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Retail Arbitrage as a Side Hustle

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MJ DeMarco

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Interesting story....

Just an FYI, Amazon is rarely the cheapest, but many people still think it is -- to the point that this stuff works.

 

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Xavier X

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I remember when I was desperate for cash and wanted to be a businessman but didn't know how a few years back. So I started trying to flip stuff.

I still have 45 binders in my closet to serve as a reminder to never do it again.
Why not 45 binders to remind you about action taken, and inspire you to learn from mistakes made?
 

Suzanne Bazemore

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Thanks for posting, @MJ DeMarco . I was thinking of various ways to get more money to invest in real estate, and this would be worth doing, if for no other reason but to prove to myself that I don't need a job to make money.
 

minivanman

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I don't have time to read anything but the title right now..... I don't know if it tells his story of the $2500 day but it really was in 1 day..... like 18-22 hours of solid traveling from 1 store to the next. I do look forward to reading this article later. I LOVE reselling.
 

Suzanne Bazemore

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I don't have time to read anything but the title right now..... I don't know if it tells his story of the $2500 day but it really was in 1 day..... like 18-22 hours of solid traveling from 1 store to the next. I do look forward to reading this article later. I LOVE reselling.
I do, too! I haven't figured out how to get good at it, though, but people offered me good suggestions when I was trying to sell an item on ebay. I gave up and unlisted it, and I realized I need to be careful not to spend more money than I earn from reselling, and also I don't want to get stuck with a bunch of junk I don't want, lol.
 

minivanman

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Hell, if I would have known the article was that short, I would have made time to read it earlier. :frown: I was hoping for something good.

If I would have known how fun it is to resell, I would have started doing it a few years before I actually started.

Suzanne, it's all about keeping a few thousand things up for sale at all times. If you are just going to have a couple of things up for sale and get discouraged after 5 weeks of not selling any of them.... this is not for you. Personally, I have a niche where I only have 10-12 things at a time but as usual..... I'm not normal :hilarious: Watch some Youtube videos and, if you want to learn a lot..... send me a message and I'll give you the name of some people to follow on Facebook.
 

MHP368

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Its rough though. You spend enough hours mindlessly scanning crap at retail stores and you start wishing youd just taken a second job.


Plus no matter how much camelcamelcamel and keepa data I was looking over like a third of every haul would have its margins vaporize before getting to the FBA warehouse
 

minivanman

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Yeah, I'd never do Amazon. Get a plan, hire a few workers and do it locally.
 

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Ocean Man

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Its rough though. You spend enough hours mindlessly scanning crap at retail stores and you start wishing youd just taken a second job.


Plus no matter how much camelcamelcamel and keepa data I was looking over like a third of every haul would have its margins vaporize before getting to the FBA warehouse
This.

Especially if you don’t have product knowledge of what’s trending in each category, then you’re pretty done for.

I spent hours a day (early morning until early-mid afternoon) going through Goodwill, Ross, etc... to no luck.

You really need to know what sells and at what price people buy it for. For me, it wasn’t worth my time. Still have a wine board game under my bed, thinking I’d still it on Amazon for $2X.
 

socaldude

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I have seen products at Walmart in Mexico that can easily be sold on amazon for a nice profit, maybe not double your money but 25%-50% profit. Its a different market with lower income individuals who only make around $150 a week so the products have to be priced appropriately. A lot of products are exactly the same and are in english.

I remember I was at a BBQ in Mexico and I mentioned to a buddy of mine how cheap charcoal was in Mexico, I mean way cheaper. You can actually import it into the states. I looked into the laws and regulations on how to do it at the SHCP and there was nothing to convince me it wouldn't work.

Also with the tariff war going on, you can import stuff into Mexico from China then into the US.

I mean shoot, the US imports all kinds of stuff from Mexico why couldn't an individual do it.

I guess it's too far out of people's comfort zones to go to another country and import stuff.
 
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Suzanne Bazemore

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Hell, if I would have known the article was that short, I would have made time to read it earlier. :frown: I was hoping for something good.
It is good - it started a discussion, and that was the point. :smile2:

Suzanne, it's all about keeping a few thousand things up for sale at all times. If you are just going to have a couple of things up for sale and get discouraged after 5 weeks of not selling any of them.... this is not for you.
I didn't get discouraged - they (a pair of earrings) had reached the point where I was going to have to sell them at a loss, and I liked them, so I'm keeping them. Also, it made me realize what would I do if I did sell? All the time? Do people run to the post office every day? I would want to ship immediately, and I couldn't leave my job, but I just quit it so, effective Friday, that won't be an issue anymore.
I remember I was at a BBQ in Mexico and I mentioned to a buddy of mine how cheap charcoal was in Mexico, I mean way cheaper. You can actually import it into the states. I looked into the laws and regulations on how to do it at the SHCP and there was nothing to convince me it wouldn't work.
That is a great observation and a very good idea. Have you tried it?
 

