To get my story right, I would have to go back about four years to when I first heard of online Arbitrage. It was something that I read about and it almost sounded too good to be true. At that time I was working full-time as a web developer for a software company in Colorado.
I did web development for almost 20 years at this point and I was starting to look for what I wanted to do next. Online Arbitrage was appealing because it had some of the same elements that I was used to with web development.
I also had a lot of experience in paid advertising, search engine optimization, and app creation. All of these things together made me feel like I would be a perfect candidate for online Arbitrage. It took me another 4 years of thinking about it before I decided to go after it.
I continued working my web development job while researching online Arbitrage on the side. I've always been a bit of a serial entrepreneur and I did a lot of freelance work throughout my entire career.
In May of 2021 I decided to leave my corporate web developer job to pursue something different. At this point in time, I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do but I know that I wanted to do something for myself. To build a business that I could scale, that I would control my own salary and that I would control my own time off. Most of all, I wanted to build a business that I could run from some beautiful sandy beach.
I researched a lot of different business ideas before I settled on online Arbitrage. I was looking into affiliate marketing, freelancing, or even starting my own consulting business. The reason I landed on online Arbitrage was simple, it was the one that I could scale the fastest and make an immediate profit in. Which I did.
The First Month
A big part of me didn't actually believe this was going to work. I had been a part of several Facebook groups and I had seen a lot of other people having really big success. but I was worried that it wouldn't work for me. So I started small and I started with Retail Arbitrage. I was going to a lot of different stores, scanning a lot of different products, and seeing if it would come up on Amazon for me to be able to make a profit on it. I know that a lot of people love this method and prefer this method, but for me it was slow and I didn't enjoy driving all over the city to a bunch of different stores all day long. I wanted to find a more efficient way of doing things.
So I went home one day and started to do a little bit more research and found online Arbitrage. Specifically Tactical Arbitrage. I started consuming YouTube videos on Tactical Arbitrage and learning as much as I could as quickly as I could.
Tactical Arbitrage was great. It was easy to learn and it did exactly what I wanted, which was scanning a bunch of different sites at the same time to find me a profitable product. To me, this was so much easier and more efficient than running from one store to the next and having to manually scan items.
In my first month of doing online Arbitrage, I hit approximately $20,000 in sales. I couldn’t believe it!
Beginning to Scale
While it may not seem like it when you first start, getting your first sale is easy. Getting your first $5k month is also easy. The biggest barrier to hitting these numbers is going to be the budget that you have to start with.
The hardest part of Online Arbitrage is learning to scale your business. This is where most people struggle or fail.
I have worked with a lot of business owners over the years as a web developer. The most common struggle I saw was business owners learning to delegate. Most new business owners want to hang on to every part of their business because they worry that others won't do it to the level they will.
Here are a few things I currently use to help scale my business:
Prep centers are a great way to scale your business! I live in a townhouse, and bringing in 1000+ units of product per month, packing, and shipping them back out turned my townhouse into a cluttered mess of a place to live. Working with a prep center allowed me to remove all of this from my house and have a third party handle it all. It has been a great addition to my scaling strategy and I would highly recommend looking into one when you begin to see that you can't keep up with the demand of prepping your products for shipment to Amazon.
Here's a great video on how to choose a prep center
Virtual assistants are pretty self-explanatory. There are a lot of different places where you can find virtual assistants. A few of the places I have used are:
I use virtual assistants for a myriad of different jobs. Some of the common jobs that regularly work with virtual assistants for are:
- Product Purchasing
- Google Sheet Buildout
- Product Sourcing
- Replen Analysis
Check out this video on the topic!
Software is a necessity in this business. There are some that I use daily and others that I use a little less frequently. Some daily software that I use:
- Inventory Lab
- Tactical Arbitrage (get a free 10 day trial using the link here)
- Google Sheets
After a few months of doing Online Arbitrage, I wanted to figure out how to purchase more products at a better price. At this point, I started researching wholesale and how to find wholesale distributors in the US that I could work with.
I started with Fiverr. Fiverr is a freelance website that I use weekly. There are tons of great resources and freelancers here to help you build your business.
I found a lot of Fiverr freelancers that were selling wholesale lists. I jumped right into them and scoured through the lists, contacting wholesalers and hoping to find products I could get in bulk. This turned into a dead end.
Anything that is easy to come by, is also easy to come by for everyone. What you want to find is those hard-to-find wholesalers that aren't on a $5 wholesale list.
For me, the best solution to finding wholesalers was to work in Online Arbitrage first. Products I purchased that had great ROI and sold really well, are the ones that I wanted to find wholesale suppliers for. So rather than going after wholesalers, scanning their product sheets, and hoping to find a needle in a haystack, I tried the opposite approach. So far it's working so much better!
A few of the pieces of the puzzle that helped me out more than anything are listed below.
OA Hunt Lists
There are a lot of product lists out there to choose from. I have tried lists, Facebook groups, and everything in between. After months of testing, I have found that OA Hunt Lists are the best, most professional solution for me. Find out more about the lists offered at www.oahunt.com
If you are not familiar with google sheets, I highly recommend looking into them. It's free. It’s basically excel in the cloud.
I have a pretty complex google sheet setup that allows me to manage multiple purchasers, hundreds of products and has a built-in dashboard that shows me my ROI, Monthly Spend, Monthly Revenue, and a ton more!
I use a Google Sheets developer that I found on Upwork to help me build out the functionality and triggers that I need. This is a process that has taken months of time but it is one of the best parts of my business.
Building a Team
My prep center, OA Hunt lists, My VAs are all part of my growing team. All of these pieces are what allow me to be successful and focus on the day-to-day operations of the business as well as ensuring I continue to scale my business. If I was bogged down all day trying to find products, I wouldn't be able to focus on growth and new opportunities. I recently wrote an in depth article on how I hire and manage VA's. You can find that article here: https://oahunt.com/managing-a-va
Youtube: Youtube is quite possibly the best learning tool out there. I have learned more from the videos on youtube than anything else. So I would recommend you start here when you have questions.
Facebook groups: These are wonderful places to connect with other people that are doing the same thing you are doing. There are a lot of different Facebook groups, some are paid and some are free. I have tried both and can say the free ones are great, but the paid ones generally attract more serious members that have more experience in the industry. You get what you pay for. A few facebook groups that I recommend to help (especially when starting out) are Hustle Buddies and FBA Today
Google: Learning to find answers to your problems is a skill that most people do not have. Doing a simple google search for your problem can provide a lot of great information and answers that you would struggle to find without it.