I originally got started in retail arbitrage and Amazon FBA in late 2014. As detailed in other parts of this site, my girlfriend, Robin, and I ended up earning over $30,000.00 profit in our first fourteen months simply re-selling items on Amazon that we had purchased at our local stores. It’s 2016 now, and we’re still going strong, and continuing to learn.
Retail arbitrage still works – and there is still time for you to get involved!
One of the great things about retail arbitrage as a side hustle, is the fact that nearly anyone with access to retail shopping and a little capital can get started with this any time.
To this point, my experience has been mainly with the reselling of sale and clearance merchandise that we’ve picked up at stores near our home. During the most recent holiday season, we did begin doing a little online arbitrage, which has been fairly successful, but to this date most of our income is from local retail stores.
The steps to get started with retail arbitrage are fairly straightforward. In a nutshell, the process goes as follows: Get set up with an Amazon Seller account, sign up for a scanning app (my preference is Profit Bandit), and get out and start scanning products at your local stores. After you’ve accumulated a moderate collection of resale inventory, pack it up and send it in to Amazon, watch it sell, and collect your new side-hustle income!
The beauty of selling on Amazon, is the fact that you can use their ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ program, to handle storage, shipping, and customer service for all of your sales. With Fulfillment by Amazon, (commonly referred to as FBA), you’re free to run this side hustle only when it is convenient for you, without worry that you will be required to handle customer inquiries, or be stuck shipping out individual items whenever they sell.
Now, as easy as the foregoing paragraphs make it sound, there is some work involved, and some more specific knowledge than what is offered above will be necessary. For the low price of an e-book, I invite you to check out my new book, Retail Arbitrage Money Machine, which can be found on Amazon in the Kindle Store.
For some more in-depth training, I highly recommend Jessica Larrew’s Amazon Boot Camp course.
The costs to get started in retail arbitrage are fairly low. I recommend signing up with an Amazon Pro-Seller Account, which costs $39.99 a month, (the basic seller account is free), and also an account with the scanning app Profit Bandit. (As an alternative, the Amazon Seller app is free.)
As far as equipment, you will, of course, need a smart phone with internet access to use the scanning app, and also a computer and printer to upload your inventory and create shipments.
For your first inventory purchase, you can spend as much or as little as you like. Provided you’re making smart sourcing decisions, the more you spend, the more you stand to earn. I’ve heard it said that $500.00 is a good amount to begin with, but I’ve heard multiple stories of new sellers starting out with only $100.00 to spend on inventory. As your inventory sells, you’ll be earning your initial investment back, along with [hopefully!] a nice profit. As you keep reinvesting your returns back into more inventory, your capital grows and grows, until you running your entire operation off of your earned income!
If you’d like to learn more about how to get started with this side hustle, please take a look around the site, where I’ve documented our experience with retail arbitrage and Amazon FBA since the beginning!