through the hurdles of having so many clearance products restricted while trying to sell arbitrage with amazon. Seems like a lot of people are having a problem with this. How do you break through this hurdle?

    • Hey Jennifer, what category of products did you find that are restricted? For most categories there are ways to get approval to sell. There is a difference between a restricted product and a gated product. We would love to help if we had more information 🙂

  10. I want to try and start this, but I think Amazon does not allow selling branded items. Hope you can help correct me with this. Thank you

  11. Hi Will, Great article.
    I have a question: If amazon for some reason ask you to prove the validity of the supply chain of your inventory bought at Walmart or target by requesting Invoice and Letter from supplier (for not brand owner), what will be the plan in this case? has this issue happened to you? they suspend accounts for inauthentic item, likely RA from Walmart or target.


  12. Thanks for the article it was really helpful and unintentionally I was doing the same thing going into clearance and searching by scanning in App.
    I have few questions:
    1. What you exactly look into the app while searching.
    2. Can I start with Merchant Fulfill/ Selling by myself instead of FBA?

    Thanks in Advance!!!

  13. What happens when your account is suspended after receiving an inauthenticity claim and Amazon does not accept a Walmart receipt as proof of authenticity?

  14. Can I ship items I purchased thru online directly to Amazon Fullfillment warehouse? How will I know the exact address of the Amazon warehouse?

    • Hey Alvin, yes you can. First thing you want to do is create a product listing on Amazon then you will fill out all the information selling as “fulfilled by merchant”. Once the listing is live you can switch your listing to FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). Your listing will then not go live until Amazon receives your product. Next you want to create an Amazon shipping plan and at the end of that you will get an address for the designated warehouse.

      We cover it all in this post: https://startupbros.com/how-to-sell-on-amazon-fba/#create_FBA_shipping_plan

  15. I want to start selling on Amazon and perhaps I will start with clearance items. However I do have a specific product in mind but I do not know how to get a UPC/EAN and SKU numbers. Could I get some tips on that?

  16. I want to resell beauty products mostly. What are the restrictions on makeup?

  17. It sounds very interested. However, is it safe buying discount brand product from Walmart or Target and resell in amazon? Will i be complained by the big brand owner and get in trouble in Amazon?

      • You are scanning and purchasing “clearance” items that the big stores are looking to get rid of. Arbitrage: The practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets and profiting the difference. That is legal. The only trouble you face is the “fear” of not exploring a perfectly legal opportunity that will make you money.

  18. Thanks for sharing this experience with us, Iam so interested but scared in the same time
    I would like to know how you prepare the items? What is the right way to package them ?

  19. Almost everything comes up as restricted and on the rare occasion it doesn’t, the Amazon fees completely negate any profit. In the last month, I have sold only one item (my inventory is varied and has over 50 items). And I lost money on it because of the fees. I don’t understand how anyone makes money doing this.

    • Garage sales/thrift stores are good starting places to find unrestricted items with high roi.

      using gift cards and buying in non tax states will give you an extra boost against your competition.

  20. How did you know that the 13 items you purchased from Target would be of more value on Amazon? Was this just dumb luck?

    What background work did you do on these 13 products before deciding they were of more value somewhere other than Target?

    • He used a scanning app on his phone. It will tell you if the item is profitable to buy.

  21. why is everything i read saying DO NOT ARBITRAGE ON AMAZON ? I am totally confused. I have limited funds and would only use it to get to the next level.


  22. I am trying to get the Cheat sheet listed above and every time I try to enter my email and get to the @ the screen goes away? Can you tell me how else to get this cheat sheet? Thank you

    • Hey Victoria, we fixed it! If you enter your email then the Retail Arbitrage PDF cheat sheet automatically downloads and you can continue reading 🙂

  23. Excellent Article!
    I have been looking into this for a while now but was becoming very nervous to start. Your article really helped take away those nerves because you was 100% real about your experience and was straight forward about it “saying if it doesn’t work move on to the next opportunity”. Thanks for the article it really helped me out and answered a lot of concerning questions!

