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The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Retail Arbitrage in 2023

In this article, let's know the world of Amazon retail arbitrage.

We will equip you with strategies and insights to navigate the evolving world of retail arbitrage on Amazon this 2023. Get ready to unlock the secrets of this successful business model.

This article will give you a comprehensive guide to all the things you need to know about retail arbitrage. Read more to know more.

Topic Rundown:

What is retail arbitrage?

Retail arbitrage is a business strategy wherein sellers purchase products from physical retail stores or online marketplaces at a lower price and then resell them at a higher price to earn a profit. This relies on identifying products that are priced below their market value due to clearance sales, discounts, or pricing variations. 

How does retail arbitrage work?

When you go look for a product to sell, you need to identify a product that is being sold at a low price at one retailer (Argos, eBay, etc) then comparing the prices at different stores or by looking for clearance or sales items.


After buying the product at a low price, resell the same product at a higher price. This is done by selling to another retailer or by listing it for sale on an online marketplace or your own website.


The difference between the low price that you paid for the product and the higher price you sold is from your profit.

Is retail arbitrage legal?

If you’re unsure if retail arbitrage is legal. Then the simple answer is yes, it is legal. Since there are no specific laws that prohibit the practice of buying products at a low price and reselling them at a higher price. However, there are legal considerations you should be aware of.

Intellectual property

Reselling a product that is protected by IP rights, such as trademarks or copyrighted products. If you are interested in reselling these kinds of products, you need to obtain permission from the rights holders.

Consumer protection laws

In some cases, sellers may be required to disclose certain information to the consumers, such as the source of the product or defects it may have. Not doing this may result in fines or other penalties.

Tax laws

This depends on where you are located. You may be required to pay taxes on your retail arbitrage profits. Familiarize yourself with the tax laws in your jurisdiction to report your income and pay any taxes applicable.

How to sell using retail arbitrage

After learning what retail arbitrage is. Now, let’s go through the steps to sell using retail arbitrage.

1. Create an Amazon seller account

How much money do you need to start Amazon FBA - seller account

When creating your Amazon seller account, you will encounter two choices: an individual seller account and a professional account. 


If your intention is to sell 40 units or more per month, it is advisable to enroll in the professional sales plan. Conversely, if your sales volume is expected to be below 40 units per month, the individual selling plan might be more suitable for you.

2. Find products to sell

Acquiring products for retail arbitrage requires a significant amount of time and patience. This task involves searching for cost-effective products that you can earn a profit from while battling different sellers at competitive prices.


The term sourcing for products comes to play. Manual sourcing and Keepa sourcing are two of the many ways to find products online. Knowing how to source products faster and knowing where to look will be a great indication that you’ll be able to grow your business.

The term sourcing for products comes to play. Manual sourcing and Keepa sourcing are two of the many ways to find products online. Knowing how to source products faster and knowing where to look will be a great indication that you’ll be able to grow your business.


You can also use different sourcing lists or lead services offered by different Amazon sellers or companies. This way, you focus more of your time on other important parts of your business. Another way to find products is by hiring a sourcing virtual assistant. They can help find profitable products for your Amazon business. One less thing to worry about. There is no shortcut to finding products that you can sell for a profit. But using different methods or tricks will do you more good than harm.


After finding products to sell, it is now time to list your products and start selling.

Pros of retail arbitrage

Regardless of the selling method you choose on Amazon, there are still pros and cons to consider. So, how do you determine if retail arbitrage is the right approach for you? Let’s explore the advantages of retail arbitrage on Amazon.

Immediate income

Retail arbitrage presents an opportunity for rapid financial gains. Unlike endeavors focused on brand building or long-term supplier relationships, the goal of retail arbitrage is to swiftly generate profits. For individuals venturing into Amazon selling, it serves as one of the swiftest routes to attain a profit.

Affordable initial investment

Since retail arbitrage is considered a low-cost business model on Amazon. Some Amazon retail arbitrage sellers start their selling journey on the platform with an investment of $500 to $1000. When compared to other business models on the platform, this initial investment requirement is relatively low.

Cons of retail arbitrage

Although retail arbitrage offers the potential to generate immediate income, it is not a scalable business model. Similar to any other business, it can still have inherent risks.

Lower margins

When doing retail arbitrage, it is common for profit margins to be lower compared to source directly from manufacturers or suppliers. If your goal is to expand and grow your Amazon business, it is recommended to find products directly from manufacturers or reliable suppliers.

