Within a few days of setting up our Amazon seller account and downloading the Profit Bandit app, my girlfriend, Robin, and I were ready to give retail arbitrage a try. Let’s start scanning!
Based on the podcast we had listened to, we were all set to find gold all around us – but, as many beginning in retail arbitrage find, that was not to be the case.
The first place we tried was our local Walgreens. Walgreens always has their clearance merchandise in easy-to-find spots, so we went straight to those areas and started scanning.
At first nothing, but then we started to find some profitable items. They had some generic chicken roasting stands that we could be for a few dollars, and were supposedly selling on Amazon between $15 and $20 – wow! (This was before we understood much about categories and sales rank.)
We bought the chicken roasters, some miniature kite-toys for a buck or so a piece, and a pair of clearance Sony headphones. Our total expenditure that first day out was probably less than $20.00.
The next couple of times out, we dared to spend a little more – it takes money to make money, right?
It was mid-October, and we found that Target was clearancing out all of their remaining summer merchandise, and some other items as well.
According to our Profit Bandit app, a lot of these items would bring us high profits. (Still, we didn’t really understand anything about sales rank.)
We loaded up on baby swim floaties, kids arm floats, swim goggles, and a whole bunch of hypo-allergenic, bed-bug-protecting mattress covers. In order to really stock up, we hit multiple Target stores in our area. By the time we were done at Target, we had spent well over $100.00.
However, $100.00 was even small compared to our next purchase. On our way to a Halloween party one night, we stopped into a Walgreens to pick up some costume accessories. While there, we noticed a shelf of Sony iPhone docs clearanced at around 75% off. While we would pay around $25.00 a piece for them, they were supposedly selling for around $90.00. We bought all of them they had.
For the next week we picked up some more items at our local Target and Walgreens stores, and we soon had a stack of merchandise piling up in the living room. That stack of merchandise had a lot of money tied up in it, and I was starting to get a little nervous.