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How to Do Amazon Online Arbitrage Step-by-Step

Nowadays, many daily tasks occur online because of its added convenience and efficiency, including running businesses. Selling on Amazon is highly popular among aspiring entrepreneurs, due to its low entry barriers and profit potential. One of the most well-known and easy-to-start business models is Amazon online arbitrage.

In this article, we'll provide a detailed guide for beginners on how to start and run an effective online arbitrage Amazon business.

How Does Online Arbitrage Work on Amazon?

Online arbitrage (OA) is a business model that involves purchasing products from online platforms at one price and then reselling them on Amazon at a markup. The difference between the purchase price and the selling price is your profit.

For entrepreneurs who are looking to venture into ecommerce, OA offers several benefits, the key ones being:
  • Low initial investment: Unlike running a wholesale business or launching your own brand, online arbitrage typically requires a minimal upfront investment.
  • Time efficiency: With online arbitrage, there's no need to visit physical stores or factories to select products. You can conduct all of your product research, sourcing, and purchasing entirely online.
  • Access to multiple suppliers: The abundance of available online suppliers provides you with a wide selection of products and the flexibility to choose suppliers with optimal terms, increasing your chances of profitability.
While online arbitrage is absolutely legal on Amazon, you must still adhere to Amazon's policies regarding each product’s authenticity, condition, and intellectual property rights. This enables sellers to mitigate the risk of encountering legal issues and operate their online arbitrage businesses efficiently.

Let's dive into how to start an online arbitrage business on Amazon.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Amazon Online Arbitrage

To begin selling on Amazon, you need to create a seller account on the website. To do this, enter your personal and business information, and then Amazon will conduct a verification call to confirm your credit card and identity. Once your account gets approved, there are a few additional steps needed to launch your Amazon business.

Here is a detailed guide to help you get started:

  1. Select a Product to Sell

On Amazon, there's a vast array of products available, but not all of them experience high sales or profitability for sellers. Hence, succeeding on Amazon hinges on finding the right product to sell, as your profits are directly dependent on this choice. Promising products typically meet several key criteria:
  • Low competition: It's challenging to compete when there are over 20 sellers on a single listing, especially if Amazon itself is one of them.
  • High demand: Aim for at least 200 sales/month to ensure a product's profitability and sustained interest from customers.
  • High profit margins: Prioritize products with high profit margins, ideally exceeding 25% per unit sold to ensure substantial returns.
  • Lightweight: Opt for products weighing under 5lbs to minimize shipping costs.
Identifying profitable products requires thorough research of both products and the market. There are two primary methods for conducting this type of research, each offering its own distinct advantages. Let's explore them further below.
Find Booming Products Using Services from Sellerhook
To find a product that meets all of these requirements, it’s essential to perform a comprehensive product analysis. For U.S. sellers seeking efficiency and quick results, Sellerhook offers an ideal solution.

Sellerhook provides product research services tailored to your specific needs. A team of experts utilizes advanced analytical tools to conduct detailed research on your behalf. With their vast understanding of online arbitrage, they'll identify the most promising product opportunities for you. You'll also receive a bonus guide on launching your chosen product to ensure a successful start.

Here's how to order Sellerhook services:
1. Place an order.
  • Go to the Sellerhook website
  • Select the number of products you wish to find (e.g., one or five).
  • Submit your payment. You’re even allowed to divide the cost of your purchase over four equal payments without any additional interest charges.
2. Select ‘Online Arbitrage’ as your business model.
3. Complete the survey. There are a few questions about your ideal product criteria that can help Sellerhook’s specialists tailor a product list to your specific requirements.
4. Get your report. Within 10 business days, you'll receive a thorough report, sent directly to your email inbox.
This allows you to find the best products for your business effortlessly. Sellerhook's proficiency in product research guarantees tangible results, including increased traffic and boosted sales for your store.
See what your research report would look like.
Check Product Profitability Using AMZScout
Some people prefer to have more control when choosing a product, so they opt to conduct their own research. This approach is also beneficial for studying market trends and gaining a deeper understanding of how Amazon operates. To determine if products are worth your attention quickly, use the Dropshipping, Arbitrage, and Wholesale Extension by AMZScout.

