Start an Online Store using Retail Arbitrage

Starting a retail arbitrage side hustle is a good option for anyone who enjoys shopping and finding deals in retail stores and selling items through online marketplaces for profit.


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What is Retail Arbitrage?

Retail arbitrage is a business model in which people buy products from retail stores at a lower price and resell them for a profit through online marketplaces.

It involves finding discounted or clearance items in physical stores and selling them for a higher price to consumers who are willing to pay more for convenience or availability.

Who is it Best For?

Retail arbitrage is best suited for resourceful, detail-oriented individuals who are willing to put in the time and effort to find profitable deals. It is ideal for people who enjoy shopping and have a keen eye for spotting bargains.

Side Hustle Potential

By purchasing products at a lower price from brick-and-mortar stores and selling them for a higher price online, you can make income through the price difference.

  • Low Startup Costs: Compared to other business models, retail arbitrage requires minimal upfront investment, as you only need to purchase inventory as needed and can start with a small budget.
  • Flexibility: Retail arbitrage offers flexibility in terms of schedule and location, allowing you to work from anywhere with access to retail stores and online marketplaces.
  • Scalability: With the potential to reinvest profits into scaling the business, retail arbitrage can grow into a lucrative venture over time, allowing you to increase your income.

How to Find the Right Products

Conduct market research on online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart to identify popular products with high demand and low competition.
To find discounted or clearance items, visit retail stores such as discount stores, clearance outlets, thrift shops, and liquidation sales.
Monitor online marketplaces for trending products, seasonal items, or limited-edition releases that are in high demand and may be available at retail stores.

Steps to Start Retail Arbitrage

You can start a profitable retail arbitrage business by following these steps and leveraging the right tools.

Step 1: Set Up Seller Accounts

To start selling products online, create seller accounts on online marketplaces such as Amazon Seller Central, eBay, or Walmart Marketplace.

Step 2: Research Legal Requirements

Familiarize yourself with any legal requirements or regulations related to retail arbitrage, such as sales tax obligations, resale permits, or product restrictions.

Step 3: Source Inventory

Start sourcing inventory by visiting retail stores, clearance sales, thrift shops, or online marketplaces to find profitable products to resell.

Step 4: List Products

Create listings for your products on your chosen online marketplaces, including detailed descriptions, high-quality photos, and competitive prices to attract buyers.

Step 5: Fulfill Orders

Process orders promptly, package items securely, and ship them to customers in a timely manner to provide a positive buying experience and encourage repeat business.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Use a smartphone with internet access to research products, scan barcodes, and communicate with customers while sourcing inventory in retail stores.
  • Use price tracking tools such as CamelCamelCamel, Keepa, or Honey to monitor price fluctuations and identify profitable products with potential resale.

Platforms to Use

  • Amazon Seller Central is a popular platform for selling products online, offering access to millions of customers worldwide and various selling tools and features for third-party sellers.
  • eBay is a leading online marketplace where individuals can buy and sell a wide range of products, including new and used items, collectibles, and rare finds.
  • Walmart Marketplace allows third-party sellers to list and sell products on Walmart’s website, reaching millions of Walmart customers and leveraging the retailer’s brand and reputation.

Find additional online marketplaces to sell items you’ve purchased. Some marketplaces are better suited for specific items. For example, buying discounted books can sell for more on AbeBooks versus eBay.


Additional information

Personal Interests

selling items


Marketing, Sales

Work Type

flexible hours, sell goods

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