There is an art to retail arbitrage (RA). Retail arbitrage is when resellers go to a retail brick and mortar stores, like Target for instance, and purchase items to resell on another marketplace like eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for more information about retail arbitrage, then check out the book Arbitrage by Chris Green that discusses it more in depth.
Retail arbitrage is how many sellers start product sourcing. It's the first step up from sourcing one-off items (single items that you aren't likely to find again) at thrift stores and garage sales. RA allows a seller to find multiples of a product and in many instances continue to buy and sell that item over and over again making it a replenishable product. RA isn't as easy as walking into a store, selecting a random item, putting it in your cart, buying it and listing it for sale on Amazon or another marketplace. RA takes work.
In this blog series, I'm going to share three tips that will prevent you from spending hours wandering aimlessly around big box retailers trying to find products to sell.
TIP #1: Research
This is the step that many new sellers forget and it is one of the most important. Sure you can go to a store with your smartphone and scanning app and scan every product. That isn't very efficient and you will end up wasting a lot of time. Before I go out sourcing, I do some online research to better understand what I'm looking for and what is in demand at the moment.
For example, the other day I sat down at my computer and decided to look at Fall seasonal items. Halloween and Thanksgiving are quickly approaching and pumpkin spice everything is hitting the shelves. I did a pumpkin spice search on Amazon to see what products had already hit the virtual shelves. On my laptop, I can easily check best sellers rank along with Keepa and CCC for sales history and availability using plugins on my Chrome browser. With this information, I created a list of the items to look for during my next sourcing trip to the grocery store. Now I can easily go to the sections of the store where I can find those products and not spend time aimlessly wandering.
If you are not already approved in the Grocery category on Amazon I highly recommend it be one of your next steps. It's where most of my replenishable items come from and 40% of my sales on average are grocery items. My understanding is that it is a relatively simple process to go through to get approved. Check the archives of the FBA Newbies group on Facebook for more information. I was grandfathered in before grocery became a gated category so I didn't go through the process personally, but there are many sellers out there who have.
Later today I'll be jumping on Periscope to answer your questions about researching potential retail arbitrage products. If you haven't downloaded Periscope to your smartphone or other mobile device (iPad, tablet, etc), make sure you do it before 10:30am EDT so you're ready to ask your questions. If you can't catch the scope live, you'll be able to view it for 24 hours after broadcast. Hopefully, I'll be adding my scopes to the website in the next few weeks so you'll be able to watch them whenever.
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