Although “retail arbitrage” might sound fancy, “buy low, retail high” is straightforward.
You buy something at a low price at a physical or online store and retail it for a higher price.
The EXTRA money you make from the sale is yours to keep!
One cool thing about retail arbitrage is the vast selection of goods available for purchase and resale.
You’ll unlikely have direct competition from a nearby seller dealing in the same products.
That’s why a strategy based on “buy low, sell high” has a lot of promise for financial success.
Naturally, the products you pick, the stores you visit, and the marketing you employ will all be significant factors in determining your success.
This post will teach you the ideal items to buy in bulk and sell for a profit in 2023 and beyond.
Let’s get to it!
Cheap Wholesale Products For Retail
1. Costume Jewelry
You may have a lucrative business if you know where to find trendy costume jewelry that convincingly resembles high-end designer pieces.
You can find wholesale jewelry and accessories on many different websites.
You can buy jewelry from these online merchants by the hundreds and for a steal.
You can then sell these pieces separately on sites like Etsy and social media.
You could even sell your finds at flea markets!
If some risk is involved if a newbie at ordering from Chinese marketplaces, some risk is involved.
Try ordering one of each item first to ensure you don’t get scammed.
Once you receive your order, you can assess the following:
- The item’s quality (would anyone be willing to pay higher?)
- How much it costs (is it proportional to its quality?)
- The shipping costs (will you save more if you order in bulk?)
- Potential import taxes and difficulty in communication (will this business “relationship” be sustainable?)
If you’re too trusting with some of these merchants, you cannot receive your orders and lose capital.
You might also want to consider how the products are manufactured.
The jewelry may have been made in some sweatshops because China doesn’t have the same labor laws as the US.
Do your homework and stick with trustworthy sellers to avoid getting ripped off.
If you’re a parent or some kid’s favorite relative, you’ll know that toys can be pretty pricey in the US.
That’s why you can purchase them in bulk, compete in the local market, and still profit.
The best source to stock up on toys is still the internet.
Naturally, toys with a limited supply and high demand tend to fetch HIGHER prices.
For example, limited edition toys based on a well-known movie or show usually fetch high prices on the resale market.
You wouldn’t believe how much money you could make by selling rare toys still in their original packaging!
Online niche communities and marketplaces are IDEAL for marketing children’s toys.
You will also do well at toy fairs and conventions.
3. Bottled Drinks
You’ll probably notice some vendors peddling water and soda when you go to public events or areas.
If your city has many summer activities, this is a fantastic wholesale item to stock up on and resell for a profit.
You could be the person who’s handing out cool beverages on a swelteringly hot day.
Folks are going to come flocking!
To keep your products excellent, you’ll only need ice and coolers.
If you want to be more official about it, you could set up a stand or stall at a busy intersection or a sporting event.
This is a brilliant idea for a side hustle if you live in a scorching and humid area.
The only thing to watch out for is whether or not your municipality requires special licenses for this type of selling.
You want to make sure you’re not breaking any rules!
Taking this a step further, you can turn this into a vending machine business.
You invest in vending machines, buy cheap wholesale products, and watch the sales roll in.
This one’s kind of a no-brainer.
People have been setting up boutiques for ages.
They buy clothes in bulk, do effective marketing, and charge a premium for their finds.
You could start your very own online boutique!
Charity shops and car boot sales are excellent places to hunt for gently used (or sometimes unused) clothing at cheap prices.
You could also search online at sites like eBay.
You’ll want to keep up with what’s trending on social media and fashion blogs to choose the most marketable products.
You could earn a fortune if you specialize in selling name-brand items in excellent condition.
There’s a hot market for high-end vintage apparel and branded goods.
Of course, you could also sell your finds at flea markets and local fairs.
When selling clothing online, taking high-quality pictures and providing an honest description of the item’s state are musts.
It’s also essential to offer competitive pricing to draw eager buyers.
5. Game Cards
You can make a small fortune selling game cards like Pokemon cards, sports cards, and Magic cards.
The World Sports Trading Card Market is predicted to expand by $6.71 billion between 2022 and 2026, as reported by Report Linker.
My sellers undervalue their collections because they don’t know the market’s enormous potential.
This leaves the door wide open for you to enter this sector.
When you invest and buy in bulk, you can sell cards and make hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on each.
Before buying and selling cards, it’s a good idea to research what people care about.
The last thing you want is to buy a bunch of cards only to discover that no one wants them!
Then, you can mark the price up and offer your items in your online shop, community forums, and expos.
