Online Arbitrage is very common. Admittedly, I have purchased competitors inventory to ‘save’ the market and make some extra money at the same time but it is definitely not my business model.
I almost always sell the items as used, like new. If you can’t make a buck doing that, I say don’t buy it. However, I know many sellers that DO resell their purchases as new and it is quite common.
The items sometimes turn out to be used or refurbished, in which case I return them. I always look at the seller’s other products to see if they are REALLY in the business or just selling something they stole or previously used. This helps me avoid this problem most of the time. Other times I send the Seller a message telling them that if the items are not new and unopened that I will just return them, so save us both the trouble if that is the case.
I forgot that step a couple of months ago and bought a “New” keyboard synthesizer for $100 below cost and it turned out to be used. The AtoZ was hell because the Seller would not send a call tag or Return tag and the CSR forced me to send it on my own dime. (Now why does that not happen for me when I am the Seller and I am dealing with some fraudster that can’t even keep their lies straight?)
Another caveat, especially this time of year, is price drops. It could be that a manufacturer has given a couple of dealers a jump start on an upcoming cost reduction, perhaps in exchange for a big order. You might want to check with the manufacturer to find out if the price is dropping or if the product is being replaced by a new model.
Caveat emptor. (Let the Buyer Beware)
Most of the time unless it was driven down in price by gaming re-pricing software that could be considered market manipulation.
Also if the other seller product is defective or low quality and you try and return it, it could be viewed as trying to manipulate metrics.
Plus all the condition issues and can’t resell as new issues.
But yeah you can do it. I have bought out competitors selling 50 and 100 lots of items that sell like mad in single lots. Since the singles sell on a different ASINs we where not stepping on each other toes.
If he is using repricing software it could be a violation as sometimes the software + clueless seller can be gamed to drive the price down to pennies. Probably does not apply to your case.
The only way he’s profiting at that price would be if he got the item for free (or stole it). The FBA fees alone account for almost the entire price.
Please login first to submit.