Arbitrage is a term that describes the buying and selling of goods between two different parties. The buying and selling of retail products are referred to as retail arbitrage. In retail arbitrage, you can buy products from a manufacturer or retailer and resell it to another party. You can do this with just about any product, even those items that are not regularly seen on store shelves, such as CDs, DVDs, books, jewelry, clothing and other merchandise. However, there are some products that are more commonly seen on store shelves that are considered retail arbitrage foods, beverages, confections, toiletries and other consumer durables.
Regardless of where you’re doing your shopping, any good business model will tell you to shop around. That’s why bargain hunting and retail arbitrage are considered by many successful retailers to be one of their most important core businesses. Whether you’re on the internet searching for electronics, movies or books, or you’re stopping into your local Wal-Mart for some sandwiches and coffee, chances are that you’ll find better prices by shopping at other retail stores than you will by buying wholesale and retail. Bargain hunting for electronics or books might get you the best price, but if you don’t have a way to sell it on, it will probably end up sitting on the shelf gathering dust.
Another thing to keep in mind when looking for the best retail arbitrage products is to be aware of clearance racks. The items displayed in clearance racks are usually the best bargains as they have been sold at substantial discounts to make way for new arrivals. Retailers use clearance racks for just about anything, including electronics, books, clothing, furniture, toiletries and more.
One great place to look for items on clearance racks is thrift stores. Thrift stores are excellent places to find products on sale, and lots of people find items at thrift stores that they like, so it’s quite likely that you can score a great electronic on a great price at a discount electronics store like Wal-Mart or Target. Some of the most popular items found at these types of stores are TVs, computers and gaming systems. However, there are some great deals to be found at garage sales and online at auction houses.
Home depots and warehouses are also good places to find bargains. Many home depots, like Walmart and Target, offer televisions on sale that are marked down from full price. Also, large home depots like Wal-Mart, will occasionally run specials where you can get a free television or some other item, usually for just a dollar or two. eBay is another great place to find retail arbitrage sources for all sorts of items, including computers, iPods and stereo systems. Many people use eBay to buy computers, digital cameras and game systems, as well as DVDs and other media, for a very low cost.
Of course, the best arbitrage product to buy from eBay would be from a business model called eBay retail arbitrage. eBay retail arbitrage sellers purchase a product at one of their many stores and sell it on an eBay auction for a profit. Essentially, what this means is that they buy the item at one of their stores for more than they paid for it – in other words, “steal” the sale. This business model is perfectly legal and most sellers have no problem with this. There are only a few unscrupulous eBay sellers who try to take advantage of buyers. To protect yourself, be sure to research the eBay seller’s feedback and business history before buying any item from them.
Bargain hunting is one thing – but when you’re actually buying merchandise at a lower price from eBay retail arbitrage sellers, you might be getting into a different business altogether. While you might think that buying items at a mark-up is an easy way to make a few bucks, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. For example, bargain hunting involves shipping costs, which can easily eat into your profits. Additionally, you may not even find the item you’re looking for immediately. On the Internet, you have to patiently wait for the auction to end, then visit the website of the seller to look for the item you want.
Many high quality sporting goods retailers also have online shops. These stores offer the best retail arbitrage products to consumers, because they often carry a large selection of high-quality merchandise. You could visit the websites of many retailers to find the sporting goods you’re interested in buying at deep discounts. The downside, however, is that you won’t see the product firsthand. You’ll probably have to wait for delivery and have to get there early to qualify for the discount.