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The Amazon Files, hosted by Kristin Ostrander, Amazon business strategist and one of the founders of Mommy Income, hits the airwaves every Tuesday with the real truth about selling on Amazon. This show isn’t about sugar-coated reality. It’s real truth - the good, the bad and the ugly - shared with practical action steps and strategies to help both new and experienced sellers tackle the world’s largest retail sales platform.

Aug 27, 2018

One question that has been coming up a lot in our Facebook group is whether or not Retail Arbitrage (RA) is still a viable way to run a business in 2018. We began our Amazon businesses with retail arbitrage, but things are a bit different now as Amazon has continued to evolve and change its policies over the years. However, we still believe this can be a lucrative way to run your business if done with the right strategies and tools.

Today, we dig into all things retail arbitrage, starting with what it is and explaining why Amazon is not the only platform for selling your inventory. We discuss the pros and cons of this method and explain why we no longer focus on it in our businesses. We also share how you can sell retail arbitrage bundles, and we offer up our list of must-haves for your RA product sourcing trips.


“Retail arbitrage will never die completely. As long there’s a market and someone's buying and someone’s selling, retail arbitrage will never die.” - Kristin Ostrander


This week on The Amazon Files:

  • The definition of retail arbitrage.
  • The products we sold when we first started using this method.
  • Why traditional retailers do not have to be your only sources of inventory.
  • Alternatives to Amazon for selling your products.
  • The pros of running a retail arbitrage business.
  • The definition of online arbitrage.
  • Why you should look for regional products when sourcing.
  • How lucrative the merchant fulfilled grocery niche can be.
  • Why books are a good place to start with your retail arbitrage.
  • The cons of a retail arbitrage business.
  • The importance of doing your research before you shop so you know which brands and categories are restricted.
  • Why you should seek out discontinued items.
  • The challenge of finding enough inventory when you are sourcing.
  • The importance of having insurance if you are selling topical or ingestible products.
  • Why you need to consider the time and energy spent sourcing your inventory.
  • How to prove the authenticity of an item you have sourced for RA.
  • Why we believe RA on Amazon will never become completely obsolete.
  • Why you should not feel guilty for marking up your items.
  • Why retail arbitrage may not always be viable on Amazon.
  • How to use retail arbitrage to raise capital to start an Amazon business.
  • The must-haves for your sourcing trips.
  • The definition of retail arbitrage bundling.
  • Some words of caution for retail arbitrage.
  • The importance of keeping all of your receipts and records for taxes.
  • Why we pivoted into selling wholesale bundles.

Resources Mentioned:

Buy Inventory Without Losing Money


Are you afraid of losing money when you purchase inventory? With our Smart Sourcing Guide, you can learn how to make the best buying decisions that reduce your risk and help you get the best ROI possible. Learn our step-by-step process for sourcing products the right way! Download your Smart Sourcing Guide at


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Are you overwhelmed by the thought of preparing for Q4? We can help you decide what to sell and how much inventory you need to buy ahead of the holiday rush! Imagine a Q4 where you don’t run out of inventory, and you get to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. You can access the webinar until the end of August at


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