Online arbitrage seems like an easy way to make money. All you need to do is buy products cheaply from an online store and then sell them for a profit on Amazon or another marketplace.
That might sound too good to be true, and that’s because it is. Online arbitrage is tough. It’s not a “get rich quick” scheme, and many people who try it end up out of pocket and holding plenty of inventory that they can’t sell. The secret to successful online arbitrage is using tools, data, and a methodical approach to identify the right products, understand your revenue and margins, and sell at a profit.
We’ll help you find the right online arbitrage tools for your ecommerce needs.
What is retail arbitrage?
Retail arbitrage started well before the internet age. At its most basic it involves buying a product at a lower price and reselling at a higher price. Where this might sound like the typical retail business model for every brick-and-mortar business out there, there’s a crucial difference.
Instead of buying from wholesalers or directly from manufacturers, retail arbitrage involves buying from an ordinary retail store, increasing the price, and selling it through another retail outlet.
With the advent of ecommerce, retail arbitrage moved online. It works on the same basic principles as before, but the arbitrage software, pricing tools, and strategies have become a lot more sophisticated. Today, products bought through retail stores are most often sold through online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay.
What is online arbitrage?
Here’s how online arbitrage works:
- Find a product that you can purchase for less than it’s selling for on Amazon or another marketplace.
- Buy the product from the supplier and have it sent to you or delivered to an FBA warehouse.
- List the product for sale at a price that gives you a healthy margin.
- The product sells and you make a profit.
We’ve identified some of the most popular online arbitrage tools. Learn about how they work, what you can use them for, and why they give you the ability to become a successful online arbitrage seller. The tools we cover in this roundup include:
- Product sourcing tools
- Price and rank history tools
- Repricing tools
- Dropship automation tools
When it comes to learning how to do online arbitrage, many of these tools work together to create a comprehensive strategy. Learning how to find products for online arbitrage is only part of the puzzle. You must also be able to price the products and manage logistics efficiently.
Why do you need online arbitrage software?
You might be wondering why you need to use online arbitrage software and tools to begin with. While it’s true that you can run a semi-successful arbitrage business without them, the right online retail arbitrage software provides you several benefits.
Find profitable niches and deals
There are millions of items listed for sale online, all at different price points. Manually gathering and processing that information, then uncovering the rare, hidden gems is enormously time consuming and resource intensive. Product sourcing tools eliminate a lot of this pain by automatically comparing prices across hundreds of online stores to help you find the most profitable products.
List and sell products before the competition
Online arbitrage has a low barrier to entry, so you’ll have lots of competitors. Every competitor wants to post their products quickly so they can capture early customers looking for a bargain. Online arbitrage software, including product sourcing and dropship automation tools, helps you identify and list products quickly, getting you an early advantage and building momentum. This efficient online sourcing helps to beat competitors to market.
Establish demand and Best Sellers Rank for products
You don’t want to buy products that sell slowly or don’t sell at all. Price and rank history tools can show how the price and Best Sellers Rank (BSR) changed on Amazon over time. This helps you find items with stable prices and strong demand so you can make money faster.
Understand expenses so you sell at a profit
Successful arbitrage online relies on you understanding all of your costs. Whether that’s purchase price, shipping, Amazon FBA fees, paying for your time, or any one of dozens of business costs, you need a solid understanding of your profit margins. Online arbitrage software can help you understand and manage your costs so you price products to make a profit on every sale.
Let’s explore the software that can help you meet your online retail arbitrage goals.
Product sourcing tools for online arbitrage
Online arbitrage product sourcing tools are your starting point for finding good deals to sell at a healthy profit margin. Use product sourcing tools to:
- Scan products across suppliers, online marketplaces, listings, and other online resources.
- Receive product pricing from multiple suppliers and stores.
- Identify the best deals by category, product, and marketplace.
- Filter and recommend products based on price, availability, demand, profit margin, and other criteria.
When you’re choosing online arbitrage sourcing tools, look at how many stores they scan, the target marketplaces they compare prices to, fee and profit calculations, and useful, additional features.
The tools listed here are just a selection of those available. You can find more in our directory.
At a glance
Over 1,000 sourcing sites
Profit margin analysis
Hazmat and eligibility checking
Run searches in the background
Sales rank and pricing histories
Brand restrictions checker
Upload product lists
Search private label products
Tactical Arbitrage is an online selling tool focusing on the Amazon marketplace. Features include:
- Search specific store categories and URLs or conduct general keyword searches.
- Filter products on multiple criteria including ROI and sales ranking.
- Results analysis for a deep dive into specific listings and products.
- Recommended deals to find products where you’ll make the most profit.
- Carry out a reverse lookup for Amazon products.
- Scan over 1,000 product sourcing websites with more added each week.
The price for Tactical Arbitrage varies between $49 and $119 a month, depending on the features you need. A discount is available if you pay for a year in advance, and there is a free seven day trial.
