Top 101 Stores For Retail Arbitrage Sourcing

July 16, 2024

The top stores for retail arbitrage sourcing are: 

  • thrift stores
  • dollar stores
  • liquidation stores
  • discount retailers 
  • specialty stores 
  • In my 3 years as an Amazon FBA seller, knowing where to buy is one of the most important factors to succeed in retail arbitrage. You want to find profitable products to resell online. 

    Generally, retail arbitrage business owners buy during clearance sales. Their goal is to find products they can resell for a higher price. Of course, this also involves researching market trends and “a whole lotta luck.” According to Reddit user Sandygary4u, she found N’Sync and AC/DC Funko Pop sets sold at $10 on clearance. She was able to sell them at $125 per piece during the Christmas season.

    That said, you need to have several store options in your area. You also need to develop an efficient system for product sourcing. Otherwise, you will end up wasting time and spending expensively on gas as you drive around looking for items in the wrong stores. If you can't find new fast-selling products to replenish your inventory, your business will suffer from monthly overhead costs like storage fees, software subscriptions, and VA salaries. For example, Amazon's storage fee typically ranges from $0.75 to $2.40 per cubic foot, depending on the time of year. This can quickly add up if inventory turnover is slow.

    In comparison, you won’t have to visit physical stores or worry about inventory if you’re doing local lead generation. This business model can be an excellent alternative since it’s low risk and highly scalable. Plus, lead gen is the easiest way to potentially generate passive income on the internet.

    Top Stores for Retail Arbitrage Sourcing - Thrift Shops

    1. Salvation Army
    2. Goodwill
    3. Stuff
    4. ReSource
    5. Value Village
    6. St. Vincent De Paul
    7. Savers
    8. Mom-and-Pop Thrift Stores

    One of the best stores for retail arbitrage sourcing is the Salvation Army. Being a non-profit, the Salvation Army sets low prices. This means there’s a significant chance you can find great deals. According to a report by Thrift Store Flipper, items purchased from the Salvation Army can have profit margins ranging from 50% to 200%, depending on the product category.

    Other non-profit thrift stores like Goodwill, Stuff, ReSource, and Value Village can also have great bargains. In addition, mom-and-pop thrift stores make excellent sources because they are less popular and fewer resellers raid these locations.

    Remember to negotiate when you are buying in bulk. Also, try to befriend the manager and staff members. If possible, ask for their numbers so you can call ahead and get updates if they have new stocks in their stores.

    Of course, the downside of buying from thrift stores is there’s a lot of junk. So you need to develop an eye for finding profitable deals. Make sure what you buy is in good condition and still has good packaging. According to Thrift Diving, only about 20% of items in thrift stores are in resellable condition. So careful selection is crucial. Items with original packaging can sell for up to 50% more than those without, according to an eBay Seller Central report.

    Top Stores for Retail Arbitrage Sourcing - Dollar Stores

      9. 99 Cents Only Stores
    10. Dollar General
    11. Dollar Tree
    12. Family Dollar
    13. Five Below

    According to Retail Arbitrage Pro, 72% of resellers find dollar stores to be a reliable source for high-margin products. Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Five Below are some of the best dollar stores for retail arbitrage. However, be careful not to buy gated items. Make sure you know your categories and work to get ungated in others, so you can expand your business. For example, it can be tempting to buy cheap Lego sets in these shops. If you’re just starting out, you are definitely gated in that product category.

    Also, take note that different stores have different specialties. You want to know where to get discounted product items, so you can visit the same stores again. Case in point, Dollar Tree is known for seasonal items and party supplies. Meanwhile, Five Below specializes in trendy and tech-related products. That said, you want to know where to get discounted products, so you can visit the same stores again. A Thrifty Reseller study says that 65% of successful resellers have a list of go-to stores where they consistently find profitable items.

    Top Stores for Retail Arbitrage Sourcing - Liquidation Stores

    14. QuickLotz
    15. Bulq
    17. BStock
    18. Mid Tenn Wholesale
    19. Merchandize Liquidators
    20. Amlinc

    21. Genco Marketplace
    22. Viatrading
    23. 888Lots
    24. Direct Liquidation
    25. Continental Wholesale
    26. BlueLots Liquidation

    Liquidation stores are an excellent source of discounted products for your retail arbitrage business. reports that resellers can achieve profit margins of 30% to 70% on items sourced from liquidation stores.

    Some liquidation stores even offer entire pallets for buyers while others do auctions. That said, be wary of Amazon liquidation pallets. These are items that didn’t sell on Amazon, so make sure you know your category.

