Top arbitrage business ideas to start right now

In this article, I share some of the best arbitrage business ideas. Some require an up-front investment, but others are for beginners looking for a side hustle.

There are numerous ways to make money as a middleman. But for all of them, you need an idea, a marketing strategy to get clients, sourcing, a price structure, and a platform where you sell your products.

You can try two types of arbitrages:

Retail arbitrage is when you purchase from brick-and-mortar stores to resell for a profit, such as buying in bulk during clearance sales and reselling on eBay. 

Online arbitrage (OA) is when you buy products online to resell them at a higher price on other online marketplaces, such as using SaleHoo for drop shipping on Amazon.

17 best arbitrage business ideas for 2023

Here are 17 arbitrage business ideas:

1. Shoes

Starting a shoe arbitrage business can be a smart choice. You buy shoes at low prices and sell them for profit. It requires minimal investment and can be done part-time.

You can find deals at clearance sales or online. You can find discounted shoes on sites like Nike Outlet or DSW and resell them on platforms like eBay or StockX. 

2. Clothes

Starting a clothing arbitrage business can be a smart move. You buy clothing at low prices and sell it for profit. You can find discounted items on sites like Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls and resell them on platforms like Poshmark or eBay.

Men’s clothes are among the bestselling things on eBay. It’s a flexible venture that allows you to turn your fashion sense into a money-making opportunity.

3. Web Domain Arbitrage

You can use Flippa and GoDaddy Auction or marketplaces on domain registrars like Namecheap and NameSilo to purchase and resell domain names.

Domain flipping could be an extremely lucrative income stream since 252,000 new websites are created daily. You can resell domain names for individuals or small businesses from your home. A website like Empire Flippers lets you buy and sell websites and online businesses.

4. Home goods

Home goods like kitchenware, bedding, and furniture are popular arbitrage items because they have a high profit margin and are always in demand.

You can source products from sites like Overstock or Wayfair and resell them on platforms like Etsy or Amazon. It’s a flexible opportunity that allows you to turn your love for home decor into a profitable venture.

5. Bedding

Starting a bedding arbitrage business can be a wise decision. You buy discounted bedding products and resell them at higher prices. Websites like Bed Bath & Beyond or Wayfair offer great sourcing options.

Platforms like Amazon or Etsy provide excellent opportunities to resell these products. It’s a flexible venture that lets you turn your interest in bedding into a profitable business.

6. Toys

Starting a bedding arbitrage business can be a smart move. You buy discounted bedding products and resell them for profit. Websites like Bedding.com or Beddinginn.com offer great sourcing options.

Platforms like Etsy or Bonanza provide excellent opportunities to resell these products. It’s a flexible venture that lets you turn your interest in bedding into a profitable business.

6. Appliances Arbitrage

Starting an appliance arbitrage requires some upfront investment. You buy discounted appliances and resell them for profit.

Websites like Kmart, Appliances Connection, or Best Buy Outlet offer great sourcing options. Platforms like Bonanza or Newegg provide excellent opportunities to resell these products.  

8. Automotive and car parts Arbitrage

Reselling auto parts and car accessories online is a good side hustle, but you can also make a full-time income. The used car market is part of the multi-billion car industry. Some savvy resellers prefer to invest in classic cars, and others in new car parts. 

On average, car part retailers can earn from $6,000 to $600,000 annually. According to Statista, Carparts.com made US$559 million in 2021 selling products in the Car parts market across the US.

Two people working on a laptop to create a business

9. Crypto arbitrage

Crypto arbitrage exploits price discrepancies between cryptocurrency exchanges. When you trade Crypto, your profit margin relies on the on-ramp crypto (exchanging fiat currency, like USD, for cryptocurrencies) and the off-ramp crypto (exchanging Crypto for fiat currency).

To calculate your net benefit, consider all the Crypto transaction fees and your withdrawal fee. To maximize profit, you should be able to purchase and sell digital coins in various countries. This trading method gives the best results when you use tools.

Paxful is one of the most effective peer-to-peer platforms for trading Bitcoin. Wise (formerly TransferWise) will allow you to have bank accounts in multiple countries to buy and sell Cryptocurrencies worldwide. 

10. Arbitrage trading

Arbitrage takes advantage of price differences of stocks, currencies, and other assets in multiple markets. For example, if you buy Tesla stocks for $186.20 and resell them at $192.96, you may profit depending on the number of stocks and brokerage fees.