BuyBotPro works as an online arbitrage virtual assistant. It’s designed to analyze and automate all of your FBA sourcing and purchasing needs. Features include:
- Automatically analyzes multiple deals and provides recommendations on the best opportunities.
- ROI and profit margin analysis that shows how much you will make after all fees, expenses, and other costs are deducted.
- Demand analysis based on selling rank so you can focus on items that will sell quickly.
- Competition analysis to tell you how other marketplace vendors are listing and selling your products.
- Inventory recommendations so you can purchase and sell the right number of items.
- Custom filter and search criteria, Hazmat and eligibility checking, sales estimator, and more.
The price for BuyBotPro varies between $35 and $45 a month, depending on the features you need. You can receive a discount by paying for a year in advance. BuyBotPro offers a 14 day trial.
SourceMogul is a specialized search engine that finds products you can sell profitably on Amazon. The software has been created by people who trade on Amazon to help other arbitrage sellers. Features include:
- Carry out general searches or analyze specific categories and niches.
- Front load your searches and SourceMogul will run them in the background, providing results as they’re ready.
- Detailed results analysis with advanced filtering criteria.
- Sales rank and pricing histories for every product.
- Integration with supplier stores and FBA preparation centers.
- Brand restrictions checker to eliminate products you can’t sell on Amazon.
- Unlimited searches of almost 400 websites split between the U.S. and the U.K.
The price for SourceMogul is $97 a month or $970 a year. New customers receive an introductory discount.
FBA Wizard provides deep product sourcing for Amazon and provides some innovative functionality including private label searches and U.S. flipping. Features include:
- Upload product and wholesale lists and scan all your predefined products across multiple retailers.
- Sell on eBay by searching dropshippers so you can sell through your storefront and ship direct to customers.
- Search private label products to find new, unusual, and profitable niches.
- Flip products between the Amazon U.S. and Amazon Canada stores at a profit.
- Understand sales demand across items.
- Use a fee calculator to input your expenses and understand profit margins.
The price for FBA Wizard is $99 a month or $699 a year. However, FBA Wizard limits the number of users on their platform, and is often full. When this happens, you will need to enter your email address on their site to be notified when more spaces open up.
Price and sales rank history tools
Online arbitrage is about much more than just sourcing the right products. You want to sell items quickly at the right price point. Use price and rank history tools to:
- Understand the historic price of items so you can determine likely profit margins.
- Establish there’s a demand by exploring sales ranks of products.
- Focus on items with a stable price history for predictability.
- Choose items with low availability on Amazon so customers buy from you.
Price and rank history are important for understanding “price stability”. You don’t want to buy or set prices when the Amazon price has temporarily spiked, giving a false impression of a profitable arbitrage deal. You could be left with a loss when the price returns to “normal”, which can happen very quickly. Online arbitrage software focusing on pricing is one of the most important tools for profitability.
At a glance
Amazon price watches
Complete price histories
Email price alerts
Price drop alerts
Monitors a billion products
Yes, this is their real name! camelcamelcamel is a free Amazon price tracker that monitors millions of products on the Amazon marketplace and lets you know when the prices drop. Features include:
- Create price watches for specific Amazon products.
- Get alerts via email when the prices go down.
- View complete price histories of almost 20 million Amazon products.
- Use browser extensions to check price histories as you browse on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
camelcamelcamel is free for users. They make money through affiliate links when you use the tool, so there’s no cost to you. The interface is quite basic and dated, but you can’t beat the price.
Keepa is a helpful Amazon price tracker that offers extensive pricing history and functionality for Amazon products. Features include:
- Extensive price history information and graphs.
- Price drop and item availability alerts.
- Browser extensions that show price history as you browse products.
- Compare prices across multiple Amazon international websites.
- Monitoring of over a billion products.
Keepa’s basic data features are free, but advanced usage requires a subscription of €15 a month. Free access allows users to test their data and interface, but they limit requests if you don’t pay for membership.
Repricing tools help online sellers to reprice items across marketplaces. Although these tools are not specific to online arbitrage, they’re an important part of the toolset. Use repricing tools to:
- Automatically update product prices as your competitors change their pricing and selling strategies.
- Reprice items if your existing online arbitrage tool doesn’t support this feature
- Shift products quickly by always pricing items keenly, while retaining a profit margin.
It’s important to note that multi-functional arbitrage tools don’t typically have a built-in repricer, so you will need to use a separate one to check whether you’re pricing competitively.
At a glance
Repricing history and scheduling
|1% of sales||
Repricing in real time
Private label repricing
Customizable repricing rules
Monitor prices on multiple sites
BQool Repricing Central
BQool Repricing Central provides innovative functionality and fast repricing to help you understand and price against the competition. Features include:
- Accelerated repricing to reprice items up to every five minutes, if needed.
- Built in price and profitability calculator so you can ensure you’re always selling at a profit.
- Detailed reports including listing rank, offer, Buy Box win percentage, position and fulfillment.
- Competitor insight and analysis including handling time, expedited shipping status, and back-ordered status.
- Customized repricing settings and strategies depending on competitor type.
- Repricing history and scheduling.