Here’s how to check whether a product is profitable:
1. Install the extension. Start your free trial by entering your email address.
2. Open the page of a product on Amazon that interests you.
3. Evaluate its profitability. Use the built-in calculator on the product page to input your potential costs and check if the profit margin exceeds 20%. If it doesn’t, the product might not generate high margins.
4. Assess the competition. Ensure that there are no more than 20 sellers on the listing to avoid intense competition. Verify that Amazon itself is not a seller, as competing with Amazon is nearly impossible.
5. Examine product characteristics. The extension indicates if a product falls into a restricted category, which could complicate selling it, or if it is a private label product, which cannot be resold.
6. Review the Buy Box history. Click "Rank and Price History" to view pricing trends over a specific period. This will help you determine your own pricing strategy.
By conducting this analysis, you can quickly decide whether you need to perform deeper product research or decide that a product is not worth your time. This method can save you valuable time by filtering out less profitable options early so you can focus on products with the highest potential for success.

Once you select a product, your next step is to purchase goods. Let's explore this in the next section.

2. Sourcing Products

There are many ways to source your products. The main options include:
  • Online marketplaces: Platforms like AliExpress and Temu offer a wide range of suppliers and products, often at lower prices.
  • Facebook groups: Check Facebook groups in your niche, where suppliers often post announcements and deals.
  • Classified websites: Skim through product sales announcements on Craigslist in your area.
  • Store and outlet websites: Browse store and outlet websites on eBay for discounts and clearance events from retailers like Target and Best Buy.
When deciding where to buy your products, it's crucial to verify each company's reviews and ratings to ensure their reliability. Additionally, check if they provide authenticity certificates to guarantee product quality and authenticity, thereby minimizing customer complaints. If you’re sourcing products from abroad, be sure to assess delivery timeframes, shipping costs, and potential customs fees thoroughly. These factors can have a substantial impact on your business’s operations and profitability.

Once you order products, you can list them on Amazon through your Seller Central account. Simply go to the ‘Inventory’ section and join an existing product listing, or create a new one. When listing your product, it’s necessary to select a fulfillment method. Many beginners get confused about the meaning of each option. Let’s clarify it below.

3. Shipping and Fulfillment

The fulfillment method you choose will determine who stores, packs, and ships products to the final customer. There are the two main fulfillment methods:
  • FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon): In this case, Amazon stores your products and ships them to the final customer each time an order is received. Amazon charges a fee for this service. If you select this method, you would receive each online order and ship it to Amazon's FBA centers, where it will then be managed by Amazon employees.
  • FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant): Here, the seller is responsible for order fulfillment and shipping. While you can save on Amazon's fees, you need to store the products on your own. Once your ordered products are delivered, you need to ship them to the final customer.
When considering various fulfillment methods for online arbitrage, it's essential to weigh their respective advantages and disadvantages. Amazon FBA may not be the optimal solution due to additional costs and complexities associated with delivering products to FBA centers and ongoing storage fees.

Conversely, FBM allows you to ship products on your own, which is beneficial for smaller order quantities, minimizing complications and saving on costs. Selecting the appropriate fulfillment method, in conjunction with identifying profitable products, is crucial for establishing a successful online arbitrage business.


Is Online Arbitrage Profitable?

Online arbitrage can be quite profitable due to the low initial investments, potentially high product margins, and access to Amazon's extensive customer base. On average, sellers can anticipate monthly profits starting from $1,000. However, it's important to note that achieving results may require several months post-product launch.

What’s the difference between Retail Arbitrage & Online Arbitrage?

The key distinction between retail and online arbitrage lies in your sourcing method. Retail arbitrage involves visiting physical stores to find discounted items, while online arbitrage involves sourcing products remotely from various online platforms. Additionally, online arbitrage offers access to a broader range of products and suppliers compared to retail.

How much money is required to start an online arbitrage business?

On average, starting out with Amazon online arbitrage requires around $500, but costs vary based on the type of product and minimum order quantities. Some sellers successfully launch their items with even less capital. However, it's important to consider additional expenses, such as those needed for acquiring an Amazon seller account, shipping, and advertising.


Online arbitrage offers a convenient and cost-effective way to start an Amazon business. To optimize this approach and maximize its benefits, consider leveraging Sellerhook's services and AMZScout software to help you identify profitable products. By combining strategic sourcing, and efficient utilization of resources, sellers can streamline their operations to drive greater profits for their Amazon store.
See what your research report would look like.

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