When it comes to selling products, "flipping" means to buy something and quickly re-sell it for a profit. You can flip anything and everything. There's even been TV shows about flipping houses!
There's many different ways to flip products on Amazon, including Amazon to Amazon flips which is just buying something from Amazon and reselling it on Amazon. Seems a little crazy, some have even said unethical, but we'll cover that in this article.
The main focus of this article will be showing you how to start and run a general "flipping items on Amazon" business, which involves finding products from all over the place to then flip on Amazon.
We'll cover some of the software tools you might find useful to help you with your Amazon flips and we're even going to reveal the best products to flip on Amazon.
Why Use Amazon to Flip Products?
Well for starters, it's the world's leading online marketplace. After all, Amazon is predicted to blow past $700 billion of worldwide ecommerce sales in 2023 so there is a huge amount of opportunity for many sellers to make a dime.
Of course opportunities exist in many places, but Amazon is one of the first places you should look to if you want to flip products.
Amazon offers Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) which means you can eliminate the fulfillment part of the process from your flipping journey if you wish, or you can stick to Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) which involves packing and shipping products yourself.
We'll cover both methods so you know how they might fit into your own Amazon flipping journey.
How Does Flipping Products Work?
Buy low, sell high. Simple, right?
Well, the concept is simple, but that doesn't mean its easy to flip products for a profit. A lot of the skills come down to knowing what to buy when the opportunity of a bargain presents itself.
There's a few different ways to flip products, though. One way is to constantly be on the lookout for flipping opportunities online by scouring the web for retailer sales and discounts. But then who stores and ships the products to customers?
Let's explore the different pieces that make up this puzzle.
Finding Products to Flip
Letting your inner scavenger run wild and doing the whole Gary Vee garage sale or thrift store thing is one way to find flipping opportunities.
But it's very time consuming and you need to have a bit of knowledge about second hand products that might turn a profit when you flip them.
I'm not saying that it doesn't work, it's just not my idea of a sustainable, long-term flipping business.
The two absolute best ways to find products to flip on Amazon are online arbitrage and retail arbitrage. These methods both involve buying new products from retailers, and selling them as new products on Amazon.
What's the difference between the two?
Well, online arbitrage involves finding products on websites, and retail arbitrage involves physically going to stores and stocking up on inventory to resell.
Storing, Picking, Packing and Shipping Products
If you've got a spare room or a big garage with storage space, you may be happy storing your inventory at home and preparing orders to ship out yourself. This is what we call Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) on Amazon.
The other option is to send products in to an Amazon warehouse and they will store the products for you and ship them out when customers make an order. This is called Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA).
My preferred method is Amazon FBA but of course, it comes with additional costs and it may not make sense if you are simply flipping one or two products here and there. You can also enlist the services of a third party Amazon FBA prep center service to handle your shipments, so you don't even need to touch the products that you source.
Obviously both of these methods involve listing and selling products on Amazon, which requires an Amazon seller account.
I recommend you read my two guides below to learn more about selling on Amazon:
What are Amazon to Amazon Flips?
Technically a form of online arbitrage, buying something on Amazon and flipping it on Amazon is a legitimate way of making money.
The concept is the same. Find a product selling for a low price, list it for a higher price and the price difference goes into your hip pocket.
But is it legal? Does Amazon allow it? Is it ethical?
For the first two questions, yes. There's nothing illegal about doing an Amazon to Amazon flip. And if you do it properly, in accordance to Amazon's terms of service, Bezos will give you the green light.
One thing to note here is that you cannot use your personal Amazon prime benefits and perks to do this. You need to setup an Amazon business account, which is not the same as an Amazon professional seller account.
Now onto the question around ethics and Amazon to Amazon flips. To explain this, let's quickly cover the different scenarios in which you might find a suitable Amazon to Amazon flip opportunity.
Amazon Liquidating Stock
Amazon discounts and liquidates stock all the time, for whatever reason. If you can see an opportunity to buy this stock and then sell it for a higher price and make a profit, this is fair game if you ask me.
Amazon Offering Low Prices
Amazon loves customers, and sometimes that means selling a product well below what they could realistically sell it for. This is a great opportunity to buy up a product that you know is worthy of a profitable flip.
Amazon Making Pricing Errors
It happens. Like Amazon sellers Amazon themselves uses algorithms to reprice their products and sometimes the algorithm gets things wrong. There just aren't enough people that work at Amazon for them to manually reprice their own inventory 10's, 100's or even 1,000's of times per day.
How Can I Find Products to Flip on Amazon?
This is where the fun begins. I love hunting for products, and so do our students in the online arbitrage challenge. If the concept of online arbitrage is new to you, I would love to see you inside our challenge. It's a fun learning environment where many long-term professional relationships and success stories have been made.
Ok enough with the shameless plug, let's get on to finding products to flip.
We touched on the various methods earlier and now we are going to expand on them so you know how each method works, with the exception of the garage sale and thrift store method. That one is pretty self explanatory and it's not really my bag.