  24. Great article thank you. Question – How do you list your items as NEW or as USED LIKE NEW? When i tried it says I cannot list this item as NEW condition. Any help will be much appreciated.

    • Ruslan, you cannot list your item as new if it’s being sold as a retail arbitrage item and you do not own the brand yourself. You must list is as “Like New” and say in the description that you never took it out of the package. Only products that are directly from suppliers and when you own your own brand can you list a product as new. I hope that makes sense 🙂

      • Joel… Are we allowed to say…Like new, never opening, and in the original package?

        • Hey Jeff, yes you are allowed. If you create a product listing you’ll notice there is a drop down menu for “new” “like new” “Used” etc. Select the appropriate one and then there is an extra description box that you can use to tell the customer more information about the product.

  25. I’m doing OA for books.It saves a lot of my time as I don’t have time for sourcing books. I’m doing OA with http://www.bookspatrol.us it helps me in finding books as per my preference. I prefer books with a sales rank between 100k-500k whose Avg. sales rank is less than 600k. I had very good sales this year because my inventory was full of good books

  26. Fantastic points permanently, you simply attained . university of kentucky license platesome sort of logo brand new readers. What will you advise in regards to your current offered you developed a couple of days before? Any kind of guaranteed?

  27. I’m trying to start with Amazon, first with retail arbitrage. Unfortunately rice cakes or other food mentioned in an article above do not work anymore, or at least now it is more complicated.
    I bought some units in category fine food and indeed Amazon requested me apply for approval. When I started with listing of my very first item, I had to switch from personal to professional account, but then when I submitted a request providing receipts from retail stores, Amazon clearly said they need an invoice on my purchases. Is there any way to get an invoice from a retail store like TJMaxx? Also, it looks not easy to get anything from an option #2 below – any advice?

    Just FYI, following came up from Amazon:

    As part of your application to sell in the Grocery category, we require additional information as we do not accept the sales receipts. You must provide option 1 and one document from option 2. Option 2 document should be in English language.
    We accept invoices and sales invoices. We do not accept retail receipts, order details, commercial invoices, purchase order, packing slips, sales orders, invoices from an online retailer, or pro-forma invoices, Tax invoice.
    Option #1:
    One or more legible, scanned or clearly photographed vendor invoices for the products you intend to sell in the category. Please ensure the documentation submitted meets our requirements as outlined here:
    • Invoices must be dated within the last 180 days, or showing item delivery or purchase within the last 180 days
    • Invoices must have your name or business name
    • Invoices must have contact information for your business (e.g. physical address, phone number, email or website)
    • Invoices must have the names of the products you purchased
    • Invoices must have document issuer’s name, physical address or phone number
    • Please obscure pricing information (optional)
    Option #2:
    • Proof of US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) registration
    • US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) Notification
    • Business License
    • Sales Tax Permit
    • Home Occupation Permit
    • Health Canada Certificate of Registration

  28. Thank you so much for this article. It is SO inspiring! It gives me hope that I can do this! I just downloaded the seller app… I’ve yet to list anything because the few things I have scanned so far have all been restricted. Is there a place where I can see what any newbie seller can begin with? I am feeling a little lost and I can’t seem to find the answer. Thank you in advance. ❤😊

    • Newbies can begin with toys and (some) electronics! Hubby and I started just 3 weeks ago and have already sold 2 items (we sat on the resources given to us afraid to start for 2 weeks) and have 3 more shipments from this past weekent en-route to Amazon. It takes a few days to get to the Amazon warehouse(s), and then a couple days to get the items scanned into the system, but so far, it’s been a fun ride!

  29. Hi. Like you, I saw the same youtube video and ventured out and bought a few items from Target. What I am running into is that several of the items that I’ve purchased require brand approval and manufacturer or distributor invoices with a minimum inventory of 10 or more products. Was this an issue for you and if so how did you address this?

    • Daniel,

      This may be because you’ve entered during the Holiday season. They are more strict about this during Q4. For giant brands like Microsoft and Google, you’re definitely gonna need a letter.

      But check online to see Amazon’s list of restricted items during Q4. If I remember correctly, all electronics, all video games and significant number of other toys are a no-go during the Holiday season. Even more so for big brand names.