Just like any other collectible, the condition of your gaming cards is of utmost importance.
No one will pay top dollar for something that is not in mint condition.
If you acquire rarer items that could be less than perfect, be honest about their imperfection in your product description.
Being transparent will help you build a solid reputation as a business owner who sells legitimate items.
Should someone inquire about your products, always reply promptly and honestly so they can manage their expectations.
Books are another great option for bulk purchasing because they are inexpensive and easy to send.
Garage sales, local thrift shops, and flea markets are prime spots for gently used books at low prices.
You’ll want to look for books in mint condition because they’re easier to sell.
I also advise watching Amazon’s bestseller lists to discover what books are trending.
You can even use Amazon’s reseller app to see how much its top-selling books sell.
Remember, the value of a book increases if it’s an earlier edition or the author signs it.
Books by famous authors who have written multiple volumes in a series or that have been adapted into film usually sell well.
For example, you won’t have trouble selling a box set of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
It depends on you what types of books you’d like to sell.
Some book merchants specialize in selling only certain types of books, like those written specifically for kids, young adults, or students.
Aside from selling online, you can try reselling in person at book fairs.
If your budget allows it, you can open your bookshop!
7. Candles and Essential Oils
The scented candle business saw a considerable boom in the past few years.
Customers love them because they can beautify their homes and control foul smells.
The many online communities around candles are a testament to its popularity.
Many health-conscious buyers gravitate toward candles infused with essential oils for their calming and therapeutic effects.
Essential oils have many applications, like aromatherapy, massage, and skin treatments.
These oils are extracted from plants like bark, roots, flowers, and leaves.
The most common ones for sale are lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and tea tree.
These oils can be purchased online in large quantities for a low price.
But when sold separately, they fetch a high price!
You have to package and label your products correctly, providing clear instructions on how to use them.
Your oils will sell well in online marketplaces, flea markets, specialty shops, boutiques, and health food stores.
If you want to maximize your profits, I suggest you look for essential oils that are harder to come by, like angelica root, frankincense, neroli, and saffron.
You can even offer your custom-blended essential oils.
Ensure you have a good marketing plan and that your prices are reasonable to attract more customers.
8. Beauty Products
Almost everyone is into self-care these days, and people are willing to pay a lot to care for their skin.
Many people have a ritualistic and even obsessive “relationship” with skincare.
New ingredients and products are popping up here and there, and folks can’t wait to get their hands on them.
Beauty products are great to sell because they fetch high prices, especially from overseas.
For example, skincare is pretty big in South Korea.
They’re known to produce effective and affordable products.
It’s best to do your research before you buy anything, though.
You’ll want to research which brands are reputable and what sells well in their local markets.
Be careful about buying inexplicably cheap beauty products from wholesale sites because chances are that they’re low-quality imitations.
You’ll ruin your reputation as a business owner if you offer ineffective or dangerous products.
It would be best to plan your purchases because skincare has a shelf life.
Be sure only to purchase what you can sell relatively quickly.
Lastly, educate yourself about skincare ingredients.
Do not buy products with ingredients not approved for use in your country.
9. Pet Supplies
Pet supplies are a fantastic option if you’re looking for wholesale household products to resell.
They may take up more space than other products, but it should be no problem if you have a free basement, garage, or shed.
Sacks of pet food can be stacked, toys can be kept in bins, and accessories can be organized in crates.
If you plan to resell pet food, research your products’ nutritional composition.
You have to provide great value and make sure no pets are harmed.
Offering a diverse selection of pet supplies allows you to appeal to a more extensive client base.
Branding that includes pet references can also win over people with a soft spot for animals.
Plus, the pet supply wholesale industry has the potential for excellent long-term financial success.
By 2027, the pet care market is expected to be valued at over $350 billion!
There’s no disputing that, as an electronics wholesaler, you have a lot of leeway regarding where you can source products.
You’re probably debating whether purchasing brand-new, pre-owned, or refurbished electronics is better.
Brand-new devices would never require repairing or cleaning.
However, they will be significantly more expensive than their used or refurbished counterparts.
One of the critical benefits of brand-new devices is that they are sure to be in high demand.
Buying new electronics is also ideal because you won’t have to stress about their condition.
Pre-owned devices are those that have been discarded, returned, and may be rejected from the factory.
These devices can have varying degrees of damage, from barely noticeable to completely unworkable.
Selling pre-owned devices can be challenging because their conditions are unpredictable.
Refurbished devices have been cleaned, repaired, or restored until they seem brand new.
Refurbished gadgets are highly sought after by wholesalers because of their high resale values.
