Retail Arbitrage: A Profitable Strategy to Boost Your Online Business

Retail Arbitrage: A Profitable Strategy to Boost Your Online Business
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Are you an aspiring ecommerce entrepreneur dreaming of running a highly successful online business? One of the major challenges in this journey is sourcing products. Finding reliable suppliers, especially internationally, can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. But here’s the good news: there’s an alternative way to buy products for resale without the need to deal with international suppliers or negotiate for low prices. It’s called retail arbitrage.

What is Retail Arbitrage?

Retail arbitrage is a method of buying products at low prices from physical retail stores and reselling them at higher prices online. Instead of relying on wholesalers or trade suppliers, you can source great products on offer or at clearance prices from stores like Target in the US or Argos in the UK. These products can then be sold on platforms such as eBay or Amazon, allowing you to make a profit by leveraging price differences.

What is Retail Arbitrage?
What is Retail Arbitrage?

At first glance, retail arbitrage may seem cheeky, but it is entirely legal. In fact, some retail arbitragers have been known to purchase products at full retail prices and sell them for even higher prices on Amazon. This strategy works because online shoppers are often willing to pay extra for the convenience of having products delivered to their doorstep quickly.

How Does Retail Arbitrage Work on Amazon?

Let’s walk through an example to understand how retail arbitrage works on Amazon. Imagine you visit your local Argos store and discover watches on clearance for £25. You research the exact product on Amazon and find that it’s listed for £65. In this case, you would purchase the watches from Argos for £25 and list them immediately on Amazon for £65. Once sold, you keep the profit after deducting selling fees.

By following this simple process, you can easily make a significant profit on your initial investment. And the best part is, you can expand your inventory and grow your business over time.

How to Determine Profitability

Before purchasing any products for resale through retail arbitrage, it’s crucial to carefully compare prices and assess their profitability. You can do this by logging into Amazon while you’re in the store and comparing prices. Another useful tool is the free Amazon Seller app, which provides essential information such as prices, fees, profits, and the number of sellers offering the product.

By using the app to scan the barcodes of potential products, you can check their sales rank, which indicates their popularity and potential for fast-selling items. This research is essential to ensure you’re making informed decisions and maximizing your profitability.

Can You Make Money with Amazon Retail Arbitrage?

You might be wondering if retail arbitrage on Amazon is too good to be true or if everyone is already doing it. The reality is that while the concept may sound easy, many people fail to take action and fully commit to the process. Like any online business, retail arbitrage requires effort and a positive mindset.

Retail arbitrage offers several advantages over traditional wholesale methods. It allows you to start with a smaller investment, test products, and gradually expand your inventory. Additionally, by bypassing the complexities of dealing with suppliers, you can focus on finding the right products and executing a profitable strategy.

In summary, retail arbitrage is a viable and profitable strategy when approached with the right mindset. With thorough research and careful product selection, you can establish a successful business on Amazon.

Why Don’t Retail Stores Sell Clearance Products Online?

Why Don't Retail Stores Sell Clearance Products Online?
Why Don’t Retail Stores Sell Clearance Products Online?

You may be wondering why retail stores don’t simply sell their clearance products online themselves instead of allowing others to profit from retail arbitrage. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Inventory Management: Retail stores often have limited resources and manpower to manage their inventory effectively. Clearance items may not be a priority for them, and they may prefer to focus on selling new products at full price.
  • Brand Image: Retail stores may be concerned about maintaining their brand image and positioning. Selling clearance products online at lower prices could potentially dilute their brand perception or compete with their full-priced offerings.
  • Logistics and Fulfillment: Managing online sales and fulfillment can be complex and require additional infrastructure and resources. Retail stores may not have the necessary systems in place to handle the logistics of online orders efficiently.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Some retail stores may have strategic partnerships with certain brands or suppliers that restrict them from selling clearance items online.
  • These reasons create an opportunity for retail arbitrage entrepreneurs to step in and leverage the price discrepancies between physical retail stores and online marketplaces like Amazon.

Tips for Successful Retail Arbitrage

If you’re considering getting into retail arbitrage on Amazon, here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Research and Preparation: Thoroughly research the market, understand the products you’re buying, and stay updated on pricing trends. Use tools like the Amazon Seller app and other online resources to gather valuable information.
  • Source from Multiple Retail Stores: Don’t rely on just one retail store for your inventory. Visit multiple stores, both large chains and local retailers, to increase your chances of finding profitable products.
  • Focus on Profit Margins: Look for products that offer a significant price difference between the retail store and online marketplaces. Higher profit margins will make your efforts more worthwhile.
  • Consider Seasonal and Trending Products: Keep an eye on seasonal items and products that are currently in demand. These can sell quickly and generate higher profits.
  • Optimize Your Listings: Create compelling product listings on Amazon with high-quality images, accurate descriptions, and competitive pricing. Pay attention to keywords and optimize your listings for search visibility.
  • Build Your Brand: As you gain experience and generate profits, consider private labeling or creating your own brand to differentiate yourself from other sellers and increase your long-term success.
  • Stay Compliant with Amazon’s Policies: Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s policies and guidelines to ensure you’re operating within their terms of service. This will help protect your account and avoid any potential issues.

The Best Tools to Support Your Retail Business

If you’re new and eager to explore the retail business model, fret not! You’ve landed in the perfect place. Below, we present a selection of popular and valuable tools to kickstart your journey in this industry.


SaleHoo is a versatile tool for dropshipping and supplier research. With its extensive database of reputable suppliers, SaleHoo enables you to effortlessly search and compare prices from various sources. Moreover, it provides order management tools and exceptional customer support.



Dropship Rabbit

Dropship Rabbit is an indispensable support tool for retail businesses. By offering a catalog of verified and dependable suppliers, Dropship Rabbit empowers you to choose the ones that align best with your requirements. This ensures the delivery of high-quality products and top-notch services from suppliers.

Dropship Rabbit
Dropship Rabbit

Dropship Rabbit serves as a valuable asset for retail businesses, facilitating the discovery of reliable suppliers, efficient order management, and the automation of critical processes. Additionally, it offers expert guidance to help you thrive in this competitive field.


As a high-quality dropshipping tool, Spocket connects you with suppliers from Europe and North America. Spocket offers a diverse list of products with high quality, fast delivery times, and automation features for efficient order and delivery management.



Retail arbitrage on Amazon offers a unique opportunity to start and grow an online business without the need for international suppliers or negotiating for low prices. By leveraging the price discrepancies between physical retail stores and online marketplaces, you can make a profit by reselling products.

Remember, successful retail arbitrage requires research, preparation, and a commitment to continuous learning. By carefully selecting profitable products, optimizing your listings, and staying compliant with Amazon’s policies, you can build a profitable business and achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

Get started with retail arbitrage, and who knows, you might find yourself on the path to ecommerce success on Amazon!


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