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:

How I Turned $2,200 Of Rice Cakes Into A $1-Million E-Commerce Business

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.

Now:

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

Walmart purchases for my first Retail Arbitrage trip!

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.

GET YOUR ARBITRAGE CHEATSHEET AND FIND HOT OPPORTUNITIES

Starting Retail Arbitrage 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.

Amazon FBA Shipping fees from my retail arbitrage purchases

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.

Handpicked Content for You: [Case Study #1] Accountant Loses Job and Creates a $1 Million Dollar Per Year Amazon Business

Making My First Sale with Retail Arbitrage

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

And then another.

And another.

Wow!

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.)

Look:

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.

Learn About UPC Codes! UPC Codes for Amazon Sellers: Everything You Need to Know!

Experimenting with retail arbitrage taught me how to:

• 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
• See how other sellers react when I add my products to Amazon FBA
• 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

Continue Learning

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.

Learn to Private Label Products and Build Your Own Ecommerce Epmpire Webinar Sign up

Interesting Side Hustle Articles to Read:
Read about how our our friend Brian started flipping cell phones!
20+ Side hustles anyone can start today! And check out these Apps you can use to make money

Fans of This Also Enjoyed...

Author

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!

  • Benazeer Bennardo says:

    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.