…And here is why

Quote

The Herberts were on the hunt for all of the Contigo water bottles the store had in stock, and kept the camera rolling for their 6,400 YouTube subscribers. Within minutes, an employee pulled out 32 two-packs — sold on clearance for $5 each — from a back storage room. For two people who recently left their jobs in finance, the blue-and-black plastic bottles might as well have been made of gold. The Herberts would resell the two-packs on Amazon for $19.95. Subtracting some taxes and fees, they’d clear $6.16 in profit. All told, the Herbert’s 10-minute Target run earned them $198.

Juston, 30, and Kristen, 28, estimate they can reel in $150,000 this year from their newest gig: retail arbitrage. The basic idea is to buy up a bunch of the same item — from water bottles to vacuums to Monopoly boards — and then resell them online for a handsome profit.

Chris Green wrote one of the go-to how-to books on the topic, titled “Retail Arbitrage.” And he’s helped popularize the moniker.

…..

The term seems to be having a moment. In December, according to Google Trends, searches for “retail arbitrage” spiked on YouTube, where aficionados post videos of their shopping and reselling sprees. (One reseller, who has more than 52,000 YouTube subscribers, filmed his 22-hour buying binge through 17 Walmarts. He filled his trunk with 182 Monopoly games and flipped most of them in one night for $2,500.)

In the early 2000s, resellers started flipping products on eBay. But Green’s guide focused on the engine behind many of these small businesses: Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA.

Chris Green wrote one of the go-to how-to books on the topic, titled “Retail Arbitrage.” And he’s helped popularize the moniker.

The term seems to be having a moment. In December, according to Google Trends, searches for “retail arbitrage” spiked on YouTube, where aficionados post videos of their shopping and reselling sprees. (One reseller, who has more than 52,000 YouTube subscribers, filmed his 22-hour buying binge through 17 Walmarts. He filled his trunk with 182 Monopoly games and flipped most of them in one night for $2,500.)

In the early 2000s, resellers started flipping products on eBay. But Green’s guide focused on the engine behind many of these small businesses: Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA.


Amazon “needs people like me to fill all the holes in the marketplace,” he said.

“We’re literally flesh-and-blood robots for Amazon,” Rezendes said.

The retail giant hasn’t shied away from promoting its small businesses: In 2018, the number of small and medium-size businesses that passed $1 million in sales in Amazon stores worldwide grew by 20 percent. Third-party sales are growing at a faster rate than first-party sales online, the company said last month.

You’ll find Shane Myers on YouTube as the “Rise N Grind Picker” — with 15,000 YouTube subscribers.

Three years ago, with $20 in his savings account, Myers started reselling thrift store merchandise on eBay. He turned to Amazon in August. By September, Myers had churned out more than $2,000 selling used books alone. In his first three months back on retail arbitrage, he’d paid off all his credit card debt and car payments.

Myers, 31, pays $30 a month for an app called BrickSeek, which helps him find markdowns at big-box stores like Walmart and Target. A few weeks ago, Myers hit multiple Walmarts within a 150-mile radius and came home with 218 packages of lightbulbs. He found them on clearance for $2 each. He marked up the price and netted $4 to $5 on each package.

The grand total: more than $1,100 in profit.

Myers hopes that within the next year and a half he can move to retail arbitrage full time and will have paid off his house. And he hopes he’ll never miss his daughter’s birthday again for work, like when he was clocking in at his old day job in retail.

“I see money everywhere,” Myers said. “If I walk into a store, it’s just like a dollar sign sitting on the shelf.”

While one might conclude retail arbitrage hurts only the big box stores, it is untrue. It hurts the smaller retailers & shops much much more. The monopolist Amazon enables and encourages this as it helps them do further damage to the brick and mortar retailers.

Economics 101
A company wanting to monopolize a market may engage in various types of deliberate action to exclude competitors or eliminate competition. Such actions include collusion, lobbying governmental authorities, and force (see anti-competitive practices).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

Sounds like modus operandi of big tech these days