The Secrets of Buying and Selling for Profit

Some people use the global marketplace to make thousands of dollars. Discover their easy moneymaking method and how to make it work for you.

Better Investing

With a little shopping savvy, you can turn the global marketplace into your own personal moneymaking machine.

Whether you’re looking for some extra pocket change or want to earn enough to replace a full-time job, the income potential is there for the taking. Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson explains the basics in the video below.

Watch the video to learn how some people are making thousands of dollars and more buying and selling online, and then keep reading to find out how you can do the same.

There are two main ways of buying and selling for profit. One involves buying new items cheaply and turning around and selling them elsewhere at a significant markup. The second method is similar. However, it involves used items and requires you to develop a certain level of expertise in a specialty area.

Here are the basics of both methods.

4 steps to sell new items for a profit

The fancy term for this method is retail arbitrage. All that means is scouting retail shops for local deals and turning around and selling the items on the global marketplace for much, much more.

These are the four steps to make retail arbitrage work for you:

  1. Open an Amazon seller account. Start by opening an Amazon seller account. You could sell your finds on a lot of different websites, but Amazon is by far one of the largest and easiest marketplaces to use.
  2. Watch for clearance items and store closeouts. Next, keep your eyes open for clearance sales, business closeouts or other items being sold at a deep discount. You’re looking for brand new, undamaged items in their original packaging.
  3. Use an app to find the most profitable items. Once you find some items with good potential, scan the UPC with the Price Check by Amazon app to see what the items are currently selling for on the site. If the markup is good – at least 50 percent – you may have a winner.
  4. List items and sell for a profit. After buying your bargains, turn around and list them on Amazon using your seller account. You could hold the items and ship them as they sell, but using the Fulfillment by Amazon service makes selling infinitely easier. You pay a price for the service, but Amazon holds your inventory and ships your items as the sales go through.

Making money selling online doesn’t get much simpler than retail arbitrage. Startup costs are minimal, and if you spend only what you can afford, there isn’t much risk either. Plus, using Fulfillment by Amazon means no storage and reduced shipping time and costs on your end.

Amazon maintains its own seller forums, which may be helpful for those new to the site. If you plan to go the Fulfillment by Amazon route, this Yahoo Group comes highly recommended as a way to connect with other sellers and learn from the pros.

6 tips to become a specialty seller

How many times have you been at a garage sale and noticed an expensive item being sold for way less than it’s worth? Specialty selling is all about finding those gems and selling them someplace where they’ll bring in their true value.

This second method of selling online involves a little more effort and expertise on your part. Typically, there are no barcodes to scan, and no app to tell you what something’s worth. You need to know the market well enough to spot the moneymakers on your own.

Here are six tips to help you become an all-star specialty seller:

  1. Limit your focus. Start by focusing on a few categories of items, such as brand-name baby clothes or collectible Zippo lighters, and become an expert in those areas. Once you feel you have a handle on those initial items, you can branch out into more categories if you want.
  2. Pick lightweight and compact items. Because you’ll be shipping items, focus on those that can be easily packed and inexpensively mailed.
  3. Beware items with headache potential. When selecting your area of focus, keep in mind that some categories of products may be more trouble than they’re worth. Electronics can make a nice profit, but secondhand items may be defective. Fragile items can get broken in the mail. Designer handbags can be counterfeit. You don’t have to rule these categories out completely, but tread carefully.
  4. Know your prices. Before you start shopping, you need to know what the items in your category are worth. EBay will be your go-to place for pricing many items. When you’re researching prices there, it’s important to look at the selling price on closed listings rather than the asking price on active listings. Just because some sellers have $50 Buy It Now prices doesn’t mean that’s what items are selling for.
  5. Scout out deals locally and online. Garage sales and local thrift stores are going to be your best sources of specialty items being sold for a song. Either people don’t know what items are worth or, in the case of garage sales, they simply want the clutter out of their house. However, don’t overlook online sources such as Craigslist and local classified ads as well.
  6. Sell on the right venue. Again, eBay tends to be the best choice for many items, but it’s not your only option. can be used for books and movies. Amazon can also be a good choice. For vintage items, check out Some categories of items, particularly collectibles and antiques, may have websites and discussion boards dedicated to them and could be a good way to connect with potential buyers.

Specialty selling can be more involved than retail arbitrage. It may be harder to find things to sell, and you’ll generally need to store and ship everything yourself. However, if you find the right niche, you may discover that the items are more profitable and there is less competition from other sellers.

Either way, if you love to bargain shop, retail arbitrage and specialty selling give you one more excuse to hit the sales. And really, what could be better than ultimately being paid to shop?

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

More Money Talks News!


