It’s a great feeling to look back over the course of the year, and know you’ve gone from zero knowledge in a subject whatsoever, to profiting over $20,000.00 from that very thing. However, looking back at how we got started, I remember that we weren’t so confident to begin with.
It was around a campfire in September of 2014, that my girlfriend, Robin, and I originally became interested in the concept of retail arbitrage.
If you’re not sure what ‘retail arbitrage’ is – that’s okay – we didn’t exactly understand it at first either. Basically, the term ‘arbitrage’ refers to the buying of assets in one market, and selling them in a different market in order to realize a profit from the price differences. When talking about ‘retail arbitrage’ (a term that was coined somewhat recently, possibly by author and arbitrageur, Chris Green), we’re talking about the practice of buying items in one retail environment, and selling them for a higher price elsewhere. In the present case – the ‘elsewhere’ is on Amazon.com.
While camping last year, instead of playing music around the campfire, I decided to share with Robin a podcast I had recently listed to. The podcast was Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast, and on this particular episode, he was interviewing a woman named, Jessica Larrew.
If you don’t know who Pat Flynn is, or if you’ve never checked out his website or podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com, I most highly recommend it. (Side Note: I actually had the chance to meet Pat in person recently, and I can vouch for the fact that he’s just as nice in person as he is on his show.)
In this particular episode, Pat’s guest, Jessica was explaining how she and her husband were making $100,000.00 a year reselling on Amazon.com, merchandise which they had purchased from local retail stores.
To think that it was possible to sell any off-the-shelf retail item for a profit anywhere, much less on Amazon.com – (the site that was supposedly killing traditional retail with its low prices) – seemed crazy. To be honest, had I heard such a story in any place other than Pat Flynn’s podcast, I would have been highly doubtful. (In fact, I was still pretty doubtful.)
At first, Robin thought it sounded pretty outrageous too, but I reassured her that if Pat had someone on his show – that person was someone who could be trusted. In fact, Pat made the story all the more believable by going out and trying this concept for himself by buying some clearance headphones at Best Buy and successfully selling them for a profit on Amazon – he ended up making $40.00!
By the way – Jessica offers a complete video course on Retail Arbitrage – I talk more about it on my recommended training page.
With Jessica Larrew’s explanation, Pat Flynn’s reassurance, and my curiosity – Robin was convinced we should try it out. (The funny thing is, I had originally listened to this podcast a couple of weeks prior – and hadn’t done anything about it.) But Robin’s a doer, so when she became convinced – we were ready to jump in.
Within a week or so after getting back from camping, we signed up for an Amazon Pro Seller account, and downloaded the app, Profit Bandit, to my phone. At the time, Robin – believe it or not – didn’t even have a smartphone, so I was the one who originally got to do all of the scanning.
With our Amazon account set up and Profit Bandit installed, we were ready to get started searching for retail arbitrage products to sell.