BQool Repricing Central has several pricing plans ranging from $25 to $100 a month, depending on the features you need. There are discounts for yearly subscriptions.
Sellery is a real-time Amazon repricing software tool with an innovative price plan and deep, customizable pricing strategies. Features include:
- Repricing almost instantly, in real time.
- Extremely detailed pricing strategies based on multiple criteria for smart repricing.
- Automatic, preset algorithm-based pricing rules.
- Specialized repricing for private label sellers.
- Cost and profit analysis to ensure you never sell an item at a loss.
Sellery has an interesting pricing model, meaning you pay them one percent of your gross monthly sales. There’s a minimum charge of $50 a month and a maximum charge of $2,000 a month.
Unlike other pricing tools, which focus on Amazon, myPricing from Boostmyshop provides detailed monitoring and repricing across multiple sales channels as well as Amazon. Features include:
- Integrate product costs and other expenses into your repricing strategy to ensure profit margins.
- Highly customizable repricing rules including by product, brand, category, sales channel, or competitor.
- Monitor prices across multiple sites, including comparison websites and competitors.
- Take advantage of automatic and instant price updates for your product catalogue.
- Use myPricing across multiple marketplaces and price comparison sites including Amazon, Cdiscount, PriceMinister, Fnac, Darty, Bol, and Google Shopping.
myPricing starts at €99 a month depending on the number of products, the channels tracked, and the frequency of the repricing.
Arbitrage dropship automation
Online arbitrage dropshipping is a little different to “standard” online arbitrage and also to conventional dropshipping. Here’s how it works:
- Find products where there is a big enough price difference that you can buy from a specific online retailer and resell through an online marketplace, at a profit.
- List the item on the online marketplace, marking up the price enough to make a profit after all fees.
- When the item sells on the marketplace, buy it from the online retailer and enter the buyer’s address as the delivery address.
Amazon-to-eBay arbitrage is the best known combination where this method is used, but it can be applied to any online retailer (as long as they accept a delivery address other than the cardholder’s) and any online marketplace – in theory.
You never handle the product yourself, because it is sent directly from the retailer, who doesn’t know you are using them as a supplier. With conventional dropshipping, in contrast, you buy from a wholesale supplier who you have a pre-agreed relationship with.
You don’t have to pay for the product upfront either, because you only make your purchase after the buyer has completed their own order.
So what’s dropship automation? It’s taking this idea even further, so no human involvement at all is needed to process the buyer’s order. When the buyer checks out on the marketplace, the software kicks in and makes the purchase from the online retailer, on your behalf.
That’s what the tools in this section do, sometimes along with other useful features for arbitrage sellers, such as creating marketplace listings. You can find more online arbitrage tools with dropship functionality in our directory.
At a glance
List products in bulk
Sell on eBay, Amazon or Shopify
Automated order placement
OAGenius provides a suite of online arbitrage tools with a strong focus on dropshipping. Features include:
- List product inventories including synchronization and bulk management.
- Active price monitoring in the marketplace and syncing of data to repricing tools.
- Inventory management to integrate dropshipping supplier inventories with your product listing availability.
- Take advantage of dropship arbitrage opportunities in real time.
- Automated order sourcing, fulfillment, shipping, tracking, and delivery.
They offer two types of ecommerce tools. Gravity is for product sourcing and Sage is for inventory, pricing, and order fulfillment. Gravity is priced at $79 a month. OAGenius Sage pricing ranges from $175 to $975 a month, depending on the number of product listings you’re managing. Or you can purchase both Gravity and Sage starting at $224 a month.
PriceYak is a comprehensive online arbitrage tool designed specifically for dropshippers. Initially designed for Amazon-to-eBay arbitrage, ecommerce arbitrage-focused features now include:
- Complete dropshipping automation suite for selling on selling on eBay, Amazon, or Shopify.
- Minimal information required to create product listings
- Built in repricing tools to ensure you maintain a healthy profit margin and stay competitive.
- Automated order placement and fulfillment process.
- Advanced sorting, filtering, and reporting on products, prices, and listings.
PriceYak uses an unusual charging structure when paying for the service, based on usage:
- Free repricing for the first 100 listings for every store in a PriceYak account, after that it’s a $0.10 repricing fee per listing.
- Free automatic ordering for the first 300 orders per store, after that it’s a $0.40 ordering fee per product sold.
Find the right combination for you
We hope you’ve found this collection of online arbitrage tools useful. Although using these tools is optional, arbitrage software tools are a good way to significantly reduce the time and effort it takes to find and sell products. Without them, ecommerce arbitrage can be burdensome and less profitable.
Successful sellers will use a sensible combination of these tools based on what they’re selling, where they’re sourcing, their business model, and their desired customers. We’ve linked to our directory pages for most of the tools above where you can get more insight including an overview, user reviews, discussions, and specifications.
Most of these tools have free trial periods, so we recommend creating a shortlist of tools, trying them out, and seeing what works for you.
This post was originally published in January 2016 and last updated in July 2020.