  • ponce

    One way to sell on Amazon, if you have some programming skills, is to sell items that others have already listed. The start up is pretty involved but there are sellers who make a small fortune doing just that. Of course, you have to list the product for more than you can buy it for, or the process won’t work. The reason it works has to do with Amazon seller ratings and an often incorrect bias favoring sellers who have lots and lots of ratings. Properly done, you can work from St. John, USVI and never touch or ship an item.

  • Jay


    Legal money!!!!


    on a bulletin board and decided to try it. A little while back, I was

    browsing through newsgroups, just like you are now, and came across an

    article similar to this that said you could make thousands of dollars

    within weeks with only an initial investment of $30.00! So I thought,

    �Yeah right, this must be a scam�, but like most of us, I was curious,

    so I kept reading. � Anyway, it said that you send $5.00 to each of the

    6 names and address stated in the article. You then place your own

    name and address in the bottom of the list at #6, and post the article

    in at least 200 newsgroups. � (There are thousands) No catch, that was

    it. So after thinking it over, and talking to a few people first, I

    thought about trying it. I figured: �what have I got to lose except 6

    stamps and $30.00, right?� Then I invested the measly $30.00. Well GUESS

    WHAT!!� within 7 days, I started getting money in the mail! I was

    shocked! I figured it would end soon, but the money just kept coming

    in. In my first week, I made about $25.00. By the end of the second

    week I had made a total of over $1,000.00! In the third week I had

    over $10,000.00 and it�s still growing. This is now my fourth week and

    I have made a total of just over $42,000.00 and it�s still coming in

    rapidly. � It�s certainly worth $30.00, and 6 stamps, I have spent more

    than that on the lottery!! Let me tell you how this works and most

    importantly, why it works�.Also, make sure you print a copy of this

    article NOW, so you can get the information off of it as you need it.

    I promise you that if you follow the directions exactly, that you will

    start making more money than you thought possible by doing something

    so easy! Suggestion: Read this entire message carefully! (print it out

    or download it.) Follow the simple directions and watch the money come

    in! It�s easy. It�s legal. And, your investment is only $30.00 (Plus

    postage) IMPORTANT: This is not a rip-off; it is not indecent; it is

    not illegal; and it is virtually no risk � it really works!!!! If all

    of the following instructions are adhered to, you will receive

    extraordinary dividends. PLEASE NOTE: Please follow these directions

    EXACTLY, and $50,000 or more can be yours in 20 to 60 days. This

    program remains successful because of the honesty and integrity of the

    participants. � Please continue its success by carefully adhering to

    the instructions. You will now become part of the Mail Order business.

    In this business your product is not solid and tangible, it�s a

    service. You are in the business of developing Mailing Lists. Many

    large corporations are happy to pay big bucks for quality lists.

    However, the money made from the mailing lists is secondary to the

    income which is made from people like you and me asking to be included

    in that list. Here are the 4 easy steps to success:

    STEP 1:

    Get 6 separate pieces of paper and write the following on each piece

    of paper � �PLEASE PUT ME ON YOUR MAILING LIST.� Now get 6 cad $5.00

    bills and place ONE inside EACH of the 6 pieces of paper so the bill

    will not be seen through the envelope (to prevent thievery). Next,

    place one paper in each of the 6 envelopes and seal them. You should

    now have 6 sealed envelopes, each with a piece of paper stating the

    above phrase, your name and address, and a $5.00 bill. What you are

    doing is creating a service. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY LEGAL! � You are

    requesting a legitimate service and you are paying for it! Like most

    of us I was a little skeptical and a little worried about the legal

    aspects of it all. So I checked it out with the Post Office

    and they confirmed that it is indeed legal! REMEMBER,


    NOBODY WILL GET MONEY.Mail the 6 envelopes to the following addresses:

    #1) Connie Bantan 1484 Inwood Avenue # 6B Bronx, NY 10452

    #2) Brad Anderson 1505 Roberson Conroe, TX � 77301

    #3) Vannie lewis 74 Carrie Cresent, Brompton, Ontario, Canada, L6Y 4Y6

    #4) Joe Campbell 25 Brucewood Crs., #701 Toronto, on.,M6A 3C9, Canada

    #5) Taylor Kennedy 42 leroy grant drive, apt# 1101 kingston, Ontario, k7k 6w8 Canada

    #6) Jessa Dowd 710 Hwy CC, Monroe City, MO 63456

    STEP 2:

    Now take the #1 name off the list that you see above, move the other

    names up (6 becomes 5, 5 becomes 4, etc�) and add YOUR Name as

    number 6 on the list.