You can make much money off these devices, even if you work with a refurbishment business.
You also won’t have trouble pushing these products because people usually want to get good deals on consumer electronics, like:
- Phone Accessories
- Security cameras
- Power banks
- Lightning cables
- Car chargers
You might also want to take this business to the corporate world and offer devices for use in offices.
11. Plants and Seeds
Ever since the pandemic, folks have been staying at home more often.
Because of that, we’re all trying to improve our houses for relaxation and productivity.
People are increasingly taking up gardening for its calming effects and aesthetic appeal.
Many sources provide low prices on plants, and you can minimize shipping costs by buying in bulk.
If you want to know what kinds of indoor and outdoor plants are selling well right now, you can look them up on your favorite search engine or join some online gardening communities.
Rare plant seeds are also sold in large quantities.
However, not many people are looking to buy many of these.
Some green thumbs might buy a couple.
You could also luck out and be the supplier of a landscaping business or a community garden.
If you can afford to invest in a high-quality seed box, I have one tip: pack the seeds in envelopes of five to ten and sell them individually.
This is also an excellent opportunity to spread brand awareness by upping your packaging game.
12. Automotive Parts and Accessories
Many people rely on cars as their primary mode of transportation.
Some enjoy driving and fixing up cars as a hobby.
And every few years, we’ve come to expect new features and innovation from the automotive industry.
Riding and modifying motorcycles are also popular hobbies that generate billions of dollars in yearly sales.
Take a look at the following aftermarket parts and products that would do well in the resale business:
- Steering wheel covers
- Floor mats
- Power washer
- Alarm systems
- Speaker systems
- Roadside kits
- Booster cables
- Baby rearview mirror
- License plate frames
- Emergency lights
- Sun shades
- Spare and replacement parts
These are the perfect items to buy in bulk if you’re a motorhead and know where to find the best deals.
13. Medical Supplies
There has always been a demand for medical supplies, so reselling them is a worthwhile venture.
As the healthcare sector keeps expanding, so does the need for the equipment and materials that providers use.
In 2023, the market size measured by revenue of the medical supplies wholesaling industry is $353.4 billion.
Plus, a wide variety of medical supplies are available at wholesale prices, making it possible for you to target a specific market niche.
One issue is that the medical supply business can be capital-intensive.
The manufacturers profit by marking everything up because they usually use cutting-edge machinery.
Luckily, customers place more importance on quality and price, which explains why this sector lacks a brand identity.
Think about it.
When you last had a shot, did you ask your provider what brand of syringe they used to check if you were okay with it?
You can buy fresh medical supplies in bulk in several marketplaces.
After you build up your inventory, you can start selling online or to local medical supply stores.
You can also do business with local clinics and hospitals.
Depending on the type of products you want to resell, you should check with your state’s public health department and medical board to see if you need a license.
Most medical supply businesses don’t need this, but you’ll never know!
Tips for Buying Products in Bulk
Make Quality Your Top Priority
Selling high-quality products is essential to keep your customers happy and come back for more.
Always examine the goods you plan to sell and learn as much as you can about their design and build quality.
Don’t rely on the images that sellers provide.
Remember, if you’re going to sell something, make sure it’s something you’d buy yourself!
Keep Track of Costs
If you do your product sourcing, you can set the prices at whatever level.
You’ll be able to maintain a tighter rein on product costs and resale value.
With this information, you can make better-informed business decisions.
So, keep track of costs to determine if something is worth reselling.
Investing in a trending item without any research and planning might not fare well.
Consider Your Image as a Seller
When evaluating a new product to sell, think about how it could reflect on your retail business and set you apart from the competition.
All your new purchases should be sensible yet exciting additions to your store.
And be sure your supplier can handle the volume of your orders before you commit to them.
Improve Your Negotiation Game
Don’t hesitate to haggle with suppliers over the cost of products.
Inform them of your higher-than-usual sales volume to negotiate better terms.
And if you want to build lasting relationships with these companies, remember to be fair and honest in all your discussions.
Organize Your Storage Space
Unless you’re renting storage space or a warehouse, you should plan for storing your purchases before making your order.
Ensure you have enough space and the proper shelving to organize your products.
If you like to keep things neat, try labeling everything so there’s no chance of misplacing products.
Choosing the right products, working with the best supplier, and setting competitive prices will help your retail arbitrage business thrive.
I hope this list of products gives you an idea of what can be profitable to sell in 2023 and beyond.
This will take a lot of work, but it will be significantly easier once everything is set up!