How To Source Retail Arbitrage Products for Amazon?

There are several ways of discovering local offers, but as a starting point, you might want to just get out there and discover the bargains for yourself.

Where to Look

There are hidden bargains at every turn, but there are also some obvious destinations where bargains are most certainly to be found.

As a hitlist, why not check out:

  1. TK Maxx there are amazing bargains to be found here, but just be wary of ‘seconds’ rather than pure bargains.
  2. Poundland, Poundstretcher or any other pound-based store.
  3. B&Q – often having a bargain basket near to the checkouts.
  4. Any retail store, supermarket or charity shop will have hidden gems.

Just remember not to appear too obvious if checking prices against an online database. Stores do not have to sell you the goods, and people have been turned away for blatantly buying to sell.

a picture showing the tkmaxx logo

Why Would a Store Not Sell to You?

It does seem irrational at times, after all, if you pay the asking price, then surely the store is getting what they wanted.

The problem is, especially with stores such as TK Maxx, they might access these bargains under the condition that they do not undermine the original brand by ending up on ecommerce marketplaces.

If you then buy a branded product from them and place it immediately on Amazon, it could risk their own business integrity and offer sourcing.

With online arbitrage, you might find limits on how many of one item you can buy, but this is not as easy to control or declare in an open store.

Supermarkets Are Golden

Supermarkets tend to have exceptional offers from time to time. In fact, many will send out flyers to advertise their upcoming bargains.

Supermarkets are also more used to people hoarding, panic-buying, or stockpiling and so don’t tend to get upset when people buy lots of the same thing.

Before questioning the logic here, just remember, you should never assume why people wouldn’t buy the same product at a higher price from Amazon. Remember that convenience is the keyword.

We once saw an offer on Sensodyne pump action toothpaste. Tesco were selling one tube for £3.00. Amazon were selling the exact same thing for £9.00. Don’t try to understand why, just decide if you would be happy enough to pick up such easy profits.

Another great thing about toothpaste is that the buyer is highly unlikely to refund that item.

Shower gels and specialist hair treatment products are again commonly higher priced on amazon.

Yankee Candles are also frequently offered with a discount yet sold at inflated prices online.

a picture of a super market with good on the shelves

Jumping On a Bargain.

It is possible that other people will find the same bargain as you just have.

In this situation, it might be better to buy into the product but sit it out and wait for the rush to subside.

A good example of this might be with Yankee Candles. They frequently have offers of the month and promotional scents. While it would be expected to see the number of sellers increasing for these items during the offer period, it is also likely that the prices will revert to their normal within a week or two, and with good judgement, you could then step in and clean up.

Why Would a Store Markdown Products When They Could Just Sell Them Online Themselves?

The clear and obvious answer here is that it is not their business model.

Even if they do offer online sales, it would take a coordinated effort to gather together the bargain sale items and have a system for those to be picked and packed.

In the case of the bigger stores, it would be unlikely that local staff would have direct access into this process.

If the sales were managed by head office, then the cost of returning those goods would outweigh any profits made.

So, in reality, it makes much more sense to cut their losses and get out easily, thereby opening the door to entrepreneurial spirits.

Which Marketplace Is Best for Retail Arbitrage?

This depends on the products.

If you have found some local curiosities or localised hand-crafted trinkets, then it could be great to offer these through Etsy.

If you are buying in from charity shops, then you might find that ebay is a better avenue to use.

a picture showing the ebay logo

For anything new and retail, such as the things you buy from B&Q, Tesco, TK Maxx or the Range, to name but a few, then Ebay or Amazon could both be your playground.

How To Work Out If a Product Is Worthwhile to Invest In.

As we wrap up this section, we just want to introduce the idea of automation.

In this, we mean automating the number crunching.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply find a product, take out your phone, scan the barcode and see instantly whether there is money to be made on that product?

What a time saver eh?

Then, what if that software told you exactly how many you could expect to sell quickly to maximise your profits?

Well, there is such a tool, but it does come at a cost.

If you are planning on starting out with a rolling stock of less than £500, it might not make much sense using automation just yet.

The software isn’t £500 but it would certainly eat into a chunk of a 10% average profit.

If, however you were planning on maybe having two pots of £500, cycling round every 2 weeks, then for sure, this software would very easily be covered and would enhance your profits and time investment quite noticeable.

The great thing about this software for us is that it is developed right in our own city, so isn’t it nice to know the team are in a stones throw if anything went wrong.

Of course, they can’t be in everyone’s backyard, but honestly, if you want to ramp up your retail arbitrage business into a serious endeavour, then we strongly suggest you check this app out.


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