    STEP 3:

    Change anything you need to, but try to keep this article

    as close to original as possible. Now, post your amended article to at

    least 200 newsgroups. (I think there are close over 35,000) � All you

    need is 200, but remember, the more you post, the more money you make!

    This is perfectly legal! If you have any doubts, refer to Title 18

    Sec. 1302 & 1341 of the Postal lottery laws. Keep a copy of these

    steps for yourself and, whenever you need money, you can use it again,

    and again. PLEASE REMEMBER that this program remains successful

    because of the honesty and integrity of the participants and by their

    carefully adhering to the directions. Look at it this way. If you are

    of integrity, the program will continue and the money that so many

    others have received will come your way. NOTE: You may want to retain

    every name and address sent to you, either on a computer or hard copy

    and keep the notes people send you. This VERIFIES that you are truly

    providing a service. (Also, it might be a good idea to wrap the $5

    bill in dark paper to reduce the risk of mail theft.) So, as each post

    is downloaded and the directions carefully followed, six members will

    be reimbursed for their participation as a List Developer with one

    dollar each. � Your name will move up the list geometrically so that

    when your name reaches the #1 position you will be receiving thousands

    of dollars in CASH!!! What an opportunity for only $30.00 ($5.00 for

    each of the first six people listed above) Send it now, add your own

    name to the list and you�re in business! �DIRECTIONS �� FOR HOW



    You do not need to re-type this entire letter to do your own posting.

    Simply put your cursor at the beginning of this letter and drag your

    cursor to the bottom of this document, and select �copy� from the edit

    menu. This will copy the entire letter into the computer�s memory.

    Step 2)

    Open a blank �notepad� file and place your cursor at the top of the

    blank page. From the �edit� menu select �paste�. This will paste a

    copy of the letter into notepad so that you can add your name to the


    Step 3)

    Save your new notepad file as a .txt file. If you want to do your

    postings in different settings, you�ll always have this file to go

    back to.

    Step 4)

    Use Netscape � or Internet explorer and try searching for various

    newsgroups (on-line forums, message boards, chat sites, discussions.)

    Step 5)

    Visit these message boards and post this article as a new message by

    highlighting the text of this letter and selecting paste from the edit

    menu. Fill in the Subject, this will be the header that everyone sees

    as they scroll through the list of postings in a particular group,

    click the post message button. � You�re done with your first one!

    Congratulations�THAT�S IT! All you have to do is jump to different

    newsgroups and post away, after you get the hang of it, it will take

    about 30 seconds for each newsgroup! **REMEMBER, THE


    HAVE TO POST A MINIMUM OF 200** That�s it! You will begin receiving

    money from around the world within days! You may eventually want to

    rent a P.O.Box due to the large amount of mail you will receive. If

    you wish to stay anonymous, you can invent a name to use, as long as

    the postman will deliver it. **JUST MAKE SURE ALL THE ADDRESSES ARE

    CORRECT.** Now the WHY part: Out of 200 postings, say I receive only 5

    replies (a very low example). So then I made $25.00 with my name at #6

    on the letter. Now, each of the 5 persons who just sent me $5.00 make

    the MINIMUM 200 postings, each with my name at #5 and only 5 persons

    respond to each of the original 5, that is another $25.00 for

    me, now those 25 each make 200 MINIMUM posts with my name at #4 and

    only 5 replies each, I will bring in an additional $125.00! Now, those

    125 persons turn around and post the MINIMUM 200 with my name at #3

    and only receive 5 replies each, I will make an additional $626.00!

    OK, now here is the fun part, each of those 625 persons post a MINIMUM

    200 letters with my name at #2 and they each only receive 5 replies,

    that just made me $3,125.00!!! � Those 3,125 persons will all deliver

    this message to 200 newsgroups with my name at #1 and if still 5

    persons per 200 newsgroups react I will receive $15,625,00! With an

    original investment of only $30.00! AMAZING! When your name is no

    longer on the list, you just take the latest posting in the

    newsgroups, and send out another $30.00 to names on the list, putting

    your name at number 6 again. And start posting again. The thing to

    remember is: do you realize that thousands of people all over the

    world are joining the internet and reading these articles everyday?,

    JUST LIKE YOU are now!! So, can you afford $30.00 and see if it really

    works?? I think so� People have said, �what if the plan is played

    out and no one sends you the money? So what! What are the chances of

    that happening when there are tons of new honest users and new honest

    people who are joining the internet and newsgroups everyday and are

    willing to give it a try? Estimates are at 20,000 to 50,000 new users,

    every day, with thousands of those joining the actual internet.

    Remember, play FAIRLY and HONESTLY and this will really work.

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,784 more deals!