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How to source retail arbitrage products to resell on Amazon

October 2, 2023by Saeed Pasha0



How to source retail arbitrage products to resell on Amazon

Retail arbitrage is a business model where you buy products from retail stores at a lower price and then resell them for a profit on platforms like Amazon. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to source retail arbitrage products for resale on Amazon:

  1. Set Up an Amazon Seller Account:
    • If you don’t have one already, create an Amazon Seller account. You can choose between an Individual or Professional account, depending on your anticipated sales volume.
  2. Research and Understand Amazon’s Rules and Fees:
    • Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s rules and fees for selling on their platform. These can vary based on your account type and the category of products you intend to sell.
  3. Select Profitable Categories:
    • Research various product categories on Amazon to identify those with high demand and profitability. You can use tools like Amazon Best Sellers, Jungle Scout, or Helium 10 to help with your research.
  4. Source Inventory:
    • Visit local retail stores, such as discount stores, clearance sections, outlet malls, and thrift shops, to find products at a lower price than their selling price on Amazon.
    • Look for clearance items, closeout sales, discontinued products, and overstocked items.
  5. Evaluate Profit Margins:
    • Use Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Revenue Calculator or a similar tool to estimate your potential profit margins. Consider all costs, including the purchase price, Amazon fees, shipping, and your desired profit.
  6. Check Amazon’s Restrictions:
    • Be aware of Amazon’s restrictions on certain products and brands. Some items may require approval, and others may be restricted altogether.
  7. Scan Products with a Smartphone App:
    • Use smartphone apps like Amazon Seller, Scoutify, or Profit Bandit to scan product barcodes while in stores. These apps will provide you with valuable information like Amazon selling price, rank, and potential profit.
  8. Consider Seasonal Opportunities:
    • Be aware of seasonal products and trends. Buying seasonal items during off-seasons at a discount and storing them until the right time can yield higher profits.
  9. Check Product Condition:
    • Inspect the condition of the products carefully. Items sold as new on Amazon should be new and in their original packaging.
  10. Calculate All Costs:
    • Don’t forget to factor in all costs, including shipping to Amazon’s fulfillment center and storage fees if you choose FBA.
  11. List and Ship Products to Amazon:
    • Create product listings on Amazon and set competitive prices. If you’re using FBA, you’ll also need to ship your inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
  12. Monitor and Adjust:
    • Continuously monitor your Amazon sales and inventory levels. Adjust your prices and restock as needed to maximize your profits.
  13. Manage Customer Service and Returns:
    • Be prepared to handle customer inquiries and returns. Provide excellent customer service to maintain a positive seller reputation.
  14. Scale Your Business:
    • As you gain experience and understanding of what sells well, consider expanding your inventory and exploring additional sourcing channels.
  15. Stay Compliant and Ethical:
    • Always follow Amazon’s rules and policies, and maintain ethical business practices to ensure long-term success.

The retail arbitrage can be competitive, and it’s essential to do thorough research and analysis to make informed buying decisions.

Additionally, building relationships with store employees and developing a keen eye for spotting deals can give you a competitive advantage in this business model

How to source products to resell on Amazon:

When engaging in retail arbitrage to source products for resale on Amazon, it’s crucial to look for a variety of retail stores and sources to find profitable items.

Here’s a list of types of stores and sources where you can find products to resell on Amazon:

  1. Discount Stores:
    • Discount retailers like Walmart, Target, Dollar General, and Big Lots often have clearance sections and sales where you can find products at reduced prices.
  2. Thrift Stores:
    • Thrift shops and second-hand stores can be treasure troves for sourcing unique or vintage items at low prices.
  3. Outlet Malls:
    • Outlet malls offer discounted brand-name items. Look for clearance sales and outlet-exclusive deals.
  4. Wholesale Clubs:
    • Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club sell products in bulk at lower prices. This can be advantageous for certain types of products.
  5. Grocery Stores:
    • Keep an eye out for clearance items, especially non-perishable goods or specialty products that may have higher demand.
  6. Toy Stores:
    • Look for clearance sales or discounts on popular toys, especially during the holiday season.
  7. Bookstores:
    • Bookstores often have clearance sections where you can find discounted books, magazines, and other reading materials.
  8. Electronics Stores:
    • Check for deals on electronics, gadgets, and accessories that may be on clearance or promotion.
  9. Office Supply Stores:
    • Office supply stores like Staples or Office Depot may offer discounts on office equipment, stationery, and technology products.
  10. Sporting Goods Stores:
    • Look for clearance or end-of-season sales on sports equipment, clothing, and accessories.
  11. Craft Stores:
    • Craft stores often have seasonal or discontinued craft supplies that can be resold.
  12. Local Boutiques and Clearance Sales:
    • Explore smaller, local boutiques for unique or niche products that may not be widely available.
  13. Liquidation and Overstock Companies:
    • You can also source products from liquidation companies, both online and offline, that specialize in selling excess inventory from retailers.
  14. Online Marketplaces and Auctions:
    • Consider platforms like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace for online sourcing opportunities. People often sell discounted items or lots.
  15. Garage Sales and Estate Sales:
    • Scour garage sales and estate sales for hidden gems, collectibles, or antiques that can be resold.
  16. Online Wholesale Suppliers:
    • Explore online wholesale suppliers and distributors that offer products at bulk prices, allowing you to purchase inventory in larger quantities.
  17. Trade Shows and Exhibitions:
    • Attend industry-specific trade shows and exhibitions to discover new products and suppliers.
  18. International Sourcing:
    • For experienced sellers, sourcing products from international suppliers can be an option to find unique items at competitive prices. This often involves dealing with import/export logistics.

Always conduct due diligence, check product condition, and evaluate profit potential before making purchases from any source. It’s important to research and stay compliant with Amazon’s rules and regulations regarding the sourcing and selling of products. Additionally, building relationships with store employees and consistently scanning for deals will help you succeed in retail arbitrage.

How to start finding products!

Finding profitable products to sell on Amazon requires a combination of research, analysis, and strategic thinking. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start finding products to sell:

  1. Set Your Goals and Budget:
    • Determine your financial goals, including how much you want to invest in your Amazon business. This will help guide your product selection.
  2. Choose a Niche or Category:
    • Decide on the product categories or niches you’re interested in and knowledgeable about. It’s often easier to succeed in areas you’re passionate about or have expertise in.
  3. Use Amazon’s Tools:
    • Utilize Amazon’s tools and resources to identify potential products. Start with Amazon’s Best Sellers, New Releases, and Movers & Shakers lists. These can give you insights into what’s currently popular.
  4. Keyword Research:
    • Use keyword research tools like Amazon’s own search bar, Google Keyword Planner, or third-party tools to identify keywords related to your niche. This can help you discover product ideas and understand customer search behavior.
  5. Competitor Analysis:
    • Look at successful Amazon sellers within your chosen niche. Analyze their product listings, customer reviews, and pricing strategies. Identify gaps or opportunities where you can differentiate.
  6. Check Amazon’s Restricted Categories:
    • Ensure that the category you’re interested in is not restricted or gated on Amazon. Some categories require approval to sell in.
  7. Explore Trends:
    • Keep an eye on industry trends and seasonal fluctuations. Certain products may experience spikes in demand during specific times of the year.
  8. Use Product Research Tools:
    • Consider using third-party product research tools like Jungle Scout, Helium 10, or AMZScout. These tools provide data on sales volume, competition, and estimated profits for specific products.
  9. Analyze Profit Margins:
    • Calculate the potential profit margins for the products you’re considering. Consider all costs, including product purchase price, Amazon fees, shipping, and advertising expenses.
  10. Consider Sourcing Methods:
    • Decide whether you want to source products through retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, wholesale, private label, or dropshipping. Each method has its own advantages and challenges.
  11. Look for Low-Competition Products:
    • Aim to find products with relatively low competition but still have a reasonable demand. These products are often easier to rank and compete with.
  12. Evaluate Amazon Fees:
    • Use Amazon’s FBA calculator to estimate fees associated with selling a specific product. Make sure the fees won’t eat up your potential profits.
  13. Check for Seasonality:
    • Be aware of seasonality in your chosen niche. Some products may sell well during specific seasons but not year-round.
  14. Consider Branding and Differentiation:
    • Think about how you can differentiate your products. Can you offer a unique value proposition, bundle items together, or create a private label brand?
  15. Verify Supplier Options:
    • If you’re sourcing products from suppliers or manufacturers, ensure you have reliable sources with competitive prices.
  16. Risk Assessment:
    • Assess the risks associated with selling a particular product, including regulatory compliance, potential legal issues, and market saturation.
  17. Start Small and Test:
    • It’s often advisable to start with a small inventory to test the market and minimize risk. As you gain experience and confidence, you can scale up.
  18. Stay Informed and Adapt:
    • Keep up with industry news, Amazon policy changes, and evolving market trends. Be prepared to adapt your product selection as needed.