  30. Hello, I am looking to get involved with RA in Canada buying good deals at big box then shipping them to Amazon.ca to sell using their Fulfillment program. Any tips or words of wisdom for getting started? Do you know if they can make the labels for me?

    Thanks so much! Love the article!

  31. Hello,

    I just started and wanted to try it out first and just do retail arbitrage. But I am finding items that I cannot sell going to the clearance section in stores because I am redistricted from selling them. I would say out of 10 items I find 2-3 that are not restricted and ok to sell. The items that I do find to sell are horribly slow asin’s that are not selling fast. All the videos i saw online never explained or talked about this hurdle they all made it sound simple..buy..sell FBA… done… theres more hoops and hurdles to go through with all these product restrictions. Can you please explain or provide help as to how I can go about to becoming unrestricted to sell item?? Thank you!

    • seller central.amazon.com
      will have a list of restrictions
      it does seem as if there are a lot of restrictions
      I guess that if I decide to do this that I would choose higher end stuff.

  32. Hi…I have been looking into the RA on Amazon,
    However, I make jewerly & would like to know if I could sell my own products on Amazon.

  33. I’m very new to retail arbitrage. I want to sell the popular games What Do You Meme and Cards Against Humanity. I’ve already found vendors with great prices. I’m nervous about making the leap because I obviously don’t own the rights to these games; furthermore, I don’t see anyone else selling these games on Amazon (except the authorized owners). Would it be legal for me to sell this games on Amazon?

      • Yes, you can legally sell on the official listing, as long as you are selling the exact product that the listing is referring to, not a different model or a knockoff.

        • This is correct, the good ole days where it was easy has changed. You now need to prove that they are real, authentic and you have permission to resell them. You can sell unbranded items if you get a letter from the factory and fill out a couple of forms. Or buy from a factory and have the factory place your logo on them and sell as your brand. Need a biz license and everything needs to match. It’s easier than it sounds. Ebay is best for selling items you buy in the stores but keep copies of receipts for when you get hit with trademark and copyright violations. They just want to make sure you aren’t selling knockoffs. A lot has changed in this world of Arbitrage and training needs to be updated for this.

  34. Trying to send my first shipment to amazon, but when i try to convert it to (FBA) I get this:
    The form has not been completed.
    Please complete the additional information form.

  35. Amazon is saying my account is not active until send them verification documents is that right did you have to do that before selling your products.

    • Hey Thomas, you might need to be a bit more specific. Did you already list your products and the listings are not active until you show verification documents or is your entire account not active before even listing your products?

  36. It seems like listing as “like new” ruins your chances of competing against items which say “new’. Are all products that you buy retail considered “branded” or only ones with a recognizable brand?

    • We don’t think listing an item as “like new” affects the chances of selling at all. Only Nike can sell something that’s actually new because they own their brand. It’s understood that if an Amazon seller is selling a Nike shirt listed as “like new” but in the description it says that the tags are still on. That means the shirt is pretty much brand new but can’t be listed as brand new. Only something that you place your own brand on can be considered new. Anything you buy retail and resell under a brand you don’t own must be listed as “like new”.

  37. Hi, I am wanting to start getting into online arbitrage. I haven’t done retail or online arbitrage yet. Do you have any particular online arbitrage automated product finder software you can recommend, preferably free.

    • We’re actually working on a post about the different online tools! We like tactical arbitrage and OA xRay for online arbitrage. We haven’t run into free tools but the paid ones are very affordable and both offer free trials.

      • It seems that Tactical Arbitrage, OA xRay, private sourcing lists and buying at retail stores is the only way to survive product saturation and race to the bottom because many OA/RA sellers do exactly same sourcing at Walmart/Target and other mainstream sources and let’s not forget website email deal lists.

  38. Hey, Jim! Thanks for this post. SUPER-informative. I’ve been researching RA on Amazon and, on Amazon’s seller forums, many people say you’ll get banned from Amazon for RA, especially when, “inevitably” and “eventually” a manufacturer submits a claim for IP violations. Have you had any experience with this and, if so, what can you tell me about it?

