Here’s a picture I took of my girlfriend, Robin, while we were on a cruise earlier this year.
One of the reasons Robin looks so happy, (besides being away from the freezing cold of Minnesota in January), was the fact that this entire seven-day cruise to Mexico and Central America was paid for by money we earned over just the previous two months from buying clearance merchandise at local discount stores, and re-selling that merchandise for a profit on Amazon.com.
This process is known as ‘retail arbitrage,’ and it simply refers to buying items at local retail stores, and selling those items for a higher price online. When combined with Amazon’s fulfillment service, know as ‘FBA,’ the whole process becomes even easier.
‘FBA’ stands for ‘Fulfillment by Amazon,’ and it is a service that allows regular people like you and me, to send boxes of items for resale in to Amazon, and have Amazon handle the sales, customer service, shipping, and returns. And, instead of having to create a new listing for each item, (like on eBay), all you do is list your items for sale under sales pages on Amazon that are already there.
To help with finding profitable products, there are various smartphone apps you can use to scan UPC barcodes, and estimate your expected profit before you even buy it.
If you’ve never heard of this before, I’m not surprised. It make sense that many of the people out there who do know this simple money-making strategy aren’t especially eager to share their knowledge.
If all this sounds too good to be true, I understand that as well. When we first learned about it last year, we were totally skeptical too. Fortunately, however, we were curious enough to give it a try – after all, we had nothing to lose!
In October of 2014, we first set up a seller account on Amazon, downloaded the scanning app, and set out to see if ‘retail arbitrage’ could truly be profitable.
At first we were super skeptical, but still curious enough to set up a seller account, download the scanning app, and hit some local stores to see if ‘retail arbitrage’ could actually be profitable. I’m very glad we did.
While many of the items we tried scanning did not report back as profitable, it was surprising how many good options we did find. Many of these items were selling on Amazon for three times the price that we paid locally.
We sent our first shipment in to Amazon in late October and began to see sales right away. When the first few items we sold returned a profit of $130.00, we know were were on to something.
Over the course of November and December, we kept shopping, shipping, and selling. It was crazy to think that we were earning so much money from items that had just been sitting on the clearance shelves of our local stores, unsold.
By January 30th, we had cleared a net profit of over $4,000.00. After just two months of selling clearance merchandise on Amazon, we were able to pay off all of our Christmas expenses, and cover the cost of a seven-day cruise to Mexico and South America.
At the time, it was crazy for us to think – just a few months earlier, we’d never heard of this thing called retail arbitrage, and now, just three months after starting, we were sitting in the sun on the deck of a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico, enjoying a seven-day vacation that was totally paid for!
It’s hard to believe things could get even better, but they did. During the cruise our inventory at Amazon continued to sell. So much so that, during the first week we were gone, we racked up another $1,400.00 in sales!
Upon returning from the trip, we were hooked. We invested in some additional training on retail arbitrage and Amazon FBA, and we continued to shop, scan, ship and sell.
Before our first year was up, our Amazon sales exceeded $65,000.00 and generated a net profit of well over $20,000.00! I can still hardly believe we made $20,000.00 buying clearance merchandise in our spare time (we both have full-time jobs).
If you’re curious what type of resale products we were selling, please click here for a list of the exact top 20 products we sold that earned us over $20,000.00 in profits alone!
If you’re curious what we were selling, click here for our list of the top 20 retail arbitrage products that earned us over $20,000.00 in profits!
In the interest of total transparency, and with the goal of sharing what we’ve learned, I documented our experiences every step of the way. Throughout this website, you’ll find articles describing what we’ve learned, as well as photos, screenshots, and videos of our actual experiences as they happened. I hope you will find this information interesting, and hopefully useful.
I’ve also written a book, RETAIL ARBITRAGE MONEY MACHINE, which contains everything we’ve learned about retail arbitrage and Amazon FBA. This book is available in the Kindle Store now!
For more in-depth training, feel free to read more about my recommended training program through the following link: Retail Arbitrage Training.
If you have any questions regarding retail arbitrage, Amazon FBA, or anything else you read on this site, just leave a comment below the post. I’ll be happy to get back to you help you out however I can!