Retail arbitrage can be exciting & frustrating at the same time. If you strike out on a shopping trip, you kind of feel like you wasted your time. However, with the right amount of luck you can come home with a trunk full of good to sell on Amazon.
While there are hundreds of places to shop for retail arb, I often find myself visiting the same group of stores when I’m out on a shopping trip.
These are my top 5 retail arbitrage stores to shop from when hunting for items to sell via Amazon FBA.
#1 DD’s Discount
A subsidiary of Ross Stores – so the inventory mix is similar. However, I’ve found that the prices are often lower than the other discount retailers I list below. You can often find gift cards for sale at a discount to face value on Raise.com and if you use eBates you’ll save another 1% on the purchase.
Brands To Look For: Here are some of the most popular items/brands that I’ve found shopping at DD’s Discount for Amazon retail arbitrage sales:
Betsey Johnson – This is a popular handbag maker that makes colorful & whimsical handbags. The quality of these bags is high and you can often find them listed on Amazon. Make sure you look over the bag thoroughly because consumers on Amazon will be expecting a bag with no flaws. Additionally – expect higher than normal returns, as the fashion category in general experiences high return rates.
JanSport – One of the most popular backpack makers in the world can be found at DD’s Discount. I really had huge back-to-school sales mainly selling JanSport backpacks and lunch-bags. I’ve found that JanSport backpacks still sell on Amazon after back-to-school season is over (at a much slower rate). However, I’ve found less competition on the listings, therefore I’ve gotten higher prices after the back-to-school season was over.
Libbey – Makers of some of the best & most popular glassware in the world. This company has a huge line of styles & is a recognized brand on Amazon. Many sellers might shy away from sending in glassware (due to breakage & weight) however I’ve yet to have any issues (that Amazon didn’t compensate me for) related to breakage. Part of the reason is Libbey glassware is often packaged in fairly thick boxing & the quality of the glass means it breaks less often.
Headphones – I’ve shifted away from sourcing most electronics for retail arbitrage on Amazon …. however headphones are fairly safe because they don’t require batteries & are fairly low-tech. DD’s discount has an electronics section that often has some headphones you can send into Amazon FBA. Keep in mind that some brands like Skullcandy, Phillips, Beats & others are restricted – and you want to avoid buying these brands.
I rate Marshall’s #2 simply because I’ve been able to source some higher-end merchandise at this store versus some of the others. Overall I’ve sourced less items from Marshall’s but what I’ve been able to source has often been high-margin type sales. In particular the backpacks & luggage merchandise has delivered for me, along with the brands/merchandise that is listed above.
Ross is the parent company of DD’s Discount – and the two are often found in the same city, probably for logistics purposes. One of the cool things about Ross/DD’s is that they carry similar merchandise – meaning if you find a haul at DD’s Discount, you can probably go to Ross & find the same items.
#4 Home Depot
Home Depot is one of the best places to shop for retail arbitrage for Amazon. I’ve found the listings often have less competition because the items found at Home Depot aren’t as saturated on Amazon as other categories are. Find the clearance sections (often located on an end-cap with a yellow Clearance sign above). Here are the types of products I like to source:
Light Bulbs – These sell fast on Amazon, and sometimes you can find large lots of light bulbs on clearance at Home Depot.
Specialty Items – At my home depot, things like circuit breakers are often on clearance and I’ve found they sell on Amazon at a high margin. Often times they sell at a slower rate, but occasionally you’ll sell larger quantities to one buyer (likely a contractor/homebuilder).
#5 TJ Maxx
My TJ Maxx is defiantly more expensive than Ross/DD’s Discount & Marshall’s – so you have to be a bit more selective. However I’ve found some high margin items here as the chain tends to sell a bit higher-end merchandise than its counterparts. In particular I’ve done well sourcing wine glasses that often sell for $30+ on Amazon.