    Thanks much!

    • Hey Tina! Thank you so much for commenting 🙂

      We’ve never experienced being banned from manufacturers submitting IP claims. I can’t go to Wallmart and buy Apple headphones to sell on Amazon and list them as brand new. Only the manufacturer and brand owner can list a brand name as brand new. You would be able to list the products as “Like-New” and in the description box tell potential buyers that the products haven’t been taken out of the packages. There are people that buy products from third party manufacturers and claim they’re “Real Apple headphone” from the manufacturer. They’re using the IP of Apple to sell products that aren’t apple. That would be a problem but if you list something as “Like-New” then you are not claiming to be the original producer and therefore able to sell under a popular brand! Hope that answer helps! Let us know if you have any questions at all!

    • I have never heard of this happening, I work with major brands who have issues with people selling knockoffs on our listings and Amazon does little to nothing about it. If there is a way to get knockoffs kicked off the listing, I’d sure like to know. If you are selling the legitimate products, I wouldn’t worry.

  39. Hi Jim – great article. Informative and a pleasure to read as always. Thought you may be interested in hearing about my Amazon retail arbitrage that I’ve been undertaking. Essentially using software I’ve been using the common psychology of eBay users that ‘eBay is the cheapest place to buy anything’ to list products from Amazon and sell on eBay with a healthy mark up. I’ve been doing this for about 6 months now and make approximately £100 per week in profit. I’ve spent some time writing about it. I’d be over the moon to hear your thoughts.

  40. Hello!
    AMAZING INFO HERE! thanks for sharing your wisdom with us … Anyways, here is my question; retail arbitrage? Let say I find really good deal for ” a box of hershey’s chocolates” can I really sell food on amazon? Do I still put “like new” or how does it work because I obviously do not own Hershey’s co?

    Let’s say Im paying for professional sellers amazon;
    *Do I send it the box of chocolates to the warehouse then wait until it sells?

    & one last (Dumb) question but I gotta ask it!

    Do I have to have a “seller account with Amazon to be able to use the “seller app” to check out all this stuff to possibly sell on amazon!

    Thank you! Gracias! Mercy! Mahalo!

    • Hey Amber,

      Thank you so much for reading the article and reaching out 🙂 Simple answer first! Yes, the idea of retail arbitrage is that you find a killer deal somewhere in a physical store and then resell that product on Amazon as “Like New” for a profit. Even though you’re not the owner of the brand.

      You can sell food on Amazon under the grocery section. The only problem is that you need to be approved by Amazon to sell in the grocery category. Personally I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth but it is possible to be approved and then start making sales. There are plenty of other categories that don’t require approval.

      If you get approved to sell in the grocery category then you would buy the chocolates and per Amazon terms of service you would prepare the items and ship them into Amazon’s warehouse. You need to sign up for an Amazon individual seller account. It’s free and you can use the platform for $1 per sale.

      • Joel,

        Thank you for your quick answer! wow that is crazy that we can sell anything! (given no special approval would be needed) …. Let’s say I find something on alibaba that says something like “Lion King Backpacks” could we still sale it? even if we don’t know if this alibaba manufactory has a deal with Disney? or rights to “Lion King”? I just do not want to get my sell sued …

        Again, thank you so so much for what you do here!

  41. Hey men, nice post, I have a question, if I find some cheap product, but the product is from a brand let’s say Apple or any recognized brand, how can I sell something like this without any authorization of the brand owner, I’m not clear with this, the arbitrage concept is new for me, I have more clear the private label concept, maybe is because that, thanks

    • Hey Vic, so let’s say you find apple products in target and you want to sell them on Amazon. When you create your product listing you can list your products under the Apple brand but you can’t list it as new. You have to list it as “Like-New” or “Used” and the provide an accurate description that says something like ” Listed as used but not opened and still in original packaging”. Only the brand owner can sell something as new but you are more than able to sell someone else’s brand as “used” or “Like New”.

  42. Thanks for this article! Just wondering if I need to set up a business for doing this? Get a license, pay taxes on the profit etc?