Arbitrage traders usually purchase assets in one market and resell them in other markets as fast as possible.  

11. SaaS arbitrage and contractor arbitrage

SaaS arbitrage leverages the software as a service business model to make money as a middleman. You offer a service to your customers provided by a third-party SaaS provider.

You can use a white-label video creator like Viddyose, join the Avast Reseller Partner Program, or find UCaaS providers that allow contractor arbitrage. The SaaS reseller business model is the best for making money from monthly subscriptions. 

12. Fiverr Arbitrage

There are three ways to benefit from Arbitrage on Fiverr. The first option is to create a gig on Fiverr to offer online arbitrage services, such as Amazon arbitrage, online arbitrage product sourcing, and Airbnb rental arbitrage.

The second option is using Fiverr to source low-cost services and resell them at a higher price. The third option (a grey area, not in complete accord with Fiverr TOS) is to be a Fiverr freelancer and outsource tasks from a cheaper freelance platform like SEOClerks.

13. Amazon Arbitrage 

Amazon arbitrage is when sellers buy low-priced products from other marketplaces or retailers and sell them on Amazon for a profit. It could be in-person commerce by leveraging clearance sales, outlet sales, and brick-and-mortar suppliers.

But more and more FBA sellers prefer Amazon online arbitrage, which uses software like Tactical Arbitrage to find the best product.

14. eBay Arbitrage

eBay arbitrage refers to purchasing products from a site, such as Walmart, to resell them at higher prices on eBay. You have many ways to source your products. For example, you can use tools like AutoDS and ZIK Analytics to automate product searches. 

15. Merger Arbitrage

Merger arbitrage, or risk arbitrage, is an investment practice speculating on the outcome of acquisitions and mergers.

The arbitrageur (the investor) aims to make money on discrepancies between stock pricing before and after an acquisition or takeover. Investing requires cash and a good understanding of the market: buy, hold, and sell shares at the right time.

16. Airbnb Rental Arbitrage

Airbnb rental arbitrage is when you rent and sublet a property on the platform. Before you start Airbnb arbitrage, consult the short-term rental regulations in your area and ask the landlord to sign a sublease agreement. You can become an Airbnb host even if you don’t own a property. 

17. Section 8 Arbitrage

You can practice Section 8 Arbitrage by buying rental properties at low prices. If your monthly house payment is $1,250, you can rent the property for $1,900 to make a profit.

States like Texas and Florida are excellent choices for becoming a landlord because they have a large population, low taxes, and demand for rental properties. 

18. Antique Arbitrage Business

Starting an antique arbitrage business can have several benefits, including:

  • High-profit margins: Antiques can be bought at low prices and sold for a much higher price, resulting in high profit margins.
  • Low competition: The antique market is less crowded than other markets, allowing entrepreneurs to establish themselves.
  • Flexibility: Antiques can be bought and sold online or at brick-and-mortar shops, providing flexibility in business operations.
  • Historical value: Antiques have historical value and can be appreciated by collectors and enthusiasts.

Platforms to find low-cost products include estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, and auctions. Venues to resell antiques include online marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, and Chairish, as well as brick-and-mortar antique shops and shows.

19. Pet supplies arbitrage

Starting a pet supplies arbitrage business has several benefits. It allows you to tap into the growing pet industry in high demand. You can source pet supplies at a low cost and resell them for a profit.

Places to find low-cost products include Alibaba, wholesale suppliers, liquidation sales, and clearance sales. Platforms to resell pet supplies include online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Chewy, and your stores.

This business model lets you capitalize on people’s love for their pets while providing affordable and convenient pet supplies, creating a win-win situation for both you and pet owners.

A woman doing business on her computer

20. Ticket Arbitrage 

Ticket arbitrage is a good way to make some extra money. You can find tickets at competitive prices using ticket presales, fan clubs, StubHub, Ticketmaster, and SeatGeek. You can then resell these tickets on StubHub, Vivid Seats, SeatGeek, or your own ticket resale website.

This business lets you provide access to popular events for people who missed out on tickets while earning a profit.