Remember that finding profitable products is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor your sales and adjust your product line-up based on performance. Building a successful Amazon business takes time and effort, but with thorough research and persistence, you can find products that lead to long-term success

What are Amazon arbitrage tips:

Amazon arbitrage, whether through retail arbitrage or online arbitrage, involves buying products at a lower price and reselling them on Amazon for a profit. Here are some tips to help you succeed in Amazon arbitrage:

  1. Understand Amazon’s Policies:
    • Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s rules and policies, especially those related to product sourcing, condition guidelines, and seller performance metrics. Violating Amazon’s policies can lead to account suspension.
  2. Start with a Niche You Know:
    • If you have expertise or passion in a particular niche or category, consider starting there. Your knowledge can give you an advantage in product selection and marketing.
  3. Use Amazon Seller Tools:
    • Invest in seller tools like scouting apps (e.g., Scoutify, Profit Bandit), FBA calculators, and analytics tools (e.g., Jungle Scout, Helium 10) to help you make informed buying decisions.
  4. Set Clear Profit Goals:
    • Determine your desired profit margins and minimum acceptable ROI (Return on Investment) for products. This will guide your purchasing decisions.
  5. Scan Products Efficiently:
    • When scanning products in stores or online, focus on high-margin items, low competition, and products with a consistent sales history.
  6. Track Expenses Accurately:
    • Keep meticulous records of your expenses, including the cost of goods, Amazon fees, shipping costs, and any other related expenses. Accurate accounting is crucial for profitability.
  7. Consider Seasonal Opportunities:
    • Be aware of seasonal products and trends. Plan your sourcing and inventory accordingly to take advantage of high-demand periods.
  8. Calculate All Costs:
    • Don’t forget to factor in all costs, including shipping to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, storage fees, and potential long-term storage fees if your inventory doesn’t sell quickly.
  9. Optimize Product Listings:
    • Create compelling and accurate product listings. Use high-quality images, well-written descriptions, and competitive pricing to attract customers.
  10. Leverage Amazon FBA:
    • Consider using Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) service to handle storage, packaging, and shipping. FBA can also help you win the Buy Box and increase sales.
  11. Monitor Competitors:
    • Keep an eye on your competitors’ prices and strategies. Price adjustments and promotions can impact your sales.
  12. Be Mindful of Pricing Wars:
    • Avoid engaging in price wars that drive profits down for everyone. Focus on adding value or finding alternative products if competition becomes too fierce.
  13. Manage Inventory Levels:
    • Monitor your inventory levels regularly. Avoid running out of stock during peak demand periods and prevent long-term storage fees by disposing of slow-moving items.
  14. Provide Excellent Customer Service:
    • Respond promptly to customer inquiries and address any issues or returns professionally. Positive feedback and a good seller reputation are valuable.
  15. Stay Legal and Ethical:
    • Always source and sell authentic, legitimate products. Avoid counterfeit or restricted items, as they can result in account suspensions and legal trouble.
  16. Diversify Your Product Portfolio:
    • Avoid relying too heavily on a single product or category. Diversifying your product range can help spread risk and ensure more consistent income.
  17. Continuous Learning:
    • Stay updated with industry trends, new sourcing opportunities, and changes in Amazon’s policies. Join online forums, attend webinars, and read books or blogs on Amazon arbitrage.
  18. Stay Compliant with Tax Laws:
    • Be aware of your tax obligations as a seller and ensure you are collecting and remitting sales tax as required by law.
  19. Build Relationships:
    • Establish good relationships with store employees, suppliers, and other sellers. Sometimes, insider knowledge or connections can lead to valuable sourcing opportunities.

