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online arbitrage

Online arbitrage is still a viable way to make money selling on Amazon. It is one of 3 major ways I still source products today and it continues to bring in plenty of money.

See, I was one of the early adopters of the retail arbitrage (“in stores“) product sourcing method and I built a highly successful Amazon & eBay business. Now, I still search in stores to find those hidden gems that make me great profits and enjoy the “treasure hunt” feeling of the whole process.

But there are days sourcing products in stores where I strike out and come home tired and empty handed. That’s just the nature of the business. I would often wonder is there an easier way to source products? So years ago I started using online arbitrage, and today I’m going to unveil my strategies and methods to you.

But, first, understand that Amazon is the behemoth that has enabled many folks like you and me to create an online arbitrage revenue stream like no other.

See, Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world generating more than $200 billion in revenue with 50% of all sales coming from third party sellers like you and me.

So, how can you and I maximize our profits and make more money selling on Amazon? By buying products low and selling high with online arbitrage opportunities.


What Is Online Arbitrage?

Online arbitrage is simply buying a product in an online store or website and flipping it for a profit in another (or the same) online marketplace or in your own online store. In other words, it’s buying low from an online retailer and selling high through another website online.

You can sell this product in a variety of places including eBay, Craigslist, the Facebook marketplace, in your own store, OfferUp, Let Go, Walmart, Jet, and of course in the Amazon marketplace.

If source a product from (say) Amazon or eBay, you can flip them back on the same site in many cases. In fact, I have purchased many products from Amazon, received the item, and then sold the item back on Amazon (just don’t violate their policies by having the item shipped to you via Prime. Prime members are not permitted to purchase products for the purpose of resale, rental, or to ship to their customers or potential customers using Prime benefits.). And I’ve done the same with eBay by winning auctions of poorly-listed items, receiving the and flipping them back on eBay at a much higher price.


The Benefits Of Online Arbitrage

Online sourcing can be done anywhere including at home in your pajamas with a few simple tools and Internet access.

Have you ever made money online while traveling to pay for your vacation? This gives new meaning to what people call a “working vacation”.

If you live in a remote area with very few retail stores, online arbitrage sourcing could be an excellent option for you.

It is also great for those with busy schedules who just don’t have time to search for profitable products in big-box stores using retail arbitrage.


How To Buy Low From Online Retailers

  • Check online retailers early in the morning for sales and new clearance items
  • Don’t stick to only big box stores. Small niche stores can be even more profitable
  • Pay attention to deal sites that offer extremely low priced products for a limited time
  • Search for discount coupons and promo codes to stack with free shipping while purchasing through a cash back site
  • Buy gift cards at a discounted price to pay for your inventory or use credit card rewards
  • Sign up for store rewards programs and subscribe to stores’ email list. Here’s a partial list of my favorites:


Cash Back Sites

My favorite cash back sites include Ebates and TopCashBack. Sites like these will pay you a percentage of the total amount you spend in participating online stores.

Always make sure to begin by clicking through the link in the cash back site that will track your full shopping trip giving you credit in the form of “cash back”. An online store that is willing to give you 6% cash back on a $300 purchase equals $18 back in your pocket.

I even recently saw eBates offer 10% cash back for purchases made on JCPenney.com.

Here’s a snapshot of my eBates actual cash back received (keep in mind this is over a 11 year period. But $650 a year average is pretty nice!

Percentage cash back changes frequently occur for many stores. One day you might see 2% for Kohls on Ebates but 4% for Kohls on TopCashBack, and the next day those percentages can increase or reduce significantly.

Cash back sites are free to use and can add up to large amounts of cash you wouldn’t have otherwise.


Discounted Gift Card Sites

Raise and Gift Card Granny are two great places to buy discounted gift cards that you can use to buy inventory. The gift cards are sold for less than face value but accepted in retail stores for the full amount.

This makes it possible to buy a $200 Kohls gift card for (say) only $187.16 giving you 6.4% off the face value. Don’t forget to set alerts for store gift cards that are currently out of stock.


Coupons & Discount Promo Codes

Set up an email address for the purpose of subscribing to the email list of several retail stores in order to cash in on their coupons and promo codes. These could offer you a hefty discount or free shipping on your entire purchase.

Two extensions in the Chrome Web Store for finding additional product discounts are Price Blink and Honey. These Chrome extensions will help you automatically find lower prices and promo codes for extra discounts while you shop online.

RetailMeNot is another great place to find more promo codes offering discounts and free shipping for a large selection of online stores.

If you still cannot find a discount, try Googling the store name and the phrase “coupon” or “promo code” to see what pops up. You will be surprised with what you find!


Store Rewards Programs

Many stores will have a rewards program or loyalty program you can sign up for that offers rebates and discounts on a regular basis. Take advantage of this to get your total cost down even lower.


Stack It All Together

Stacking cash back, coupons, promo codes, store rewards, and discounted gift cards (or credit card cash back) with sales and clearance items is the secret to buying inventory at a low enough price to resell for a larger profit on Amazon.

Just remember the products you buy online need to be cheap enough to resell on Amazon in order to make a profit.


How To Sell High On Amazon

Make sure you use a calculator such as the free FBA calculator provided by Amazon or RevSeller to help you see if you can truly make a profit once your product sells BEFORE you buy.

The product selling price on Amazon should be at a higher price point than the online retailer you plan to make a purchase from.

It is important to include these numbers in your calculations:

  • The current buy box price on Amazon
  • Your total buy cost which includes shipping costs from an online store
  • FBA fees (automatically deducted with the FBA calculator and RevSeller)
  • The approximate shipping cost to the Amazon warehouses (50 cents per pound on average)
  • The cost of prepping your product if you use an inventory prep service

Never guess when it comes to numbers. Be as accurate as possible if you are serious about making a profit. This is the biggest mistake made by many beginner FBA sellers.

