Making Money & Spend on Normal Purchases
Over time I have tried to cover just about every type of manufactured spending on this blog. I don’t advocate all methods for all people, however I do think it is good to diversify your knowledge so you can jump on the best deals. For that reason I have covered gift card reselling, traditional MS and PDX Deals Guy even wrote about ticket reselling.
My personal focus lately has been on merchandise reselling and I thought I would share some tidbits with you. This is a great time of year to resell merchandise simply because there are a lot of sales and people also spend a lot of money. Yes, I am a fan of iPad deals, but there is a lot of opportunity beyond simply selling Apple tablets.
Similar to gift card arbitrage where you can buy a gift card one place and sell it for a profit somewhere else, retail arbitrage is when you can purchase a product in a store and then sell it on Amazon or elsewhere for a profit. Among the best opportunities are clearance items and big sales. But how do you find these deals?
A lot of it is simply about training your eye to know what a good price is. For example, I went into an office supply store yesterday to recycle some ink and browsed through their clearance section. While most of the stuff was junk, I saw an item marked down to about $35. Based on my knowledge, I believed similar items sell for anywhere from $80-$100, so I decided to investigate further.
Amazon Seller App
In the old days I would look an item up on Amazon and then click through to see if I could sell it, but that isn’t necessary anymore. Amazon now has an amazing Seller App (iOS & Android). All you need to do is fire open the app and scan the product’s barcode and the app displays selling prices, how much you’ll make after commissions at those prices and more. Tagging Miles has a good rundown of the app. (That site also has a ton of other great info about selling on Amazon.)
Back to my office supply store example now. After spotting this item, I popped open the app and discovered that this exact product is popular on Amazon, has near 5 star reviews and sells for about $90! Buy low, sell high! The perfect item and the perfect example of retail arbitrage. Unfortunately this store only had two of the item, but there are times and products where the store could have much more.
Quick Tips for Retail Arbitrage
There are literally a hundred ways to approach this and I’m quite sure I don’t know them all. A few basic things I have found helpful are:
- Look for store percentage off coupons.
- Some stores allow you to stack dollar off and percentage off coupons along with store credit/debit card discounts.
- Find out when your local stores mark down items or places them on clearance.
- You can invest as much or as little time into doing this. Simply keeping your eyes open while shopping will provide opportunity.
- Discount gift cards can help you save even more.
- Bundles sometimes present interesting opportunities.
This isn’t meant to be anything more than an introduction to the world of retail arbitrage. I simply wanted to point out that opportunities exist and it is quite possible to make money while generating a lot of points and spend on your credit cards. This isn’t going to be for everyone, but understanding how it works may be beneficial when you see an arbitrage opportunity too good to pass up.
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