Remember that success in Amazon arbitrage requires dedication, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from both successes and failures. Continuously refining your sourcing strategies and staying compliant with Amazon’s rules are key to long-term profitability.

How to list your arbitrage products on Amazon

Listing your arbitrage products on Amazon involves creating product listings that accurately represent the items you intend to sell. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to list your arbitrage products on Amazon:

  1. Log into Your Amazon Seller Account:
    • Sign in to your Amazon Seller Central account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one.
  2. Choose the Product Listing Method:
    • Amazon offers two primary ways to list products: Individual and Professional. As a beginner, you can start with an Individual account, but if you plan to sell more than 40 items per month, consider upgrading to a Professional account.
  3. Click on “Add a Product”:
    • In your Seller Central dashboard, find the “Add a Product” button, typically located under the “Inventory” or “Inventory Management” section.
  4. Search for the Product:
    • Enter the product’s name, UPC, ISBN, or other identifying information in the search bar to find a matching product in Amazon’s catalog.
  5. Create a New Product Listing (if necessary):
    • If you can’t find an existing product listing that matches your item, you may need to create a new one. To do this, click on “Create a new product listing” and follow the prompts to provide product details.
  6. Choose a Product Condition:
    • Select the appropriate condition for your product. Common condition options include New, Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable. Be honest about the product’s condition to avoid customer issues.
  7. Enter Product Details:
    • Fill in all required fields, including the product title, brand, manufacturer, and product description. Provide accurate and detailed information to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
  8. Set the Price:
    • Determine your selling price. Consider your purchase price, Amazon fees, shipping costs, and desired profit margin. Be competitive but ensure you can still make a profit.
  9. Select Fulfillment Method:
    • Choose whether you’ll fulfill orders yourself (Merchant Fulfilled) or use Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) service. FBA is recommended for most sellers as it allows for Prime eligibility and handles shipping and customer service.
  10. Add Images:
    • Upload high-quality images of the product. Follow Amazon’s image requirements, which typically include a white background and specific dimensions.
  11. Enter Quantity and Shipping Information:
    • Indicate the quantity of the product you have available for sale. If you’re using FBA, you’ll send your inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they will handle shipping.
  12. Review and Submit:
    • Carefully review all the information you’ve entered to ensure accuracy. Once you’re satisfied, click the “Save and Finish” or “Submit” button to list your product.
  13. Monitor Your Listings:
    • After listing your products, regularly check your Seller Central dashboard for any updates or changes in your listings. Monitor inventory levels, respond to customer inquiries, and manage pricing as needed.
  14. Optimize Your Listings:
    • To increase visibility and sales, consider optimizing your product listings over time. This may involve refining product titles, descriptions, and keywords, as well as utilizing Amazon PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising.
  15. Comply with Amazon’s Policies:
    • Ensure that your product listings and business practices align with Amazon’s policies and guidelines. This includes adhering to pricing, product condition, and customer service standards.


By following these steps and staying informed about Amazon’s seller guidelines, you can successfully list your arbitrage products on the platform and start selling to a wide audience of Amazon shoppers.


Saeed Pasha

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