    • Hey Caroline! if you check out our larger post https://startupbros.com/how-to-sell-on-amazon-fba/

      We answer if you need a license to start and how to handle the concerns about taxes.

      In short, you don’t need a license to sell on Amazon and you do need to pay taxes on the sales you make because it’s considered income. It’s not something you can pay ahead of time and it’s not something you need to register with the government ahead of time. Everything comes into play after you make sales. You’re a sole proprietor to start and can use your social security as your tax ID in order to open an amazon account and pay taxes on the sales you make.

  43. Is it an option to buy the product item online, and have it sent directly to Amazon instead of to my home?

    • Hey Francisco, it’s absolutely possible! That’s called online arbitrage if you’re looking to buy something name brand and sell it online. If you are looking at importing something from an overseas supplier then you need a company that will prep the package for you before sending it to Amazon FBA for you. We personally only recommend FBAinspection.com . They will take your package, prep it, inspect it, and send it into Amazon FBA for you 🙂

    • The only app you need is the Amazon seller app for your phone. It let’s you scan products in stores and see how much they’re selling for on Amazon!

  44. Sounds very easy, but Amazon also charges you $39.99/month for a pro seller membership, so you should also include that when you calculate how much profit you got, right?

    • It makes sense to get a pro seller membership account when you are shipping out more than 40 products per month. If you are shipping less than 40 products per month it’s not cost effective to get the pro seller account. You can just pay $1 dollar per item you sell. If you were paying for it though then I would suggest adding it to calculate the profit.

  45. I just launched my Amazon Sellers store about 3 months ago and thinking about FBA, but for now, I’m fulfilling everything. I have an account with some natural and beauty product distributors, but also do retail arbitrage, (obviously not through FBA… yet.) The competition is very tough even with my wholesale margins on the products. It’s so tough competing with the lowest price listings and that doesn’t even include the multiple Prime listings on the same product i’m trying to sell. If I go full force with Arbitrage, and utilize FBA, will I come across the issues of “Listing Limitations Apply”? I have that issue now, but not with all the categories and listings. If I come across great deals of dietary supplements and personal care products at the market, I’d love to try this model out and not come across these limitations. Does that make sense?

    • That makes plenty of sense Richard. Using FBA gives you the opportunity to win the buy box at the very least and offer free 2 day shipping. There is a slight chance that when you begin selling through FBA you would run into restricted categories that you wouldn’t be able to sell in, especially if you’re going to try and sell in the beauty and supplement markets. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to, Amazon allows you to sell in those restricted categories if you get approved and they tell you exactly how to do it. You only need to be ungated or “approved” one time to sell in those categories forever. Also you shouldn’t just compete on price with your Amazon listings. You can try to find ways to optimize your product listings that would make people feel more comfortable purchasing your slightly marked up product.

  46. Are there brands/stores you should avoid when attempting retail arbitrage? Things you may attempt to sell that could put your seller account in jeopardy of suspension?

    • Hey JR, you need to avoid restricted items. Amazon actually specifies which categories are gated and ungated. You would need to choose from the ungated category. Other than that there should be no reason as to why you seller account would be put in jeopardy. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=14113001 Check out this link for what you would be limited form selling unless you request approval for selling on Amazon.

  47. so you are saying I can buy things at a local store at discounted price and sell them on amazon?

    • Hey Vivian, that’s exactly what we’re saying. You can find things in the clearance rack at target or homegoods and then sell them on Amazon for a profit. Use the Amazon seller app to scan barcodes in the retail stores and compare how they’re selling on Amazon.

  48. My husband and I are thinking of doing this, however we decided to back out because of all the fees. We don’t see how buying a product for $3, when it normally sells for $5 can be marked up to $8 just to make a tiny profit after all the fees. Is there something we are not understanding? Is it something that takes time after multiple sales or after so much time?

    • Hey Delia, I think you absolutely can start by doing something like this. Just don’t sell items that cheap.
      $12 is really about as low as most people care to go. That isn’t set in stone, but buying for $3 and selling for $8 is silly. People are willing to pay for convenience and you need to find products that are selling on Amazon for higher than retail after the fees. There are millions of products in stores and in Amazon to choose from. We plan on updating this post with more information!