Risk due to brand regulations

Amazon, being a vast platform, collaborates with numerous brands, ranging from large corporations to smaller businesses to maintain its operations. These brands benefit from additional security and control over their product listings through Amazon’s Brand Registry Protection. In cases where products are restricted by their respective brands, the platform may flag unauthorized sellers, preventing them from selling such items.

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Challenges of retail arbitrage

After discussing the pros and cons of retail arbitrage, let’s talk about a few challenges that Amazon sellers may face when selling.

Original manufacturer’s warranty

Amazon requires that all products sold on its platform come with the original manufacturer’s warranty. This means that if you are reselling a product that you did not purchase directly from the manufacturer, you may need to find a way to obtain the manufacturer’s warranty or offer your own warranty in order to comply with Amazon’s policies.

Legal issues with branded products

As mentioned above, you may have to require permission before selling branded products. If you are reselling branded products that you did not purchase directly from the manufacturer or authorized retailer, you may face legal issues with the brand owner.


There may be a lot of competition for certain products on Amazon, which can make it difficult for Amazon sellers to turn a profit. It is important to research demand and pricing for the products you are considering selling in order to determine whether there is a viable market.


Handling returns can also be a challenge, as they may not have the same level of control over the product as the manufacturer or authorized retailer. It is important to have a clear returns policy in place and to be prepared to handle any issues that may arise with returned products.

10 Tips for successful retail arbitrage

1. Research products carefully

It is important to do thorough research on the products you are considering selling in order to determine whether there is a viable market for them. Look for products that are in high demand and have a good profit margin. You can use tools like Keepa to track the prices and sales rank of products on Amazon.

2. Look for deals

Keep an eye out for deals on products that you can resell on Amazon. This can include clearance items, overstock items, or products with damaged packaging.

3. Source products from multiple retailers

Don't rely on a single retailer for all of your products. Instead, try to source products from multiple retailers in order to diversify your inventory and minimize risk.

4. Don't source products from a third-party marketplace

Such as eBay and Facebook, only big box stores as it's a lot harder to prove the Facebook marketplace seller’s products are legit vs Walmart.

5. Know the rules

Familiarize yourself with Amazon's policies and guidelines for sellers. This will help you avoid any legal issues and ensure that your products are in compliance with the platform's rules.

6. Don't sell products that will probably require people to fall back on the original manufacturer's warranty.

Most manufacturers do not provide a warranty for items sold by a third party. These can include things such as electronics, applications, and luxury goods. You can still sell them but it could be risky if the products break.

7. Use Tools such as an IP Alert and the Fast Track FBA brand checker to know which brands to avoid

You can use our free Brand Intellectual Property Checker for an easy access search of the brands that you are suppose to avoid.

8. Be prepared to handle returns

It is important to have a clear returns policy in place and to be prepared to handle any issues that may arise with returned products. This can help maintain good customer relationships and prevent negative feedback.

9. Stay organized

Retail arbitrage can involve managing many products and transactions, so it is important to stay organized and keep track of your inventory, orders, and profits. Use tools like spreadsheets or inventory management software to help you stay organized.

10. Keep receipts and invoices for all purchases

This helps to provide the source and supply chain of your products. You might need to email the supplier and ask for this with online orders.

Is purchasing products through Amazon Prime for reselling allowed?

Generally, it is not allowed to purchase products through Amazon Prime or any other Amazon program with the intention of reselling them. Amazon’s terms of service state that Prime members are not allowed to purchase products for resale. Additionally, Amazon may suspend or terminate a seller’s account if it determines that the seller is using Amazon Prime or other Amazon programs for resale purposes.


If you are interested in retail arbitrage, you will need to find other sources for products you plan to resell. This could include purchasing products from physical stores or online retailers that are not affiliated with Amazon. It is important to familiarize yourself with the policies and guidelines of the platform you are using in order to ensure that you are operating within the law and in compliance with any relevant regulations.

Start your journey now!

Remember, if you want to sell on Amazon using retail arbitrage sounds easy, achieving success requires significant effort. Not every item purchased during a clearance sale guarantees a profitable outcome. Product research holds great importance over simply finding a favorable deal at retail stores like Walmart or Target.


There are many factors to know before jumping into retail arbitrage. One is winning the buy box and the second, knowing how to get ungated on Amazon. So, if you are interested in learning, click the links.

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