21. Home Goods Arbitrage

To profit from home goods arbitrage, you can buy and resell discounted furniture, decor, or kitchenware. Here are some ideas for product sourcing:

  • Thrift stores 
  • Estate sales 
  • Facebook Marketplace 
  • Letgo 
  • Craigslist
  • Warehouse clearance stores

You can resell these items on platforms like Etsy, eBay, a personal online store, brick-and-mortar shops, and flea markets.

22. Book arbitrage

You can get cheap books through platforms like thrift stores, library sales, or online marketplaces such as AbeBooks or Alibris. You can resell them on Amazon, eBay, and BookFinder. Here are some book ideas recommended by Amazon for your book arbitrage business:

  • hardcovers 
  • paperbacks 
  • workbooks
  • children’s books
  • eBooks 
  • non-fiction, fiction & comic books
  • hardcover collectibles

You can resell the most common book formats on Amazon. Pricing is highly subjective. For example, some people are willing to pay more for a collectible or a rare episode of their favorite comic. 

23. Health and beauty arbitrage

A beauty arbitrage business allows you to tap into the booming health and beauty industry. Platforms to find low-cost products for health and beauty arbitrage include retail stores, online marketplaces (Amazon, eBay), wholesale suppliers (Alibaba, AliExpress), and wholesale suppliers. 

You can check platforms like Amazon FBA, eBay, and other online marketplaces to resell health and beauty products. This business model enables you to provide customers with affordable and quality health and beauty products while earning a profit. 

By offering various products, you can cater to diverse needs and capitalize on the growing interest in self-care and wellness.

Final Thoughts:

Products sourcing is possible through online and retail arbitrage. It would help to do thorough research before purchasing products. Ensure that they will sell well and make a profit.

You can also use tools like Algo Pix, Tactical Arbitrage, and FBA Toolkit to help automate the process and find profitable products. Online and retail arbitrage can represent a side hustle in your spare time. Starting with a minimal upfront cost and minimal monetary risks is possible.

However, it’s important to remember that there are better long-term business models than online arbitrage since it cannot be scaled easily.

FAQs

What is arbitrage in the context of business?

Arbitrage in business refers to buying products or assets at a lower price and reselling them at a higher price, taking advantage of price discrepancies in different markets.

What are the benefits of starting an arbitrage business?

Some benefits include low startup costs, flexibility in choosing products or industries, potential for high-profit margins, and the ability to leverage market inefficiencies to generate income.

What are some popular types of arbitrage businesses?

Common types of arbitrage businesses include ticket arbitrage, e-commerce arbitrage, real estate arbitrage, and currency arbitrage. These are just a few examples, and the possibilities are vast.

How do I find low-cost products for my arbitrage business?

You can find low-cost products through various means, such as thrift stores, garage sales, online marketplaces (e.g., Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace), wholesale suppliers, liquidation sales, or even direct partnerships with manufacturers.

Where can I resell the products I acquire through arbitrage?

There are numerous platforms to resell your products, including popular online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, or specialized platforms for specific industries such as SeatGeek for ticket reselling or Alibaba for international wholesale trade.

Are there any risks involved in arbitrage businesses?

Like any business venture, there are risks involved, such as market volatility, competition, potential counterfeit products, or legal considerations. It’s important to conduct thorough research, stay informed, and mitigate risks to ensure a successful venture.

Do I need prior experience or specific knowledge to start an arbitrage business?

While prior experience can be beneficial, it is not a requirement. It’s essential to research and understand the market you plan to enter, stay updated on trends, and learn effective product sourcing, pricing, and marketing strategies.

Can I run an arbitrage business part-time?

Yes, one advantage of arbitrage businesses is their flexibility. You can start and manage them part-time, allowing you to test the waters, gain experience, and gradually expand your operations at your own pace.

How do I determine the profitability of an arbitrage opportunity?

Assessing profitability involves analyzing factors such as the price difference between buying and selling, associated costs (shipping, fees, storage), market demand, competition, and potential scalability.

Conducting thorough financial analysis and market research will help you make informed decisions.

What are some extra examples of arbitrage business ideas?

Here are some extra suggestions for arbitrage business ideas:

  • Sporting equipment arbitrage
  • Electronics arbitrage
  • Toy arbitrage
  • Baby items arbitrage
  • Handbag arbitrage
  • Jewelry arbitrage
  • Furniture arbitrage
  • toy arbitrage
  • baby items arbitrage
  • handbag arbitrage
  • jewelry arbitrage
  • furniture arbitrage

The list is not exhaustive.


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