#FBA Friday: This Week in Liquidation and Retail Arbitrage for Amazon FBA

Today was such a busy day filled with sourcing that I almost forgot to round up some of my FBA sales. This week I want to focus on what has sold from the liquidation pallet that first got me started with Amazon FBA. I now consider sales of merchandise from that pallet to be passive income since I have already made my money back from the initial investment several times over.

Here are a few items that sold:

1.) 14 Favorite Love Songs [Audio CD] Neil Diamond – This was a new/sealed CD in the pallet. I had no idea how to price it, so I priced it high and hoped for the best. It sold within 2 weeks of hitting the warehouse.

Paid: approximately $0.06. After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $20.61.

2.) Squire Rushnell’s Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten [VHS]  – Here’s another VHS that has sold from that pallet. I actually thought about keeping this one for my daughter, but opted instead to send it into FBA. It just so happens that I found a used copy of this exact VHS at the Goodwill Outlet a few weeks later.

Paid: approximately $0.06. After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $18.82.

3.) Just a Closer Walk With Thee [Audio Cassette]There are hundreds of cassette tapes from that pallet that I have yet to ship into FBA. This one made its way there only because it had a barcode that I could scan and it was actually listed in Amazon’s database. I really didn’t know how to price this cassette tape, so I settled on a price that would net me at least a $10 profit. 

This cassette took about 3 weeks to sell with a rank around 400k.

Paid: approximately $0.06. After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $10.39.

4.) Crystal Light Liquid Concentrate 1.62 oz. bottle (Pack of 6)  – This particular purchase was from my adventures with retail arbitrage. I bought it from a closeout grocery store and unfortunately, I did not ship it to Amazon within the time frame required for products with an expiration date. Consequently, I had to merchant fulfill it.

It was a slow process to unload these, even with such a low rank (around 3k). Although they sold almost immediately after listing, I only had an order maybe once or twice per week. As the expiration date got closer, I had to drop the price significantly! I made sure to disclose the expiration date in the description box on Amazon and once I had the “buy box” I started getting sales every day and at one point sold 3 sets within 24 hours.

Paid: approximately $5.98 per lot of six. After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $0. I actually lost $0.27 per order once I dropped the price to $7.98.

I included this product in my weekly roundup for several reasons:

  1. This is why I tend to stay away from closeout grocery merchandise. In most cases, if it isn’t already expired, it is near expiration and I cannot send it in to Amazon FBA. I prefer to send grocery items into Amazon FBA because I can reach a wider audience and command a higher price than if I were to merchant fulfill grocery items.
  2. Although I hate to drop prices, this was a case where I felt it was necessary in order to get rid of my inventory fast (e.g. before it reached expiration).
  3. Not everything has a happy ending. I actually didn’t profit anything from these items. I barely broke even. Unfortunately, I didn’t factor in the shipping weight and to my dismay, these could not be shipped first class mail because the weight was more than 13 ounces. Instead, I had to ship each set of 6 via priority mail — which was the cheapest option. I did not forsee this and it cut into any potential profit I would have made via merchant fulfillment.

I do hope that you can see that everything isn’t roses when selling on Amazon FBA. There is a lot to learn about Amazon’s rules for items — especially selling grocery items. Will this experience deter me from ever selling grocery items again? Absolutely NOT. But I certainly will not go out of my way to scout for groceries. It just isn’t a category I want to sell in due to all of the rules, precautions, packaging and labeling that come with it.


I do hope that this week’s review of sales has provided some insight into more profitable items that you can source or should be on the lookout for.

Enjoy your weekend sourcing!

~ Yolanda