The Basics Of Retail Arbitrage: A Beginner’s Guide

Retail arbitrage refers to the practice of purchasing goods from traditional retail outlets at a cheaper price to resell those goods online at a greater price than the original purchase price.  The price difference is where the profit comes from. In other words, you are taking advantage of the price discrepancies between the retail store and online marketplaces. If you’re interested in learning more about how to sell products online using retail arbitrage, there are many resources available including the Amazon FBA Tutorial.

Why Does Retail Arbitrage Work?

Retail arbitrage works because of the difference in pricing between physical retail stores and online marketplaces. Physical retail stores have to pay for things like rent, utilities, and employees, which means they need to mark up their products to make a profit. Online marketplaces like Amazon, on the other hand, don’t have these overhead costs, which means they can offer products at a lower price.

Another reason retail arbitrage works is because of the sheer number of products available. There are millions of products available on Amazon and other online marketplaces, and these marketplaces can’t keep track of every product’s price. This means there are often price discrepancies between the retail store and online marketplaces, and savvy retail arbitrageurs can take advantage of these discrepancies to make a profit.

Getting Started With Retail Arbitrage

Now that you have a basic understanding of what retail arbitrage is and why it works, let’s talk about how you can get started.

Step 1: Research Products And Marketplaces

The first step to getting started with retail arbitrage is to research the products and marketplaces you want to sell on. Start by researching popular marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. Look at the products that are currently selling well on these marketplaces and make note of their prices.

Once you have an idea of the types of products you want to sell, start researching where you can buy them at a lower price. Check out physical retail stores like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot to see if they have any products on clearance or sale. You can also check out online retailers like Overstock and Wayfair for deals.

Step 2: Calculate Your Profit Margin

Before you buy any products to resell, it’s important to calculate your profit margin. Your profit margin is the difference between the price you pay for a product and the price you sell it for. You want to make sure that your profit margin is high enough to make it worth your time and effort.

To calculate your profit margin, start by researching the price of the product on the online marketplace where you plan to sell it. Then, subtract the cost of the product, any shipping or handling fees, and any other expenses you may have incurred (like gas to get to the store). The amount left over is your profit margin.

Step 3: Purchase Your Products

Once you have identified the products you want to sell and calculated your profit margin, it’s time to purchase your products. Make sure you buy the products at a low enough price to ensure you can make a profit.

Step 4: List Your Products For Sale

After you have purchased your products, the next step is to list them for sale on the online marketplace of your choice. Make sure you take high-quality photos of the product and write an accurate and compelling product description. The more detailed and accurate your product listing is, the more likely it is to sell.

Step 5: Ship Your Products

When you make a sale, it’s important to ship your products quickly and efficiently. Make sure you have a system in place for shipping your products and consider investing in a label printer to save time and reduce errors.

Step 6: Monitor Your Sales And Adjust Your Strategy

Finally, it’s important to monitor your sales and adjust your strategy as needed. Keep track of which products are selling well and which are not, and adjust your inventory and pricing accordingly. It’s also important to keep an eye on your profit margin and make sure it remains high enough to make the effort worth your time.


Retail arbitrage can be a great way to make money online, but it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time, effort, and a lot of research to be successful. However, with the right strategy and tools, it’s possible to turn retail arbitrage into a profitable business. Just remember to focus on quality, research your products and marketplaces, and stay patient and persistent. Good luck!