  49. I have held off using FBA because i am not certain of how complex the sales tax implications can get. How did this experiment approach that issue?

  50. How would you provide invoices for gated products like “Apple” if you’ve bought them at a retail store? I’m trying to sell authentic apple iphone/ipad cases that I bought at a retail store for significant discount but having trouble listing them up on Amazon. They require me to send them invoices, which I don’t have.

  51. Thanks for sharing your experience with retail arbitrage.

    The nice thing about Retail arbitrage you can start with limited risk.

    A few years back, I was finding Foot massagers at a local store and selling them on Amazon as fast I could buy them. I sold enough of them to pay off a car.

  52. Hi, and thanks for the info….my question is, when you sell Arbitrage do you list it as new or used?
    If it is in perfect condition how would Amazon know if I bought it wholesale or from a discount rack?…Thanks again!

    • Hey Cara, you can’t list arbitrage as new but there is an option of “like-new” that you should use. Then in the product description you can mention that it is unused and unopened!

      • Dangggg your fast! Kudos!
        Does Amazon require you to show an invoice or proof of purchase? (Back to the second part of my question)….Last thing I want is to get my account closed before I get going good but Im not understanding why a sales item is considered” like new”, when it is new…..
        Do you know exactly where, in seller central I can read up on this?…..I seem to be chasing my tail more than I care to admit………Thanks again for such a surprisingly quick reply!

        • On seller central, there is definitely a page that lists “Item condition” definitions. In fact, I think if you start a blank listing you can see it in a drop down.

          You don’t have to list Like New just because you bought it from a third party. As long as it’s unused and unopened.

  53. Hey Jim,
    I have a question I want to try selling things on amazon through retail arbitrage. Do I have to take pictures of the items I buy for discount before I ship them out to amazon?

  54. I want to buy products on Alibaba or other and sell them on amazon, how should I manage the orders without checking them in person?

    • There are a few ways to do that. In general you need a third party company willing to do it for you. We use fbaprep.com. They are willing to do all the checks and prep so it can go directly to Amazon FBA without you having to do that yourself.

  55. I’m confused. You say that you made a $100 profit but spent $150. Wouldn’t that be a $50 loss? What am I missing here?

    • So Jim spent $150 and made $250. He didn’t clarify that!

  56. Hey,
    I bought some sample products for Alibaba. Would selling this items on Amazon be the same concept as retail abtriage?

    • Hey Shon, the idea is exactly the same. The only difference is that when you do retail arbitrage you are relying on brand names to make the sale. When you buy samples on Alibaba you are doing what’s called private labeling because you are selling an unbranded products. The process though is the exact same when listing on Alibaba.

      • Hi, this is more of a question. Than a comment. You mentioned using fbaprep.com. Do you pay a fee for that service?

  57. Did you have to add any type of keywords or do any optimization

    • Believe it or not for arbitrage you just need to describe the item as is and not do anything extra because most people are already aware of the brand and that does most of the heavy lifting.

  58. I hate risk taking and suffer from the syndrome of over researching. This was very encouraging, and appreciate being told to “just do it!”

    I do have a question. Today it is 05/26/2017. I’m not sure of the date of this blog post. Are there any new challenges today vs. the date of this post that a new person would have to consider?


    • G-man,You start again, you over thinking, just do it and there any new challenge today (06/14/2017), just go with the flow and see what happens, in worse case you will learn something

      Great post to author

      • Thank you so much for that awesome comment! You are so right, sometimes you just need to take a leap and just do it. You learn more by doing than anything else! A lot of people don’t realize how great things can potentially be if they just take action.

    • Hey G-man, the challenges with arbitrage are the same today as when the article was written. Arbitrage is a fantastic business model in order to get started and to understand what goes into selling on ebay or amazon. Long term I’m not sure if it’s the best way to go but so many people are out there crushing it. If you are willing to take the time and do the research you can find some incredible deals and make some serious money!

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