My Venture Into Retail Arbitrage

About a week and a half ago I decided to give retail arbitrage a shot at my local Wal-Mart. The clearance section is decently sized, as I would imagine it is at any other Wal-Mart. Just like selling books on Amazon – which I primarily sell – you should scan every single item that you think would sell for a profit. My little trick is comparing the clearance price and the original. I saw this one product that was marked down to a dollar and was originally $14.97. Of course, I scanned it. The sales rank was at 70,000 and a lot of people on some Facebook groups that do Retail Arbitrage on a much larger scale then me right now try to keep sales rank under 50,000 for a relatively “fast” sale. But these items sold within a day of hitting the warehouse. I only bought 2 of them to test them out, and since they did so good, I went back to Wal-Mart and cleared the items off the shelf. The net profit was 3.66 an item, 3 times my money.

But I also picked up a few other new items that should do good. I’ve been seeing a lot of people post crazy high sales for the month of May, and I’ve decided I want to get my fair share as well!

What I’ve Been Up To

There’s this one big book sale that is going on (at the time of writing this post,) that I’ve been going to with a lot of luck today and yesterday. It will continue for the next 2 days. And since it is on my way to work, I plan on going both days! The last day is $3/bag sale. I work 6:30am to 2:30 pm and there only open 8am-12pm. But I get to go on my lunch break at 10:30am, and I will most likely spend it there filling up a lot of bags! But so far, I have gotten about 40-50 books from thus sale alone. With profits ranging from $1.50-$20. I’m paying no more than $1 a book. The first day of the sale there were a lot of people. And saw another reseller scanning away. While I was using my iPhone 4, he had a scanner which seemed to do the job 3 times as fast my phone, so I might have to invest in one.

Every year St.Andrews and St.Matthews church in the UK hold a huge booksale with over 100,000 books that benefits the Christian Aid.

Every year St.Andrews and St.Matthews church in the UK hold a huge booksale with over 100,000 books that benefits the Christian Aid.

But when I went today after work, there were a few other people. No where near as many people as the first day.

But after spending over 12 hours sourcing, labeling, driving, weighing the items, and shipping. But in all reality, that was probably the funnest, and fasted 13 hours I’ve spent “working” in my life. It felt great being able to be the one to really call the shots on buying inventory, etc. Personally, I’d love to be able to work for myself doing this. I know some people do on some of the Facebook group that actually do it Full-time. Some of them actually have some employees and their own warehouses. It is crazy what Amazon FBA can do for you if you are willing to put in the time, sweat and effort.

But I highly suggest joining some of these groups on Facebook if you already haven’t.

Here are a few that I am a part of:

  • Amazon FBA Newbies
    • This group is GREAT if you’re a complete Newbie at Amazon FBA. It was created by Bob Willey, and moderated by a group of Admins.
  • BooksellersFBA
    • This group is for those of you wanting to get into books. This group is good if you have any questions down the road or right away.
  • Scanpower
    • This is a group made by Chris Green, the creator of the ever-so popular app, ScanPower. If you’re unsure who Chris Green is, I’ll fill you in. He’s been selling on Amazon since 1999, so he’s kind of a pioneer. Over that course of time, he has sold over $2.5 million of items both on eBay and Amazon (source:
    • But ScanPower is an app that you have to pay for. I’ve heard great reviews about it, and people use it all the time. It shows you the Net profit of an amount, and more.
  • Thrifting Lounge
    • The Thrifting Lounge is another great community. This is where you could possibly brag about finds, ask for opinions, rant and rave about something, and anything other re-seller related thing.

Those are really the main groups I’d suggest for a newbie. But I recommend asking newbie questions to the Amazon FBA Newbies group because that group is meant for newbies, Whereas ScanPower is more for the people that do it full-time.

There’s also a list of people you should check out on Youtube, but I’ll save that for a later blog post!

Until then!

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