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How To Make Money Selling On Amazon And Ebay. Retail Arbitrage And Reselling For Discount And Clearance Items Online

Updated on March 22, 2013
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You can make a lot of money buying items on clearance and reselling them online. I have made a lot of money buying items cheap and selling them high on Amazon and Ebay, and you can too! There are some things that you should be aware of before making a purchase however. In this hub I will discuss the dangers that you should be aware of before making any purchase.

One of many Amazon FBA warehouses
One of many Amazon FBA warehouses | Source

1) Why is this item on clearance? There are many reasons why a product would be on clearance. Sometimes the product has gone out of style and is no longer desirable. Perhaps the product has a design flaw, or worse yet, it might be customer returned. I have purchased clearance rack items only to find that once I sold them they were in fact customer returned and used! I would check every single item that you buy. It is critical to your success that you figure out why the item is in the clearance section.

Ideally you want to cherry pick the product that was an example of "the baby being thrown out with the bathwater". This basically means that a business for whatever reason, decided that the item had to be cleared out to make space, and so they were willing to accept a loss in order to bring new products in which would sell for a better profit margin. You can find these items from time to time and they are by far the best items to find when you can find them because competition is usually much weaker. These are uncommon to find but do exist.

2) Will the item go out of style soon? For example, Halloween costumes are excellent to purchase at 90% off but only if you plan to keep them to resell in 10 months. I would not buy Halloween costumes expecting to sell them for a profit in December and neither should you. Avoid seasonal items unless you know that the item sells year round or unless you plan to keep it until next year.

3) How quickly will you sell your product? A quick check on Amazon will tell you approximately how popular your product is. This will tell you approximately how quickly you can sell your product. This will influence your decision as to how many items you should buy and if it is even worth buying for resale. If an item sells quickly I will often buy every single one and price it at the lowest price. Not only is this good for generating feedback and maintaining a good reputation, but it's much easier to sell a lot of items that you know will sell than a few slow items that you may not even sell.

A whole bunch of stuff being sold on Amazon
A whole bunch of stuff being sold on Amazon | Source

4) How much competition will you have? When you get an item from a clearance section on a big box store you will generally have very heavy competition because the item is probably on the cheaper side and more common in the first place. You want items that are ideally higher quality and a bit less common. A quick way to check this is again to check on Amazon. You can see how many people are already selling this product. Ideally you would want only a handful of sellers or better yet, just one other. Having multiple sellers adds some legitimacy to a product. If you are the only one selling a product, sometimes it can scare away a buyer because they may think you have raised the price up high. While not much of a big deal, buyers probably figure that they get a better deal on an item where there is more competition. A best case scenario is of course having a popular item in stock that only you are selling. I have had this pleasurable opportunity a few times and it can be downright silly how much money you can make!

5) What is the return policy of the item/store? Some stores are very picky when it comes to returns and a lot of them don't allow returns on clearance items. The most important thing I can say about returns when dealing with a store is that you should almost never do it. The only time you should return an item to a store if your intention is to resell, should be if the item was defective or misrepresented. The biggest rule of all when reselling items is not to bite the hand that feeds you. I have one supplier in particular that makes me a lot of money. The last thing in the world I want is for them to ban me or dislike me because I returned a bunch of junk that didn't sell. I don't rock the boat, and I would suggest that you don't either.

6) Will this product make you money? What is the return on investment? Do you have to invest $50 to make $10 profit? Depending on what other options you have around you for buying and reselling, that may be as good a deal as you will get. I can't say for your region, but I can say that I have a specific return on investment that i generally try to follow. I will allow for less of a return on investment if a product sells faster, and I will be patient with an item that will sell very slow but have an excellent return on investment. Obviously you don't want the items that sell slowly and have a very poor return on investment! Look for items that sell quickly for a large profit! It sure is easier said than done!

I hope you enjoyed this hub! If you liked it would you subscribe for more? Do you love treasure hunting, selling on Ebay, or just learning about cool vintage stuff? Check out my youtube channel for tons of videos about my adventures and hauls as well as tips, tricks, and countless bits of information!


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    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I always love your insights. I wish that I had you around when I was selling on E-bay. Voted Up and Shared

    • pe555 profile image

      Peter Donnelly 4 years ago from UK

      I found your hub to be very informative, with a great deal of good advice. I am going to check out your videos on youtube. Thanks for the tips.

    • PickingProfits profile image
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      PickingProfits 4 years ago

      Thanks for your kind words!

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      Kelly 2 years ago

      Hello Renato.The spiphing to Texas is the same as all U.S. spiphing costs.You can purchase through any of the links as the spiphing cost is included in the price.Also, you may want to visit our new shopping cart at We have a coupon code you can use as well to save on any order over $50.00

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      Ronald 2 years ago

      That's really thkniing at a high level

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