You’ve probably encountered retail arbitrage when you shop at TJMaxx or on eBay. It is a widespread practice that is nearly impossible to avoid. It is common for retailers to engage in retail arbitrage because there is consumer demand, and – for sellers – it is profitable. It’s common for people to leverage retail arbitrage for selling as a means of supplementing their income, while others turn it into a full-time business. However, what exactly does retail arbitrage mean? Can it really be that profitable? What are the steps to starting a retail arbitrage business?

What is Retail Arbitrage?

In retail arbitrage, a retailer buys products at a lower price and resells them for a profit. It is possible to sell the products at a much higher profit margin than the original discounted price if the process is done correctly.  Getting started is easy in this way, you’ll have less of a monetary investment.

 In this case, you do not have to pay for an entire pallet of liquidation goods in advance. Additionally, it’s easy to test out the concept on a small scale. Take the example of a store running a sale on a pair of headphones to illustrate this point. Originally, the item was worth $300, but it is now on sale for $250. Each pair of headphones in stock is bought by you. In this case, you can offer them for $275 on Facebook Marketplace (which will be a better deal than your customer going to the store themselves). Your profit per pair will be $25. Simple, isn’t it? Retail arbitrage at its finest!

Arbitrage in retail: Challenges and opportunities

Firstly, retail arbitration is a perfectly legal way to make money. This topic was ruled upon by the Supreme Court. Reselling legal products is not prohibited if they were acquired legally. Because of this, you can resell the merchandise if you bought it.

Retail arbitration is not limited by many factors, except the strength of the customer’s buying power. Some sellers drastically increase their prices over the original retail price. Despite the fact that this may work for some items and customers, it isn’t always ideal. Furthermore, it does not always guarantee the highest profit. Always assume that your customers are smart; they do their research before making a purchase, especially when shopping online. A lot of people go online to find a better price than the one in the store because they know what the in-store price is. It’s almost certain that people will notice if you mark your prices too high. You risk not turning a profit if you mark them too low, especially after shipping and tax.

The retailers themselves may pose a challenge to retail arbitrage. There are some sellers who are harassed by retailers who do not want their products resold. Even though they can’t take legal action, this can be stressful for reselling on Amazon and may also result in brand gating. There are guidelines that must be met by third-party sellers reselling a brand name product under brand gating. Buyers are protected against counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers by these guidelines. Due to the fact that legitimate resellers generate profits for Amazon, the site protects them. Brand gating also protects big retailers: If a brand has a resale ban in place, you need its permission to sell it. If resellers must list products on another site if the retailer does not grant permission.

Lastly, retail arbitrage poses the obvious challenge of losing money on your investment. In particular, if a product was on sale as a result of a recall or default. Good products at good prices are the key to making money. Profits are also shared with others. As well as your original purchase price, you’ll have to pay tax, shipping, and fees to the site you’re using. Keep in mind that there are middlemen involved in reselling. Make smart choices and understand your margins.

For Beginners: Retail Arbitrage

You shouldn’t let the challenges discourage you, retail arbitrage still has many benefits. Profitability is one of them. However, it’s also important to remember that retail arbitration is extremely easy to get started. With just $200 and a few Walmart products, you can get started. In order to get started, you need to follow these four steps:

Analyses of the market

Even though you can resell anything online, you might want to do some market research first. Browse bestseller categories on sites like Amazon.


Getting products is the first step in setting up a seller account on any site. Look for discounted items at local retailers that can resell well online. Choose high-demand items to ensure the most effective results. To begin with, you’ll only have a relatively small inventory, and you’ll have to keep an eye out for big sales. Additionally, you can purchase pallets of inventory from top retailers on liquidation sites, such as Anything can be sold, but items with a high demand will sell faster and more easily.

List Items

The process of setting your prices is relatively straightforward. It is generally acceptable to set the price below or at market value in most cases. Check the site you are using for comparison prices as well. You should also take into account your shipping costs, taxes, and seller fees. It is recommended that you maintain a profit minimum of $3.

You may want to consider shipping your products to FBA warehouses if you’re a high volume reseller. You can ship from Fulfillment by Amazon warehouses, which handle the shipping for you By shipping in bulk with Amazon, you can save money on shipping and can let Amazon take care of individual orders.

Liquidation Auctions, and real time bidding on overstock, customer return goods from some of the country’s biggest manufacturers and merchants are available at, so register today to start buying return pallets. Now that you know what retail arbitrage is, you are ready to start your own business. Buy heavily discounted products at to get your business off the ground.