    Top Stores for Retail Arbitrage Sourcing - Discount Retailers

    27. Bargain Hunt
    28. Bi-Mart
    29. Big Lots
    30. BJ's Wholesale Club
    31. BrandsMart U.S.A
    32. Cost Plus World Market
    33. Costco
    34. Dillard’s Clearance Center
    35. DD’s Discounts
    36. Macy’s Backstage
    37. Continental Wholesale
    38. Marden's
    39. Marshalls
    40. Meijer
    41. National Wholesale Liquidators

    42. Nordstrom Rack
    43. Ocean State Job Lot
    44. Office Depot
    45. Ollie's Bargain Outlet
    46. Roses Discount Stores
    47. Ross Stores
    48. Saks Off 5th
    49. Sam's Club
    50. Shoppers World
    51. Target
    52. TJ Maxx
    53. Tuesday Morning
    54. United Apparel Liquidators
    55. Walmart

    The most popular stores for retail arbitrage sourcing are discount retailers. In fact, a RetailMeNot survey says 78% of Amazon resellers source products from discount retailers because of their clearance sections.

    Checking out these sources can help you save time. As an arbitrage seller, you can cover a lot of categories with just a few visits.

    Top Stores for Retail Arbitrage Sourcing - Malls & Specialty Stores

    Malls are not your usual stops for retail arbitrage sourcing. Still, the good thing with malls and outlet malls is you can find different specialty stores that you normally wouldn't see as you drive around your city. You get to check out multiple stores on one trip.

    Specialty stores are great, especially when you already know your category and want to avoid general retailers. You just need to go straight to specific stores in your category and enjoy their wide selection of products.

    Health & Beauty

    56. Albertsons
    57. Bath and Body Works
    58. CVS
    60. GNC
    61. Kroger
    62. Rite Aid

    63. Sally Beauty Supply
    64. Sephora
    65. Ulta
    66. Vita Cost
    67. The Vitamin Shoppe
    68. Vitamin World
    69. Walgreens


    70. Ace Hardware
    71. Bealls Outlet
    72. Best Buy
    73. Bed Bath & Beyond
    74. Christmas Tree Shops

    75. Hobby Lobby
    76. Home Depot
    77. Lowe’s
    78. Menard's
    79. True Value

    Shoes & Clothing

    81. Finish Line
    82. JC Penney
    83. Old Navy
    84. Kohl’s

    Sporting Goods

    85. Academy Sports + Outdoors
    86. Bass Pro Shop
    87. Campmor
    88. Dick's Sporting Goods

    89. Dungarees.Net
    90. MooseJaw
    91. REI
    92. Sierra Trading Post


    93. Build-A-Bear
    94. Disney Store
    95. Fisher-Price
    96. Hasbro Toys
    97. Lego

      98. Mattel
      99. Steiff
    100. TV’s Toy Box
    101. Vermont Teddy Bear

    What Are The Top Amazon Retail Arbitrage Items for Beginners?

    Some of the top Amazon retail arbitrage items for beginners are:

    ✅ Home and kitchen: bedding sheets, pillowcases, paper towels, humidifier, wall decor posters
    ✅ Beauty and personal care: scalp and hair-strengthening oil, nail polish, perfumes, make-up remover
    ✅ Clothing, shoes, and jewelry: Crocs, jewelry cleaner, bodysuit, hoodies
    ✅ Toys and games: playing cards, board games, puzzles, stuffed toys
    ✅ Sports and outdoor: dumbbell, water bottle, tumbler, yoga mat, gym accessories

    ✅ Pet supplies: poop bags, cat and dog food, puppy pee pads, animal odor control

    In general, the best retail arbitrage products to buy will vary per store. Also, take note of market changes and adapt to them as needed. As Jungle Scout reports, 65% of successful Amazon sellers regularly update their sourcing strategies, depending on market trends and demands.

    Is Amazon Retail Arbitrage Profitable?

    Amazon retail arbitrage can be profitable for sellers who can find unique, best-selling products. On average, the profit margin for retail arbitrage is around 15% to 30%. Business owners generally earn $500 to $5,000 per month, while some successful sellers make way more. 

    For example, Nikki Kirk shares in a YouTube video that she made $2,000 profit in a single day doing Amazon retail arbitrage. According to her, she sourced products from Walmart and other Oklahoma-based stores. 

    Why Local Lead Generation Wins Over Retail Arbitrage

    While doing retail arbitrage is still profitable, you have to deal with certain challenges to make it work. To begin with, the business model heavily relies on clearance sales from physical stores. If you don’t have the time to check out multiple local retailers often, you will miss out on potential earnings.

    Also, retail arbitrage means you don’t have full control over the products you can offer online. You are essentially a reseller of branded items, plus you can’t really tell if you can still buy the same products on your store visits. Some retailers run out of stock while some manufacturers suddenly discontinue certain products. Price increase may also affect your profit margins, especially since you’re selling in a competitive marketplace like Amazon. 


    Considering all that, local lead generation is a more superior online business. After building and ranking your own business websites, you can earn anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per month. You can even multiply your revenue by scaling up and building several websites.

    As a lead gen provider, you are in total control of your operations. You can’t get suspended by Amazon, plus you don’t have to rely on retailers for your product inventory. Instead, you own prime digital real estate that you can rent out to small business owners for maximum profit and passive earnings. Personally, I make up to $52,000 per month providing leads and teaching a coaching program. 

    Follow Me
    Ippei Kanehara

    $52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

    His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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