I’ve been wanting to get into Retail Arbitrage
Yesterday I took the first step!
Back around November 2018, I saw a video on YouTube that brought some memories back to me. It was about retail arbitrage.
What is Retail Arbitrage? Well, it is the practice of buying goods in one store, then selling it through another store or platform. For example, maybe you buy some Surge Suppressor Power Strips at Walmart for a low price, then turn around and sell them on Amazon. You might think that the prices at Walmart and Amazon are more or less the same, but in many cases, you would be very wrong. This would apply, especially to goods that are on clearance at Walmart (or whatever store you choose), so you buy them at the low clearance price, and sell them at full retail on Amazon, or another platform.
Yesterday, I took my first step toward actually doing it. I have an eBay account, but on that particular account, I have only bought things. Yesterday, I listed 3 items for sale on eBay. It is a small start, but I had been dragging my feet and it felt good to take that first baby step.
My History on eBay and Amazon
On eBay I have been a seller before, but many years ago. Back when eBay first got started, in 1996, I found out about it, made a couple of purchases, and I was hooked. Soon, I was also selling on the platform, and my sales kept climbing.
At that time, I also had a job as well, I was working for SEH America, a Japanese company that manufactured Silicon Wafers (used to make computer chips). I started selling on eBay to supplement my income, but it did not take long and my eBay earnings were more than what I earned on my full-time job.
When we moved to the Philippines, I gave up eBay, although I did not want to. About 3 years later, though, I was finding it tough to make money in the Philippines, and I was facing a decision of either learning how to earn income there, or moving back to the United States. I did not want to move back to the USA at that time, so I figured out how to make a living there. I started selling on eBay again. And, boy did I start selling. For about 8 years, I was a big seller on eBay. I achieved Gold Level Power Seller Status (you had to exceed US$50,000 in sales for 3 consecutive months to reach that level). So, as you can see, I had a pretty successful run on eBay.
But, I got tired, I was burned out with eBay, so I moved on to other things, and continued to do well.
Back in 2015, I started selling on Amazon. I never have achieved the level of sales on Amazon that I had on eBay in the early 2000s, but I was not really trying to achieve that either.
Being reintroduced to Retail Arbitrage made me want to move
Part of my desire to move back to the USA was because I was really hungry to go big time with Retail Arbitrage. With my past experience on both eBay and Amazon, I knew I could do well.
I have been dragging my feet a bit, though.
Transportation was an issue
Because I have an eye condition that is rather serious, I am not very mobile. I walk a lot, and go all over town both walking and on the bus, but I don’t drive (yet). I am moving toward being able to drive, but I am not there yet.
After a lot of serious thought, I decided that it would be difficult sourcing merchandise to sell due to my vision problem.
I came up with another solution
There is a Liquidation Website where you can buy all kinds of closeouts, customer returns, even salvage goods. The website I am referring to is Liquidation.com.
For a few months I have been following liquidation pallet auctions on Liquidation, and I decided I wanted to move forward.
Today, I made a huge step toward my reselling business
Actually, it started yesterday. I was browsing on Liquidation.com to see if I could find any auctions that were of interest, and that I could make money on.
I found several auctions that looked promising, but one, in particular, was of interest.
I found an auction of Customer Returns of Electronics items. I know that category of goods quite well and thought I’d enjoy selling that stuff. One thing caught my eye in particular. A Dymo 4XL thermal printer. I have been on the verge of ordering a Dymo 4XL. It prints labels to put on products and also for packaging for my arbitrage sales. I kind of need on, at least it would make my job easier.
That Dymo 4XL is $229 on Amazon. It happened that this pallet of electronics items included a Dymo 4XL printer. The entire pallet was available for $200. I started watching it and somebody bid $200 on it. I wanted that printer, and all of the rest on the pallet would be stuff I could sell. I figured up that if I kept the printer, I could sell the rest of the stuff for around $650. I put in a bid of $230 on the pallet.
This morning when I got up, I checked the pallet auction, my bid was still on top. Although I bid $230, my bid was actually $210, but would increase as high as $230 if others tried to bid.
The auction ended at about 1:30 PM this afternoon, and I won! $210 won the auction. I also had to pay a buyer’s premium fee and shipping on the pallet. My total spend was $330. So, for $330 I would get my Dymo 4XL label printer and goods that I should be able to sell for about $650. Not bad.
After the Auction
Within 5 minutes of the auction closing, I paid for the pallet. I wanted to pay quickly, because I heard that if you pay early enough in the day, Liquidation.com sometimes ships your goods the same day. And… they did! The warehouse where this particular lot of goods was located is only a little more than an hour from where I live, so I am scheduled to get my auction goods tomorrow!
I can’t wait to get my stuff and check it out. I will post another article telling about the things I got in the auction, what kind of condition the stuff is in, and so on. I am sure that I will be able to make at least a couple hundred dollars on this purchase, but really the reason I bought it was more for getting that label printer, and having some extra goods that I could sell to get the ball rolling. Making a little money on this will be fine, but that was not so much the goal on this first purchase.
I am really looking forward to getting back into reselling! I know it will be fun for me, and I think it will, in the end, be very profitable too.