Let's start with online arbitrage.
Finding Products to Flip with Online Arbitrage
There's a few ways you can find products with online arbitrage, and it is by far the easiest way to scale your Amazon business. It all depends on your budget and your appetite for growth.
The first way is to simply sign up to a heap of email newsletters from big retailers. Think about places like. Bass Pro, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Office Depot, Sam's Club etc.
This is very much a manual method, but thankfully there are more automated ways to do this.
Using a tool like Tactical Arbitrage you can scan almost 1,000 sites to find you the best deals by cross-checking data with what is currently selling on Amazon. There's a bit of a learning curve and it's not a free tool, but it can make you an absolute fortune if you use it to it's full potential.
Suggested Reading: Tactical Arbitrage Review
Another great way to find products with online arbitrage is to buy online arbitrage leads from what we call a sourcing list. This means you sign up to a service that does the research on your behalf and they send you arbitrage opportunities daily. Again, this will cost you money but it is a massive time saver.
Finding Products to Flip with Retail Arbitrage
Retail arbitrage is much the same as online arbitrage, except you physically go to retail stores and hunt for bargains. You might still register for email lists and quickly race down to your local mall to pick up bargains when a store is having a sale.
Or perhaps you're just looking for sales when you're doing your weekly shopping. You can use the free Amazon Seller App to lookup products on Amazon to see if you could flip them for a profit, or you can even use the free app to scan barcodes and see what they are selling for on Amazon.
The biggest downside to retail arbitrage is that you are limited to your local area, or as far as you're willing to drive, and you physically need to go into the store.
But you may also find things in-store that aren't advertised, like clearance items, so there are definitely some plus-sides to retail arbitrage.
Suggested Reading: Retail Arbitrage: How to Source and Sell in 2023
Best Products to Flip on Amazon
There's currently an estimated 1,024,829,892 products listed on Amazon (includes variations), so it's understandable if you're feeling overwhelmed trying to think of products to sell.
Some people will say that selling Shoes or Toys can be a big earner and sure, there is a huge market for that. But do you know anything about those categories? Are you willing to head out to retail stores, outlet malls, and the like to source these products?
I don't really know anything about shoes as I'm not a sneakerhead and i don't play with toys any longer.
But what I do know is how to interpret the data that indicates the market will pay a higher price consistently than what you can source it for.
How do we get the data? By using Amazon tools like...
Tatical Arbitrage will scan for items on the web while you sleep. It's like your silent sourcing magician that will look at almost 1,000 retail stores online and return you a list of potential flipping opportunities on Amazon.
Seller Amp is a great tool for both retail and online arbitrage sellers. If you want to go find products in retail outlets, Seller Amp has a great barcode scanner.
The holy grail of Amazon data, Keepa is a must-have tool for all Amazon sellers that helps track things like price history and Amazon sales rank history. I've written a guide on how to read Keepa charts which will tell you everything you need to know.
So in summary, the best products to flip on Amazon are those that have the following characteristics:
Decent Profit Margins
You should be looking for an ROI of at least 20% to make sure there is some room for the price to come down. Don't forget to factor in things like shipping, prep, storage fees, etc.
This might be obvious but there needs to be sufficient demand for the products you want to flip. Be careful not to buy variants of things like shoes that aren't popular, otherwise you'll be stuck with stock you can't move. Some products are hugely popular but specific variants of that product might not sell at all.
Competition is an important consideration because you need to avoid highly competitive products that are dominated by big players, but you don't want a product that has zero competitors either because that can indicate a lack of demand.
No Restrictions or IP Concerns
Always double check if the product is in an Amazon restricted category, and that you are approved or ungated to sell a particular product before purchasing inventory. Likewise, check that the brand doesn't pose the risk of an IP Alert either.
How Much Can You Make Flipping on Amazon?
The sky is the limit when it comes to flipping items on Amazon. The more risks you take when sourcing products, the more you stand to profit.
I know people that like to flip on Amazon as a side hustle and they make a few hundred or a few thousand dollars per month. It all adds up and helps fund vacations, hobbies, crypto, savings etc.
Other people I know make 7-figures per year flipping items on Amazon but they do it full-time and they are absolute machines.
One thing I can say to anyone is, the opportunity is there for all of us and we all start somewhere.
Start flipping on the Amazon marketplace doing retail and online arbitrage, or by hunting down items at garage sales if you prefer, and just see how you like it.
Once you start making your first few sales you'll know why Amazon sellers do it and you'll build up the confidence to slowly scale up and sell more.
Flipping on Amazon - in Summary
You've probably worked out that you don't need to do this exclusively on Amazon, but it's definitely one of the best platforms to flip products for a profit.
My recommendation is to start with the Amazon marketplace and master it before trying other platforms. There's a lot to learn about selling on platforms and they all vary, so don't spread yourself too thin.
Next time you're shopping online or out in retail stores, keep your eye out for potential bargains. That's how it all starts, and the sky is the limit for you when it comes to flipping products on Amazon.