Retail Arbitrage is Dead? Really? Maybe so. Wholesaling And private label sourcing may become the only way to go if I, and other eSellers if we want to list items as new, especially on Amazon.
Retail arbitrage is the standard way that most people source for Amazon and eBay. Savvy shoppers have learned that they can resell bargains from local stores for a big profit, especially through Amazon FBA.
However, I am getting more and more interested in wholesale and private label sourcing. There are increasing tales of people losing their accounts because they are selling retail arbitrage items as new. Amazon doesn’t really care, all they want is a profit – but if the company complains that you are selling their items as “new” and you are not a licensed wholesaler for them they can get you shut down.
I often will list stuff as “used” or “collectible” like new, but that prohibits me from sending in clothes, shoes, or baby items as those have to be new. And people just like to buy “new” even if used is a better quality. To say nothing of the fact that you get to use stock pictures – speed of listing is the one of the most important factors to the success of your eSelling business.
My most successful and easiest time was when I was purchasing from BidonFusion. I learned about them at an eBay Meetup and bought about $3,000 total from them. I wish I had got in earlier. I bought “hot boxes,” of material that I believe they purchased off of Amazon liquidation. It was great while it lasted – at first the shipping was just 10 dollars a box and then 15. They stopped the hot boxes, and went to all live auctions or online auctions. I could never figure out their shipping system so I did not buy from them (a confused customer does not buy) once they stopped hot boxes. Now I have found out they are out of business. My son and I really need to find some other wholesale sources.
Will eBay give you the retail arbitrage slap? So far you seem to be able to get away with it, but as an eBay seller I personally had items removed for other reasons, such as Vero violations. The Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program allows intellectual property rights owners to ask eBay to remove certain listings that offer items or contain materials that infringe on their intellectual property rights. These rights can include trademark, copyright, and/or other legal rights. Now, I guarantee you that I never intentionally listed bootlegged items. I do not believe that I ever did – but eBay pulled the Sons of Anarchy hoodies and shirt right out after a complaint. I scoured the site for other SOA items for sale, and I believe there were a lot of EXACTLY with the same items we were listing. But nonetheless, my 25 son is the only one wearing the Sons of Anarchy shirt now.
The truth of the matter is that eBay and Amazon own their sites, we DO NOT. Many people have experienced disappointment and heartache – and financial hardship to their business when Mama or Papa boot them out the door. This has happened to any site that has woke up with their site nowhere to be seen in search because of the Google slap, bloggers that lost their income because Squidoo went down, and people who actually lost their homes when Adsense changed their ways of making money.
If you selling using a third-party source – you are at their mercy.
You will know from selling on Amazon yourself, that they will undercut you in a New York minute – and you can even get kicked off of Amazon if you monkey around too much with retail arbitrage.
And you can understand where the manufacturers could boot you off for saying you are selling their products as “new” if you are not one of their approved wholesalers. As Cody Hawk said – you cannot purchase a car from a lot and then immediately do and sell it as “new.”
Is retail arbitrage dead? Probably not, but both because I want a more sustainable and reliable income and just because I get tired of sclepping around in stores on my off moments – it is dying a slow dead for this eSeller.