MHP368

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Especially if you don’t have product knowledge of what’s trending in each category
Amazon doesn't even allow you to see how many items are in a category anymore so ranking as a metric, completely useless, you can figure it out trial and error style (I did this early on with books) but good luck if you're just trying to flip whatevers on the shelves.

Now if we're just talking facebook marketplace / craigslist / letgo (and other apps) and you're in a fairly populated city? I think you can make this work, just focus on one thing so you can be the goto person for that and you'll know it inside and out, I think someone just started an execution thread where they're going to flip monitors, smart.
 

minivanman

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Did you have a heads up #MJ DeMarco? And just like that, Goodwill is teaming up with OfferUp to sell online.

Suzanne, Do those people run to the post office every day? Yes...... but........ As for those earrings, if you weren't going to make $100 profit..... you did the correct thing. The trick to making money and spending very little time doing it is big ticket items. It takes just as much time to sell a $3 profit item as it does a $100 profit item. And once you get good at making $100, you can move on to $200 & $300 profit items. The people on Facebook do it every day. They bought a stand up arcade game last week for $125 and has it listed for $1500 with free shipping. They did the same thing a few weeks ago. I made $205 today in 31 minutes then I came back home and took a nap. :) See, those people selling the $3 profit or even $23 profit items work hard to make those sales and then have to package them up and run to the post office...... way too much work for such a low payoff.

As for Mexico, I don't know the specifics but there is a lady that buys gold (chains-etc) in Mexico and then sells it here in the US. Her brother says she makes a lot of money.
 

banjoa

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Two things to keep in mind if you want to do this:

Speed:

Go through this circle as fast as possible: money > inventory > money.

This is your turn-around rate. Play it like a game and try to keep this under a week (money = total grubstake).

Reinvest:

Reinvest all profit and keep recycling your capital as far as you can go before paying yourself.

Bonus:

Don’t invest in one product niche when starting out. Everything is up for flipping as long as you can make a profit on it. Cars, gizmos, wearables, gardening tools, aero planes, real estate etc.

You should only start dialing in when you get a pulse on what you can fly with long term from your experience flipping.

Learn copywriting and sales. This is major!

Learn how to negotiate. Both for buying and selling.

Buy unique items. An item that can’t be easily sourced locally. If you can go down a Walmart and pick the item from a shelf it’s a no no.

Make ridiculous offers all the time when you buy. If you’re aren’t afraid to say your buying price when you’re negotiating you’re doing it wrong.

Be polite when you negotiate.

Create an account on every site you can sell stuff. Social media is included.

Source > buy > list > respond to offers > send out items > ka-ching > Source. Go through that circle as fast as you can go. The god of dinero sheds a tear when you delay at any cog in wheel.

Hope this helps.
 
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Matt Hunt

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Gary Vee talks about this all the time, but I'm sure it's not as easy as he makes it sound. And to me it does sound like grueling, boring work.
 

ecommercewolf

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Legit? Yes

Is it work? Yes

On pace for 130-150k gross this year with all platforms, combination of OA and wholesale.

The arbitrage between all platforms is insane. I understand the driving around and spending money on gas part, that's why there is online arbitrage that you can do from your computer if you understand all the platforms.

Not my end goal here but it is the right vehicle for now.
 

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ecommercewolf

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Amazon doesn't even allow you to see how many items are in a category anymore so ranking as a metric, completely useless, you can figure it out trial and error style (I did this early on with books) but good luck if you're just trying to flip whatevers on the shelves.

Now if we're just talking facebook marketplace / craigslist / letgo (and other apps) and you're in a fairly populated city? I think you can make this work, just focus on one thing so you can be the goto person for that and you'll know it inside and out, I think someone just started an execution thread where they're going to flip monitors, smart.
You're right. Sales rank is not the best way and a lot of times is not the accurate way to judge the velocity of sales.

For example: a SKU could have been out of stock for a few months which causes the sales rank to get worse and worse, but as soon as a seller has the item in stock the sales rank improves drastically. That is why I no longer go based off of sales rank, learned the hard way.

Keepa - $16 - 18 per month, forgot the exact amount of subscription is the best way to see how often an item sells. Just gotta read the Keepa charts.
 

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