I don’t do much Retail Arbitrage anymore because all that running around is too time-consuming. These days I concentrate on buying wholesale products where I can just place an order by email, by telephone or on a source’s website.
But I used to do a lot of retail arbitrage for several years. It was highly profitable and very easy to source products.
Here were my three most successful sources. I would be willing to bet these are all still good today.
This one might surprise you but I always found profitable products at my local Dollar Store. (Hint: You get the best prices when you buy in case size lots). The easiest products to make money on were in the Health & Beauty category – things like shampoo, moisturizing cream. face cleansers and body wash. But I could also find great things to bundle as well. One of my best sellers were cheap paintbrushes that I sold on eBay or Amazon in lots of a dozen each. My cost was 10¢ each when I bought by the case and I could get $9.95 a dozen on eBay and $12.99 on Amazon if I sent them to FBA.
(Note: Family Dollar Store last week announced they will be closing over 300 stores nationwide. When this happens they typically discount merchandise up to 60%-off)!
Trader Joes stores are only located in 17 states so unless you live in one of those states or near a state line, they may not be available to you. Trader Joes is well known for their all-natural and organic products. If you don’t think these items sell, just try typing Trader Joes into the Amazon search bar. You will find over 2000 items for sale. I had really good luck creating multi-packs of their organic fruits like mangoes and apricots, I also did well with Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo, Conditioner and body wash bundles. I never had a problem doubling my cost after fees.
Costco was one of our best sources for products. Their house brand is called Kirkland. Once again try typing that into the Amazon search bar but this time you will get close to 10,000 results. Don’t be put off by the competition. Here again, I almost always doubled my money after fees with almost any item from Costco. One of my top sellers were 1.5 pound smoked salmon fillets (in foil pack – no refrigeration needed). I was paying $11.50 each and selling them through Amazon FBA for $31.95. Costco also once had a line of Travel Dog Beds for about $14 each. We sold over 400 of those at an average price of $36.00 over a one-year period. (At one point we were selling as many as 5 per day).
One warning about Costco. They also have an online site and some sellers have tried drop shipping from there. Don’t do it! You could find your account canceled.