Dollar Tree Retail Arbitrage 101

At the time of writing this, over 1 million people have watched my videos about how to make money buying Dollar Tree products and reselling them online. Some people in the community I’ve tried to create have earned a couple hundred extra bucks, while others have turned this into reliable, recurring income that, yearly, is in the thousands.

The basis for this sort of business is simple: the same way Walmart buys products from distributors and then sells them for a profit, you are buying products from Dollar Tree (or any retail store, as this is a form of retail arbitrage) and selling them to people who personally value them over the $1 price that Dollar Tree had them listed at. How much of a margin Dollar Tree has on these is difficult to say, as it varies by product, but they aren’t in the business of losing money so we can safely assume that they, like us, are also selling the products for more than they purchased them. Dollar Tree’s model is pretty easy to understand– they have a reliable, low price point that they mark everything at and that allows people in a financial bind to budget around it. They might not have the best deals, when looking at the price compared to what you’re getting (charging $.33/oz of soap in a 3oz container while Walmart sells it for $.10/oz soap in a 33 oz container, for example), but they have a business model that works and they are sticking to it.

Your business model is not to supply products for a dollar, allowing people greater ease in budgeting for a wide array of products, but rather making it as convenient as possible to get this product. Often times, this is being executed in your delivery of the product. When using a platform like Amazon or eBay, you are removing the pain a customer would otherwise be associating with having to purchase the product themselves. Maybe they are too busy to go to the store this week, maybe they are tired of being around people, or maybe it is something else we could never predict. Humans are very interesting creatures, after all, and the things that drive them to do what they do has been an endless source of philosophical debate.

You can sell anything at the Dollar Tree, but not everything sells, so it becomes your job to research and search out what products are “undervalued” and, by applying your ability to help someone obtain them who otherwise wouldn’t you are able to charge more, creating yourself a nice profit. There are people who find the resale of retail items unethical, but they are largely stupid and devoid of any understanding of classical economic theory, instead projecting some insipid hatred of capitalism, probably based in envy or guilt. You are providing a service and, as that service is a result of your mind, time, and body, you are entitled to price it however you wish. Anything else would be tantamount to slavery in the sense that someone else is telling you how much you can and cannot sell your services for. How else would you describe an instance where you are being told to work for free?

In the videos I’ve made, I outline a very simple process. Using Amazon, (which is my preferred platform to sell on, although, if the math is profitable, it will work fine on eBay, mercari, facebook marketpalce, etc…) you can scan the barcodes of items using the Amazon seller app (or a paid app like ProfitBandit), see if the going rate is high enough to make your time spent selling it worthwhile, and then, based on that preceding criteria, decide to buy it or to put it back on the shelf. If you want to sell it on ebay, listing it as simple as taking a few pictures and putting up a price. Most Dollar Tree products I’ve seen people selling online go for $7-$15. You can sell dollar store soaps, you can sell dollar store books, you can sell dollar store DVDs.

If you want to sell your items on Amazon, you have two ways to go about it- either FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) or MF (merchant fulfilled). I won’t go into detail on this post about how FBA works, but if you want to watch a beginner’s guide to creating your first FBA shipment, I made one for you.

This is the thick of it. You go to a Dollar Tree, prepared with the knowledge that you can use an app on your phone to find the market price of a good, then, if that price is enough to be profitable, you can buy it and begin making money.

The equation for profit is as follow: sale price – (cost of good + fees [generally 12% of the final sale price] + shipping [assume $3 for anything under 4oz, books, or DVDs and $5 -$10 for things above 1lbs but not heavier than 5lbs] = profit or R – (C+F+S) = P.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to comment them below. I will do my best to answer/update this page as they roll in!