It is also important to make note of the 90-day average sales rank, product price history, your total fulfillment by Amazon competition, and whether or not Amazon is currently selling the product.

Wouldn’t it be easier to get all this information in just 1 click? Here is how you can speed this process up a little bit.


The Ultimate Tool For Faster & Easier Online Sourcing

Cleer Platinum is the tool I use for online arbitrage sourcing (and works great for private label research too). It is easy to learn and convenient to use anywhere.

You can know in as little as 1 click whether or not you truly can make a profit on an item you plan to purchase.

Here is a list of online stores you will be able to source from immediately:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Walgreens
  • eBay
  • Disney Store
  • LTD Commodities
  • Bonton
  • Boscovs
  • Drugstore.com
  • Kohls
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • ThinkGeek
  • The Lakeside Collection
  • Meijer
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Macy’s
  • Amazon (do not use prime shipping)
  • Dillards
  • Sports Authority
  • Vitacost
  • Modell’s Sporting Goods

Cleer Platinum automates a huge part of buying inventory online to resell on Amazon saving you an enormous amount research time.

If you are seriously ready to make a bigger profit margin selling on Amazon while saving precious time, then go ahead and check out a free trial of Cleer Platinum online arbitrage software here: cleerplatinum.com/




Amazon counterfeit textbooks

If you source textbooks to resell, note that there are counterfeits out there. Not enough to scare you into avoid the business entirely, but enough to keep your eyes peeled.

It's appealing for the unscrupulous to commit the crime [click to continue…]


Amazon Brand Restrictions – What to Do?


Amazon restricted brands and approval

Sponsored bycan you sell it on amazon


Many 3rd party sellers like you and me are restricted  from selling products from a couple hundred brands on Amazon. Thousands of brands are not restricted...

[click to continue…]


Everything you need to know about The Wholesale Formula

Wholesale Formula review

The Wholesale Formula is closed for 2019. It is scheduled to re-open in 2020

The Wholesale Formula ("TWF") is a proven blueprint/system for sourcing and selling wholesale products profitably on Amazon. Its founders Dan Meadors and Eric Lambert have sold over $20M in wholesale products on Amazon. Enrollment is rumored to reopen in 2020.

You're probably here because you're asking "is The Wholesale Formula legitimate, and does it work?"

The short answer is "yes" and "yes". But perhaps you need more info. So I wrote this post for you. (Full disclosure: I'm an affiliate partner of TWF, so I may be compensated if you purchase it). [click to continue…]


The Wholesale Formula Review

Ed note: You asked me for help with sourcing profitable, replenishable products for your Amazon business. Below is my review of the The Wholesale Formula for Amazon Sellers.

The Wholesale Formula is closed for 2019. It is scheduled to re-open in 2020

Note: the video review is from July 2016. Since then, The Wholesale Formula has improved even more, with incredible value.

You're here because you're wondering "should I get The Wholesale Formula to grow my Amazon business?" or take it to the next level.

The short answer (my opinion) is [click to continue…]


The Wholesale Formula is closed for 2019. It is scheduled to re-open in 2020. Proven Wholesale Sourcing is available anytime

A handful of folks are emailing me with: "Jordan, what's the difference between The Wholesale Formula and Jim Cockrum's Proven Wholesale Sourcing?"

[click to continue…]


Wholesale vs. Private Label vs. Retail Arbitrage

wholesale Amazxon

For my Amazon business, I source products 3 ways (well, more than 3, but the major methods are):

  • Retail/online arbitrage
  • Private Label
  • Wholesale
Can you guess which two have been the more problematic these days?

[click to continue…]


The 3 Major Advantages to Sourcing Wholesale (Guest Post)

compare wholeasale to private label and retail arbitrage

Ed. note: Below is a 'plain english' overview of how sourcing wholesale is different than other sourcing methods, courtesy of Vendrive. Vendrive provides inexpensive CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. That's a fancy name for software that helps wholesale-sourcing Amazon sellers stay organized and make the right product decisions. You probably don't need a CRM if you just dabble in wholesale. But if you are sourcing multiple SKUs from a few different manufacturers, a CRM Solution can help in spades. No Vendrive links in this article are affiliate links, and I am not compensated at all if you sign up for their service here. Vendrive did not pay a fee for posting the below article.

Guest post by Dillon Carter of Vendrive:


Selling on Amazon can mean so many different things, from writing books for Kindle Publishing to building massive brands using private label. It can seem a bit daunting when you're first introduced to selling on Amazon given all of these options but I’d like to help you make that decision much easier.

Most of us take a very similar path - we hear about selling on Amazon either online or on some podcast and quickly jump into a course to learn how to get started. The easiest path is the retail arbitrage or online arbitrage model, but after a grueling time trying to scale this model, we begin looking at either wholesale or private label.

[click to continue…]


Beware Fake Wholesale

Buying wholesale

There's a big problem for eBay and Amazon sellers who want to buy wholesale. Typically, they'll go to google.com and type in “buy wholesale”, and they'll end up buying from one of the dozens of companies they see in the results (an example follows)

[click to continue…]


My Online Book Arbitrage Showdown With Peter Valley

Peter Valley Zen Arbitrage

January 20, 2019 was a special day for me. My readers and I interviewed Peter Valley (above right), the legendary online book sourcing and Amazonselling expert. You may also know Peter as ther creator of Zen Arbitrage and FBAMastery. I bet you didn't know that Peter is also the the world's most published author on Amazon selling. [click to continue…]

  • My Online Book Arbitrage Showdown With Peter Valley

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